An Age-Old Question
Dear Margo: I am a 16-year-old boy who has been wondering if it’s bad that I question if there is really a God. I mean, I do believe in him, but there are times I am uncertain. I guess I’m asking: What if he doesn’t exist, and we spent our lives believing in nothing? Then again, what if we spend our lives not believing and he really is true? I guess I just don’t want to make a mistake and choose the wrong way to think. Thanks for listening. — Confused Teen
Dear Con: Your question and your thinking have landed on Pascal’s Wager: “Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.”
I believe it is possible, also, to believe in God — or an equivalent force — without following any particular religion. I must say, you don’t sound confused to me, but, rather, questioning and thoughtful, which are the qualities that account for the scientific and moral progress we’ve made over time. Perhaps you will become a philosopher. — Margo, approvingly
Psst, the Old Wife Is Jealous and Not Happy
Dear Margo: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for four years, and we’ve lived together for the past two. The problem is with his not-quite-ex-wife. They were separated for two years before I met “Hal.” Their daughter is soon to be married. She and I get along well. When she first started planning the wedding, she let her mother know I was invited. The mother was angry for two weeks; she did not want me at the wedding. Well, she got over that.
The other day, when Hal called to tell me she asked that I not sit in the front row during the ceremony, I kind of understood (although, naturally, I would prefer to sit with him rather than behind him). But then, when the invitation came for the rehearsal dinner, she called him to ask that I not go to the dinner. I suggested to him that we take his two nephews out to dinner that night. Nope, can’t do that because they are going to the rehearsal dinner. So Hal is not going to the dinner, and I am having trouble getting over being angry and hurt by the situation. I didn’t steal her husband, and in fact, we’ve never even met. How can I get over this? — Gnashing My Teeth
Dear Gnash: As for not stealing her husband, merely showing up after their car wreck of a marriage is enough for some dames to hold it against you anyway. (I have been the victim of this myself.) It is irrational, so forget it. It often means she is lonesome and probably wishes she had him back. And I actually don’t think you have a problem. That the father of the bride is skipping the rehearsal dinner means you have nothing to be angry or hurt about. He took your side, which is lovely. As for where you sit at the wedding, this request you can honor. I have been at weddings where the m-o-b has no s.o. and the father is romantically involved. Enough said. — Margo, maturely
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to email@example.com. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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