The Questionable Plan

God bent down with pensive face to light the world on fire,

His hands had weaved steadily the temporal fabric,

That was to become every essence,

Giving life to his paradoxical and intricate plot.


And as he stooped low a certain wise spirit revealed an apprehensive countenance,

For he had examined the story that was doomed to unfold,

And felt distraught and troubled over one crimson detail,

A detail immersed in sorrow amongst millions of joys.


“What does this mean here?” the princely spirit ventured, “And by what…

He persisted, “what majestic reasoning does this torment need to occur?

Are you not responsible? Have you not become the most abhorrent of all beings?

For in all eternity there has not been such misery, affliction, neither injurious action as this!

Give account now, Oh most Powerful, for this is above comprehension!”


This dissident spirit was referring to a small part of the story,

Yet the most significant– Its words were the blackest;

Its pain was the greatest; Its actions were the vilest;

Yet its innocence was the purest; and great was the tragedy thereof.


The world was to know joy and bliss,

Endless it seems was to be the dancing and gaiety,

With no absence of bread nor luxury,

Except for one blight– a girl, five years old.


She was to be the unhappy daughter of a most insidious couple,

Who took great delight in beatings; conscience hindering them not.

Sent to work in the fields was she in heat and in wet;

Night after night she found no favor yet hoped for a kind touch.


The bed was not restful either for she was plagued with dreams,

Of strange men in black coats– hot breath betraying sinister intentions.

At times she woke in the light of dawn fearing the dark fantasy,

And reeling from the medicine she was made to drink the night before.


The light of day was no better for there was no one

In whom she could confide but when help was requested,

She was beat all the more receiving severe lacerations,

And sent to reside in a box with the lid shut,

While her parents would leave and return to the house,

Some time later smelling quite strong and acting so violently,

That she desired to stay in the box which became a means of safety.


In the end, she awoke one morning to find,

She had not reached the outhouse in time the night before,

And her mother, her own mother took her with rage

Into the outhouse stuffing her mouth with feces,

Leaving her to wallow in the putrid smell of the latrine.


All day she stayed without sustenance except the taste of fecal matter,

Giving an involuntary spasmodic whimper which entered the ears of her parents;

Yet feeling they could do no more they left her,

And hesitated not to sleep in quiet restful slumber,

While the quiet of the night was penetrated only by the whimpers,

Easily ignored by the evil heedless ears of her own mother.


Sometime during the night sweet merciful Death took her.

It was then she received the only rest ever allowed her,

And the bliss only known through escaping the world.


All this to give the world the gift of freewill,

This was what she was worth.


The now rebellious spirit looked with disdain at the plot,

And once more he addressed the Maker of All,

“Wouldst thou allow me to bend with merciful finger,

And remove this blight– this eyesore from the fabric of time?

Let not the whole of existence bear this burden,

For who shall atone for this transgression?”


Admittedly he could not see all of the story,

But this did not matter to him in the slightest,

For his heart had felt the poor girl’s plight,

And could not leave doing nothing.


The All-Knowing One gave a permissive nod,

And the restless spirit grabbed the plot,

Gave a twist and pulled the girl out of the story.


As he held her life in his hands he heard a curious sound;

The cry of mad legions of violent men bent on corruption,

Death, disease and destruction infected everything,

And the basest of human desires tended their evil business,

For freewill had taken a turn toward the perverse,

The evil heart grew till it was drunk with delirium.


The disturbed spirit quickly but reluctantly put the girl back,

And everything returned to its previous blissful state,

“Why even make this world at all,” complained the spirit,

“Is this what you will– have you no other choice?”


The Cause of All– the Knower of All with a look in his eye

That revealed a spark of joy and yet a deep hurt,

Stooped down once more to light the world aflame,

And the bitter spirit saw that God himself had become the Great Fire.


He looked in the midst of that terrible light,

And gazed at the wonder within.

Joy and Sorrow were dancing hand in hand,

Never breaking their touch,

Filling the whole of creation with the fullness of life,

And moving in all things with such grace and beauty that the sight of it,

Made the rebellious spirit himself shed a tear.


5 thoughts on “The Questionable Plan

  1. How bizarre.

    Unnecessary human suffering is god’s way of allowing us to experience ‘bliss’ and keep us in line from ourselves from following our own ‘evil’ nature called ‘desire’.


    Put another way, up must mean down, you see, because otherwise all would be topsy turvy. And we couldn’t have that. Therefore, Oogity Boogity is a necessary agency based on creating a system of suffering for our own good. (Don’t look behind the curtain at how all life cares nothing about suffering… just keep your eyes on humanity: a handy scapegoat for an entire biosphere of privation, starvation, disease, pain, suffering, and death.)

    Truly bizarre, Dan. You’ve rather outdone yourself with this one.

  2. Tildeb,

    First of all, the poem is a myth, and it’s meant to challenge those who haven’t dealt with the problem of suffering yet. Any explanations it gives are theoretical in nature.

    And, I do not like its explanation of “That’s what she was worth, to give mankind free will.” I think it’s repugnant. Others regard the explanation as unfair to God because it does not take everything into account.

    That’s not to say that there are no explanations for why a good God would allow suffering. There can’t really be said to be any virtue where good acts are forced. Certainly, good acts like sacrifice and even salvation would not exist without suffering and evil. But, that does not mean that sin HAD to exist. It’s just that, if it does, then salvation is a real possibility.

    However, God is under no obligation to alleviate suffering in any way. He is not obligated to create a world in which there is no suffering. Neither does his goodness prevent suffering, for it would not be feasible to create a world in which free moral agents always do everything right. God cannot make someone do something freely. It’s a logical impossibility. If mankind is free, eventually someone in a million would make a wrong choice.

    1. You must be greatly distressed that more and more thinkers are agreeing that free will of the kind described here is nothing but an illusion. Not that such well-reasoned arguments carry any weighted value when it undermines religious belief, of course…

      I always marvel that you seem to know what attributions and characteristics this god possesses, and now you add to that body of ‘knowledge’ telling us in no uncertain terms what his/her/its obligations – or lack of them – are. You must have a direct pipeline not accessible to the likes of me. How fortunate you must feel.

      Oh, and although this prosody may have been intended (and with some success, I may hastily add) to be poetic, it does not contain the recognizable form (or usefulness) of a myth.

      1. I think the problem of suffering has a greater affect on the atheist than the cosmological or the moral argument because in order to get through it without hatred toward God, the atheist would have to acknowledge some things about God’s attributes and characteristics. He is in the greatest danger of getting to know God when he is going through suffering.

      2. Umm… I think you’ve got that exactly backwards. The atheist understands that suffering is not orchestrated by some supposedly loving critter but simply part and parcel of living with nervous systems. Also, it is a very strange notion you have that people can hate something in which they do not believe exists. I have exactly the same regards for elves and pixies as I do for your god. But I will point out that the reasons you use to try to excuse your supposedly loving and benevolent and all powerful, all-knowing, personal god from perpetrating the most immoral and heinous of crimes on innocents human and animal is incoherent from the start.

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