Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hey Dalton, Chin Up

15 comments:

Mike said...

LOL, perfect. I'm stealing it.

the rev. said...

me too!

James Bow said...

Evil exists because without it, good couldn't exist either. I believe that God doesn't want to lead us by the hand. The value of good decisions only occurs when those decisions are made by us, and not scripted by God. God gave us free will, after all, and that's more important than a perfect, evil-free creation. For our decisions to have meaning as good or evil, the possibility must always exist for us to choose evil. That is why there is evil in the world, despite the presence of God.

Paladiea said...

How does that explain "acts of God"?

Sheena said...

"What Your Insurance Company thinks They Can Fuck You Over With"

James Bow said...

"How does that explain "acts of God"?"

(shrug) I dunno. God likes to play dice with the universe, and sometimes he rolls a seven?

pretty shaved ape said...

maybe gawd's just a bit of a petulant arsehole. or he's getting kickbacks from prudential.

LuLu said...

I thnk God (if there is one) is the ultimate trickster. He/She just sits back and watches the crazy happen ...

KEvron said...

so passive-aggressive, surely he votes repub.

KEvron

pretty shaved ape said...

a smite here, a smite there, you're a pillar of salt, everyone drowns, kill your son... just kidding, you... into the whale's gut, fuck it all, pin the kid up on sticks for easter and eventually we'll armageddon the place. all the god fearing, wrath facing, judgement day scare mongering, all the do as i say or face eternal torment, damnation and hell fire doesn't say much for free will. that sounds to me like sadistic duress. but hey, if the fairy tales and magic stories keep people happy and steer them away from random slaughter then fine. just don't waggle your superstitions at me and expect me to dance a respectful jig.

ThinkingManNeil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liberal supporter said...

Our souls are immortal, so what happens to us here physically is really of little concern to God. He would no sooner stop people from being killed, than He would stop you from skinning your knee.

So in my opinion, God wants us to learn from life, and if we don't get it, He sends us back to try again. In God's house there are many mansions.

Consider the position of God. As one who can create life, life would be cheap for Him. So He will not worry much over human deaths, if people learn something and their souls grow. Perhaps the death of one's soul would be another matter in God's view, but physical death and suffering? No.

Of course that includes single cell humans.

E in MD said...

(shrug) I dunno. God likes to play dice with the universe, and sometimes he rolls a seven?

By Blogger James Bow, at 10:50 PM



So are natural disasters a critical hit or a critical fumble then?


So in my opinion, God wants us to learn from life, and if we don't get it, He sends us back to try again. In God's house there are many mansions.

By Blogger liberal supporter, at 8:53 PM


Sounds like you're spouting reincarnation there bud. Doesn't that make you a godless commie pink heathen?



As an aside, and don't take this as a knock against you. Personally I don't care what you believe in or why. I believe that things like faith are between a person and his/her diety of choice or lack thereof.

But I do find human reasoning to be interesting from a psycho-social perspective. So I must ask: why is it that neither of you are considering the possibility that either your diety does not exist and is merely a mental construct you created based on the tales of other people so that you can wrap your mind around a reality that is awesome enough without a diety.....or that if your diety does in fact exist he/she/it gives as much of a shit about you (or the rest of us) as you do about the ant you stepped on walking from your car earlier. Or that perhaps your diety ( a supposedly perfect being must contain everything after all ) is actually evil as well as good and is directly responsible for the suffering in the world.

James Bow said...

So I must ask: why is it that neither of you are considering the possibility that either your diety does not exist and is merely a mental construct you created based on the tales of other people so that you can wrap your mind around a reality that is awesome enough without a diety

Because I don't want to.

Truth to tell, my faith gives me comfort. Judging from where I am in this life, I won't be "done" when the time comes to hand in my card. I cannot conceive that my consciousness gets switched off like a light switch. I think there is more to me than just a series of chemical reaction.

or that if your diety does in fact exist he/she/it gives as much of a shit about you ... as you do about the ant you stepped on walking from your car earlier

I've never said that this isn't a possibility, although I note that the relationship between God and the universe, if he exists, is DIFFERENT from that of a man and an ant. The man and the ant are too close together. They are on the same plain of existence.

There is a story about a painter who painted a picture of a woman so beautiful that he fell in love with it. And he prayed to God that this woman become aware of herself so that he could have a chance to convince her to fall in love with him. Well, he comes back to the painting and sees that his wish has been granted. The woman is self aware... but she can't see him.

"Where are you?" says the painting. "I can't see you."

"I am out," says the painter.

"What is out?"

And the painter realizes the trick that's been played on him. The painting is two dimensional. Its universe is entirely within the confines of its frame. It has no means of conceiving a world beyond that frame. As he runs outside to rail at God at this joke, he has a thought and stops. "God," he asks, "where are you?"

And God replies, "Out."

If God is an N+1 dimensional creature where N represents all of the dimensions of the Universe, then he looks down on everything as we would look down on a map. And every choice we make, or haven't made, every possibility, is also open for view. That's omnipotence.

I suppose in some ways you could suggest that there is a perfect world out there. But, again, for our choices to have any meaning in the framework of good and evil, the possibility of imperfection must remain. A fair amount of the universe has to be left to chance. Contrary to what Einstein says, God _does_ roll dice with the universe. Therefore, the so-called acts of God (excepting miracles, which I haven't yet been able to fit into my theology at the present time), are really just acts of chance, neither good nor evil.

liberal supporter said...

e in md:

Sounds like you're spouting reincarnation there bud. Doesn't that make you a godless commie pink heathen?
I don't think it is like the endless cycle of rebirth that Hindus try to escape from. Just the statement about "many mansions" has been interpreted that way.

Disagreeing with you on which order to light candles in a house of worship would make me a "godless commie pink heathen", would it not? For most, that is sufficient reason. Or if I decline to take your word for it that God told you to tell me to do something.

I believe that things like faith are between a person and his/her diety of choice or lack thereof.
I recently found a phrase that helps describe how I discuss religion. If you look up some popular movies in Wikipedia, you may find articles where there is a note at the top saying 'this article is too much "in universe" and not using the point of view of an encyclopedia'.

If you were to ask me "Why didn't Obi-wan kill Vader at Mustafar?", I would not say "Who cares, it is a work of fiction". I would not say "because the writer had already written about the future of both characters". I would say something "in universe", like "he thought Vader was dying anyway and didn't want to be the one to finish him off" or something like that. You could then argue some other reason, but still in universe.

If you bring up a reason that was developed in fan fiction, I might counter that such a thing is not part of the canon!

So I can discuss this "in universe", but asking what I "really" believe is somewhat pointless. I don't even "believe" my car will start tomorrow morning, though past experience says, probably it will.

why is it that neither of you are considering the possibility that either your diety does not exist and is merely a mental construct you created based on the tales of other people so that you can wrap your mind around a reality that is awesome enough without a deity
What makes you think I do not consider such things? Since the "deity" is not fully known, how would I be able to conjecture that it does or does not exist?

I do believe "man made God in his own image" and not the other way around, but that does not exclude the possibility of a deity. Nor does it confirm it.

I certainly do not believe that humans are the highest form of life though. If there are higher forms of life, sufficiently advanced ones could be seen as gods to us. If such life forms existed, there is no reason even higher ones would not exist. If we presume an infinite spatial universe, we should assume an infinite number of higher forms. So if you look at one of these god like beings at any level, and think this is the "most high", you are immediately wrong, because due to infinity, there must be a higher one.

I find most people (including myself) cannot really wrap their minds around a reality that involves infinite space, time or distance above us.

Most people are also incapable of being at peace with uncertainty. This is why they will embrace Bible stories and defend them as absolute reality, even when you step out of universe and point out the continuity and factual errors.

I find even science based thinking does not fare a lot better with uncertainty. Mainly it has trouble defending the fact that theories change and that this is natural when one is learning more about anything. So we can get statements of things being "true" simply because nobody has disproved it. I don't see any way around this, it is the nature of science. The religionist idea of trying to adhere to absolutes, even in the face of obvious contrary evidence, is worse of course.

Faith is a different matter. Faith says I can't prove this, but it works for me. Faith that life may in fact have some meaning. Faith that there are always possibilities. In the hands of some, science becomes a process of putting on blinkers and not considering anything that cannot be measured, and furthermore considering there cannot be anything else. Naturally, many scientific discoveries happen by having some faith that something remains undiscovered.

I disagree with those who try to paint atheism as a religion in itself, i.e. the belief there is no God. Atheists themselves say it is not a belief, but call it freedom from faith at all, which I find much more disheartening.

I don't go for the rituals and trappings, the public worship or anything else, but I find a little faith takes the bleakness and pointlessness out of life.

or that if your diety does in fact exist he/she/it gives as much of a shit about you (or the rest of us) as you do about the ant you stepped on walking from your car earlier.
That is a good analogy. I will avoid stepping on the ant if I notice it, but I won't sweat it if I see after that I stepped on it. There are lots of ants. I can't make them, but there are lots of them. For a God, life itself can be made, so lost lives would not be a big deal either for a deity.

Or that perhaps your diety ( a supposedly perfect being must contain everything after all ) is actually evil as well as good and is directly responsible for the suffering in the world.
The paradox. If God is so great, can He make a rock so big that He cannot lift it?

Our definition of evil would be very different from a God's definition. We consider killing people to be evil. God can make people at will, so it is more like an annoyance than true "evil". So I would not say God is "evil" as well as good, but I would agree with you about God being directly responsible for all the suffering that we call evil, since we are tied to these mortal bodies, and even the most religious of us are not 100% certain they are not all we are.