"I hate this world," I bitterly uttered. The funny thing is that this surprised me because I recognized the intellectual fact that the situation wasn't really all that egregious, but it still bothered me enough to curse all of existence. The people cheering on the crappy cover band reminded me of how limited and imperceptive we humans can be, and that's why the world is so terrible.
The world sucks because it's filled with shitheads.
What is a shithead you might ask? Well, the great thing about that title is that it applies to an incredibly wide range of humans with specific attitudes, personalities, and preferred modes of interaction. The people at the bar: shitheads. Women who thrive on Alice-in-Wonderland (read: completely fucking absurd) type drama: shitheads. Men who think it's a good idea to get multiple women pregnant without any intention of taking care of their offspring: shitheads. Terrorists: shitheads. Politicians: shitheads.
No matter who you are, it is exhausting to ruminate on the staggering number of different ways that this world totally blows. Over the years, I have arrived at a philosophical conclusion that helps me cope with all the shitheads of the world, but I can't help but wonder: how do the idiots and the shitheads cope with all the shitheads of the world?
It should should not shock anyone to hear that most people in the world are too stupid to understand even the simplest ideas of philosophy, so there is only one logical conclusion as to why there are not mass suicides: religion. Well, to be more specific, we're talking about divine judgment.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the evil prosper from the blood and sweat of the pious? Well, the obvious answer is that most of the bad shit that happens to us is completely random, unless you believe that God is a sadistic asshole who enjoys torturing his most fervent believers; and that he's a giant douche who rewards the vile sociopaths of humanity. Even though it's not hard to conclude that an Omni-Omni Being (OOB) would possess such asinine qualities, that still doesn't provide much comfort.
So, to make ourselves feel better, we invented the notion of divine judgment. Divine judgment provides humanity with a false sense of eternal reward for the pious and damnation for the vile. When the greedy fat cats on Wallstreet or in the government get away with stealing right from our pockets, we tell ourselves that they will get theirs in the next life. When tragedy after horrifying tragedy befalls us, we sooth our weary minds with thoughts of ethereal paradise.
We convince ourselves that our suffering will bring us justice in the end, and the greater our suffering, the greater our reward. It makes it a lot easier to cope with horror, because the only thing worse than enduring suffering is to do so without hope. Hopeless suffering is the worst brand of misery a human can experience, and we avoid it at all costs, even if it means believing in an idea that we would normally dismiss as fantastical superstition.
One must recognize that the notion of an afterlife, and religion itself, is an invention of man. It's humanity's way of coping with meaningless suffering brought on by the shitheads of the world. For a moment, suspend your belief in the notion of divine truth and examine the psychology of religion. Religion fulfills the same psychological needs as philosophy, but religion only requires blind faith in the existence of imperceptible things rather than understanding complex ideas about the nature of all things.
So a question for my readers: does humanity truly benefit from the notion of divine judgment, or would we be better off without it?