Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Pyromaniakal22 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:39 am

draque wrote:Anyhow, this is getting very focused on points that clearly weren't originally intended... do you have questions you want me to answer now that you've answered mine? :3

Off the top of my head? Not at the moment, though i agree that it appears we are at an agreement and an impasse of sorts. If i think of something, i'll most surely let you know, but until then, i very much enjoyed the conversation with you, Draque. You placed some interesting points, and have given me some things to think about and consider more in depth. I salute you for that, and with that in mind, will be continuing with this thread.

strange_person wrote:
Pyromaniakal22 wrote:Do i think that it is scientifically possible for a dead man to have risen from the grave after three days of rotting in a hole in the ground? No, i can't say that science has ever proven that possible.

I dunno, most people seem to agree that that carpenter's son from Nazareth was a rather exceptional fellow, and exceptional people throughout history have been known to endure astonishingly horrific degrees of injury. By the time He got nailed to that tree, He'd already survived, iirc, hundreds of lashes from a type of whip that killed most people after about 20, plus quite a bit of miscellaneous battery and abuse.
[...]
After about three days, lack of food starts to become a threat in itself, so He sneaks out and calls in some favors from the local ex-leper community. The next recorded sighting is much later, and involves a face which initially is unrecognized even by close friends.

Altogether, the story is rather improbable, but not utterly beyond the bounds of human physiology, even assuming that it was reported accurately.

Interesting idea, and not entirely implausible, though i think he would have been very hard pressed to recover to the point of being able to walk and such in three days time (assuming that he was simply and exceptional fellow, and rather not the son of God) Interesting idea though.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Alfador » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:33 am

strange_person wrote:
Pyromaniakal22 wrote:Do i think that it is scientifically possible for a dead man to have risen from the grave after three days of rotting in a hole in the ground? No, i can't say that science has ever proven that possible.

I dunno, most people seem to agree that that carpenter's son from Nazareth was a rather exceptional fellow, and exceptional people throughout history have been known to endure astonishingly horrific degrees of injury. By the time He got nailed to that tree, He'd already survived, iirc, hundreds of lashes from a type of whip that killed most people after about 20, plus quite a bit of miscellaneous battery and abuse. Of the actual crucifixion-related injuries, only one (spear wound to the abdomen, penetrating chest vitals) was independently lethal.

Assuming Longinus either screwed that last bit up somehow, or was an inside man (after all, he was already breaking from procedure by not breaking legs), Jesus, presumably in some kind of coma or death-like trance beyond the local centurions' ability to diagnose, was taken down, wrapped in a shroud (which would have helped quite a bit with the sunburn, not to mention concealing any further signs of life) and placed in a cool, dark, damp tomb: a nearly ideal location for covertly recovering from dehydration. Of course, more than just dripping condensation is necessary to recover from such severe injuries. After about three days, lack of food starts to become a threat in itself, so He sneaks out and calls in some favors from the local ex-leper community. The next recorded sighting is much later, and involves a face which initially is unrecognized even by close friends.

Altogether, the story is rather improbable, but not utterly beyond the bounds of human physiology, even assuming that it was reported accurately.


There's also the idea floated in the movie "The Man From Earth" that the spear, nails, and big rock in front of the cave were fabrications made up by later writers to make the story sound more mystical, and that all that happened was he was tied to a couple logs, hung up there for a few hours, then feigned death and got chucked in a shallow grave. Time makes big things out of all stories. How much of history from even the past century is fiction? How much is real, and how much is "based on true events"?
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Eep » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:12 pm

Eh. Mortal humans (and other things) have been deified lots of times.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Alikat » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:04 pm

You to God: "Fuck you!"
God to you: "You're welcome."

After all, that dog who you heard screaming and crying, but who you apparently don't feel like risking so much as a peek arouind outside to check up on, would cling to life even if it was experiencing the fullest possible agony. That's how precious life is. No matter how awful it gets, it's still such a precious commodity that most of us consider suicide to be insanity. Life is an amazing thing, it's concentrated power of existence, it turns ordinary crude matter into people and animals and plants and itty bitty eyelash spiders. And you're bitching about a little pain and fear and danger? Oi vey!
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:31 pm

Alikat wrote:You to God: "Fuck you!"
God to you: "You're welcome."

After all, that dog who you heard screaming and crying, but who you apparently don't feel like risking so much as a peek arouind outside to check up on, would cling to life even if it was experiencing the fullest possible agony. That's how precious life is. No matter how awful it gets, it's still such a precious commodity that most of us consider suicide to be insanity. Life is an amazing thing, it's concentrated power of existence, it turns ordinary crude matter into people and animals and plants and itty bitty eyelash spiders. And you're bitching about a little pain and fear and danger? Oi vey!


I peeked around. I was stopped by the pitch black, the high, chainlink fences, the wall of trees, and the more fences between myself and the sound. What a dickish thing to say. For shame.

That said, then you go on about the amazing preciousness of life, which pretty much seconds my statement - which is that only a completely evil god would allow such horrible, agonizing things to happen to it in the first place. So what is your point?

Is it to give me a slap and then say I'm right after all? That's what I'm getting here. It doesn't exactly make sense. It's confusing. What I got from your post was "you're lame, but I agree". What's with the slap there about my inability to help the dog?

Any genuinely compassionate god would have made this a cartoon universe, a Bugs Bunny universe, where nobody ever dies (for long), where injury is hilarious rather than tragic, and everything exists forever. Or a universe that is heaven right from the word go, with no hell, and no evil, and no harm possible in the first place. That would be a kind thing.

Either there is no god, and this explains the arbitrary cruelty of the cosmos, or god is an evil monster, which also explains the arbitrary cruelty of the cosmos. But bottom line, the universe is a cruel, cruel place. Unless you think your life has been a bed of roses and loving caresses the whole time. Did you love your childhood? Was the physics that allowed everything that ever happened to you a good invention of a kind god? Or would a kind god have made the world so that nothing bad could be done to the innocent?

I'm glad you agree with me. I'd prefer less personal insult to it, though.

I wanted desperately to find and help that dog. There was literally no way for me, personally, to get to it.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby strange_person » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:37 pm

Could've called the cops, non-emergency number, filed an anonymous complaint. Better than going all Kitty Genovese on the poor bitch, at least.

If the world was paradise from day one, how would we know? Perception of agony and ecstasy is limited by experience. Any universe that includes the potential for varied experiences necessarily involves some experiences being less pleasant than others.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Alikat » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:39 pm

Actually I don't agree with you at all on this topic, and pardon my dickishness but yeah, you ARE God, because you have the power to save that dog, it's just too hard and scary so you choose not to. But you feel perfectly fine in blaming the Creator of all Existence because your lame neighbors are irresponsible pet owners?

No, we do not agree at all on this topic because you have your mouth full of the gift God gave you, the gift of Life, and you are hollering "You forgot the gravy!" You are essentially saying "thanks for that awesome gift, but I want MORE life, fucker. BETTER life." Not that I think God actually craves our gratitude, but if someone gave me a Mercedes-Benz out of their own generosity of spirit, I would not be inclined to complain about the color or the lack of options.

And just because we don't agree on this topic, or because we don't agree on just how far we'd each go to find the source of a screaming creature in pain, is no reason to call me "dickish." I think you are rather quick to call people names like that, Jenny, and I don't much like the way that people who have differing beliefs than yours are so quickly belittled. Some of the things you've said would be considered outrageously inflammatory were they aimed at any other belief system.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:30 pm

Alikat wrote:No, we do not agree at all on this topic because you have your mouth full of the gift God gave you, the gift of Life, and you are hollering "You forgot the gravy!" You are essentially saying "thanks for that awesome gift, but I want MORE life, fucker. BETTER life." Not that I think God actually craves our gratitude, but if someone gave me a Mercedes-Benz out of their own generosity of spirit, I would not be inclined to complain about the color or the lack of options.


Gift? Come on, now. I, like everyone, have been shoved into awareness within a universe of constant threat, a universe of pain and suffering, made all the more awful by the brief moments of joy and wonder that illuminate the horror all the more, and burdened with the cruel awareness of my own identity, and the inevitable and rapid annihilation of my very life. Life in this universe is exactly like being tossed out of an aeroplane without a parachute, able to see a beautiful landscape for a brief time, as one falls to one's horrific, splatty demise.

This isn't a matter of complaining about the color of a car, or just complaining that I personally don't have everything I want, this is about how a supposedly all-powerful being could cheat all intelligent, self-aware life out of continuation, all the while forcing them to observe their own approaching doom whilst simultaneously being forced to suffer any amount of misery. This is about a god being a petty and mean child, burning his toys with a magnifying glass, just to see them melt.

Yes, I blame any god for suffering dogs, and suffering humans, and suffering animals - because any god that might exist made the physical laws that permit bleeding, and ripped flesh, and mortality, and strong muscles that can overpower weaker muscles, and violence and rape and murder and death. The laws of the physical universe permit atrocity, and by your imagination, you know that this is not the only possibility. We can imagine eternal life. We can imagine invulnerable flesh, and powers enough to be safe from any harm. We can imagine having some control over our own reality, and we can imagine a universe much better than what we have been served. It is torture to be imaginative enough to know what you are missing, what could have been. It is torture to see your own death approaching. Literally torture, because actual, physical torture is based on making people fear for their lives as they suffer pain.

Life, this life, this earthly life, is torture. This does not mean there is not relief from the torture, that we do not get breathers, we do. But always, always, is the constant knowledge of our limited span, and the awareness that we yearn for eternity, that we can conceive of more and better, but are forever denied it. We are all victims of a cruel universe, cruel awareness, and if there is a god, an evil monster for a god.

And just because we don't agree on this topic, or because we don't agree on just how far we'd each go to find the source of a screaming creature in pain, is no reason to call me "dickish." I think you are rather quick to call people names like that, Jenny, and I don't much like the way that people who have differing beliefs than yours are so quickly belittled. Some of the things you've said would be considered outrageously inflammatory were they aimed at any other belief system.


I honestly felt it was a dig to suggest that I did not do enough to help that dog. It certainly wasn't a kind, true, or helpful thing to say, was it? Honestly? How could such a suggestion comfort me, or make me feel better in any way? It couldn't. It could only make me feel worse. On top of having to hear a dog suffer, now you suggest I could have done more to save it, without knowing anything of my circumstance. That is rude, Alikat. That is attacking, and mean.

If rude, attacking and mean is not 'dickish', what is?

And no, I do not think that attacking and being rude to fictional characters, like god, is being dickish. No. You cannot be cruel to a fiction that almost certainly does not exist. And even if god did exist, my point about the universe being cruel remains, and he deserves anything he might get.

However, even though I still maintain that your post had nothing positive to say to me, and sounded very mean, I will apologize for calling you 'dickish'. I will rephrase things. I will merely say you were rather hurtful and leave it at that.

Next....

I will gladly malign any 'belief system'. I support factual systems, or personal-experience systems, or observationally-based systems of understandings; even best-guess systems. But belief, arbitrary belief, belief without reason is insanity, and it is destructive, and it is wrong. It is dangerous to all.

Be that belief in some cosmic jewish zombie, or in some bearded boy-buggering prophet, or some bronze-age scroll of laws handed down by ancient dicks drunk on bloodshed, I am ever the enemy of insane, arbitrary belief. Belief, Truth, with a capital 'T', arbitrary belief is what makes living in a cruel universe even worse. Oh, it comforts those that buy into the insanity, marginally, but holds the whole of the species and the planet back from advancement, peace, and functionality.

When I say 'fuck you god', I do not limit myself to the Christian god, to jealous Jehovah or wrathful Yahweh, but extend my disgust to the asinine Allah, the monster Mohamed, the Aryan, Blue-eyed Jesus of North America, and the dark, brown-eyed Jesus of South America, and beyond. Whatever the form and shape and color and name of your god, he is a monster, because the universe itself is terror, and it didn't have to be made that way.

If, of course, it was 'made' at all. As opposed to just randomly being produced as part of a completely oblivious natural order.

The idea of 'God' is useful, I suppose, because at least there is someone to blame for this crap universe.

Then again, maybe an uncaring universe devoid of a god is better, because it is horrific to imagine a cruel little boy at the controls of all reality.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby strange_person » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:36 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:On top of having to hear a dog suffer, now you suggest I could have done more to save it, without knowing anything of my circumstance.
I know only what you reported yourself, and that you have some means of contacting local law enforcement, as evidenced by your ability to report the story here.

The dog has a problem, and because you're within earshot and not a sociopath, it's also your problem. Since you can't solve the dog's problem yourself (at least, not without making even bigger problems that are more directly yours) my understanding of game theory leads me to believe that your optimal course of action involves calling someone who has the knowledge to diagnose the dog's problem and the authority to solve it.

Instead, you have taken the opportunity to speculate on the nature of the origin and/or stewardship of the universe, which does nothing for the dog and makes your own problem worse. Why?

Do you require assistance? Should I exploit the resources of our implacable foe, correlated with other free-to-the-public data, to locate this clear-cut lot on satellite photographs, look up the address, e-mail the local coppers a complaint of my own, and thereby set in motion the mechanisms designed to remove the poor beast from it's incompetent custodians and deliver it to a happier home?
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Pyromaniakal22 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:34 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Gift? Come on, now. I, like everyone, have been shoved into awareness within a universe of constant threat, a universe of pain and suffering, made all the more awful by the brief moments of joy and wonder that illuminate the horror all the more, and burdened with the cruel awareness of my own identity, and the inevitable and rapid annihilation of my very life. Life in this universe is exactly like being tossed out of an aeroplane without a parachute, able to see a beautiful landscape for a brief time, as one falls to one's horrific, splatty demise.
[and]
It is torture to be imaginative enough to know what you are missing, what could have been. It is torture to see your own death approaching. Literally torture, because actual, physical torture is based on making people fear for their lives as they suffer pain.

Life, this life, this earthly life, is torture. This does not mean there is not relief from the torture, that we do not get breathers, we do. But always, always, is the constant knowledge of our limited span, and the awareness that we yearn for eternity, that we can conceive of more and better, but are forever denied it. We are all victims of a cruel universe, cruel awareness, and if there is a god, an evil monster for a god.

You know, the only other instances i've heard someone talk the way you are, is someone who was scared as heck of something. Is that the case? And if so, what is it you are scared of? I'm curious; because I don't feel in any way the same. I can't say at all that i am in "constant pain and suffering". If anything, it is brief interludes of pain, that happen to become interspersed into my life. Is it really that bad, living your life, that you consider it torture to be able to imagine something better? (I apologize if it honestly is, but i'm not really sure i can see how it could be that bad...) And everything is cruel too? Daaaaang, pessimistic much? Not to patronize, but, come on.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:43 pm

strange_person wrote:Instead, you have taken the opportunity to speculate on the nature of the origin and/or stewardship of the universe, which does nothing for the dog and makes your own problem worse. Why?

Do you require assistance? Should I exploit the resources of our implacable foe, correlated with other free-to-the-public data, to locate this clear-cut lot on satellite photographs, look up the address, e-mail the local coppers a complaint of my own, and thereby set in motion the mechanisms designed to remove the poor beast from it's incompetent custodians and deliver it to a happier home?


You... are kind of young, aren't you? I don't mean that to insult, rather as a measure of experience.

You can call the police all you want, but unless it is something juicy, or it is something really a problem for a lot of people, they won't come. You'll learn this, as the years pass.

Cops often won't come even if there is bloodshed involving people. I can't tell you how many times in my life I have been the late-night witness (I am a night person) to some horrific crime, called the police over and over, and they never showed up. One example, in particular, involved two drunken people on the street below my apartment of the time, a man and a woman, and the man was beating the shit out of the woman. He was dragging her along the pavement by her hair, slapping her, bashing her with a stick. She would get up and come right after him, like an idiot, after he started to walk away. Over and over. There was blood everywhere. I called the cops five, six times. They never came. The last time, I was told not to call again, the problem was just not a priority.

After years and years of this, I know now not to bother even trying unless there is ongoing gunfire, very loud noise that lasts for hours, or a crowd developing. The cops just won't bother. They don't come. I have yet to live in a small town, a large city, or a medium sized city where this is not the case.

Even in cases of violent domestic dispute, as happened in one apartment complex I lived in, where a man and his friends began bloodying his girlfriend as the entire complex turned out to watch and demand they stop, the police would not come. Finally, in desperation, the manager called a relative that was on the force, in another town, and got him to get the local cops to intervene. By then, the woman was nearly gone. It was horrible.

I think, though, that all of this really has to do with wealth. Over my life, I have known some very wealthy people. I remember being at one party, at a mansion, and the police showed up... four or five cars. The reason? Apparently the host of the party thought that someone had tried to crash the party, but it turned out that one of his guests had just borrowed the car of someone less wealthy. Man, that's police service!

I've never forgotten the mansion incident.

Now, knowing this, understand that I live in a low-to-middle, middle class neighborhood, it was three in the morning, lasted for about 45 minutes, and I could not identify where the event was happening, just guess, vaguely, where the sound seemed to be coming from. Imagine the call I would be making:

"Hello? Yes, I would like to report a dog screaming somewhere. No, I don't know where. It's somewhere way out beyond the back of my house. No, I can't see anything. No, I don't have any connection to the dog. Is it still screaming? Hold on let me check. Hello? No. It's not screaming now, but I think I can hear whimpering. What? There's nothing you can do? But a dog is in pain! No. Yes. But... No. I'm sorry too. Sorry to bother you. Goodnight."

I find this fascinating. What wondrous avoidance, what amazing denial folks are showing here! Alikat, and now you.

What exists as my indictment of the cruelty and evil of any god that might exist, using a real event as a spark for my indictment, is now being bent into an indictment of me, of my Not Having Done Enough. Don't like your silly god held to task, do you?

Back on point: I should NOT have to go save a screaming dog from being gutted open by coyotes. I would help if I could, but I shouldn'd have to. No one should have to.

Because, if god were not evil, cruel and monstrous, the universe would have been built so that no creature could ever die, or be hurt, or be gutted open, or suffer. It would not be possible under the physics of any decent, kindly cosmos.

The cosmos is guilty, and if there is a god, that god is responsible for all the evil. He built it into the structure, he made cruel physics that allow flesh to be torn, and pain to be felt, and death to occur. That is the evil here. Bad design. Evil design. Cruel design.

If there is a god, that cruelty is deliberate. He could have made anything, he made pain.

If there is no god, then there is no argument, is there? It's all just the absolute terror of a random cosmos.

Are we back on topic now? Good.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:59 pm

Pyromaniakal22 wrote:You know, the only other instances i've heard someone talk the way you are, is someone who was scared as heck of something. Is that the case? And if so, what is it you are scared of? I'm curious; because I don't feel in any way the same. I can't say at all that i am in "constant pain and suffering". If anything, it is brief interludes of pain, that happen to become interspersed into my life. Is it really that bad, living your life, that you consider it torture to be able to imagine something better? (I apologize if it honestly is, but i'm not really sure i can see how it could be that bad...) And everything is cruel too? Daaaaang, pessimistic much? Not to patronize, but, come on.


Hmmm... I live on a planet of violent, delusional hunter-gatherers whose technology and greed outstrip their reason and ethics, located in a universe with physical laws inherently inimical to life, within which life can only exist in the most narrow and delicate of margins, and where all observable evidence overwhelmingly indicates that what life there is, is short, brutal, filled with pain and sorrow, and ultimately ends with total annihilation of the self. Additionally, all evidence points to existence being a meaningless accident within a random and utterly uncaring cosmos.

What could I possibly ever be afraid of? How could I ever be the least pessimistic? Are you nuts? I'm on the paradise planet in the universe of eternal joy here! How incredibly fortunate I am!

Imagine all the annoyance of living in a universe that welcomed and supported life, where death could not physically occur, where youth and beauty were eternal, and where there was an infinity of wonderful things to do, learn, see, and experience. Gosh, that would suck.

So, no, I'm just happy as a clam, as I wait for that last heart attack, cancer, violent accident, or the loss of a loved one. Happy as a fucking clam.

It's interesting. Demonstrate clear awareness of how things actually are, and it really pisses people off.

I'm tearing at the delusions that are necessary to cope, aren't I? The desperate delusions of gods, purpose, meaning, and hope.

Or perhaps it is just improper to mention what nobody likes to think about. Or admit.

I bet... I bet that if I had instead started spouting comforting metaphysical or religious crap, there would be less annoyance. Especially if it were very generalistic, very open-for-interpretation, non-threatening crap that just spoke wonder and awe at how nifty the universe is.

I bet that would have folks all gushy over it.

I can do that, too. Sometimes I do.

But when the talk turns to god, to some benevolent all-father, and then some horrible thing happens that makes me cry in empathy and compassion, that is when my blood curdles. Idiots I can forgive.

Any creator of... these physics, these physical laws.... I can never forgive.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Tychomonger » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:48 pm

Does this universe suck? Perhaps. So what!

If some lazy creator made a shoddy universe full of pain and suffering then went of to get drunk with his frat buddies and forgot about us, who cares? We are living here in this universe. It is ours to make what we can from what we are given. We can improve this world to the point where it is good and livable. We are life, the opposite of entropy. We fight the cold void. We build up meaningful information.

I do not care if this is a bad universe, made by a careless or spiteful god. Be spiteful right back at him. Spit in his eye by making something good where he couldn't.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Alikat » Thu May 01, 2008 1:42 am

Hey, you're the one who brought up the dog, and I was merely pointing out that WE are God sometimes too, we have to weigh the options and decide that allowing suffering to continue is the most sensible option. The dog is just a dog, it doesn't understand that you are far away in the night, across difficult barriers, in a dangerously rustic environment, it just wants help, a surcease from pain. You truly DO have the power to do something about that, but it would involve considerable risk and considerable difficulty. Plus you have others to think about, when you risk yourself you know they worry and when you get hurt you know they suffer.

The deal is, I think I understand the situation better than you think, and you really oughta cut me some slack. For a place that has so many Asperger's Syndrome people, there certainly is a lack of leeway regarding wording and intent. People seem so defensive that when i disagree with them they see it as an attack. But Jenny, I wasn't accusing you of anything, I was simply using the example of the dog THAT YOU BROUGHT UP in the conversation to illustrate my point about how even Gods have their limitations. To a suffering dog, WE are the Gods, because we can apprehend a situation from far away and actually make a life-or-death decision.

Every time I eat meat I have to remind myself that I am, by choice, eating part of an animal killed for that purpose. *I* made that decision though. I could have eaten lentils. Look at me, behold the Goddess Who Bleeds, I knowingly chose the less-honorable path because it was easier. Because I am fallible. We all are, unless we have a "Saint" in front of our name. I think that if Gods exist, they can be fallible.

I don't think that I believe in any God or Goddess, but I have what can loosely be referred to as "an open mind." I have been that way regarding religion since I was VERY young, because my Mother didn't raise me in any religion, she told me that she wanted me to choose my own, so I went to various church services with various school friends to learn about Christianity, and I was sitting in a Baptist church one morning, and after the main sermon we all got up and shook each others' hands, smiling and saying hello, and I thought to myself that all of this positive energy had been very well focused through this impressive little building by these friendly people who did so much good for the poor both locally and abroad. I have never felt the spark of faith myself, but I respect it in the kind of people with whom I shook hands that Sunday morning back in 1973. I don't care if they believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as long as it makes them act so nicely.

All you seem to be able to see is the seamy underbelly of religion, and since there are plenty of horrible examples both new and old of abominable acts performed under color of religion, it's easy to see how you came to the conclusion and never put it aside. But acts just as horrific have been performed under color of ideologies that were ostensibly non-religious in nature, such as Soviet Socialism or National Socialism. In the 20th Century alone, Socialists who were vocally atheist managed to kill scores of millions in various horrible ways. God didn't do that, people did it to each other, and certainly not in God's name.

The evil in this universe lives entirely in the minds and hearts of human beings. Yes, suffering exists, but it's a matter of balancing forces, lift versus gravity, pain versus pleasure, a universe devoid of life versus a universe so choked with undying life that it becomes a jam-packed Hell or a static tedium. As someone who dabbles in sadomasochism, I know that I can reset the bar for pleasure and pain by working a few little levers inside my mind. Pain is a subjective measure of physical damage. Physical damage is possible because the universe is not static, it undergoes periodic state changes such as the unfolding of the known Forces from a single unified force. Obviously life is just as impermanent as everything else in this universe. That doesn't make it BAD, like I tried to point out, even when we're suffering like that poor dog we still cling to life.

Don't damn me for referring to the same example that you yourself brought up. That's hardly fair.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby strange_person » Thu May 01, 2008 11:51 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:You... are kind of young, aren't you? I don't mean that to insult,
And I don't take it as one.

Perhaps I cannot truly understand your perspective, and perhaps you cannot truly understand mine, but if either of us went into this discussion with that assumption then nothing could be achieved by our attempts to communicate. I prefer the assumptions where improvement is a possibility; after all, if all mortal efforts are futile, a bit of self-delusion won't make things measurably worse.

You say that it is logically impossible for the Creator to be benevolent, that whatever entity initiated this universe must be either cruel or stupid or both, and I ask how your life, or the lives of those you care about, benefit by that knowledge.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Alfador » Thu May 01, 2008 12:30 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Any genuinely compassionate god would have made this a cartoon universe, a Bugs Bunny universe, where nobody ever dies (for long), where injury is hilarious rather than tragic, and everything exists forever.


I WANT THAT UNIVERSE.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby strange_person » Thu May 01, 2008 12:37 pm

Fella called Dragonfly wrote a comic about it.

Long story short: It's still got suffering.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Alfador » Thu May 01, 2008 12:48 pm

Tychomonger wrote:Does this universe suck? Perhaps. So what!

If some lazy creator made a shoddy universe full of pain and suffering then went of to get drunk with his frat buddies and forgot about us, who cares? We are living here in this universe. It is ours to make what we can from what we are given. We can improve this world to the point where it is good and livable. We are life, the opposite of entropy. We fight the cold void. We build up meaningful information.

I do not care if this is a bad universe, made by a careless or spiteful god. Be spiteful right back at him. Spit in his eye by making something good where he couldn't.


I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE!!! So God is a bastard or doesn't exist. So what? What does that mean for us? It means we MAKE IT BETTER. We are intelligence. We are civilization. We have the collective power to make tomorrow better than yesterday.

I think what Jenny is trying to get at is her frustration at all the religious folks out there who claim everything good or bad that happens is "God's will" and so we shouldn't try to make life any better because "that's the way it's meant to be." She IS calling bullshit on that, she's just got so much emotional investment in this issue that some of us take her words as too extreme.

Peace out everybody; don't worry. It's gonna be the future soon!
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby Alfador » Thu May 01, 2008 1:00 pm

strange_person wrote:Fella called Dragonfly wrote a comic about it.

Long story short: It's still got suffering.


True. Life must always have contrasts in feelings, otherwise there wouldn't be anything interesting about it. If there was no stress, no challenge, no threat of "Game Over" from a video game, I wouldn't play it because it wouldn't be fun. Jenny made a game about this: in Boppin', you have to rescue video game monsters from imprisonment outside their games because otherwise there's nothing for the heroes to do.

There's also a story called Bartleby's Descent by a good friend of mine named Alex Reynard (it's on FurAffinity if you're interested) about a fun, happy afterlife... it does have pain and suffering, but like in Dragonfly's comic Latex BLUE, they're in small enough doses that they're always bearable and never seem permanent. (spoiler warning: well, not ALWAYS... that's a major plot point though...) They serve mostly to contrast with the good bits (or in many cases, cause good bits... ;) ) of existance.

And like Alikat mentioned, personal perspective can change the perception of pleasure and pain. Imagine someone tied up and forced to receive oral sex when they didn't want to. All the physical sensations would be those of sexual pleasure, none of pain, yet the circumstances of rape would cause definite psychological suffering. Whereas someone willingly getting whipped in a BDSM roleplay might feel nothing but pain physically, but be utterly blissful in truth.
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Re: CALL FOR ACTION

Postby strange_person » Thu May 01, 2008 2:01 pm

Some people don't like things better.
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