IS GOD COMPASSIONATE AND UNDERSTANDING?
WHAT IS THE ONLY TRUTH THAT MAKES SENSE?
(This is only for those people who consider God to be like a person, or vice versa. Some people have different beliefs and use God to mean something else, such as the congruence and greatness of how the universe works or nature or...)
Man, in his not yet godlike knowledge, "makes up" and rationalizes all sorts of misbeliefs that cause undue suffering - although man, most of the time, means well.
CLEARING UP SOME POSSIBLE MISUNDERSTANDINGS
I write this piece not to change anyone's core religious beliefs, but to clear up some possible assumptions and beliefs that people tend to lock themselve into, to their detriment.
I am saddened when I see so many people uselessly causing themselve suffering, from beliefs that are unexamined and simply not true.
WHAT WOULD AN ENLIGHTENED BEING WANT?
I really don't think God would want you to be writhing in misery, stabbed by guilt and/or burdened by shame, be expected to do things beyond what humans are actually capable of, and then exact punishment upon his children.
Isn't it reasonable to deduce that any entity that was so powerful and so developed that he/she could have developed the world and one who is omniscient would know enough to be enlightened and also compassionate to the max!
Compassionate means to see the suffering of a human being and to want to relieve it - and to have them be better off and very happy. Surely, all enlightened beings have compassion!
AN ENLIGHTENED BEING WOULD NOT...
An enlightened being would not be wrathful or vindictive or punishing or "out of control", unable to control his emotions - it would seem preposterous to think otherwise.
He wouldn't be critical, in a judgmental sense, at all. He would be understanding and know that we humans are doing the best we can given their level of awareness at the time that we have managed to be at - and that we can't do any better(!!!). He wouldn't punish us or wish upon us the suffering that goes with the beliefs that we have related to guilt, shame, blame, punishing to get someone to do something, and such... He wouldn't want you to suffer in order to go to heaven - no incredibly intelligent individual would even want that!
He would want us to do what we evolved to do: to survive at a higher and higher level. He would want us to thrive, but would realize that most of us do not yet know how to do so - and that we struggle to learn what we can and to increase our wisdom as fast as we can.
Surely he would not want us to exhaust and harm ourselves in order to compulsively try to be good enough to deserve to be in heaven by having to contribute beyond what is humanly possible in a way that has the person being well off him/herself.
Surely, he does not want the poor to suffer. Nor does he want to punish people for not doing enough for their fellow mankind.
WE MADE IT UP!
But people have "made it up" that they are "bad" if they selfishly take care of themselves and are not doing all they can to contribute, in the myth that it is possible to be "selfless". God, logically, had us evolve successfully by "being selfish", by assuring that we had the self survive so that he/she could pass on his/her genes and also to live a good, long life.
He didn't have us evolve the way we did in order to feel guilty and be wracked by emotional turmoil because we are taking care of ourselves and seeking happiness.
Surely, he would want for us to know the greatest joy we can doing our life or lives, wouldn't he?
Why would he want to inflict suffering on us and have us feel otherwise?
(Surely, mankind has tried to rationalize this and has also done the reverse of what the Bible says, in that they have made God in the image of man, ignorant and without control of his own temperament, wrathful and vengeful, punishing, having us kill others who don't actually threaten us. No, it is not possible that God would be so unenlightened and have those behaviors. Surely, man has made up that stuff - we should examine what those people propose as the truth and ask whether it is fact-based and fully logical and congruent with all that we know.)
GUILT AND SHAME WERE NOT AS WE HAVE MADE THEM BE
Guilt and shame did serve a purpose for mankind.
Shame kept us from doing things that harmed others as did guilt - but these were only helpful to the extent that it deterred people from behaviors that would have them kicked out to the tribe to die in the jungle and to have them do behaviors that supported the community's thriving so we could all pass on our genes better, etc. He surely did not mean for us to carry this to the extreme, where we were beating ourselves up, inflicting this upon ourselves so that we suffered about things that had no real survival value. Indeed, he would not want us to suffer at all, if possible. And, implicitly there is no suffering that needs to be involved if we have a DNA set up that gives us a signal that our behavior is not going to be good for ourselves and/or others - if we know this and have clarity about what is good and right, then it is virtually effortless to just correct our behavior, to adjust it to what will work. See and understand how we made up Guilt And Shame as something other than it is: Shame And Guilt - Two Outdated, Overused Emotions And The Thought Process.
I, myself, feel sad to see others suffer needlessly, uselessly, for no benefit.
WE CAN UNRAVEL AND CORRECT THIS!
Indeed, collectively mankind has developed a culture that perpetuates many of these misconceptions, so that we all consider it "normal" to feel guilty and to use punishment and other unsuitable, not-well-thought-out means of controlling others - of course, for a good purpose, but unfortunately it is overdone and causes great harm. (See Morality Vs. Ethics.)
People have produced, from a false base of beliefs, such beliefs as:
"I must contribute, selflessly, or I am sinful and not deserving."
"If I take care of myself, I am sinning."
"If I take care of myself, I am taking away from others and what I should be doing for them."
"God wants me to be totally in his service and to sacrifice myself for others."
No, God would want to have each of his creatures be as well off as possible and practical and would not expect perfection nor any extreme that does harm to man.
I suggest that you identify, examine, and replace those beliefs from which you experience suffering. You no longer need to suffer to be good.
THE GREATEST ABSURDITY OF ALL
Or the greatest absurdity of all. Those people who are willing to kill so that Allah's religion will be followed by the people.
The people who have been influenced by such thinking surely can do no good and surely Allah would not be please with them - and completely unlikely to give them 74 virgins - or any of the false items that these people are misled to believe is waiting for them in heaven. Those people have dramatic misunderstandings of the religion - and of course what Allah would want!!!! And even misbeliefs about who Allah really is in essence, as he truly must also be enlightened and compassionate and wishing no one harm!
This is such a tragedy to have people believe such absurdities and doing such harm!