Ponder Words Of A Good Christian


This question appeared in my Quora feed – “Why do many atheists attack and offend Christians?” Gone are the days when I might have taken issue, trolls will fish, but I won’t bite. Can’t say why I hesitated, all I know is Connor Cuevo’s answer filled the screen – https://www.quora.com/profile/Connor-Cuevo

Connor Cuevo describes himself as a good Christian, this atheist defines him as a decent human being. Ponder the words of a good Christian –

I’m a Christian here. I also know many atheists.

Have atheists ever scoffed at us when we helped the poor and downtrodden in their affliction?

Did they mock us when we cried, asked the Lord for forgiveness, and resolved to be better people?

Were they spiteful when we were generous with friends and strangers?

Do they attack us when we forgive someone who has wronged us?

Are they offensive when we act with humility, giving glory to God?

When we sought to bring peace, or tend to the sick, or feed the hungry, or visit the imprisoned, or bury the dead, were they hostile?

I have never known an atheist to do any of these things.

I have known atheists to be critical of us, typically when we:

Hoard wealth in our churches.

Justify our sinful behavior.

Shut out and oppress other groups of people.

Lust for blood with impunity.

Boast and act ostentatiously.

Do little or nothing to combat structural violence , systemic poverty or rampant illness.

Be guilty of all these things and still try to impose our “wisdom” on others.

If you are a good Christian, you will probably never get any trouble from atheists. You may even get praise.

In all honesty, I have found that atheists are the most effective force to guide, counsel and affirm Christian values ever devised!

Image result for good person

29 Cents And Counting


Drove home at 2 am, couldn’t say what day it was and didn’t care, work wasn’t expecting me back for 11 luxurious hours. Eleven hours reminded exhaustion there’s more to life than work. Noticeable layers of dust cloaked my laptop, all I wanted was time to catch up on WordPress. Forcing hindsight to explain how I let work topple my love for daily ponders could wait, I had eleven hours – two at my laptop, one to wind down and fall asleep, seven at rest, another to wake, shower and get myself back to work.

I didn’t need hindsight wagging her finger to know I’d stretched myself too thin. I might have happily opened WordPress and left it at that, but no, I had to open Quora and ruin my life.

For perspective, WordPress is my first love, Quora a dangerous affair. WordPress feeds my soul, Quora delivers esteem building strokes, strokes in the form of Top Writer affirmation and more views in a day than WordPress musters in a month. I hate myself but can’t stop. Trouble is, there aren’t enough hours for WordPress let alone Quora.

Back to eleven hours and a dusty laptop. I wanted to ponder October meteor showers on WordPress. Opening my laptop for the first time in days created a maelstrom of conflicted direction. Best guess being checking Quora stats before settling into WordPress stemmed from innocent desire to get it out of the way, who knew a private message would ruin my life.

Quora moderation invited me to enroll in the Partners Program. What Partners Program? I only have eleven hours and you’re choosing tonight to personally invite me to enroll for paid content? Register a PayPal account, keep asking great questions, blah, blah, blah. What fresh hell is this? I don’t have time!

Cosmic ponders went unspoken, my laptop slammed shut, I crawled into bed. One week and 72 work hours later I dusted off the screen, what choice did I have but to play along with Quora? Enrollment took a few minutes, my first question took a few more. As of tonight I’ve earned 29 cents, 29 convoluted cents awarded to an overworked caterer who only wants to ponder the cosmos. I need my head examined! Sigh.

2018 Top Writer Nod


Fired up the laptop after work, a message from Quora politely delivered news I had been named a Top Question Writer 2018. Aw shucks Quora, you just made my day. Top Question Writer 2 years in a row? Yep, a click on my profile page confirmed the distinction.

Image result for quora top question writer 2018

Most people haven’t heard of Quora, obscurity of being named a top writer isn’t lost on me. Personal satisfaction stems from recognition of content, not followers or views. Tomorrow I’ll forget about another top writer nod, tonight I’ll grin like a mad fool

Quora Top Question Writer 2017


The package waited for my return from work. Climbing the front steps I heard soggy brown protests whimpering in Vancouver rain. No measure of weather beaten packaging could dampen the moment. I scooped it inside, knowing full well my Quora Top Writer 2017 Patagonia jacket had arrived.

Several years ago a friend introduced me to Quora. A few days later I posted https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/quora/ on this blog. Asking questions that cross my mind, answering others when I have something to contribute, my followers grew to a few hundred. I won’t lie – my top three questions garnering over 5 million views combined, puffed the old chest.

Last December Quara Admin sent a private message, reading in part –

“Congratulations! You’ve been named as a Top Question Writer for 2017.

You should see a Top Question Writer icon on your profile page that indicates you are part of the 2017 class of Quora Top Question Writers.

Quora has chosen you in recognition of your unique contribution to the Quora community. Among the considerations were the consistency, quality, and thoughtfulness of your questions over the last year.”

The message went on to list questions deemed worthy of recognition, conspicuous absence of most viewed questions didn’t help confusion – I have 179 followers, what are you talking about? Mailing a Patagonia jacket, invited to annual conference in New York… Stop! Was I nominated, is this a big Quora deal? Time for a little research.

Launched in 2009, Quora reports 100 million visitors a month, over 40 million users in America alone. In 2012, the first Top Writers were named – that part was easy. Further investigation revealed my soggy brown package was a big deal. A multi faceted conclusion based on Quora’s reluctance to provide recipient stats, abundant chatter indicating annual honorees number between 500-1000 worldwide and scores of  queries on what it takes to be named a Top Writer. None of which matters to anyone but myself, recipient of a soggy brown package confirming I’m a Quora Top Writer.

 

Huffington Post Asked


Yesterday the Huffington Post asked me to answer a question on Quora. Below, my answer to “What is the most fascinating science fact ?”

 

Crazy Button


I need my head examined. Quora obsession – call it my dark side,finds me lurking in places I’m not proud of. What began as a “phase”, has become an embarrassing testament to powers of indignant outrage, astonishment, and mind blowing realization. Polite reminders to behave myself deliver tepid results, best intentions fall victim to uncontrollable curiosity. Convincing myself of “curious” intentions, eases excruciating reality – I need my head examined.

On a good day, I’ll post questions like “What is the greatest archeological treasure lost to war or conflict?” or “Will cursive writing become obsolete?”. Genuine queries resulting in thoughtful exchanges.

Bad days (the crux of my bat shit addiction to Quora) go something like this – following are two questions asked this evening under the topic “Religion”.

“If you’re an Atheist, is it better to raise your children as Theist so he/she can find strength in difficult times?”

“Is it true that Atheists don’t really believe in God, but that they really just want to be God?”

This is when it gets tricky. Reasonable Notes would guffaw and move on, possessed Notes shakes hands with futility. Something about preposterous questions void of frivolous explanation or reason pushes my crazy button. Every sinew of my being, taut and helpless as propriety skips out the door.

“Crazy button” deserves clarification, crazy suggests ranting tirades – the reality of my “crazy” doesn’t even come close. Crazy resides in the fact I respond. Crazy shame lurks in not logging out or moving on once “are you serious”, holy freaking crap and WTF? settle down. Crazy is my fascination with absurdly brief ridiculous questions – particularly those intended for morally corrupt heathens. As I’m writing another question surfaced…

“Do some people just pretend to be Atheists, and try to convince others God doesn’t exist because they believe God doesn’t want mankind to know of or believe in his existence?”

I’m having second thoughts about my plea for help – that question was too good. Perhaps I could temper obsessively poor judgement with strict resolve to look, keeping snide remarks and opinions to myself.

 

Things I’ve Learned on Quora


Almost a month ago Quora became somewhat of an obsession. I wrote of Quora with the giddy, naive and glowingly childish enthusiasm of an optimistic fool. First glance promised instant gratification delivered via an untapped source of critical thinkers. Oh man – not so fast notes.

It isn’t Quora’s fault – allowing myself to dabble in places fraught with the perils of unbending logic was an obvious exercise in futility. As with anything we reap what we sow – 3 1/2 weeks, and 100,000 views later – some things I learned on Quora….

First – I’m only human, I like stats, views, and upvotes. Hardly a surprising admission although one that never matters in my wordpress world. Allowing my “knee jerk” rantings to froth corners of better judgement was captivating. WordPress epitomized polite reason – Dr. Jekyll to Quora’s Mr. Hyde. Jeckyll knew better, Mr. Hyde threw caution to the wind.

A week or so in, I posed a question asking why Americans considered freedom of speech license to speak hate. Yikes – I’m either stupid, delusional, or hopelessly Canadian. I knew the answer, fully grasped America’s perspective, understood the fundamental stance of free speech in America, yet couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t understand it would bring 40,000 views, complete with a litany of arguably the most venomous personal attacks imaginable. Bottom line – 99.9% of respondents reacted without an iota of comprehension other cultures might see distribution of hateful propaganda as harmful.

Answering questions proved satisfactory. My answers to why Petra was a wonder of the ancient world, and contribution to a question on the most astounding “tricks” by armies or nations at war kept me out of trouble for a while. This was a place reserved for positive exchange of ideas – a place void of accusations, yet I wasn’t content to behave myself.

I knew better than to respond to preposterous religious stupidity, or ask those same people why they thought Atheists lacked morals or committed more crimes. Several weeks of hating myself for spouting sarcastic jabs finally ended with a self imposed intervention – it’s out of my system, along with sincere vows to be a better person.

A few minutes ago I asked (with http://geneticfractals.wordpress.com/ in mind) how someone would explain the 4th dimension. That was 15 minutes ago and with nearly 500 views, 6 followers, and 3 answers on the record – I’m back to seeing Quora as it was intended. For anyone curious, the first few “answers”…..

Jens Adler NielsenJens Adler Nielsen, PhD in solid state physicsSuggest Bio

We have 3 spatial dimensions, typically revert to as height, width and depth.The 4th dimension is time.Basically in order to meet somebody you need 4 coordinates or you will miss each other.On earth, these 4 coordinates are typically longitude, latitude, floor and date, but it could be another set of coordinates, however there will always be at least 4 and if there are more, you can reduce them to 4. Hence the universe is 4-dimensional.

Brenton MilneBrenton Milne, electrical engineer

If you want to visualize it, you can try imagining a fourth dimension as colour or brightness, like how you might present four dimensional data in a graph.Think of a point in 3D with x,y,z coordinates, now give it a brightness as the fourth dimension. Extend this to straight lines (interpolate x,y,z,brightness between two points). Imagine how other primitives work, like continuous curvy lines etc.Note that one you try to imagine solids you will find that there are multiple values of the fourth dimension present at each x,y,z location. For solids the movie analogy in the other answers may be more helpful (and more reflective of our universe where our fourth dimension is time)