I just got an ear full
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22-05-2012, 06:51 PM
RE: I just got an ear full
(22-05-2012 03:27 PM)Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver Wrote:  Your dad is just using all the arguments out of the Book of Job, which IMO is the absolute dumbest book of the Bible - and that's saying a lot!

[Apologies in advance if this derails the thread, but I couldn't let Carlo's comment go without adding my own two cents.]

My perspective on Job is very different. I think it's the greatest book of the Bible--and I say that as an atheist.

You're right that God's condescending and sarcastic speech from the whirlwind pretty much uses the arguments of the OP's father: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? . . . Have you ever commanded the day to break, assigned the dawn its place? . . . Have you penetrated to the sources of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? . . . Have you an arm like God's? Can you thunder with a voice like His?" In other words, I'm God, I'm almighty, and might makes right. How dare you criticize me, little man?

The question is, does Job buy it?

According to the traditional translations, yes he does. After chapters and chapters of magnificent protest poetry, he throws in the towel with just a few words and says, "OK, you're right. Sorry. My bad." If that was the end of the story, I'd have to agree that the book, despite its incredible poetry, is, in the end, pretty dumb. But there's reason to believe the key passage in which Job supposedly capitulates to God has been mistranslated--or at least that it's deliberately ambiguous, allowing for wildly different interpretations.

The key passage is 42:6. Here's a traditional translation:

Job 42:5-6 (NJPS)
5 I had heard You with my ears,
But now I see You with my eyes;
6 Therefore, I recant and relent,
Being but dust and ashes.

Or (NIV):

6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.

But Jack Miles, in his Pulitzer-prize-winning God: A Biography, argues for a very different translation:

"Word of you had reached my ears,
but now that my eyes have seen you,
I shudder with sorrow for mortal clay."

That's TOTALLY different. Job does NOT wimp out; he maintains his integrity and heroism, and in essence talks back to God, saying, "Now that I know what you're really like, I feel sorry for humanity."

Miles, by the way, is a noted Hebrew scholar (and Christian, although hardly a fundie), and his arguments are detailed and technical. Knowing some Hebrew, I find them convincing.

So give Job a chance! Even under the conventional interpretations, it's been called the Matterhorn of the Old Testament, and as literature there's nothing like it in the Bible. With Job rehabilitated in this way, however, it's a book atheists and agnostics can embrace with admiration.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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22-05-2012, 07:14 PM (This post was last modified: 22-05-2012 07:29 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: I just got an ear full
(22-05-2012 06:51 PM)cufflink Wrote:  My perspective on Job is very different. I think it's the greatest book of the Bible--and I say that as an atheist.

I always thought Job was supposed to be the canonical example of "Yeah, whatever, fuck you too." Even when I was young Christian.

(22-05-2012 06:51 PM)cufflink Wrote:  The question is, does Job buy it?

According to the traditional translations, yes he does. ... That's TOTALLY different. Job does NOT wimp out; he maintains his integrity and heroism, and in essence talks back to God, saying, "Now that I know what you're really like, I feel sorry for humanity."

Don't need a different translation to come to the same interpretation. Big Grin

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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22-05-2012, 07:22 PM
RE: I just got an ear full
(22-05-2012 06:06 PM)cufflink Wrote:  
(22-05-2012 07:29 AM)bigcatlover2000 Wrote:  I've been in a sad mood lately from thinking about my grandmother who died a few years back. I go through these sad thoughts sometimes and just get really down. My grandmother was the one who raised me and her death was something that hit me hard.
I was sitting in my livingroom yesterday when I got a call from my dad. He could tell something was wrong with me and proceeded to ask me what is wrong. I went on to tell him how I felt and ,oh boy, didn't I make a mistake. My dad can lecture someone longer than anyone I know. He'll talk about it for hours it seems. He starts by telling me "ok, you're sad about something only God has control of. Don't you realize God has a bigger picture in store?" My response was:"Well if god is waiting for the big picture then isn't this life pretty pointless? I mean why didn't God just start with the big picture if he knows what'll happen anyways? He wouldn't of had to waste all of this time on the suffering of the world." Of course I get "you can't question God! Can you make a whole universe?! Can you create what god created?! If I asked you to go out there and make a tree, could you do it?! No, you wouldn't know where to begin. I know a tree comes from the earth but god made the the earth." I was sitting there about to bang my head on the wall about this time. I thought it was over(after a good 30 mins) when he went on to say: " you're never going to be truly happy until you become totally submissive to God. When ,and only when, you do that you'll find true happiness. You have to be submissive and let God know that you understand no matter what, he's right. No matter what goes on wrong in your life, God is right and he sees the big picture. Who are you to question the almighty? Who are you to question his wisdom and power?" I was about to hang up on him when he then got another call and let me go.
My dad's every solution is to bow before God and he'll lead you. Urghhhh!!! I'm sorry I'm ranting about this but I just needed to get that out and this seems the best place to do that. Where I live(East Texas) they're not many people who would see it from my point of view. Okay now I feel better Big Grin

Sorry to hear about your loss. As someone who's lost all his grandparents and also his parents (it comes with the territory when you get older), I can relate very directly to what you're feeling.

As for your dad, I obviously don't know what your relationship is with him, but i wonder if you might be reacting too harshly to what he said. Only you know if this feels right, but could it be that he loves you, realized you're hurting, and offered you the only thing he knows to make it hurt less? Granted he went about it in an inappropriate and insensitive way, but maybe his motives were good.

Some people use religion as a drug, the way others use alcohol and heroin (per the Lenin quote GirlyMan gave above)--it deadens your senses and makes you numb to your suffering and the suffering of others. Maybe it's true that religious people really are happier--I don't know. But even if they are, it doesn't matter: mindless happiness is not the point of life.

Time may not be a healer, but it does help lessen the acute pain you're feeling now. In time you'll be able to put the events of the immediate past in their proper place and bring the happy memories you have of your grandmother to the forefront. Hang in there.

Captured
.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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22-05-2012, 07:30 PM
RE: I just got an ear full
Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement! I think my dad does try to help in a way but he's one of those people that will not listen to anyone else's view. He always tells me that I put too much stock in this life which doesn't even matter. It's the after life that does. His favorite thing to say is that we're only living in a small moment in time (this limited life of suffering) when you compare to an eternity in happiness. I think next time I'll just be straight up with him and tell him I'm not going to get on that subject with him. He get's angry when I don't agree with him.
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22-05-2012, 07:39 PM (This post was last modified: 22-05-2012 08:01 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: I just got an ear full
(22-05-2012 07:30 PM)bigcatlover2000 Wrote:  He always tells me that I put too much stock in this life which doesn't even matter.

Which means it can be the only thing which can even possibly matter. At least temporarily.

(22-05-2012 07:30 PM)bigcatlover2000 Wrote:  It's the after life that does.

But that's an untenable position. It is indefensible other than an appeal to wishful thinking. And it's not something I even wish for anymore, I relish and savor my impermanence. Which brings me back to my first point. Wink

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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