Power Corrupts Discussion Cont'd

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AuthorTopic: Power Corrupts Discussion Cont'd
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
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Mods: There were several threads to the discussion in the "Power Corrupts" thread (hee hee), and I don't think this was the one that got it locked. I decided I'd like to continue this one. With a mod's say-so, I wouldn't be averse to people quoting things other than the musical-taste flamewar and interpersonal tensions that got that thread locked that they would like to continue discussing in this thread. I will delete this if prompted to do so.

Originally written by TM:

Hell exists (or it doesn't, but you know what I mean) as a necessary consequence of free will.

(From my reading of the bible, free will exists under a Judeo-Christian theology - I know you disagree, but bear with that assumption for the sake of argument)
Okay, sure. I can go with that.

The Ecumenically-inclined Christian sects believe at least that virtuous members of other belief systems are free from damnation.
Except for the current papacy: Remember, it was Ratzinger who originally censored the works of Rahner.

"Accepting Jesus" and "loving God" don't have to mean anything more than following "love your neighbor as I have loved you," because Jesus himself said that if you are kind to your neighbor, if you love your neighbor, then you love him, and acceptance is rather a necessary component of love, don't you think?
Wow- nice use of logic. (Not being sarcastic here.)

As has been pointed out in this thread, it is by no means a universal Judeo-Christian belief that hell is torment; the only common belief is that hell is distance from God and lack of the joy derived from closeness to/unity with God.
Well, okay. Let's take this definition, then.

But let me make a proposition:

Let's take a random person. We'll call this person "Pat." Now, Pat's parents abused her/him in the worst ways possible, Pat had no friends in school, and s/he was unsuccessful for her/his entire life. These things happen, unfortunately.

Now certainly, Pat did not experience a life that was particularly condusive into making her/him a loving, caring person. And let's say that Pat had free will.

But. Let's say there is another individual whom we will call "Chris." Chris grew up in a genuine, caring and economically stable household, and was placed into a situation by birth that was much more condusive into making her/him a loving human being.

Now let's say that what is statistically bound to happen to both Pat and Chris respectively happens: Pat leads a loveless life and ends up being quite "far" from god, whereas Chris lives a wonderful live and ends up quite "close" to god. But this leads me to a proposition I made earlier:

What of these two individuals who led lives so oppressive that the odds of their both going against what is statistically bound to happen is so slim as to be a macrocosmic impossibility? Is Pat truly held to the same standards as Chris? Is Pat's eternal afterlife supposed to be that much worse than Chris' because of what Pat's parents did to her/him? How can an ultimately fair god not take into account how alienated Pat was when allowing her/him to be so far away from it?

The trouble you describe with this scenario is as a result of describing the love in a person's soul as the sum total of that person's positive sentiments and (more importantly) good intentions. In such a situation, Chris will undoubtedly feel more charitably towards humanity as a whole, but his positive feelings are basically in return for his good fortune in life. It is easy for the privileged white male to look kindly on and act charitably towards the rest of the human race; after all, a disproportionate amount of the race's labor goes towards his comfort. Someone's true love for humanity is seen through caring more for one's fellow humans than can be explained by mere gratitude (or despite suffering).

Jesus has many teachings which imply as much. One incident in particular comes to mind, when he praises a poor woman for giving what she had to the Church and denounces a rich man's contribution as inferior to the poor woman's, because hers was much more of what she could have given. I would interpret this story as being much more about the type of thing that I mentioned above than about an issue of monetary tithes to an institution. The beatitudes certainly imply that being born into adverse circumstance will not hurt anyone's afterlife, and Jesus had a habit of consorting with people not exactly from stable, loving households.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1814
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Wasn't all that obvious from what I said? I tend to not explain stuff in open and clear terms so much as give examples from life of what's true.

I'm a whole book of the way God works in various circumstances, yet have can't point out anything despite being living proof of all of it.

Well, I'd say you got it correct. Funny thing about people though is that I've seen incredibly privileged people display all kinds of delight in the pain of others while also seeing the most bad off people display caring for their fellow man. I've also seen Horribly evil people look beautiful and the most saintly look like monsters. Mere appearence based on shallow personality traits.

I think that everyone is either one way or the other and can only be seen for who they really are once their put to the test. The right test. The one that can bring out whats within no matter what.

The great light bulb converses its thoughts in a fashion most particular to its complicated nature.

Neither twenty-one nor forsaken any longer, I now stand in freedom through Jesus Christ.
Posts: 215 | Registered: Friday, August 30 2002 07:00