Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Life and the Afterlife

By: Michael Akerman

This is yet another slightly misnomic post, I suppose, but it's largely a collection of small things, and titles are hard for those.

First I'd like to share a poem I wrote that I wrote myself. The things I wrote in this poem were made by me. It's a poem that's really a song that really ought to be read in a coffee shop. And notes are tedious to write on a blog. So here's the poem... as a poem...

Sometimes life throws you a curve.
You try to dodge,
You swoop and swerve
But you'll land
Feet off the ground.

Through tempest-toss
Through win and loss,
If life just flows
Than, I have found,
You'll see...

It all comes around.

When you
Roll with the punches,
When you
Swing for fence,
If you
Keep it between the banks,
You'll enjoy the consequence!

So just
Follow the river's course.
Let life lead your life.
'Cause if you let nature come on through
You will see
It's good for you.

Life just has a plan
That you must
Make the best of.
So go on,
Keep it going strong,
And you'll live well,
And you'll live long.

I think I need to keep going a few lines to really hit the correct ending to it. Ah, well.

Now, I'd like to reply to some things Philip said on Thoughts from the Jelly Master. He was talking about me, by the way.

You give far too little credit to God. I won't claim that it does harm to pray specifically. Just that it does no good. Consider the fallacy in your statements.

1. God wants companionship. He has something on the order of 20 billion people in heaven. I'd personally be all companioned out, but God has an infinite capacity, I know. Still, if he wanted companionship, he would merely have created us in heaven. Instead, he created us on Earth, where there are innumerable obstacles to effective communication.

2. God requires specifics to do something. I vehemently disagree. God will not deny what's right merely because we don't ask for it. He gives us an advantage if we worship him, obviously, but he doesn't need, and I doubt He desires, specifics. Furthermore, someone who unconditionally loves someone does not need the action requested to do it. All that means is that the person has doubts and imperfect love. God loves us perfectly, so he will invariably do what is best for us.

3. God wants to be intimate. The odds are very stacked against this. Intimacy brings casualness. If this is the case, we shouldn't have to capitalize "him" when referring to God. You will claim this is out of respect, it is obviously not. Respect is not borne out of tradition and ceremony. Verily, the argument of respect argues more for my view. When you respect someone, you defer to his judgment. You can offer suggestions, but God knows them already. Again, wasted words.

As a point of contention, you vastly misrepresent the statement to do what feels right. Things that feel right seldom benefit me. Generally, they hinder me. If I had said to do what feels good, that would have encompassed all the selfish acts. As it stands, the right thing is seldom the personally beneficial thing.

You claim that I mold religion to my needs. Hardly. I merely refuse to blindly believe ancient texts and the words from the mouth of man. God provided us with reasoning and observation for a reason: these holy tools of intellect allow us to analyze the world to decide what's right and true, and to see what's right through consideration of the consequences. God would not make something I should consider right have zero benefits. This is why I agree with contraceptives. There is very little detriment against a large amount of benefit. Overpopulation is not a good thing.