Atheism

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Freecare Spiritwise
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Re: Atheism

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:34 pm

Kulaf wrote:Big Bang......Let there be light.......pretty much the same thing if you look at the large picture. Acceptance of the creation of the universe is a matter of unprovable fact. Science will never prove it.....religion has a chance to......based off known precepts.
Did you mean philosophy? Religion will never prove God - that's not its function. And if God is proven, then religion is unnecessary and redundant. But philosophy may. Philosophy is science's mommy after all.

Voltaire said: "If God didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

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Re: Atheism

Post by Harlowe » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:11 pm

I don't think it's healthy to have irrational expectations of the world, God or ...whatever cosmic thing you expect to answer to you. It just makes a person bitter. Shit happens to good and bad people, those deserving and those not deserving. The best you can do is be a good friend/mother/partner/sister/daughter to those you love and appreciate the grace in others. I know it can sound trite, but the worst situations can lead to better things, give us strength, teach us something or give us a better appreciation for the good things when they happen.
You seem to imply that you saw it coming and did nothing about it. If that is the case then you are one hell of a role model. You are lucky your daughter wasn't hurt worse when she crashed that car. Preventing her development as a person indeed.
I think he is referring more to paying for the mistake as opposed to stopping it from happening. That's how I read it anyway.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:54 pm

Klast Brell wrote: You seem to imply that you saw it coming and did nothing about it. If that is the case then you are one hell of a role model. You are lucky your daughter wasn't hurt worse when she crashed that car. Preventing her development as a person indeed.

Is this still a good natured debate? I have no problem elaborating my parenting philosophy or the story behind any of my examples, but I have no interest in defending (or even offending). Methinks my usefulness to this thread has played out, as the homies say.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Klast Brell » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:08 pm

If I misunderstood I apologize. There is a difference between learning from your mistakes or not learning from your mistake Vs making the mistake in the first place or not making the mistake in the first place. (tortured sentence structure FTW)

Any parent would want their child to grow and learn from their experiences. Sheltering them from the consequences of their actions could be seen as preventing the child from learning the lesson of that experience. You certainly don't wan't your child to grow in to an adult who still thinks mommy and daddy will bail them out every time they spend all their rent money at the bar. Saying no when they come to you asking for rent money would let them feel the consequences of their mistake and they would learn not to blow their paycheck so fast.

But would hope that a parent would stop their child if they saw them starting to do something obviously self destructive. If you see your kid cash their entire paycheck and head towards the bar with a pocket bulging with cash, don't you have a responsibility to warn them before they do something dumb?

You can let them learn from their mistakes on their own, but you have a responsibility to teach them what is and is not a mistake in the first place. And you have a responsibility to try and stop them from doing s dumb ass thing and hurting themselves.

Now I'm not trying to pull a straw man here, but I'm having trouble framing this within the context of Freecare's daughters car accident. So please don't take this as an attack on Freecare. I'm just bringing this back around to religion. early in this thread I was talking about god as a parent who did not try to prevent bad things happening to their kids. The first time a toddler reaches towards the handle of a saucepan boiling away on the stove they have no idea something bad could happen. A parent should warn them not to touch that. If thetoddler doesn't understand the warning the parent should grab the kid away from the stove, or turn the pot so the handle is not sticking over the edge. Do do nothing. To let the kid discover all on their own the nature of burns and blistered flesh. To sit there thinking "kid's got to learn how stoves work. This will be a learning opportunity" That's not a loving thing.

The child is ignorant about hot stoves and has no way of knowing that they are going to get hurt. But the parent knows about hot stoves. God knows about hot stoves and a whole lot more. Earlier we were talking about a guy who goes to the store for a loaf of bread and bets shot by a random burglar. God knew the guy was going to get shot if he went to the store. God also knew that the man had no more idea of the danger he was in than a toddler reaching towards the stove for the first time. Shouldn't god warn the guy?
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Re: Atheism

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:59 pm

Klast wrote:Sheltering them from the consequences of their actions could be seen as preventing the child from learning the lesson of that experience.
That's exactly what I was trying to say, even though I didn't give that great of an example. Well, an incomplete example. But shit man I hope there's no bad blood because I personally have been enjoying this discussion and your remarks kind of confused me. I can tell neither of us is a stranger to this particular argument, and believe it or not I'm usually arguing your side, mostly because it makes intolerant people uptight.

Maybe I'll post the story of my daughter's journey through life some time in the epic stories thread but the short version is that I'm a good parent by most people's standards. The only people I know (including my daughter's therapist) who don't think I'm a good parent is some christians I know that think I'm turning my children into Godless heathens even though I tell them I believe there is a God. I don't take them to church which means I'm bad.

But I will post one part of the story; one that tested the limits of my own belief system and resulted in my daughter learning a painful lesson. The short version: We make an absolute shitload of money selling our house in California (summer 2004?), and me in my delusion decide that it's a good idea to give the 17 year old a brand new car. Will Rodgers once said that the best way to make someone trustworthy is to trust them, even though my gut feeling told me she wouldn't appreciate it. So I gave her my car, and made her put in in her name on her 18th birthday because, uh, it's not mine any more. So she starts hanging around with the wrong crowd here in Spokane, and she does some stuff that gets her booted from the house. You don't call your mommy a cunt and the old man an assole and expect them to support you at age 18.

So here's the meat of the story: She's living wherever it is that she's living, and we tell her that it's now her responsibility to pay for her insurance. First life lesson: You don't get so say "Mom your a fucking cunt, oh by the way can you pay GEICO for me?" Doesn't work that way. The answer is "We've taken you off the insurance, feel free to call back when you're pleasant."

So she's holding this over my head. I've already made the mistake in giving her the car. That train has left the station. But her rationale is that if I stop paying the insurance and anything happens to the car, then I'm the one out 15,000 bucks. I tell her no, I already have a replacement car, she's the one taking the bus to where ever it is she lives and works. She seems to think it's some joke or game. I just knew that shortly after taking her off the insurance that she would do something stupid and lose the car, and fate didn't disappoint. It was the end of a chapter of her life, and a defining moment in my relationship with her. Homeless, jobless, no car, no friends because she alienated them too. She showed up at our door a humble wretched creature, which was at least an improvement over the snotty me me me person who was shown the door 6 months previous. She got the lesson: The world doesn't owe you shit.

Now she lives with us, has a good job, she's engaged to a good guy, and she's got a nice little jeep that she saved up the down payment on. She has enough in the bank to get her own apartment and she's excited about living on her own and a little scared of making the step. She still lapses into the angry 15 year old but those episodes are very short lived. She's even starting to sound like me. I tell the kids that they all have an "I get it" lightbulb over their heads and that the old man can always tell which kids get it, and now she's starting to see it too (now that she gets it duh).

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Re: Atheism

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:23 pm

And to speak to your example, Klast, there are some tribal cultures who stand by and do nothing if a small child sticks its hand in the fire. Whether you believe it's good or bad, there's certainly no argument that the child will ever do that again.

So my answer to your example is that parenting is a balance. You let a child learn his own lessons within a framework that is as safe and nurturing as possible. And you gradually take away the filters until when they reach that magical age of 18 then they're standing on their own two feet as free and independent thinkers who can make their own way through life. Not their parents/friends/neighbor's way, but their own way.

So no I'm not advocating letting the 2 year old stick his finger in a light socket and call it a life lesson (though it is). 20 years in the insurance industry has taught me a healthy respect for risk management, so I look at the risk vs. reward for every lesson taught. But at some point the birdie has to be tossed from the nest, and hopefully it will fly. My daughter's greatest fear is that she will leave the nest and go splat, but I tell her that she'll hit the safety net first, which any of us are blessed (not entitled) to have.

So again I'l do anything I can to prevent harm to my children, as any parent who's not a monster will do. But what I won't do is be the enabler, the person who shelters my child from living life or becoming a well adjusted adult. Make no mistake, my job is to be the kids' teacher, not their friend. It's nice when that happens, but I'm a teacher first and foremost.

Edit: Nietzsche said 'That which does not kill us makes us strong'. I want strong children, but I want them to be alive too lol.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Kulaf » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:39 pm

Freecare Spiritwise wrote:
Kulaf wrote:Big Bang......Let there be light.......pretty much the same thing if you look at the large picture. Acceptance of the creation of the universe is a matter of unprovable fact. Science will never prove it.....religion has a chance to......based off known precepts.
Did you mean philosophy? Religion will never prove God - that's not its function. And if God is proven, then religion is unnecessary and redundant. But philosophy may. Philosophy is science's mommy after all.

Voltaire said: "If God didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
No I meant the origin of the universe. Science cannot prove it because the basis of scientific theory is repeated observation......which cannot occur. Religion has a chance to prove the origin of the universe as when you die you can ask the creator.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:51 pm

Have any of you considered that the greatest gifts god could ever grant us are pain, loss, fear, confusion, doubt, strife and death?

Humans only grow within themselves when life is tough, painful, dismal and seemingly hopeless. Our greatest triumphs of spirit and deed have been when we are at our lowest. Sometimes, we don't realize what we have learned from a terrible situation until much, much, later. And we also realize how much we've grown.

God doesn't put obstacles in our way.. he allows the obstacles to exist so that we may learn, grow, and evolve. Even if that means some innocent souls are taken earlier than others (like children who die of starvation or cholera). The rest of us have the burden of learning from their sacrifice. The true judgement is predicated in how we accept and respond to the lessons presented to us, and it is my personal thought that God doesn't kindly smile on willful ignorance.
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Re: Atheism

Post by Kulaf » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:33 pm

So you're saying that Abortion and the Death Penalty are learning experiences?

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Re: Atheism

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:23 am

Embar Angylwrath wrote:Have any of you considered that the greatest gifts god could ever grant us are pain, loss, fear, confusion, doubt, strife and death?
I'm not sure 'gift' is the right word, but I do believe these things are necessary. And certainly in the context of an immortal soul, physical pain and suffering would basically be an illusion. The play has to seem real or the actors don't learn their craft. But we can empathize with our neighbors; we can feel their pain and identify with their struggle to learn and grow. This I also believe is part of the lesson, that we're meant to be in this together.

So again I would say the universe is working as intended, abortion and all.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Select » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:38 am

I'm derailing from the current discussion, but this is the "Atheism" thread. Haven't read everything, so "oops" if it's been posted or I've forgotten.
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Re: Atheism

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:44 am

Looks interesting although a bit extremist. Nietzsche said something like "the indignant are liars".

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Re: Atheism

Post by Kulaf » Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:30 pm

Select wrote:I'm derailing from the current discussion, but this is the "Atheism" thread. Haven't read everything, so "oops" if it's been posted or I've forgotten.
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That's a really nice list of stuff you can buy.....please leave your offering on the way out.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Ddrak » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:18 pm

Personally, I think you dig yourself into a big hole when you start down the "everything is a lesson" path. When you start talking about babies with heart surgeries (same thing happened to my best man and though his daughter came through it fine in the end, it was pretty scary - vessels attached the wrong way), it really doesn't make much sense in terms of "lessons" to me.

I tend to separate in my mind the physical and the meta-physical. Genetics and random chromosomal chance made us physically what we are while God gave us the meta-physical parts of our being. I believe that his invocation of allowing us free will means he plays a very "hands off" role in our physical being, not out of some twisted love of suffering but out of not being able to draw any other distinct line between "hands off" and "make absolutely everything go the way HE wants it".

Not much comfort for Ari.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:30 pm

Let me ask you this, Dd..

When do people learn more about themselves, when everything is going just fine, or in times of adversity?
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Re: Atheism

Post by Ddrak » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:41 pm

Oh, I agree that there are some lessons, but not everything.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:43 pm

Ddrak wrote:Oh, I agree that there are some lessons, but not everything.

Dd
No no.. that's not what I was asking.

Do people grow more under adversity? Or when everything is humming along just fine?
Correction Mr. President, I DID build this, and please give Lurker a hug, we wouldn't want to damage his self-esteem.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:46 pm

If it gives somebody comfort to look for some sort of meaning in the midst of tragedy then I think that's worthwile. But again most of Ari's comfort IMO will come from people within hugging distance of her. Kind words certainly won't hurt either.

But I see your point. We can debate philosophy and theology from our ivory towers, which is very intellectually stimulating but the end result is pretty much the same. We all have to feed our kids and pay our car insurance no matter what our beliefs are. We all have to survive, and that takes up most of our time. I feel personally very blessed that I have the luxury of devoting myself to more mental pursuits. Things like having a house and enough food is more like some form of abstract math, and I understand that 99% of the world is in pure survival mode.

So these lofty ideas aren't very useful without an "implementation". The implementation of my belief is system is: Treat people right (including animals), always do your best, always try to see things from other's point of view, never take the easy/convenient path, be true to who you are.

What's that prayer they use for alcoholics anonymous? I'm not really the praying type but I've always like it.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Ddrak » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:48 pm

It's a false dichotomy. People will grow more under adversity up to a point where they break. Much like evolution - without a struggle to survive there is no improvement of the species but with too much of a struggle the species just dies out.

Did that sort of answer? I'm assuming you don't mean impossible adversity, so I'll go with adversity if you want to restrict the playing field to those two choices.

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Re: Atheism

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:01 pm

Yeah Dd, adversity that doesn't kill or break.

With that caveat, I think we can all agree that adversity either reveals or shapes the soul (personally I think it reveals). Either way, hardship (pain) is really the crucible that purifies the self. Be that pain of existence, pain of experience, pain of failure or pain of empathy. Nothing causes a human to evolve so much as pain.

And Christ was the model for that. Only through pain and death was he able to evolve. And that theme is carried out in all religions. Denial of the self is the way to redemption.
Correction Mr. President, I DID build this, and please give Lurker a hug, we wouldn't want to damage his self-esteem.

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