On The Quality of One’s Character

The notion that a person’s character is assessed by religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or by sexual preferences or domestic living arrangements, or by the color of one’s skin, or by whether one is living in poverty, or by whether a person is in debt, or by one’s political sympathies, or by one’s degree of patriotism, or by a number of other trivial social situations and philosophies; are all notions which are based upon ignorant and antiquated thinking.

There is but one standard by which the character of a person is determined. That standard being how a person treats others.

For seemingly all other factors notwithstanding, the individual who turns her or his back on the suffering of a sentient being, or who is responsible for the suffering of any sentient being, or who would hinder the welfare of another who is suffering and in need, or who exploits people, animals, or the planet; or who engages in the maltreatment of human, animal, or the environment; any such person’s morals are lacking and that person is wanting in character, regardless of any other seemingly redeemable qualities of that individual’s being.

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Spatial Form and the Sentient Being

The existence of all sentient beings is a struggle between the finite nature of spatial form and the seemingly infinite nature of time.  And time always trumps space. For long after the spatial form decays, dies, and decomposes, there will still be time.  Decomposition of course actually  transforms the elements of the spatial form to another state of existence; hence there remains a space time continuum between the carnal and the temporal. As for the cognitive nature of the sentient being, the fate of such remains a point of debate and conjecture.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Dave Henderson

Denison, Texas

Religion As A Response To An Existential Reality

Religion which develops as a response to the human predicament of an existential reality; supplements mere existence with purpose while attaching meaning to life, and is utilized as a means to cope and connect midst despair and disconnect.

For on its own terms, reality is chaos and an absurdity.

Chaos because we have no control over our being. At least in terms of our having come to be. Granted, within the bounds of situation, skills, circumstance, and opportunity we have limited control over our essence; that is what we as a person become. But the notion that “we are in control” is perhaps the most profound of all paradoxes. If Nature is a personal being, then surely Mother Nature mocks us at every turn.

We live, we love, we seek, we aspire, we find, we accomplish, we decay, and then we die.

Just as we have absolutely no control whatsoever over our having come into existence, we are generally limited even as to when we expire.

In the view of our immanent decay and demise we struggle to connect. Ever in search of a comfort zone, the quest for connection is a continuum. A continuum of unpredictable uncertainty at each turn. We never know when we might get deathly ill; we never know when we might wake up with a sore throat and be down with a cold for several days. We never know when we might slip and fall, or just happen to be on the bus that is involved in a wreck. We never know when we might suffer any mishap of any given degree. We never know when our loved ones might suffer any mishap of any degree. Life is a continuum which oscillates between desirable distractions from the reality of our mortality; these desirable distraction being known as “good times”, and the grim reality that life is the predicament of a natural and therefore temporary existence wherein we are subject to conditions of the continuum which are unpredictable and oftentimes beyond our control.

The absurdity of it all is that in spite of no odds for survival, nonetheless we press on. We mostly shelter ourselves from reality by simply not thinking of the inevitable; opting rather to make a life for ourselves which will as surely corrode and crumble as the fact that we most assuredly do exist. We choose to endure and persevere as though we have a choice, yet the truth is that the only alternative is to lay down and die. Yet again herein is the absurdity: Whether we choose to endure and persevere or whether we choose to lay down and die; nonetheless eventually: We decay and we die. The truth be told, we have no control and we will lose our fight for living regardless of all efforts to the contrary.

Reality then on its own terms is chaos and an absurdity.

And so humanity, seemingly in an effort to cope with the chaos, has developed an alternative to reality whereby meaning may be attached to the absurdity of the human predicament. This alternative is religion. Religion then is, for all practical purposes, an alternative to reality.

Religion offers as an alternative to the chaos of reality: Hope to survive this life by living in another, an inherent purpose for our being, and an ultimate meaning to it all. Reality on its own terms does not offer hope as such, for reality is merely existence, such as it is. Reality on its own terms does not involve purpose as such, for existence is merely a random state of being, a natural development from other natural developments if you will. And reality on its own terms does not have meaning as such, for reality is merely being, and being is all that there is.

For many, the brutal reality that there is no hope to survive this life nor promise that we might live in another is simply too much to accept. Furthermore, many cannot abide the thought that their life has no inherent meaning or ultimate purpose. And so in order to cope with a reality which on its own terms lacks hope, meaning, or purpose, many turn to religion to offer an alternative to reality. For these folk, the solace and consolation that they find lacking in life, is fundamental to and is in fact the fabric of the alternative to reality which is known as religion.

Thus, for those who want more to life than life itself, there is an alternative to reality which promises life in the great beyond. And for those who seek answers which existential being by its very nature simply cannot supply, those answers are found via the medium of the alternative to reality which is known as religion. Thus, in this alternative to reality there is the hope, the purpose, and the meaning which is lacking in existential reality.

Religion then which develops in response to the human predicament is a means by which some “folk can cope” with the evident emptiness of an existential reality. Ironically, in so doing, believers actually do as most folk do by distracting themselves from the inevitable and pressing on in spite of their own mortality. Yet, rather than merely ignoring the inevitable reality that no one will survive this experience known as life, religionists supplement that predicament with an alternative to that reality which in fact satisfies their yearning for hope and for answers. In this fashion, believers experience the consolation which they find lacking in reality, by imagining that that they are somehow in control and are able to overcome the inevitable reality of decay and eventual death.

In conclusion, it is my personal opinion that religion which develops in response to the human predicament of an existential reality, is a natural development and is on its own terms a good thing. Now, that might sound strange coming from an Atheist. But to me “good” is anything that eases pain or offers consolation. Thus, so long as one’s religion helps them cope with life, and does so without moving them to condemn or control the life of others, then speaking for myself, I would deem such a religion to be a good thing.

Furthermore, having lived in that alternative to reality known as religion even into my 40’s, I understand the concept of being consoled when a loved one passes away by imagining them “in a better place”. Admittedly, now a days I console myself when I lose a loved one by acknowledging the more evident reality that they “are no longer suffering”. But so long as the effect enables a person to cope, then let the details be damned.

It’s like John Lennon sang:

“Whatever gets you through the night,
‘salright, ‘salright”

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

A Moral Code Based Upon The Bible

When a society bases its moral code on the Bible, that society utilizes the moral code of the Hebrews of some two to three thousand years ago as its standard for right and wrong attitudes and activity. The Hebrew culture of some two to three thousand years ago was sexist and homophobic; and its national way of life was based upon imperialism, militarism, and institutionalized slavery. It would seem then that any culture which bases its moral code on the Bible would surely be destined to become a society which is sexist and homophobic; which would invade and control other cultures, and whose economy would be based upon the exploitation of human servitude.

Irreconcilable Differences (Matthew 27:1-10; Acts 1:16-19)

Matthew 27:1-10
27 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
8 Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
10 And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.

(biblegateway.com; KJV)

Acts 1:16-19

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

(biblegateway.com; KJV)

Comments:

These are each accounts of the doings and fate of Judas after he betrayed Jesus to the Chief Priests and elders (as the story goes). An analysis of each text reveals two different accounts which can not be reconciled as to certain specifics. Each writer had a slightly different perspective, as is so oftentimes the case when two different people recount the same event. This is especially the case when neither narrator was present nor involved in the event which is being discussed. This is of course precisely the case with reference to the writers of both Matthew and Acts respectively.

The discrepancies are admittedly minor. Mainly details as to who actually purchased a field with the money paid to betray Jesus. Matthew envisions the field being purchased by the Chief Priests after Judas had thrown the money into the Temple and subsequently departed and hanged himself. This purchase by a collective party of individuals allegedly fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (Matthew mistakenly references Jeremiah, but he must have meant Zechariah; cf Zechariah 11:12-13. Ironically, the Zechariah text apparently being referenced is presented as a single negotiator in the exchange of the thirty pieces of silver, which seemingly contradicts its utility in Matthew’s account!). Acts, on the other hand, indicates that Judas in fact purchased the field himself, then took a headlong fall which resulted in his guts being spilled out.

In reading each text, follow closely each distinctive description as to “who” makes the purchase. Matthew references “the Chief Priests” in verse 6, then goes on to cite “they” twice more in the context, each such reference describing “who” made the purchase of the land with the ill gotten gain. Acts on the other hand quite clearly references Judas in v 16, then refers to him as “this man” in verse 18 as being the one who purchased the field.

Clearly, there is some misunderstanding as to who exactly purchased the field with the thirty pieces of silver.

The reason for the misunderstanding? The simplest and most straightforward theory would be that the author of Matthew heard the story one way, and the writer of Acts heard the story yet another way. When reading multiple accounts of the same story, and especially when each writer is referencing second hand information (at best), then minor contradictions such as those in these two accounts are by no means to be unexpected.

Those individuals who read the Acts account would clearly conclude that Judas purchased the field himself before suffering a horrible mishap in a fall which spilled his guts out on the ground.

Those individuals who read the Matthew account would of course conclude that the Chief Priests purchased the field collectively, after Judas had committed suicide by hanging himself.

Separate and apart from each other, these accounts give conflicting details of the same basic story: That the money which was used to bribe Judas to betray Jesus, was afterwards used to purchase a field.

Now those with access to both accounts have two basic options:

Force the two accounts together to attempt to harmonize the details.

Decide for themselves which account makes sense so far as who actually made the purchase, and as to whether the purchase was made before or after Judas died.

Frankly, there is no reason to assume that either writer was depending on the account of the other as a matter or clarification Why pray tell would a narrator do so? So long as the narrator has the quill in hand so to speak, they have ample opportunity to qualify their statements or clarify any assertions. There is simply no reason for any other hermeneutic than to allow each writer to speak for himself, and draw conclusions accordingly.

Conclusion:

Per Matthew and Acts; the money which was used to bribe Judas to betray Jesus was utilized to purchase a field.

Per Matthew and Acts, Judas suffered a horrible mishap resulting in either death by hanging or gruesome bodily injury.

As to who actually purchased the field with the ill gotten gains: Hard to say. Depends on which account the reader chooses to trust.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

An Atheist Analyzes Acts (1:1-11)

Acts 1:1-11

Commentary:

The first two things that strike me as I begin reading the Canonical Book of the Acts of the Apostles (hereafter referred to as Acts; although there are several recorded Acts of various individuals which are not included in the Bible) are:

1)  The immediate introduction of and the suddenly significant status of the Holy Spirit, and

2)  The inexplicable ignorance of the Apostles as to the nature, role, and function of the promised “power from on high”.

Now, it is not as though the Holy Spirit was a completely new topic among Jesus and his faithful companions.  In John’s account Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide the Apostles into all truth.  Again, Luke’s Gospel has Jesus reiterate his intent to send “the promise of My Father upon you”; and indicates that the Apostles would be “clothed with power from on high”.

And so it would seem that the Apostles would have been anticipating this “baptism of the Holy Spirit” from the heavenly father.  And indeed they do seem to have been doing so.  Yet, their response to this promise indicates that they were not on the same page with Jesus with regards to the nature of and the role of “this “power from on high”.

In fact, upon hearing that they would be receiving this baptism of the Holy Spirit “not many days from now.”, the response of the Apostles was immediate and to the point:  “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”.  The Apostles seemed to have been under the impression that the power they would receive from this “Holy Spirit” would somehow enable the restoration of the kingdom of Israel.  Evidently, the Apostles were anticipating this “power from on high” to serve as a means to restore the kingdom to Israel, and hence renew the national identity of the nation of Israel.

The question then must be asked:  Why would the Apostles assume that the power of the Holy Spirit would be related to restoring the kingdom to Israel?  Were they thinking that this “power from on high” would somehow enable them to rise up in rebellion and overthrow the Roman powers that resided in Jerusalem?  Is there any reason for them to have thought that this “power from on high” was to be used in a military type of armed rebellion?  Why would they be under such an impression after three years of living with and traveling with Jesus?  Were they then justified in assuming that the baptism of the Holy Spirit would be the miracle to suffice such an endeavor as taking on the Roman Army?

Actually, not only were the Apostles justified to think of this promised “power from on high” as somehow being related to the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, there is simply little reason to assume that they would have thought otherwise.  Only a few weeks before, Jesus had clearly described a miracle which would involve the coming of the Son of man, even stating that this miracle would cause all the nations of the earth to mourn, and furthermore asserting that with no uncertainty whatsoever, that all which this miracle entailed would take place during that very generation (Matt 24:30-31,34).  Now, most any Jew would have naturally interpreted these words of Jesus as assurance that during their generation the much anticipated Messiah would appear, and subsequently restore the kingdom to  Israel, all the while returning Israel to its once glorious state as a supreme ruling power.  In addition, Jesus is said to have spent the previous 40 days (since his crucifixion) making a number of appearances to the Apostles speaking to them about the kingdom of God. Thus there is every reason to conclude that the Apostles would have assumed that this promised baptism of the Holy Spirit and the recently promised “power from on high” meant that the restoration of the kingdom to Israel would occur during their lifetime. Hence, when Jesus starts talking about the Apostles being empowered by some Holy Spirit, naturally they would have assumed that this Holy Spirit would enable the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.  In the light of what they had been told, and in the light of the much anticipated Messiah, why would the Apostles have expected anything other than some miraculous power to enable the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.  Their response was quite frankly, not only justified but also rather predictable.

Jesus’ reply to their inquiry however; only muddles the matter further.  After having so emphatically stated that all matters related to the coming of the Son of Man and the Messianic miracle would take place during the lifetime of the Apostles, now Jesus inexplicably tells them that it is not for them to know when God would restore the kingdom to Israel. This vague reply was quite the contrast to his earlier assertion to say the least.  Now for no explainable reason, Jesus seems hesitant to declare a time frame for the promised Messianic events. He further sidesteps their inquiry by offering the Apostles somewhat of a consolation power which was to aid them to be witnesses on his behalf throughout the regions surrounding Jerusalem.  So not only is the matter no longer that of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, but now the mission involves being separated from the capital city.  Clearly, there has been a change of plans.

Amazingly, the Apostles seem to have accepted this transition in stride!  This is frankly somewhat difficult to accept.  How is it that eleven born and raised Jews who were quite naturally preoccupied with restoring the kingdom to Israel could have been so easily pacified with what was clearly a diversion from previously supplied information?  Especially when they had been lead to believe that the restoration of the kingdom would take place during their lifetime?  The ease of their acceptance of this new plan seems to indicate that this is scripted material designed to suit a specific context. That specific context obviously a scenario which for all practical purposes, discounted the previously anticipated restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

I can think of no historical context more likely suited for such a scenario than the circumstances of Judea in general and Jerusalem more specifically after the year 135 CE  .  Although there had been several alleged Messiahs which came and went in the land of Judea throughout the first and into the first third of the second century, all such movements came to a swift end with when the Romans brutally subdued the Simon Bar Kosiba uprising.

Simon Bar Kosiba was the self proclaimed Christ who lead an initially successful uprising against the Roman authorities in Jerusalem in the early 130’s.  Bar Kosiba and his zealots actually occupied and set up an exclusive Jewish government in the capital city from 132-135. During his brief reign over Jerusalem, the practice of circumcision, which had been outlawed in 127, was renewed midst hopes that the nation of Israel was on its way to its once glorious state as a feared and respected world power.  However; the extent to which the Roman government subdued the Bar Kochba uprising, and the extreme policies which were enacted after the fact, basically eliminated any hopes whatsoever from that time forward of any Jewish kingdom whatsoever in the region of Judea.

The Jews who survived what has been described as a genocide by the Roman army were driven out of both Jerusalem itself and several known Jewish communities throughout Judea.  Both the city and the region of Judea were renamed (Syria Palaestina).   Concerns of future nationalistic movements were such that no Jew was allowed to even camp within 1 mile of the city walls.  The Jewish diaspora of 136 BC was more extreme and effective at disheartening the Jewish people than even that of 73 AD when Titus destroyed the Temple during the First Jewish War.  In fact, although the Jewish uprising of the late 60’s and early 70’s likewise resulted in the defeat of the Israeli nationalists, even that setback did not compare to the despondent state of the Jewish people from the mid 130’s forward.  Basically speaking, by the time the Romans were done with the aftermath of the Bar Kosiba uprising, there was simply no more anticipation of a Messiah to restore the kingdom to Israel, and Jerusalem then became a Gentile city.

Thus any Messianic hopes that the Jews had from that time forward would have necessarily been symbolic and ceremonial.  Which is precisely what the Messianic movement became beginning with the text at hand.  For now that the promise no longer involved the restoration of the literal kingdom to Israel, now a “new and revised” plan is in the process of development commencing with Acts 1.  This revised Messianic narrative is founded on a celestial king rather than on an earthly ruler.  In addition, this revised Messianic narrative allowed for a flexible time frame as to any possible future scenarios which would be conducive to the actual restoration of the kingdom of Israel. Hence the inconveniences of any seemingly unfulfilled prophecies relative to the restoration of the kingdom to Israel are now eliminated in the light of the revised “Father knows best” mentality. All the while though the remote possibility of such is never altogether dismissed. Frankly, this “new and revised” Messianic narrative was well thought out and flexible enough to fit the context of the times following the Bar Kosiba uprising and the ensuing Diaspora of the native Jews.

Thus there was nothing left for Jesus to do now except to fade out and take his place as a ceremonial and symbolic figure over a mystical Messianic movement which would gradually develop into the early Catholic church.  Hence, the ascension of Jesus set the stage for an amended message and a mystical movement.  Out with the old, and in with the new.  And as we will see as we delve further into the book of Acts, not only does Jesus fade into the background, but soon even his close friends the Apostles are somewhat written out of the script as well.

The Bible as a Guide for Morals and Ethics?

The Bible as a guide for morals and ethics:

-Teaches the Master to be a good Master, and teaches the Slave to be a good Slave.

-Teaches the Master to screw his slave to have a baby if his wife is barren.

-Teaches the Father to kill his son if he hears a voice that tells him to do so.

-Teaches the Father to offer his daughters to be gangraped in order to save his friends.

-Teaches that women are commodities, and that men are the kings of their castle.

-Teaches the Soldier to slaughter men, women, children, babies, and animals indiscriminately.

-Teaches the Soldier to take sex slaves after killing young ladies’ parents and brothers.

-Teaches that those who are not faithful followers of God should be killed.

-Teaches that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. Big deal. Do you think that if the principle of social reciprocity was not taught in the Bible that people would not how to treat each other? Do you think that if the principle of social reciprocity was not taught in the Bible that the Mother would not know to teach such to her children? Every society teaches the principle of social reciprocity. Every religion teaches the principle of social reciprocity. Every parent teaches the principle of social reciprocity. 500 years before Jesus taught such Confucius taught the principle of social reciprocity.

The Bible as a guide for morals and ethics?

To each their own I suppose. But as for me, I cannot think of a single good moral and/or ethical principle that the Bible teaches; that I could not have figured out on my own based upon the natural sense of care and compassion which is apparently inherent to humanity. On the other hand, I can think of several principles of social conduct that are taught in the Bible; which if I put into practice, would make me a real jerk and a lousy person.

Choose ye this day the guide for your moral and ethical conduct.

As for me, I think I will just “wing it” with my natural sense of care and compassion.

Dave Henderson

But For The Grace of an Impersonal Reality

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity.

I do not mean this as a slander.
I do not mean this as an insult.
I do not mean this as an attack.

I mean this is an assessment.
An assessment based upon reason relative to natural reality.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity in the light of a Universe which is indifferent and impersonal.

Nature is reality.

Nature does not care.
Nature does not give a damn about the wellbeing of even a single sentient being.
Nature is indifferent as to outcome and effect.

Nature does not bend the lightning bolt so as to avoid striking the fool standing in the water holding an antenna in his bare hands.

Nature does not alter the natural effects of water in human lungs when the baby falls into the swimming pool.

Nature does not redirect the tornado so as to avoid killing the masses whose unlucky lot is to be in its path.

Nature does not favor the side of the block whose houses are spared when several houses across the street are destroyed and several people are killed by the same tornado.

Nature is impersonal reality.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity in the light of the fact that there is a natural reason for everything.

When I was 15, I was traveling with my sisters and a friend in a car which was struck by a train. The car was an AMC Gremlin. Now, the AMC Gremlin was a popular hatchback in those days which was known for efficient fuel consumption. In general a fine piece of machinery. However; the AMC Gremlin did not as a general rule hold up well against trains. At least ours did not.

Now, there were four of us in the car. My younger sister was thrown out the back window. The rest of us were suspended upside down in the car after several rolls in the middle of a 6 lane road. No other cars were struck by our car even though we were in the middle lane of traffic. It was 3:45PM on a school day, we were less than a mile from the High School that had only recently released classes.

As to injuries; everyone was shook up. The front seat occupants were fairly banged up, my younger sister cut her arm, and I had a sore neck for a couple of days. We were all taken to the ER at the local hospital, but I don’t recall anyone staying the night (I know for certain I did not).

Other than the AMC Gremlin, everyone survived.

Were we; the four occupants of the AMC Gremlin which was struck by the train on Josey Lane in Carrollton, Texas at 3:45PM on May 12, 1976; lucky to walk away from the mishap alive?

You damn right we were lucky. We all could have been killed.

Was it a miracle that no one was killed in the mishap? Of course not.

Was God watching over us that day?

If God were watching over we; the four occupants of the AMC Gremlin which was struck by the train that day, then why the hell did the train hit us in the first place?

Furthermore, what about those people who have died as a result of injuries sustained from being in cars which was struck by trains. Was God not watching over them?

Here is what happened at 3:45PM on May 12, 1976 on Josey Lane in Carrollton, Texas when our AMC Gremlin was struck and flipped by a train:

The driver was traveling at a certain rate of speed so that, when the driver pressed the brakes upon hearing the train whistle; the effect was such that the car stopped with the right fender and the right front wheel over the railroad tracks. (Bummer!)

The circumstances were furthermore such that all mechanical factors relative to maintaining the ongoing operation of the vehicle momentarily failed. In other words, the damn vehicle stalled on the tracks! (Another bummer!)

The speed of the oncoming train was such that the Engineer was unable to stop the locomotive before the driver of the AMC Gremlin was able to restart the car. In other words, KABOOM!! (REALLY a bummer!)

Then the train slid the vehicle through the empty lane to the vehicle’s left, whereupon after hitting the curb, the vehicle dislodged from the train, and rolled over once, then came to a stop upside down. As I mentioned earlier, my younger sister involuntarily exited the rear through the hatchback, and the rest of us had a momentary upside view of our surroundings.

Now, having reviewed the events of that memorable day (I still contact my sisters each May 12 to wish them a “Happy Choo-Choo Day”), I would like to point out the obvious yet oftentimes overlooked reality of such circumstances:

The obvious yet oftentimes overlooked reality being that there is a natural explanation for everything that happened that day.

There was no evidence of a miracle that spared my life that day.

I feel lucky to be alive today in the light of the events of that afternoon, but nothing took place that day that is not explainable by sheer physics. In that regard, the AMC Gremlin came out a loser; because the laws of physics do not allow a Gremlin much defense against the effect of being hit by an oncoming train.

But the laws of physics are such, and the circumstances relative to physics in the course of the wreck was such, that we four occupants were not injured beyond repair. (Would that the AMC Gremlin were so lucky)

Furthermore, there is no reason to doubt that were ALL circumstances identical, and were the occurrence to be repeated, that the outcome would be the same right down to the damage done to the car and the injuries sustained by we; the four occupants of the totalled car.

Such is physics.
Such is natural reality.

There is always a natural explanation for everything.

And, since I did survive a “close call”, I am grateful to have walked away from the wreck itself.

But I don’t thank God.
Nor would I blame God had any of the other three occupants of the vehicle that day perished in the mishap.

If I were to thank any “one” for walking away alive that day, I would thank Nature.

But why should I thank Nature?

Nature is impersonal
Nature does not care one way or the other whether I walked away from that wreck alive or not.
Nature is not happy that I survived.
Nature would not mourn if I had perished painfully as a result of the wreck that day.
Nature is impersonal.

And so I live with this reality:

I survived a close call on May 12, 1976.

And I am glad that I did survive that day. But there is no one to thank. Just as there is no one to blame.

It was what it was.
And it is what it is.

Such is the natural reality of living in an impersonal universe.

Dave Henderson

Paranoia in a Double Standard

In the Summer of 2014,
Two Las Vegas cops were executed.
By two anti Government White Supremacists,
The story was soon thereafter muted.

In the Winter of 2014,
Two New York cops were killed by a disturbed black man.
The story went global.
There is still paranoia throughout the land.

I tell you the truth people.
It’s as plain as black and white.
There is a double standard among us,
I tell you folks: It just ain’t right.

Dave Henderson