Hunger Games
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05-02-2018, 01:39 PM
RE: Hunger Games
Any philosophical assessment involving suffering has to keep in mind what suffering is: a neurological imposition of discomfort when the senses perceive stimuli beyond normal frequency/intensity, discomfort to drive the organism to change things until the sensory stimuli fall back to normal levels. Absent suffering we'd walk off cliffs and burn our limbs off, or persist in life-shortening social reliationships. Suffering is crucial to survival, and is at the core of evolutionary advance to sturdier biological configurations.

But it's an imperfect mechanism, so goes off when it needn't, and can't be consciously overridden (actually, that last is important - if it COULD be consciously overridden we'd be right back to walking off cliffs and burning our limbs off). We tend to regard it as unnecessary because we dislike it and its imperfections when what we should be doing is refining it to be less imperfect - but WITHOUT giving ourselves such conscious control over it we defeat what it does for us. This inherent paradox of its nature probably means some degree of imperfection is inescapable.

So suffering is inescapable.
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05-02-2018, 01:49 PM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 01:35 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  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.

That underscores a lot of apologetics, to me. Many of them are more aimed at believers than non-believers. To them, it's just a sound argument, and not accepting it is an error in judgment.


(05-02-2018 01:39 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Any philosophical assessment involving suffering has to keep in mind what suffering is: a neurological imposition of discomfort when the senses perceive stimuli beyond normal frequency/intensity, discomfort to drive the organism to change things until the sensory stimuli fall back to normal levels. Absent suffering we'd walk off cliffs and burn our limbs off, or persist in life-shortening social reliationships. Suffering is crucial to survival, and is at the core of evolutionary advance to sturdier biological configurations.

In the really real world, yes. This was written from the perspective of a Christian apologist who thinks free will is a good answer.

From an apologetic standpoint, I have seen something akin to what you've said in the "you have to know dark to know light" sort of approach. It still implies the idea of a god that is held back by unstated limitations, ending up in the opposite quadrant (willing, not able - not omnipotent).
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05-02-2018, 02:30 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2018 02:42 PM by Szuchow.)
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 08:11 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  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.

That is why I time and time again say that Epicurus nailed it. To this day believers can not find good response to his famous words, they just stomp their feet and start bawling about how their space daddy is coolest space daddy in history of space daddies.

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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05-02-2018, 02:41 PM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 02:30 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  That is why I time and time again that Epicurus nailed it. To this day believers can not find good response to his famous words, they just stomp their feet and start bawling about how their space daddy is coolest space daddy in history of space daddies.

Exactly. No matter how many times they kick the can, and no matter how far, it always hits that same wall.

No matter how many layers you peel back, it can always be asked if God is able or willing to deal with that particular issue.
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05-02-2018, 07:59 PM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 11:14 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(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.

their clever answer is "what even is suffering?". That's not the amazing platitude they think it is; it's just avoiding the question.

There are ways if showing them, rather than telling them.


Damn, my shit has been getting dark lately.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Alouette, je te plumerai.
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05-02-2018, 09:45 PM
RE: Hunger Games
I didn't like those movies. Undecided
Jennifer Lawrence is hot, though! Blush



Honestly, there's not even such a thing as 'evil'. Just perfectly natural tendencies that may, or may not, be acceptable to the society in which they're displayed. A genocidal maniac, psychotic serial killer could flourish during a 100-years war. Probably be decorated from head to toe, in medals of honor & valor, for his/her efforts, too.

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06-02-2018, 08:43 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 07:59 PM)Old Man Marsh Wrote:  There are ways if showing them, rather than telling them.

Laugh out load


(05-02-2018 07:59 PM)Old Man Marsh Wrote:  Damn, my shit has been getting dark lately.

That probably means blood in your stool. You should go see a doctor. Consider



Tongue


(05-02-2018 09:45 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Honestly, there's not even such a thing as 'evil'. Just perfectly natural tendencies that may, or may not, be acceptable to the society in which they're displayed. A genocidal maniac, psychotic serial killer could flourish during a 100-years war. Probably be decorated from head to toe, in medals of honor & valor, for his/her efforts, too.

Now, tell them that same thing about their god. That him being "omnibenevolant" is just their evaluation of his actions given his hair-trigger temper and homicidal tendencies... Yes
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06-02-2018, 09:03 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 09:18 AM)Vera Wrote:  C. S.Lewis (have I mentioned how much I loathe this vile man?)
Well this is a minor bummer for me. I've not long started reading the Narnia stories with my little girl, and whilst I can see the obvious [sometimes face slappingly obvious] allurements to Christianity, I don't mind as the other generic parts of the stories are pretty good.

Just read up on the bloke, as per your comments, and fuck me he was a right bell-end. Christian-turned-atheist-turned-super christian. What a total gimboid.

I'm training for a 10K run, read about it in my blog :
Lost In Pace - A Running Blog
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06-02-2018, 09:22 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 09:45 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  I didn't like those movies. Undecided
Jennifer Lawrence is hot, though! Blush

The movies were alright, imo. I haven't read the books, honestly. My wife read them and was not impressed by the writings handling of the political and intrigue sections, if I recall correctly. She felt that they fell flat and the author could have handled them way better.


(05-02-2018 09:45 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Honestly, there's not even such a thing as 'evil'. Just perfectly natural tendencies that may, or may not, be acceptable to the society in which they're displayed. A genocidal maniac, psychotic serial killer could flourish during a 100-years war. Probably be decorated from head to toe, in medals of honor & valor, for his/her efforts, too.

Not a supernatural "evil", no. But certainly we might classify things as evil for their extreme lack of empathy- child torture and rape, sex slavery, child sex slavery, slavery in general; the ownership of another human for whatever purposes is horrendous, the rape of any person, and murder. I think I'd classify those as evil in that they are extremely lacking in empathy. Sure there are varying degrees of missing empathy in any situation- but I think these situations show an extreme lack of empathy, at least for the victims.

Perhaps you can find some justifications for things like murder that might mean your empathy is simply placed elsewhere, but idk (I'm thinking of extreme examples like, being forced to murder someone or someone will kill your family, or whatever... movie plotst). I can't imagine that being the case for any such crime involving harming children, though. Undecided

(06-02-2018 09:03 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  
(05-02-2018 09:18 AM)Vera Wrote:  C. S.Lewis (have I mentioned how much I loathe this vile man?)
Well this is a minor bummer for me. I've not long started reading the Narnia stories with my little girl, and whilst I can see the obvious [sometimes face slappingly obvious] allurements to Christianity, I don't mind as the other generic parts of the stories are pretty good.

Just read up on the bloke, as per your comments, and fuck me he was a right bell-end. Christian-turned-atheist-turned-super christian. What a total gimboid.

I think you can still kind of enjoy some of those books. Just make sure your children know that the author is a dick and that they can't just accept whatever he writes because they liked the Narnia stories. Tongue

Also- gimboid... that's a new one for me. Never heard it before! Laugh out load
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06-02-2018, 09:22 AM
RE: Hunger Games
(05-02-2018 01:35 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(05-02-2018 11:55 AM)Vera Wrote:  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.


Wait...whut? You didn't find the "liar, lunatic, or lord" argument convincing?

I think American Christians like Lewis so much because of his elite pedigree (Oxford! Cambridge!), which nullifies all elites who aren't on their side, just as the .001% of scientists who are Young Earth creationists nullify all the rest. They don't realize that Lewis would have found most American Christians horrifying and doltish.

I wonder if he's as popular in the UK as he is here?

I find him absolutely unreadable now, but I went through all of his works that I could find as a child and young adult, including those stupid space novels, Til We Have Faces, Screwtape Letters, Surprised by Joy, etc., etc.
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