I'd Like to Know
Fred Gielow. Posted here for November 22, 2021.
The road back home
We are all taught, one way or another, a set of attitudes, values, and beliefs about life. As the years move along, we may sometimes find ourselves looking beyond what we were taught. When we do, we're often faced with some rather puzzling questions. I've assembled a few such questions here, and although I have answers for some (not all), I have no idea if my answers are correct.
I think a portion of these questions may be interesting, but others are more than that. They scratch at the very roots of our being, and our understanding of human existence and our ultimate fate. Answers contribute to our perception of life and death.
Let me start off with some of the more inconsequential questions, then move along to those that are more intriguing and significant.
Why does water expand when it freezes, yet almost all other materials contract when they freeze?
Pondering these questions may be good for intellectual stimulation, but I doubt we'll be able to come to any agreement on the answers we individually arrive at. But, I sure would like to know what the correct answers are.
Why aren't there any black keys on the piano keyboard between B and C and between E and F? Doesn't that seem inconsistent with the symmetry we find so often in nature?
How it is a magnet can attract something ferrous? How is it radiation can transfer heat millions of miles at a speed of 186 thousand miles per second? How is it gravity pulls on bodies of mass?
How do animals instinctively know how to get to their mother's milk just after they're born?
As a body develops in the uterus, how is it able to produce teeth that fit together so well when the mouth is closed?
What could possibly be a reasonable explanation for all the UFO sightings reported all around the world? I remember reading a "Readers Digest" article about 70 years ago (I remember the article well). The author said he knew what UFOs were and no one on Earth had anything to worry about. Seems that wasn't true. It's clear to me now, he had no idea what UFOs were or where they came from.
Since there's no scientific proof a species can change the number of chromosomes within its DNA, and since the chromosome count within each species is fixed, doesn't that prove the theory of evolution is wrong? A male from one species cannot mate successfully with a female of another species. Thus, isn't it true man could not have evolved from a monkey? (And certainly not from pond scum!)
The Chinese have been working in the Wuhan Lab for years. What are they up to now? Could they be trying to produce a virus that will only infect and kill people of certain races? Apparently some think so; I've read articles to that effect. That could explain why the Chinese are so anxious to get blood information about every American citizen. Do you suppose the Chinese are planning to "defeat" America by using biological warfare? (Can you imagine how gleeful the Chinese must have been to have received money from America -- millions of dollars -- to aid their efforts to create a virus that has killed some three-quarter million Americans?)
Why is there so little outrage in the United States over China's intentional release (reference) of Covid and the resultant deaths? Why aren't people demonstrating and protesting in the streets? Why aren't politicians demanding accountability?
What motivates free people -- Americans, who are teachers, professors, Hollywood people, media people, business people, politicians, sports people, and others -- to embrace policies and ideologies that take our freedoms away? Policies and ideologies that are destroying the America our Founders gave us? Why are Marxism, socialism, and communism looked upon so favorably, when these disciplines create so much misery, destruction, and death?
When Americans lose their freedoms, will they ever again regain them?
It seems the "Big Bang Theory" is accepted by many in the scientific community as explaining how the universe began. I've heard that scientists who apply for jobs aren't accepted unless they subscribe to the theory and believe it unquestioningly (which seems to me to be a very undesirable characteristic for a scientist). But in spite of the theory's popularity, no one seems able to answer the question of where all that energy and mass came from. And how could so much be contained to begin with in a space infinitely small? The energy and mass had to come from somewhere. So, where? Also, at the moment of the Big Bang, must we conclude there was no space anywhere? That suggests when the Big Bang happened, not only was energy and mass created, but time and space were created as well. Is that what happened?
If there was a Big Bang to start everything, will there be a Big Collapse sometime to end everything?
Is the human race the most important thing in the entire universe? Scientists tell us that some five billion years in the future, Planet Earth will be consumed by the sun as it enters a red giant phase. (They say the Sun doesn't have enough mass to go supernova and explode.) What will be most important thing then?
How is it a seed can remain lifeless for months, even years, but be put in soil and watered and come back to life?
Do animals have souls? If not, why not? What about chimpanzees, animals that have so many chromosomes in common with human beings? Do they have souls? If not, why not?
When does a human being get a soul? At the moment of conception? When the heart first starts to beat? At birth? At some other time? Or, did the soul actually exist before birth?
Some people are born with defects -- abnormal limbs, spina bifida, nervous system or brain problems, Down syndrome, sensory problems, metabolic disorders, etc., etc., etc. Are there any defective souls that come into existence?
What is the connection -- physical, psychological, or otherwise -- between the body and soul? And of course that begs the bigger question: what exactly is the soul? Is it a real component of life -- and death -- or is it just a concept like all the other thoughts that roam about in a person's brain?
If the universe is finite, what's on the other side? If the universe is expanding, as so many scientists believe, what is it expanding into?
Why was the universe created? And what was there before the universe was created?
Was there the passage of time prior to when the universe was created? If not, what was that like? And if so, how much time passed before the universe was created? And by the way, what was going on before that?
Are the prayers of some religions heard, while the prayers of other religions are not heard?
How are prayers processed? Are considerations given to the prayer's sincerity, urgency, or intensity? To the number of prayers offered on a certain topic? To the goodness of prayers? To the goodness of those who pray the prayers? Something else? Can responses to prayers result in actions that override the laws of nature?
How much of life is defined by God's intervention? Is this a constant from person to person, or does God have favorites? Are interventions more generous for those who are more faithful? Are interventions denied to those who are not believers?
Do souls in heaven have a form (like a body; that is, something that has mass)? Are they able to sense things (see, hear, smell, feel)? Can one soul see or hear from another soul? Do souls have dependencies (like a need for food, water, or air)? Can they communicate? Are they able to move? Can they observe things happening on Earth? All over Earth?
Are there three dimensions in heaven? Does time exist in heaven? Do emotions exist there? Can souls pray in heaven? If time exists in heaven, what do all the souls do with all the time? Which, as I understand, is eternal.
How do souls actually get to heaven or hell? Is the destination realized immediately upon death, or is there a waiting period? If there's a waiting period, that suggests the concept of time exists for the souls of those who have died.
What is the actual moment of death? When the brain stops functioning? When the heart stops beating? Haven't there been instances when people "came back from the dead" after those conditions have occurred? How can that happen?
When I was a kid, I was taught in Sunday School that when I die, I'll have to stand before God and plead my case that I've been good enough to enter heaven. So, God will be persuaded by my presentation? I don't think so. So, isn't this whole idea wrong?
How is the decision made that determines whether a soul goes to heaven or hell? Is it an emotional judgement or are there specific parameters that make the decision? If the latter, what exactly are those parameters?
Hell has been said to be a place where people who are sufficiently sinful will exist in fire and brimstone for eternity. Does that mean the soul has feeling and will experience intense heat? Does that mean the soul has form? Does that mean the passage of time exists in hell? Or does that mean such a description of hell is incorrect? If it's not correct, what's the right description?
We know there is much we don't know, and we can assume there are things we'll never know (I certainly assume that). Will those souls that go to heaven learn about all such things? Which raises the question: will souls indeed be able to learn things? Will they be able to solve problems? Will they have memories? Will they be perfect memories or will some memories be better than others?
If souls in heaven are able to do things, what sort of things can they do? And, what sort of accountability will there be when something other than good is done? Will justice be served? How? Can souls do something so bad, they'll be sent from heaven to hell? And of course, if so, can souls do something so good, they'll be sent from hell to heaven?