Fandango’s Provocative Question #133


Welcome 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.

On Sunday, for my Who Won the Week post, I designated “evolution” as the week’s winner because, for the first time, more than half of American adults surveyed said that they believe that modern humans developed from earlier species of animals. But at the same time, around 40% of American adults ascribe to a strictly creationist view of human origins, believing that God created them in their present form within roughly the past 10,000 years.

The study suggested that education, specifically having a college degree, is one of strongest factors leading to the acceptance of evolution. It also identified religious fundamentalism as the strongest factor leading to the rejection of evolution.

So with this in mind, my provocative question this week is this…

Do you believe that modern human beings, Homo sapiens, evolved between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago from earlier species? Or do you believe that God created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years? Or, if you believe something else, what is it?

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. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Share Your World — Going Deep

It’s Monday and that means that Melanie has given us another Share Your World prompt. This week Melanie is going deep with her questions. So let’s get to it.

What do you believe but cannot prove?

Well, I suppose my answer is my belief that God does not exist. I cannot prove that God does not exist, but nor can anyone prove that God does exist. So I guess we’re at a standoff.

Do animals have morals? Exclude human beings from the equation please.

I believe (but cannot prove…did you see what I did there?) that animals feel emotions ranging from happiness, sadness, love, grief, outrage, and empathy. And I also believe that animals live by prevailing standards of behavior that enable them to live cooperatively in groups. Do those reflect morals? I dunno. What do you think?

Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance?

According to Merriam-Webster, natural order is the orderly system comprising the physical universe and functioning according to natural laws, as distinguished from human or supernatural laws. Unfortunately, humans too often disrupt the natural order of things, which tends to result in a certain amount of chaos.

Where is your least favorite place in the world?

I’ll let you know when I get there.

The Skepticism of Roger

sandcastleThroughout his young life, Roger was required to read the Bible and to review it daily, chapter and verse, with his mother and father. He was taught that God’s laws, as expressed in the Bible, were unbreakable and must be obeyed. To disobey them would condemn Roger to eternal damnation.

Much to the chagrin of his parents, who were extremely religious, Roger had reached the age where he was beginning to question everything. He accepted nothing at face value and became very skeptical of his parents’ belief in a supernatural supreme being.

One Christmas Eve, after attending Midnight Mass with his parents, Roger announced that he was rejecting the dogma of the church. He told them that it couldn’t hold up under the scrutiny of an intrepid mind like his, and that, like sandcastles, it will ultimately be washed away by the waves of time.

His father was angry. His mother was distraught. They gave young Roger an ultimatum. “Either you return to the word of God, or we will disown you,” they told him. But Roger was unready to yield to his parents’ demand. He waved them off in a perfunctory manner and scurried to his room where he packed his suitcase.

“I’m leaving,” he announced to his parents. “I can’t deal with the sexism, racism, homophobia, and superstitions of the church. I need to find my own path, my own way, my own purpose. I may be back after my journey of self-discovery. Or I may be gone forever. I love you both and I thank you for everything you’ve given me and done for me. I genuinely wish you well. I hope you will also wish me well as I seek to find myself and my calling.”

Written for these daily prompts: Jibber Jabber (review; return), Word of the Day Challenge (unbreakable; racism), The Daily Spur (midnight; suitcase), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (dogma; perfunctory), Your Daily Word Prompt (intrepid; scurry), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (sandcastle; unready).

At the Risk of Appearing to Not Have a Sense of Humor

13CD0B05-F8DF-423E-8B5A-66FA44A450E5Every Monday Paula Light gives us an opportunity to whine about something via her Monday Peeve prompt, saying that sometimes we need to vent a bit. And today I have something to vent about.

I like to think of myself as a witty person, someone who possesses a keen sense of humor. But I saw something recently that really pissed me off. The person who said it — or actually wrote it, since he posted it on an app called Nextdoor — must consider himself to be a real witty fellow, since he apparently thought what he posted was a hoot. Well, in my opinion, he isn’t a wit, he’s a nitwit.

So what did this guy write that pissed me off?

“I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up because they only have one holiday and that’s on April Fools Day.
God bless you all!!”

Oh har har hardy, har, har!

Now let me first say that I am not a militant atheist. I simply don’t believe that gods exists. I don’t believe that humans were created by God in God’s image. I do believe that humans created God to be a human-like being with superhuman powers. That said, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and my philosophy on that subject is “whatever floats your boat.”

But, at the risk of appearing to not have a sense of humor, what this guy posted really pissed me off. What is it about atheists that people thinks it’s fair game to denigrate them? Why is it okay, on a public forum, to tell a derogatory joke about atheists but it’s not okay to tell demeaning jokes about Christians or Jews or Muslims or any other religious beliefs?

Some “believers” believe that atheists have no real sense of humor. They claim that atheists are experts at laughing at others but they do not seem capable of laughing at themselves.

Well, when you live in a country that is mostly Christian, where many Christians believe it’s their calling to persuade as many non-Christians as possible that we are wrong and need to be redeemed, one does become offended by being told often enough that if you don’t believe in God, you have no moral compass, that you can’t distinguish between good and evil or right and wrong, and that you’re condemned to eternal damnation unless you’re “saved” by embracing Jesus, you do tend to lose your sense of humor about derogatory atheist jokes.

Okay, that’s it. My rant is done, my vent complete, and my whine is over. And I know what you’re thinking. When my life, as well, is over, I should prepare myself to spend an eternity in hell, right?