Poltergeists, Superpowers, and The Tao

When I was about ten years old, my Mom laid down the law: I was old enough to sleep in my room with the door closed and the light off. I don’t know exactly why she felt compelled to declare such a policy at that time, though it could have had something to do with her being sick of me rushing into her room at three in the morning begging her to help me shake off the nightmares and subsequently keeping her up half the night. Whatever the reason, it backfired. As I was lying in my pink canopy bed, covers pulled up to my nose and literally shaking from fear in the moonlit room, toys began to fly off the shelves. First the plastic Barbie horse fell off the dresser with a light, clanky noise. Then the china collectibles began to crash to the floor, one after another, splintering into thousands of tiny pieces in a cacophony of tinkles and jarring miniature explosions, accompanied by my high-pitched screaming. I don’t actually remember my parents coming into the room, but the horse collection was never the same. And the light stayed on, after that, night after night for a long time. Continue reading

What If God’s Plan Involves Choices?

Now, ignoring for the moment that I am fanatically agnostic, I started to contemplate today the pro-life argument against abortion. The argument I most commonly hear is that a fetus is a living person with a right to life, even if that life is a miserable one. Sometimes, in the case of the pro-lifer being a Christian, this is backed up my a statement that life is a precious gift from God, and that it is a sin to cast it away, no matter what the circumstances.

What I wonder is this: If God is omniscient and omnipotent, but permissive in the sense that He wishes humans to have free will, then can we be so sure that the life of a fetus has independent value in His eyes? Before you dismiss this possibility without further thought, please allow me to expound. Continue reading