Posted: Dec 19, 2018 2:48 pm
by scherado
Any self-respecting Agnostic labors in consideration of any and all the subjects for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion. Any self-respecting Agnostic will be receptive to reconsideration. It is this type of Agnostic's superior intellectual conscience that leads one to conclude that more information is needed on the several ultimate questions, one of which is the existence of a creator of the Universe and life on Earth (origins), but also myriad conceptions of god and the Earthly role of such an entity -- to use a neutral word. There are other threads in which some of these subjects have been debated: This is not another, though anyone should feel free to attack, attack, attack my assertion of the intellectual concience.

There was a time that I thought it would be a good idea to be observant for any "signs," yes, evidence of god, God, denominational or non-denominational, any god, The Big Cheese, whom I'll call God out of respect to believers. This is the sense I mean by "challenges to an Agnostic." (I'm still open to such things.)

Probably from seeing the movie Contact, I thought that any, "sign," would be Mathematical in theme; that it would be an event so improbable as to have an incomprehensibly small likelihood of occurring. I experienced such a thing. Or did I? You decide.

It was 2007. The event involves a well-used, 25-year old, 1009-page, soft-cover dictionary. I was driving home from work and heard a man on the radio use a word and I did not know it's definition and that I must look it up when I got home. I forgot about the whole thing and found myself reposed on my couch when I thought about the word. Within reach lay the dictionary on a coffee table. I thought this would be a perfect chance to contrive an opportunity for a "sign," as opposed to a passive observation of a sign.

In other words, I set the stage, defined the terms. They were: I would close my eyes and attempt to open the 1009-page dictionary to the exact page of the word's definition. I may have attempted such a thing a few dozen times over my life, but with my eyes open: all those previous occassions were simply attempts at saving time and, hence, I estimated by sight where I ought to open whatever dictionary I had. Yet, adding the eyes-closed criterion for this experiment does not accomplish much: The current subject word was a c-word so I knew that it's entry would be approximately somewhere after the first 75 pages and not in the last 2/3 of the book. How could I actually make this meaningful knowing where the word would not be found, even doing it blind? Having gone this far, I thought, "What the hell...," and did the best I could.

It's not hard to guess -- there wouldn't be a story to tell otherwise -- that I did open the dictionary to the exact page, to the bleeping word.


Having never, ever done this successfully, I was a bit taken aback. You may think this is the punchline. but it is not.

Being exceedingly rational and of sound mind <*cough*>, I thought that there must be something about the dictionary that made it very likely that I would open to that very page. Right? Well, ...

... there was and this is the KILLER: the binding had worn over 25 years of use to that very page causing me, with eyes closed, to make a natural stop at the one-and-only split in the binding.

The implications of this made me more than a little uncomfortable. How the bleep could it have happened in just this way? How many words could the man on the radio have uttered that fell on that very page, the definitions to which I didn't know that he did know and that he would use given the narrow subject of his comments? (I think I hurt myself typing that sentence.)

Never mind all that! The damned thing wore in a single spot over 25 years! (It would be somewhat less impressive had there been multiple splits, but not much less.)

So again, how could this happen? Eleven years later, I haven't convinced myself to conclude it a "coincidence." If not that, then how could all these elements be contrived or be "made" to conspire to result in this specific outcome? In order for "conspire" to be the correct word, then the definition of the all-everything (omni-- (fill-in the blank) Christian God could make it possible. What other kind of being could make several, essential events occur in the future and all contingent upon the necessity of a single binding-wear in the past, over the 25 years I'd carried, used, but never replaced the dictionary? I must add that I had a huge, 1922 Webster's dictionary that I cherished, but sold for the need of money. I still regret parting with that dictionary and it was devoid of any binding splits when it was 85 years old. <*gak*> If I kept that dictionary ... no story to tell.

Despite this "challenge" to being Agnostic, I have not embraced the existence of God, not even a "higher power," other than, "powers greater than myself" that are Earthly. For example, the power of certain groups ...
... of the F'n police, and judges and prosecuting attorneys.

I suppose that it didn't persuade. Are you persuaded?