Trans Geek Girl Meets Mundane World

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

“Everything Happens For a Reason”

No. It really doesn’t.

It seems like an innocuous statement of comfort, but it has a darker undertone.

“Everything happens for a reason” is an echo of the traditional notion of divine justice. Given an infinitely compassionate and powerful creator, why do bad things happen to good people?

Different theologies and philosophies have come up with different answers, but one of the more pernicious is the idea that divine justice is infallible — that bad things happen to good people because they’re imperfectly good. Some stray act or thought has incurred the wrath, and misfortune is evidence of sin.

While this is a peculiarly medieval way to view the world, it’s one that is also peculiarly persistent. It comes up often in discussions of poverty. If one believes that wealth is granted to the worthy through the invisible hand of the free market, the corollary is that those without wealth are in some way unworthy.

It’s pernicious nonsense. One of the gifts of humanity is the ability to understand cause and effect, but the drawback is an unfortunate tendency to impose causal relationships where none exist (and often invert those that do).

The universe is not that predictable. Our actions and choices can strongly influence the probability of some events, but there is always an element of chance. Often that’s all there is — pure blind chaotic chance, unheeding of the narratives built around it by mere mortals.

Everything happens for a reason? Only if “reason” includes the unpredictable non-patterns of random entropy, a definition so broad as to render the statement meaningless.

In that case, we might as well just murmur “empty platitude” and leave it at that.

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Autumn

Autumn is a season of discontent. All creatures feel the summer begin its ordered retreat from the field, and we are ill-pleased by it. We know the implied promises of summer, the endless ease, warmth and opportunity, are transitory, but we never believe, and we are taken unaware each time. We scramble and snatch at the pleasures of summer in its slow waning, squirrels hoarding nuts to see us through the winter.

Autumn is a season of sadness. Persephone, goddess of Spring, bids farewell to her mother and begins her mournful trek back to her lifeless winter home in the underworld. Nature draws in upon itself, conserving its energy for the coming cold and darkness. It is a season of endings, of things coming to a close, of loss and longing.

Autumn is a season of reflection. As we watch the retreat of summer, our minds are cast back to summers past, of joys forgotten, long days and endless loves, long since ended. Memory is a fine, rich wine, spiced with regret. But though our memories may be flavored with sorrow, so too is sorrow dilluted by the savor of remembered joy.

Autumn is a season of acceptance. None of our protests, none of our sorrow, none of our rememberences can slow the heedless turning of the wheel. Of all the truths of existance, none is crueler nor kinder than this; all things change. We change with them, or we are taken by the winter.

Welcome

Although I have to date resisted all forms of social networking, I have been desiring a place to air my thoughts on gaming, virtual reality, pizza (nature’s perfect food), and life in general. This blog will serve. Please feel free to join in.