Fandango’s Provocative Question #32

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

For this week’s provocative question, I am going to do something I haven’t before done in my provocative question prompt. I’m going to post something a fellow blogger wrote. In this case, the blogger is Judy Dykstra-Brown, and in one of her recent posts she wrote,

“I do believe that more evil has been done in this world by those absolutely sure of the rightness of their faith and their beliefs.”

So my question is this: do you agree with what Judy wrote? Why or why not?

If you want to read Judy’s full post in which this quote appeared in order to gain context, click here.

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

The Solution for Hate In Perilous Times

CE4D50FB-D98A-404E-90E6-AC5F62052B0DI’ve been debating with myself about whether or not to post this. I read a post a few days ago by a blogger who will go unnamed for reasons that will become apparent. I try not to be reactionary when I read another blogger’s post if that post strikes a sour note with me. I say to myself, “Let it go, it’s just someone else’s opinion.”

Blogging offers us a forum to express our opinions and beliefs, and I’m sure that some of the opinions I’ve expressed in my posts do not sit well with everyone who reads them.

That said, this post is a reaction to something a blogger, one I follow, wrote. And if you’re that blogger and you read this post and recognize your words, I hope you won’t take what I’m about to write personally. I follow your blog and I do enjoy much of what you write.

Anyway, this blogger wrote that he or she “believes in predetermined fate.” Okay, I get that. Apparently a lot of people believe in predestination. I don’t. But that’s just what I believe. It doesn’t make me right or the blogger wrong. We are all entitled in this country to our own beliefs and to freely express them. At least so far.

Then this blogger wrote something that was hard for me to swallow. He/she wrote, “We are known in the womb by the creator, God. His plan for us is already in place. He knows the ending before we do. He knows that our existence is for the greater good.”

So why do I have a problem with that? Well first, there’s simple arithmetic. There are approximately 132 million babies born every year across the globe. That’s about 360,000 births a day, 15,000 per hour, 250 every minute, and four every second.

Now I know a lot of people believe that God created everything…the entire universe and all things in it, including all forms of life. But to me, to believe that God knows and has developed some sort of in-the-womb, individualized plan for each and every one of those 360,000 babies born each day seems, shall I say, a bit far-fetched.

Second, if “we are known in the womb by the creator, God,” as this blogger said, and “God knows that our existence is for the greater good,” why, then, is there hate; why do people do bad things that are against “the greater good”? Are hate and evil part of “the greater good,” part of “His plan for us”? A plan that is already in place while we are just fetuses in our mothers’ wombs?

But still, I wasn’t that bothered by what that blogger wrote because people are free to believe whatever weird shit they choose to believe. That’s their business, not mine.

Then the blogger wrote that “the solution is the example we set.” I think the blogger was referring to the solution for hate in these perilous times, but I’m not 100% sure.

Anyway, the blogger continued, “we cannot be that example without a relationship with the almighty.” That was the statement that really pissed me off.

The implication of what this blogger wrote is that one cannot live a moral, decent, good life and set a positive example for others without believing in the existence of some invisible but all knowing, all powerful, ever-present supernatural being.

Now in all fairness, I don’t know for sure if that’s what the blogger was actually implying, but that is how I took it.

And if, as the blogger suggests, it is true that moral values are instilled in us in the womb by God, does that mean that we, as intelligent human beings, couldn’t — or wouldn’t —have been able to figure out on our own, without God, that murder, rape, and theft are bad? Would we all be running around murdering, raping, and stealing were it not for this omnipotent being who set our courses while we were still in the womb and who watches everything that we do all of the time? Is that the only reason we “behave” ourselves? And does that mean that those who don’t believe in God’s existence are incapable of being moral and do not serve “the greater good”?

Okay, there you have it. Rant over. I’ll probably take a whole raft of shit over this post and may even lose a few followers. I guess that’s a risk worth taking.

So what are your thoughts, readers? Am I being overly sensitive?

Faith Versus Reason


My blogging buddy, Jim, wrote a fascinating post today entitled “Why is it So Hard to Believe in God.” In addition to being a provocative post, he managed to get in the WordPress one-word prompt, “recreate,” when he wrote, “We cannot recreate the Big Bang, so we may never understand all of this, but we can believe that we do exist.” Well done, Jim.

In response to one of the comments on his post, Jim wrote, “I believe in logic and God makes sense to me….” I found that notion to be particularly interesting. I believe in logic, reason, and rationality, and it’s because of embracing those things that God makes no sense to me.

For purposes of this post, I’m going to consider “logic” and “reason” to be synonymous, although technically they aren’t. Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.

That said, logic (or reason) is the antithesis of faith. It takes tremendous faith to believe that an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, supernatural being created everything that exists.

So the question I have for Jim, or for anyone who cares to weigh in is this. When it comes to belief in God, can logic and reason support that belief, or must one suspend logical and rational thought  in favor of pure faith to believe in the existence of God as the creator of all things?

Please feel free to share your thoughts (or beliefs).