The conversation kind of brought a question (a couple of them) to my mind, and I want to ask them here.
First, a little story. This is a true story about someone that I knew back in college. I'm not sure if it's a happy story or a sad story or somewhere in between. I can say that it has nothing to do with my own atheism regardless of how you interpret it.
I knew this guy, let's call him Brian. That's not his name, but we're going to keep this anonymous. Also, I really did know him. This isn't a euphemism for "it was me".
A few years before he and I met he had married the love of his life. Let's call her Mandy (also, not her name).
Mandy was a very nice girl. She was soft spoken and always polite (even when you could tell she was annoyed with you). I don't know if I ever knew of a time she wasn't in a dress of some kind, and she kept her blonde hair long and what I would call traditionally styled. She always looked like she was going to church.
I got a call from Brian one day and found out that Mandy was in the hospital. Things didn't look good for her. They'd been at home when she'd started having what he thought was a seizure. He'd called 911 and she was hospitalized. It turned out later that Mandy had suffered a fairly significant stroke.
She was in the hospital for quite a while, but did manage to pull through.
After that, Mandy was different. Very different. She cut her hair short and dyed it pitch black. She swore like a sailor and I never saw her out of jeans and tennis shoes. She had been timid and shy before, but no longer.
It was like she was a completely different person.
This brings me to my questions:
- If a god exists, what has happened to Mandy's soul?
- If your soul is the essence of you, is Mandy's soul her before her stroke, or her after her stroke?
- What if new Mandy does something that earns her hell that old Mandy would never have even considered doing?
- What if it's the other way around? What if old Mandy did something hell worthy and new Mandy doesn't even remember it, or feel as if it requires forgiveness?
- The stroke was not something Mandy could have prevented, so does that make it an act of "God"?
- Did "God" plan on this happening from the beginning, and if so what if new Mandy does something hell worthy that old Mandy would have never done? Would that mean that "God" intentionally chose to send Mandy to hell?