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Viewing comments for Chapter 26 "Life, the universe and coffee"
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12 total reviews 
Comment from Judy Couch
Excellent
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It would be impossible to address this issue without including your own biases somewhere along the line. You did a good job of keeping it neutral.

 Comment Written 04-Apr-2016


reply by the author on 04-Apr-2016
    Thank you Judy, for the kind words. Much appreciated. Craig
Comment from reconciled
Excellent
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well Erin should have had breakfast with me....we'd have been in church by afternoon. Hey Cd...-smile-...I see you got that OT in there before its ...well you're explanation as to its unnecessary sacrifice and Precious reason why...all men, of every station have reason to rejoice.
Here's the thing Cd...Erin really needs to know. Because she's been taught to compare Him to the Easter bunny doesn't make it accurate without "proof" either.....but "faith" has His promise. Without it...what do you have...? love Michael

 Comment Written 02-Apr-2016


reply by the author on 02-Apr-2016
    What do you have without "belief without evidence"? hmmm... how about belief based on evidence?

    I'm not so sure Michael, Erin is a pretty tough cookie.

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out my little story :)

    Craig
Comment from jusylee72
Excellent
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I really like this. Your arguments by all three people are very valid. I understood each and everyone of their views. This is so well written. I think this is a great entry.

 Comment Written 31-Mar-2016


reply by the author on 31-Mar-2016
    Thank you, Jusylee, for checking out my story, and for the very kind words. Very much appreciated, Craig.
Comment from sandramitchell
Excellent
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I thought this was really well laid out. Each person had his / her thoughts on God. Your arguments were well thought out and presented, the answers were logical, and all in all, each one had something important to bring into the conversation. No one really won the 'argument' and no one lost. It was excellent and a really good contest entry. Good luck. xsx Sandra

 Comment Written 09-Mar-2016


reply by the author on 09-Mar-2016
    Thanks, Sandra, for the kind words and the good wishes. Both are very much appreciated. Craig.
Comment from giraffmang
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Hi Craig,

I thought this was a well thought out and well worked piece. Very balanced with believable weighty characters. I have friends like these and I can see them in this. Just because people can have radically different ideals, it doesn't preclude them from interacting with one another with a degree of respect and even friendship.

Excellent piece. exactly what I was hoping for.
G

'The fool says in his heart, "there is no God."'" - needs editing for the teo double and one single speech / quote marks here.

 Comment Written 29-Feb-2016


reply by the author on 29-Feb-2016
    Hi GMG,

    Thanks so much for the wonderful review and the lovely shiny stars. I'm glad you liked my story, it was fun for me trying to get inside the characters.

    I believe when you look at the whole sentence you have quoted, the quotes are actually balanced:

    "The Psalmist tells us 'The fool says in his heart, "there is no God."'"

    It's actually a quote within a quote within a quote (yuck), so I've used double-single-double to open, and double-single-double to close. I agree it's really ugly and confusing - what I think makes it worse is that all of it ends in one place.

    I've now changed it so it's not a direct quote, I hope this may have improved it somewhat.

    Thanks again for the great comments, much appreciated!

    Craig.


Comment from Linda Kay
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I really enjoyed the natural sounding dialogue as each person expressed their viewpoint. It was all the more enjoyable as I live in the "Bible Belt" South in the U.S. where I have learned it is best to not try to engage in such conversations unless you want the other side of the dialogue to be totally Scripture quotes with lots of "I will pray for your soul" thrown in!

 Comment Written 27-Feb-2016


reply by the author on 27-Feb-2016
    Hi Linda! I hear where you are coming from; to some people that's all the proof they need of anything, and all discussion ends there.It's good to hear from you - thanks for stopping by to check out my story, and thanks so much for the lovely review!

    Craig.
Comment from --Turtle.
Excellent
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Hi, Craig,

I read thought this entry, I think you did a good job of capturing the three flavors of viewpoints of these three people, in conversation mode, they must all be drinking decaff...though : D

(In truth, In my active imagination, I'm waiting for the extremest to flip a table, and the atheist to be goading his buttons, maybe even hoping to see someone flip a table for no good reason... and the middle ground person of faith talking about just faith, and not even any particular biblical knowledge, or anger.)

But I can also appreciate a more highlighting of three people with different viewpoints capable of behaving themselves, being civil and real people.

I like that you set the little motion beats to give the idea of setting of a coffee shop while a storm brews, but it's clear the conversation is the highlight of story, and it's set to articulate concepts of these three in a logical and civil exchange, with undertones of eachs' beliefs shining through in subtle ways.

do (except, by definition, sin -- because that would mean going against His own will, which is impossible); and omniscience means
(the parenthesis in dialogue was weird to see for me, I tend to expect it in first person exposition, but never really thought about it in dialogue use before)

particular[,] as she contemplated the raindrops splashing against
(going to make the suggestion to delete that comma)

for all eternity he would take. That doesn't sound like omnipotence, it sounds like he has no 'free will' at all."
(Side note, as I read this, There was a study about how people's brains prepare the body for motion before the conscious will to move occurs. Making me wonder about free will, how can it be my will to move if my body is specifically readying to move before I've even decided to move... not really relevant to this read, but ... well I'm not actually sure if it was my own free will to stop and make that comment. ; )

"The Psalmist tells us(,) 'The fool says in his heart[,] "there is no God."'"
(This is a punctuation challenge, a quote within a quote... I got way too intrigued at this, My gut says... not 100% sure, but now that I've seen it in play, I'll have to go do so looking, but I think the comma goes with the start of the first inner direct quote, and then no comma when that actual quote goes from the Psalmist paraphrasing what the fool says to using the direct quote of what the fool says.)

"Yes, and the worst of the storm appears to have passed," replied Erin. "I must be on my way too[".] (typo?)
(why is that period outside the quote)

"Have a great evening(,) boys!"
(you need the addressment comma here.)

As for the discussion, I think the tone leans towards Erin controlling the conversation, but the interaction between the three, in a civil manner, allows for a logical exposition of ideas.

 Comment Written 23-Feb-2016


reply by the author on 23-Feb-2016
    Hi Turtle,

    Thanks so much for reviewing this for me. I've made some of the changes, a couple of bits I wasn't sure about. Here's my commentary:

    do (except, by definition, sin -- because that would mean going against His own will, which is impossible); and omniscience means
    (the parenthesis in dialogue was weird to see for me, I tend to expect it in first person exposition, but never really thought about it in dialogue use before)

    Do you think I need to change it? It didn't occur to me that it seemed weird until you mentioned it, but I see your point. After reading your comment, I tried with em dashes, but I always have trouble sorting those out.

    particular[,] as she contemplated the raindrops splashing against
    (going to make the suggestion to delete that comma)

    done

    for all eternity he would take. That doesn't sound like omnipotence, it sounds like he has no 'free will' at all."
    (Side note, as I read this, There was a study about how people's brains prepare the body for motion before the conscious will to move occurs. Making me wonder about free will, how can it be my will to move if my body is specifically readying to move before I've even decided to move... not really relevant to this read, but ... well I'm not actually sure if it was my own free will to stop and make that comment. ; )

    There is a lot of discussion about whether humans actually have a free will or not. Personally I think I'm a free moral agent and can do what I like - as long as it's ok with her :)

    "The Psalmist tells us(,) 'The fool says in his heart[,] "there is no God."'"
    (This is a punctuation challenge, a quote within a quote... I got way too intrigued at this, My gut says... not 100% sure, but now that I've seen it in play, I'll have to go do so looking, but I think the comma goes with the start of the first inner direct quote, and then no comma when that actual quote goes from the Psalmist paraphrasing what the fool says to using the direct quote of what the fool says.)

    It's worse - it's actually a quote within a quote within a quote! This is so ugly, I hate it, but I couldn't think of any way around it. As far as the comma after "heart" goes, Ian is actually quoting a Bible verse which is written with the comma, so I'm not sure I'm at liberty to remove it?

    "Yes, and the worst of the storm appears to have passed," replied Erin. "I must be on my way too[".] (typo?)
    (why is that period outside the quote)

    Typo - fixed.

    "Have a great evening(,) boys!"
    (you need the addressment comma here.)

    Added.

    As always, thanks for the great input :)

    Craig
Comment from ~Dovey
Excellent
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Hi Craig,
I feel like this piece is an excellent challenge for you to display your concepts of ideology and do so with conviction. Do I get to play Devil's advocate for you? Here is my understanding of the prompt: One of the patrons is a man of deep faith, one an atheist, and the other a religious extremist.

The characterization of Erin as an atheist rings true, perhaps, as you most closely identify with her position. You have given her the upper hand in the conversation, as to be expected. That said, let's move on to Ian and Max.

I could barely discern a difference in the characters of Ian and Max, although, Ian appears to be a clergyman, of some sort, by his reference to 'theological college.'
To make your positions more definable I feel like you need to further establish the parameters of their characters. Neither one comes off as an 'extremist.' For that matter, neither one even uses the word 'faith' anywhere in your piece. To be more plausible in stating their positions, I believe you need to clearly define what denomination each identifies with and state their positions accordingly. Otherwise, you've not done their position in the conversation justice by asserting their personalities as defending their positions with any passion whatsoever.

As written, it falls a bit flat. I realize this is a civil conversation, however, these men (a religious extremist and a man of deep faith) are not likely to just bow out of the conversation at this point, when they haven't even really stated their positions. My suggestion is that you further develop this piece to represent all positions clearly, and then let the 'chips fall where they may,' so to speak, to which the reader will likely draw their own conclusions, based on the character they most identify with, per their specific ideology. Neither of the male characters come across with any passion or conviction for their respective ideology, nor was I able to discern a difference in beliefs between either man. Perhaps you've intended them to both be representative of the same faith?

If that is the case, perhaps you would give your conversation more depth if each of the men represented a slightly different 'face' of Christianity, which is where I think you were going with this conversation.

Written 'as is,' I think you are fine. To be a clear cut 'winner' for a contest piece, although, there are no other entries, as of yet, I think you'll want to develop this piece more to ensure your victory and further emphasize your points.

I found just one small fix:

"there is no God."'" (one extra set of quotation marks)

I hope you found my thoughts helpful, I tried to maintain an objective position.

Kim

 Comment Written 22-Feb-2016


reply by the author on 22-Feb-2016
    Hi Kim,

    Thank you for your detailed analysis of my story. I do appreciate your comments, very much; and agree with them - to some extent. Since you've made the effort to thoroughly analyse the work, I hope you won't mind me giving my thoughts in return.

    "I could barely discern a difference in the characters of Ian and Max, although, Ian appears to be a clergyman, of some sort, by his reference to 'theological college.'

    To make your positions more definable I feel like you need to further establish the parameters of their characters. Neither one comes off as an 'extremist.' For that matter, neither one even uses the word 'faith' anywhere in your piece. To be more plausible in stating their positions, I believe you need to clearly define what denomination each identifies with and state their positions accordingly. Otherwise, you've not done their position in the conversation justice by asserting their personalities as defending their positions with any passion whatsoever."

    Both are Christians. Ian is a fundamentalist, Max is a moderate (i.e. what used to be known back in the day as a 'liberal'). Their denominations are, to my mind irrelevant. Would it make any difference to say one is a Baptist and one a Presbyterian? They could both be from any of the mainstream denominations. They could both be Methodists. Nearly all denominations have their fundamentalists and their liberals. I particularly wanted to avoid the silly caricature of the extremist being someone running around wielding a sword and wearing a turban that seems to be all the rage in certain circles at the moment. There are many types of extremists in the world.

    I have tried to point out the difference by the way they approach things, for example:

    The very first words in the story are Ian's - "The problem with your kind..." - which to my mind is the kind of inflammatory statement a fundamentalist might utter, not typical of your normal moderate. Max explains things "patiently", whereas Ian gets all "steamed up".

    Ian also is the one to point out Ellen's "fallible mind", and total depravity due to original sin - something Max may or may not believe, but is probably not going to be as quick to mention.

    Again, it's Ian who (quoting scripture) calls Erin a fool for not believing as he does.

    Finally, there are their parting comments, in which I tried to make the biggest distinction of all. Ian's parting shot concentrates on the awful fate that awaits Erin if she doesn't repent; Max's is about the "love and peace" that he thinks she is missing out on.

    "As written, it falls a bit flat. I realize this is a civil conversation, however, these men (a religious extremist and a man of deep faith) are not likely to just bow out of the conversation at this point, when they haven't even really stated their positions. My suggestion is that you further develop this piece to represent all positions clearly, and then let the 'chips fall where they may,' so to speak, to which the reader will likely draw their own conclusions, based on the character they most identify with, per their specific ideology. Neither of the male characters come across with any passion or conviction for their respective ideology, nor was I able to discern a difference in beliefs between either man. Perhaps you've intended them to both be representative of the same faith?"

    I agree I could do more to develop the ideas of all three. My word count is twice the minimum for the contest. Although there is no maximum, I'm concerned about making the piece so long nobody will read it. As it is, it's had plenty of readers, just very few reviews ;-)

    "I found just one small fix:

    "there is no God."'" (one extra set of quotation marks)"

    I'm pretty sure the quote count is correct - it's a (very awkward) quote within a quote within a quote - so two sets of double and a single on either end. I did try to think how I could avoid this, because it is rather ugly, I'll have another look.

    "I hope you found my thoughts helpful, I tried to maintain an objective position."

    I did, thank you, and I hope you don't mind me explaining my thought processes in return. There's plenty of time before the contest ends, so I will give all of the points you have raised careful consideration.

    Many thanks,
    Craig
reply by ~Dovey on 22-Feb-2016
    Hi Craig!

    Thank you for taking the time to explain your thought process. Perhaps, there is a difference here in the US, (or even just in my mind lol) as to the passion an 'extremist' is likely to exhibit in their speech. In my experience waitressing, I often had a group of approximately 25 Baptist ministers that I waited on in a reserved dining area. It was in an isolated area of the restaurant, so they could have a free discussion without the distractions of the other diners, or impeding anyone's dining experience. I will tell you that while it was a 'civil' discussion, and each man was an ordained minister of the same denomination, the conversation was not as placid as your conversation. :) I will also tell you that the minister who performed my wedding ceremony (1st one) was also a Baptist minister, and that while he also came in for lunch on Tuesday afternoons, he never joined the other group. That is what I meant.

    I also find it unlikely that either of the men wouldn't mention their 'faith in God' at some point. (meaning blind faith) I'm just trying to be helpful. I don't think that a bit more length to the piece would deter it being read.

    Ian also is the one to point out Ellen's "fallible mind", and total depravity due to original sin (this is Erin, correct?)

    On the bit with the quotations... I only saw three sets of quotation marks, and didn't perceive it was a double, double. Perhaps, that point just escaped me.

    Hope this has been helpful. :)

    Kim
reply by the author on 22-Feb-2016
    Hi Kim,

    I decided to add an author's note to my entry. I had actually contemplated putting one in before, but your comments have persuaded me it needs to be there. It might help explain why I have written the story the way I did.

    That doesn't change anything as far as our conversation thus far goes - I still intend, when I get the chance, to review the story in light of the comments you and others have made :)
Comment from I am Cat
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

WEll... how can I NOT give this last six of the week to you?
THIS is perfect. Perfect explanation, without hate, without aggression, without a yelling, screaming match... with respect.

Well done, perfectly told. With dignity and knowledge.

I was with her all the way.
Well done. VERY.
I loved it.
Take my last one, go ahead. And I give it willingly
It's great to have you back
Cat

 Comment Written 21-Feb-2016


reply by the author on 21-Feb-2016
    Awww you are way too kind, Cat! Oh ok, not WAY too kind - just the proper amount of kind ;-)

    In all seriousness, thanks for the lovely review - it's very much appreciated; I'm *almost* feeling guilty about pinching your last sixer!

    Now I just hope that come a month's time it won't still be the only entry! LOL

    I'm not anticipating I'll be able to do much reviewing or writing during the week for quite a while - it's busy now, and will only be getting busier. But this place is so addictive, I'll try to sneak in on weekends. And the forums don't chew up much time, so I can probably sneak on there at night...

    Thanks so much again, Cat. Always great to hear from you :)

    Craig.

reply by I am Cat on 21-Feb-2016
    It's always great to hear from you... just sneak in every now and then and rain some stars on Kim and I... that's all LOLOL
    ;) Take care of you! ;)
Comment from joannakruk
Excellent
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I must commend you on your deep knowledge of such a difficult and controversial topic. I absolutely cannot concur with Erin's sentiments. Isn't it funny how fundamentalism leads toa ddestruction of the virtues underlying the fundamental topic. You have brought to light and explained an inherently complex subject matter in an easy to comprehend manner - a testament to your understanding of the topic.
Thank you for sharing.
Jo :-)

 Comment Written 21-Feb-2016


reply by the author on 21-Feb-2016
    Hi Jo,

    Thanks for a thoughtful review of my posting, even though, as you say, you may not necessarily agree with the views expressed within it. Personally, I'm hoping there will be a number of entries representing a range of different angles on the topic :)

    All the best,

    Craig
reply by joannakruk on 21-Feb-2016
    Lol, oh dear I meant I absolutely DO concur with Erin's sentiments.... The amazing power of the incorrect placement of one word right? ;-)
reply by the author on 21-Feb-2016
    LOL - oops! :)