I Can’t Argue With That

Argument

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

Not by arguing with them, and telling them that they are wrong!

Win friends

This is what one of the amateur Christian Apologists recently discovered.  (I’d like to say that they are all amateurs, but several of these men – they’re all testosterone-driven men – make outrageous amounts of money with their own televangelism programs and paid lecture/debate tours.)

He found that, like Red State/Blue State, modern American society has become quite polarized, two solitudes, shouting past each other.  Despite all the heat and light and words in the air, Atheists weren’t listening to/believing what Christian Apologists had to say, and vice versa.

He had taken a Theater Arts course in University (How remunerative), and he wanted to make it useful in Christian/Atheist debates.  His idea was to present the Christian position like a one-act stage play, to lead the Atheists through a mental image of what he considered truth to be.

Why not??!  That’s probably how he arrived at his faith.  Each denomination – each individual church – puts on a musical-comedy play for the faithful, with strange, outdated, but impressive costumes, upbeat, inspirational music, painted scenes, set decoration, props, special lighting, mystical chants, even some audience participation.  It hooked him.  Why wouldn’t it hook a non-believer?

He gave detailed instruction to others, how to win debates with the dreaded Atheists.  They were to put in great amounts of research – not in the tenets of Christianity or the Bible – but in the arguments and objections of the evil, heathen Atheists, the better to rebut their opinions and claims.

In my Whichness Of The Why post, I had uncharitable things to say about philosophers, debates, and structured arguments.  It is possible to twist words and presentations, and win the debate….yet still be wrong.  😳

Like many other Apologists – and sadly, many Atheist arguers as well – he is too caught up in massaging his ego by looking intelligent and winning the BIG ARGUMENT, to see the small solution.  They both often can’t see the forest for the hedge maze in front of them.

Mr. Apologist, want to validate your position??  It’s easy!  It boils down to two words – PROVE GOD!  Don’t prove that God is possible.  Don’t prove that He is the most likely answer.  Don’t prove that the Universe needed a cause, and God is it – because you can’t.  Don’t prove that you believe He exists, or that you want/need for Him to exist, or that a couple of billion others (kinda) agree with you.  Don’t wave your hands and point at rainbows and trees and claim that those prove that He exists.  They don’t!

I just rewatched (third time) a 7 minute call to The Atheist Experience.  It didn’t make sense the first two times, and it didn’t make any sense the third.  The young lout began by demanding that the two ladies state if they believed a couple of rather vague definitions.

He didn’t show God.  His aim didn’t even seem to be to disprove the Atheists’ position.  Assigning the women specific viewpoints became important, as he used esoteric words, complex verbiage, and confusing philosophy, simply to refute these views, and show how much smarter he was than two amateur Atheists, and win the argument .

Don’t win the argument!  Prevent the argument.  Presenting it like some high-school play just doesn’t convince the unconvinced.  Unless and until you can actually show proof of God, you and 47 other angels are just dancing on the point of that theosophical pin.  All you are getting are sore feet, and proving that an Atheist’s opinion is as valid as yours.

Rest your feet, and use your cursor to dance back over here in a couple of days, to see what I have to say after I’ve cooled off a bit.  CU  😀

Honest Discussion

Big Bang

Unlike many Christian Apologists, who can be very aggressive, argumentative and judgmental, this Christian lady just seemed to have an honest confusion and curiosity about non-believers. She seemed genuinely bewildered that non-believers’ actions, attitudes and opinions didn’t match what she had been brainwashed to expect. Of course, I felt that she was wrong about some of her assumptions, and blinded by her pre-suppositions, about others – so here we are again.

Why can’t the atheist accept what he can’t see for himself—at least when it comes to God. He can’t see gravity, but believes in it; can’t see black holes, but (most) would agree they exist.

When it comes to God, however, inferring His existence from the effect He has on life (which is how we know about gravity and black holes) is insufficient evidence.

The Atheist can see gravity’s direct effect, from dropping a pen, to black holes pulling stars into them, and there is a scientific explanation for all of it. The effects of God’s presence are only obvious to those who presuppose His existence, and every example offered has a natural explanation.

Some, of course, believe they have come to the only rational, intelligent conclusion possible, but that presupposes that the human mind can know all that is or is not in the vast cosmos.

You do not have to know everything, to have an opinion on one subject, even if it seems to be of cosmic proportions. Despite appearances, the argument is not usually about the existence of God, but rather, about the lack of convincing evidence for your definition.

Despite that uncertainty, atheists are certain God is not there. Life maybe; God absolutely not.

Despite that claim, the profound majority of Atheists do not believe that, nor do most of them claim that He does not exist. A small, vocal minority does, but there are ignorant, arrogant fools on both sides of the Bible.

I have reason to believe that the people holding to a strict 6 24-hour day for creation, are wrong.

Cherries

This is what is known as ‘cherry picking’ your arguments

So, you don’t believe what the Bible clearly says, but you want Atheists to believe it??! 🙄

(1)Steve, do you never ask the philosophical questions science cannot answer? Why are we here? Where are we going? What purpose does life serve? (2)Why do we think there’s a right and a wrong? You clearly do think there’s right/wrong as you demonstrate in this comment. (3) Where did your sense of truth come from? (4) Of morality? There are two things followers of the Bible have that those who reject God and the Bible do not have: a standard to go by and motivation to follow the standard. On and on. Science has nothing to say to these things.

(1) Damn, the woman wants infinity explained in a single comment. Of course, science can’t answer philosophical questions. So what??! Despite what she, and others, believes, neither can Religion. For Atheists to honestly say “I don’t know.” is not a mark of weakness. Steve and many others, have asked these questions. A surprising number of Atheists were once preachers/priests/ministers, or students in Seminary Colleges. Isaac Asimov once called the Bible “the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”

(2) There is no right and wrong. What is right for me, is wrong for you. Evolution has taught us to consider outwards: self, family, clan, village, state, nation, world – and each level at a lower intensity. The greatest good for the greatest number. Do unto others what you would have done unto you. A little empathy, compassion, and consideration for others, helps to assure that the human species survives.

(3) “Sense of Truth” is like being a little bit pregnant – it either is, or it isn’t – and if it is, is should be provable. A claim that your religion, or your Holy Book, gives that to you, is quickly disproved by the existence of other religions, and other Holy Books, making the same claim.

(4) Morality is an invention of men who want to get paid to make you feel good that you are following their orders. Atheists, and other non-Christians, all have standards, and motivation to follow them. They just might not be exactly the same as yours, but there is no proof that your morals are the only/correct ones.

Her presupposition is that even Atheists believe in God, but reject Him, where most Atheists honestly do not believe that any such supernatural entity exists.

Science is merely the best methodology to investigate and explain reality. Just because many Atheists embrace and use it, does not mean that they do not also have Philosophical ways of explaining and dealing with these “Moral Problems.” It is not a panacea, as religion claims to be. It is just an effective one of many tools.

Why They Don’t Speak English

Stunned Emoji

Why do you study English??! We all speak it.   😳

The lights are on, but there’s nobody home.
The wheel isn’t turning. The hamster is dead.

Once upon a time, on a sunny September afternoon in 1958, I sat in a high school English class. We were studying Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice.’ The teacher had just read a passage, which included the phrase, “By dark and divers ways.”

The SCUBA diving system was a relatively recent invention, having only been patented by Jacques Cousteau 15 years earlier, in 1943. Suddenly, Biff, the class jock who sat in the row next to me, put up his hand. “Uh, Mr. Johnson, are they talking about guys who jump off cliffs, or that new SCUBA thingy?”

Mr. Johnson is bewildered. As far as he knew, we hadn’t been talking about people throwing themselves off cliffs – and he had no idea what a “SCUBA thingy” was. As he was stammering for a reply, I hissed at Biff, “Put an E on the end of it!”
“Whuh??
No talking in class!
Well, I was in it now. Might as well be hung for a sheep, as a lamb. “Put an E on the end of it!”
“Uh…. Edivers??”
That’s right Biff; there are two ends to a word. Only you would pick the wrong one. Now there were at least two confused people in the room.

“What’s going on back there?”

I stood up. I’m sorry Mr. Johnson. Biff saw the word ‘divers,’ and wondered if Shakespeare was talking about people who dive off things like cliffs, or if he was referring to the new mechanical system which allows people to be SCUBA divers, and breathe underwater, even though it didn’t exist 400 years ago.

We just came here from French class, where the French word ‘divers’ (dee-vare) means of many types, different, various. I was trying to tell Biff to add an E at the end, to produce the English word, ‘diverse.’

This led Mr. Johnson on a spirited lecture about the origin and changes to many English words, and got me off the hook. Biff probably went on to fame and fortune, and a football scholarship, while I can only define the word ‘obscure.’ He was regularly outwitted by the tackling dummy, and needed a handler to tie his shoes, ‘cause Velcro hadn’t been invented yet.

Error 404

Error 404

It was cute the first time.  This is just pathetic.  😛

The management regrets that the regularly scheduled blogpost is not available at this time, because of non-production problems.  A nap stretched into a coma, and my Muse was not amused.

Any of you who came here expecting humor, wit, interesting trivia, or even another numb-minded and mind-numbing rant, please click on the link another day. All of the aforementioned, and even more, will be provided.   😀

Normal programming will resume on Monday, Jan. 27/20, with a cascade of comedy.  Anyone who wishes to do so may stop at the box office on the way out, and a full refund will be issued.

Confused Emoji

Flash Fiction #174

Flat Earth

Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

ERROR 404 – NO TITLE FOUND

I know that I shouldn’t bother, but I’ve been debating some Flat Earthers online.  The Flat Earth Society has members all around the world.  They’re as bad as the rabid Bible-thumpers – which many of them are.  Their minds are made up.  Don’t confuse them with the facts.

If the argument for a globe were a house, they can refute windows, or roofs, or walls, but not the entire building.   And their ‘proof’ against floors contradicts their ‘proof’ against chimneys.

Sometimes these discussions can be irritating.  Sometimes they can be amusing and entertaining, but often, they just go ‘round and ‘round.

***

Don’t be afraid to click on ‘Flat Earthers,’ above.  It’s not a deep Wiki article, just a few thoughts I published on the subject a couple of years ago.  Even the less astute of you may notice that I am willing to plagiarise even from myself.  Rochelle’s photo, coupled with Wednesday’s religious rant, joined forces to give the inspiration for this post.  I slipped in an old, previously published Flat Earth joke, and used the same “Round And Round” hook line from my Nov. 30th Flash Fiction.  That’s just flat-out lazy.  😉

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Murphy’s Law

Murphy's Law

The following are some of the rules of the Universe that we have to abide by.  Feel free to add any that you’ve learned through sad experience.

MURPHY WAS AN OPTIMIST!

No good deed goes unpunished
leakproof seals – will
self-starters – will not
interchangeable parts – won’t
there is always one more bug
Nature is a mother
don’t mess with Mrs. Murphy
90% of everything is crap
The moment you light up a cigarette, your bus will arrive
If you’re feeling good, don’t worry, you’ll get over it
all warrantees expire on payment of invoice
where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit
never eat prunes when you are famished
friends come and go, but enemies accumulate
if you try to please everybody, nobody will like it
a short cut is the longest distance between two points

ANYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG, WILL GO WRONG!

You will always find something in the last place you look.

The chance of a piece of bread falling with the butter/jam side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you’ve bought it, it will be on sale somewhere, cheaper.

No-one’s life, liberty or property is safe while the Legislature is in session.

The other line always moves faster.

In order to get a loan, first you must prove that you don’t need it.

Anything you try to fix will take longer and cost more than you thought.

If you fool around with a thing very long, you will screw it up.

A $2000 HDTV will protect a 10 cent fuse by blowing first.

If it jams – force it.  If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Force to fit – file to hide – paint to cover

Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll underneath to the exact center.

The repairman will never have seen a model like yours before.

When a broken appliance is demonstrated to the repairmen it will work perfectly.

A pipe gives a wise man time to think, and a fool something to stick in his mouth.

Everybody should believe in something – I believe I’ll have another beer.

Build a system that even a fool can use – and only a fool will use it.

Everybody has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.

In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his own level of incompetence, and then remains there.

You will remember that you forgot to take out the trash when the garbage truck is two doors away.

The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong – but that’s the way to bet.

There’s never enough time to do it properly, but there’s always time to do it over.

When in doubt, mumble.  When in trouble, delegate.

Everything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.

It is morally wrong to let suckers keep their money.

A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

Murphy’s Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

Everything East of the San Andreas Fault will eventually plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.

Celibacy is not hereditary.

Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

Beauty is only skin deep.  Ugly goes right to the bone.

To know yourself is the ultimate form of aggression. (Freudian psychology)

Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

If everything seems to be going well, you obviously have no idea what the Hell is going on.

If more than one person is responsible for a miscalculation, no-one will be at fault.

In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

Never argue with a fool.  People might not know the difference.

***

I apologise for the above.  I’m not always like this.  Lots of days I’m nowhere near this optimistic.  See you soon – if all goes well.  😯

WOW #37

Newspaper

All opinions expressed in this blog-post are not of the management, but solely those of the author…and, in MY opinion, the Word Of the Week

TEMERARIOUS

is arty, and pretentious.

I was thrilled to find it, although less thrilled to find that I was not already aware of it.  I was correct to deduce that it was the adjective version of the noun ‘Temerity’, which means audacity, effrontery, foolhardiness, reckless boldness, or rashness.

Without really thinking about it, (Oh, Damn!) I always assumed (making an ASS out of U and ME) that the adjective form would be ‘temeritous,’ but never had the need or occasion to use it.   I was not disturbed to see it used by a newspaper advice columnist.  Lord knows, I only have a Grade 12 education.  This lady may have a string of letters behind her name.

Eleven letters and five syllables in it, I was disturbed to see it used by a newspaper advice columnist, for people whose largest piece of vocabulary might be ‘Wal-Mart.’

I always advise to write to the level of the anticipated readership.  If I had to go and look this up, I’m sure that there was a passel of confused John Deere drivers.

Now that I’ve entrusted this ostentatious, mostly useless, $8.47 word to you, try to be careful with it.  Please keep out of the reach vocabulary of children.  Perhaps reserve it only for TED discussions.

As my Father used to say, before they changed the name of the country to Ethiopia, ‘Abyssinia’ later.  😉

Cross Words

Crossword

CROSSWORD PUZZLES LEAVE SOME PEOPLE BLANK

Some people just don’t understand what people like me get out of doing crossword puzzles. We sit for hours, poring over ambiguous clues, to fill in little boxes, and when we’re done, all we have is a page full of letters.  I mean, we don’t even get a prize for all that work.

As you’ve probably guessed, lots of folks, my darling wife included, do not find crossword puzzles _ _ _ (three letters across, first letter F)  Even though I’ve almost made a C_R_ _R (life’s work, six letters) out of writing and playing with words, trying to do a crossword puzzle is an agonizing chore for many.  Their minds just don’t work that way.

My wife will sit for hours without saying a word, while I do my puzzles.  If I happen to muse aloud, “What’s a four-letter word for a garden tool?” she will quickly reply, “Spatula.”  I say, “No!  I think it’s rake.” and write that down.

If I had simply asked her to name some garden tools, she could have rattled off a whole list, from rake and shovel, to trowel, spade, and ‘Garden Weazel.’  Because I specifically mentioned a four-letter garden tool for a crossword puzzle, she can’t think of a single one.  Her mind just goes BL-N- (empty, five letters)

In fact, the moment I posed that question, she couldn’t think of a garden tool to save her life, even if she were being tortured by the Spanish Inquisition.  The Inquisitor could say, “All right, heretic.  Give me a three-letter word for ‘poem’, starting with O, or I will lock you in the Iron Maiden.”  She’d probably just stand there and say, “I think it’s ‘Owl’, before they ran the sharp spikes into her body.

CROSSWORD PUZZLING

The reason that some folks can’t think of answers to crossword puzzle questions is that, whenever they’re presented with a clue, their mind becomes a big, dark room where they rummage around, trying to find something, anything, to fill in the blank spaces.  They grab onto it, and shout ‘Spatula’ for no apparent reason.

The best they can do with crosswords, is come close.  If the clue is – a beverage: P_ _, they write down PUB, which is actually fairly good, since at least a pub is a place where you can get a beverage.  If the puzzle wants ‘Lennon’s widow’ in three letters, they put down ‘Mrs.’

Crossword clues are just plain confusing to some.  They read the clue: ‘state that borders Mexico’, starting with A, and try to put in ‘Atlantic Ocean.’  Or they look at the clue: ‘High ranking marine,’ with five spaces, and try to fit in ‘humpback whale.’

Obviously, they have to write really small when they do crosswords like that.  The boxes get so crowded that they have to stack letters on top of each other.  On the other hand, sometimes the word they want doesn’t work, because they don’t have enough letters to fill in all the boxes.  The clue will be: ‘balloon filler,’ needing four spaces, and they put in AIRR.

For some, the problem started back in school, with tests that had them fill in the blanks.  They’d get the history question, ‘The Gettysburg Address was delivered by……..’  They would go into that dark room and come out with, the Post Office.  Or, on a Geography quiz, the question would be, ‘The United States capital is in……’, and they put down, ‘total confusion.’

A fellow-student in one class would look at the first question on the test and panic.  Your name……….  He would wave his hand frantically, until the teacher said, “What is it, Myron?” and quickly write Myron down.

I had an uncle who liked to enjoy the company of a crossword puzzle book and a glass of wine after dinner.  After he passed on, I happened to pick up his puzzle book and look in it.  The clue would read: Lone Ranger’s horse, and he would have written GZODKE.  He had fooled us.  He didn’t like crossword puzzles at all!  He just liked the quiet, and a chance to drink.

Wine

Don’t Get All Emotional

Emoticon

23 Emotions people feel, but can’t explain

http://fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com/post/122182141428/23-emotions-people-feel-but-cant-explain

Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.

Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

Énouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.

Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.

Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.

Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.

Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.

Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.

Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.

Vemödalen: The frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.

Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening

Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.

Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.

Lachesism: The desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire.

Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.

Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.

Rückkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.

Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.

Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, which inhabits only one place at a time.

Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.

Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you’ve been gnawing on for years.

Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.

There’s no sense asking if you’ve experienced any of these.  We’ve all experienced them all, and will continue to, only now we’ve got a label that we can point to.  I will experience my usual, clearly-labeled pleasure if you visit, read, comment….  You know – the usual, happy déjà vu.  😀

 

 

’18 A To Z Challenge – A

Challenge '18 Letter A

Charlie Brown

Aaugh!  Is it April again??  I just awoke from my winter’s hibernation, and shambled out of the Den, to find other folks well into the alphabet already. As usual, I’m off to a slow start.  Using my Great Awakening as a cheat for the letter A, I’ll make this one a theme-reveal post – “Theme” in only the loosest of senses.

I thought that I might use ‘Trope’. It’s a figure of speech that includes ‘interpolation,’ which is just a fancy word that means the (sometimes)nonsensical non-sequiturs covered by the promised rambles inside some of my rants.

I decided instead, to go with Chaos And Confusion.  I provide the chaos, and you are confused.  This is completely different from last year’s theme, which was Confusion And Chaos, where you were confused, and I provided the Chaos.  Got that all straight??  Good, now explain it to me.

Understand

Alms! Alms for a hungry beggar!  Hungry for inspiration – not food.  (Have you seen my tummy recently??  Happily, NO.  My belt size threatens to become greater than my IQ.  [And there you have the first of my non-sequitur interpolations.])

If any of you have a word or theme, for any letter, that you think would be safe to let me loose with in public, feel free to submit it.  I would welcome all suggestions.  I can do serious research, or just my usual, disorganized babble.

Please stop back again soon for a post that doesn’t use any letters of the alphabet, but definitely in two weeks, when I use the letter B to batter the American Bible Belt, and Donald Trump’s banality.  😯