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February 4th, 2005

Fictionlet

"I have this theory about God," Greg announced over his donut. "I think I may have it figured out."

"Oh yes?" Brigid said, eyebrows raised. "This oughta be good."

"It is, it is! Now what causes all the controversy about God, really? What's the core problem?"

"Um, lack of proof?"

"Well, sort of. More like, I suppose you'd say, lack of concrete evidence. God doesn't leave DNA samples lying around for the FBI to collect, see what I mean? Some people encounter God, and other don't. Some people have visions and others don't. And of course, some people interpret every little random event as being God's work, while others interpret it as simply the normal mechanistic functions of an uncaring universe. Everybody's experience is different, and they're all arguing about what REALLY happened."

"Okay."

"Well, the core problem with that, you see, is everybody is assuming that truth is universal, do you see? What if God isn't as all-loving as people want to think? What if God is arbitrary?"

"I don't get what you mean."

"Well, do you remember that computer game where you had a little virtual world and you could select a person and tell them do this and another person and tell them do that, etc.?"

"Yeah."

"Well, when you were messing with persons X and Y, the rest of the virtual world just went on its merry way, completely oblivious to the fact that a cosmic super-being was mucking about with the course of its existence. Persons A, B, and C are just following their programmed routine, you see? Now imagine that simulated person X goes to simulated person A and says, 'Holy crap some super-powerful being just appeared to me and told me do go dancing!' Simulated person A, never having been the active character, replies, 'You're batty. Where's your proof?' And they get into a big arguement about it, and sooner or later somebody gets hoisted on a virtual cross."

Brigid raised her eyebrows dubiously.

"See how much that explains?" Greg said, apparently quite excited by his idea now. "Maybe the reason there's so many different religions, and the whole exists/doesn't exist arguement, and -- here's the big one -- the whole personal/impersonal God dichotomy, is because God's out there, set up a self-sustaining universe with natural selection and all that, and then just sticks His nose in when it pleases or amuses Him to do so."

"It makes as much sense as anything," she admitted.

"Assuming that the Big G exists, we know that God is whimsical -- or at least a little bizarre. Look at the lemming, for crying out loud. Or worse, the cuttlefish. God can be just plain weird sometimes. People always claim that God is 'omnibenevolent,' but one look at the real world will tell you that is patently false. Some people are happy, others are miserable. The sweetest, most pure-hearted person ever may develop an agonizing and terminal condition without notice. There are some people who, for whatever reason, God clearly has His hate on for. The Old Testament types would say it has to do with wickedness ... I doubt it. God doesn't look at good and evil the way we do; God is a weird, alien mind to our puny little brains! So what if, as I say, He lets the world go as it will most of the time, and just occasionally, arbitrarily, perhaps even randomly sticks in his Holy Oar, stirs stuff around until He's satisfied, then wanders off again?"

"That's a very scary God you've worked out, there," she replied. "At least a God that's obsessed with smiting wickedness, you can placate by not being wicked. A God that's incomprehensible, you can only be afraid of and hope your number doesn't come up."

"Well, yeah," said Greg. "But that's the world that atheists have to live in, too."

"Eh," said Brigid. "I'll keep my omnibenevolent God, thank you very much. I need all the comforting I can get."

"I don't blame you," said Greg. "I couldn't do it, myself. But I don't blame you for wanting to."

-The Gneech

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Fridays Don't Matter

As I've mentioned, laurie_robey and I have had a long, stressful work week. Today feels like it should be weekend ... and that tomorrow and Sunday should also be weekend. This makes it very difficult to concentrate on my work, which I did promise the powers that be I would have finished by C.O.B. today. A major chunk of my mind doesn't believe that it's really a work day, and when I tell it to buckle down, it just sorta goes, "Pffft! Yeah, right."

I spent most of yesterday evening working on this weekend's D&D game, tweaking the dungeon the characters are in the middle of and starting on the next level. I still need to write up what they find at the bottom of the dungeon, because if they take a certain route they may end up going pretty much straight to the endgame. If they take the scenic route through the rest of the first level, on the other hand, it'll be at least one more session before they get to the finale.

Problem is, I wanna draw. Specifically, I want to finish those badges I mentioned yesterday; for some reason I'm really chomping at the bit to do that now. I've got other stuff I need to do, some of which is way more urgent, but that's what I want to do. I guess that's my muse at work, or something.

-The Gneech

Oh, Speaking of Fridays...

Way to go, me: I've got a 401(k) plan again! It's showed up on this paycheck.

This will make, IIRC, my fourth one. Maybe this one will actually stick, instead of being raided to buy groceries during a long period of unemployment. :P

This time, since I'm 35 and it's time to start seriously looking down the road ahead, I'm contributing 10% (with 50% matching up to 5.5% from the company). Funny thing is, I think the tax break makes it so that my take-home pay still went up. Wacky.

I'm just a little worried, tho, 'cause starting a 401(k) is usually the beginning of the end for me at any job. 0.o The only way it could be more dangerous is if I get my beloved 32-hour work week with Mondays off. The first time I set up one of those, my car died and I had to go back to work on Mondays to pay for the new one. The last time I set up one of those, the dot-com boom ended and my company went belly-up.

It's a curse, I tell you! A curse to prevent me from having the time to draw and write on Mondays! Garrr!

-The Gneech

Numa, Numa, Yay!

For those of you who might want the song without Frog Boy (as cool as he is), check out the original music video, including some moves stolen from the Monkees, which in my mind makes these guys way cooler than most of the current American pop stars by a long mile.

If I was Brody Coyote, my tail would be waggin' over it. :)

-The Gneech

NOTE TO AMERICAN POP MUSIC INDUSTRY: Geeze, you guys are losers. Why don't WE have anything this cool?

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