Anger-inducing God comments
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07-07-2017, 07:00 AM
Anger-inducing God comments
An old acquaintance from high school just lost her son. Her twelve year old son.
TWELVE.

People on FB are of course offering their condolences, but one thing I truly cannot stand...

"God gained an angel"
"God wanted him by his side"

Fuck that noise. What kind of 'loving' god takes the life of a twelve year old boy????

Do they really think those comments are helpful in any way??

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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07-07-2017, 07:09 AM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2017 07:20 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
(07-07-2017 07:00 AM)ShadowProject Wrote:  "God gained an angel"
"God wanted him by his side"

Fuck that noise. What kind of 'loving' god takes the life of a twelve year old boy????

Do they really think those comments are helpful in any way??

One phrase that annoys me is "God-given talent." The implication is that if you don't use your talent, you're wasting God's gift.

Sorry, but I decided I had better things to do than show off.
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07-07-2017, 07:21 AM
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
(07-07-2017 07:00 AM)ShadowProject Wrote:  ...
"God wanted him by his side"
...

I get why they're doing it.

It's the mind-meme that counters the destabilising injustice in this world by creating an equilibrium in an imagined world... "The undiscovered country".

But the only response that springs to my mind is...

Then, your god is a cunt!

Angry

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07-07-2017, 07:30 AM
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
(07-07-2017 07:09 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(07-07-2017 07:00 AM)ShadowProject Wrote:  "God gained an angel"
"God wanted him by his side"

Fuck that noise. What kind of 'loving' god takes the life of a twelve year old boy????

Do they really think those comments are helpful in any way??

One phrase that annoys me is "God-given talent." The implication is that if you don't use your talent, you're wasting God's gift.

Sorry, but I decided I had better things to do than show off.
I don't think using one's talent is necessarily showing off, but having an ability is not the same thing as caring about it or enjoying it. I had some musical ability but zero interest in pursuing it. I spent much of my life pursuing it anyway because my mother thought I was a musical prodigy and should not waste that "god given talent".

I think there's probably a tipping point where talent / ability is sufficient to make pursuing the talent sufficiently self-actuating that you would naturally desire to pursue it; after all with lots of native ability, doing that thing is relatively easy and so provides high reward for minimal effort and the attendant positive reinforcement. But even then, there might be better ways of using that ability. For example, you might have great analytical skills but that doesn't mean you become a software developer. You might become a radiologist or a mechanical engineer or any number of things that can use that ability.

So what happens to me is fairly common for fundies: in childhood someone perceives (rightly or not, overdetermined or not) that you are good at X, and you're told, before you're mature enough to fully assess the situation, that X is a talent and you must do it or you're "wasting" it.

In my case I think my musical ability was more an intuitive grasp of color, expression and structure which ended up better applied to software design, especially given that my physical coordination is sub-par, and you need that to play musical instruments.
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07-07-2017, 07:30 AM
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
I hate those God-got-an-angel etc. comments. But in those situations, even the truest/most useful things to say ("I'm sorry for your loss" "how can I help?") seem inadequate, and people do tend to babble on to try to provide some kind of comfort.

The God comment that annoys me to no end right now--because I'm hearing it even here in New England--is "Have a blessed day." #blessed a close second.
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07-07-2017, 07:33 AM
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
(07-07-2017 07:00 AM)ShadowProject Wrote:  An old acquaintance from high school just lost her son. Her twelve year old son.
TWELVE.

People on FB are of course offering their condolences, but one thing I truly cannot stand...

"God gained an angel"
"God wanted him by his side"

Fuck that noise. What kind of 'loving' god takes the life of a twelve year old boy????

Do they really think those comments are helpful in any way??
In fairness, while it's not at ALL helpful, and the abstraction is particularly leaky in a scenario like the loss of a young child, I have not noticed most fundies objecting to these rationalizations because they are so common and they have likely used them, too. I think they just ignore or avoid them for the most part, and sometimes they even play along. If you pretend your child is still in existence, in bliss, watching over you, it can seem to ease the pain of the loss in the short term. It's just one more way that theists run from, rather than deal with, the fact of mortality (theirs and that of others).
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07-07-2017, 07:38 AM
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
(07-07-2017 07:30 AM)julep Wrote:  I hate those God-got-an-angel etc. comments. But in those situations, even the truest/most useful things to say ("I'm sorry for your loss" "how can I help?") seem inadequate, and people do tend to babble on to try to provide some kind of comfort.
On the other hand, as someone who has grieved many losses, someone sincerely being present with me in my grief, just bearing witness to it, is as comforting as anything can be. "I'm sorry", "how can I help", "tell me about [person you lost]", "I remember [nice story about person you lost]", etc., are all appropriate and more helpful than you'd think, particularly over time and presented with some intuition about whether the person wants to be distracted or just wants you to sit quietly with them.

Sitting with ANYTHING is not a thing fundies are good at. They can't sit with uncertainty, or with suffering, they have to FIX it some way, any way they can. Grieving people understand there is no fix, they just don't want to be alone in their loss -- either literally, or in the sense of feeling like their all-encompassing, inconsolable loss is something unique to them. No wonder it's hard for fundies to be appropriately comforting, they have not fully dealt with their own losses, which blunts their empathy.
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07-07-2017, 07:43 AM
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
I get it. I really do. I think that's one of the hardest hurdles to clear in atheism. You accept that there is no afterlife. No one who you loved and who has died is truly 'living on' and watching over you.

I understand wanting that comfort.

There really isn't anything good to say in these situations. It's just a reminder that life can be incredibly unfair.

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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07-07-2017, 07:47 AM
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
I find such comments to be pathetic even if people saying them want to say something good. It may be hard to accept death of someone close - or not really like in case your OP is about - but spouting pithy phrases wont help.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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07-07-2017, 08:15 AM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2017 08:18 AM by mordant.)
RE: Anger-inducing God comments
(07-07-2017 07:43 AM)ShadowProject Wrote:  I get it. I really do. I think that's one of the hardest hurdles to clear in atheism. You accept that there is no afterlife. No one who you loved and who has died is truly 'living on' and watching over you.
Yes and no.

For me, painful as the finality of death is to face, it was even more painful to pretend it's something that it's not, and to deal with all the day-to-day cognitive dissonance between what your dogma describes and predicts, and what you actually experience.

Besides, at some deep level, I don't think the most ardent fundamentalist truly believes their loved one is in paradise. They grieve as if this live is the only one they have. That grief is made worse, often, by the death not representing god's promised care and protection, and the meaninglessness of it not representing god being forthcoming with wisdom and comfort.

Also, and tellingly, they seldom off themselves so they can join their loved ones in glory. In fairness, they have to deal with doctrinal taboos about this, and with the needs of other still-living loved ones, but still, if they really believed what they claim they do, they would join their loved one in death far more often than is the actual case.
(07-07-2017 07:43 AM)ShadowProject Wrote:  There really isn't anything good to say in these situations. It's just a reminder that life can be incredibly unfair.
Life is only unfair if you are owed something by it and don't get it, which implies a plan, which implies a negligent Planner. or at least a negligent manager of the plan. Without those things, life's not unfair, it just IS.

Life isn't even really cruel, because that would require cruelty from some intentional agent.

What life is, subjectively, to us, is difficult.

Once you really, REALLY understand this, it takes a lot of the pain and suffering out of life. You are not surprised by tragedy, and you don't in any way think you were not to experience your portion in the human condition.
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