Let’s play God for a moment.
You can take a while to get into character, if you like. Feel free to dress up, put on a fake beard, kill some children with bears, whatever helps.
Okay. So you’re God. You’ve got a brand new universe to play with, fresh out of the box. You’re starting small, but you’ve got big plans. You know everything there is to know and your power is unlimited. It’s good to be you.
You’re going to create some people. Other minds, living beings. Tiny and barely significant compared to you, of course, but valuable in their own way. They’ll all be your children, though in a different way from how these life-forms will rear their own offspring eventually. You love them powerfully. You want them to do well and be happy.
You can pretty much fill in the blanks for yourself from here. Plan your cosmos. Think about how you’d populate the natural and supernatural realms that you’re creating entirely so that these beings can live in them, and love you. Feel free to take inspiration from any real-life examples of a deity creating everything that is, was, and ever will be. If you happen to know of any.
Remember: the people you’re creating are living, conscious beings, with wills of their own, and you love every one of them, and want them to love you. This is important.
I won’t pry into the details of how you’d arrange things. This is mostly just a fun little mental exercise.
…I do have one question though. Just something I can’t help but idly speculate about. If you wouldn’t mind indulging my curiosity.
In this universe – the one you’ve created using your infinite power and infinite knowledge, specifically to express your boundless love for your children with every intention of encouraging them to thrive and love you and revel in your glory – among all the worlds and wonders you’ve created, the sights and sounds and smells you’ve put in place to delight the senses, the atoms and galaxies you’ve finely tuned just so – in all the cosmos and beyond, created by you, a god of infinite love…
…is there a bit somewhere in your creation where millions of your children end up in constant endless pain forever and ever with not a single shred of hope for escape or relief?
I’m not saying there should or there shouldn’t be. Don’t let my questions influence your judgment; it’s your universe, you can do what you like with it. I was just wondering.
It’s just… I mean, forgive me for editorialising, I certainly don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but… if I was all-powerful, and all-loving, and had millions of children bumbling imperfectly around, who I want to love me but who I also care for in their own right, above and beyond my own ego, and who I’m amply capable of looking after as an omnipotent being…
…then I probably wouldn’t make it so that there’s this big fiery pit which they might blindly stumble into and scream in anguish for the rest of eternity and which I could let them out from but I never ever will.
It seems like, with all those resources at my disposal, y’know, the omnipotence and all, I could probably – probably – come up with some better way of arranging things than that. Something that didn’t require a one-shot, irreversible turning point in the existence of all my beloved children – at the point of their death, say, or whatever – where, if they’ve let me down in some way, they get sent away into some kind of hellish… well, Hell, with no reprieve under any circumstances, no matter how much they beg and plead and repent for the next trillion years of suffering.
Seems like I could be less of a dick than that to these beings I apparently love so much.
I don’t want to tell you how to do your job. I’m just saying.