Hunger Games
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05-02-2018, 08:11 AM
Hunger Games
I was at the gym yesterday on the elliptical and a Hunger Games marathon was playing. I watched about 40 minutes of the end of the first and beginning of the second. Anyway, that trilogy has been on my mind off and on, since.

This morning, I was thinking about the problem of evil and the really common explanation using free will. The basic idea is that us having free will is more important than evil things not happening on earth. This gets increasingly creepy the more you prod the apologist as to why free will is so important. The usual answer is something along the lines of "God wants to know who his true friends are", "God doesn't want robot friends", and possibly "DO YOU WANT TO BE A ROBOT!?". Still, it never really answers the question, because now we're stuck wondering why we're allowed to actually make those decisions (and act on them!) all to appease God's sense of friendship.

People wouldn't be arguing free will if they were willing to let go of omnipotence. God still has to be willing and able, but free will is supposed to explain that while satisfying those two qualities. It doesn't, mind you; claiming "free will" is effectively the same as saying God is not willing (thus, he's malevolent). He just picked "no robot friends" over "not being malevolent".

Anyway, my point it, when a Christian claims free will, whether they admit it or not, they're saying God allows us to do evil for his own enjoyment. As I was thinking this, I found myself picturing all those people in their ivory towers in the capital comfortably watching the Hunger Games for their own amusement. Consider

Maybe God doesn't tune into the Hunger Games he's specifically set up. Maybe he just focuses on his "real friends" while the real-world results of free will play out down here. Honestly, I don't care; functionally speaking, there's no difference. Any way you slice it, you're still looking at the able, not willing quadrant of the decision matrix. Free will fails to address the problem of evil. It's just a sleight of hand, answering the current question, hoping people will stop asking more.
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05-02-2018, 08:14 AM
RE: Hunger Games
Any sense of evil is overwhelmed by scale. I don't know what the argument is. We're ghosts in machines ruled by chemical context. Whenever we start thinking we're more than monkeys pushing buttons for more cocaine I have to redefine "we."

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05-02-2018, 09:10 AM
RE: Hunger Games
That's an interesting thought- if any of that were true, then this god would be willingly benefiting from the pain and suffering caused by evil, just like those in the Capital in the Hunger Games. While we're not really completely better in terms of benefiting from the suffering of those less fortunate than those of us that are moderately more fortunate (when our governments make policy that harms others for the good of the richer, or our corporations make use of the poorest in other countries to mass produce cheap products). But at the same time, we're not supposedly the "god" calling ourselves the arbiter of all goodness, righteousness, and of what is considered evil. Rather our lives are more complicated and messy and far less black and white.
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05-02-2018, 09:18 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 08:14 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Any sense of evil is overwhelmed by scale.

“There is no such thing as a sum of suffering, for no one suffers it. When we have reached the maximum that a single person can suffer, we have, no doubt, reached something very horrible, but we have reached all the suffering there ever can be in the universe. The addition of a million fellow-sufferers adds no more pain”

C. S.Lewis (have I mentioned how much I loathe this vile man?)

Or, as Annie Dillard bluntly paraphrases it: The sum of human suffering we needn’t worry about: There is plenty of suffering, but no one ever suffers the sum of it.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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05-02-2018, 11:14 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 09:18 AM)Vera Wrote:  “There is no such thing as a sum of suffering, for no one suffers it. When we have reached the maximum that a single person can suffer, we have, no doubt, reached something very horrible, but we have reached all the suffering there ever can be in the universe. The addition of a million fellow-sufferers adds no more pain”

C. S.Lewis (have I mentioned how much I loathe this vile man?)

Or, as Annie Dillard bluntly paraphrases it: The sum of human suffering we needn’t worry about: There is plenty of suffering, but no one ever suffers the sum of it.

Yeah, those are total cop-outs. You complain about a loving god that would cause or allow this, and their clever answer is "what even is suffering?". That's not the amazing platitude they think it is; it's just avoiding the question.
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05-02-2018, 11:18 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 11:14 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Yeah, those are total cop-outs. You complain about a loving god that would cause or allow this, and their clever answer is "what even is suffering?". That's not the amazing platitude they think it is; it's just avoiding the question.

Even worse - because no one can suffer the sum of all suffering or something, that somehow makes all the suffering in the word better?

One of the vilest things I've read. Read months ago and am still revolted and furious. Loathe, loathe, loathe this man. On top of everything else, he's such a mediocre writer and the Narnia books are a joke.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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05-02-2018, 11:18 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 11:14 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Yeah, those are total cop-outs. You complain about a loving god that would cause or allow this, and their clever answer is "what even is suffering?". That's not the amazing platitude they think it is; it's just avoiding the question.

Suffering is having to listen to those avoidances. Tongue

Fox News: Praying Preying on ignorance since 1996.
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05-02-2018, 11:46 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 11:18 AM)Vera Wrote:  Even worse - because no one can suffer the sum of all suffering or something, that somehow makes all the suffering in the word better?

One of the vilest things I've read. Read months ago and am still revolted and furious. Loathe, loathe, loathe this man. On top of everything else, he's such a mediocre writer and the Narnia books are a joke.

And yet the apologists quote him like he's some savant.


(05-02-2018 11:18 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Suffering is having to listen to those avoidances. Tongue

Yes
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05-02-2018, 11:55 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 11:46 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  And yet the apologists quote him like he's some savant.

Boggles the mind, doesn't it? I read the Screwtape Letters while I was still religious. Was actually reading it fully wanting to be persuaded. Founded it ludicrous. How anyone with the mental capacity of anyone older than five can actually find that drivel persuasive is beyond me...

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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05-02-2018, 01:35 PM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 11:55 AM)Vera Wrote:  
(05-02-2018 11:46 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  And yet the apologists quote him like he's some savant.

Boggles the mind, doesn't it? I read the Screwtape Letters while I was still religious. Was actually reading it fully wanting to be persuaded. Founded it ludicrous. How anyone with the mental capacity of anyone older than five can actually find that drivel persuasive is beyond me...

I once complained to a priest that I was losing my faith, and he told me to read Lewis's Mere Christianity (despite Lewis not being Catholic). All it was was a sort of lowest-common-denominator list of what Christians believed. It gave no reason at all why I should believe any of it -- so I didn't. I continued to lose my faith, and now it's all gone. And that's wonderful.
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