He had known the conversation would be difficult, and, as always, He had been right. He let His mind drift.
In his young godding days, things had been easy. Thunder, it had felt good. They did warn you. Creating a world was fun, but if you started to take an interest, if you let yourself become enmeshed with its history, it would change you.
And he had become enmeshed: he had fallen in love. With a perfect soul, a warm and wonderful human being. The warmth of her smile flooded Him with joy, and when she was in pain, so was He. And He had begun to change. Unthinking cruelty towards His creatures was impossible now, as it would hurt her. And when she talked of humanity, how could He not listen?
Slowly, He began to understand. He had given them knowledge, but not control. They were still at the mercy of every instinct and impulse. Teaching them to judge instead of to accept had backfired, creating conflicts and hatred, blocking their ability to cooperate.
How could He punish them for being what He had made them? She had asked, and He had found no answer. To understand all was to forgive all. He wrenched His mind back to the present.
“Rehabilitation?!” The devil’s ears were quivering. Hell wasn’t more than an eternal naughty step, anyway. He simply didn’t have the staff. But this was going too far.
“If a King orders a General to fly like a bird and the General fails, whose fault is that?”
Luce snorted. “Another one of your son’s little parables, huh?”
No, ” He said patiently, “it’s from a book, a human book.” And He began to explain His plans.
* * *
When Luce left, his tail was twitching nervously. He gave himself a little shake. Early retirement didn’t sound too bad. Relax. Take some time off on a hot beach. Leave the job to someone else.
A smirk spread on his face.
Good boy Gabe, perhaps?
* * *
T. Mastgrave’s philosophical story challenge: Omniscience and Free Will. I couldn’t resist writing a sequel to The Devil Is in the Details.
4 thoughts on “Hope Springs Eternal”
This is a very interesting piece. Personally, I disagree with the theology presented, but you do a good job of bringing your argument across.
Yes, I thought your theology might be different. I hope you don’t find it offensive. I’ve just never been able to stomach the idea of a “good” being that punishes humans for being fallible.
No offense taken. We all have our own beliefs, and while I have no doubt that we each are convinced that our beliefs are right, it’s not really up to us to decide in the end, is it? I’ve finally come to the conclusion that there’s no point in holding another person’s beliefs against them. It… was quite a roundabout journey though. Like I said, your presentation is compelling. Obviously a longer piece would be necessary to fully present and support views of this complexity, but I think you’ve chosen the best argument to present in a short work.
Yes the subject is too big to deal with exhaustively. I do find it interesting to try and make the argument in a story though, so thanks for the challenge.
Incidentally, I do believe it’s up to us to decide, because I don’t believe there is an objective truth to the matter, see here…