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What Might Have Been

By Carl S. ~

There's an old poem that goes like this: "For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’” You have probably read of dying humans who have uttered those words. (I read of two classical composers who said, "But I have so much music left in me.") Many individuals have apologized when it is too late for forgiveness from the ones they've damaged. Then there are the regrets for not doing the good that was possible when the opportunities were wide-open. We ought to deal with reality, with the fact that regrets are a part of life; we make bad choices, under the circumstances and place in life at the time, we often didn't have much choice in our decisions.

Would those words be the saddest words spoken by a "caring" god if there was one? Would this god say to himself each time he sends someone to hell, “I should have done more to make myself understood." And what of, "If I had stopped the Holocaust, maybe I wouldn't be rejected." Or: “I should have said something, done something, to prevent this person from being abused as a child." Or: I shouldn’t have given him a psychotic brain so that he killed." Or: “Why didn't I prevent that condemned-forever person's brain abnormality due to being repeatedly struck on the head, leading him to destroy the lives of others?" "Why did I allow her to be repeatedly raped by her uncle, so that she turned to drugs and suicide?" "Now I must send her to hell."

Does this god think for one micro-second, "Maybe my love should have been really unconditional. Maybe I should have uttered reassurances, face-to-face smiles, approvals, given any one of them solid evidence of warmth and concern, before I condemned. I have made an ass of myself while still demanding your respect. I have seen, but I have not prevented suffering. I am hidden and never show my face. I have heard but not listened. I have no voice to answer with, except to the mentally unbalanced. Am I capable of caring? I have no balls. Maybe revealing any of these things will make a difference between heaven and hell. Maybe not. I don't know. But now it's too late for that, isn't it?”

I have made an ass of myself while still demanding your respect. I have seen, but I have not prevented suffering. I am hidden and never show my face. I have heard but not listened. Shall a god, with an endless lifetime, decide to change so that he won't have regrets in the future? He could reveal himself to the living or those who are about to die. He could say, "See, I'm real, you don’t have to blindly believe in me any longer." He could admit, "Tragically, my methods for salvation have failed millions of humans. Hell is an admission I've failed. I, not you, have created absolute nihilism, absolute hopelessness. It shall no longer be."

But he is condemned, according to his followers, by not having the option to change his mind. I'm afraid both he and his religions have painted themselves into a corner with their eternal life BS. It is a corner without an exit. How depressing, exchanging living life to the fullest for endless control by an uncaring dictator. I'd rather have belches and farts and stupid man tricks, and people singing and sinning their hearts out. I'd rather have piles of junk and other rejected materials, because out of them I can create something from my own mind and hands, any time, any day. I want to be like others: stumbling and getting up to stumble again, and to be someone who regrets and apologizes. And I'd rather have someone in my life who feels the same and understands, someone who is real. I want that touch that sings the body electric to me. Wouldn't you? Contrast any god with a real flesh and blood human being, and the contrast is startling. I'll take the human any time.

I've just finished reading Susan Jacoby's book, "Strange Gods: A secular history of conversion." I found most of it, just because it states the facts, depressing, which is why every believer and non-believer should read it. When you come to the end, you're glad you weren't forced to live in those years when religion reigned. When, after reading of the thousands of years of misery, deprivation of properties, forceful fleeing or removal to other lands in order to survive, of the deaths of "heretics" in every sect, of the slaughters and bloody religious wars, you'll come to a conclusion on your own: There is still no proof that a God or gods exist. What a waste. Think of all the misery that's been caused because people, to the extent of killing and dying for them, have believed in fantasy tales. No god has existed, even one with the balls to prevent this nonsense. Oh, what might have been, without religion! Let us learn so we don’t have to say "what might have been" again.