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I think Sisi's explanation is quite sound. I too have a child who is, strictly speaking, a "mistake" - his father was no good and I should've known better than to associate with him. But my son is a brilliant, very clever, kind and special boy, and I couldn't imagine living without him and his wise (and funny) insights.

I believe that everything that happens is either the best possible option (like my husband, who isn't perfect but he's the best man I've ever known, well, at least, the best for me) or God's (or Karma's, in my belief) way to guard you from fate even worse (like poverty for someone who, had he money, would be an evil and arrogant person, but poverty is his way to learn humility or at least to do less harm).

posted by hagi on March 4, 2008 at 2:04 AM | link to this | reply

Well, I guess you know my position: there is no 'personal' God who has concern for the lives of people. And 'signs' and 'oracles'? As you yourself observe quite correctly: "Maybe that’s the whole idea behind trying to discern the voice of the oracle: we read into signs what we want"...We do indeed! And why not, if it helps us! But we should not blame the oracle for 'midleading' us - although doing that may also be comforting, because it allows us to deflect responsibility...

posted by Nautikos on January 30, 2008 at 7:53 PM | link to this | reply

Great post. I am horrible at making any decisions but believe that an open heart lets the universe dictate somehow. I also look frantically for clues.

posted by SouthernPeach on January 29, 2008 at 9:26 AM | link to this | reply

posted by Kabu on January 28, 2008 at 6:01 PM | link to this | reply

Very interesting techniques!

posted by Soul_Builder101 on January 28, 2008 at 1:27 PM | link to this | reply

My mother used to say the lord helps them that help themselves...
Which was her way of saying if God exists, he gave you a brain, so use it. My feeling is that god is in the machine, that he set things in motion, established the laws of physics and has no personal interest in the fortunes of individuals.  Our outcomes depend on how well we understand our situation and the decisions we make.

posted by Pat_B on January 28, 2008 at 8:56 AM | link to this | reply

It takes a deep relationship with God to know what He wants for us. I work at it daily and the small things in my life are the most astonishing. God is good,  all the time!  sam

posted by sam444 on January 28, 2008 at 4:05 AM | link to this | reply

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