What kind of god would you LIKE?
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15-11-2011, 04:54 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
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I like to party so I like my jesus to party.

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15-11-2011, 05:04 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
I want a god that doesn't exist...oh wait. We already have a couple thousand of those.

If I did have to choose a god I would choose one that is not detached from society so that they didn't screw up and let their teachings get twisted beyond reason. Simple.

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15-11-2011, 07:00 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2011 07:16 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(14-11-2011 11:49 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, GirlyMan.

Quote:Sure, why not?

I'm not some kind of self-flagellator, but to me, a life without struggle seems without point. Competition is the inescapable truth of all life.

I don't think that competition and struggle inevitably imply suffering.

(14-11-2011 11:49 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Anyhoo, if people want God to eliminate suffering and death, who am I to argue? I just don't think that it will make life better. Perhaps it will. Perhaps a life of unlimited hedonism won't get stale.

I don't think the absence of suffering implies hedonism.

(14-11-2011 11:49 PM)Ghost Wrote:  GENERAL QUESTION: Some people blame God for everything shitty. If there is no God, then who, if anyone, is to blame for these things?
(15-11-2011 09:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  My question is, if you don't believe in God, then who, if anyone, should be blamed for all of the suffering in the world?

"Who do you think?", I ask whilst looking in the mirror.

(15-11-2011 09:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I think it's important to identify two arguments occurring here. The first argument has to do with God being a dick and how one would change his policies vis a vis pain and suffering and death. The second argument has to do with the human experience and is existential in nature; how do we understand and live with the reality of pain and suffering and death.

The former is just a curious and entertaining intellectual diversion, the latter is kinda like the most pressing issue.

(15-11-2011 09:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  My personal philosophy is that yes, to know joy, we must know pain.

Why? What makes you think that knowledge of pain is a necessary condition for knowledge of pleasure? I don't need pain to contrast with pleasure, I can just use not pleasurable as a contrast to pleasure.

(15-11-2011 09:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  For me, the knowledge of death informs how we live our lives. There is urgency in my life because I know I don’t have forever to accomplish the things I want to accomplish. ... All meaning is made. I think that death is part of what gives life meaning.

Yup, I'm on board with that. Only I think it's most, maybe even all, of what gives life meaning. If you don't realize you're gonna die and disappear, you ain't living.

(15-11-2011 09:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  There's just something very odd to me about Atheists getting mad at God for anything. ... Are any Atheists here Atheists, not because they don't believe in God, but because they're angry at him and feel that he doesn't deserve to be worshiped?

I don't see how that's at all logically possible. You might be thinking of Satanists instead of Atheists.

(15-11-2011 09:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I believe that there is as much suffering in the universe as their is joy and that something decides who gets what (causality, God, random chance, who knows).

I don't see why there needs to be some sort of "Conservation of Suffering" natural law.

(15-11-2011 05:04 PM)Hamata k Wrote:  I want a god that doesn't exist...oh wait. We already have a couple thousand of those.

If I did have to choose a god I would choose one that is not detached from society so that they didn't screw up and let their teachings get twisted beyond reason. Simple.

Okay, I'll play. I would want God to have Hamata k beat the prick out of somebody as soon as they showed signs of being a prick. Repeat as necessary.

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
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Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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16-11-2011, 01:28 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Hey, GirlyMan.

Competition and suffering: So when lions rip water buffalo apart or a kangaroo leaves her joey to die of thirst in the desert or polar bears have to swim for seven days because their environment changes, there's no suffering? Competition means that some must go with less or go without or die. That’s the inescapable truth of it.

Suffering and hedonism: Without suffering, what is there to do but pursue pleasure?

Blame for suffering: So humans are to blame?

Not pleasurable: That's just splitting hairs. More to the point, you wouldn't know what not pleasurable was if all there was was pleasure.

Death and life: word.

Satanists: no. It was a legitimate question. I’m sensing that for some people, blaming God for suffering isn’t just a pithy counter-argument to the all powerful, all benevolent Christian God, but that it’s actual vitriolic anger at God for allowing these things. But that’s just a sense.

Conservation of suffering: Educated guess, not a rule. Although in many cases what is good for one is bad for another. Fact is, there's a ton of suffering.

What it is, Zatamon?

I grew up with the Protestant work ethic, so I can relate.

What I get from you is that there are some religious beliefs that say, "You need to suffer," and that you have a violent reaction to that sort of thing.

I'm totally sensing a very simple bridge between our two positions but I'll be damned if I can figure it out.

I agree with you that humans are creating, as Gwar called it, This Toilet Earth. I also agree that the wanton creation/infliction of suffering is reprehensible. I also agree that I'd like to see the elimination of that sort of thing. But even if we eliminated all professional assholes, there would still be suffering. That's where I'm at.

I'm no pain and suffering worshiper. I'm more of a pain and suffering accepter of the existence of.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-11-2011, 04:14 AM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2011 04:40 AM by morondog.)
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(15-11-2011 07:00 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Okay, I'll play. I would want God to have Hamata k beat the prick out of somebody as soon as they showed signs of being a prick. Repeat as necessary.

I second that Smile No prickery! On pain of pain.

He could do a cool finger on the wall maneuver beforehand "Mene mene etc". Translation: "Your severe beating will commence shortly."
If I *had* to know a supreme being, I'd like him to be like any one of my mates - someone I can go to for advice, and maybe sometimes he pulls me up about my exercise habits but a guy who understands that once he's done the making, it's hands off - if you go and give me free will and I decide I don't like you, it's OK. Someone who lets me do my own thing, maybe has the odd chat occasionally.

If he's gonna be all knowledgeable and all powerful, it'd be nice if he did stuff for a mate sometimes - it'd be nice if he could stop people making war... maybe stop people from having horrible diseases or dying in horrible ways.

I guess that's somewhat limited 'cos he could just do away with death and such... but a God who could just make those basic changes is definitely someone I could hang out with...
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16-11-2011, 06:10 AM
 
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(16-11-2011 01:28 AM)Ghost Wrote:  What I get from you is that there are some religious beliefs that say, "You need to suffer," and that you have a violent reaction to that sort of thing.

Sorry about the "violent reaction". Sad

It is not the religious belief I react to but the "philosophical belief" that "without suffering we can not be fully human".

I see absolutely no reason why not.

I can easily imagine living a happy, healthy, creative life, without pain and suffering, until old age or illness puts an end to it. As I mentioned before: lots of artists and scientists lived "charmed" lives and it did not turn them into hedonistic zombies.

Quote:I'm totally sensing a very simple bridge between our two positions but I'll be damned if I can figure it out.

I am sure there is one since, for me, it is such an obvious and simple issue that we can't possibly disagree about it. There must be some very simple misunderstanding somewhere regarding each other's position.

Quote:But even if we eliminated all professional assholes, there would still be suffering. That's where I'm at.

And I have agreed with that when I wrote: "Of course there is the inevitable pain and suffering like headache, stubbed toe, toothache, injury, illness and death"

Quote:I'm no pain and suffering worshiper. I'm more of a pain and suffering accepter of the existence of.

We have no choice, we all have to be accepters of natural (as opposed to human-made) pain and suffering.

It is the human-made and human-justified ("good for your soul", "can't be fully human without it", "couldn't have written that symphony without the suffering", "suffering made you a better person", etc) pain and suffering I find unacceptable.

Back to the original question of the OP -- I would want god (if there was one) to redesign the whole planet as I explained before:

Remove predation from the system and everything else will be fine.


I don't even mind if he leaves cancer and toothache and I can accept death -- it is the basic design principle of what I call "cannibalism on a grand scale" that, apart from most plants, no living creature can survive without destroying and consuming other living creatures.

Humans now could (and many do), with the help of science and technology, but the carnivorous instinct is still too strong (in most people) to allow us to consider it, because synthesized meat just "isn't the same" as the flesh of destroyed animals.

On top of that, the built in (damn god!) insatiable greed created capitalism which, in turn (in the name of profit), created the torture chambers and death camps for millions and millions of helpless animals in our factory farms and meat industry.

I hope this last attempt at clarifying my position helped because, honestly, I don't know what else I could possibly say on this subject.

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16-11-2011, 08:35 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
May i attempt to build a bridge?

One problem that jumps out at me is extremes. This seems to be a characteristic of nearly all dialogue this century: black-white, either-or dichotomies. Suffering and pain or mindless hedonism. Why?

You can make an effort without driving yourself to exhaustion and injury. You can compete without killing your rival. You can enjoy something moderately, not to the exclusion of all other feeling. You can even take pleasure in exertion that leads to no victory and no defeat and no lesson, as in hiking half-way up a hill. You can have a lot of negative physical and mental experiences short of pain: itch, strain, frustration, irritation, chafe, unease... All of those intermediate sensations and emotions that constitute the vast majority of life go unnoticed, while we talk only about the extremes.

Pain has a biological function. It tells us: take your hand out of the fire, or don't stand under the falling coconuts. Pleasure has a biological function, too. It tells us: girls and bananas are worth the effort. Evolution being the blind, stupid force that it is, kept laying down more pathways to pain and pleasure with each step of mammalian development, until we come to humans, who have these nerve wires tangled all over their extremely complicated bodies, all terminating in this big, multi-lobed but poorly compartmentalized brain, with its enormous cache of sorted, unclassified, random and criss-cross-referenced memory.
Plus, we're overflowing with hubris. Just need, need, need to be the central character in every drama on the stage of 'creation'.

Our pleasure can't just be nice: it has to mean something. Our pain can't just be chance injury: it has to be significant. Our life can't just be a series of efforts to get fed, warm and laid one more time - it must have some kind of cosmic purpose. Whatever characteristics we discern in ourselves - and we study and meditate upon our precious self ad nauseum - is what makes us human... as if that identity were a medal to be awarded, instead of an unavoidable happenstance.

I have good news and bad news.
The good news is: You can paint a pretty good picture or compose an indifferent score - and people with a little talent do those things every day, with or without kidney stones, with or without public scorn. You can do ordinary work, have ordinary social relations, make ordinary children and have a long, nice, ordinary life, in which there is a minimum of pain, without raising a ripple in the history books... and still be fully human.
The bad news is: That's not news.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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16-11-2011, 08:45 AM
 
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(16-11-2011 08:35 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Our pleasure can't just be nice: it has to mean something. Our pain can't just be chance injury: it has to be significant. Our life can't just be a series of efforts to get fed, warm and laid one more time - it must have some kind of cosmic purpose. Whatever characteristics we discern in ourselves - and we study and meditate upon our precious self ad nauseum - is what makes us human... as if that identity were a medal to be awarded, instead of an unavoidable happenstance.

Brilliantly said, Peterkin.

Thank you. Smile
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16-11-2011, 09:19 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Here's the thing.

Our life does mean something. It can't not. Human cognition doesn't work any other way. Even nothing means something.

Who's talking about cosmic purpose? I'm not. I feel trapped in some rote debate with Theists about the purpose of life. I'm not a Theist. I don't care about cosmic purpose. I'm dealing with the real. Suffering is real. We can sit here and say human life would be better without it all day but we'll never know because that could only happen with magic. If people think the world would be a better place if God eliminated suffering, well, it's their right to believe that hypothetical. I don't think it would make life better because I think it would sterilise it. That's my hypothetical. Here's the thing though, my notion that suffering is part of what defines us is based in reality. The notion that it doesn't have to is based in the fantastic. I'm not saying suffering is good, or positive or pleasurable, I'm saying it's there and it has an observable effect. In terms of the OP, if you think it's God's business or sadistic pleasure is to dole out suffering, then I can understand why you might be pissed at him. What I don't understand is if someone doesn't believe in God, meaning it's not God's job, meaning suffering is simply a naturally occurring phenomenon, then why get upset about its existence? That's the point I seem to be having a difficult time articulating. I'm down with the idea that wanton infliction is pure suck and that it's avoidable and that its elimination is desirable, but there's a whole lot of suffering outside of that.

Let me get back to basics. If the fox kills the hare then it's good for the fox and bad for the hare. If the hare escapes then it's good for the hare and bad for the fox. Whether it's God or an equation or chance or causality in charge of that decision, I understand that those sorts of "decisions" occur every day in pretty much every domain in the universe. I see no reason to blame God for making those decisions or to be upset that those decisions occur at all. So if it is God, then keep up the good work. It's a shitty job deciding who smiles and who cries and who lives and who dies. I wouldn't want the job.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-11-2011, 11:28 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
OMG HADES!!!!

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