Tag Archives: religion

FPQ33: The Moral Life

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe that one can be moral without believing in God or being religious, or do you believe that you must believe in God in order to have a moral compass and to live a moral life?”

For some reason, I feel I’ve answered this before, but maybe it wasn’t an FPQ. In any case, my answer is… it depends on the “you” who we’re talking about.

Surprised I didn’t flat-out say no? Well, that’s due to my arrogance. If we’re talking about me, then my answer is no. I don’t believe in God, and I’d say I’m pretty darn moral. Not perfect, but who is?

There are people who need belief in God to be moral though. I know the hardcore atheists will come at me for this, and I don’t care. Not everyone can “just decide” to do the right things, whatever they are. They need a reason beyond feeling good that they’re doing the right things. They need the promise of a reward and the support of their community. What’s wrong with that? Nothing!

I don’t need those things because of my huge ego. It’s self-sustaining enough to know I’m doing the right things and I can tell myself I’m good. How do I know what the right things are without a God? That’s the funny thing. With or without one, it turns out the things are not so different because, as maybe you know, men wrote all those rules.

And the basics hold up across systems. Treat others well. Don’t steal my parking space. Etc.

FPQ29: Holy Crap

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you agree with Thomas Jefferson that it doesn’t matter or hurt you if people believe in many gods, in one god, or no gods? Why or why not?”

Yes, I agree with him. Beliefs don’t hurt me, or anyone else. Actions (including speech) are what hurt people. Until we devise a mechanism whereby our thoughts can travel through the air and zap people with sensations of pain, or create a situation of libel, loss of income, etc. we’re safe from rays emanating out of people’s beliefs in the supernatural or whatever.

Now, I know people are gonna say, but but but… folks take direct actions based upon their beliefs in god/s. Do they really? How can we prove this? I think that people do what they want and then justify it with a belief system, or sometimes they don’t even bother. This is why we find so many cases of blatant hypocrisy and inconsistency ~ it’s because people are doing as they please, as people have always done and always will do, and then trying to cobble together some coherent rationale for their actions after the fact.

It’s not their belief in god/s that caused the problem. It’s their behavior.

Time’s Up!

Another Rory Question Fest!

Today’s topic is ………….. A Question of Time

How often do you actually deep think of time as a concept?

When I have time.

When was the last time that you sat down and tried to visualise the future of the planet by 50 years? [Where are we going to be in the year 2069? Explain your thoughts]

Right now, since you asked. Doesn’t look good… increased pollution, too many humans still being greedy and selfish, extinct species of aminals. Glad I’ll be dead!

What time is it right now as in the time you are answering this question and where abouts are you in the world?

Early morning, Orange County, CA. Will schedule post to hit the feed later.

Tell me about a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone?

When I did stand-up comedy.

Last time you had a really good time was … ?

Probably yesterday.

Quote Time!!! Display two excellent quotes on the subject of horology!

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” ~ Anthony G. Oettinger

“How did it get so late so soon?” ~ Dr. Seuss

Let the good times roll … please provide me with three song titles that are about the topic of time in your eyes?

“Closing Time” ~ Leonard Cohen

“Penny Lane” ~ The Beatles

“The Longest Time” ~ Billy Joel

Having a really good time means what in your world?

Seeing my family.

Time to ….. what?

Get moving!

Which term do you prefer more ?

Lost Time

Wasted Time

Time Spent

Time flies

What do the following mean? [However DO NOT ANSWER the correct way but answer the incorrect way!]

Ahead of one’s time?

That would be two’s, as in having two husbands, which I believe is still illegal, not that I want even one… besides, who’s offering? Fine. You’re all jerks anyway!

Behind the times?

That would be my dad, hiding behind the NYT, and pretending to be deaf, whenever my mom asked him to mow the lawn.

In the nick of time?

How did you know about Nick? Complete wackadoo, like the rest of them. I swear to God, who picked these idiots? Oh, right.

A Race against time!

Yay, I bet on the bunny, a sure winner!

Having the time of your life?

Obviously getting hammered and going to some head-bangy concert, what else?

Bide your time?

Must be talking about good old Joe, who took his sweet time entering the Dem primary, where no Dem actually supports him… but yet… but yet… he mysteriously tops the polls. There’s a mindbendy puzzle.

Bad time for you?

Staying home with no one bugging me, snuggling with my cat, and watching romcoms all weekend while drinking tea and eating c00kies. Torture!

Having time on your hands?

Wanna buy a watch?

All in good time?

Funny TV show set in Chicago.

A Matter of time?

Billing by the hour!

Can you write a small story on the subject of Time and the Giraffe?

God was creating the Giraffe, but got distracted while playing Pyramid Solitaire on his phone. Gotta get my daily goals, God grumbled, just one more damn game! When he looked up, he realized he’d forgotten about the poor Giraffe during her neck and now it was ridonkulously long. Holy crap! God stared at the Giraffe for a minute, then shrugged, added some spots for deco, and moved on to the Baboon.

Time’s up!

FPQ25: Nowhere & Poof

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Where do you believe you were you before you were born and what do you believe will happen to you after you die?”

He answers the question himself by saying “I do have a position on where we were before we were born (nowhere, we didn’t exist) and what happens to us after death (poof, we’re gone and no longer exist).”

That’s also what I believe, and I can’t state it any more clearly than “nowhere” and “poof,” which is why I copied his words.

This shouldn’t be a provocative question. If others believe that there’s a supernatural realm with souls floating around that attach and detach to human bodies (and idk some good doggos?), why do they care if Fandango and I disbelieve it, and vice versa?

But it’s a big farooking deal.

I believe that the most important things are what we do right now, how we treat people here on earth, how we care for animals and the environment, etc. But there isn’t any payoff. I’m not going to be rewarded in heaven for not being a litterbug. So, why not throw garbage on the street? Why care that the ocean is a toxic dump? Because this is our home, and keeping a clean home is an end in itself. I don’t need a gold sticker like a three-year-old for doing the right thing.

No, this isn’t actually a tangent. People who get it will get it. 😛

Show & Tell

Warning: this turned into a rambling pointless bunch of jabbering. More than usual. 😂

Melanie haz questions:

1. Was the last thing you read digital or print?

I’m not counting online “news,” since that’s like reading cereal boxes. Actually, it would probably be more informative to read cereal boxes (note to self: buy some Cap’n Crunch). The last book I read on my Kindle was Not Quite Dating, which I already reviewed for the alphablog and am now done with all those posts, yay! So, that leaves Us Magazine, which hits my mailbox every Saturday. Why? I dunno! I’m certainly not paying for it. Somehow, a free subscription has been gifted to me and it shows up every week. I spend a couple minutes paging through and then toss it. Can’t remember anything much about this one except the spread of celebs in their wine colored dresses. Every issue has two pages near the front with a clothing theme. I do like themes. Oh, Kate Hudson was in this issue too. She’s 40 and happy. I’m happy she’s happy cuz I like her.

2. Are you more an extrovert or introvert?

According to the definition, I’m an introvert. My friends also call themselves introverts, but they always want to get together, which I find curious. Shouldn’t they need to spend lots of time alone, as I do? Granted, I have been more social than normal lately due to Game of Thrones, but that’s temporary. It’ll be over in a month. There is something particularly compelling about the ending to this dramatic and complex show that makes it fun to watch and discuss with others. Most of the time however I have no need for that and prefer to watch things alone. I crave alone time to think and read and write in peace and quiet. It recharges me. Too much peopling makes me literally crazy and I feel the air getting so heavy with noise and vibration and other people talking moving breathing that my body will crush and implode if I don’t get away.

3. How is your life different from what you imagined as a younger person?

When I was a teenager, I imagined myself becoming a career-focused professional, possibly a scientist. I wasn’t dreaming of marriage and children, but that is what I did. Next, I assumed I’d be married for the rest of my life; when I divorced, I thought I should find someone else. It didn’t occur to me until relatively recently that I would spend my life alone, but now that I’ve accepted it, I’m fine. It might be the ideal state for me, even.

4. Do you think about dying?   Does death scare you?  Why or why not?

I think about it a lot. It used to terrify me ~ when it first hit me that I would die and be erased, I freaked out. I was 12 and in a car with my parents coming back to NJ after visiting peeps in Ohio. I knew earlier that I would die, of course, but the impact of the erasure didn’t affect me until that moment. I mentioned I was upset and my parents dismissed my concerns. For a long time, I was angry at them over this, but I’ve come to understand they did the best they could.

I didn’t sleep for a year ~ at least, this is how I remember it. I stumbled through the days, exhausted but somehow not letting on I had this enormous burden. And I must have slept some or I would have died or become ill, but I remember all that year lying awake utterly terrified, making words out of words in my head. My schoolwork wasn’t affected, so no one knew or cared.

Eventually, I grew to live with the bleak erasure knowledge. It’s what keeps me sympathetic to religious believers. Of course you would take the comfort of an afterlife option if it were intellectually available to you! You’d have to be nuts not to grab onto that if there were any way to make sense of it. Unfortunately, I can’t make it fit into my logical brainspace. I wish I could.

Lately though, I’m not so afraid any longer. Maybe it’s because I am just so damn tired of being in pain every day. At least that will stop, which is something to look forward to, blissful non-awareness of aches and migraines. I also won’t have to think about all the things I’ve failed to accomplish, what a freaking relief. Not to mention all the mistakes I’ve made, gahhh. All erased from MY mind, since there won’t be any more “my mind.” And if others criticize or gossip, I won’t know, so I won’t care. Nice!

Plus, things are getting old as I’m getting old. Samey same same same. Sure, I still enjoy stuff, but meh. As someone I once loved said: “Do I really care about seeing the millionth issue of the New York Times?”

It’s his birthday today, btw. Happy birthday to the man who broke my heart. Still much older than I am. Still living in a big lonely house with his wife and their money. Now we’re all unhappy, great.

5. Gratitude challenge: find something you are thankful for in nature.

California mountains and beaches and sunsets and flowers, of course…

Measles, Science, Faith, Etc.

I want to mention measles for a minute because it’s important. If you’re a kooky anti-vaxer, I suggest you skip this post. I won’t be hosting any anti-vax comments here ~ they will hit the trashcan without response. Thanks for understanding. 🙂

In 1989, I was attending college at Cal State Northridge when there was a measles outbreak. I was a commuter student and didn’t socialize much, but even so I called my regular doctor and asked him if I should worry about it. Nah, he said, you had your vaccine as a kid.

I did have all my vaccines in the 1960s, but nevertheless I got a light case of the measles as an adult in 1989. If I hadn’t had my vaccination as a child, I might have gotten really sick as an adult. Children can also suffer terrible complications from the virus.

One of my cousins died of “whooping cough” (pertussis) in the 1930s… and just recently a child died of it here in Orange County. How any parent could decide to skip giving a healthy baby this vaccine boggles my mind. Imagine listening to your baby cough to death.

I realize it is a special weekend coming up for people of two major faiths and I respect that. I believe in nomming up delicious coconut macaroons as well as Cadbury eggs. But even more… I believe in science.

You can call that faith if you wish.

P is for Pickles [A2Z]

Okay, okay… the romcom is called Crossing Delancey, and it stars Amy Irving (also Peter Riegert, which is a P too, but I haven’t been putting male names in these titles because honestly don’t men get enough attention already? Geez!), but pickles are an important part of this movie.

What we have here is a snooty New Yorker, Isabelle, who thinks she is a bit too upscale for pickle seller Sam, even though he is undeniably sexy, witty, charming, and kind. He’s overtly religious, and though Isabelle is Jewish too, she’s more attracted to a narcissistic writer who she thinks is a better match. Complications ensue!

What makes this romcom different is that the heroine is flawed and needs to see the error of her ways to actually become worthy of the good guy. Most romances are the opposite, with a noble female lead and an imperfect dude who has to change to win her lurrrrve. Plus, he must go on quests and solve crimes and do other cool things, while she just needs to be pretty and breathe. Or, depending on the genre, maybe not breathe, but I digress. It’s why we call them fantasies, amirite?

In real life, everyone is flawed and it’s a miracle any two people can stand to be with each other for more than five minutes. Or maybe that’s just me, huh? Probably me. 🤣😂🤪

Can’t You Take A Joke?

Laura posted a great checklist earlier of things to be alert for in the gaslighting game. I assume by now everyone has heard of this concept since it’s been trending for a while, in particular as one of the favorite techniques of the narcissist. Not all bad guys fit the entire description though ~ some may do only a few things to keep you feeling off-balance about the relationship.

I wanted to share an example of someone who did one thing in particular. After about 6 months of being charming and gentlemanly, this guy Tony began to tell edgier jokes. He knew I was Jewish, and he began to tease me about it, and/or saying something rude about Israel, hoping I’d argue with him, which I did not want to do.

I don’t like any ethnic humor whatsoever. I don’t find it funny or okay at all. It makes me cringe. But what Tony would do is make jokes about his own Italian background, goading me to join in. I didn’t want to do that either. I think, to Tony, if he got me to make Italian jokes, he’d then have a free pass to do more Jewish (and whatever else) humor. I was holding him back.

But I wouldn’t go along. It mostly wasn’t an issue, but every once in a while Tony would troll me, and I’d get annoyed. He’d tell me to joke back at him, but I refused. Then he’d complain that I didn’t get his New York sense of humor. Dude. I’m from New York. My father and grandpa did not tell ethnic jokes. Why? Because they weren’t jerks, hello.

Anyway, this one night he was in a mood. He started in on Israel and Jews, and he said something really antisemitic. I said hey that’s over the line. Then he got quiet, paid for dinner, and we went home. Later I sent an email to say hi, and he replied that I had made him feel bad. I reminded him that he was the one who crossed the line. He said I was making him feel bad about himself and of course I should know he never meant anything by these jokes. I needed to lighten the hell up. All this was my fault.

This is how you know the gaslight is on:

1. He did something wrong, but

2. You are being blamed for it.

He is a racist, but the problem is really that you are too sensitive.

He is a drunken bully, but the problem is that your face got in the way of his fist.

He can’t keep a job because he’s irresponsible, but the problem is that your kids need too many sandwiches.

Etc.

Things got better between Tony and me for a while, and he quit making those stupid jokes, but eventually everything fell apart. We were just all wrong for each other. 🙁

FPQ19: Is It Fate?

Fandango provocatively asks:

“Do you believe in fate and/or predestination? If so, what or who is the source? If you do believe in predestination, is there anything anyone can do to change their predestined fate?”

And bonus: “If you believe God is the source, and God has already determined the future for each of us, why should people bother to pray?”

This is a doozy. I’m probably not going to be able to explain my thoughts that well ~ I’ve been messing up a lot lately anyway. My posts are full of typos, errors, and calling people by the wrong name. I have no excuses.

I don’t believe in God or anything supernatural, but there’s a whole lot of “natural” I don’t fully grasp because I don’t have the science knowledge or the vocab to express my hazy thoughts. That said, I’ll answer the praying question anyway: people pray because it makes them feel good and gives them hope, which they then offer to others out of kindness, and what’s wrong with that? You don’t have to share their beliefs to understand that they’re doing something nice.

So, “fate.” Taking out any supernatural elements, there are two components left (imo): time and free will. I don’t fully understand the concept of time, but I lean toward the interesting idea that everything has already happened and we’re simply experiencing it in a way our minds can grasp it. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take precautions and do all our normal, sensible things. But whatever occurs next will occur regardless.

In the same way, I don’t much believe in free will. I think our actions are dependent upon and determined by what came before, biologically and environmentally. In this way, I believe we are “fated” to do the things we do, simply as a result of who we are, but not because some spirit in the sky is directing the show.

Sorry, if none of this makes any sense! 😜

Little Bit of Soul

Soul mates are the stuff of poetry and romance novels, and who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? It’s hard to believe in a soul mate if you don’t believe in souls though; and souls come packaged up with all that other mystical glitter I can’t quite wrap my brain around. Despite my creative forays, my heart is made of math. One of my favorite lines from a romance novel was “she had his number, and it was 666.” I would credit the book and the author if I could remember either, but I can’t. I don’t think I ever dated the devil, just your ordinary liars and narcissists, but that guy wasn’t the devil of course. They never are, in romance novels. No matter what kind of terrible choice the romance novel heroine appears to be making with her wild and crazy attraction, it’s always exactly the right choice. But that’s because we’re writing her story. I have written my own stories, with my own heroes. Perhaps that’s why I’m solo.