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"Policing" ourselves? in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #30
quote:
Originally written by Archmagus Micael:

I personally dislike Hitler and the Nazis. The Jews and many others didn't do anything to them, they just slaughtered them anyway. Hitler and his friends were just a group of thugs who wanted to do what they plesaed, and screw anyone who doesn't like that. He was just another power-hungry meglomaniac; the only difference between Hitler and Bush was that he didn't bother pretending to be nice (that's hiler's only good point).
So the only thing that makes Hitler better than Bush is that he didn't restrain his urge to kill people? Bush is just Hitler without the balls? I'm sorry, I just couldn't let that go unchallenged by the entire Spiderweb community. I know people will do anything to sneak a dig on Bush, but let's keep it within the realm of reason, please.

More on topic, a belligerent foreign policy was the only out that Germany had, what with how they were crippled by the Treaty of Versailles. Had Hitler built his fascism solely on nationalism instead of resorting to racism and genocide, he would probably be remembered as on par with Napoleon. Unfortunately, his charisma came from conviction, his conviction came from being utterly twisted, and the result was the Holocaust, one of history's greatest authorities.

[ Friday, April 21, 2006 12:23: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Power Corrupts in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #7
The phrase is a bit of a fallacy. It'd be more correct if it were stated "quasi-absolute power corrupts absolutely." "Absolute Power" corrupts because it is not, in fact, absolute.

It is important to note that, incomplete as it may be, quasi-absolute power is very advantageous to the individual possessing it. Succintly, it gives them access to a disproportionate amount of society's goods and services. Thus, any individual possessing it has an interest in maintaining it.

The "corrupted" actions of "absolute" rulers are usually a direct response to the insecurity or to the limitations of their power. The former is obvious. Because their situation is inherently unjust, those possessing power can have either or both of two justifications for it. The first is that they wield it for the common good, and that the gross amount of goods and services available to the population is higher because of the power vested in one person (at this point, power is hardly quasi-absolute). The second is when power is used reflexively as its own justification; "I have power, and I can use it to maintain or extend itself." Of course, since the power of an individual is limited, the second is very shaky ground, and any individual seeking to maintain power, as logical self-interest dictates s/he should, must stoop to measures hardly considered ethical. The most obvious time when an individual would transition from the first to the second is when s/he has failed at the first; using power for the common good, unlike what those out of power would contend (read: Democrats, Republicans in '94) is not at all easy.

The second is a little less cut-and-dried, but I think it's very important. A lot of times, people are trying to accomplish things that they simply do not have the power to accomplish ethically. Because their power is limited, they are forced into choosing between accomplishing their aim and acting ethically.

Stalin is a rather good example of this. His stated goal was to industrialize Russia, an admirable one by itself. Of course, he didn't have the ability to do that any way besides forcibly stealing grain from peasants and overworking industrial laborers. When people rightly disagreed with where he had his priorities, my first point came into play, and he used his power to protect his power.

So, short version:

What actually corrupts are the ways in which "Absolute Power" falls short of being absolute. (That's what Prophet of Trump was getting at, I believe.)

NOTE: This is not related to the question of God. I suppose you could extend it to the idea of a God, but, come on, the concept of power is much more interesting than listening to Aran's condescending gibes and Ben's blatant trolling, which is all you're going to get if you use the G or R words on this forum.

[ Friday, April 21, 2006 10:06: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Temple of Pain Design Help in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #14
The stairway seems a little incongruous in that one.

If you haven't already, you should check out Luz's Walls
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Indian Doctor Jailed For Agreeing To Abort Female Fetus in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #38
Kel, medical definitions aren't medical facts. Those definitions of death is no more justified than Sir David's. If you want to base your arguments on physiological processes, that's fine, but any definition of where human life begins in the continuum of embryonic development is inherently arbitrary. Much as both sides will hate it, there is no logical reason to be pro-life, and there is no logical reason to be pro-choice. It boils down to an arbitrary definition: "alive." So, Alec, no reason to call Ash's belief insane, because yours is equally so.

Thus, I can't call myself seriously pro-life or pro-choice. I'm pro-choice in so far as a substantial proportion of the electorate is, and no one's forcing the pro-life segment to have or conduct abortions. Although, since it's basically an arbitrary question, I'd be for getting rid of Roe and sending it to the states.

With respect to the Indian question, it probably won't lead to any kind of population control, it'll just lead a lot of older men to have young wives, once childbearing couples start supplying the demand.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Photos Of Others Thread in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #7
IMAGE(http://myspace-063.vo.llnwd.net/00186/36/04/186054063_l.jpg)

Perfect! I never take pictures of myself, so all my pictures are with my girlfriend. I'm the brown(ish) one. The redhead is just a ... kid.

[ Monday, April 03, 2006 11:37: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Modern day classics in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #56
Err, with regard to the current debate, I sort of agree with Sigfried about satirists/allegorists in general. Half the recognition they get is for the rebellion-aesthetic cachet. Also, suspense-driven and escape-driven literature (i.e. SFF), while enjoyable, isn't quite "classic" material.

No one has yet mentioned Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, which was heralded as such by literature-snob types. It's not particularly popular, probably because of the length, the plot-necessary footnotes, and the polysyllables, but it's a great book, in my opinion.

Also, I am 100% with anyone who says that One Hundred Years of Solitude is a classic.

[ Thursday, March 30, 2006 16:08: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Terror's Martyr for General Mod! in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #12
quote:
Originally written by the benalizer:

Oh the irony.
Speaking of irony...

quote:
Originally written by Get Nathan Ashby's Groove On:

do your mom*!

(* No euphemisms whatsoever.)

Is that a joke? "Do" used that way epitomizes euphemism.

[ Saturday, March 18, 2006 12:42: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Conservative Shift in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #46
Congressional term limits are one thing that could help. As it is, the American Congress suffers from all the bad things that come along with careerism, especially the belief that manipulating voters is part of the job. If there a one or two-term max, then legislators would be mostly idealists with some other sort of income. Legislation would become a patriotic duty for the most able citizens, and not a career which one has got to fight tooth and nail to keep.

Of course, there's the issue of losing the experience and expertise that comes from serving on the same commitee for over a decade.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Conservative Shift in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #33
quote:
Originally written by Drew:


With that out of the way, I would posit that the conservative noise right now is just that - noise. This is because conservatives are losers - in the economic sense. Because their values are endangered, they have more incentive than the majority to act and assert themselves. The reality is that most Americans don't care one way or another what conservative cretins think, provided that the stink doesn't affect their lives. Note that anytime any conservative policy comes close to touching anything that regular Americans actually value deeply, they get struck down. Consider the reaction to the Terri Schiavo deal-io. You may point to all the proposed gay marriage bans going into effect as evidence, but States have historically reacted similarly toward comparable circumstances (e.g. slavery, civil rights). The sea change is toward secularism.

Yes, it is true that social conservatives are, as the New Republic puts it, "hapless dupes." Gestures like those are simply what the Republican leadership does to placate the base; they aren't serious about making more than a token, symbolic effort. The real damage is being done in economic policy, where they somehow think they can go all laissez-faire and still hemorrhage money through badly run government programs. Fact is, party leadership has given up pretty easily on social conservative legislation, at least compared to the way economic policy bills are routinely rammed through with fifty-one percent votes.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #98
Synergy: Oh, really. Medicine, engineering, and architecture are about translating thought to action, and philosophy and spirituality are about thought. There's a big difference.

[ Monday, February 20, 2006 18:47: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #91
This is all addressed to TM..

If you wish your points answered, it may be a good idea to give a recap; all I see at this point is a response to quotes.

Tell me if I've summarized your position correctly:

Near as I can tell, you evaluate a particular philosophy by its relevance to achieving a worldwide minimum of pain. Your ire is reserved for things which distract from that goal. In your eyes, belief in any kind of metaphysical reality is an excuse for inaction in physical reality.

If I've got that right, the only one with which I've got an issue is the last.

There's a reek of holier-than-thou about the whole thing, though. Your philosophical concept is just as much "fetishizing an abstract concept" as belief in God, you just don't give it a convenient name. You do quite well at deconstructing philosophies which you feel are beside the point, but yours, and your deconstructionism, is too. In fact, from here it just looks like the most morally unassailable pulpit you could find from which to harangue people. Like some sort of one-upmanship with Christianity.

I also find your statement that work has no inherent value to be odd and out of character; after all, the entire reason you're here is the Blades community, a salient example of creation for its own sake.

Now that that's out of the way.

This seems the best thing to respond to:

quote:
Originally written by Prometheus:


Okay, here. Let's assume that god is good, and let's assume that (like in the real world) it does not manifest itself in the real world.

Following...

quote:

If such a god is not omnipotent, he becomes worthy of love, but to love it would essentially be to fetishize an abstract concept- history is filled of examples of when this will lead you astray. Nationalism, classism, racism, et cetera. There is no example, however, of when worshipping an abstract concept will lead you towards good. For example- let's take King. He was a baptist and helped fight against racism. He would certainly lay claim to say that his religion has helped fight intolerance, but not only did he study under the Muslim, Hindu and Bahá'í followers of Ghandi; his fellow baptists on the other side of the racial line were radically against abolishing the Jim Crow lines. Christianity was not in-and-of-itself the motivation for King's actions.

Well, the very idea of a community of cooperating humans is somewhat of an abstract concept. The fetishizing of the abstract concept that is the common good is the basis for human society.

I don't see how your final sentence follows from the rest of this paragraph. He seems to have been of Synergy's belief that the major world religions worshipped the same entity, so those trips were most likely an effort to understand the concept which he, himself, professed as a substantial part of his motivation. He saw the dignity of man as an integral part of his belief, obviously...
Please expand.

quote:

Now, you might want to argue that there is a "greater force" or a "true god" motivating folks like King, but at the point where their main focus is the helping of actual people, why bother attributing it to a higher force anyway? (At this point, believing in a god is proven worthless. But I'll go on in case you're not convinced.)

Well, since religion seems to have been a rather important part of both Ghandi and King's worldview, discarding it out of hand seems a little unwarranted. Seems that believing in an embodiment of abstract good helps people to behave in a selfless fashion. Rather than look at selfless action as a necessary consequence of religion, which is obviously not the case, I'd posit that religion certainly does not hinder and can perhaps be seen as an impulse to it.

quote:

If it is the work of a higher force, than are you implying that humans aren't going to be the ones to save humans? If that's your grand conclusion, then you're encouraging humans to accept the status quo as the will of god. ("If it hasn't changed yet, god hasn't willed it yet.")

No, that's not what's implied. There will be no physical Deus Ex Machina. What I'll put forth is that belief has shown efficacy in getting people to behave in a cilized fashion. King's and Ghandi's movements were perhaps the most cilized airings of grievances in the past century, and they were religious men.
I'll also say that humans aren't innately going to act for the common good. We haven't been corrupted by capitalism or religion. We were ornery to begin with. Some kind of social or emotional compulsion to behave is necessary, and religion seems to fit that bill.

quote:

And assume that your belief is that people coming together and doing good independent of a god is still influenced by a god. At that point, belief in god is humorously vaccuous. What point is there in believing in a god if the world is already fixed and the god is ultimately not the miserable, insecure, hate-mongering being followed by the majority of christo-cults nowadays? Do you really need to be convinced that there's something greater than humanity?

What about people who do good in the name of a God? There are a lot of them. A whole lot. Your characterization of Christian belief is just wrong.

quote:

Is humanity itself not enough of a goal for you? That itself is where I find objection with the notion of worshipping. People should be the ultimate achievement of people. A maybe-existant deity should not be the concern of people, lest they be distracted from the main issue at hand- one another.

The flaw here is that you find the two mutually exclusive. Belief is not nearly so pernicious as you'd have us believe. Would you deny the lower-class, those that suffer, what solace they might find in their belief? You may enjoy feeling indignant and wronged, but some without the power to change their situations may enjoy contemplating an abstract good, and what is good in their lives.

Capitalism may have found a way to commodify religion and use it to sustain itself, but I think it's got a definite role in helping people to live together as you desire. Think of it as ritual glorification of what people find desirable in and expect from one another.

---------------------

To your longer reply to Slartucker, about ethics.

The human condition you set up looks like a Prisoner's Dilemma more than anything else. Humans are created principally by other humans, yes, but you already acknowledged that relationships can take the form either of mutual benefit or of "profit."

quote:

This is, essentially, why I feel that people are ultimately the ultimate: People are creations of people, and therefore profit the most when keeping one another's best interests at heart.

Using the word "profit" here shows the weakness of your argument. There is no self-interest motivation for a person to prefer mutual benefit relationships over more beneficial (from his/er perspective) profit relationships. The ideal for the individual would be to dupe humanity into acting for the purposes of mutualism, and then screw them over, not act him/herself for the purposes of mutualism. Where's the intrinsic motivation to play it straight?

[ Tuesday, February 21, 2006 02:52: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #82
t Lenar Labs my dad always tells me stories about a nun who would respond to plaintive cries of "do we have to?" with "the only thing you have to do is die!"

Also, I protest the implication that belief and rationality are mutually exclusive, and strawman arguments are not appreciated, as Thuryl pointed out.

I think the best that any apologist can do nowadays is to try and beat into people's consciousness that there are a lot of religious people without any inclination to proselytize or lord anything over you. A few peope out for money, power, and self-righteousness have misrepresented the concept as a whole.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Name in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #6
Well, it wasn't me that said it, but one time I was walking through the hall of my school and I heard a shrill female voice say:

"No, blind people don't close their eyes, they just can't see."

The phrase itself isn't quite as bad as whatever it must have been a response to.

Umm, myself, uh, one time I asked my dad who was the tallest dwarf ever, but I was about seven then.

There was another time when I was sharing my opinion to my friend that most "bisexual" girls in high school are really just after attention, and there turned out to be a bisexual girl right there, and she was none too pleased. Not so much dumb as tactless and awkward in the extreme.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #58
Ephesos - Funny, I've got the same qualifications for being okay with atheists.

Slartucker - Being a linguist and all... is "he" the standard English pronoun for a sentient entity of indeterminate gender?

[ Monday, February 20, 2006 08:18: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #55
Neuter nouns also don't really connote sentience.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #53
[quote=TM
This is why I absolutely, flat-out hate ATHEISM- its believers set themselves apart on the basis that they have a superior set of experience than non-adherents![/quote]FYT

What the pot said. That's not really a Christian or even religious phenomenon. Just what people do, really.

Synergy, what Slartucker means is that you're giving a whole lot of cosmology instead of answering the question he and TM are interested in] Why Believe? What you're saying is a necessary consequence of your belief, not an argument for belief. Hence, their impatience. Slartucker's objection wasn't a political correctness one; you're just a little off-point.

[ Monday, February 20, 2006 05:52: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #45
An objective reason? No. Guess not. I think it'd be considerably less statisfying if there was, too.

Well, in so far as that I try to convince people that Chris Cornell is simply the best rock vocalist ever to walk this Earth, yes (de gustibus dico veritatem), but otherwise, not really.

There's no verifiable answer, so I can't very well act like I know one, now can I?

Besides, religion seems to lack cautious apologists on the 'net. I always feel a duty to throw my hat into these rings. It's the one time when it isn't simply preferable to lurk.

EDIT: I see your questions, and I raise you one. You saw my second post, and responded rather quickly to my others. Is it part of your moderatorial strategy to sit there looking at the religion topic in which TM has taken an interest and hitting refresh?

If so, the elections found the right man. Smart policy.

[ Sunday, February 19, 2006 20:25: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #43
EDIT: To Ephesos

You're right. Pretentious it is. Let me try to say this in some sort of organized form.

I believe in an afterlife. A consciousness exists without a body in this afterlife. Without the physical rewards of selfishly taking advantage of other humans, one can only take pleasure from the existence of one's own kind. If you love others, you'll be happy. If you don't, then you won't.

If you care about people that way, your life on Earth will show it.

Well, you may only not see religion putting pressure on people to behave less selfishly because you don't attend regular services. Sure, televangelists like to fuel persecution delusions and harangue the sinners, but the sermons at my Catholic church are hardly ever in that vein. Usually they're about being there for someone in pain, or exhortations to seek greater social justice. Plus, the money that they take from us every Sunday is almost always for a worthy cause of some sort, and they've got quite the infrastructure. Really, I find it even more pronounced in situations where it's harder not to be selfish. In American inner cities, it's almost always the local protestant church that's most active in trying to keep children away from drugs, gangs, etc. You know the religion of the media and American politics, but day-to-day, it's a much more positive thing. I imagine my experience with Christianity translates to Islam, too.

And my "for nothing" comment was more about the would-be Martin Luther Kings that had all the aching desire for a better life and none of the rhetorical skills, infrastructure, or good luck to make the same impact. You can work just as hard, with just the same intent, and make no impact at all.

[ Sunday, February 19, 2006 20:02: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #40
I think this merits its own post.

IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT THE MASCULINE PRONOUN IS USED IN SITUATIONS WHERE THE GENDER OF THE ANTECEDENT IS NEUTRAL. I TRIED, BUT IDIOM SNUCK UP ON ME. SO SUE ME.

[ Sunday, February 19, 2006 19:49: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #39
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:


quote:
Originally written by PoD Person:

As to the real thrust of your point, the assertion that an omnipotent God permitting suffering is morally bankrupt, I will offer a semi-mathematical rebuttal. Assuming a metaphysical component to humanity which survives physical existence into eternity, the ratio of physical suffering to whatever happens post-physical-existence is necessarily infintessimal. Now, that's not a reason to believe, but I think it is a logical way of seeing the situation that at least moves the concept of God above the level of scorn.
This assumes a lot. And if there's no afterlife? Besides, that's still fear-mongering in the sense that our actions in a brief existence on earth will decide our soul's eternal fate.

quote:
Originally written by PoD person:

I hold that the core human impulse behind religion is an innate desire to rationalize an innate desire to be good to one another. People use it to explain fear-inducing natural phenomena, as the contempuous scientists and logicians will have you know, and the chic 'net-liberals on this board would be right to say that many people simply want to be smug in their self-righteousness. Still, is it so horrible to believe that we were created so that we might learn to love one another (or "act for the benefit of one another," whichever you prefer) in our time on Earth? Furthermore, is it not more just to believe that there will be a time free of suffering when loving like we've learned to will truly make us happy? (And, conversely, when those without a deep and abiding respect for humanity as a whole will be miserable?)

That's why I've come to believe in a Christian God, despite being a math/science type of guy. For the universe to be just, the people that live their lives for others and get crap in return need to be rewarded.

Okay, this assumes we were created. I prefer to believe that we evolved with the sure social knowledge that cooperation was required for survival. Once survival became less of a priority, people were able to be selfish fools without destroying (much) of the species at large, though some held on to the idea that trying to make life better for each other is a worthwhile cause. So I think it's there in everyone's mind, independent of religion.

And I just don't get the "time free of suffering" bit.

Well, the first quote. Taken with the rest, I'm not really fear-mongering, although, granted, I'm assuming an afterlife. The idea is that time on Earth allows experimentation and learning through free will. I'm not altogether convinced that things are set in stone from there.

"The idea that trying to make life better for each other is a worthwhile cause" is also what I advanced as a large cause of religion. As people were "able to be selfish fools without destroying (much) the society at large" religion is what grew up to exert pressure on that contingent.

Perhaps my belief stems from the feeling that people get cancer, people get in freak accidents, and people fall prey to their own kind, regardless of how harmful or beneficial they've been to society, and it's a darn shame if all the good they did was for nothing.

I've also not been sufficiently clear about what I mean by afterlife. I posit a condition in which consciousness is detached from physical reality (a fairly inescaple element of any afterlife-idea). Without worldly pleasures, I imagine those who love and glory in their fellows, and the total essence of it all that we call "God" will be quite a bit happier than those with contempt and hatred for the world. Purely a psychological heaven, hell, or shade of gray - no fire, milk, brimstone, or honey here. Basically, the purity of your intent while on Earth will determine your ultimate happiness, not the slick November roads, the caprices of your own biology, not geopolitics, not someone's desire for your life-insurance policy or to cut costs or for cheap labor. My scenario is simply the most just one I can think of, and thus the one in which I choose to believe.

TM

Even with pure social justice, there would still be that pesky Entropy, always spiraling towards our inevitable doom. Physical existence is inherently unjust. Pain exists. If all people were to drop religion and capitalism in its tracks, pain would still exist. People would stub their toes. People would strain muscles during over-enthusiastic coitus. People would be crushed by machinery. People would get sick. Regardless of their worth as human beings. In an absurdly unjust, and unchangable, physical situation, why not believe in metaphysics.

God as a sentient entity isn't quite necessary as part of a just metaphysical existence, but a concept of good, independent of human consciousness, is. I suppose the sentient God as explanation of free will just tickles my particular intellectual fancy (you needn't respond to that last sentence).

[ Sunday, February 19, 2006 19:34: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #34
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

quote:
Originally written by PoD person:

I don't find the rampant parent-child relationship analogies very pertinent, because it vexes parents to no end that immature children have free wills, and they do everything they can to correct that particular vexation.
Correct free will? What do you want, automaton clones? Our unique passion, drive, capacity, and mind is what makes us so wonderful as human beings. Learning boundaries and following rules like not crossing the street alone is for the protection of the child, not to exorcise it of the wickedness of having a will of its own.

Well, you've caught me in a bit of an exaggeration there, but I still think that God's creation of human beings as something that wouldn't necessarily have to obey him is just too different for the analogy to hold.

[ Sunday, February 19, 2006 18:46: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Eep! Christians! (Split from Christian Radio) in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #31
quote:
Originally written by Imban:

quote:
Originally written by Prometheus:

quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

In the event of a god, specifically the traditional christian one (omnipresent, -potent, and -benevolent), I think I'd be fine.
I wouldn't be. Any god who sees all and is all-powerful who doesn't immediately change the world for the better by ending the massive amounts of strife in it does not deserve my esteem.


In the Christian canon, God surrendered his omnipotence upon the creation of humanity. The entire idea is that God wanted humanity to love God and be happy of its own accord. I don't find the rampant parent-child relationship analogies very pertinent, because it vexes parents to no end that immature children have free wills, and they do everything they can to correct that particular vexation.

As to the real thrust of your point, the assertion that an omnipotent God permitting suffering is morally bankrupt, I will offer a semi-mathematical rebuttal. Assuming a metaphysical component to humanity which survives physical existence into eternity, the ratio of physical suffering to whatever happens post-physical-existence is necessarily infintessimal. Now, that's not a reason to believe, but I think it is a logical way of seeing the situation that at least moves the concept of God above the level of scorn.

quote:
Originally written by Imban:

quote:
Originally written by Prometheus:


Is humanity itself not enough of a goal for you? That itself is where I find objection with the notion of worshipping. People should be the ultimate achievement of people. A maybe-existant deity should not be the concern of people, lest they be distracted from the main issue at hand- one another.


I hold that the core human impulse behind religion is an innate desire to rationalize an innate desire to be good to one another. People use it to explain fear-inducing natural phenomena, as the contempuous scientists and logicians will have you know, and the chic 'net-liberals on this board would be right to say that many people simply want to be smug in their self-righteousness. Still, is it so horrible to believe that we were created so that we might learn to love one another (or "act for the benefit of one another," whichever you prefer) in our time on Earth? Furthermore, is it not more just to believe that there will be a time free of suffering when loving like we've learned to will truly make us happy? (And, conversely, when those without a deep and abiding respect for humanity as a whole will be miserable?)

That's why I've come to believe in a Christian God, despite being a math/science type of guy. For the universe to be just, the people that live their lives for others and get crap in return need to be rewarded.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
It ain't over til the diva chokes on her tongue in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #17
"The Day I Tried to Live," by Soundgarden.

First of all, I like the way it goes musically, which generally tends to precede choosing a song to define yourself, but it also captures the way I feel about life. I'm not all that social, and, at 17, most of my peers don't even bother to distinguish between "life" and "social life." So, when I try to belong, when I sneer contemptuously at the right people, I feel positively awful. Thus, I love this song.

[ Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:15: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Observation of MLK, Jr. in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #21
Back to MLK...

I think the saddest part of the Civil Rights movement was MLK's bunch getting their rear ends handed to them by Dick Daley's machine in Chicago. Mr. King's oratory and peaceful tactics were enough to defeat out and out hatred and violence in the deep south, but not enough to defeat corruption and hypocrisy in the North. The best way to remember MLK is to try and succeed where he failed - make urban living conditions equal for all races (or at least make some effort to ease de facto segregation).
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Yarrr... Linux! in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #87
Yes, prosperity does allow us to build quite a lot. I take part of your point as being that while our wealth may not correspond directly to production capacity, it definitely represents goods, and you're right. We exchange a lot of goods here in America, and we design a lot of them, too. Construction is an interesting exception in that it's all done here, but most manufacturing is done overseas.

My main point is that I don't think Americans can continue to design and reap the lion's share of the profits from products that we don't make here. The law of averages will even things out eventually. We're at an apex right now; I think that eventually the Chinese, the Malaysians, and the other exploited countries are going to start designing their own products, and employing Chinese and Malaysian marketing firms, so we'll be forced to make more here, and then we've got the conundrum of whether workers will ever be able to afford what they make - the more the average factory worker makes, the higher prices will be, ad infinitum.

EDIT: People romanticize subsistence farming just a bit. The assumption is always that everyone got by, but bad harvests meant a lot of starvation deaths. I honestly don't think it was that much better (although it probably was better).

[ Wednesday, January 18, 2006 14:21: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00

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