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Stephen Goldin

Wit & Wisdom of Polly

Creation

Polly! (paperback)Polly! (ebook)These are some sample quotes from  Polly!

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Cats are living proof God was only joking when he said you should have no other gods before him.


The contract [for life] ain't got 'sense' in it anywhere. Or 'fair,' for that matter. Not even in the fine print. I read it all.


This is where I impart to you the great secret of the universe. All the wisdom of the ancients boiled down to a single word: balance. Stay in balance and the world's your oyster. Assuming you like oysters, that is, otherwise the whole metaphor's worthless.


Entropy is the constant tendency of the universe to run down, as expressed by the Three Laws of Thermodynamics. I could bore you with the fancy equations, but in layman's terms the First Law is, "You can't get something for nothing." The Second Law is, "It's gonna get worse before it gets better." And the Third Law is, "Who says it's gonna get better?"


Think of all the horrible things that are blamed on God--wars, famines, diseases, tsunamis. Lawyers have a particularly dim view of him. If something unforeseen happens that's bad, it's an "act of God." But do they ever give him credit for anything good?


If God-the-father is in charge of life and death, then the supposed "sacrifice" of Jesus was a hollow gesture. In order to have a sacrifice, you have to give up something precious to you, with no hope of ever getting it back. Jesus knew Daddy would give him his life back. It was like sacrificing your nails when you get a manicure. I'm much more impressed, frankly, when an atheist or an agnostic is willing to give his life to help another. That is a sacrifice. But in Jesus's case, the game was rigged.


Heaven and hell exist, but you don't need God to create them. People manage that extremely well without any divine help. Especially hell. What could God ever do to compare with the Holocaust, or the Armenian genocide, or the Rwandan genocides or the Bosnian genocides?


People have all sorts of things they think God's supposed to do. People think God's supposed to smite their enemies, or at least help them win a ball game. People think God's supposed to listen to all their prayers, and maybe answer a few of them. People think God's supposed to keep a big, giant scorecard with little x's and o's for good and bad deeds. It's like Santa Claus, figuring out who's naughty and nice. Is God just an obsessive accountant?


The Bible says God got one day of rest. One! After that he's on duty 24/7 with no vacation, no paid leave, no overtime, no year-end bonus. What's in it for God? I'll tell you what: bupkiss, that's what. Why should God go through all that aggravation?


What an egomaniac religions think God must be, to crave the adulation of beings so far inferior to himself. Let me give you a piece of advice. If anyone ever tells you "I'm great and you must worship me," nod your head and smile politely, then back away slowly until you're out of range and run like crazy in the other direction. You're dealing with someone who's mentally unbalanced, maybe even dangerously unstable. If someone who created the entire universe needs validation from you, he's crazy and unworthy of worship.


Most religions throughout history had lusty gods who enjoyed life. Leave it to the Middle Eastern religions to come up with a sexless, stultifyingly serious god with no sense of humor and no capacity for enjoyment.


There's always a test. Pay attention.


The enemy is entropy.


Life don't come with warnings. Get used to it.


Never underestimate human folly, against which even the gods plan in vain.


[About Job] Here's this really great guy, always does the right thing, and God and Satan make this little bet. They kill all ten of his kids, they kill all his servants, they kill all his livestock, they give him boils from head to foot. Just on a bet! What kind of a God is that? This is the Supreme Being you're supposed to turn to as the moral standard of the universe? This is a God with the moral standards of Josef Mengele! What did the children ever do to deserve capital puniushment? What did the servants ever do? For that matter, what did the sheep and the camels and the oxen and the she-asses ever do? They're all irrelevant to God. They're not real to him, they're just window dressing, like a guard who stands beside a door just so the hero can kill him. Yeah, Mr. J. gets ten new kids and lots of new servants and twice as much livestock. Do you think that does a fat lot of good for the old children and servants who died just so God could see how his bet would come out?

The story with Isaac's no better. 'Hey, Abe, why don't you kill your little boy for me? Oops, just funnin' ya. You shoulda seen the look on your face! You didn't think I really meant it, did you?' This is a deity you're supposed to worship? Of all the self-serving, narcissistic, morally decrepit portraits of God in the history of the Earth, these are among the worst.


Let me give you the For-Dummies version [of the Three Laws of Thermodynamics]: One--You can't win; Two--You can't break even; and Three--You can't get out of the game.


The universe is passive-aggressively hostile.


Confusion is the path to wisdom, when it ain't leading to more confusion.


There's millions of ways to fight entropy, 'cause entropy's all around us. Anyone who makes order out of disorder, even for a little while, is fighting entropy. Health care workers at all levels. Police and firefighters. Janitors, gardeners, garbage collectors, street sweepers, maids. Teachers, librarians, even bookstore owners like you; they're major fighters of entropy. File clerks and bus drivers...the list just goes on and on. Anyone who makes the world a better place for someone besides himself. All these people are doing God's work.


Things are only hopeless when you lose all hope.


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