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  • mistermuse 12:02 am on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bully, creator, , Don't Explain, , , , , , pity, , , suffering   

    DON’T EXPLAIN 

    It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something. –Samuel Butler

    Some time ago, after I’d written a number of posts lampooning America’s vainglorious leader, I was asked by a reader why I “hate” Donald Trump. I replied that I didn’t hate him, I pitied him — pitied him for being the kind of human being he is. In hindsight, I should have asked the reader, Does Trump hate those he insults? — i.e. “Pocahontas” Elizabeth Warren, “Little Marco” Rubio, “Lightweight” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (I suppose the Senator should be grateful Trump didn’t call her heavyweight), etc., etc., etc. My answer (and, I assume, that reader’s) is no — hate is something deeply felt, not a juvenile slur. Trump’s mocking is strictly gratuitous, like a bully who must put down anyone who, in his world, is a “loser” — someone in his way; an inconvenient object to be diminished or pushed aside. It’s not even personal (a “loser” is but an abstraction).

    So, in deference to Samuel Butler, should I apologize for not hating Trump — or anyone, for that matter? Truth be known, the closest I come to hating anyone is God….that is, if I believed in God — the biblical God, the invented God of wrath, innocent suffering and mystifying absence. But I am a ‘default’ deist, left with a creator God, an impersonal God, a God with nothing to explain — at least, not until the next life (if there is one). The creator God never said a word or promised us anything — not on earth or after. Perhaps I should be jealous, for, unlike the creator God, there are times (like now) when this only-human creator feels the need to explain what I create. And yet, I get not deigning to explain — explaining ain’t easy. If I were God or Trump, I might not explain myself either.

     

     

     

     

     
    • Lisa R. Palmer 9:22 am on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Yes!! I get this. And I feel this. And I am sincerely moved by the “truth” of it. I have spent much of my adult life attempting to define and explain the “God” of my understanding, and how it works, and here you put the matter so simply and so rationally, it blows my mind. Lol! Thank you for the glimpse behind the curtain, both universally and personally, for this is yet another side of you showing through…

      On another note, hatred seems like such a huge investment to make in someone; it’s very much like love in that regard. Most of these hate-able people, like insecure bullies, are not worth such investment from me. But perhaps my willingness to dismiss them so eagerly is part of the “problem,” in that my experience teaches that the more you ignore the ego-driven, the more they cry out to be acknowledged…

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:13 am on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I very much appreciate your comment, Lisa. It’s rewarding to have dialogues with fellow ‘searchers’ (as opposed to ‘dialogues’ with ideologues).

      I think your second paragraph is right on the money, especially “the more you ignore the ego-driven, the more they cry out to be acknowledged.” That describes Trump to a T, and is the reason he is more to be pitied than hated. In a certain sense, one can’t help but pity a man who seemingly can’t help being what he is and is incapable of even reflecting on the matter. Multiply him by millions like him, and you see the world through the eyes of an objective visitor from another planet.

      P.S. I’ll return to my space ship shortly and get back to my usual blogging routine of disgustingly humorous posts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:55 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      According to conventional theology, Sr. Muse, it’s God’s will that we have Trump, which bolsters one of my theological observations–this God character does some shady shit.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 2:44 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Ricardo, that’s only the will of the religious/biblical God — not of the creator/deistic God, who has left man to his own devices since emerging from the primordial soup (which apparently wasn’t that long ago for some of us, if The Donald and his crackers are any indication).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 9:37 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Your reply to Ricardo reminds me of the question, “What’s the difference between an invisible god and a non-existent one?” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:30 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        No difference whatsoever in this life, Carmen….except that with a non-existent one, there’s absolutely no possibility of a next life, and with an invisible one, who knows? Of course, we can hope for the invisible one and an afterlife, but even if both of those things turn out, one has to wonder (assuming we’ll ‘see’ our invisible maker, ourselves and each other as we really are) how in the hell we’ll be able to live with ourselves, each other, and an oblivious God. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        • Carmen 6:57 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink

          The only thing we DO know for certainty is we get this life. Thankfully, there are those people who try to brighten someone else’s day by being pleasant, doing whatever they can to make others’ lives better, and filling the airwaves with wonderful music and sharp wit. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

    • Don Frankel 8:15 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Assuming I’m that reader since I asked you that let me explain. It seems a waste of time and energy to get all bent out of shape over something or someone, you will have nothing to do with and can do nothing about. Doesn’t matter who it is, they can’t hear you and they don’t much care. You’re the one who is upset.

      There was this guy in the local Diner and it’s Jan 10, 2017 and he explains to me that President Obama was born in Kenya and isn’t an American citizen. Now the reason I remember the date is because President Obama was not going to be President in 10 days, so what was the guy on the stool’s point? He hates President Obama like really bad. So he spent 8 years of his life hating some guy who didn’t even know he was alive. And, it doesn’t seem to have effected or affected President Obama too much either. Maybe it did something for the guy sitting on that stool but I don’t get it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:44 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Don, if I were the only one who is upset, I’d agree with you. But this goes beyond politics. I’m just one of millions who see the unfettered narcissism and uncivil tone (to put it generously) set by Trump inexorably becoming the ‘new normal’ in this country unless enough of us stand up to him. If you think this doesn’t matter, what more is there to say?.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 10:01 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Okay I get it and good luck.

      Now you might imagine by living in New York I run into this with some of my very close friends so my new routine is to sing a little ditty from the movie The Producers. The original one and it’s the scene where Dick Shawn comes out on stage as Hitler for the first time and he is sitting at the piano and singing. “I’m gonna crush Poland and then take France. Then I’ll cross the English Channel and kick that guy in the pants.” Only I sing “that gal” because Theresa May is the current Prime Minister. There is no clip of this on youtube so consider it sung and imagine we’re both laughing.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:57 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Well, at least with Theresa May, we may laugh. Even Hitler, that personification of evil, begged to be caricatured. But there’s no longer anything remotely funny to be found about Trump….though God knows I’ve tried.

      As local standup comedian Mark Chalifoux put it in Jan. 2017, “There’s too much to focus on. Our attention span rarely allows us to move past his tweets to anything of substance. His presidency….is going to be exhausting. Trump is simply too easy to make fun of, [what with] years of hearing the same jokes about hair, orange skin, small hands and where you can grab women. Anyone with a keyboard will be beating a dead horse until long after it becomes a bag of bones.”

      As I said before, we’ve reached a point where this goes beyond politics. This is about how we treat others and that old-fashioned notion of role model. I hope such values haven’t become associated with ‘losers.’ I think, or at least hope, these things still matter in New York; they still matter where I come from.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Coastal Crone 9:30 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I pity our vainglorious leader also. He has thrown the presidency away with both hands.

      Liked by 1 person

    • markscheel1 9:37 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse,

      Well, I read an article awhile ago that pointed out the Democrats said similar things of ridicule about Reagan, sonny Bush and now Trump. Also I heard a radio commentator assert recently that Trump is stupid—-“like a fox.” And went on to enumerate ways he’s outplayed the opposition and the media. Remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. And concede this–Trump is in no way an ordinary politician! And we’re certainly getting something different! Ha.
      Speaking of religion and “God concepts,” have you tried “panentheism”? (Not pantheism.) From that point of view, Trump might actually be divine! The thought! But no, not the Second Coming. Let’s not get carried away. LOL
      I’d never heard Lady sing “Don’t Explain.” Thanks for that treat!

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carmen 9:44 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        The ‘something different’ that your country is getting is in no way funny. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        • markscheel1 2:21 am on February 20, 2018 Permalink

          Hi Carmen,

          The “laugh” wasn’t meant to refer to what the country is getting, but rather the irony of the whole situation and the differing opinions regarding it. A booming economy, stock market up, red-tape regs cut so business can produce, vital SCOTUS appointment, real tax relief–those are things I’m not “laughing” about.

          Mark

          Like

    • mistermuse 10:59 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Mark, when it comes to religion, I haven’t “tried” any of them in the sense of shopping around for one. I was born into Catholicism, but after years — decades, really — of growing increasingly unable to believe what the church believed, fell into deism (which is why I called myself a “default deist” in my post). I wasn’t looking for another religion, it was simply that I found that ‘where I was now at’ aligned with what deists like Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and (some say) Thomas Jefferson believed….at least, in meeting-of-the-minds terms (deism isn’t even a religion in the doctrinal sense).

      You referred to Trump, but I’ve had my fill for now, so I’ll pass. As for the Lady Day (Billie Holiday) clip, she was well past her prime in 1958. There are recordings of her singing the song when she was much younger, but I opted for the clip I showed. Why? I defer to the title of this post.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:13 am on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        But at what cost, Mark? (re your reply to Carmen.) At what cost?

        Liked by 1 person

        • markscheel1 4:38 pm on February 20, 2018 Permalink

          Well, muse, with the currency I employ, I’d say it’s a bargain. Hmmmmm. Now, figure that one out. 😉

          Mark

          Like

    • mistermuse 12:20 am on February 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Mark, I’m guessing that you deferred to the title of this post too.

      Like

      • markscheel1 3:39 pm on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        muse,

        That would be an appropriate assumption! 🙂 I’ve resolved to do memoir, not politics, as you know. Now, as an aside, Dee and I are back from the hospital. The heart procedure yesterday went well. (Ablation.) Great doctor. Wonderful nurses. Just wanted to let you know–“the beat goes on,” now normally! And I feel nothing but gratitude.

        Mark

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:14 pm on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to hear it, Mark. Great doctors aren’t always easy to come by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 4:13 pm on August 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Never apologize for hating Donald J. Trump. he is only worthy of hate – and nothing else. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , creator, , ,   

    “BECAUSE I COULD” 

    I don’t remember who and where it was (not that it really matters — they’re everywhere and nowhere), but I saw a news report recently of a computer hacker who, when caught and asked why he did it,  answered “Because I could.”

    How ignorant is that? I mean, if I were to do likewise unto him, impersonally drive him crazy and arbitrarily make his life miserable, would he let it pass if I told him I did it “Because I could?” I’m not God, after all….if I were, there would be no question of letting the victim figure it out for himself. I wouldn’t have to tell him anything.

    Except if I were such a God, how I could live with myself….which, it seems to me, is why man had to invent a god in his own image — a God who works in mysterious ways, a God who at least professes to care, at least pays lip service to empathy; and, to go man one better, promises eternal bliss in a next life for those who love, honor and obey Him. Above all, man cannot have a Creator whose mixed bag includes God-caused suffering for which He is morally responsible. Man brings more than enough grief on himself in this life  — he needs all the help he can get to get through it without losing it.

    But, assuming there is a non-invented Creator (which I assume is a non-starter for atheists), what are we to make of created reality?  Wouldn’t a realistic relational afterlife (if there be such) demand that a Creator apologize to us as much, if not more, than we apologize to Him for wronging others? And if that is the best we can hope for, how surreal is that? How could there be a moral Creator who supposedly would have been cognizant of all this from all eternity? Can you say “premeditated?”

    And that, my friends, is why it is much easier to be either an atheist or a believer in the God of religion — any religion. No muss, no fuss, no getting all bent out of shape (except with each other). Whatever you do, don’t be a deist, or even an agnostic. Why risk torturing your brain with conundrums that tie up your mind in knots?

    Because you could.

     

     

     

     
    • myatheistlife 2:22 am on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Quite poetic… and tragic

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:15 am on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Quite right – the devil, as they say, is always in the details. I appreciate your comment.

      Like

    • arekhill1 1:46 pm on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re going to hell.

      Like

    • mistermuse 2:03 pm on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I hope they have beer there (even if it’s warm).

      Like

    • Don Frankel 3:43 pm on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “You can if you think you can.”

      “If they asked me I could write a book about…”

      But of course “You are what your record says you are” and that is bad for the Jets today and they say that the Gods of Football will never let them win another Superbowl.

      Like

    • mistermuse 4:20 pm on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, Don, the Jets won today! I guess Wrecks Ryan showed you (hahahaha)!

      Like

    • vonleonhardt2 2:27 am on December 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      In my religion, the act of Jesus on the cross is just as much to reconcile man to God as visa versa, but the evangelical party never touches the second part.

      But, there is an issue of subjectivity there. If you strip an ultimate meaning, then is any meaning more valid than naked exploration of possibilities? Seems most honest in that case.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:08 am on December 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for commenting.

      There is an issue of subjectivity in every belief, is there not? Even our “take” on facts can be subjective, beginning with whether a “fact” is a fact. How many so-called facts are actually facts?

      I see ultimate meaning as the ultimate question, so rather than stripping it from the exploration of possibilities, I would call it the basis for the exploration of possibilities. But your question is a good one and, I believe, contributes to the discussion.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 3:44 pm on December 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Muse I wish old Wrecks had. At this point in the season you’re supposed to lose to get a better draft pick so Wrecks can’t even lose right. But he’s taken his sorry ass down the road. Maybe he’ll get a TV gig where he can kiss Bellychicks rings.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:59 pm on December 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      With apologies to the ghost of Richard Nixon, at least you won’t have Wrecks to kick around anymore, Don.

      Like

  • mistermuse 10:39 am on November 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: creator, , , Universe creation   

    THE TIMES FIRST CLASSIFIED AD 

    Wanted: Universe Constructor. Work six days, off seventh. Be your own boss. No experience necessary, but must be self-starter.

     
    • Don Frankel 10:45 am on November 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      RESUME

      I AM WHO I AM.

      Like

    • arekhill1 10:51 am on November 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Nothing about “then listen to your creations whine for all eternity.” No wonder He’s been slacking.

      Like

    • mistermuse 5:25 pm on November 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Well, Jesus turned water into whine, so I don’t see why He couldn’t turn it back again and make everyone get well (water).

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:55 am on April 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: creator, ,   

    WELL, COME DRESSED FOR JEST 

    Creator: a comedian
    whose audience is
    afraid to laugh.
    — H. L. Mencken

    Comedian: a creator
    whose audience is
    arrayed to laugh.
    — mistermuse

     
    • Don Frankel 4:42 am on April 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Muse maybe you’re on to something. Maybe this is what it is all about. Just depends what’s on tonight.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:04 am on April 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the “Comedy Tonight” clip, Don. Talk about coming “dressed for jest!”

      Like

  • mistermuse 11:44 am on May 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creator, ,   

    MORE LIFE AFTER DEATH 

    In my last column many moons ago, I reflected that I don’t know if there is life after death. I don’t have another such scoop….but I do have another reflection.

    Suppose the Creator had created this universe in exactly the same way, minus human beings? Without sentient, more-or-less intelligent beings capable of realizing/appreciating the wonder and wonders of creation, what would have been the point of creation? And, by eternal extension, what’s the further point if realization/appreciation cannot continue to be shared beyond the grave?

    Unfortunately, this otherwise logical rationale for an afterlife rests on an imperfect foundation. In the real world, human beings may die in infancy or survive a while longer in unawareness, insanity or other stunted capacity. All too often, fate is the determinant of whether individual human beings ever reach the capability point. Perhaps primitive man, locked in a brutish daily struggle merely to survive, and without language by which to contemplate, lacked such capacity. In any case, we seem to be back where we started.

    So, what other impulse (for lack of a better word) might have motivated creation? Love? Not if love’s golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) applies to the Creator of man’s subjugation to suffering. Curiosity (as to how would man play the cards he was dealt)? This suggests not only that the Creator didn’t know, but was bored.

    Enough. For a deist (at least, for this deist), it is all but impossible to envision an afterlife based on any relationship other that might makes right….which, come to think of it, bears a striking resemblance to the God of the old testament.

    We are indeed back where we started.

     
  • mistermuse 12:38 am on March 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creator, , , intelligent design,   

    DEISM AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN 

    I was a practicing Catholic for decades before finally confessing (to myself) that all that practicing hadn’t really made me believe the “revealed” God is the real God. If you, too, are a slow learner, perhaps my evolution to deist may interest you. Not that I seek a label for my spiritual status, but the definition of deist appears to fit, so….

    I’ll start here: the belief that God is perfect, and Leibniz’s contention that this is the best of all possible worlds, seem to stand or fall in concert. Thus, even if God is perfect in his omnipotence and the world is the best possible arrangement of natural laws, by what logic does it necessarily follow that the creator is perfect morally? Wouldn’t a perfect God know that might does not make right?

    The opposite side of the coin, atheism, also fails my “smell test.” There isn’t a snowman’s chance in hell that the complexity of the universe and life came about by anything other than intelligent design. But this design must include ALL of creation. You can’t pick and choose, crediting the creator for all things good and beautiful while absolving him for creating diseases and natural disasters. Let’s face it – we were deliberately made to suffer and die and not know why.

    Some have tried to put a positive spin on suffering by saying it can build character and maturity. But how does that apply to infants suffering from terminal cancer, for example? Others justify our mortal condition by defending some variation of the might makes right argument. How does that square with the “God is love” claim?

    I don’t know if there is life after death, but it doesn’t seem to make sense that the creator would go to all this complexity just for the sake of creating and then walk away from it. Surely, given reversed roles, the creator wouldn’t want done to him what he has done to us. And yet, unless everything can somehow be made right in the next life, what is the basis for a moral, loving relationship between creator and created (not to mention between created and created)? In that context, the word “somehow” seems beyond amoral omnipotence.

     
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