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Sketchbook: Tournament of Souls

Sketchbook: Tournament of Souls

For me, the question of evil—that is, its overwhelming presence everywhere at all times—has always destroyed any possibility of a caring God. Now, as I say this, the slyest Christians will smugly readjust their glasses and pipe up to defend evil, claiming that it is a consequence of human freedom, and freedom is necessary if our salvation is to have any meaning. But the problem is that such a view reduces all spacetime to a brutal sorting ground for souls, a sort of absurdly complicated Rube Goldberg machine to separate the wheat from the chaff, as if God had no other way of assessing the worth of the souls he created. And what would justify all this carnage? God would have to need the good souls, to have some use for them outside of the fact of the goodness itself, and in this case I think it would not be unreasonable to speculate that the Divine One may be competing against other Gods running other universes, and that ultimately, the best God, the one with the highest number of top-quality soul-soldiers, will win the celestial war against the other Gods. But why this championship of deities? Surely this whole contest has been invented by the God above the Gods, who is trying to produce a better God than the other Gods of Gods. Then who set up this rigmarole? None other than the God of Gods of Gods—and so on and on, up until infinity, to the mocking smile made of billions of branching multiverses, to the self-created mind toying with itself out of cosmic boredom…

Or maybe clean souls are just the tastiest. What if we are God’s food?