Hashgacha Pratis

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If you believe in God from a philosophical point of view, you shouldn’t need any emotional scaffolding to keep things up.

The absurdity of one-off inspirational stories of any kind should be obvious to even the most casual of contemplators, and yet it forms a huge part of religious culture.

I can respect this need in human nature – if there’s something you believe in, you want to immerse yourself in it! You want to relieve all the excruciating details in all their climactic glory!

If there’s a sportsing team you’re fond of, you’ll talk about all their sportsing successes and regale with your comrades in the specific escapades of specific sportsfull members. You might be so committed that it never really seems to bother you that you’ve been rooting for a losing team. Why are you so willing to stand behind such a lousy track record? Is it because you were born in that team’s city?

It’s one thing to root for your loser team (that’s right, I said it), and it’s quite another to root for a losing life philosophy. To emotionally psych yourself up enough that you ignore the painful emotional and intellectual realities that come with the package.

I myself was guilty of this behavior, inversely expressed. It was not any of the myriad of philosophical questions that already plagued me which actually pushed me over. I only left religion when my emotional world grew too dark to sustain it.

And so, the irony of my own personal story is that I’m grateful to God for what He personally did to me, the asshole, because now I am able to not believe in Him in the first place.

It’s Hashgacha, really.

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