What does life without premortal existence resemble: A parable
There once was a mighty king with wealth untold. He went out into his kingdom one day and found the poorest and most destitute individual that seemed to subsist but hardly exist at all. He went up to this individual and handed him a million golden coins. The king told the man that he had no choice but to take the golden coins because if he attempted to return them he would be viewed as ungrateful and that the penalty for this would be death. The king then proceeded to tell the man that he had recently passed an extensive set of 613 very complicated laws regarding to individuals to whom the king had granted presents, and that the penalty for the violation of even the smallest of these would be death. He told the man that he expected that he govern perfectly and in command of the law even without perfect legal training. He told him that his son was an especially good lawyer and that he could get the man out of any sentence pro bono so long as the man called upon the song and told him that he had been recommended by his father. The man was warned that one day he would be brought before the king and judged. If he did not properly utilize the money, he would be killed.
Premortal existance: A parable
There once was a mighty king whom had three sons. The youngest son grew up for a while in the close presence of his father and grew and developed. One day, the father decided that the young son could no longer learn anything new in the perfectly controlled court environment. The father spoke to his son and they agreed that the son should venture far out into the world. If the son remained too close to home, the father knew that the son could never fully and totally grow. Thus, the father gave the son a million gold coins as a grant and sent him into the far reaches of the world. Yet, the father knew the son could get into trouble and thus they agreed that wherever the son would be, he could call on his older brother whom would be sent to bail him out of any trouble. After a while, the father brought his son back and judged him based on his deeds and stewardship. If the son showed himself a worthy stewart, then he would be given his own kingdom and be appointed a viceroy by the most high king. If he did not show this type of responsibility he would inherit a lower station and that the worst negligence of all could merit banishment
Which of these visions of the King seems more just? It seems to me at least that the king in the first version is not a figure that the man should admire or respect although he should certainly fear. In the first, the man was given no choice and no opportunity to deny the present. Thus, a whole set of criterion and laws were pushed onto him without his consent. The king is not completely capricious because he does offer his son as a way to redeem ones failures. Still, all of risks are pushed onto the man without an option and thus the very scenario this man finds himself in is crafted by the king. Even if the king has the mans ultimate interest in mind and is truly altruistic, this king is still a despot and certainly not a being that the man should love.
The second king in contrast deserves the sons love and admiration. He has worked in concert with the son to develop a plan that he feels will best develop the sons potential. Moreover, he has given the son the choice and shown him the consequences of success or failure. Thus, this king has not imposed coercive rules with their consequent punishments but the son has instead voluntarily entered into a covenant with the father.