My fav Facebook Community

I grew up watching my brother and his closest friends play video games and also sneaking into my brother’s closet to read his comic books shhh. So finding a community on Facebook that included video games in their daily content felt just like home. I just wanted to take the time to share a link to my favorite community titled The Extraordinary Journey of a Black Nerd Group.  I think they provide interesting and engaging content including cosplay, movie reviews, funny memes, and great conversation starters.  The comments are usually the best part. I also love Marvel and they have a lot of pretty cool conversations on the comics and movies. I have learned so much in this group when it comes to all comic books. You should totally check them out!

Here’s a note from the founder and a sample post that made me smile.
“I created this group to share my personal journey as a nerd, and to provide an open and supportive environment for Nerds and Geeks of any race, color, or creed to discuss Comics, Video Games, Entertainment, Sci-Fi, Books, Movies and more!

This group Is neutral ground and a place to share our love of all things nerdy!”

-Jemal ‘PlanetEJOBN Founder’

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/adventuresingeek/

Figured I’d add another convenience link for you to click. 🙂 You’re welcome.

Wet books

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That smell of wet books and Chanel no 5
is no invitation
There are no arms open
stiff I freeze
Under my soles is the threshold
A cold door knob damp in my palm
Dead echoes haunt from behind
“Vanity!” they scream
A million hands reaching to save me from their sins
fingers grasping at my clothing
If only they would just listen
“hear me out!”
It’s no use their minds are with moons and times
sloshed together creating the great divide
“I’ll have no part!” I yell
stepping in
door closed behind
I’ll have no part that whisper left my mouth
slipping to the ground
I’ll have no part.

 

-Saschia Johnson

Bubble Bath

Bubble Bathsoap-bubble-1983918_1280

The tub is full and the bubbles bobble on top

My legs have adjusted

but when the rest of me sinks in

it burns.

In the tub, I’m a lost soul

venturing from the heavens to a five star hotel

It is there I’m considered a holy whore with no divine gifts

My words

they float in front of me popping the suds

And here I soak

without a clue and nothing to give

Here I sink

soggy as a sponge in the pits of the ocean

 

-Saschia Johnson

 

Photography- Morality Project

Goth Tessa Dana Chris

Photography/Editing: James Futrell

Hair: Melissa Payne

Makeup/Creative Director: Saschia Johnson

Models: Tessa Dipallina and Christine Talamayan

 

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Wanna read more? Here’s another great piece from our Morality Collection by Geoff Blanchette

 

Simon Williams On Morality

On Morality

Introduction

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I will be presenting Morality from the position of an Evangelical Christian. In this post, I will simply assume that the Bible is as the authoritative word of God and the existence of the Christian God, as described in the Bible and the first six ecumenical councils. My goal is to present an understanding of Morality that is true to human experience and is faithful to the Bible.

Definition of Terms

You can skip this section if you want, but I wanted to explain some of my terms. Morality is a complicated topic and it can be very easy to misunderstand me if I don’t make clear what I mean when I use certain words. Please refer to the following list as needed for clarification:

  • Attribute – A quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.
  • Bad – That which doesn’t measure up with the attributes of God. Also, called Evil.
  • Duty – A moral or legal obligation; a responsibility; a task or action that someone is required to perform.
  • Good – That which coincides with the attributes of God.
  • Moral Duties – This is concerned with whether something is right or wrong. This is always a moral consideration.
  • Moral Values – This is concerned with whether something is morally good or bad. Good and bad may not have a moral dimension.
  • Right – This is concerned with moral obligation. This is what we ought to do. This produces godliness.
  • Wrong – This is concerned with moral obligation. This is what we ought not to do.

Moral Objectivity

What is the Good?

I want to affirm the existence of the good as an objective feature of reality. That is to say, the good exists and is discoverable; just like the scientific method, the laws and constants of the natural world or the laws of logic. On this view, the good is not a physical or abstract object, but is the sum of the attributes of God. This means that the good is not tied to human opinion, happiness or flourishing. In short, God is the good.

Good and Evil

On the view that I’m affirming, the attributes should be understood as being on a scale with the foundation of the scale based on God. All attributes are in comparison to God as the perfect standard and rule.

LOVING
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

For example, on the above scale of “Loving,” there is no such thing as “hatred.” It doesn’t exist as an objective feature of reality. Hatred is only a statement of a person being less loving, whether in comparison to God or other humans or even his/herself. On this view, it could be said that someone loves his/her mother but hates his/her father (by self-comparison) if the mother were loved at a 9 ranking, even if the father were loved at an 8.5 ranking. The father is still loved, but is given less love than the mother. This is the same with all “evils.” The scale is used to provide a qualitative sense not quantitative.

God’s Strictly Greatness-Building attributes:

Not all of God’s attributes are related to morality. Some of them are “good” in the sense that they are strictly “greatness-building” attributes. These are attributes that improve beings that possess them, making them greater. God, as a maximally great being, would have the most (10 on the above scale) of all greatness-building attributes. The loss of these attributes would be considered a bad thing, or an evil, but it wouldn’t make a person evil. I will try to illustrate this by giving some examples.

  • Strength
    • Jer 32:17
    • To have power is greater than weakness. And is, therefore, a good. But what is weakness? It is to “lack power.” I have a neurological condition that causes muscle weakness via atrophy. So, I know first-hand how evil it can be to have strength and then lose it. Any being that is less than all-powerful would be weaker than an all-powerful being. Therefore, God, being omnipotent, is the ultimate standard for power.
  • Presence
    • Psa 139:7-12
    • Omnipresence may be God’s most underrated attribute. It has so much going for it but is rarely addressed. For example, to be “present” in a spatiotemporal sense, a being must exist. Therefore, existence is part of being present. Existence is a good even in the face of accompanying evils, such as pain or suffering/depression, because those evils are not necessary for a being to exist and they can be removed. Even the existence of a flesh-eating bacteria is a good for the bacteria if not for us.
      To be “present” in a cognitive or personal sense, a being must be sentient and, therefore, living. This is popularly referred to as “mindfulness.” To be conscience or aware of something is greater than being oblivious or ignorant. It can be said that it is not greater to be conscience of evils such as pain and suffering. But why would that be? Is it truly greater to be ignorant of pain and suffering? Is a person who is oblivious of their own pain or someone else’s pain greater? Wouldn’t that lack empathy or cloud judgement?
      It is, also, greater to be present throughout reality than to be isolated to a single spot. Therefore, God, being omnipresent, is the standard for existence and presence.
  • Knowledge
    • Dan 2:21
    • The more knowledge you have the better, making it a good. To have all knowledge is to know all possible propositions and to believe all true propositions and not to believe any false proposition. Any being that has less than this is less knowledgeable than a being that does. Therefore, God, being Omniscient, is the ultimate standard for knowledge.

Moral Values

Alright, let’s move on to God’s moral attributes. In addition to building greatness, the moral attributes also serve to promote proper behavior and conduct.

God’s Moral Attributes

These are the attributes of God that causes one to be morally upright. I won’t bother describing each one because I think you get the idea from above. Only a few of them will be listed, but there are a ton.

  • Loving
    • Rom 8:35, 37-39
  • Truthful
    • Jhn 8:31, 32
  • Righteous
    • Eph 4:22-24
  • Just
    • 2Co 5:10
  • Merciful
    • 1Jhn 1:9
  • Faithful
    • 1Co 10:13

 

If this understanding of morality is true then it helps to explain God’s use of and compatibility with evil. In scripture, God is shown to be compatible with evil (Please see Isaiah 45:7, or whenever He is punishing, like the 10 plagues of Egypt). Because any action that doesn’t measure up with God’s perfect attributes could be considered evil. But, when God calls something evil it may or may not be in accordance with our tolerance of evil. When God provides punishment, the act is not just evil to His standard, but must be considered evil by the standard of the person’s or culture’s being punished. Or else it wouldn’t be a proper punishment. The question then is, when does something become evil to us? As fallen humans, with different tolerance levels of evil, it could be very low on the scale. Something could start to be evil at 5 or even lower. And anything above that could be considered love by that person. But these opinions always move along the scale provided by the standard of God.

If God is compatible with evil then what is He incompatible with? This is to move us to Moral Duties.

Moral Duties

Moral duties only exist in relation to beings with the authority to give commands. For example, a boss has authority to command tasks related to the job he/she supervises. Bosses are in charge of directing an employee’s efforts and when they do it becomes morally right for the employee to carry out the command (to obey). Obviously, when dealing with other humans, there are a lot of other factors that impact moral duties which are related to moral values. But, to disobey a lawful command is morally wrong. God, as a maximally great being who is moral perfection, has the most authority and is in the best position to give lawful commands. Our disagreement with the commands of God are always from a position of situational ignorance and moral imperfection. Therefore, disobedience of God is always morally wrong (Objectively Wrong) and is what the Bible calls sin. Sin is the only thing that is incompatible with God.

Conclusion

This is just a basic overview of one understanding of morality, and it’s definitely not fully fleshed out here. I also wanted to address relative morality and subjective morality. Maybe I will do that in other posts. Please let me know what you think! There are a ton of nuances in this topic and hopefully I can address those with any questions that are made. Thanks for reading!

 

Simon Williams is a certified Chapter Director for Reasonable Faith. He works at Millstone Power Station as a Leading Nuclear Chemistry Technician. Prior to Millstone, Simon served six years in the United States Navy where he apostatized to atheism. He renewed his faith in Christ shortly before being Honorably Discharged. He has been a member at Norwich Assembly of God since 2012 and is happily married to Saschia Johnson.

 

Would you like to add your opinion? Instead of commenting on this post please write/create something to be shared with the community.

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Wanna read more? Here’s another great piece in our Morality Collection Redivivus by Geoff Blanchette.

 

 

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To Do’s

Here’s some poetry only a writer could love. An example of my love hate relationship with editing. But it must be done!

To Do’senglish-2787010_1280

Can you backspace

Center space

Use less commas

But add one here,

Double space and

Don’t forget

1 inch Indent and margins

And of course

Know your genre

Characters and places

This way that way

By the way

Great story!  

 

-Saschia Johnson

 

“To write is human but to edit is divine.”
-Stephen King

 

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James Abbott McNeill Whistler

 

Whistler_James_Symphony_in_White_no_2_(The_Little_White_Girl)_1864

 

Whistlers early and consistent use of musical titles ‘nocturnes’, ‘symphonies’ and ‘arrangements’, helped to confirm the impression that the visual arts ought to aspire towards the condition of music; and his decorative ideas- such as the use of a peacock- feather pattern in the room which he painted for his patron F.R. Leyland- were extensively plagiarized.

According to Edward Lucie-Smith in his book titled Symbolist Art, “There is some current disposition to underrate Whistler and write him off as an essentially isolated artist. To do this is to distort the history of the art of his time, in which he was, and remained an influential, even central, figure.” I think very often we as artists forget how much effort it takes to stay in solitude to complete a piece. Outside of the art world they may never understand the amount of copious hours we spend hacking away at our projects. If you’re all in, it’s a constant battle to stay focused and build your piece into something you can be proud of. Even here with Whistler people are ready to write him off as an isolated artist, but how we work on our art is how we inspire others and help other creators of our time. This is being part of something. So those of you who are struggling to focus because people say you’re spending too much isolated time on your masterpiece, you’re part of the crowd and you are not alone.

 

 

You can check out where I got the pics from here:

Wikimedia Commons

File:Whistler James Symphony in White no 2 (The Little White Girl) 1864.jpg

and here”

Encyclopedia Britannica

https://www.britannica.com/biography/James-McNeill-Whistler