On God, by God
The concept of God is useful, even if the reality of God is imaginary. A being that has lived always, exists everywhere, can do anything, knows everything/everyone, created the universe, and is perfectly good may seem a bit improbable (!). The concept exists, and thus God is a virtual reality, like vampires or unicorns or hobbits or vogons or elves or gnomes or pixies or fairies or anything else you might encounter in a book, movie, dream, campfire skit, play, song, or tv show. Some people, I imagine, actually believe in these things. A vampire (read: psychotic criminal) on drugs might dream of machine-elves... Humans are creative, and life would be boring without fiction. But does God exist, really and truly? God's name is I AM, so that doesn't help. If we become our names, then maybe so too does God become existent, in a weird way. We must ask what's in a name. If God's name was I Ain't, would He still exist? A rose is a rose by any other name! One can't help but perform some mental gymnastics to make God real, to reify the concept. If we define God as the source of all goodness, then we are impelled to believe, or else live in a world without goodness. A world without love is indeed a world lacking a source of happiness, and the bible says God is love (cite). What it is: what is is. If God is love, is love God? Is is an equals, or an arrow flowing in only one direction? You grok? And then, the question follows, can one be in true love with an atheist? Of course! The God of philosophers and theologians sometimes masquerades as the emotional state of love-bliss, just as heaven is experienced as mere happiness, and a soul is in fact a body. And finally, to quote Adi Da Samraj, “Reality is all the God there ever is.” Virtual reality is a part of reality, just like fiction is a real genre at your local library, and dreams can seem more real than the mundane experience of life. Is life but a dream (merrily), and if so, who is doing the dreaming? God is a word, a term, a concept, a part of hypnotic happiness psychology, as well as a way to endow your opinions with greater authority, a way to inculcate values in youth (and society in general), and a part of creating (an adaptive) community with shared (professed) beliefs. Furthermore, God only exists if we make him real; we, ourselves, our bodies, are our only reality, so to make God we have to become Him. It's a role, a part, an identity, a path to the possibility of perfection. For me, that's why God both exists and doesn't, simultaneously. So don't ask me if I believe in God! I don't, but I do: I believe in myself. And I believe existence is good. Also, the bible states God is One. Money is an anagram for 'my one.' God wants us to be happy, and “whoever says money can't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop!”
path to perfection is longer for some:
And sure as hell, there is virtue in suffering, as well, for unrepentant (self-identified) demons whose karma requires a long hard road out of hell, as punishment and disincentive to committing further evil. Of course, the punishment should fit the crime, and be proportional to the degree of the misdeed's depravity.