Gratification

On Friday, during the partial eclipse I was tempted to look at the Sun.
I had heard the warnings.
I looked at it, and my eyes smarted.
I was still tempted to look at it.
What’s this deferring gratification thing? Weighing a glimpse of the sun as a crescent against the chance of permanent damage to eyes, I am still tempted!!

I then spent much of the day with the Three Guardians puzzle. Before I came up with the right questions, I spent hours with wrong questions and what various answers to them would mean. I am very pleased with having the right answer, and having thought of a fourth guardian which answered randomly, like a coin-toss, could answer that more complex problem with between five and eleven questions. Probably I should have done my washing, and in the beautiful sunshine a walk round the lakes might have been more relaxing, but working on that puzzle was the immediately gratifying thing.

A hug felt sexier than an ordinary friendly hug, and was followed up with an email addressed “Dearest Abigail”. She would be in touch, she said. Over a week later, I am on tenterhooks and wondering if she is messing with me, which feels cruel: that “dearest” touched my heart. I create theories of why she might deliberately hurt me, which feel possible but unlikely; but likelier the longer time goes on. Why would she would want to mess with me? Becoz I is trans, or because I had irritated her in some way I cannot imagine, or randomly without reason. The thought that she might not be in touch because of shyness or vulnerability in her came to me only later.

In The Last Battle, the dwarves go into the barn which is actually the gate of Heaven. The children see Heaven with its beautiful scenery getting more beautiful as you go further up and further in, but the dwarves see only a derelict barn with stinking old straw. So the children pick flowers for the dwarves, and the dwarves react angrily: Why are you shoving straw in our faces?

I came across “thetruthisstrangerthanfiction” on Violet’s blog. He is creationist. I find the complex, interlocking explanations of all the evidence of the age of the Earth fascinating and beautiful, and he finds them repellent: the desire to keep a meddling God with His meddling “morality” and call for “repentance” etc., is the real motivating factor at play behind the scientists’ rejection of young earth creationism, rather than the search for Truth which I perceive. Then again, his flowers- a literal interpretation of Genesis- are mouldy straw to me.

I want to persuade him. He is not persuadable, because he is immovably convinced that he has something better (as, mutatis mutandis, am I). I put long comments on his blog, rather than walking by the lakes or doing my washing. I wrote on facebook, to acclaim, I do not need you to be other than you are to validate who I am but one benighted stranger on another continent and a woman who may be hostile seem to indicate otherwise.

What I want may not be what is best for me.

Alte Pinakothek, Munich

14 thoughts on “Gratification

  1. I am not nearly as concerned about the specifics of “young earth creationism” vs. “old earth creationism” as I am with the issue of Creationism overall as contrasted witb the theory which suggests that everything simply arbitrarily formed all on it’s own. The universe and everything in it is of course staggeringly complex and beautiful, and that is really the whole point. It was designed. It is magnificent! How on earth do you interpret anything I’ve said to mean that I am somehow diminishing any of this? It is fact the complete opposite….

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    • Welcome.

      That is interesting. It is YECs, chiefly, who diminish the wonder of creation. “Not nearly as concerned”- so, are you in any sense OEC? That would mean that the Tethys fossils in Pakistan came to be so high above sea level because of continental drift, not because of the Flood. Can you accept that anything, ever, might have evolved, and if not how do you explain 17,000 species of trilobite, or (staying with arthropods) 43,000 species of spider?

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      • “OEC” in fact does not automatically have to imply an evolutionary cosmology, nor does it certainly mean that things like the Global Flood of Genesis were not literal and covering the tops of the mountains, etc.

        As for your question about the 17,000 species of trilobite, there is one form of “evolution” which I acknowledge as being observable and real. It is however the only kind.

        “The six meanings of evolution:”

        Cosmic Evolution – The origin of time, space, and matter with the Big Bang.

        Chemical Evolution – The origin of higher elements beyond hydrogen and helium.
        Stellar and Planetary Evolution – The origin of the stars and planets.
        Organic Evolution – The origin of life from non-life.
        Macro Evolution – Changing from one kind of animal into another kind. Ex: ape to human.
        Micro Evolution – Variation within the kinds. Ex: long-haired, short-haired, long-legged, short-legged, etc.

        Only micro evolution, number six on the list, has ever been observed. The other five are not scientific at all as they have never been observed. People believe in them yes, but that does not make it science.

        Typically, all that Evolutionists will ever give for evidence are examples of micro evolution. Well, micro evolution happens yes, but evidence for micro evolution does not somehow magically become evidence for the other five types of evolution. In actually, micro evolution is completely accepted within Creationsim as being a function of the possible genetic variations already inherent to every species within it’s own original DNA. I.E., dogs can intermix and make all kinds of various breeds of dog, but no matter how long this goes on for, you will still always have a dog (or a trilobite, or a spider…)

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        • I don’t think ape to human is that great a distance. It depends whether you take the word “kind” to refer to order or family. Male chimpanzees and male humans, and female chimpanzees and female humans, are closer genetically to each other than the other sex of their respective species. If “kind” means genus, the Ark would have had to have been a great deal bigger.

          Here is what we teach fifteen year olds about horses.

          My problem with the origin of uranium is that I am not qualified to evaluate these arguments. I tend to trust them, though. To say that they can arise through Satanic delusion is to ascribe too much power to Satan, and make a religion closer to Zoroastrianism than Christianity.

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          • “My problem with the origin of uranium is that I am not qualified to evaluate these arguments. I tend to trust them, though.”

            Yes… This sort of response seems to be a very typical one when it comes to Evolutionists speaking towards anything beyond micro evolution of biology…

            I’m not following your reference to molecular evolution “arising through Satanic delusion” though. Where is that coming from? I’ve heard plenty of “fringy” theories about religion/cosmology etc., but I have to say that’s a new one to me….

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            • Let me unpack the Satanic delusion line. For example, Uranium originated in supernovae. Astronomers and physicists agree about this. Odd toed ungulates, the horse, tapir, and rhinoceros, evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years. Biologists agree about this. Creationists may dispute that, but have to explain why people seeking the truth would be so deluded. The Creationists might say that it is a satanic delusion- but that is to ascribe all too much power to Satan.

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            • Ah, okay I follow you now. (before I was trying to figure out if you were saying that somehow Satan was the one who caused the formation of Uranium or something….)

              But hmmm, the whole topic of “Satanic delusion” is one I’ve actually spent a good deal of time writing/thinking/researching about, and overall, I’m simply in a different boat there, because I very much DO believe Satan’s number ONE “power” is deception.

              Jesus actually says of Satan: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

              That is quite a statement, “the father of ALL lies”!

              You seem to follow a line of thinking which somehow assumes that if the majority of humanity “agree” on something, that must mean it is likely to be true. The Bible very opposes this, whether it be in the context of a more modern deception such as Evolution, or an ancient one like Babylonian occultism, which in many ways eventually spread across the entire globe and was repackaged into a countless number of other forms of mysticism, Gnosticism, and outright paganism…

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            • You have demonstrated one point of my post, that there is little point in swapping comments with you.

              I had a look at my comment, which you read as claiming that uranium could arise through Satanic delusion. That is such a silly idea that I wondered how you came to that understanding of what I said. We can swap comments without severe, overt insult, but without particular respect, or any change in position.

              God bless you.

              I came up with the Agreement Challenge. If you can find any post here which you agree with or find anything interesting in, do let me know.

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            • (I didn’t think that was what you were really meaning, I was simply saying I didn’t follow you…) But you have no response to the broader question of Satan being the Deceiver…? You don’t seem to be saying that you don’t believe he exists at all (from what I can surmise), so what do you interpret his effect to actually be on humanity/history then? Is he just an “archetype” or something in your view?

              I honestly don’t know what to make of your “agreement challenge”, so I won’t try to respond there. (you’ve already stated that it’s pointless to “swap comments” with me, so, I guess it’s the familiar retort of just writing me off as unworthy of engaging with… I dunno. Yours is a unique perspective, that’s for sure…)

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            • Worldviews are admittedly difficult things to change, particularly when they are the thing underwriting a given identity or lifestyle we are not prepared to give up…

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            • Well, indeed. But what might that lifestyle and identity be?

              The identity of an Evangelical Christian, who knows he is Right, with a relationship to God, surrounded by backsliders and bad people in the thrall of the devil, perhaps. At least Right in theory, however much a “sinner” you think you are. You have such a lot to give up before you can follow Christ, and understand “Whoever is not against you is for you”. If you are to relate to people as Jesus did, you have to stop seeing out-groups and bad people, and meet people where they are.

              If you feel this is unfair or a mischaracterisation, you see the difficulty of assessing any identity or lifestyle from the outside.

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