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


    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


    • 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.


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

      You’re going to hell.


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

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


    • 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.


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

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


    • 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.


    • 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.


    • 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.


    • 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.


  • mistermuse 6:36 am on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: god, ,   


    Jewish God:  Funny you should ask.

    Christian God:  Once upon a time….originally.

    Islamic God:  Some think Sunni is Funni, but they’re full of Shiite. Hahaha.

    Deist God:  You can’t be serious.

    • arekhill1 11:31 am on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “Now that we have light, let there be laughs!” Ought to be the second line in Genesis.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:48 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      AGNOSTIC: I know there is a “God” but I have no knowledge of who or what it is and cannot say if it has a sense of humor or not.


    • mistermuse 7:39 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That sounds more like a what a Deist would say, Michaeline – an agnostic doesn’t know (doubts) if there is a God. Actually, no one knows, but to believe is to know, in the minds of many believers (knowers?).


    • Don Frankel 7:28 am on September 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “I am what I am.” Was that God or Popei or both?


    • mistermuse 9:31 am on September 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think it was both, Don. The difference is that we laughed when Popeye said “I yam what I yam.”


  • mistermuse 2:04 pm on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , god, , , religious credulity   


    Listen to the soul complain, “My body pissed
    And bled and needed sleep, confused its lust
    With love, and when I learned to coexist
    With doubt, my body crumbled into dust.”
    –Timothy Miller, poet and writer

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Will the reader get into the spirit with me?
    In this, our little mortality play, I play the devil’s
    advocate on stage earth, while you are ordained
    for the role of God’s altar ego….so to speak.

    You have the better part, really — the star-power
    and the glory — versus the infidel, the bad actor
    who casts doubt on words that are righteous and
    sacred and good and true and abundant unto salvation.

    Still, open-minded (why not?) to the possibility of
    immortality, to the appeal of Pascal’s Wager, let
    the show begin. In the opening scene, you assert there
    will be hell to pay if I refuse to see the light, whereas

    I have nothing to lose if I choose to believe….who/what?
    In whose God do we trust? Does it matter? If not, what
    the holy war is the word of one divided god all about?
    So my character dares to challenge your assumption

    (assuming it is your assumption) that believers will
    be saved; independent thinkers and skeptics, such as I,
    will not. You insist there will be Beelzebub to pay, but
    this glorious time, it’s not your call. Trumpets sound.

    A voice from on high proclaims, Well done, good and
    faithful savant, for even fool poets give soul-searching
    top billing over hopeless credulity.
    The curtain descends.
    Of course, it’s only the first act.





    • arekhill1 4:01 pm on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Without Googling it and finding out for certain, doesn’t taking Pascal’s Wager mean I should be virtuous?


    • Michaeline Montezinos 6:32 pm on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I could not play God…ever. But you can be the devil’s advocate, mistermuse.
      Pascal’s Wager tells us that we can believe in a God or not. With different outcomes.


    • mistermuse 8:55 pm on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Pascal’s Wager was one of those seemingly sensible propositions that kept me a practicing Catholic for years after I stopped being a convinced Catholic. To expound on Michaeline’s answer, it essentially contends that it’s rational to be a Christian even if you’ve come to disbelieve, because if Christianity turns out to be true, you win eternal salvation, whereas if Christianity is wrong and there’s no heaven or hell, the Christian is no worse off than the unbeliever who loses either way. In other words, Christianity is always the best bet because a 50-50 chance is better than no chance.
      Of course, the problem (among others) with that is: How do you believe what you cannot believe? Self-interest may be self-serving, but it isn’t belief.


    • Don Frankel 1:40 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

      15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

      16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

      17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

      King James Version (KJV)

      Maybe if people paid attention to what Jesus actually said, instead of what other people think he said that served their own purpose and made them some money too, no one would have to rack their brain over things we can’t know.


    • mistermuse 3:33 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, that’s easier said than done, if you’ll pardon the pun, because among the things we can’t know are exactly what Jesus meant by some of the things he said. But beyond that, to me the stumbling block that can’t be dismissed is the notion that the Creator is all good, all loving, all compassionate, etc., despite not only allowing evil, but creating evil (if God didn’t create the diseases from which innocent children suffer, for example, who did?). The only way to reconcile this contradiction is to believe that MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, and if that’s the case, God help us.


    • rielyn 3:57 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps diseases and other such evil things are created due to free will and not God. What if the price of a perfect world with no suffering is our freedom and humanity – would that be worth it? Suppose we have a choice before coming here to earth and in our spirit forms we choose the experience for the knowledge it will give us, individually and collectively. We don’t remember this because it would defeat the purpose. I know you don’t believe in any of this kind of thing but you asked. :p


      • mistermuse 4:41 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        That’s an interesting theory (sorry, but I don’t know what else to call it), but the first question that occurs to me is what newborn with a terminal illness would have choosen to come to earth to experience the knowledge it will give, if the newborn won’t live long enough to experience anything but suffering? You could say the pre-newborn didn’t know that would be its fate, but then what’s the good of free will if you have nothing but clueless choices?

        I, of course, don’t claim to know the answers – sometimes the right questions are the only answers human beings are capable of, even though they only lead to more unanswerable questions.

        But I do believe in love, which is “What the world needs now.”


        • rielyn 5:19 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink

          Maybe a spirit would choose to come here for whatever that brief experience of suffering would give it (and us collectively) or maybe the free will part is knowing any and all possible bad things could happen, as well as good, and accepting that possibility.

          But I agree about the right questions being maybe as much as we can figure out. And love, especially in the form of compassion, is what I believe we’re here to learn. So I think on the most important points, for the most part, we agree. 🙂


    • Don Frankel 5:55 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Muse the more we think about these things the better we are for it. When someone asks whether there is a God or not to me they are answering how much they’ve thought about it. How much they abstract. What they believe, Where they’ve been. They don’t answer the question to me. They more or less reveal things about themselves.

      The human mind does many different things. One oi them is to deal with the concrete like how to throw a baseball or use a shovel. Another thing the human mind does is abstract. What is justice? Take a typical murder trial that gets a lot of media attention. There’s a verdict and half the people following the trial think justice was done. The other half think it has been a travesty. Depends on your definition of justice and your understanding of the facts. But what is justice? it’s an abstract concept.

      God may be the ultimate abstract concept in that it has to do with Creation and life. You can see anything you can imagine. Hence the different interpretations of God and the various Gods and all the different religions. People see what they will. People see what they can.

      What the human mind can’t do is make the abstract something concrete. We’re just not capable of it or so I think. I could be wrong. But we just can’t put the two together. What is love, justice, loyalty, courage and a million other things that people will never agree on.

      We have our limitations I use Jesus as an example because people say all manner of things in his name when he doesn’t seem to have said them. People see what they want or need to or imagine. Just because they say so and repeat it often it doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t mean the people saying it know anything.

      Did OJ do it? The media said yes. The Jury said no. Some people were horrified others exalted. Were any of the people screaming one way or the other there? How did they know anything? They sure as hell thought they did.


    • mistermuse 7:35 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree more with the two of you about (1) “love, especially in the form of compassion” and (2) “the more we think about these things the better we are for it.” If only more religions would practice the former and more people would practice the latter, I expect the world would be a much more empathetic and less violent place.


    • Don Frankel 6:22 am on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Muse people are violent and controlling without religion. But since God is the ultimate abstract concept it can be the greatest rationale. Who are you going to argue with God? Perhaps “The fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves.”

      I like the things Jesus actually said. I find them enlightening. I don’t bother with other people’s interpretations even if they have some title. I mean everyone who reads Shakespeare sees something else and something new. That’s why people keep reading both of them.


    • mistermuse 7:46 am on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very true (your first sentence), Don, but I can’t help but think the saying “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” applies to “certain” religions….and I certainly agree about Jesus and Shakespeare, even without believing that the former was any more the son (or daughter) of God than any human who ever lived.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 12:02 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I do not believe in Jesus as being the son of a God. That is an old anthromorphic view ; that is seeing the god(s) as identities similar to humans. The Greeks and the Romans and other cultures did this and thuius worshipped their gods and made sacrifices to appease them. The Romans who had conquered Judea did keep meticulous records of everything. They also taxed the people they ruled over, with a little help from various other kings, like Herod, who was a pagan. I have studied theology and various versions of the KJM Bible, the Catholic Bible , Judaism, and even some Buddahism.
      At the time Jesus of Nazareth existed, whose birth supposedly ocurred in early April, 30 AD. (according to the so called “Great Star”), there were five Messiahs proclaiming they were there to save the Jews from the Roman occupation. Four were crucified and John the Baptist lost his head. One of the crucified was Jesus of Nazareth.
      By the way, the “Great Star” was actually a major conjunction of all the biggest planets, That included Mars, Saturn, Jupiter. Uranus and Neptune. This was seen by the Chaldeans in the Middle East who were not only astronomers but astrologers. They became the “Wise Men” according to the Christian doctrine. They believed this celestial event of importance and rarity foretold the birth of a great king, not a messiah. They were not Christians, of course, and their ancient civilization long ago vanished along with the Egyptians.
      I chose Reform Judaism as my religion because it is so simple. Whether a folower believes in “God” is not as important as raising a family, teaching them their heritage and the language of Hebrew. Education is very important as we Jews believe that we must exist in the material world. We need good jobs in order to support our families and send them to good schools. Our religious school is on Sunday mornings and we are allowed to worship and observe the Sabbath.
      The best part of being a iberal Jew is that we are not going to try and convert others to our religion. We respect others’ rights and we do contribute to those in need with compassion.


    • mistermuse 12:50 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The way you describe it, Michaeline, Reform Judaism doesn’t sound that different from deism. I don’t think either would have any problem sharing the same landscape (physical or philosophical) with the other in peace and harmony.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:26 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse, you see the reality of our faith. Some Jews, in particular, my husband, the scientist, and his three brothers were all brought up in the Conservative branch of Judaism. However, they now choose to either be agnostic or atheist. We are allowed through our intelligence and knowledge to question if there is a Supreme Being and what its role in the universe may be. That is why I chose this Reform or Liberal Judaism because Catholicism did not answer my concerns.
      We raise our children in the way that is right according to the Ten Commandments. Once they are on their own, they must choose their own path as far as what they may believe in or not. If you wish to call my faith as a deism, that is fine with me. I have my own beliefs and I usually keep them to myself. I will pray as I find it very useful. I also will meditate and try to stay calm when life hands me challenges.
      I like to hear others’ opinions and have an open mind to what ever people may believe. I respect that freedom.


    • mistermuse 8:23 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It seems that the principal difference between deism (as I understand it) and Reform Judaism is that deists believe in an impersonal Creator or God to whom it is useless to pray because it’s a one-way conversation. So, while I wouldn’t call your faith a deism, neither of the two has any reason to feel threatened in the slightest by the other. Why all religions can’t “live and let live” is beyond me.


    • lexborgia 1:07 pm on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Where is the 2nd act?


    • carmen 10:19 am on December 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re a wise man, mistermuse. (not that I doubted it, even before I read this particular thread)

      I agree with your, “What I do believe in is love” and wish we could all just subscribe to that. And leave the rest of the bullshit alone. (you probably don’t like expletives on your blog but sometimes you just gotta call ’em as ya sees ’em) For that’s what it is – bullshit. Of course, and unfortunately, it makes a lot of money. It’s probably a toss up as to what makes the world go ’round – BS or money. .
      I’ll stick to love. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:03 pm on December 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I gotta no objection to expletives provided they’re not used gratuitously. As you say, “sometimes you just gotta call ’em as ya sees ’em.” I’m just glad you saw fit to call me a “wise man” rather than a “wise ass,” which I would definitely consider gratuitous (however true it may be). 😦 🙂

      While I’m at it, your comment called my attention to a comment I missed at the time (lexborbia’s) – my apologies to her, but at least it saved me from coming up with possibly a wise ass reply (or an inadequate one, like this).


  • mistermuse 8:49 pm on April 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: god, God as poet, meaning of poetry, , ungodly deeds, What's up with that?   


    I never met the poet

    who thinks his/her poetry

    doesn’t speak to us, or

    met the God whose silence

    doesn’t speak to us of

    a poet failing to question

    his own ungodly deeds ….

    but above all,

    I never met the poem

    which worked without

    a word about

    what’s up with that?

  • mistermuse 1:21 pm on April 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , astrology, , certainty, Chicago Cubs, , , divine intervention, , Elvis, fortune cookies, Fox News, god, indoctrination, liberalism, New York Jets, omnipotence, omniscience, Playboy, Playgirl, radical right, , , , spam   


    From 1977 to 1984, God, in the guise of George Burns, starred as Himself in three OH GOD! movies, the last two of which (by earthly standards) stank to high heaven — indicating that even God can overdo a god thing. With Car Talk’s Nine-Question God Questionnaire, I have a good script to work with, but at the rate of one question per post, it would take six more sequels after this one to finish the job. From both an overkill and a don’t try to out-do the Deity standpoint, it doesn’t seem prudent to do more than three posts….especially if the Trinity Pak turns out to be the One True God. Consolidation is in order, or I be in trouble.

    Question #3 asked, Did your God come to you undamaged, with all parts in good working order and no missing attributes, and if not, what was the problem? Choices included:

    __Not omniscient
    __Not omnipotent
    __Permits sex outside of marriage
    __Prohibits sex outside of marriage
    __Requires virgin sacrifices
    __Makes mistakes (Geraldo Rivera & Jesse Helms given as examples)
    __Makes or permits bad things to happen to good people
    __When beseeched, doesn’t stay beseeched
    __Plays dice with the universe

    Other than updating early 1990s’ mistake examples (to Rush Limbaugh & Ann Coulter, for example), no quibbles here.

    Question #4 dealt with relevant factors in your decision to acquire a Deity, such as

    __Hate to think for myself
    __Need to feel morally superior
    __Indoctrinated by parents/society.
    __Needed focus on whom to despise.
    __Graduated from the tooth fairy.
    __Wanted to meet girls/boys
    __Like organ music
    __Desperate need for certainty

    No updating necessary.

    Question #5 wondered which false gods were you fooled by in the past:

    __Mick Jagger
    __The almighty dollar
    __Left-wing liberalism
    __The radical right
    __Barney the Dinosaur
    __The Great Pumpkin

    Update false gods to include Fox News, Chicago Cubs, New York Jets ( to Don) & SWI (to mistermuse)

    Question #6: Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in addition to God?

    __Fortune cookies
    __Playboy and/or Playgirl
    __Self-help books
    __Drugs, alcohol
    __Bill Clinton
    __Tea leaves
    __Human sacrifice
    __Ann Landers

    Now that you’ve got the idea, you can do your own #6 updating.

    Question #7: Divine intervention-wise, would you prefer:

    __Current level just right
    __Don’t know … what’s divine intervention?

    Just for the hell of it, I’d add __A helluva lot better choices

    Question #8 wants you to rate God’s handling of disasters (such as plague, pestilence and spam) and miracles (such as rescues, spontaneous remissions, crying statues and walking on water).

    Who are we to judge?

    Question #9: Last but not deist, Do you have any suggestions for improving the quality of God’s services?

    Deists don’t believe this is a relevant question. Unluckily, it would appear that
    God has Alzheimer’s and has forgotten we exist. –Jane Wagner




    • Don Frankel 4:24 pm on April 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      3) Permits sex before during and after marriage. I’ve read the Gospels a few times and I can’t find the place where Jesus tells people not to have sex. I’m not a Biblical Scholar but I just can’t find it. If anyone knows where it is like John 3:16, let me know.
      4) Wanted to meet girls. The number of women who believe far outnumber the ones that don’t. The ones that don’t believe also don’t have any sin references. What would the fun in that be?
      5) I never worshipped the Jets. I believed in the God of baseball but then I still do. God is a big right hander with the number 1 fastball. But I’m not too worried as nobody can throw the fastball by me.
      6) Sex
      7) Current level just about right.
      8) He’s doing okay. I mean you have to have a few here and there. He’s doing pretty good keeping everyone guessing where, when and why?
      9) A little less snow in NYC


    • mistermuse 7:48 pm on April 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry about my Jets “fumble,” Don – I guess I just assumed from all your raps on Rex Ryan that he was wrecking your beloved (if not adored) Jets. I’ll try to make up for the error by not telling God you think He can’t throw a fastball by you.


      • Don Frankel 4:27 am on April 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Too late Muse, He knows.


  • mistermuse 10:41 am on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Allah, deist, , Gaia, god, Holy Trinity, Jehovah, , Krishna, Mother Earth, , New Testament, Odin, , Satan, Yahweh, Zeus   


    And now two — question #2 in NPR’s “Car Talk” God’s Total Quality Management Questionnaire:

    2. Which model Deity did you acquire?

    __ Yahweh
    __ Father, Son & Holy Ghost (Trinity Pak)
    __ Jehovah
    __ Jesus
    __ Krishna
    __Zeus and entourage (Olympus Pak)
    __Odin and entourage (Valhalla Pak)
    __Gaia/Mother Earth/Mother Nature
    __God 1.a (hairy thunderer)
    __God 1.b (cosmic muffin)
    __None of the above; I was taken in by a false god

    You know, even at my advanced mile-age, I still don’t know which Deity is the real deal, but given the bewildering number of choices, how could any truly benevolent Big Dealer blame a prospective buyer for test driving as many of the above models as thought warranted? After all, no one wants to pay a lot of lettuce for a lemon. Many are called guarantees on paper, but few are the guarantees worth the paper chosen to be written on.

    You can consult the Blue Book all you want to when you go to trade in your used model for, let’s say, a New Testament, but take my word, “they” know the only reason you’re getting rid of your clunker is because there’s something wrong with it and you’re desperate for reliable transportation. My old Trinity Pak wasn’t worth a denarius when I traded it in for a Deist, but that’s what I get for holding on to it for so long. What’s in your garage?

    NEXT comes question #3.

    • arekhill1 10:50 am on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hairy Thunderer vs. Cosmic Muffin–the question that has plagued mankind through the ages.


      • mistermuse 5:49 pm on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        In my endless search for meaning, I found these lines from a National Lampoon parody song:

        Therefore make peace with your god,
        Whatever you conceive him to be:
        hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin

        When you see God in movies, He usually appears as a hairy thunderer. Apparently Hollywood doesn’t have any cosmic muffin costumes. He would die at the box office anyway.


    • Don Frankel 1:29 pm on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      First I want to thank God that we got question #2 as I was worried that it might not come till I reached the Undiscovered Country.

      My answer is None of the above but I didn’t even get a False God. I got nothing. I didn’t get a middle name either. And, yes I spent ten years in therapy.


    • mistermuse 5:56 pm on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Two down and seven to go, Don. Maybe I’d better abridge & consolidate the rest into one or two more posts. I don’t want to press my luck too far.


  • mistermuse 6:14 pm on April 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , god, humorous existential questions, ,   


    I have a folder of old magazine and newspaper clippings which I’d filed away years ago because of their interesting and/or oddball subject matter. One such clipping (undated, but in a batch of others from the early 1990s) is titled God’s Total Quality Management Questionnaire (As presented on National Public Radio’s “Car Talk”) — which may sound like an odd venue for such a questionnaire if you’re not familiar with the show’s hosts, the auto mechanic-comics Magliozzi Brothers. Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s CLICK AND CLACK car advice appears in newspapers weekly and at http://www.cartalk.com.

    If you’re like me, you find most questionnaires too simplistic (answer yes or no, or agree or disagree, to questions which beg for more nuanced response). Not so here — most of the questions offer many choices, such as these in response to question #1: How did you find out about your Deity?

    __Book of Mormon
    __Divine inspiration
    __Dead Sea Scrolls
    __My mama done tol’ me
    __Near-death experience
    __Near-life experience
    __National Public Radio
    __Burning shrubbery
    __Other (specify):__________

    Now, for those of you who have had different Deities at various stages of your life, even the above choices may be insufficient, which is never a good thing unless you’re absolutely sure that you’ve finally found the divine equivalent of Mr./Ms. Right. One can only be disillusioned so many times before one says to hell with it.

    How did I find out about my (current) Deity? Basically, by a process of elimination — I’m a deist, which is probably the last stage before “to hell with it”….though I must admit I haven’t tried all possible Deities. This leads me to question #2 of the questionnaire, but that will have to wait until next time.


    • Don Frankel 3:19 am on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m thinking that I’m dying to know what question #2 is and then I’m thinking is this one of those things where I’ll have to, before I can?

      My answer to number 1 though is other I guess. I mean isn’t He supposed to be everywhere? So would we need a book, a tabloid or an NDE? I’m not too sure if He’s everywhere by the way. I’m pretty sure He’s in center field though.


    • mistermuse 4:45 am on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, my computer’s acting up a bit, but Lord willing and the damn thing don’t crash, I’ll get to question #2 before you kick the bucket.

      Speaking of acting “up,” I’m surprised that movies wasn’t one of the question #1 choices. A lot of people undoubtedly found out about their Deity from the creations of Cecil B. DeMille, Mel Brooks, Monty Python, etc.


  • mistermuse 1:28 pm on March 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: agnostics, , Arianna Huffington, , , cynics, , god, , , , , skeptics, , ,   


    I tend to be drawn more to the wisdom of those who question everything than to “accepted” wisdom, since no one knows everything — no one I know and trust, that is. But what of God, who (I was taught) does know everything. As an American, how could I not trust God? The proclamation IN GOD WE TRUST is all-inclusively bannered on our country’s legal tender –which, if you stop to think, seems an odd bearer for it, given the admonishment that money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

    Be that as it may, the thing about God is like the thing about truth — exactly whose God, whose truth are we talking about? To paraphrase the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, you’re entitled to your own God, your own truth — but not your own facts. If you take the discrepant God of divergent religions for a fact, how can a fact divided against itself stand?  Aren’t we left with the logic that no deity conceived by humans has a basis in fact? But you knew that …. right?

    I don’t believe in any religion’s God (which isn’t the same as not believing in a Creator), but if I did, why would I want to take the life of, or coerce, a man of a different faith — both of our faiths are, after all, only fallible beliefs. Better to take the measure of human folly, as observed and recorded by those who have questioned everything:

    The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunk man is happier than a sober one.  –George Bernard Shaw

    If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God?  –George Deacon

    I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.  –Orson Welles

    When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.  —Emo Phillips

    Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.  –Ambrose Bierce (THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY)

    Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so. It is not so. It is so. It is not so.  –Ben Franklin 

    Well, you could become a Southern Baptist. I mean, instead of having to obey the Pope, you could just obey your husband.  –Arianna Huffington

    The only thing that stops God from sending a second flood is that the first one was useless.  –Nicolas Chamfort

    When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, “Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?”  –Quentin Crisp

    I too much respect the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world.  –Georges Duhamel



    • arekhill1 2:48 pm on March 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think that it is obvious that if there is a God, He eats over the sink.


    • mistermuse 7:54 pm on March 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Or maybe over the john. Either way, it all ends up down the drain.


    • Don Frankel 3:38 am on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Reminds me of the time my cousin went to Ireland. She was in a Pub when she was asked if she was a Protestant or a Catholic. She said. “I’m Jewish.” To which she was asked was she a Jewish Protestant or a Jewish Catholic.

      “World without end. Amen.”.


    • mistermuse 6:27 am on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love your “cousin” story, Don. It’s the perfect example of a one-track mind.


    • carmen 5:22 am on December 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think it makes more sense to believe that man made god(s) rather than the other way ’round.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 6:28 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: god, , ,   



    “Mostly this we have of God; we have man.”
    –Walt Whitman

    “Allah akbar!” “God is great!”
    And the thrall is….so is fate.

    “Bonis Dominus!” “God is good!”
    And the thought is….well He should.

    “Eikh anu yod’im?” “How do we know?”
    And the thing is….men say so.


    Truth is not tamed;
    Loose ends abound.
    The more it’s claimed,
    The less it’s found.

    One life to learn
    What life’s about,
    And yet we burn
    Our one-and-out.

    You’re bound to grow
    Before the end?
    Time races so.
    Good luck, my friend.


    Old age is a sad estate;
    With it comes wisdom,
    But it comes so late.

    Now recall artless youth:
    Ignorance was bliss,
    But less than truth.

    Why can’t life be in reverse:
    Born knowing the score,
    Blameless in the hearse?


    O, to be a celebrity,
    With naught to do but celebrate me.
    There’d be no more writing poetry
    For free for but the few to see.
    An idol to the inane I’d be –
    A lion of media-ocrity.
    Unfortunately, or fortunately,
    The masses want asses bigger than me.

    • leesis 8:21 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      just wanted to say…Love it! Cheers…Leesa


    • mistermuse 12:25 am on August 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse appreciates your comment & is indeed cheered that you took time to do so. He will check out your site later, but right now it’s past his bedtime.


  • mistermuse 6:17 pm on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: god, ,   


    During the reign of Charles I of England, a court printer
    produced an edition of the Bible in which the word
    not was inadvertently omitted from the seventh
    commandment, thereby rendering it “Thou shalt
    commit adultery” and becoming known as ….


    If in God we tryst,
    My spouse will be pissed.
    But God doth insist!
    I must not resist.


    It’s too hard to pin
    just when to begin/
    No readers you’ll win
    if you’re without sin.


    The more, the errier?
    It makes me warier.


    For all we know,
    God told her sew.


    Why worry what may lie ahead?
    Life is to live before we’re dead.
    If God in his heaven comes to call,
    We’re only human, after all.


    I see the sea,
    How rough it be.
    I eye the boat
    And pray it float.

    • carmen 7:13 pm on December 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Funny! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:04 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That profligate post was too prolific, but when I posted it in 2010, that possibility didn’t enter my mind. Today I would split those poems up into several posts. Oh, well — “Easy Come, Easy Go.”


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