Do I Believe in Miracles? No.

Since wiley began blogging and asked her readers what blogging is all about, it got me to thinking about why I’m doing it. It didn’t take long to assemble a list:

1.) I get that sweet, sweet attention I so deeply deeply crave like a discerning hobo craves Grey Goose vodka.
2.) Attention.
3.) I enjoy interacting with my readers. Like, I actually do care about what you have to say. When I’m not admiring myself in the reflection of my monitor, I do enjoy learning about other people. Then it’s right back to my reflection!
4.) Attention!
5.) OK, feminism and atheism are two things that make up an essential chunk of who I am. I need to express that more. So here goes.
6.) Also, attention!

One of the things that irritates me about people of faith is that they sometimes express a desire to feel small. By “small” I mean, like, “Gosh, I’m just this tiny spec of sand on this tiny little planet in this unfathomably huge universe. In the end, I don’t matter that much at all.” It’s basically a desire to feel humbled. Don’t get me wrong, I think that desire is healthy and wonderful. It’s just that you have two paths to getting to that feeling, one that depends on the supernatural and one that depends on the natural. The way I do it is through simply opening my eyes. Looking my son, thinking about how incredibly complex and beautiful and ugly the human body is, looking at a flower (corny as that sounds…but, for real, how amazing are they?!), looking at how majestic and fearsome the big cats are. (Yes, I have thing for big cats.) Cherishing human accomplishment…great works of art, music that moves me, the Intertrons, FACEBOOK! OK, not that last one. But you get my point.

So I  marvel at all these things. And if you’re really going through life with any sort of situational awareness, how can you not?

When I lived in Florida, sometimes I would sit on the beach by myself and just look at ocean…I’d feel like I was getting lost in it, and suddenly the vastness of it, of the world, of the universe would feel wonderfully overwhelming. My question is this: At what point does it become necessary to make the supernatural a part of this experience? And obviously my answer is that it’s not. It’s just NOT. As cheesy as this sounds, there are non-miracle miracles all around us.

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22 thoughts on “Do I Believe in Miracles? No.

  1. …like, "Gosh, I'm just this tiny spec of sand on this tiny little planet in this unfathomably huge universe. In the end, I don't matter that much at all.""I'm only the President, not even a Senator anymore. It's not fair for people to expect me to do stuff to help them."~

  2. Facebook is closing in on a billion active users – a tenth of the human population is on it. There are roughly as many Facebook users in the world as there are cars and light trucks.Allowing for bias introduced by self-selection and less-than-accurate personal information, Facebook is easily the densest and most comprehensive picture of the human population that has ever been compiled. And while it may be a poor method of determining whether pirates could beat ninjas, one can easily gauge the impact and size of an organization, advertising campaign, or other endeavour by looking at the # of Likes.Facebook allows individuals to narrowcast updates. It's like being able to mail the annual Christmas update in seconds. People can find out how their friends and families are doing with ease, no matter how scattered around the globe they are.This means that it is also an incredible tool for smaller endeavours. Independent professional artists for example, or indie bands. You can keep in touch with your fans and get almost immediate feedback from them with minimal effort and cost.Facebook has prompted hundreds of millions of people to create content. It may be predominantly badly framed out of focus photos or nonsensical in-jokes that fall flat even with the intended audience – but Sturgeon's Law and all that. Arguably Facebook has facilitated more creative output than any major record label or teevee network or movie studio.Human accomplishment. I guess it depends on how you're looking at it. There's "accomplishments by the human race" – i.e. walking on the moon, masterworks of art that are still praised centuries later, massive civil works like buildings half a mile tall or bridges with a mile long span. Personally, I think that type of human accomplishment is celebrated enough, but YMMV. And then there's "personal accomplishments by individual human beings." And on that second score, Facebook is indeed a thing to marvel at.That said, I'm not on it.

  3. One of the things that irritates me about people of faith is that they sometimes express a desire to feel small. By "small" I mean, like, "Gosh, I'm just this tiny spec of sand on this tiny little planet in this unfathomably huge universe. In the end, I don't matter that much at all." It's basically a desire to feel humbledI tend to disagree- most religious people have an overinflated sense of importance. The talk about being small, but they see themselves as the center of the universe. They talk about an omnipotent, omniscient God, but their conception of this all-powerful being is more like a jealous, tyrannical father (who conveniently shares every one of their prejudices). Hell, even their sexual hangups are egocentric- the vast majority of life on this planet reproduces asexually, and even a lot of multicellular organisms are hermaphrodites. And don't even get me started on that whole Rapture thing- the Rapture believers think that they are at the center of Great Historical Events.Humble my ass, their whole life is one huge ego trip, no matter how they deny it.

  4. I think that what I'm talking about is something that's mainly mentioned by people of faith who aren't huge assholes, and they may be few, but they are out there. For instance, my stepmother converted to Catholicism when she was young and mentioned that she loved the pomp and circumstance and rituals that went along with the conversion. I lump that in with the whole "feeling small" experience. This may seem like iffy reasoning to you, but I also heard a similar desire uttered on a sitcom. Which means a writer thought it up. Which means someone out there probably does actually feel that way. So I do think that sentiment is out there among well-meaning people of faith. Nevermind that I am sure that there are lots of disingenuous assholes out there who claim to be after the same, even if they aren't. I just have to call "bullshit" on the sentiment, ya know?

  5. Personally, I think that type of human accomplishment is celebrated enough, but YMMV. And then there's "personal accomplishments by individual human beings." And on that second score, Facebook is indeed a thing to marvel at.All the things you say about Facebook are true, and even though I joked about it and find Facebook more disturbing than good, it is a pretty incredible invention. As for things being celebrated, I guess I would argue that, yes, major works of art are celebrated, but when was the last time you just looked at some gallery at dA and marveled or appreciated the charm of the Victorian house down the block? Shit, I don't need to see Falling Water or Pieta to feel humbled.

  6. Do you believe in miracles? YES!!!I thought you were going to link to that Insane Clown Posse p.o.s.Shit, I don't need to see Falling Water or Pieta to feel humbled.To paraphrase Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, "One would not infer the existence of the Spanish Inquisition from looking at a painting of the Adoration by the Magi."

  7. …how incredibly complex and beautiful and ugly the human body is…Last year I noticed that human ears look like organs that should be politely hidden inside the body. Have long thought that getting rid of record produces and recording companies would be the best thing that could ever happen to musical artists. In Austin, the only music I listened to for a couple of years was local live music. By comparison, the stuff on the radio was mostly waste by-products. So many gifted musicians, so few of them recognized. That baby picture is making me hungry. I gotta go eat before getting back to the blitzwaschen.

  8. I have an embarrassing confession: though I came of age in the seventies and was one of the dope-smokin' cool crowd (as opposed to disco (those people tried so fucking hard to get laid(yet before AIDS, getting laid was like falling off a log))) it took three boyfriends to make me see the light of Parliament. He was white. Lo siento— all those years sans funk. Third time is a charm, I guess, silly musician just my size with shoulder-length silky brown hair held back with a cute little barette, dark brown eyes, looked great in pink shirts, liked to dance, and sometimes dropped by in the afternoon to…Ahem. But that was a long time ago. I must put some Parliament on during part of blitzwaschen. I also have a Quincy Jones album with a veritable butt-load of recordings or black artists, that I like to hear now and then.

  9. What's interesting is how the answers come from the secular side framed in the old comfortable terms. Michael Valentine Smith said "Thou are god". He understood the terms of the agreement long after the agreement lost its intrinsic meaning.Where can one go when seeking the truth? The problem is undersanding the context of the truth we seek. If you want to understand the nature of the universe, you embrace the standard model. If you want to understand life, you embrace DNA. If you want to understand the context of our place in the universe, you can try relativity or look to the question of dark matter or the formation of large scale structure, or you can dig out all your money and bet on some kind of quantum gravity or super symmetry, but in the end we're all just babes, grasping our mother's arms and hoping someday to know the path we should walk

  10. Third time is a charm, I guess, silly musician just my size with shoulder-length silky brown hair held back with a cute little barette, dark brown eyes, looked great in pink shirts, liked to dance, and sometimes dropped by in the afternoon to…Read you passages from the Bible? No?

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