Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GOD

Sooner or later the question of God raises its troubling head for most of us. Does he exist or doesn’t he? Or has he died, as Nietzsche postulated? And if he exists, where exactly does he? In the old days, one could, as Browning did, aver “in his Heaven,” i.e., in the sky. But nowadays, as we have crisscrossed the heavens in any number of directions, either in person or by NASA contraptions, even photographed Mars from up close, we would  have been likely to bump into him if he existed, and wasted our time looking for him if he didn’t..

Atheists have some potent arguments for his nonexistence. All-merciful his believers declare him, but could even a moderately merciful God have condoned the Holocaust? Could all those Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals deserve it all? Among  those millions of victims, would there not have been some innocent ones?

Forget about all-merciful, but how about at least communicative? If only there were some consistency about his nature, never mind unanimity. Let us assume that there are or were three hundred different religions, including varieties among Christians, should there not still be some, if only unintentional, overlapping or coinciding? The portrayal by Renaissance or Byzantine artists would have us believe in a white-haired, bearded, patriarchal, enthroned figure, but that version has by now been sufficiently ridiculed and scuttled. And why if he had talked to some believers in biblical times, would he have stopped to even though need for his guidance has nowise decreased? Or could there have been a first and a second God, equitably one for each Testament, one conversational and one not?

The Virgin Mary has made some appearances—admittedly in out-of-the-way venues and mostly to children--but from God the father or son Jesus there is not even that much. From Jesus, only a shroud, and that, like all relics, uncertifiable. Personally, I have more sympathy for (as opposed to belief in) the Greco-Roman polytheist divinities, whose myths have charm and even some humor, scant if not unheard ot commodities in monasteries and convents. Excepting the vagantes, the wandering, drinking and wenching monks, also making up songs like the Carmina Burana.

What I find especially baffling is the belief of even intellectuals in an afterlife, as when, for instance, Bill Buckley, my onetime boss, declared that if he did not believe in someday rejoining his predeceased wife, he could not go on. I am not sure whether that meant suicide, disallowed by his Christianity, or total collapse. Nancy Regan, smart but admittedly no intellectual, was identically confident of reunion in Heaven with her Ronald. I am sure that one could easily find similar convictions in any number of artists, sages, even scientists and, apparently, Republicans--Buckley, Regan, etc. Yet not even the innards of the earth, despite volcanic emissions, would have enough space to accommodate the remains of all the sinners who have trodden its surface. The other, upper place for the righteous would have fewer dwellers, but even it, since time immemorial, would have ended up overflowing.

There are some who try to validate the Scriptures by arguing that most of them are to be understood as symbolic rather than realistic. But what can symbols do if there are no verities for them to symbolize? Because there are such things, say, as good marriages, we can believe that a tale of unending love can symbolize something potential. But how do you symbolize something that exists exclusively as a concept?

Yet just because there have been, and still are, saintly people around, to conclude from that that their God exists, is a leap of faith of fantastic proportions. Mother Teresas are one thing, evidence of God the Father quite another. Can the dragging to Hell of Don Juan or Giovanni at his death by emerging demons be credited just because a genius composer has envisioned it?

Now, can a God who is supposedly all-seeing and all-hearing of billions of mortals--masses of them simultaneously praying--no matter how divine he is, manage such ubiquity and undivided attention? It does not make sense, and without sense there is chaos—surely not a good thing and not created by God. In fact, how the universe was created, and how it evolved, does remain incomprehensible, especially given such illogical diversity and glaring inconsistencies.

That is the one great mystery, and calling it God or any other complaisant name does not make it any less mysterious. The Apostle Paul was shrewd. The wary Greeks, to keep themselves covered, maintained a shrine to the Unknown God, and Paul simply proclaimed him the Christian God for whom he was proselytizing. And when you come down to it, God is a flexible concept, and all Gods are really unknown, whether they exist or not.



49 comments:

  1. Paul did not “establish a shrine to the Unknown God.” The Greeks in Athens did. The Greeks were all about “knowledge.” Hence the famous cry of Oedipus - “I have to know!”- who then found out he had dinged his own Mommy!
    https://www.gotquestions.org/unknown-god.html

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  2. It seems fairly self evident that a deity that would use evolution as the mechanism for creation does not involve itself in our lives, so what uses do theists continue to find in their religion based on this deity?

    Are they not aware of the ravaging of life that is inherent in natural selection and how evolution squanders, at a truly fearful rate, the life that is so supposedly valuable to God?

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  3. A growing theory in scientific circles is the idea that we are all inside of a super-advanced computer program being run thousands of years in the future. The theory postulates that none of this is really real. We're part of a computer game being played by future teenagers.

    This would explain some of the weird happenings that people claim they've seen. Aliens, ghosts, spaceships, black holes, etc. The belief is that just like any computer program, there are glitches. The glitches, or mistakes, allow for the crazy shit in life to come to the fore. Hell, I don't know.

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    1. Hell, Uncle Kirky, you do know! It’s becoming clear that we now have a “glitch” in the White House. Even retired 4-Star US Admiral James Stavridis - old shipmate of yours? - slammed The Donald for his recent lies about past presidents and Gold Star families. Those future teenagers who control everything are watching us squirm as they maneuver President Glitch to stumble like a circus clown from one blunder to the next. Those pimpled teens are getting a good laugh. For us squirmers, it’s not funny at all! How do we bust out of this computer program to our freedom? Lead the way, Uncle Kirky, lead the way!

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    2. Oh, cripes, don't get me started on Trump. How the f*ck did that idiot get elected?

      Maybe I'll change my name to Captain Kirk and lead ya'll out of this bullshit. I want Simon as my "Scotty".

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    3. I’m Bones. I get dibs on Lieutenant Uhura. Yowza!

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    4. This reminds me of one of the funniest (and crudest) things I ever watched, Comedy Central's roast of William Shatner (subtitled "The Shat Hits the Fan"). One of its lights (whether high or low, I'm not sure) was Nichelle Nichols telling Shatner to "kiss my black ass."

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  4. What could these sentences possibly mean? "Could all those Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals deserve it all? Among those millions of victims, would there not have been some innocent ones?"

    First we sadly read a disturbing anecdote about a "big, black pimp" in a movie theater; now something about how surely there were some innocent Jews who didn't deserve to be deported, tortured, starved, beaten, humiliated, gassed and cremated.

    I have loved and admired the writing of Mr. Simon for decades. Since I was a teenager. But I must face clearly what I am seeing here. I very unstable, racially tinged bent that borders on montrous.
    Please, Mr. Simon, run your copy by your wife. Or send it to me to peruse before it is posted. You are hurting your legacy.

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    1. That sentence jarred me too, so I reread it. What Simon meant is: Could not God have found some innocents among all those millions he let die? Sounds like the beginnings of a spiritual quest. Could it be that big black pimp touched John Simon's arm?

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    2. When Mr. Simon writes about religion, his snark level is turned up very high. That sentence should be read in that light (or half-light). This column is very similar to some of his previous anti-religion columns, so much so that I wouldn't be surprised if it was a recycle.

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    4. Gary, there seems to be a glitch at scarriet.wordpress.com, some of the comments aren't showing, including my link to Neil Young's haunting "My Pledge": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YW5KrCf-iY

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    5. I'm sorry, these explanations don't wash. I have been reading JS since Singularities and Ingmar Bergman Directs and Fourteen for Now. He is absolutely precise. He wrote what he meant to write. There is something disturbing here. No one seems to read our comments, I don't know who's minding the store, but JS needs assistance with certain remarks. I am deeply wounded that a hero would, for the second consecutive time, write something so grievously cruel. But this time is so much worse. It's as though some poison is seeping out a leak in the machine. It must be addressed.
      "Among those millions of victims, would there not have been some innocent ones?" This is a moral failure of mammoth proportions.

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    6. I've read that passage several times now. I don't think it's a moral failure or even disturbing. I just think it doesn't make a lot of sense. God, whether he exists or not, shouldn't be held accountable ("condoned") for the actions of the Nazis or any other man against man crime. God lets us fuck up. He doesn't interfere, for whatever reason. Probably because he isn't there. You never know, though. I don't want to deny God 100% because I might be in a shit load of trouble if I do. Take the high road.

      Nope. I don't see that much wrong with what he said. He's saying that how can there be a God when this type of stuff happens, with a little bit of exaggerating to make a point thrown in. Simon be cool.

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    7. What could these sentences possibly mean? "Could all those Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals deserve it all? Among those millions of victims, would there not have been some innocent ones?"

      Are you an idiot? Simon isn't condoning the Holocaust, i.e. "most Jews deserved to die but some were surely innocent". Rather, he's hypothesizing that God let Holocaust happen because Jews were sinful in His eyes. After all, God destroys entire populations in the Bible to punish them for wickedness.
      Simon, like Abraham, is playing a mind-game with God. Abraham argued that not everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah could be sinful. Simon is arguing that, even if God felt that Jews deserve to be punished by genocide, the Holocaust makes no moral sense since not all Jews could have been wicked by God's strict moral standards.

      As for the 'big black pimp', that is what our Pop Culture is all about. Jewish oligarchs run TV, music industry, and pornography, and they've filled our airwaves and cyberspace with the trope with the rap gangsta thug and mandingo. Jews spread this filth all over, and we can't get away from it.

      Yet you ACCUSE Simon of noticing the big black pimp type? Such is promoted by our culture, and mostly by the Jew-run entertainment industry.

      If you are oppose to racially tinged stuff, how about telling Jews in entertainment to stop promoting the black as badass thug, black as rapper, black as big-penised mandingo, and etc.

      And in NY, almost all pimps have been black. It's just a reality. It's not 'racially tinged' but racially true.

      Moron.

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    8. I am deeply wounded that a hero would, for the second consecutive time, write something so grievously cruel.

      Oh boo hoo. Do you know Jews played a prominent role in communism and collaborated with Stalin in the killing of millions of Christian Slavs?

      Stop acting like Jews are some saints.

      Also, even as the Shoah was a unjustifiable horror, the reason why there was so much anti-Jewish hatred was because SO MANY Jews acted horribly in the interwar period in Europe. So many of them were financial sharks, pimps, and promoters of degeneracy.

      And today, we see so many Jews doing the same thing. Promoting Homo-lunacy as new religion, fomenting Wars for Israel, and egging on black thugs to beat up and rape whites.

      If Jews don't want another horror to happen, they better change their ways.

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  5. If guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter can have a second career as a defense analyst & consultant, then this is a much stranger world than we can ever comprehend:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GRkCyvIz70

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  6. For his part on PRETZEL LOGIC alone, The Skunk deserves a star in the heavens!

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    1. My favorite song on 'Logic' is "Any Major Dude Will Tell You" Wiki says Denny Dias pulled off the guitar licks on that song. Sounds like Skunk to me. Anyway, here's a great cover of 'Any Dude'. This is a good Bluegrass band.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XRWOozgKFc

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    2. Hey, I just noticed the guy in the video is playing a Taylor guitar. Guess what kind of ax Uncle Kirky swings? You got it. A Taylor 510.

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    3. "Barrytown" is pretty good too. And that cover photo! My 11 year old self didn't know what to make of it.

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    4. Here's a classic piece from "The Onion" about the Dan:

      https://entertainment.theonion.com/donald-fagen-defends-steely-dan-to-friends-1819570386

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    5. Thanks for the “Dude” cover. Nicely done. I wish YouTube would figure a way for listeners/viewers to pass a few bucks along to musicians such as these as a thank-you for their performance. They deserve it. No Skunk on the link below but it is my favorite cut on Fagen’s solo THE NIGHTFLY.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6b8IIZpNkU

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    6. Nooch, that's a good article. Fagan sounds like my kind of guy. One of my top 5 concerts of all time was Steely Dan. I saw them in Harrisburg NC (among other times). I was doing shrooms, sitting outdoors on the lawn. Hell of a concert.

      Joe, The Barefoot Movement is an up and coming bluegrass band. Youngsters, but pretty good.

      Why is Gary deleting all of his posts?

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    8. This piece from three years ago paints Fagen as a Woody Allen type, and it sounds believable to me. I'd love to be equated with the Woodman, esp. if it was in the realm of net worth! The news wires tell me Woody got 80 million from Amazon to do the miniseries 'Crisis in Six Scenes'.

      https://www.city-journal.org/html/so-hip-it-hurts-9798.html

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    9. Gary went to the Woodstock festival in 1969, wrote a good poem about it too:

      https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/woodstock-gary-b-fitzgerald-was-there-bitches/

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    10. Good piece celebrating the death of "Rolling Stone" magazine:

      http://takimag.com/article/good_riddance_to_rolling_stone_tim_sommer#axzz4wKkVW9lF

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    4. The one "Regan" I remember most is Linda Blair's Regan in "The Exorcist". She put a-hurtin' on that cross.

      Is "most" a proper adverb here? Or, should I have said "mostly". Weird. I could Google it.

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    6. Yes, "most" is good here. I couldn't tell you why, besides that it *sounds* right.

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  10. Mr. Simon, you wrote on this topic already.

    http://uncensoredsimon.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-uses-of-god.html

    Even as you don't believe in God, your recurring interest in this topic suggests that a secular life of the mind isn't enough. Ultimately, the question one has to face is, "What was it all about?" For those who believe in God, there is an answer. For those who don't believe, like yourself and me(and many others), there is no answer. That lack of answer is of less concern for the young. Life's thrills are enough to hold one's attention. But in the final stage of one's life when youth and vitality are a distant memory and when there is no more life to look forward to, there is only the question of what lies beyond.

    Secularists believe there is nothing. After death, it's all over. But still, despite their conscious knowledge of the material nature of existence, another part of them yearns for a deeper meaning.

    So, even as you insist there's no God or that Biblical God is meaningless, you keep returning to his topic because all your secular knowledge hasn't prepared you for the end.

    For those who believe, I think there's a sense that the human mind and knowledge cannot hope to understand the deepest mystery of God. Plato's metaphor of the cave applies here. In life, only some of that light can reach us, but it's never the full light. To be religious is to believe that the full light is somewhere beyond the dark world of life. To the faithful, God is that total light in all its fullness and glory. And in life, we can have only slivers of that light.

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  11. Anon: bravo and bravo.
    Thanks for bringing us back to the subject at hand.
    Thanks for the intelligence.

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  12. Replies
    1. We must be bigoted against political correctness.

      The real problem is the Progots. So-called 'progressive' are progo-bigots or progots, meaning they think they are soooooo better than everyone else because they love to goody-signal. But in fact, they are self-deluded retards who live in their own bubble.

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  13. I want to wax poetic about God. I pronounce it "Gawd" because I like pronouncing it that way. It's more dramatic that way. Sometimes, I wander through the woods thinking about Gawd. Wondering about Gawd. I almost wrote "wander" when I meant "wonder" and I did it before too when I wrote "wander" >> I almost wrote "wonder". I always do that. I write "wonder" when I mean "wander".

    I usually ask Gawd why I do that. Why, Gawd Almighty, do I constantly mess up the words I am writing? But Gawd hardly ever answers. Sometimes I pray (I almost wrote "prey" but I caught myself >> see what I mean?) Yes, I pray that I don't mess up my words on John Simon's Blog, but Gawd doesn't answer my prayers. Gawd is too damn busy to help me with my grammar. I wish I could scream at Gawd, and force him to assist me with proper writing skills, but no, He remains silent.

    "GAWD!!!" I yell my yarps across the rooftops. I need you, yet you *here* not my yarps. I DID IT AGAIN! I wrote "here" instead of "hear". Oh, Lord, why do you torture me as you did Cain (or was it Abel?). I know not why you curse me so!

    I have come to realize that Gawd is a very busy man. Most of the time he will let you struggle on your own, but if you really need him, he sometimes will help you. It's best just to thank him for everything. Assume Gawd likes to be thanked, and thank him thusly.




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    1. I consider myself a submissive of the Domina Holy Ghost, third person of the Christian Trinity, who lives within me and without me, speaking wise and comforting words and keeping me cool, calm, collected.

      This clip of Lewis Black on religion is very funny:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcJvkAdydnQ

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    2. Careful, UK, Gawd controls the weather!
      https://weather.com/news/news/2017-10-23-severe-storms-east-coast-impacts

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  14. Okay, let's say God is unreal and doesn't exist. He is just a fantasy. And we now live in a post-religious age when people worship homosexuals and celebrities than God or Jesus. In the US, you don't lose your job by badmouthing God or Christianity. But you get in trouble by making fun of homos. To be anti-God is no sin in our world. But to be 'homophobic' is a sin. To mock MLK is also a sin, and you will be blacklisted for not revering that womanizing thug.
    We must conflate homos with rainbow and even put homo symbols inside churches. The homo agenda was pushed as secular, but lately, homos have been making inroads into churches. Why? It wants to be the new god.

    There was a time when religion was a real force. So, there was an element of daring when Bunuel poked fun at the Catholic Church. Now, Europe is totally irreligious,and Mainline Christianity in the US is more about worship of lesbians and homos. As for dumb Evangelicals, their main object of worship is Israel, not God or Jesus. As for Mormons, they are just phony whores who will do anything for a buck. Look at Mitt Romney and those Mormon goons in the CIA who serve US imperialism.

    So, Simon's anti-God rhetoric has no relevance in today's godless world where young people grow up to videogames, rap music, porn, and vulgarity. Simon's side won. God is dead and gone.

    So, why does Simon keep returning to God? It seems even as he refuses to believe, he finds meaning in refuting God. But there is nothing more refute. Religion is dead and has been replaced by the Mammon of materialism, narcissism, and nihilism. And today's morality is about little more than worshiping homo anus and black penis.

    God is a fiction but He embodied the ultimate truth that we aspire to but can't reach. And that gave meaning to life. But without God, the highest thing we aspire to is egotism and narcissism.. but even the best minds grow weak and even the most beautiful turn ugly.

    Even if God is a myth, He wins in the end because what He stands for is eternal.

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  15. Simon of the Supermarket

    On my knees I wail and stammer,
    To the pitiless God of Grammar:
    Why hast thou forsaken me,
    For wrongly pronouncing "grocery"?
    Is this the equivalent of usury,
    One slip eternal obloquy?

    To the desert I get sent,
    No dessert and no deodorant;
    For eternity condemned to wander,
    Your flavorful accent forced to ponder;
    Your life recipe afraid to spout,
    For fear "disposal!" you will shout?

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    1. This is hysterical! Very nice!

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    2. Thanks Uncle Kirky. Love your Gawd yarp. We are literally on the same page being fearful of incurring Grammpaw’s wrath. I see him on a rooftop one day holding high the American Heritage Dictionary, intoning “the Word!” Yet he also inspires with gems like “Paradigms Lost.”

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