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Our Crack Tongue & Groove

commentgod.jpg What’s the point of living?

What is the point of living? It’s a question I asked myself while watching David Cameron standing outside of 10 Downing Street telling lies after the general election, but, more pertinently, a question I considered on a deeper level when someone gave me a flyer on the high street recently…

I rarely get accosted by young people with statement haircuts handing out flyers for club nights these days. I’m more likely to be given bits of paper - by people with haircuts whose only statement is, “Get Me To The Barbers, Quick!” - that ask: “IS GOD DEAD?” Maybe it’s because I’m closer to death than I am to having it large (evidenced by the fact that I still use phrases such as “having it large”) that I’m targeted by religious types who evidently feel that my soul is in need of saving before I meet my maker.

But I’ve always had a bit of a problem with my maker and what He/She/It wants of me. The flipside of my “IS GOD DEAD?” flyer states: “Some people claim that there is no God and that everything we see came from nothing,” before going on to refute such allegations. It also says: “I would like you to know this. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The universe is not a product of random chance. The Lord Almighty, the uncreated creator, constructed the Earth and created Man in His own image.”

Ok. I’ll let slip the fact that Earth, the universe and everything in it was created by God, but God himself is “the uncreated creator” – a bit convenient that – and take it on face value that there is a God and he put me on Earth for a reason. But what is it? The flyer states: “So why are we here on Earth? We were created to build a relationship with God and one another. The root of evil in this world is a result of the wrong choice made by man. You might be wondering why a loving God would allow such evil. It was a risk He took to give mankind the freedom to choose, but man chose to do evil.”

Now all these references about the freedom to choose and then choosing to do evil may sound like a nod towards Tory voters at the general election, but reading between the lines I think that the flyer is telling us that we were put on Earth in order to do good deeds and to be nice to each other so we can get into Heaven. And that’s what I have a big problem with.

Because is that all life on Earth is? Just a big obstacle course that must be negotiated before we get handed the “Heaven: Admit One” flyer when we die? What’s the point of that? I’d like to think that doing a bit of shopping for an elderly neighbour, or caring about the plight of the unemployed, is something people do for compassionate reasons rather than because they’ve been told that God, in all His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to turn life on Earth into a giant bush-tucker trial, in which we must win stars in order to book a place in some mooted afterlife.

Of course, the flyer could be pure mumbo-jumbo – I’ve not really thought through the implications of that.