“Why is there anything at all?”

I must admit I’ve been bothered by the fact that we ultimately cannot find a satisfactory answer for why something like existence itself, well, exists. We now know the Big Bang (probably) wasn’t the origin of everything, and that the current stage of the universe we find ourselves in is just the latest stage of an eternally evolving universe that may very well be part of a larger multiverse, but where did that come from?

“Everything must have a cause” according to Leibniz’s “Principle of Sufficient Reason,” and yet all the causes offered up so far, from God to random quantum fluctuations, don’t give a satisfactory answer. It’s been suggested that this ultimate question of metaphysics is the philosophical equivalent of attempting to square the circle, but I cannot find myself accepting that. There has to be some sort of answer, and this is the territory that allows theism (or at the very least deism) to subtly creep back in, the ultimate god of the gaps that may very well never be shaken out of its hiding spot.

The idea that there exists things humanity will never even hope to comprehend is something far more suitable for Lovecraft’s universe than the scientifically enlightened (for a given value of “enlightened”) one we find ourselves in, and the fact this may very well be true is what disturbs me on a fundamental level. I am afraid I cannot give a satisfactory answer to this, and nor can anyone else. I am sorry.

The Problem of Evil

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not
omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he
both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor
willing? Then why call him God?” – Epicurus

This is a fundamental problem that theists have grappled with for
millennia, if God is all good, then why is there evil in the world?
There has never been a satisfactory answer to the question. This doesn’t
affect all types of deities, since there are some literal gods of
evil, or for believers of misotheism, that God is actively malevolent.
But it does affect the Abrahamic God, who is perhaps the most worshiped
deity in the world today. The Abrahamic God is supposed to be
omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, but several of
those contradict each other. If God is omniscient, then he knew about
the Holocaust, and he knew that billions of people would be sentenced to
Hell for all eternity for crimes that aren’t infinite in nature, and
many of them had no way of knowing they had committed any damnable sins
in the first place.

Therefore, if God is omniscient, he is not omnibenevolent, and while
some will bring up that God gave people free will, then why punish
people for the sins they’ve committed if he gave them the means to
commit those sins in the first place, and knew about them committing
those sins. Shouldn’t God be held responsible? Furthermore, why is an
all-powerful being, so far above us mere mortals, so narcissistic as to
punish people for not believing in him? Is he that pretty?

If God is omnipotent, then he is not omnibenevolent, since he had the
means to stop evil from ever taking place. If God is omnipresent, then
he is not omnibenevolent, since he supposedly sees everything and is
everywhere at any given time, he would see evil taking place, and if he
is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent, then he would stop those sins
from taking place, but he doesn’t.

God never answers the prayers of people praying that genocide wouldn’t
come onto them. Billions of people across the world are still living in
soul-crushing poverty, and God never helps them, even after they pray,
and pray, and pray for some relief. But God does give a shit where
your car keys are, or whether your local sports team wins the game, but
he doesn’t give a shit about nuclear disarmament, or preventing
nuclear war, or stopping climate change, or ending world hunger, or
ending poverty. Why?