Fandango Provocative Question #19

“Do you believe in fate and/or predestination? If so, what or who is the source? If you do believe in predestination, is there anything anyone can do to change their predestined fate?”

I believe that we all have a role to play in this universe. It is the reason for us being born. What that is, we sometimes know and sometimes we are oblivious to it. You can call it fate or destiny. But human beings are born with free will. They have their minds equipped with reasoning capabilities and the ability to use knowledge to make decisions. Our decisions lead us to the direction we choose, good or bad. We are responsible for our actions and the choices we make. It cannot be blamed on destiny, fate or preordination.

And bonus: “If you believe God is the source, and God has already determined the future for each of us, why should people bother to pray?”

God has created us, given us the power of free will, the ability to judge what is right and what is wrong. Our course in life has not been determined and neither is the fate set in advance. When we pray we ask for a change in our current situation, and God in His infinite mercy gives us what is best for us. Sometimes we ask for things which don’t have good consequences for us in the long run, hence the adage; “Be Care full of what you wish for” So praying helps because even if our wishes are not granted it brings peace to our heart.

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Fandango Provocative Question #19

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Fandango Provocative Question #18

So, my question this week is about whether or not you think it’s possible to separate the art from the artist.

“When you learn about highly regarded artists being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior, especially with minors, can you separate the artists from their art, or would you refuse to listen to, watch, or read the artists’ works?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

My response;

I have read responses of a few bloggers to this question and like majority of them, I agree that it is very difficult to admire a person for their art is you despise them for their moral failings and character.

We cannot separate the art from the artist, specially if we are living in the same time era as them. There have been incidents of well known writers, poets and painters who have had reprehensible habits, in the past era. There was a general sort of feeling that the artist is permitted some sort of license to behave as they wanted without accountability because of their temperaments. So some of the great artists of the past have chequered past but they are forgiven because they lived in the past and are dead now. Nobody can question them or put them on trial for their indiscretions.

Having put this out in the open, we still have to come to grips with this dilemma of what to do with respect to the art created by these people who are being accused of improper behavior and sexual conduct.

As a personal preference, I would not want to associate my self with any of the art produced by these people.

Written in response to;

Fandango Provocative Question #18

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Fandango Provocative Question #15

This week’s provocative question is based upon a quote by Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. Whew, that’s a lot of cred. Anyway, Russell, who died in 1970, suggested that…

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that, in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubts.”

Do you concur with Mr. Russell’s perspective? Why or why not?

Absolutely right. What seems sad to me is the fact that this statement is almost fifty years old and things are not the same, they have deteriorated much beyond this. Almost all the people (well, mostly all) who are in a position where others can and do listen to them, are very sure of themselves. But are they saying something intelligent, or wise or even rational? No, not at all.

As I see it, a foolish person doesn’t think ahead to see what will be the consequences of what they say or do. So they go ahead without fear and haven’t a thought to spare for the reaction of their deeds or words. A wise person will think, weigh and rethink what they are going to say or do. The results of their actions are important to them so they will hesitate to take any. And here lies the problem.

If you are interested in answering Fandango’s Provocative Question, you can do so at his blog, Fandango of This, That and the Other.

Written in response to;

FPQ # 15

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Fandango Provocative Question #14

Fandango has asked another of his provocative questions:

“Do you believe that anyone can really experience anything objectively? Why or why not?”

Do you remember Data, from Star Trek, The next generation? He might have been able to experience everything and anything objectively, because he was not human.

But we, The humans, see feel and experience all things subjectively. Why?

Because everything The we see, hear, feel, touch or taste is processed by our minds. This processing involves all the previously stored knowledge about that sensory stimuli in our minds. After the processing, we conclude what that stimulation is. So every input is assessed by what we already know about that particular sensation. And due to that fact we can’t be objective. We are always subjective in our analysis of any experience.

A picture shown to many people can elicit different responses. A food tasted can have different reactions. And so on and so forth. I think that is the reason, psychiatrist show the abstract drawing to people, inviting them to recognize the object in the drawing, to form an opinion about the thought process and mental health of that person.

And this is the beauty of life for human beings. We can see what we want in a given set of circumstances. The will and imagination are the wings which give us flight.

If you want to answer this question by Fandango, head over to the link below and share your thoughts.

FPQ #14

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Fandango’s Provocative Question #13

“Do you believe that size matters? Please explain your response.”

I think you need to be more specific, size of what? If it’s ego, definitely it matters. The bigger the ego, the bigger of an ass a person is.

If you are talking about physical size, I guess it matters to the person themselves but shouldn’t do so to others. Like being a big person has many disadvantages to that person.

If it’s the size of your wealth, than it should not matter to anyone else but you, in an ideal universe. But it does to those who like to take advantage of it.

If it’s the size of the house you live in, it would matter to the person responsible for maintaining and cleaning it.

And for the size of your blog, or the number of followers you have, it will again be a question of what sort of personality you have. If it lifts you up to know you are reaching that many people, than it will have a positive impact on you. If it’s just for your ego satisfaction then it really doesn’t matter, because an egocentric person will find something else to gloat over.

For the rest of the sizes, each to it’s own!

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FPQ #13

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Fandango Provocative Question # 12

Fandango has posted his latest FPQ #12

“How do you feel about people who always seem to exaggerate when relating a story? Do you equate embellishment with lying? As a blogger, when, if ever, is stretching the truth, other than when writing fiction, permissible?”

It is human instinct to try to generate feelings of admiration and envy in the minds of his fellow beings. There are a very few of us who are free from this desire. The normal mortal and flawed human is going to use some embellishments while telling of their stories. The degree of this embellishments is directly proportional to the relationship of the listener. In case of close friends, or family where the need to impress is not great the exaggeration may be minimal or even absent. But if the people who are listening ( or reading ) are those that the narrator ( or the writer ) wants to impress and overawe with their talent, the degree of exaggeration is greater.

Is this okay? Well not really. To be very truthful and exact should be the nature of a narrative.

But people often are not. They take creative license or stretch the truth.

I think that if this is not hurting anyone in the process and the absolute principle of truth is not at stake than a little stretching of the facts is okay. But if you are testifying on an issue, there no other option than absolute honesty. If I am writing about a funny incident, I will ( or can) embellish it a bit to exaggerate and make it funnier. And I think others do it too.

Then there are people who recount an adventure they had with a little bit of exaggeration every time they tell it. And a small five pounder they had caught becomes a massive fifty pounder fish. That sort of retelling of stories usually make them a target of jokes. They lose respect in the eyes of their peers and achieve the very reverse of what they aim for. This is surely an undesirable result.

What are your views on this question. Head over to Fandango, of this that and the other and share your views.

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FPQ #12

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Fandango provocative question # 11

Fandango has put another of his thought provoking questions to us;

Do you believe that terminally ill people should be allowed or encouraged to end their lives via physician-assisted suicide? If so, under any circumstances or should there be restrictions? If not, why not?

This is not only a very loaded question, it carries a lot of emotional weight behind it. I am frankly undecided as to how I should respond. Or if I were in the situation, what would be my choice. I have seen people who are terminally ill, as I am sure, most of us have. The hopelessness and the agony they are undergoing is very hard to see. Yet, euthanasia or assisted suicide is against the law in most countries and lot of states in the US. So the advocacy for this step would also have to face the legal implications for taking this step. Another argument is that we don’t know if a cure for the condition can be found to save that life. And when it comes to taking and implementing the actual decision, many of these people back down. Because taking a life or asking someone to do the deed is after all not a decision to be made lightly.

Optionally, if you were diagnosed with a terminal condition, would you consider physician-assisted suicide for yourself?

Following from the above discussion, I would not consider euthanasia. I would rather trust that God will ease that difficult time for me and my family. For me taking of any life, even my own is against the laws of God and would be an act of cowardice. Hope that I never come to the stage where this becomes an option.

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FPQ # 11

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FPQ # 10

Another interesting question from Fandango;

This week he is asking:

“What is more important to you, doing the right thing or doing things right?”

My take on this;

Why is it one or the other? I would choose to do the right thing and do it right! Doing the right thing is incumbent upon us, if we have a conscience. We will know deep in our heart that taking a certain course of action is the right thing to do. And once we have decided on that we should do it properly. The way it deserves to be handled.

For example; I find a $100 bill on the street. I will know that I should not take it, but how to prevent someone else from usurping this money? I should go and report it as a lost/ found property to the local police station. Now that is a hard thing to do as it often means going out of your way, and sometimes a lot of time is wasted too. So the right thing to do would be to take it to the police station and the right way to do it would be to spend time and effort on the whole thing, get a receipt for it and inquire a few days later about it!

If this question appeals to you, head over to Fandango and answer it your way!

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FPQ # 9

A new “set” of questions from Fandango to mark the first FPQ of the year. One can answer both or either one of these questions;

“What are you struggling with the most right now?”

My struggles are two folds.

1. In real life, as always my biggest struggle is with my weight. I try different diets, ways of reducing calorie and exercise. My success rate is 50%. I am failing 50% of time and the weight is winning the other 50% of time, I hope you are getting my drift. So it goes on and on.

2. My other struggle in real life is time management. And I think that I am not alone in this. The time allocated to blogging is eating up my time for real life. I am like a puppy, chasing after it’s tail. Going round and round in circles and getting nowhere. I am happy to say that I have started to work on strategies to resolve this issue and am getting positive results. I love writing and reading on my blog but now I have prioritized writing, and when I am done writing my blog post(s), I go and read the blogs I follow. Sometimes I can only read and like and then there are days when my mind is in working order, I write sensible comments too.

“As a blogger, do you enjoy ‘virtual relationships’? Do you consider them to be real?”

As a blogger, I enjoy my virtual relationships! The people here in the blogosphere are my friends and I enjoy exchanging ideas with them. I share jokes, get advice ( and give it too!) and share my achievements and failures with them just like I do with my real life friends. So, yes I consider my virtual relationships, real!

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FPQ # 9

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FPQ # 8

Fandango came up with his latest FPQ #8:

“When was the last time you did something for the very first time? What was it that you did?”

Last year I went with my best friends to Visit Istanbul, Turkey. It was the first time that I went abroad with my friends, just a girls trip.

It was November, last year that I and a couple of my friends made the plan to visit Turkey, specifically, Istanbul.

There were many recommendations for traveling to Istanbul. It was cheap, the people were friendly and it was a place of historical interest. Not that we were so hooked on history but who wouldn’t want to see the palaces and churches that attract millions of visitors every year.

The trip was, all the traveling time inclusive, of a week. A friend had researched all the places we should visit, complete with a travel itinerary. We decided that we would visit only Istanbul and explore the city as much as we can.

Dolmebaché Palace is situated on the side of Bosporus straits. It was an amazing place. A luxurious and grand palace, residence of the sultans. It was the last place we visited on our trip and it wouldn’t have been complete without this visit.

Cruise on the Bosporus; It was a lovely experience with a round trip , starting from the part of river near the Topkapi palace traveling towards the golden horn and then returning to the starting point. While on the cruise, we were informed in English about the places we were passing by and their historical significance.

Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque; The historic Topkapi palace, ruling seat of the Ottoman Empire was built in 1459. It’s a fascinating place, alive with the historical atmosphere and kept is great repair by the administration. Right next to it was Hagia Sophia, initially a church which was converted into a mosque when Turkey was conquered by Sultan Ahmet in 1414, A D. It is now a museum.

The blue mosque is familiar to many as one of the most pictured landmark of Istanbul.

Grand Bazaar/ Spice Bazaar; Both are adjacent to each other in the older part of the city. Going there is like stepping back into the past. One feels as if we are in some medieval eastern city, or in a movie like Aladdin!

But though the place seemed mysterious, there was no mystery about all the shops and the shoppers. The place was teeming with tourists from every nation on the earth, haggling with shop owner about the prices. The shoes were selling everything from spices, tea jewelry to garments bags and beautiful hand crafted porcelain pieces. The famous Turkish lamps made out of multicolorEd glass and other hand painted souvenirs were in high demand.

We made a few trip to the grand bazaar and had to restrain ourselves from buying too much of these arty pieces.

A trip to Istanbul cannot be complete without visiting the Istaklal street and Taksim Square. The heroes memorial in the Taksim Square attracts a lot of photographers, taking selfies or asking passerby’s to take their pictures. Right in front of the memorial we the famous Turkish Doner Kebabs.

Istaklal street with its street cafes, clubs and impromptu dance performances was a treat to visit. All the western big brands have outlets on The Istaklal street.

The Turkish people are extremely friendly and welcoming. The food there is appetizing and flavorful. The people are quite health conscious and eat plenty of fruits, pomegranates are a notional favorite.

So this was one thing that I did last year , which I hadn’t done before.

Have you visited Turkey?

Please share your experiences in comments.

FPQ # 8

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