Here is the prime theological question. The one whose answer affects all others. And yet, one that is almost never asked:
Is there moral or logical justification for a creator to wield capricious power of life and death over his creations … and is there any fundamental moral reason why those creations should have to obey?
Humanity long ago replied with a resounding “no!”… at least when talking about parents and their offspring. (There have been a few exceptions, such as the principle of pater familias in Roman law, which permitted a father to kill even adult offspring, if they offended him.) In most cultures, the created—our kids—eventually get full authority and a right to make their own way. In some societies, they are even welcome to argue with their creators along the way.
And yet, without noticing any irony, we have implicitly answered the same question “yes” when it came to God! The Creator, it seemed, was owed unquestioning servitude, just because this creator made us.
It is the ghost at the banquet, the underlying assumption of all religions, taken for granted for far too long. Is it puzzling that—after more than four millennia of theological wrangling, and the investment of millions of hours of thought to religious matters—this question only comes up now? - David Brin
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