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Source: (consider it) Thread: jlg's despair and death
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Og: Thread Killer:
And, in this case, neither religion nor inner resources, friends, and communities that step in prevented a further tragedy.

As I have already mentioned, Jen probably didn't have that much of a community in Mason. When she lived in Newton she had friends whose children grew up with hers. She did important volunteer work in town government. When she left Newton, she left all that behind her.

It can take a very long time to become part of the community in small New Hampshire towns, unless there are enough newcomers to make their own community. I think she was very isolated, especially after her husband left her for another woman.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20128 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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How do you know that God did not intervene in this instance? May I point out that all jlg's victims survived. You want a situation where things were much worse, I give you my own family tragedy where the victims, my cousin and her daughter, did _not_ survive and the killer, the husband/father did (he chickened out on the suicide part).

You are all forgetting the miraculous part of this whole sad situation. Jlg did not die a murderer. Attempted murder, yes. But not successful.

My question to God would be, if I were into asking such, why did you allow jlg to miss her aim, but not allow my cousins killer to?

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11621 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WhateverTheySay
Shipmate
# 16598

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quote:
Originally posted by churchgeek:
I haven't been around the ship much lately - it seems whenever I do that for a while I come back to news that we've lost someone.

This really sucks.

I'm bipolar myself, and I can tell you it can be really terrifying to be completely aware that you're losing control of yourself sometimes. For me, it was more a matter of losing the ability to stop negative thoughts. It felt like at some point I was watching myself as if watching a movie.

And I, too, understand better the desire to hurt oneself than to hurt others. I'm intentionally NOT going to look up news reports on this, though.

One thing that has always pissed me off as a person with mental illness is the way people who don't struggle with mental illness seem to think it's just about having feelings & impulses you could choose to control, but don't. The truth of the matter is, a mood disorder isn't just about emotions any more than mood is just about emotions: it's about your whole outlook, and affects your reasoning process, willpower, everything. The choices we all make are made with a biological organ inside our heads, and like all biological organs, it can get sick. When it does, it can malfunction. (This is why I never say someone "committed" suicide; I say they died from suicide.)

I have no idea how to reconcile that with the soul/spirit, but I'm not willing to make of the soul/spirit something magical that can will to do things apart from the brain, nor am I willing to spiritualize depression or other mental illness into demonic beings outside a person that "tempt" them to do something no one in their right mind would do.

Yes, we have moral agency, but that moral agency can also be compromised. That's why there's a such thing as an insanity defense in court. I like to think God doesn't hold us accountable for the malfunctioning of our internal organs, either. Especially since God made them and all...

This really sucks.

Since I'm at work (in a church), I'm going to go light a candle now, a real one along with this virtual one: [Votive] for Jen, her victims, and all who are suffering from this tragedy, and for all victims of suicide and mental illness.

[Overused]

I have quoted the whole post because I don't want to quote out of context and I got a little confused with what I was doing, but I am mainly replying to the 5th paragraph, which I happen to be in complete agreement with.

If the feelings that come with mental illness were easy to control, then we wouldn't have a problem. And not having any control of these feelings is indeed scary. Using my own example, I didn't just wake up one morning and decide that everyone around me is an enemy and I'll have crippling anxiety as a result of this.

----

I've only been on the Ship a few months, so know very little of jlg. But I too have been moved by these events, having myself been in the deep dark pit of depression at one point in my life (though I am ok now, apart from the anxiety).

I believe that jlg should be remembered for the good things that she did. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen. [Votive]

----

PS: I hope that this post makes sense.

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I'm not lost, I just don't know where I am going

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Dal Segno

al Fine
# 14673

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
Despite all of the claims about miracles and the power of prayer, I have not seen any credible evidence that such claims are true. In the absence of any evidence for divine intervention, I think I can safely assume that there is none.

I have two friends who each claim to have experienced divine intervention. In both cases, there was a tangible manifestation. They are people I know well and trust.

However, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data." No matter how many stories one hears of divine intervention, it does not constitute scientific evidence of divine intervention.

It seems that the divine will not be tied down to a scientifically rigorous, reproducible, experimental setup. That would require the divine to respond in a predictable way rather than on a case-by-case basis, and I believe that the divine is big enough to handle things case-by-case rather than by following some pre-ordained list of instructions.

For the most part, the divine seems to work very quietly, through the agency of those humans who will allow it to act through them.

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Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds

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RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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If there is a god, either this is exactly what it wants or it doesn't care. Every other attempted explanation is willful flouting of logic for the sake of prettily-formed expositing hopes.
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rugasaw
Shipmate
# 7315

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quote:
Originally posted by Scarlet:
In a way, I'm curious as to how god communicates with you, but I've probably heard all the supposed ways already. I used to believe god communicated with me. Then I realized I was hearing my own voice. And I sure don't need to be trying to heal my sick mind with my own sick mind!

Since I'm pretty over the edge, I'm gonna just turn this around and say:

I have a stuffed cat named Filby. God does not commune with me. I've tried but god, jesus, the holy spirit nor any of the angels or saints never communed with me no matter how hard I tried. Filby does.

Communicate is to strong of a word. It is just a sense I get. No it does not come from desire it just happens. And no the sense is not depressive when I am and it is not excited when I am it just is. Sounds like Filby works for you I would go with Filby.

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Treat the earth well, It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children. -Unknown

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Patdys
Iron Wannabe
RooK-Annoyer
# 9397

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
If there is a god, either this is exactly what it wants or it doesn't care. Every other attempted explanation is willful flouting of logic for the sake of prettily-formed expositing hopes.

At the end of the day, Christians can't use this to convict Atheists of the existence of a loving God and Atheists can't convict Christians of the folly of their make believe sky daddy.
But I am happy to stand by you and say 'What a completely fucked up situation. I wish it never happened.'

For me today, it's enough.

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Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
If there is a god, either this is exactly what it wants or it doesn't care. Every other attempted explanation is willful flouting of logic for the sake of prettily-formed expositing hopes.

Logic that assumes binary thought patterns rule the universe.

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

Posts: 5020 | From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scot
Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Dal Segno:

It seems that the divine will not be tied down to a scientifically rigorous, reproducible, experimental setup. That would require the divine to respond in a predictable way rather than on a case-by-case basis, and I believe that the divine is big enough to handle things case-by-case rather than by following some pre-ordained list of instructions.

I don't think that experimental evidence is required to claim that thw divine intervenes in human affairs. Surely there would be some statistical evidence, and the occasional documented but unexplained case. I could potentially be persuaded by that sort of evidence.
quote:

For the most part, the divine seems to work very quietly, through the agency of those humans who will allow it to act through them.

How would you distinguish that from humans simply acting?

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
Despite all of the claims about miracles and the power of prayer, I have not seen any credible evidence that such claims are true. ...

Well, Scot, in November 2010 I was diagnosed with Stage III
inflammatory breast carcinoma. I had a six-centimeter tumor and a 50% percent chance of making it to six months. In 21 weeks of chemotherapy, the tumor shrank down to microscopic fragments, in such a small area that wire locators had to be placed, using mammography, before the surgery, to make sure that the surgeon got the affected area.

My (veteran) oncologist said he'd never seen anything like it. He used words like "amazing" and "astounding" to describe the shrinkage.

I'm not saying it was a walk in the park. It was gawdawful. But today I am cancer-free, and I was supposed to be dead. You may not find it credible, but let me tell you, it works for me.

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 14616 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scot
Deck hand
# 2095

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I am thrilled with your recovery. It sounds like a successful medical treatment, executed by skilled doctors following procedures worked out by talented and dedicated researchers. The prognosis that you were given, although grim, indicated an expectation that the course of treatment would be successful some of the time.

If the recovery, following prayer, of a gravely ill person is evidence of intervention by a loving god, why is the death of a similar person never seen as evidence against the same? If god gets credit for a remission, why is he not held responsible for a subsequent relapse? Many are quick to attribute every positive event to god, while giving him a pass on the bad things.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Peppone
Marine
# 3855

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
If there is a god, either this is exactly what it wants or it doesn't care. Every other attempted explanation is willful flouting of logic for the sake of prettily-formed expositing hopes.

I'm not sure. Isn't it also possible to conceive, a god that doesn't want X, but is prepared to accept X in order to obtain or offer or make possible a more valuable Y?
Posts: 3020 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
...The prognosis that you were given, although grim, indicated an expectation that the course of treatment would be successful some of the time.

If the recovery, following prayer, of a gravely ill person is evidence of intervention by a loving god, why is the death of a similar person never seen as evidence against the same? ...

My doctors were surprised by how well I did. That should tell us something. I believe that it was the prayers of so many others that tipped the scale.

And as I said in my initial post, the question of why some prayers are answered and others are not is the biggest problem I see.

The odds are about 50-50 that I'll have a recurrence within five years. At this point, every day is a gift, and I am grateful.

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 14616 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scot
Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
My doctors were surprised by how well I did. That should tell us something. I believe that it was the prayers of so many others that tipped the scale.

If that were the case, there would be a statistical relationship between remission rates and how many prayers are offered. As was mentioned above, a number of studies show otherwise. I'm glad, to tell the truth. A god who answered prayer in proportion to how many prayed would be somewhere between a politician and a high school popularity contest.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

Posts: 9513 | From: Southern California | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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I agree Scott - but the knowledge that people are praying for us makes us feel emotionally and psychologically better. Our bodies are so closely connected to our minds it's hard to separate the two.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12546 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Dal Segno

al Fine
# 14673

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
I don't think that experimental evidence is required to claim that the divine intervenes in human affairs. Surely there would be some statistical evidence, and the occasional documented but unexplained case. I could potentially be persuaded by that sort of evidence.

There is a problem with all anecdotal evidence, that you can always require more evidence than is available.

Here are two anecdotes of unexplained cases, told to me by the people themselves:

[1] A man who was healed of a debilitating long-term illness. He could barely walk upstairs before this healing and, after prayers, was able to do so, and remains able to do so thirty years later. What caused this dramatic turn-around in his health? Could he convince you that it was not coincidence, good fortune, natural remission, or the power of positive thinking?

[2] A woman who felt a hand on her shoulder and heard the words "don't go any further", turned around to find no-one there but did choose to walk away rather than going further. This experience affected her deeply. Could she convince you that it was not wishful thinking, her own sub-concious, false memory, or some temporary mental aberration?

quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
quote:
Originally posted by Dal Segno:
For the most part, the divine seems to work very quietly, through the agency of those humans who will allow it to act through them.

How would you distinguish that from humans simply acting?
I might distinguish it by their telling me their motivation for acting in the way they did.

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Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds

Posts: 1194 | From: Pacific's triple star | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged
malik3000
Shipmate
# 11437

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While i am not at all a biblical literalist, i do take seriously Paul's comment that one can't prove God's existence, because there would be no need for faith. (i can't remember which epistle)

God's existence cannot be scientifically proven.

By the same token God's existence cannot be scientifically DISproven either.

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God = love.
Otherwise, things are not just black or white.

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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
If there is a god, either this is exactly what it wants or it doesn't care. Every other attempted explanation is willful flouting of logic for the sake of prettily-formed expositing hopes.

Then there is the Coventry option (Thank you Sherlock). It is not what he wants, but it has a higher positive purpose.

This god has no humanity. Thats not my God.

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Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18499 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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WhateverTheySay:
quote:
I've only been on the Ship a few months, so know very little of jlg. But I too have been moved by these events, having myself been in the deep dark pit of depression at one point in my life (though I am ok now, apart from the anxiety).

I believe that jlg should be remembered for the good things that she did. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen. [Votive]

----

PS: I hope that this post makes sense.

That makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you.

[ 02. January 2012, 10:13: Message edited by: Robert Armin ]

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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My take:
What God said to Abraham is "I am that I am". God, being perfect, could not be other than what S/He is. There was/is no option not to be a Creator; there was/is no option not to create beings with free will, capable of loving Him/Her back or rejecting His/Her Love; there was/is no option to be some kind of Cosmic Cop or Supernanny. God just is the way S/he is,and things just are the way they are - this latter (of course) applies whether you believe in God or not. There is no proof of God's existence, or of divine intervention for the God in human affairs, because, IMHO, G*d does not directly intervene. No hands but ours, and all that.

Faith is about a relationship. Either you have a relationship and it works for you, or it doesn't. Over the centuries, thousands of people have found ways to make it work and some of them have even managed to integrate this with respect for other people's right to differ.

I'm with Viktor Frankl: what matters is Meaning and the fact that it be Meaningful. That's why, on the whole, stuffed animals don't work so well, whereas atheism and agnosticism work fine, for some.

P.S. If anyone's interested, there's a link to some stuff about Frankl here I haven't had time to check it out thoroughly, but it seems to be OK and fits in with what I got from reading him twenty-odd years ago.

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Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.

Posts: 8909 | From: Page 28 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by Patdys:
quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
If there is a god, either this is exactly what it wants or it doesn't care. Every other attempted explanation is willful flouting of logic for the sake of prettily-formed expositing hopes.

At the end of the day, Christians can't use this to convict Atheists of the existence of a loving God and Atheists can't convict Christians of the folly of their make believe sky daddy.
But I am happy to stand by you and say 'What a completely fucked up situation. I wish it never happened.'

For me today, it's enough.

Thanks Patdys, that goes for me too.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3039 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
If that were the case, there would be a statistical relationship between remission rates and how many prayers are offered. ...

No, I said earlier that I do not know why some prayers are answered and some are not. I had excellent medical care, which I'm sure was 99% of it. But there were still the parts that the docs couldn't explain.

At any rate, since I can't prove it and you can't disprove it, this discussion is probably a dead end. But I have seen miracles, and not just my own.

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 14616 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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quote:
Originally posted by OG: Thread Killer:
Logic that assumes binary thought patterns rule the universe.

Well, true/false logic does have an unfortunate tendency to boil down into binary. But I think you'll find that my post started off with a binary supposition agreeing with you (IF GOD), and followed up with a fairly reasonable suppositional set (where "doesn't care" may include everything associated with goals we can't comprehend).

quote:
Originally posted by Peppone:
I'm not sure. Isn't it also possible to conceive, a god that doesn't want X, but is prepared to accept X in order to obtain or offer or make possible a more valuable Y?

Absolutely - but only for conceptual god(s) without either omnipotence or omniscience. If god is all-powerful AND all-knowing, nothing happens that it doesn't ultimately want. It's part of the definitions.

It seems to me that the real hurdle with faith in the christian definition of god is the fortitude to accept that it doesn't need to make sense according to our myopic understandings, and that there is ultimately value and purpose to everything - even suffering. Even jlg's end. All of it.

Squirming to make poorly-formed and dubious explanations for the sake of reassuring yourselves seems like a childish shying away from the important work of your faith. I guess I can see value, both spiritually and intrapsychically, in forgiving yourself for not understanding and forgiving god for being unknowable in this way. But to pretend understanding, or feign comprehension of the unknowable - that's kind of offensive. Usually it's just funny for me, but in this conversation it's hard to spit out the aftertaste of your failure.

Posts: 15096 | From: Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Peppone
Marine
# 3855

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You'd expect to see a statistical relationship between 'volume' of prayer and results obtained, if prayer was a process manipulating some measurable property of nature- a force of some kind, or an effect of altering or directing some force.

But if answers to prayer come about by the willed actions of God, in response to requests, then we wouldn't really expect to see a statistical relationship.

That does give us a whole other problem to chew over - why some prayers and not others? - but obviously I'm far from the first person to point that out.

--------------------
I looked at the wa's o' Glasgow Cathedral, where vandals and angels painted their names,
I was clutching at straws and wrote your initials, while parish officials were safe in their hames.

Posts: 3020 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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If prayer is more about tuning in and out, and resonance (these are metaphors, btw) then it doesn't depend on deserving, though results might partially be impoved through practice. It might help you, for example, to focus on the things that can be changed instead of wasting your energies fighting the things that can't. Sometimes resonance might achieve what appears to be miraculous - healing being an obvious case - but the fact that it doesn't work in all cases might not be a matter of anyone's fault.

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Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.

Posts: 8909 | From: Page 28 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Twangist
Shipmate
# 16208

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What Zappa and ChurchGeek said.

Scary thinking about how jlg and anyone else who has been in that kind of place must feel like - Lord Have Mercy.

On the Theodicy front - if there isn't a God why would all this even matter? How would we know that human life has value? And that "right and wrong" are significant?

--------------------
JJ
SDG
blog

Posts: 599 | From: Devon | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
It seems to me that the real hurdle with faith in the christian definition of god is the fortitude to accept that it doesn't need to make sense according to our myopic understandings, and that there is ultimately value and purpose to everything - even suffering. Even jlg's end. All of it.

Squirming to make poorly-formed and dubious explanations for the sake of reassuring yourselves seems like a childish shying away from the important work of your faith. I guess I can see value, both spiritually and intrapsychically, in forgiving yourself for not understanding and forgiving god for being unknowable in this way. But to pretend understanding, or feign comprehension of the unknowable - that's kind of offensive. Usually it's just funny for me, but in this conversation it's hard to spit out the aftertaste of your failure.

This is to me a really important point. But I don't quite get the part about forgiving God for being unknowable -- a god I could completely comprehend would be too small to be God. I don't feel like I need to forgive God for being unknowable, though it's certainly results in difficult, painful and frustrating experiences sometimes. I want God to be beyond my understanding.
Posts: 24368 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Loquacious beachcomber
Shipmate
# 8783

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While I hesitate to introduce an even darker theme, if our God placed us in a world where we could not under any circumstances end our lives, would that not mean we were living as fiends in hell, and not as humans on earth?
This is not to justify the actions of anyone who has or will commit suicide.
But - if it was you on the top floor of the WTC, and the flames were closing in, would you want that window of death to be out of your reach?
If saving a child from a subway train would cost you your life, would you want God to have created you without giving you that possibility?
If you realized you were the next Virginia Tech gunman or Norwegian Brevik, should God's hand have stayed you from the ultimate prevention?
Would a loving God create us without the power to end our lives, even if we do so mistakenly?

[ 03. January 2012, 00:29: Message edited by: Silver Faux ]

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TODAY'S SPECIAL - AND SO ARE YOU (Sign on beachfront fish & chips shop)

Posts: 5954 | From: Southeast of Wawa, between the beach and the hiking trail.. | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Patdys
Iron Wannabe
RooK-Annoyer
# 9397

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Then logically, this could be the answer to groundhog prayer. Rest in peace jlg.

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Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
I don't quite get the part about forgiving God for being unknowable -- a god I could completely comprehend would be too small to be God. I don't feel like I need to forgive God for being unknowable, though it's certainly results in difficult, painful and frustrating experiences sometimes. I want God to be beyond my understanding.

You don't get it because you're blinded by objectivity and burdened by reason.

I suspect that it is pretty normal to feel like if god is soooo clever, (s)he should be able to think of a way to explain itself in a way even we can understand.

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QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
.... if god is soooo clever, (s)he should be able to think of a way to explain itself in a way even we can understand.

Jesus.

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Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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I think what it comes down to is that we don't have enough info to know what's going on.

We've got puzzle pieces. We don't have enough to know what the picture is, and some pieces may even be from other puzzles! So we grab onto a couple, and declare those to be The True Picture (tm).

*For me*, after a lot of work, acknowledging all the puzzle pieces works best. It can be scary; but I don't have to put energy into trying to force one thing to be true, and into sweeping other things under the rug.

FWIW, YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
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I'm totally with Ruth on this. It is beyond arrogant for us to try and parse the nature of God. But it takes faith and trust that it's OK not to understand 100% all the whys and wherefores of His actions -- or inactions, as the case may be. And it seems there are some that just can't let go of that human need to understand and comprehend in order to believe. I'm sure it must be hard.

But it is the fact that those who doubt God seem to be having the hardest time with all this that leads me to ask... Where IS your hope? If all you have is what you've got right here, right now -- how do you explain anything that happens?

I can't imagine what it's like to believe in and live a random life, doing everything based on my own concepts and determinations of what is worthy. When you live by "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind," it's hard to grasp how you deal with the bad AND the good of life. I want to live beyond my knowledge and my power, and the only way I can do that is with God.

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by rugasaw:
I'd be ok with that. But stuffed animals do not commune with me. I tried but my stuff giraffe never communed with me no matter how hard I tried. God does.

He must like you better than He does me.

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by rugasaw:
I'd be ok with that. But stuffed animals do not commune with me. I tried but my stuff giraffe never communed with me no matter how hard I tried. God does.

He must like you better than He does me.
Maybe (it being based on faithfulness and relationship) the more pertinent observation is rugasaw likes God more than you like God. You aint gonna hear Him with your fingers in your ears, having a paddy and screaming it's not fair.

AtB Pyx_e.

p.s. plus, yes he does like rugasaw more, who wouldn't?

[ 03. January 2012, 09:39: Message edited by: Pyx_e ]

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It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Peppone:
That does give us a whole other problem to chew over - why some prayers and not others?

That's not a difficult problem at all. The answer is: because God is a capricious cunt.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Scot: You say that god was unable to intervene because he is dependent on "faith prayers of believers".
What I said was that God accesses this dark age through his Gospel.

The next question is, "What's that?"

Well, it is in your terms, God's 'potency'.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The answer is: because God is a capricious cunt.

I wish you'd release your inner poet and write us some worship songs, Marvin - they'd sure beat the saccharin ones most of us have imposed upon us.

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34561 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mili

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# 3254

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The existence of mental illness in a world created by a loving God is something I really struggle with - particularly when I know so many great people who are dealing with or have dealt with depression in their lives. Many of these people are Christians. I get even more frustrated when some Christians link health to faith and claim that those who are physically or mentally ill do not have enough faith or are beset by demons.

However, when I do start to doubt the existence of God I then wonder how evolution is linked to depression and mental illness. If there is no God there is still the question of why we have evolved in a way that so many people end up so depressed that they cannot engage with others at times and may even want to end their lives? I'd be interested to know how the opinions of atheists here.

For me, my faith has always held strong even when I have gone through hard times. I've never been clinically depressed, but did have times in my teens and young adulthood where I felt so out of place that I wondered why God allowed me to be born. However my faith actually helped me overcome my self loathing. It also inspired me to try to help others which has given my life purpose and meaning when other parts of my life were going wrong.

So my faith has got stronger and God makes more sense, though so much cannot be understood. However then I meet people in real life and online who have had the exact opposite experience. Who feel abandoned by God or who have had no interaction with God at all - for whom my experiences with God are pure imagination. And then I wonder how, if God exists, could he ever allow people to feel this way? And how could He allow such bitterness into the world.

As to free will, I have struggled with that too. In the end I realised that many of God's creations do not have free will, but that I would rather have free will and suffer the consequences of my sins and mistakes than be an ant. I was praying on the subject one day and God drew my attention to a line of ants marching in a constant search for food. They all worked together for the good of the nest and shared what they found. But I realised I didn't want to be an ant.

Another story I have found inspiring is an Aboriginal dreamtime story(I saw a retelling of it on TV a few years ago but unfortunately can't remember which part of Australia it comes from). In the story there is a drought and a frog constantly complains to his God about the lack of water. Eventually he is turned into a gumtree so he can learn patience. Although it's not really the moral of the story it makes me glad I am not a gumtree! I would never sin or go against God's will, or intentionally hurt others if I was, but it's certainly not a life I would choose.

Posts: 1002 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Paul.
Shipmate
# 37

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quote:
Originally posted by Grits:
But it is the fact that those who doubt God seem to be having the hardest time with all this that leads me to ask... Where IS your hope? If all you have is what you've got right here, right now -- how do you explain anything that happens?

Taking the second question first, it's kind of a relief that you don't have to have an explanation. What is is. Some of it is bad, some good and most somewhere in between.

As for hope - well I could say the same about that but then there is some hope in terms of practical good yourself, your friends and family, community, society etc can provide. It's not an unqualified hope of course and there are disappointments - but it's realistic. One of the characteristics of the last few years of my Christian experience was a sense of hopes dashed. And of course the "hope" that you have is something you have to maintain via faith so there's a certain mental effort involved in continuing to believe especially when things don't look like that hope is being realised. I found that exhausting.

Anyway, in reality I still have to deal with the world as it is not as I would like it to be[*] but the difference is I don't have to try to fit terrible things like this, or just all the small day-to-day crap, into a narrative about a goog God who's going to make everything work out OK in the end.

Does that answer your question/make sense?

[*](with the caveat of trying to change it in small ways where I can)

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The answer is: because God is a capricious cunt.

I wish you'd release your inner poet and write us some worship songs, Marvin - they'd sure beat the saccharin ones most of us have imposed upon us.
I laughed and did a wee.

P

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

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catthefat
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# 8586

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quote:
Originally posted by Mili:

However, when I do start to doubt the existence of God I then wonder how evolution is linked to depression and mental illness. If there is no God there is still the question of why we have evolved in a way that so many people end up so depressed that they cannot engage with others at times and may even want to end their lives? I'd be interested to know how the opinions of atheists here.

You could wonder that about any number of medical ills that beset us.
Man is not so evolved that he is perfectly adapted, that's all.
Everyone suffers, everyone dies (well,I might not),it's just a case of where and how. Depression is just another sickness.

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
I laughed and did a wee.

P

Please don't piss all over Marvin's nascent creativity, he's a sensitive wee soul, you know. [Biased]

On a serious note, though, we have had many people over the years who have turned up at our church for some temporary (sometimes becoming permanent) respite from places with a continuous upbeat attitude, always singing jolly songs like:

Jesus is my Boyfriend
I'm as happy as can be
Everything is lovely
Everything is twee


and instead are sorely in need of some peace, quiet and music in a minor key with words and prayers which more adequately reflect that life can be very tough at times.

Some of the composers of early music were particularly good at this as they had to live through the life is nasty, brutish, and short and man that is born of woman has but a short time to live and is full of misery era, as a daily reality, rather than as an exceptional event happening to only a few, in otherwise comfortable lives.

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34561 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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quote:
Originally posted by Dal Segno:
For the most part, the divine seems to work very quietly, through the agency of those humans who will allow it to act through them.

quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
If there is a god, either this is exactly what it wants or it doesn't care. Every other attempted explanation is willful flouting of logic for the sake of prettily-formed expositing hopes.

This is my belief. Per Teresa of Avila
(and as alluded to here):

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours


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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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Raptor Eye
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# 16649

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I like your take, Mili, I too would prefer not to be an ant or a gumtree [Big Grin] .

ISTM that while we're all responsible for everything we do and say, and take for granted that we have the free will to select appropriately, it's consciousness of good and evil which is all-important. We know that mental/emotional illness may impair consciousness, temporarily or permanently. As we build it into our justice systems, so we can surely rely on God to do so far more effectively.

The question of suffering is and will continue to be long-standing. We're promised a perfect world in the end, with no suffering and no more evil. Some claim that heaven would be a boring place, but it sounds good to me, the kind of world to aim for whether religious or not.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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Jamat
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# 11621

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This is a comment for Scot.

There is no pat answer in a doctrinal or credal sense that will ever satisfy as to the problem of evil that afflicts. For me, personally, I see Christ identifying with human suffering in his own suffering and in that identification something deep is satisfied in the sense that though I cannot make rational sense of it,(the forces that pull us toward destruction are not rational,) there is a place where I am at least, not alone in it.

The other issue that one grapples with in looking at faith from the outside, is that one seems insulated from any sense of reality in it. It seems to me you can use the existence of palpable evil to say "See, this proves it's all nonsense!" or you can be softer and tell your Daddy "Hey the nasty dog bit me!" In other words, come to God for a hug. There is though a need to be open to the possibility that your Daddy actually might be there for you.

[ 03. January 2012, 18:52: Message edited by: Jamat ]

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

Posts: 2967 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
An die Freude
Shipmate
# 14794

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
I laughed and did a wee.

P

Please don't piss all over Marvin's nascent creativity, he's a sensitive wee soul, you know. [Biased]

On a serious note, though, we have had many people over the years who have turned up at our church for some temporary (sometimes becoming permanent) respite from places with a continuous upbeat attitude, always singing jolly songs like:

Jesus is my Boyfriend
I'm as happy as can be
Everything is lovely
Everything is twee


and instead are sorely in need of some peace, quiet and music in a minor key with words and prayers which more adequately reflect that life can be very tough at times.

Some of the composers of early music were particularly good at this as they had to live through the life is nasty, brutish, and short and man that is born of woman has but a short time to live and is full of misery era, as a daily reality, rather than as an exceptional event happening to only a few, in otherwise comfortable lives.

There is not necessarily a dichotomy between them, though. The Herrnhutites had some serious sexual euphoria metaphores, but didn't have an easy time either, if my church history recalling function works properly.

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"I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable."
Walt Whitman
Formerly JFH

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:
We're promised a perfect world in the end, with no suffering and no more evil.

Why does it have to be "in the end" though? Why can't that just be the world? What does giving us all this fucking shit to live through first actually achieve?

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29840 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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Your personality is being moulded Marvin.
There are a few warps and twists to iron out first.

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34561 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mili

Shipmate
# 3254

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quote:
Originally posted by catthefat:
quote:
Originally posted by Mili:

However, when I do start to doubt the existence of God I then wonder how evolution is linked to depression and mental illness. If there is no God there is still the question of why we have evolved in a way that so many people end up so depressed that they cannot engage with others at times and may even want to end their lives? I'd be interested to know how the opinions of atheists here.

You could wonder that about any number of medical ills that beset us.
Man is not so evolved that he is perfectly adapted, that's all.
Everyone suffers, everyone dies (well,I might not),it's just a case of where and how. Depression is just another sickness.

That is true. And like cancer, people with depression can usually still have children so if there's a genetic factor depression continues to be passed on. Also, although depression can affect people's relationships with others, in my experiences people who have experienced depression are often have more empathy and understanding of others' problems and are willing to help out. Which is good for the human population as a whole. And as others have stated, although depression can be overwhelming many amazing people are able to live with it and use their gifts and talents to impact the world. People are not defined by their illness.

I believe in God and that the world was created by God, but am open minded on how creation occured and find the scientific side of things very interesting. However I don't think science can explain everything.

Posts: 1002 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged



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