Why should a deity exist?
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13-02-2017, 02:18 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(13-02-2017 12:02 PM)Alla Wrote:  
mordant Wrote:Suffering is never ennobling. It always diminishes the sufferer.
If I didn't suffer I would never know what patience is.
I would never know what compassion is.
I would never know what charity is.
Charity is the greatest of all.
mordant Wrote:Suffering is not needed to understand pleasure by way of contrast. All that is needed for that, is different levels of pleasure.
Ok.
mordant Wrote:People who really love their fellow man work to do just that: cut off all sources of human suffering.
But if there was no suffering people would never had a chance/an opportunity to do this great and noble work. By doing this work they learn what JOY it brings.
Without suffering you will never experience this kind of JOY.
One great Russian writer M.Bulgakov wrote in his novel "Master and Margarita": "what would your LIGHT DO if there was no darkness?"
mordant Wrote:I am suffering less than at any point in my life and I am stronger for it. Also, I get more out of enjoyment without the distraction of suffering.

When I overcome suffering I experience JOY that I could NOT experience before.
To have FULLNESS of JOY is my goal.
This is the reason why I exist.

The American Indian Blackfoot tribe have a story of how suffering came into the world.

A girl named Feather Woman falls in love with the handsome Morning Star who takes her up to Sky Country where she meets his parents, the Sun and the Moon . Morning Star and Feather Woman are married and she gives birth to a boy named Star Boy. Sun and Moon tell Feather Woman to specifically NOT dig up the Great Turnip growing in the ground in Sky Country but her curiosity got the best of her and she dug it up anyway.

She realizes after she pulled the Great Turnip out of the ground that it was a hole in the floor of Sky Country and she could look down on her family and all the mortals below which she missed so much. Morning Star, the Sun and Moon banished her from Sky Country for being disobedient.

A spider wove a web from the hole where the Great Turnip had grown all the way down to Earth and Feather Woman took her baby, climbed down the spider web back to Earth to be with her family.

However Feather Woman was never happy because every morning when she looked up at the sky and saw Morning Star he never answered her anymore and this is how suffering and sadness came into the world


I greatly paraphrased the story. There is more to it which involves Star Boy but in my opinion Native American stories and indigenous tribal stories around the world about suffering are just as good, actually much, much better than the bible crap.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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13-02-2017, 02:33 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(13-02-2017 01:53 PM)Alla Wrote:  I am saying that without suffering there is no need for compassion, patience, and charity.
Really??

Friday night I finished up an exhausting business meeting in another city and had to catch an early flight home. That meant I had just six hours of sleep available. An hour into it, some guy and his young son check into the room next to me and proceed to loudly roughhouse such that it woke me up from my beauty sleep.

That is hardly suffering, to be paid over a hundred bucks an hour to sit at a table all day answering easy questions, even if I do have to have a short night's sleep to beat it home ahead of a snowstorm. But trust me, I needed all the compassion and patience I could muster not to bang on the wall and bellow at them. To realize that it was just a father and son having a nice bonding time on what was probably their vacation. And it was, after all, "only" 11 pm.

There is no shortage of opportunities to have empathy, patience, compassion, love, forbearance, and to feel good about having those things. Suffering is scarcely either necessary or the sole source of such opportunities.
(13-02-2017 01:53 PM)Alla Wrote:  When people do good/charity out of compassion they experience special kind of joy and they bring special kind of joy to others. Just remember those moments when you helped someone and made her/him happy. Don't you love that feeling? If yes, why would you want to rob yourself from that feeling?
Yes I love them feels and I get them regularly. Without suffering, as I gave the above example.
(13-02-2017 01:53 PM)Alla Wrote:  No, if there was no war, people would not know how to CREATE peace. I want to learn how to CREATE peace. Creating peace is bringing special kind of joy.
People create conflict. They need to knock it off. That is what causes war in the first place (and by the way, they often as not use religion as an excuse to do so). Maybe you prefer to mop up after other peoples' bad behavior, I prefer not to experience it in the first place.
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13-02-2017, 02:45 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(13-02-2017 02:18 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  in my opinion Native American stories and indigenous tribal stories around the world about suffering are just as good, actually much, much better than the bible crap.

Agreed. Stories like the tale of Rainbow Crow are fantastic little pieces of mythology. It's a crying shame that so few people know about them these days.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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13-02-2017, 03:54 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
Astreja Wrote:I'd much rather there be no need for compassion, patience and charity,
Ok, But the consequences is that you will never have fullness of joy. Why would you rob yourself of fullness of joy?
Also a person who doesn't know virtues like kindness, compassion, charity can not be whole or perfect. Why would someone wanted to rob himself/herself from being perfect/whole?
Astreja Wrote:and look for joy and personal fulfillment at a higher level.
it is ok if you don't care about having fullness of joy and being perfect/whole.

English is my second language.
I AM DEPLORABLE AND IRREDEEMABLE
SHE PERSISTED WE RESISTED
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13-02-2017, 04:04 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(13-02-2017 03:54 PM)Alla Wrote:  
Astreja Wrote:I'd much rather there be no need for compassion, patience and charity,
Ok, But the consequences is that you will never have fullness of joy. Why would you rob yourself of fullness of joy?
Also a person who doesn't know virtues like kindness, compassion, charity can not be whole or perfect. Why would someone wanted to rob himself/herself from being perfect/whole?
Astreja Wrote:and look for joy and personal fulfillment at a higher level.
it is ok if you don't care about having fullness of joy and being perfect/whole.
I assume you mean "perfect" in the sense of "complete" rather than god-like flawlessness, but either way that is still a subjective notion and I don't know how one would know they had become, so to speak, a "finished product". That would also imply an externally bestowed standard of perfection.

For my purposes progressive improvement is sufficient. Moving in the right direction is far better than striving for some unattainable and inherently undefinable arbitrary standard that one falls ever short of. If there's anything that's a buzz-kill for the "fullness of joy" you speak of, it's that.

But Astreja is also implying that there is no other source of or need for compassion than through suffering, which I have already suggested is not so. So your accusing her of "not caring" about being her best self is objectively wrong as well as rather supercilious, impertinent and unfair.

However, in the hypothetical case where no one had to be compassionate or patient or forbearing, that would imply that everyone was in fact "whole" and "perfect", which is your supposed standard anyway. It wouldn't really say anything directly about human suffering, except that it would be damned difficult for anyone to be their best selves while suffering was interfering with their "becoming".
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13-02-2017, 05:55 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
mordant Wrote:That is hardly suffering, to be paid over a hundred bucks an hour to sit at a table all day answering easy questions, even if I do have to have a short night's sleep to beat it home ahead of a snowstorm. But trust me, I needed all the compassion and patience I could muster not to bang on the wall and bellow at them. To realize that it was just a father and son having a nice bonding time on what was probably their vacation. And it was, after all, "only" 11 pm.
If you say it was not suffering(hardly suffering) then you don't need compassion. When there is a suffering there is need for compassion, kindness, charity(love/ service).
God wants us to learn to be kind and compassionate in the world that is full of evil.
mordant Wrote:People create conflict. They need to knock it off. That is what causes war in the first place (and by the way, they often as not use religion as an excuse to do so). Maybe you prefer to mop up after other peoples' bad behavior, I prefer not to experience it in the first place.
I also prefer not to experience conflict. But because I have moral agency(God won't force me to do evil/or good) sometimes I choose to create conflict for whatever reasons. Then someone can learn to become a peacemaker because of my choice. I can learn to become a peacemaker by following example of that person.
So, when there is a conflict there is an opportunity to become peacemaker and experience special kind of joy.
P.S. God loves diversity. Diversity is good and interesting. But God wants us to be one. One in love, deeds, goals. Oneness is good. Without diversity we can not learn to be one.
To learn to be one sometimes is very, very hard but when we achieve it we experience incredible joy.
God wants us to learn to become peacemakers, kind, compassionate. He doesn't make us this kind of people. To make us this kind of people = to take away agency to choose to become peacemakers and have joy because of that.
But God gives us potential and knowledge how to become like Him. We inherited His genes.

English is my second language.
I AM DEPLORABLE AND IRREDEEMABLE
SHE PERSISTED WE RESISTED
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13-02-2017, 08:49 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(13-02-2017 05:55 PM)Alla Wrote:  
mordant Wrote:That is hardly suffering, to be paid over a hundred bucks an hour to sit at a table all day answering easy questions, even if I do have to have a short night's sleep to beat it home ahead of a snowstorm. But trust me, I needed all the compassion and patience I could muster not to bang on the wall and bellow at them. To realize that it was just a father and son having a nice bonding time on what was probably their vacation. And it was, after all, "only" 11 pm.
If you say it was not suffering(hardly suffering) then you don't need compassion. When there is a suffering there is need for compassion, kindness, charity(love/ service).
God wants us to learn to be kind and compassionate in the world that is full of evil.
mordant Wrote:People create conflict. They need to knock it off. That is what causes war in the first place (and by the way, they often as not use religion as an excuse to do so). Maybe you prefer to mop up after other peoples' bad behavior, I prefer not to experience it in the first place.
I also prefer not to experience conflict. But because I have moral agency(God won't force me to do evil/or good) sometimes I choose to create conflict for whatever reasons. Then someone can learn to become a peacemaker because of my choice. I can learn to become a peacemaker by following example of that person.
So, when there is a conflict there is an opportunity to become peacemaker and experience special kind of joy.
P.S. God loves diversity. Diversity is good and interesting. But God wants us to be one. One in love, deeds, goals. Oneness is good. Without diversity we can not learn to be one.
To learn to be one sometimes is very, very hard but when we achieve it we experience incredible joy.
God wants us to learn to become peacemakers, kind, compassionate. He doesn't make us this kind of people. To make us this kind of people = to take away agency to choose to become peacemakers and have joy because of that.
But God gives us potential and knowledge how to become like Him. We inherited His genes.

God has genes now. Consider

Laugh out load

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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13-02-2017, 10:17 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(13-02-2017 05:55 PM)Alla Wrote:  
mordant Wrote:That is hardly suffering, to be paid over a hundred bucks an hour to sit at a table all day answering easy questions, even if I do have to have a short night's sleep to beat it home ahead of a snowstorm. But trust me, I needed all the compassion and patience I could muster not to bang on the wall and bellow at them. To realize that it was just a father and son having a nice bonding time on what was probably their vacation. And it was, after all, "only" 11 pm.
If you say it was not suffering(hardly suffering) then you don't need compassion.
You're not paying attention. I needed compassion and kindness not to be a dick in this situation. Not to judge the people next door for being noisy and unaware of their surroundings and their effect on them, and unmindful of the time. Not to assume too much. Not to take what they did personally. Where there is humanity there is need for compassion. Compassion is not just pity for suffering, it is forbearance for human frailty and the humility to realize you suck as much as everyone else.
(13-02-2017 05:55 PM)Alla Wrote:  God wants us to learn to be kind and compassionate in the world that is full of evil.
It is also a virtue to be kind and compassionate in a world full of people. It isn't a question of good and evil, that is black and white thinking. It is a question of imperfect maturity, imperfect attention, imperfect perception, and imperfect motives requiring graciousness.

Even in a world where there were no wars, and no one ever got sick or old or mentally ill, or poor, there would still be plenty of opportunity to be kind, generous, humble, forbearing, charitable, and so forth. Because people would still be people, and would still have different interpretations of events and what they mean. Because sometimes people are careless or simply have accidents or do things that are innocuous to one person and supremely annoying to the next. Because sometimes people run their mouths without considering whether their words are hurtful or simply banal.

You are so inured to human suffering that you have a failure of imagination that makes you think it is the only path to personal growth and development -- that either you have to suffer, and/or extend yourself to others who are suffering, as a necessary ingredient towards developing personal virtue.

If there is suffering you should certainly help alleviate it, but what I am objecting to is your attitude that suffering is necessary and somehow the world is better off with it than without it. This view allows you to tolerate suffering as acceptable when it is entirely unacceptable, to excuse it when it is inexcusable. It allows a certain kind of personality to glory in suffering, another kind to be indifferent to it, and other kinds to actually enjoy it.

It is the source of many pernicious things in the world, for example, consider the movie Philomena, about a woman who had a child out of wedlock and was MADE to suffer because she DESERVED it because she had been a SLUT. Her son was taken from her by the Irish Catholic church to TEACH HER A LESSON. This is of course not what you are advocating, but I'm simply pointing out the extremes to which people CAN go when they find suffering necessary, virtuous, and perhaps cleansing. It is a dangerous slippery slope to head down.
(13-02-2017 05:55 PM)Alla Wrote:  God wants us to learn to become peacemakers, kind, compassionate. He doesn't make us this kind of people. To make us this kind of people = to take away agency to choose to become peacemakers and have joy because of that.
But God gives us potential and knowledge how to become like Him. We inherited His genes.
Allowing for the sake of argument that all the above is the case (although you have not established the existence of your deity or that you have the correct beliefs about him, his attributes and claims on you) -- a benevolent, kind, all powerful god is perfectly capable of allowing us to become better people without taking away our agency or making anyone suffer (or allowing them to suffer).

My view of course is that because I want to live in a civil society I have every necessary motivation to practice civility myself. No gods enter into this equation, it is simple social reciprocity and rational self-interest.
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14-02-2017, 01:04 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
What the hell is a deity? I've rarely ever had a coherent answer.

What separates a deity from an arbitrarily powerful non-deity? If it's just to do with whether they have created a reality, then that means we would also be deities if our computer simulations manifested somehow.

Seriously. I don't get what the word is supposed to mean. And I don't get why being extremely powerful with respect to a created reality would mean you were just as powerful outside of it. Again, a computer programmer can manipulate his simulation pretty much any way he pleases. He can "know" all about it too. But these powers do not translate to his own reality.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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14-02-2017, 01:22 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(14-02-2017 01:04 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  What the hell is a deity? I've rarely ever had a coherent answer.

A primitive notion of an entity more powerful than oneself who can be cajoled or entreated to using that power for the betterment of oneself or one's tribe. Of course it immediately runs into the difficulty that no one ever sees one. So the Hebrews made their deity invisible and the Greeks made them tricksters who blend in with normal humans and so forth.

Over time these primitive notions got more elaborate as priests figured out that they were onto a good racket, and as sceptics started asking priests nasty questions.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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