The Source of All Things
Here we are, insignificant mites on a microscopic speck of dust that some of the population refers to as "Earth", circling a tiny sun, one of countless stars in one of countless galaxies in what might be an infinite universe among an infinite number of universes, within a reality that might be one of an infinite number of realities within the meta-reality - the collection of all realities. And we, a race in its infancy filled with hubris, tell each other we know the source of everything, and label it "God" (in a few of hundreds of languages).
In itself, the label doesn't explain anything, doesn't mean anything, and in each culture and even each locality, yeah even in each mind, it carries with it such an ill-defined assortment of social-political baggage that it imbues any philosophical discussion with a chaotic mix of conflicting assumptions so confusing as to make the term meaningless and the discussion pointless.
Rather than using the term "God" I refer to the source of everything that exists in the meta-reality as the Source, with no implication regarding the nature of the Source, such as comprising intent, or even anything resembling an anthropomorphic intelligence.
One can imagine the meta-reality at a time when it consisted of a void, empty of energy or matter, changeless, without even the possibility of change, without even the possibility of the possibility ad infinitum, where time itself was meaningless because nothing existed to distinguish any change. Then at a point in this meaningless stream of time, the possibility of the possibility of change emerged. Everything that exists flowed from that event. The source of that possibility, and the source of that source, again ad infinitum, ultimately leads back to the Source, whatever it may be or may have been.
The question "Is there a God?" is the wrong question. A meaningful question would be "Is there a God that cares about humanity?". Despite all of our childish wishful thinking and willingness to turn a blind eye or attempts to rationalize the events around us, the answer to the latter question is "Obviously, no."
This very moment as you read this, innocents are being bombed, burned, shot, tortured, poisoned, infected, imprisoned, abused, enslaved, born unwanted, and exploited. At this minute babies are being born with random birth defects that fill their short lives nothing but excruciating pain for days or weeks or longer, with no possibility of ever comprehending any purpose for their experience, let alone their existence. Every day you hear of a natural disaster that kills, maims, and devastates the most helpless and innocent populations on the planet, such as the tsunami that drowned or crushed 255 thousand men, women, children, and infants, after an inevitable geological event millions of years in the making that would have occurred whether or not humanity even existed.
The very idea of the existence of a being that could prevent all of these horrors yet chooses not to do so is too terrible to consider. These tragedies are not part of some "Great Plan". They are not "tests of faith" or "punishment of the wicked". They are testaments to the fact that no "God" that cares about humanity exists. We are on our own. Our motivation to do the right thing is the simple fact that all we have is each other.
So why do so many cling to the delusion of a caring God?
One of the things that make us human is that we want to know "why?". Our fellow animals on this planet don't care "why" bad things happen, they just care about how to avoid them. We are so driven to understand why things happen, especially why bad things happen to good people, that when we can't figure out the answer or we don't like a realistic answer, we make one up. We are quick to forsake critical thinking in favor of the comforts of our delusions.
It is natural for a very young child to perceive his or her parents as all-knowing and all-powerful. The false illusion of safety and comfort provided by this delusion becomes our first natural neurotic addiction. When disillusionment inevitably occurs, our desperation for a fix is so intense that we will accept any substitute, no matter how ludicrous, usually force-fed to us by whatever religion we happen to have been born into, in the form of a mystical parent-substitute. To protect our updated delusion, we repress our ability to objectively and critically examine our adopted cultural biases, and begin from that tragic point to develop our "life" view as a series of death-oriented embellishments to a grand house of cards.
Our need for an explanation of why bad things happen to good people is so enormous and so pathetic that nearly any postulation will find adherents.
The cure for this disorder is to step back and start over - beginning with the first step that never even occurs to most people in developing a philosophy: Taking the time to consider how one's own mind actually works.