Philosophy

We’re not in Heaven yet…

I had a dream in which I was reading a book (and I very rarely read books in dreams). It was some guy’s autobiography. He wrote that he had met a spirit on his front lawn and that it “convinced me there was a God in Heaven who flicked all life into existence.” And then something I can’t remember. And then, “Every human soul is wise enough to remember that flick.”

One of the classic arguments for atheism. “If God exists, he must be evil to allow such suffering.”

Firstly, as I’ve blogged about before, the argument depends on a misunderstanding of the concept of God, separating God into two parts: some conscious entity who supposedly has magic powers to create the world and allow or disallow suffering as he sees fit, and an objective “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “evil”, that transcends God and which is then applied to God. And if God is judged to be “evil” by our standards, he can therefore not exist. Can you see the logical problem? The problem with negating God’s existence with an objective understanding of evil is that an objective understanding of evil can therefore not exist either. And if that doesn’t exist, you’ve lost your means by which to negate God’s existence.

In other words, your sense of “good” and “evil” is your sense God Himself. So judging God to be evil for allowing suffering does not negate his existence; rather, it reveals a paradox in your understanding of his will. The problem lies in our understanding. Why does God allow suffering, especially suffering that is not our fault? It seems so unjust! It is true enough that turning to atheism may seem to relieve the problem, but it hardly justifies it on a logical level.

And does atheism really relieve the problem? Does “banishing God” really make the suffering of the world any better? Now the suffering is OK because there is no grand entity to blame for it? If an atheist still holds that there exists, even if only in the mind, an ideal world in which there is no suffering, a sense of justice and a division between a moral right and wrong, an understanding that there is an objective difference between suffering and non-suffering, is he really an atheist? Or is he a theist who has lost hope and is angry at the God he blames for his suffering, and tries to relieve his guilt for that by calling himself an atheist?

But what about the suffering?

I’m afraid I don’t know why God allows all the suffering he does. I suspect we cannot know the reasons in this lifetime at all; it is something we may only be able to understand when we are able to see God face to face in Heaven. But it takes no more faith than a young child can conjure to believe that there is a reason, a good and perfect reason, and that it all works out for the good in the end. And even if I had no faith, this is the only logical conclusion there is, lest I abandon all sense of “good” and “evil” with God Himself.

I also suspect the reason has something to do with Free Will. The recognition that God allows suffering is at the very heart of faith; what faith would one need if there were no suffering? What faith would one need if we were all just born into Heaven? The entire point of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is that mankind is estranged from God; every son and daughter is estranged because their parents were estranged; that we are born estranged from God and that the life we live now was never what God ultimately intended for us; that there exists perfection (God) and that we don’t have it yet. The entire point of the story is a recognition that, hey, guess what? There’s suffering here, and we’re gonna feel it. And when you feel it, you can do two things: Turn to God, praying and hoping and striving and working to get back to his perfection. Or give up.

One thing you cannot logically do, however, is blame God for making you give up. That’s all on you.

Why does a child suffering from bone cancer stir the human heart? Why feel something for that child? As cheesy as it might sound, if you are having trouble believing in God, start there, with the feelings in your own heart. The easiest place to find God is in your natural desire to love. I do not mean your desire to love is evidence of God, I mean it is God Himself. The purity, perfection, omnipotence, omniscience, and forgiveness of God can all be found there, in your heart, in what you know as love. It is the portal to Heaven.

And it’s not just a one-way portal.

Build the kingdom

Maybe think about it this way: There is a kingdom in which there is no suffering. Some people left the kingdom in order to expand it, to build it in places it wasn’t before. Of course, outside of the kingdom there is suffering; it is painful to be outside of the kingdom. In this exile, the builders have children. The children, by nature of being born outside the kingdom, also experience suffering. But they were all also born with pieces of the kingdom, portals to bring the kingdom to where they are, and an assurance that they would never be disconnected from the kingdom (lest they knowingly cut that connection themselves).

Does it make any sense to blame the kingdom for the conditions experienced by the exiled children? “How dare the kingdom not already be here!”?

By S P Hannifin, ago
Philosophy

Pope says shocking things about science!

I thought it was funny to see the Pope in the news for talking about science. (Google it and read a few articles if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

The notion of God-creation has always transcended any explanation of how it physically happened. That is, how it physically happened doesn’t matter. Looking to physical explanations misses the point of the belief; after all, without a conscious entity that intends for certain things to happen, nothing ever happens for a “reason to be fulfilled.” Creation is an inherently metaphysical thing.

This is an imperfect comparison, but let us say that there is a child playing with LEGOs. He builds a small house with the LEGO bricks. Where did the house come from? Did it come from the child’s mind, or from the LEGO bricks?

To answer that the house came from the child’s mind is not to deny that the house is made of LEGO bricks.

Of course, what’s really ridiculous is how the media likes to portray the Pope’s words as being anything special in the first place, as if there is some gap to fill between science and Catholicism in the first place, or as if the ideas of the big bang and evolution ever conflicted with anything in Catholic teaching at all, or as if previous popes haven’t said similar things.

I may have blogged about this before, but I think some of it stems from a misunderstanding of science especially. Science is often used as an excuse to reject anything religious (because them Christians is weird and them organized religins is the devil!) with the assumption that if something is “science”, it can be “proven” with some sort of materialistic evidence, which could be found in some science journal somewhere. Of course, this really isn’t “science” in the traditional sense; this is the Science! of the modern man, the Science! that saves us from being obligated to defend or argue for any sort of morality. Disagree with a religious person about anything, and never fear, because Science! is on your side!

But the physical sciences never actually prove anything to be completely correct, nor do they somehow auto-generate any explanations for anything. Rather, we humans come up with explanations based on observations and predictions, and science gives us a means by which to disprove the explanation, so that we can form a more accurate explanation. That’s what science mainly is: a method by which to disprove explanations.

So firstly, science depends on the metaphysical; it makes no sense trying use it to reject the metaphysical. And secondly, there’s no “gap” between science and theology. Theology doesn’t make “scientific” claims in the first place, anymore than someone saying “I love you” to someone else is ever meant as a scientific hypothesis.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Philosophy

On hoping for changes in church teachings

Perhaps I will begin a blog dedicated entirely to religion and religion-related material. I obviously have an interest in it.

From this blog post (from a sci-fi writer whose work I admire):

[In regards to the LDS Church:]

I can remember being very happy when, in 1978, President Kimball received revelation from God that that time had come to extend the priesthood to all worthy males regardless of race.

This is the main thing I reject; the notion that God would change His mind about something. “This is what’s appropriate. OK, now this is appropriate instead. OK, now this is allowed.” If God is Truth, and if Truth by it’s very nature is eternal (objective beyond even time and space), then the appropriateness of certain behavior, the morality of behavior (or at least the intentions behind those behaviors), cannot change. Our human understanding of it can grow or diminish (we can be wrong about it), but Truth itself doesn’t change. And we do our best to understand Truth as it truly is; we strive to know Truth; we strive to know God.

In the modern world, where laws of a nation can be changed with votes, people sometimes confuse the teachings of a church (like, say, the Catholic Church) for arbitrary decisions made by leaders based on their personal likes and dislikes. In this way, church teachings are sometimes misunderstood to be like voted-upon laws that can be changed over time.

But if that were the case, the teachings wouldn’t be objective, and couldn’t be understood to be manifestations of Truth. Instead, they’d be arbitrary opinions. Not a problem if we all agree on them, but when we don’t, oh no, what do we do?

If leaders of the Catholic Church decided to strip away certain teachings from the Catechism claiming they now “understood things differently” or had some divine revelations, Catholics everywhere would not say, “Oh, OK, if you say so!” Perhaps some would, but only those who understood such teachings to be arbitrary in the first place. Others would be scratching their head, fearing demonic forces at work, and would abandon the clearly compromised leaders.

It is like if a math professor one day came into class and announced that he had realized that 2 plus 2 actually equals 5. If you actually understood his prior teaching that 2 plus 2 equals 4, wouldn’t you naturally fear that your professor had gone mad? You would not accept the new teaching as a revelation that Math itself had somehow changed in the night. You know it’s wrong because you understand why 2 plus 2 equals 4.

(You could get into the paradox of omnipotence. “If God can do anything, why can’t He change His mind?” You might as well ask: “If God can do anything, can He not be Himself?” or “If God can do anything, can He be illogical?” The answer is: No. The question assumes a misunderstanding of omnipotence in the context of describing God.)

The implication of this sort of mind-changing truth-revelation is that you get church members who actively hope for a change in teaching. And why shouldn’t they? It’s like having a parent who changes his mind about whether or not you can eat ice-cream for dinner. How could it not be valid to hope for something you understand to be at least possible?

But is that at all spiritually healthy for a family of believers?

And if you submit yourself to an authority figure, why the heck would you hope for him to change his mind about something? Isn’t that basically the same thing as, you know, not actually submitting to that authority?

I don’t at all understand how these “revelations” work in the Mormon Church, but any authority that can be understood to change its mind is not objective, and therefore not Truth, and therefore not God.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Philosophy

Catholicism and homosexuality

And now a more serious post. The religious blog Deus Nobiscum recently finished posting a series of short articles worth reading. They do a nice job of explaining my beliefs on this subject. (They’re short. It doesn’t take long.)

Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 1: Equal Persons
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 2: Unequal Acts Part 1
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 3: Unequal Acts Part 2
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 4: The Call to Chastity
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 5: The Rugged Cross
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 6: Love, Not Hate Part 1
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 7: Love, Not Hate Part 2

They are written more concisely and with more grace than I would’ve ever been able to manage. This subject continues to be a touchy one among some of my good friends. It can be a very difficult thing to discuss. I know it is often sentimentalized by TV and Hollywood to be a struggle to be oneself and find love in the midst of oppressive institutions, outdated ideologies, and naive or downright prejudiced individuals. I can only hope my friends can give my understanding of this subject a little more credit than all that.

At the very least, even if you don’t agree with it, you owe it to yourself to not be afraid of or offended by people who understand and speak about sexual morality (and the spirituality behind it) and its related issues in this way. When I, or a Catholic priest for that matter, mentions these things, it is not an effort to shame dissenters. It is an honest (and, in my opinion, very beautiful) understanding of sexual nature. There is nothing to fear about it.

God bless!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Non-fiction books

More boring thoughts on consciousness

I’ve heard that later this month, Google’s Blogger will be discontinuing the FTP upload feature, which means my other two blogs, Stuff I Found and Book Quotes, will sadly have to come to an end. I could convert them to WordPress or move them to something.blogspot.com, but I think I will just kill them off, and integrate future posts that would’ve belonged to them into this blog here. It’s probably a better idea just to have everything in one place anyway, yes? So I shan’t be using Google Blogger ever again; it’s all WordPress from now on.

And now on to our regularly scheduled blog post. On page 24 of Daniel C. Dennett’s book Consciousness Explained, Dennett says:

Love is one of those phenomena that depend on their concepts, to put it oversimply for the time being. There are others; money is a clear instance. If everyone forgot what money was, there wouldn’t be any money anymore; there would be stacks of engraved paper slips, embossed metal disks, computerized records of account balances, granite and marble bank buildings — but no money: no inflation or deflation or exchange rates or interest — or monetary value. The very property of those variously engraved slips of paper that explains — as nothing else could — their trajectories from hand to hand in the wake of various deeds and exchanges would evaporate.

Basically I think he’s saying that things like money and love are things of the mind, concepts that come from the mind. How we act in relation to them is dependent on how we think of them, how we understand them. And we can disagree about our philosophies toward them, but there’s not some tangible non-psychological objective evidence in the outside world we can ever use as evidence to support our position. For other things, this is not true. The examples the author uses are diseases and earthquakes. Our understanding of those phenomena can and has changed through the years, but those phenomena remain the same. An earthquake doesn’t shake differently when you understand; but how you spend your money does change depending on how you understand it. Money’s very existence is dependent on our understanding of it.

Of course, the author is then planning to apply this concept to consciousness. Is consciousness more like love or an earthquake? The author will argue it’s more like love… but to me it seems a confusing question, and may require me to think differently about the concept. I’ve always thought of consciousness as a purely physical phenomena, right? What if love is understood as a purely physical phenomena, as an emergent property of chemicals moving around in the brain? Is love then like an earthquake?

The trouble is, creating this dividing line between things like love and money and things like earthquakes and diseases seems a bit fake. It’s like, there are these physical things that tangibly exist, and then there are concepts, emergent properties in the mind. Usually I’m OK with creating that dividing line, but consciousness sits right on it, it links the two. It leads to the philosophical questions of solipsism… everything you see, everything you feel, hear, sense, they are all physically in your mind… what is the nature of existence in general? It’s like asking on what side the dividing line is in relation to itself.

So I disagree with the author and would say that the question is invalid; it’s too oversimplified. Still, its implications are worth exploring, and oversimplifying may be necessary to get anywhere, so I’ll keep reading.

As I was reading this part of the book, I also thought, hmmmm, what about religion? Where would God fit into this? Is God like love or an earthquake?

Atheists and theists argue about whether or not God exists, but not about the nature of the existence of money (or at least don’t argue about it nearly as often). We don’t say that money isn’t real, though we do understand that it’s more a psychological concept than a tangible property of the world. We don’t say that money’s existence is relative to our beliefs, yet we have no problem in having different understandings of it.

Whether or not you believe in God, you’d probably believe that the nature of His existence doesn’t change with your beliefs, but how you act in life and towards God (or lack of God) and other people does depend on your beliefs.

So it’s like God is perpendicular to the dividing line between psychological concepts and tangible worldly concretes. Both theists and atheists treat the belief in God more like it’s an earthquake on some distant planet nobody can see, and that makes it like love, because that sort of understanding is all that’s left.

Confusing?

And then the question is: so what? What can we do with this way of thinking about the nature of the existence of God? Anything?

Perhaps understand that the dividing line itself doesn’t exist? That we are part of both understandings of the world, both psychological and physical beings, and, most importantly, that both understandings of the world are the same world? Can that understanding change the way we act?

Or, if you don’t feel like thinking about God, what about the nature of an objective difference between moral right and wrong? What about the nature of Truth itself?

Obviously, I don’t really know, and I’m really just confusing myself. Argh!

The author says on page 24 and 25:

If the concept of consciousness were to “fall to science,” what would happen to our sense of moral agency and free will? If conscious experience were “reduced” somehow to mere matter in motion, what would happen to our appreciation of love and pain and dreams and joy?

I am confident that these fears are misguided…

… let us remind ourselves of what has happened in the wake of earlier demystifications. We find no diminution of wonder; on the contrary, we find deeper beauties and more dazzling visions of the complexity of the universe than the protectors of mystery ever conceived.

Yes, yes, I agree, because I are smart. I’ve heard similar fears from composers and music lovers who think that if we could explain why we think certain melodies sound so beautiful then they might not sound beautiful anymore, as if the beauty is in the mystery of why it’s beautiful. A “we-murder-to-dissect” kinda thing, understanding it might kill the wonder of it. Nonsense! The only beauty I see in a mystery is born of the desire to solve it, to one day truly know.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Movies

Is doubt good?

I saw the movie Doubt last night.  It was… eh… it wasn’t bad, it was better than I thought it would be, but it wasn’t that good either, in my opinion.  You can definitely tell it’s based on a stage play, and if you’ve been to a few stage plays you might recognize it’s style: pacing is different, there are long conversations, little music, little action, lots of talking.  Not necessarily boring conversations, sometimes quite engaging conversations, that’s an area playwrites can be brilliant at while most films move much quicker.

Anyway, one of the themes of the film was, not surprisingly, doubt.  Which is a nice coincidence since I was just reading a book (and still haven’t finished it) called Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson.  I mentioned the book a few posts earlier; it’s about the history of questioning religion, the history of people doubting.  The philosophical question is: is doubt good?

From a scientific point of view, yes, of course, one should always be questioning.  That’s what leads to more experiments, more discoveries, and a better knowledge of our world.  And you do experiments to try to prove your guesses wrong; that’s often the easiest way to go about it.  And when you can’t prove yourself wrong, you know your theory may be on to something.

But with religion, you can’t do experiments.  You can’t even get God (or Zeus, or whatever) to talk to you man to man.  So what’s the use of doubt?  It becomes not an act of experimentation, not a question spoken out loud, but a thought, something to think your way through (of course you can talk about it with others, but your answers won’t be emperical).

I think a good faith embraces the questioning of itself.  That might seem contradictory; how can faith really be faith if it’s being questioned?  On the other hand, how can faith really be faith if it’s never questioned?  Isn’t that blind faith, and thus, not faith at all?  But faith being questioned isn’t true faith either, it’s uncertainty.  But isn’t that the way to faith?  Through uncertainty and questions and doubt?  After all, if you had perfect faith in everything you believed in, you’d be perfect.  You would do everything right and always be pleased with yourself.  You’d always be happy, I would think.  You would never face any moral dilemmas.  And I bet a lot of people would envy you.

In college, I sometimes came across people who thought they had all the answers and went around campus advertising their religion… but they really didn’t have all the answers, they just didn’t have any questions.  Ask them about some moral dilemma or about the nature of God and they only gave empty answers, like “Well, God is mysterious!”  Well… yeah!  A mystery is something you don’t know!  That God is thought of as “mysterious” is an indication of an imperfect faith.  And I would think faith must be imperfect for us, it’s ingrained in the very nature of our humanness.

So, in a way, to doubt, to question, is to have faith… faith in faith.

But what about atheists?  (Some might even say that atheism is a faith, and the only way to really have no faith is to not be human, or to not have life at all.)  Would it be equally beneficial for an atheist to doubt and question their own atheism?  Is “blind” atheism really atheism?  Are atheists that are certain with themselves just not asking any questions, or giving empty answers?

Obviously science doesn’t have all the answers, or at least we can’t find them all right now.  But does that mean the answers aren’t there?  Scientists still spend plenty of time looking and questioning… isn’t that faith?  Faith that answers exist, that there does exist a knowable truth?

So… is doubt good?  I don’t know… it implies an imperfect faith, and is therefore bad… but it’s required to arrive at a more perfect faith, and is therefore good…

Blah blah blah blah . . .

By S P Hannifin, ago
Philosophy

The meaning of afterlife

Have you noticed sometimes people who believe in an afterlife believe in it for the same reasons others don’t?  And that reason is: what you do in this life is important and meaningful.  I’ve heard atheists argue that if we lived forever in some afterlife, then why would today matter?  We’d have an infinite amount of time to make up for it!  But if you’re time alive is finite, then it’s infinitely more important.  But to me, the opposite seems true: if we’re all going to completely stop existing one day, why would anything matter?  “Well, you want to have a good effect on the next generation,” some atheists might say.  But if that generation is just going to die and become nothing as well, what does that matter?  On the other hand, if you live forever, all the consequences of everything you’ve ever done stay with you forever; you can’t undo the past with eternity.  If you don’t live forever, then there ultimately are no consequences.

But who really lives as if nothing matters?  Only people with psychological problems, as far as I can tell.  Those who don’t believe in an afterlife still believe their actions matter (I think).  I suppose the goal then becomes to be as happy as you can now, and the future really doesn’t matter, unless of course what you’re doing now would prevent you from being happy in the future.  But the goal is all about pleasure and while I’m alive to feel it.  How much pleasure and pain you felt throughout your life ultimately doesn’t matter in the end, but it matters now, because you’re experiencing pleasure or pain now.

But if that’s the case, there’s still no rational reason to go about caring for others, unless of course it gives you pleasure.  But if it doesn’t, why should it matter?

And what if two people’s pleasures conflict with each other?  I guess one just has to suffer?  After all, it’s only temporary.  It won’t matter eventually.

Then there’s the reincarnation belief . . . we live again, but we forget everything (or mostly everything) from our previous lives.  Isn’t that just the same as never having lived?  But then . . . what about those people who get brain damage and really do forget much of their lives?  Is it really like never having lived?

What if there’s a criminal who sneaks into a rich man’s home, destroys his belongings, and kills him.  Then, as he’s trying to sneak out, he slips on a marble staircase, hits his head, and forgets the past decade of his life, which was when his life of crime began.  Without such memories, is he the same person?  When the police come and arrest him, should he still be held accountable for his crimes?  Even though now the man who will be sitting in prison is a confused man who can’t even remember what happened?  What if he wasn’t held accountable, then one day the memories came back?  Would he have to be accountable then?

Or what if he could never get his memories back?  What would happen to the man he used to be?  Surely there can’t be an afterlife for that man.  He just vanished completely.  What was the point of all the pleasure and pain, of all the hard choices, of all the decisions within those ten years if memory of them just vanished?  Just that he now has to live with the consequences?  But is he really living with his own consequences, or is he living with another man’s consequences, becausing having his memories erased makes him a completely new person?

Of course, science fiction stories have brought up these issues many times, but not many (none that I’ve read) come to any hard certain conclusions.  (Really no new thoughts here.)

So why do your decisions matter now?  Because you want pleasure now (and while you’re alive), or because we’re going to live forever?  And does that decision matter?

By S P Hannifin, ago
Non-fiction books

The Atheism of Dolphins

I was going to post some philosophical thoughts on the relationship between psychology and religion, mostly about how they’re compatible.  My main point was going to be: that the emergence of religion among living beings can be explained scientifically says nothing about the truth of religion.  But such a post would be very long-winded, and it would certainly get confusing in some parts.  Then again, maybe to some it’s already pretty self explanatory.  However, I’m really just too tired and a bit too uninterested right now to go into it all.

There are a couple reasons I felt compelled to write such a post.  Firstly, I’m reading quite an interesting psychology book called Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique by Michael S. Gazzaniga.  It’s filled with many interesting psychology … uh … things.  For example, it seems the emotion of disgust is a purely human trait, and it is possible for humans with certain brain injuries to be incapable of knowing it.  Can you imagine not being able to see anything as disgusting?  Also, it made me question what I said in my last post, that emotional suffering comes from wanting.  I think that, like physical pain, some emotional pain can just be automatic, such as fear or sadness; they can be born from things we don’t consciously control.  I guess you could say they still come from wanting; they still come from the brain wanting the environment to be different.  But it’s not really always so much a conscious wanting.  One could also say that suffering serves the purpose of physical survival, so why do we always try to find spiritual meaning in it all?  I guess that’s a whole different topic…

Anyway, the second reason was that I was browsing Neil Gaiman’s blog, and he wrote this:

Picked up my copy of New Scientist over breakfast this morning (which, along with Fortean Times, is my favourite publication) and found myself puzzling over an article that began

That a complex mind is required for religion may explain why faith is unique to humans.

Which left me amazed and potentially delighted that journalists at New Scientist had succeeded in interspecies communication to the point of being certain that dolphins and whales have no belief in things deeper than themselves, that ants do not imagine a supreme colony at the centre of everything, and that my cats only believe in what they can see, smell, hunt and rub up against (except for Pod, of course, who when much younger would react in horror, with full fur-up, to invisible things), and that there are no Buddhist Pigs, Monkeys or whatever-the-hell Sandy was.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Gaiman’s post… I hadn’t really considered the idea that non-humans might have religious feelings.  It just seems rather… absurd.  But then again, I guess it depends on how you define religion.  We humans tend to believe in a difference between right and wrong.  Why wouldn’t animals?  It’s needed for the survival of the individual and of the species.  I would think it would be part of their psychology.  I guess my puzzle is… where is and what is the nature of the link between believing in a difference between right and wrong and religion?  I’ve met many an atheist who think religion is not just stupid, it’s evil.  But that seems like a religious statement in and of itself; the word “evil” presupposes the existence of an objective right and wrong.  How can anyone truly be atheist while believing in an objective difference between right and wrong?  Wouldn’t true atheism just lead to moral relativism?  Or should psychology by itself lead to moral relativism?  But if atheists who believe in an objective difference between right and wrong are really religious, then wouldn’t animals also be religious, in a very fundemental way?

So I think both Gaiman and New Scientist have some truth; I guess they are differing a bit in what they mean by “faith”.  Very interesting… I had not thought of such things before.

So… that’s that.  The book I’m reading and Gaiman’s blog post there made me want to write a much longer blathering about psychology and religion, but what I just wrote is enough… for now at least.  It’ll give my subconscious something to think about while I’m not.

In other news, my short story No One Was Abendsen goes out to critiquers in the Critters Workshop this week, so I look forward to getting some more feedback.  (Mr. Sawczak was kind enough to provide some very helpful feedback earlier.  Thank you again!)  So by the end of next week I should be ready to write a final draft and start sending it out to magazines.  (I can sometimes be a perfectionist, so I like to say I never really finish a work, I just stop working on it so I can move on.  So, after my final draft, I don’t get any more critiques no matter what so as not to waste time trying to make it perfect for anyone in particular including myself.  Some people send their stories through Critters multiple times, but I must move on!  It’ll never be perfect.)

I started writing another short story, which I mention on Twitter every now and then, but I’m not far enough into it to say much about it because… who know?… I might abandon it later.

And that’s that. 🙂

By S P Hannifin, ago