Don't you want somebody to blame...
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22-04-2017, 10:03 AM
Don't you want somebody to blame...
... don't you need somebody to blame?
Wouldn't you love somebody to blame?
You'd better find somebody to ballllmmmeee...

Apologies to Grace Slick.

Regardless. As I'm packing up, my mind kind of wandered into some of the things I'd have been sure to have been told - and am, in part, expecting to hear at some point, given my current circumstances. I'm sure you know all the verses - "It's part of God's plan." "God is testing you." "He has to have a reason."

And while my first thoughts are just how ridiculous this is - God's plan itself is "unknowable," after all, which makes it fairly hard to believe in and which, back when I was a Christian, was one of those shaky foundations (what possible part of some eternal plan would require this part of my life to suck?) I realized - probably "again," honestly - it's not "faith in some plan" that makes this part of religion so alluring.

It's having someone to *blame.* Without having to go look for someone with a beard or strange hats. And most of all without having to look *at yourself and your actions.*

You get to put off your responsibility and searching for what you may have done wrong (I should have budgeted better, maybe finding a different place would have been ideal, I shouldn't do XYZ) to someone who can't argue the blame. It's nothing you did - it's God's fault, God's plan. There'll be something good at the end..

Just keep doing what you're doing, go with it, surrender to "God's plan" and it'll work out. Never mind that it won't. It's a hell of a balm, and a way to stay blind and "comforted," somehow.

(And the followup that, when it doesn't... well, the church will be there for you, of course. Did you bring your tithe?)

My little rambling blog. (More topical than this one, at least.)
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22-04-2017, 10:20 AM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2017 10:50 AM by Vera.)
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
First off - love this song Yes

No, I honestly cannot say I need someone to blame. Frankly, the only universe I want to live in is a random, indifferent one. I am not an angry person and the level of anger a universe with a god in it would require of me is something I don't think I'm capable of (or capable of handling)

I also do not miss the delusion that there is a plan for me - yeah, it might make some people believe it's all for the best and everything will work out in the end and all the suffering will have been worth it. Me, only thing it gave me, was yet another reason to fear I was a failure - because I hadn't managed to figure out god's plan and maybe chose wrongly and that's why things didn't work out.

So, yeah, I think I'd stick with being an insignificant tiny speck of cosmic dust in an indifferent universe and try not to make too big of a bungle of my life (though I think I can hear them sounding the siren for the departure of that particular ship Dodgy )

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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22-04-2017, 10:48 AM
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
It's also a way people have of reassuring themselves that there is some order to the universe, that we aren't subject to mere random and blind chance.

Despite the evidence to the contrary......

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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22-04-2017, 11:04 AM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2017 11:12 AM by f stop.)
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
I would blame myself except ...



Sapere aude
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22-04-2017, 11:49 AM
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
I'm sure pastors the world over use this tactic to abuse their wives.

"God is testing our love."
"These rough times, when I nearly strangle you to death, is all part of god's plan. There will be a reward at the end."
"When you disagree with me, that's the devil talking. Let jesus in, so I don't have to slap the devil out of you."

I actually felt slimey for writing this.
Putting my mind into the mindset of a pastor creeps me out.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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22-04-2017, 11:58 AM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2017 12:35 PM by mordant.)
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
(22-04-2017 10:20 AM)Vera Wrote:  Frankly, the only universe I want to live in is a random, indifferent one. I am not an angry person and the level of anger a universe with a god in it would require of me is something I don't think I'm capable of (or capable of handling)
This was one of the main motivations for my final deconversion. I AM by nature irascible, and my late wife was seriously worried that I'd eventually become "a bitter old man". That is one of the reasons she didn't mind my deconversion, even though she didn't follow suit and remained a middle-of-the-road Methodist to the bitter end. We both intuited that life is too short for me to be angry at a delinquent, lying, non-promise-keeping, uncaring deity with pretenses to benevolence and nurture. A deity who was unperturbed to stand idly by while she suffered horribly and died slowly. Who was happy to kick my oldest brother to the curb to die his own horrible death despite a life of devotion to him. To dispose of my elderly mother in a car accident, and eventually, my young adult son in a freak medical situation.

That last, by the way, happened well AFTER my exit from the faith and, awful as it was, it was far LESS awful than it would have been if I had still been burdened with the beliefs and expectations of my former faith. I don't recommend surviving a child to anyone, but if you must, you're FAR better off doing it as a (preferably not freshly minted) unbeliever, trust me. Lots fewer useless questions and agonizing. Just pure grief and loss, which is enough, thankyewverymuch.
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22-04-2017, 12:10 PM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2017 12:20 PM by Vera.)
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
Sorry you went through all this, mordant Sad

But you summed it up perfectly. The thought that someone consciously caused this (or at least stood idly by while it happened) is unbearable. As unbearable as people who tell you that we deserve to suffer and that suffering is good.

GET OUT! Just get out before you find out what there is to learn from a punch in the face.

(Not that I've ever punched anyone in the face, tbh Blush )

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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22-04-2017, 12:21 PM
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
(22-04-2017 10:20 AM)Vera Wrote:  No, I honestly cannot say I need someone to blame.<trim>

I also do not miss the delusion that there is a plan for me - yeah, it might make some people believe it's all for the best and everything will work out in the end and all the suffering will have been worth it. Me, only thing it gave me, was yet another reason to fear I was a failure - because I hadn't managed to figure out god's plan and maybe chose wrongly and that's why things didn't work out.

Oh, dont' get me wrong - I'm exactly there. It's more the "I get why some people like having that and how it gets some people to stay mired in religion."

I mostly woke up this morning wishing I had someone to blame. But, being atheist, the only person I could find was staring back at me from the mirror, for some things, and life in general for the rest. So I kind of *have* to learn from it (or not, I mean, really) without that fictitious cushion of a deity and plan to fall back on and ignore everything with.

My little rambling blog. (More topical than this one, at least.)
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22-04-2017, 12:30 PM
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
Yep, that bastard/bitch in the mirror has a lot to answer for Dodgy

"The Hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn’t know." (The great Tove Janson)

[Image: hemulen.svg]

(I would love to have someone to blame right now, when it feels the universe is doing things just to spite me... and is doing a bang up job so far, I gotta give it that Dodgy )

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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22-04-2017, 12:30 PM
RE: Don't you want somebody to blame...
(22-04-2017 12:10 PM)Vera Wrote:  Sorry you went through all this, mordant Sad

But you summed it up perfectly. The thought that someone consciously caused this (or at least stood idly by while it happened) is unbearable. As unbearable as people who tell you that we deserve to suffer and that suffering is good.

GET OUT! Just get out before you find out what there is to learn from a punch if the face.

(Not that I've ever punched anyone in the face, tbh Blush )
^This

I am of the opinion that suffering is NEVER ennobling and ALWAYS diminishes the sufferer. Anyone who thinks otherwise has, to some extent, drunk the religious Kool-Aid, whether they came by it directly or indirectly.

Suffering extracts some non-zero amount of life force out of you that could have been devoted to other, and far pleasanter, things.

Sure, you can make lemonade out of lemons, and sometimes suffering brings self awareness more quickly, and there can be some positive knock-on effects from that. But if there were a way to examine two timelines, one with and one without a particular tragedy or illness or accident, I am quite certain that you would come up short on a net-net basis in the suffering version, every damn time. Particularly if you're a reasonably self-aware and reflective person to begin with.

The glorification of suffering (which reaches its apex in Catholic suffering porn -- you should see some of their artwork and listen to some of their campfire stories about suffering and listen to them rhapsodize about how holy it makes you) is a black stain on the soul of humanity. It arises from a failure of imagination -- we are so inured to suffering, want, poverty, disappointment, bereavement and all the rest, that we can't imagine life without it. And we start to think that it gives life some of its inherent meaning.

No. Just -- no.

The other common fallacy is that you need to contrast suffering with good to appreciate good ... which of course presupposes that we're all ungrateful gits who would take pleasure for granted and waste in somehow unless we knew what pain was. For such people I always use this continuum as an illustration:

Abject misery <-- ordinary pain -- so-so -- okey-dokey --> utter delight and organsmic wonderfulness

Let's lop that off at the midpoint:

So-so <-- okey-dokey --> utter delight and orgasmic wonderfulness

If it's contrast you want, there's PLENTY of it there, WITHOUT the suffering. I acknowledge the reality of hedonic tone and the fact that constant bliss would be boring, but I reject the notion that actual suffering must be in the mix to address that issue.

I'd be far better off without even one of the clusterfucks I outlined earlier in this conversation and I'd have far more to contribute to the world for it.

I don't understand why people can't grasp such simple and obvious principles. It is one of the reasons I regard religious ideology as some of the most harmful and damaging to the human enterprise.
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