When an atheist complains about the ugliness and evil in the world, does he not know in in his inmost heart that this is not the way the world was intended to be? He is affirming the very existence of God with the intensity of the complaint. Without god there would be no one to whom to complain. – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
It is the goal of man and woman to be happy. Simply, to be happy is to be content. When a baby cries he is signaling that he is not happy. He expresses an unintelligible, yet loud, acknowledgement that something is wrong. Now it can be for a variety of reasons. Usually, unless it is result of an illness, it is either he is hungry or needs his diaper changed. When he is fed or changed, he no longer cries because the cause of his discontent has been addressed. He is no longer hungry or he is no longer uncomfortably soiled. So, he returns to his happy state. He may smile, make happy baby sounds or fall peacefully asleep which confirms to mom or dad that they were successful in the remedy.
There are more requisites for happiness for a person than an animal. If an animal in the wild has its physical needs met. ie. hunger and thirst satiated, proper sleep, exercise and a safe environment, then one could say that, in the absence of threat, that animal is happy. Domestic animals have an added element in their environment. That of the master or mistress, family, who is entrusted with the animal’s welfare. Should the master or mistress be away for a period of time, the pet has a sense of that absence which disrupts its environment and therefore causes its feeling that something is wrong. He may express this in a sullen behavior.
Fish have fins and birds have wings. They are free to swim and fly as it is their God given nature to do. And when they do they are content, because they feel God’s pleasure. Man has neither fins nor wings, yet he is free to swim and fly though it is outside of his nature. Each share a freedom to do these things and others. A fish out of water and a bird in a cage share a discontent as that of the oppressed man whose free will has been constrained. For with any loss of freedom, regardless of which hierarchy of life is ascribed, the Law of Nature has been disrupted. And with that each senses that something is wrong. Any prolongation of that disorder is hell.
In the world, throughout its history with man’s appearance, something has always been wrong. Those with a belief in God adhere to the biblical event of the Fall. Adam, the first man, influenced by Eve, the first woman, each submitted to Satan’s lie and in so doing disobeyed God’s warning and broke the law. The key law. Though God has bestowed upon him and all mankind a free will to choose, he has but two choices: what he wants to do or what he should do. When he choses what he should all is right with the world for it is aligned with God’s will. It is like buying a new car and rather than following the manual on how to best use the car, you choose to use it as you please. And in that you abuse the car and it is then that you find something is wrong.
Those who believe that there is no God believe that all is by chance. And that it is incumbent upon man through trial and error to, in time, arrive at a point where fleeting happiness with its ebbs and flows finally achieves a stable and unending state of happiness. But, no one can tell us where we are on this utopian highway. Have we just begun in the cosmic scheme of things or have we evolved one fourth the way, half the way, two thirds the way? None can be sure because they don’t know for certain where or when it began nor how and what conditions are there to reach the perfect state. Scientists can conjecture that some day, as some freeze their lifeless bodies for some future date, we will have the cure for all that ails us. But it doesn’t confirm that those ills will not still be around. Polio vaccines have all but eradicated the disease, but in some countries devoid of the vaccine polio still inflicts. So in this belief in a Godless process of evolution we find that the utopia that lies ahead is still likely to be finite life expectancy; for the ills that error unfolds which did not exist before the Fall still now exist. Utopia notwithstanding.
But, Christ was born, was crucified and died, was buried and God raised Him from the dead. And Christ did this so the death from sin would no longer bar us from God or his kingdom. And the best promise kept is this: Christ said we will do what he has done. All we need do is follow his way and truth to life. Believers know exactly where we are on the road that leads to the narrow gate which opens to Heaven. Christ did not seek the cross, but knew it was the only way in a flawed world to happiness for us all. It is what a selfless father/mother does for their child; sacrifice. A sacrifice that leads them to fulfillment and happiness. For nothing pleases them more than when their children are happy. And, as well, showing wayward children how to return to that pathway to happiness when it becomes apparent that something is wrong. Good parents like God leave us not without the map to get us back on the right road.
Throughout our lives in one case or another whether it be illness, poverty, death, broken relationships, loss of freedom, mental or moral irregularities we all experience that something is wrong. This is so because we know that in our suffering these things does not leave us happy or content. Solely because we have and can experience the opposite. There is no man or woman on the face of the earth that does not have this understanding. It is the first principle of man’s very existence. It is the one and only goal that people strive for as long as they are alive. For if they stay true to the intent of free will, prudently enduring all the slings and arrows along the way with that will aligned with God, then the goal of happiness shall, unlike the uncertainty of utopia, be eternal. An eternal where there will no longer exist a concern that something is wrong. For all will have forever been righted.