Tag Archives: religion

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.

What If… Unicorns? [fiction 515]

Brother Noah told Alph to make sure all the animals were aboard the ark. “Gotta get moving, Alph. Look at those storm clouds.”

Alph reported back shortly. “Everything is all set, Noah, except the unicorns won’t come down from the rocks.”

“They’re always so annoying. Vivian!” Noah yelled.

The sexy siren sauntered over. “Yo.”

“Please use a few of your special brownies to tempt the unicorns onto the ark. It’s starting to drizzle.”

“On it, boss.” She strutted away.

After she was out of earshot, Alph whispered to Noah, “I didn’t know she was bringing her special brownies!”

“Well, of course!” Noah clapped him on the back. “We’re going to be bored as f… heck. The rains are gonna last a while, the big guy said.”

A few minutes later, Vivian reappeared with a pair of unicorns trotting beside her. And a surprise guest!

“Look who I found lounging around with the unicorns,” Vivian said.

“Jeremiah.” Alph rolled his eyes. “Uh, we already have a poet on board. No need for more. You can wait here for our return.”

“You can never have too many poets, my friend,” Jeremiah argued. “Plus, I can’t write in the rain. It gives me a headache.”

“I think you can have too many–” Alph began, but Vivian interrupted and said, “He can share my cabin.”

Noah came around the side of the ark and grinned. “Unicorns! Alrighty then! Hello, Jeremiah, why are you here?”

“I’m the backup poet,” Jeremiah said.

“Great! I’m promoting you to Assistant Manager of Janitorial Services. The tigers need you already. They had a big lunch. Get going.”

With everyone settled in, including the happy unicorns, the ark began its floaty journey as the rains beat down upon the earth day after day, week after week, etc.

Finally, the storm ended and the waters began to recede from the lands. Noah found a safe place to dock and let the ark’s inhabitants once again roam free. Alph reclaimed his former position as CEO of Abacus, Inc. and Vivian opened a pastry shop.

Jeremiah decided he enjoyed working with big cats more than writing poetry, but a weird thing happened. Once on dry land, being around felines made him itchy and sneezy. His throat swelled up until it was hard to breathe.

“I don’t understand what difference it makes being at sea,” Vivian said as the friends got together at her shop for dessert. “Maybe there was something else about the ship.”

“At least we aren’t covered with silly unicorn glitter,” Alph said. “Now that they’re off cavorting upon the rocks again.”

“Maybe the sparkles protected Jer from tiger hives!” Vivian ran off with a handful of special brownies and a brush. She returned with a sackful of unicorn hair and glitter.

Jeremiah shrugged and rubbed the mess over himself. “Why not?”

“Let us know how it works!” Alph called after him as he ran off to see the kitties. “Hey, Viv. Got any more special brownies?”

(As it turns out, unicorns have magical properties to protect humans from that most terrible of afflictions: CAT ALLERGIES!)

~*~

Genre Challenge: Alternate History

Opposites Attract: Challenges 2 & 3

Once again, I relate these language challenges to my dating misadventures. I can come across as frivolous at first ~ in fact, I prefer a lighthearted approach to initial conversations. I don’t want to talk about politics or religion on the first date. But that generated a new set of issues, namely that men sometimes assumed I didn’t care that they were bigots or that I had no interest in significant issues. Later, if I brought up meaningful topics, they acted surprised. So, I began talking about more substantial matters early on, even though this made me uncomfortable.

There’s a fine line between being arrogant and being confident, and I confess it took me way too long to figure this out. For decades I was attracted to arrogant men, who were outright obnoxious and emotional bullies at times, mostly as a cover for raging insecurities. I didn’t understand that one can be pleasantly humble, modest, and unpretentious, without being weak and spineless. I get it now. Now that I’m done dating! 😂

The Friday Four

A Guy Called Bloke Production

1] If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?

Left alone.

2] What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

I write fiction: I’m not my characters, nor do I secretly wish to be them.

3] What do you think about when you’re by yourself?

Prioritizing all the things I have to do.

4] What are three things you value most about a person?

Kindness, sense of humor, creativity.

Bonus Series 1 Question

If heaven is real and you died tomorrow, would you get in?

Not according to the posted rules.

Share Bear 🐻

Sparks has another installment of Share Your World for us today.

^^^ There’s a lil taste of SoCal for anyone who might be wondering about the glam life I lead out here on the Left Coast.

QUESTIONS:

What, in your opinion, is the point to life?

– There is no point. What I mean by this is that I don’t believe we will be rewarded or punished by a supernatural force who is keeping track of our good and bad deeds on a holy spreadsheet. If something is good, then we should do it because it’s good, not for points. Live a good life now, and don’t do bad things. Why not? Because they’re bad. If you’re an adult, you shouldn’t need a cookie for not being bad. Mmm cookies! Maybe cookies are the point? Note to self: more research needed.

What was your most recent lie?  You don’t have to get really specific obviously.

– I’ve quit lying. No, that’s not a lie! The reason I used to lie so much was due to my upfucked romantic situations. Some of the lies were told because I legit perceived some men as threatening, physically or emotionally. Some were simply told out of convenience. Some to spare guys’ feelings, rightly or wrongly. But all that is over. What a blessed relief!

What country do you consider the strangest?   (it’s all In fun folks, ALL countries may seem strange to outsiders)

– The USA. I’m saying this both because I’m unfamiliar with other countries and cuz I do think we’re a bit weird here. Take our politics. Please! Take it away, far away. And we’re so bizarre about sex, both fetishizing it and acting so damn Puritanical about it. I mean, we love our skimpily dressed stars, but GOD FORBID one of them breastfeeds her baby in public. Ewwww boobs. Gross! Put that thing away. Do it in the bathroom.

What’s your funniest story involving a car?

– Hard to choose. How about the time I was driving my daughter home from a trip to register for something or other at UCSD, was trying to find a place for lunch off the freeway, ended up in the wrong lane, and got trapped into the visitors’ line at the marine base. Once in the line, you were not allowed to escape. And it was a long damn line. We almost starved to DEATH! When we got up to the front, I explained that we only wanted lunch and the nice marine dude said this happens and told me how to turn around and leave. So embarrassing. We found a Hawaiian barbecue place around 2pm and decided it was the best food ever, but it really wasn’t. When I had it again another time, I realized it was only bland chicken and macaroni salad.

GRATITUDE

Do you have something you’re very thankful for or that showed immense kindness toward yourself or someone?

– Heat. It’s been really cold here. I’m extremely grateful to whoever discovered fire, and I’m betting it was a woman. Why do we assume it was a man? We’re the ones who are always freezing! 🥶

Spirit in the Sky 🎶

Jewish Atheist here, but yep I love this fun, upbeat song by Norman Greenbaum, also Jewish, who listened to some Gospel music in 1969 and thought hey I could write a song like that. And so he did and it became a monster hit. ⭐️

Funny side note. I read Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation around Y2K and thought hey I too could write a sexy fun contemporary romance novel in a similar irreverent snarky voice. And so I did and nothing happened. 🙄

Here’s the song.

These songs are for Bee’s month of music prompts. 🌹

We Got Trouble: FPQ15

This week’s provocative question is based upon a quote by Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. Whew, that’s a lot of cred. Anyway, Russell, who died in 1970, suggested that…
“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that, in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubts.”

Do you concur with Mr. Russell’s perspective? Why or why not?

No. I think that a huge part of “the trouble” is that everyone is cocksure, both the stupid and the intelligent, however we are defining those terms.

And how are we defining them? High IQ, college degree, advanced degree, career success, relationship success, money, fame, power, political alignment, religious values? At what point do we dismiss a person as “stupid” or bestow upon him or her the label of intelligent? Your definition is likely to be different from mine and even if we agree on paper, we may still disagree about particular people. How many errors is someone allowed before they’re out of the intelligent group?

If we admire a person, and especially if we agree with them, we’re inclined to overlook their mistakes. I like Senator Harris, but she was wrong about supporting Jussie Smollett’s hoax story, so I’ll shrug that off. Senator Warren’s supporters don’t care that she lied about her heritage. AOC’s fans don’t care that she’s bad at math. Trump’s supporters routinely shrug off his lies and mistakes as non-events. It’s human nature.

Nowadays, many believe that people who support different political parties are necessarily of lesser intelligence. Trump supporters believe that liberals are stupid and vice versa. I understand that people make these blanket generalizations out of frustration and lack of understanding. I wish Trump would not be re-elected, but I know people who support him, and some are highly intelligent. I also know lots of super intelligent liberals and moderates.

It would be great if everyone could take a few steps back and try to see things from another viewpoint. Are you one of the cocksure people, or a bit more humble, ready to try to understand why others might believe differently? I’m an atheist, as I’ve said, but I can understand why people believe in God. Brilliant people have faith in a Supreme Being, so I’m not going to dismiss them as “stupid.” That would be very stupid indeed.

I think more people should be humble and full of doubts, whether they’re stupid, of average intelligence, or brilliant. No matter how high your IQ is or how many books you’ve read, how many people you’ve met and places you’ve visited, there’s always more to learn, even right here in River City.

V4L Challenge 12

Do Aminals Feel Love?

Match dot com strikes again!

We are talking about romantic love in this post, not love for friends or trains or apple pie with those yummy crumbs on top (mmm pie!). 💖

Humans are animals, and we have defined love as something that at least some humans feel (🚺), so technically the answer is yes. But Rory means “lower” animals, so let’s focus on them. I’m not going to nitpick over the definition of love either. Either it exists or it doesn’t. If you believe it’s only a sciencey thing, made up of chemical type reactions, we can stick with that across the board, from humans to spiders. If you believe it’s a woowoo thing, full of golden stardust and eternal flames and whatnot, we’ll shovel that in the mix. I don’t care. Just be consistent. Why would humans have soul mates and gorillas not? Oh right. God said. It’s in that book. 🙄

So. Back to logic. The higher animals (primates, dogs, cats, pigs, dolphins, yada) feel things, or react to them similarly to us in such ways that it’s fair to say they experience emotional states parallel to ours. We’re talking about fear, anger, and even some advanced concepts such as fair play. Look it up. But many hesitate when it comes to asserting that animals feel love. They’ll say a dog is “loyal” because he’s programmed to be, or a cat stays close only because you feed her. 🐱

But we could say the same about humans then and define away the concept of love altogether. Husband stays because he’s loyal, took vows, is concerned about his reputation, etc. Wife stays because she likes the nice big house and lifestyle. Where is the love? What is love? 💕

If we posit that love between humans (or among for you pervs) is something beyond these cold material things, beyond sexual attraction, then why hesitate when it comes to animals?

Idk! People weird things is my best guess. If you’re wondering whether I answered the question in this jabberish, that’s fair. I hedged. I say if there is a thing we’re defining as love for humans, then all higher animals should not be excluded from the circle. But I am an atheist and, despite my poetry (and even my latest fictional WIP) which can careen into the woo to better illustrate emotions, I don’t believe in souls, soul mates, eternal flames, fate, or anything of that nature.

Watch out for cranky tigers! 🐯

FPQ10: Rightsideup

This week Fandango provocatively asks…

“What is more important to you, doing the right thing or doing things right?”

This reminds me of the ancient philosophical question: does God love things because they are good (or right), or are they good simply because God loves them? If the former, then there’s something beyond God’s opinion that makes a thing good; and if the latter, then goodness is arbitrary.

What I’m saying is that, ideally, there should be no conflict between doing the right thing and doing things right. But, alas, life often is not ideal ~ have you also found this to be the case? 🙄

I try to live my life (now) in such a way to avoid this conflict. I’ve simplified things as much as possible. But stuff still comes up, as it will. Not talking about big things, such as should I continue to date a Nazi because he’s so handsome, or do the right thing and dump him, but should I forget about my obsession for keeping my CDs organized while I’m driving in the rain?

This just happened last night, and I forced myself to wait until I got home and parked. It was very difficult to balance the conflict between keeping things neat in my car (doing things right) and not causing an accident /hurting people /raising my ins rate (doing the right thing). You see?

So, I would say that doing the right thing wins, but only by say 51%, and I’m not above redefining terms to fit a situation if I want to. You’re not either. If you say you are, I’ll agree to get along, but secretly I’ll know you’re lying. 😛