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Thoughts About The Randomness of Life

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Waldo P. Schmeer

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As I am rapidly approaching my 40s, I have had a lot of those little realizations you get around this time of life. And one of the ones that has hit me the hardest is that by now, I can´t really expect a lot of positive life changes.
What I am referring to is like when you´re young and you can look forward to driving or your first apartment or first car, etc. By now, none of that is new. And realistically, I am in a point in my life that the only life changes I have ahead of me are huge and depressing life altering ones. Like I still have both my parents by this point, but they are really up there in years. And they´re never in good health. So there is always that looming around the corner.

But this also extends to other aspects of life. Like at this point, I couldn´t go back to school and start a new career and field. I hate when people say ¨Oh, you can go back to school at ANY age!¨. You can. But after a certain point in life, its all just all a novelty because of your age. You´re not going into any field to do anything significant or have a great budding career to look forward to.

Everyday you lose more and more ground on positive life changing events the further you get. Like the likelihood of having a kid or getting married becomes harder the more set in your ways you are. And we´re supposed to believe that life is a ¨beautiful journey¨? Why? Because we have 2-3 good memories to fall back on that we experienced in blissful ignorant youth? It seems cruel to me, more than anything. Its like going to a funhouse in a carnival. A really big fun colorful funhouse. But like the first 2 minutes are fun and entertaining. But the other 8 minutes of the funhouse are just drab and the further you get into it, the less and less you can do or enjoy. And then when you are done, people say ¨wasn´t SOME of that fun?¨

Nothing ever makes sense. I don´t care how much people try to respond to this and say things like ¨everything has a purpose¨. Its just a meaningless platitude that people use when they can´t explain things. This is just all collected chaos. There is no one driving it. And if you´re a person who chooses to believe in a higher power, then a higher power must not have it all together. Just the other day some psycho plowed through a parade and killed 5 people who were doing nothing more than attending a parade. That really makes sense.

THE TYPICAL REBUTTAL:
¨Oh, that has nothing to do with God. Those were the actions of that individual man¨

EXCEPT:
Except when something good happens, we give praise and grace to a higher power.

CONCLUSION:
If something good happens, God did it.
If something bad happens, God didn´t do it.

We just try and try in vain to try to rationalize this harmony of dissonance we live in. This order of chaos. This collection of coincidental mayhem.

Like if we all got a chance outside of life to do it all again, who would choose to do it again? Who´d be crazy enough to say ¨Yea, let me jump back into this plane of existence where the longer you´re there, the more it sucks and the less things can be explained and the less they make sense.¨ No one who is realistic, that´s who.

Just an observation.
 

Azariah

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f9f7a7ac1e8160db26a2b6cf6a5046e2--atheism-quotes-no-religion.jpg
 

randomguy

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In the Old Testament, God’s anger repeatedly burns against his people for their disobedience. At times, the punishment dispensed seems particularly harsh, unjust, and disproportionate.
 

Azariah

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but remember it was God who delivered the israelites out of Egypt and the Israelites swore allegiance to this God. God's anger only blazed when they strayed from worshipping him hmmmmm
 

Waldo P. Schmeer

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In the Old Testament, God’s anger repeatedly burns against his people for their disobedience. At times, the punishment dispensed seems particularly harsh, unjust, and disproportionate.
I agree with this. To me, Old Testament or New Testament. Its all the same to me.

For instance: Let's say that I help my brothers and sister. Lets say that I live a live that people can emulate in terms of caring for each other. I help the downtrodden and I give my shirt off my back. I live my whole life loving and caring for other people. But at the end of the day, I cursed and ate meat on Tuesdays or Fridays or whatever the magic date is. I go to hell, right?

Or I can live the kind of life where debauchery is 6 days a week. I lie, cheat, steal, and do anything I can to step over others to get by. I hurt people unnecessarily. I break every rule in the book. But every Sunday, I go to specific building of worship and I "repent". Then I am home safe.

I am not a parent, but I can guarantee you that if I was, I wouldn't let my child suffer even if they act up from time to time. Can you imagine that? A fire breaks out in my house, and I go to my child's room and say "You didn't listen to me or do your homework, so you perish in this fire little buddy. Forever".

This is what is being sold to people. And it doesn't sound like an all powerful benevolent god. It sounds like a power hungry maniac child who is fueled by adoration and acceptance.

And my comments are not even directed towards whatever the idea of "God" is. It is directed at what mankind has done with that idea.
 

Azariah

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At the end of the day it's our minds. Can God blame us if we don't believe in him? why would we be at fault for having lack of faith, don't you think it's God who came up short after all we're just human.
 

randomguy

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And my comments are not even directed towards whatever the idea of "God" is. It is directed at what mankind has done with that idea.
For me religion is a personal experience rather than a group activity. I don't want to say too much because any discussion about organised religion tends to only go one way and I'm actually quite enjoying my evening. :)
 

Waldo P. Schmeer

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For me religion is a personal experience rather than a group activity. I don't want to say too much because any discussion about organised religion tends to only go one way and I'm actually quite enjoying my evening. :)
I agree with this. For me, it has always been a personal experience too. I like the fact that different people can find their own comforts. I wish more people in this world were accepting of that.
 

Sarah G

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The word 'evil' here refers to 'calamity' or 'misfortune' not moral evil. Sometimes people believed that other gods had caused calamity so it's clarifying that Jehovah is sovereign.
KJV is so 😬
I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.
Isaiah 45:7 NIV
The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing peace and creating disaster; I am the Lord who does all these things.
Isaiah 45:7 AMP
 

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RE: Original Post: Well, when I was your age I was thinking the same thing, although I wanted to go and explore quite a few places. Now I've done that. So, I'm like okay.... I'm done. However, I just started a new phase in my life. I'm even more of a ghost then I was before. I have even less responsibilities. It's nice. But, yeah, it's not really exciting.

Others also told me when I was 40 that I should start a new career. It works if it's something simple. But, I wanted to go into electrical engineering. There's no way the pay off would have been worth all the time and effort to get to a mid-level position. However, I'm still thinking about taking some advanced classes in chemistry for fun.
 

Waldo P. Schmeer

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RE: Original Post: Well, when I was your age I was thinking the same thing, although I wanted to go and explore quite a few places. Now I've done that. So, I'm like okay.... I'm done. However, I just started a new phase in my life. I'm even more of a ghost then I was before. I have even less responsibilities. It's nice. But, yeah, it's not really exciting.

Others also told me when I was 40 that I should start a new career. It works if it's something simple. But, I wanted to go into electrical engineering. There's no way the pay off would have been worth all the time and effort to get to a mid-level position. However, I'm still thinking about taking some advanced classes in chemistry for fun.
That's certainly fair. I do this as well- take classes and learn things that earlier in life could have led to full fledged career/life changes. But now I learn them for personal enrichment.
 

Sir Joseph

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Waldo, I've read this thread several times, finding it too complex to jump into, but now I feel compelled because you've expressed so many thoughts that I can relate to or address.

I really shared your feelings of being over the hill when I retired and started the third, final phase of my life at age 57. My fun, extraordinary career was done, my adventurous outdoor trips with friends no longer happening, my best encounters with young, attractive girls were behind me, and my physical condition had waned significantly. In truth, I have lost these things in life that gave me fulfillment and pleasure, and no new car, toy, or experience is going to replace that. The "funnest" part of my life IS over. You may be there sooner than me, but I can certainly relate to what you're feeling. However, I don't agree with your statement: "I am in a point in my life that the only life changes I have ahead of me are huge and depressing." At your relatively young age, that really shouldn't be true since you've still got the time and health to pursue many more good relationships, new places, and fun experiences - even ones exceeding what you've already had and done. When you get another 20 years older though, such prospects do wane, so let me counter that reality from a Christian's perspective. While I'm becoming more and more detached from worldly pleasures, I'm becoming more interested in my walk with God. My passion with that may not be as thrilling as the high adventure sports or law enforcement pursuits I used to engage in, but it's actually become more important and fulfilling. I'm now growing my self, my character, my soul as I was designed and created to do. And I've found that focusing on 6000 years of Biblical world history, fulfillment of prophetic events, and the eternal life to come is a lot more interesting and important than the few decades I have left here to entertain myself.

You said that "Nothing ever makes sense... This is just all collected chaos... We just try and try in vain to try to rationalize this harmony of dissonance we live in." Actually, if evolution were true, that's exactly what we should expect, since random chance processes have no reason (no law of science) to form structure and order. But that's not what we find. Despite the chaos and mayhem we admittedly see each day, we see overwhelming evidence of design, structure, and order - from the universe level clear down to microscopic DNA level. Just the assured existence of gravity and air should remind you each morning that there is an overruling Divine power upholding the physical order of his creation. I'm confident that you see this as any rational, observant person can. I suspect that your real gripe isn't a charge of God not existing or even being sovereign in the world, but is frustration in not understanding why he rules the world in a manner allowing such pain and suffering. Join the club; that's one of the biggest reasons why people reject God. Can I just say that there are a lot of answers to be found on the issue? Most are logical even if not satisfying, like free will necessitating the existence of evil, good deeds coming out of bad situations, and select disasters being justifiable acts of God's wrath. But what about the helpless, innocent victims that don't fit into one of the explained categories? Here's where a Biblical world view DOES make more sense than a secular world view. First, understand that we're here to grow our souls in preparation for the eternal life to come. God's interested more in our character than our comfort. To that end, this world of struggles, challenges, and problems is a good environment. Second, an innocent or saved soul is far better off in heaven than here on Earth, so death need not be tragic; it can be a blessing that literally spares someone from an undesirable earthly life. In other words, don't cry for the innocent babies that died in Noah's flood or Katrina. They're probably just fine, merely enjoying paradise sooner than us.

You said "Now I can quote this same verse- Isaiah 45:7." I'd suggest that you not because Sarah's right about its Hebrew root and likely meaning. The Bible does give accounts of God performing acts of adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, and misery upon people, but such does not equate with evil if it's Divine, warranted, judgement. By definition, evil is immoral, wicked, and requires a lack of righteousness. As far as I know, no one's ever come up with a higher standard or better source of righteousness than the Holy God of the universe who created all life, along with its scientific and moral laws. It seems unlikely then that such a righteous being would commit the unrighteous act of creating evil. I'd hold that free will itself allows the presence of evil by man and angels without God having to create it.

You said "... But at the end of the day, I cursed and ate meat on Tuesdays or Fridays or whatever the magic date is. I go to hell, right? Your analogous point may be valid for false religions that entail a man-made system of works to go to heaven. Catholicism for instance would have you spending time in Purgatory for every sin committed after your last mass. Don't let this unbiblical doctrine affect your view of Christianity. Contrary to popular belief, the good works you do all your life won't get you to heaven, and the bad works at the end won't send you to hell.

You said "... I break every rule in the book. But every Sunday, I go to specific building of worship and I "repent". Then I am home safe." This is much closer to Christianity since it might represent the thief on the cross that was saved according to Jesus' own words. Does this seem fair, that a man could be evil his whole life but repent at the end and go to heaven? Maybe not, but Jesus' parable of the farm laborers starting at different times but all getting paid the same amount at the end of the day affirms this doctrine. Here's 3 things to consider. First, it's a mighty risky proposition to live it up and party one's life with the intention of embracing God only at the end - because death comes fast and unexpectedly for many people. The eternal risk far outweighs any perceived temporary benefit. Second, it is clear from the Bible that we earn rewards in heaven based upon what we do with our lives here on Earth. So while the thief on the cross or a modern day converted murderer may be saved from eternal damnation by faith in Jesus, they probably won't be enjoying the same level of position or perks in heaven as the Apostles and martyrs. Third, God is love, so his forgiveness probably goes beyond what we can understand, and since he's just, we should trust that his judgement of our lives will ultimately be fair and right, even if we can't see how that happens now.

The two issues you raise above lead to the most important point of the Christian faith. Unlike all other religions, Christianity is about our relationship with God. We're saved by grace through faith, not by works. That can be done quickly at any time upon one's repenting and submission to Jesus as Lord and Savior. The "works" come afterwards, and its a life long process of sanctification in order to become more Christlike. No one ever gets there, but the Spirit working in our hearts give us a genuine desire to please God by loving him and others.

You said "...This is what is being sold to people. And it doesn't sound like an all powerful benevolent god. It sounds like a power hungry maniac child who is fueled by adoration and acceptance." Such a crass conclusion is not unreasonable, but let me counter it with a dose of reality. God created the whole universe for his glory, and man for his pleasure. It's his show and he gets to make the rules and expect submission from us. You're not the only skeptic tying negative words to that scenario. But let me ask, would you not do the same thing on a smaller scale in breeding, buying, growing, or caring for a pet? You'd expect the pet to be grateful, obedient, and loving. You'd want and expect the pet to have a good relationship with you. That's why he's in your house, and if he rejects you, then you'd be inclined to reject him.

So what's the significant difference between God and you versus you and a pet? Both arrangements require submission, don't they? The thing is, God's given you a free will and ability to reject him more readily perhaps than a pet. The true love (and adoration for his power and glory, yes) can only be achieved with such free will. Is that fair? Doesn't matter; it's his universe and we're his creation - for his glory and pleasure. But I'll tell everyone this: he's offered us a great deal. No matter how problematic or deficient this temporary life is here on Earth, those that embrace God with faith, accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, will be rewarded with a future new world, body, and eternal life that is unimaginably wonderful. He's offered paradise and eternal life to those that want to join him. I can't imagine any pride or reason on earth warranting the rejection of such a gift.
 

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CONCLUSION:
If something good happens, God did it.
If something bad happens, God didn´t do it.



Just an observation.
I made this conclusion many years ago. Religion is ludicrous. Imagine it, God made everything, man in his form, and all men equal. Then he gives them cancer and other such horrendous illnesses. Oh, but he's only done that to test your faith. What a bastard!

Cognitive dissonance prevents people from even questioning faith, as any negative answers will simply be dismissed. Typically, a Christian will use deflection tactics, and quote other passages from the Bible, usually out of context too.

I do not begrudge anyone having a religious belief. However, force feeding it to others, and making moral judgement based upon a book of proven historic fiction, is down right obnoxious.

As for the being 40 thing, enjoy whatever you can, whilst you can, because it doesn't get any better. Life is too short, and so am I.
 

Azariah

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I made this conclusion many years ago. Religion is ludicrous. Imagine it, God made everything, man in his form, and all men equal. Then he gives them cancer and other such horrendous illnesses. Oh, but he's only done that to test your faith. What a bastard!

Cognitive dissonance prevents people from even questioning faith, as any negative answers will simply be dismissed. Typically, a Christian will use deflection tactics, and quote other passages from the Bible, usually out of context too.

I do not begrudge anyone having a religious belief. However, force feeding it to others, and making moral judgement based upon a book of proven historic fiction, is down right obnoxious.

As for the being 40 thing, enjoy whatever you can, whilst you can, because it doesn't get any better. Life is too short, and so am I.
Life is actually the longest thing you are going to feel my friend.
 

Waldo P. Schmeer

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You said "...This is what is being sold to people. And it doesn't sound like an all powerful benevolent god. It sounds like a power hungry maniac child who is fueled by adoration and acceptance." Such a crass conclusion is not unreasonable, but let me counter it with a dose of reality. God created the whole universe for his glory, and man for his pleasure. It's his show and he gets to make the rules and expect submission from us. You're not the only skeptic tying negative words to that scenario. But let me ask, would you not do the same thing on a smaller scale in breeding, buying, growing, or caring for a pet? You'd expect the pet to be grateful, obedient, and loving. You'd want and expect the pet to have a good relationship with you. That's why he's in your house, and if he rejects you, then you'd be inclined to reject him.

So what's the significant difference between God and you versus you and a pet? Both arrangements require submission, don't they? The thing is, God's given you a free will and ability to reject him more readily perhaps than a pet. The true love (and adoration for his power and glory, yes) can only be achieved with such free will. Is that fair? Doesn't matter; it's his universe and we're his creation - for his glory and pleasure. But I'll tell everyone this: he's offered us a great deal. No matter how problematic or deficient this temporary life is here on Earth, those that embrace God with faith, accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, will be rewarded with a future new world, body, and eternal life that is unimaginably wonderful. He's offered paradise and eternal life to those that want to join him. I can't imagine any pride or reason on earth warranting the rejection of such a gift.
Hi Sir Joseph

I just wanted to confirm that I saw your response and you put a lot of thought and experience into it. And for that I thank you for taking time out of your day share some of your thoughts.

It took me a while to process this and please believe me when I say that I don't mean for my response to sound dismissive. Trust me, I've wrestled with ways to say it conversationally, and to not seem like I am just arguing on the other side of your point here. Trust me, its not that at all. I can respectfully disagree.

But although I understand the actual context of your message, it just made faith seem that much more unappealing to me. You said that "God created the whole universe for his glory..." - so its his show. I get that. But how is that supposed to make me feel better about the harmony of disrespect and dissonance we have to endure every day?

Imagine that I say "Hey Joseph, let's go to this party" (aka life). And I just force you to come with me anyway- you didn't have a say in it (aka being born into this dumpster fire at random). At this party, your wallet is stolen. You get assaulted in the bathroom. Someone drugs your drink. Its too loud and your ears are ringing. There is no food so you're starving. And you go, "Hey Wally, this party sucks". And I go "Hey! The guy who made this party made it for his amusement! It's HIS show!" Is that it? The end of the story? You just have to kind of take it? You're supposed to see the beauty in the music that was playing so loud your ears are ringing? You're supposed to be grateful that you had drinks with no food? You're supposed to be grateful that your wallet was stolen and you were assaulted, but at least you didn't get stabbed?

Because that's how all of that sounded to me.

I think about death a lot. Not like in a suicidal way. But just curious. I'm genuinely curious. And I've come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no way that death is the worst thing in the world.

Death can't be worse than say... Alzheimer's disease - another little nifty way for God to show us how much he loves us- right along with Parkingsons, and dementia, and cancer, etc. I know, I get it, we're not supposed to attribute those terrible things to God- even though we're supposed to attribute creation itself to him. But just the good parts of creation. Not the soul crushing parts that seep your will to live from every cell of your existence.

As for the analogy you posed about comparing us to pets- Yea, I hear exactly what you're saying. But I don't really know anyone who has thrown their cat in a flaming drum because their cat was generally indifferent. People just kind of have cats and let them roam around as they please. I'm not going to rain pure cold vengeance down on my cat because he walks out of the room when I sit down to watch TV with him. He's still my cat and he can chill wherever he wants. I still love him. He's scratched me before. I still love him. He's run away before. And he came back. And I still love him. THAT is unconditional love. There will never be a scenario where I am going to knowingly allow harm and misery to come to him despite his general assholiness. He's my little dude and he has no limits. So maybe I am more capable of unconditional love than an all powerful creator of reality itself.
 

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Waldo, I appreciate your fair response and understand your point. I won't pressure you or anyone to like God or embrace the negative things that he oversees in the world since the desire to have a relationship with him has to come from within one's own heart. Let me follow up with a final point though as we all struggle with life here on this messed up planet.

A secular world view rationally requires random chaos, mayhem, pain, suffering, and injustice since every being and incident is merely a chance accident. It not only offers no explanation or meaning to any of it but holds only a depressing ending of death.

A Biblical world view offers an explanation for our broken world, gives strength for enduring it, and most significantly perhaps, gives us hope for the future. The new world, perfect body, and eternal life to come that God's promised for those that embrace him through faith in Christ is a sweet deal. It'd be a needless tragedy to suffer pointlessly through this temporary life only to miss the glorious eternal one to come.
 

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THE TYPICAL REBUTTAL:
¨Oh, that has nothing to do with God. Those were the actions of that individual man¨

EXCEPT:
Except when something good happens, we give praise and grace to a higher power.

CONCLUSION:
If something good happens, God did it.
If something bad happens, God didn´t do it.

Reminds me of religiously ill neighbors and others who used to be in my circle. They all hated me for being an atheist but that's a different story. Whenever they had an illness (besides mental) and had some medical procedure done, they said "thank god" everything is good. Never thank doctors, nurses, technicians, other staff who took care of them. None of that normalcy. Praising imaginary nonsense. But if something goes wrong "damn doctors don't know shit..." and other such nonsense. Of course things almost never go well for them because they do everything wrong in their lives. Because god(s). Some used to tell me whenever i helped them with something "god bless your soul" and i'm like "who does what to my what?" with a smile on my face as if i kind of know what they mean but at the same time i don't. lol that was amusing. In the end some stopped talking to me. One still talks when i run into her. It's exhausting for me. I avoid contact.
 

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