18 February 2005
The combination of utilitarianism with the belief in God has strong consequences regarding human nature. Utilitarianism is the theory that maximization of joy is good and that taken per se everyone's interests are equally important. Pain is negative joy; however, some true enjoyment has the appearance of sadness and pain. Belief in God refers to the belief in an omnipotent omniscient omnibenevolent being. The two beliefs are consistent with each other. The purpose of this paper is not to prove these beliefs, but to examine what follows from them.
An obvious question is why God does not simply apply pleasure to all people. Since pleasure is good, God cannot do that. Since God is omnipotent, God can do every possible good. Thus, simply filling the human lives with pleasure is impossible; the impossibility is by virtue of the nature of feelings. Pleasure cannot exist without pain, without action, without understanding.
Still, why does not God simply cause people to think and behave in the right way? There must be something about human nature that makes such control impossible. The same impossibility must apply to all sentient beings since otherwise God would have created them instead of humans. Therefore, every being capable of feeling (henceforth referred as human) of necessity has an unbreakable free will.
Can God modify all human memories? If God could, then unbreakability of free will would be meaningless as God could and would modify memories and beliefs to make them right. Since that does not happen, no force can override the core of a human memory, and free will is absolute.
But can God place each person in a separate imaginary world full of imaginary people and make the real people believe that the imaginary ones are real? If so, God would assign real people to the happiest positions in separate worlds and control the imaginary people for the greatest happiness of real people. Since that does not happen, God cannot. Humans must have an innate ability to connect to other people and through that ability ultimately separate the real people from the fake ones.
Together the consequences imply that human life has and must have meaning. Since humans are so resistant to manipulation, surely death does not destroy the soul but merely separates it on a very long term but not permanent basis.