Closer to My Comfort Zone
By I.M. Acher
There are over 7 billion people on this Earth.
Let us assume that everyone has free will. When you need to make a decision, you usually have at least three different choices to consider. If that decision involves another human, then that decision is compounded by at least another three. Let us compound that by every choice that every human makes every day. Let us further compound that by the things that affect our lives, directly or indirectly.
Now let us assume there is a higher intellect that somehow facilitates these actions. That being’s hands must be pretty full.
Let’s assume said being doesn’t exist? After all, these words did not put themselves on this computer screen.
Jonah in the Land of Nod.
Jonah doesn’t know what got him to go downstairs and use the laundry room. He hadn’t used the laundry room in over a year. Come and think of it, he wasn’t even sure if those machines even worked.
Cleanliness is godliness, his mother said. Happiness is a clean pair of underwear, he said. He hadn’t been happy in weeks.
He watched as his clothes swirled around in the washing machine. He could see his vintage Deep Purple t-shirt swirling around. That shirt was so worn, it’s a miracle that one wash didn’t make it unravel.
His fingers were stained with grease from his fried calamari and half-a-pack of American Spirit. Maybe he should have washed his hands.
Go to Ninvus, North of Gehena. And tell them THE END IS NIGH.
Jonah just stared at the fish-man. “Whoa,” he said. “You really dialed that creep factor up to 11.”
His head was still reeling from that sonic boom the fish-man sent into his head. And he was scared of the fish-man inflicting further pain unto him.
Go to Ninvus, said the fish-man. And tell them THE END IS NIGH.
“Yeah yeah,” said Jonah, “I heard you the first time. What are you going to do to them?”
Me? Nothing! I’m just a messenger.
“If you’re a messenger, why do you need me to tell them anything?”
If a telepathic anthropomorphic fish walked into your city with a message of doom, would you heed his warning?
“Well let’s see. I have one of those talking to me now, and I am not compelled to listen to him…”
The fish-man’s Achilles’ heel was the act of persuasion.
As a young fish-man, the fish-man was bless/cursed with the gift of blarney. That meant he loved to talk. But most of the words out of his mouth were empty and did not actually accomplish their intended goals.
“But why me?” asked Jonah. “Out of all the orators in the world, what could I possibly possess that makes me worthy of such a stupid mission?”
Because out of all the derelicts in the Land of Nod, you are the one that the least amount of people would miss if you failed. You have no friends, no family, no job, no future prospect of accomplishing anything important, basically no good traits whatsoever. Which is exactly why you are the ideal candidate for such a mission.
“Then how could I possibly convince an entire city to listen to me?”
Who said anything about convincing?
“So in other words, you are setting me up for failure.”
Well, uh, yes.
It was actually the fish-man’s dream to be able to gratify himself.
Jonah never really gave much thought to the prospect. After all, he wasn’t really the adventurous type; that included sexual endeavors.
These are the words of the fish-man.
Free will is just an illusion. But so is determinism.
You don’t really control your own actions. But neither does a higher intelligence.
The universe is a collection of forces. These forces are static and dynamic at the same time. There are definite rules they follow. But even the world’s biggest supercomputer could never parse all the variables, constants, and operations involved with these forces.
It is therefore inconceivable that we will ever know anything with complete certainty.
Science and religion are both human attempts to understand the universe. They are both equally frivolous. Both have aided and abetted human conquest of its environment. They once were two heads of the same coin. But as science became more methodological, it also became more dogmatic. And as religion began to disguise its dogma with logic, the lines became more and more muddled.
I used to think that I understood the truth.
But thanks to the fish-man, I realized that in fact, there is no truth. There is only perception and those who are too obtuse to use theirs.