Author Topic: My Christian Family  (Read 10936 times)

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Offline Heisenburger

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #116 on: May 06, 2013, 02:25:42 PM »
Man this all hits home. My dad's mind is going, and his coping mechanism is complete hyper-religion. He's become a hermit, sitting at his desk all day, reading the bible and christian books. He wants me to order him "The Bible Code" but I don't want him trapped in that bullshit as well.
“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.”  -Richard Pryor

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #117 on: May 07, 2013, 02:45:59 AM »
Welcome to the site, Heisenberger.  I'm sorry to hear about your dad.

Actually, mid to advanced dementia is one of the few times when I can see religion as a good thing.  The person is no longer someone who affects society, so most of the negative things religion can do are removed from possibility.  But in a world where everything is scary, it can give comfort to feel that there is someone always there looking out for you.

That said - certainly in my mum's case - her memory of her faith seems to have gone with most of her other memories.  So now, in the time when faith would comfort her the most, her disease has taken it from her. 

If there is a god, I'd spit in his eye for that, if for nothing else.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Heisenburger

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #118 on: May 07, 2013, 01:37:42 PM »
Thanks for the welcome. That is a great point. Right now, he still has that keeping him going. It never struck me that his memory of religion could go. Under any other circumstance, I would be happy if he lost religion.
“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.”  -Richard Pryor

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #119 on: May 07, 2013, 04:04:49 PM »
Yet another piece of evidence against a caring, loving god....for devout elderly people to lose even their knowledge about god and their religious beliefs as their brains deteriorate. >:(

Update, Nana is still around, although less so. We took her out for her 87th birthday. She is more confused than ever, although she has become more compliant about the medication.  She keeps losing her phone, so she sneaks out and buys a new cell and/or home phone every few weeks or so. She has bought 6 or 7 phones so far this year, and we collect them and return them or use them at home. Not counting the one she washed in the washer. Last time I visited, she was planning on getting a new phone.... &)

Plus she had lost her room keys. Nobody can find them. At least the facility where she lives is secure and the staff is trustworthy. :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Quesi

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #120 on: May 07, 2013, 05:03:26 PM »
Man this all hits home. My dad's mind is going, and his coping mechanism is complete hyper-religion. He's become a hermit, sitting at his desk all day, reading the bible and christian books. He wants me to order him "The Bible Code" but I don't want him trapped in that bullshit as well.

I'm sorry.  Welcome to the forum.  May you find support, distraction, and stimulating conversations here. 


Update, Nana is still around, although less so. We took her out for her 87th birthday. She is more confused than ever, although she has become more compliant about the medication.  She keeps losing her phone, so she sneaks out and buys a new cell and/or home phone every few weeks or so. She has bought 6 or 7 phones so far this year, and we collect them and return them or use them at home. Not counting the one she washed in the washer. Last time I visited, she was planning on getting a new phone.... &)

Plus she had lost her room keys. Nobody can find them. At least the facility where she lives is secure and the staff is trustworthy. :P

Poor Nana.  I'm really glad you found a place that you feel good about.  The phone obsession is so poignant.  Almost a metaphor for controlling her human connections and her communication.  But she can't quite do it. 

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #121 on: May 07, 2013, 09:47:59 PM »
^^^It's definitely about trying to control her environment as the paranoia and confusion take over. If she can communicate, then she's not so trapped, right? But she is trapped in a world that is getting smaller. She can't operate her computer anymore and keeps telling us that it is broken and needs to go to the shop. She keeps changing her passwords and forgets them again. I can't imagine how frustrating her life is these days.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #122 on: May 08, 2013, 03:22:47 AM »
Yesterday I visited mum - she was as bad as I've ever seen her. 

She was pointing towards the TV in the corner of the day room, and either was totally convinced it was real or was hallucinating, worried that the people on there were running into the road.
She was crying for her father, "I want my daddy".
She gets stuck on words - she'll say things like "and we all went to the shops, the shops, the shops (starts to sing) we all went to the shops, the shops, to the shops", repeating the same phrase a dozen or more times.
She thinks I am her late husband, and will often say things like "I love you the best, I want to go to bed with you", which is not something you want to hear from your mother.
She's also doubly incontinent, just to add to the joys of this disease.

She's in a good home, and they see to her physical needs and give her cuddles and reassurance....but she is like a little child in a foreign land.  She can't read, she doesn't know where she is, she doesn't understand what people say to her, she can't make her needs known.  Even on a good day, she spends a lot of time just being frightened because she doesn't understand, on a bad day.....

Take every opportunity you can to be with your Nana, Nogodsforme.  I hope it takes a long time to happen to her, but its taken less than a year for my mum to go from someone who recognises me and can talk to me to someone who there is nothing left of the woman she once was.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 03:30:49 AM by Anfauglir »
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Chronos

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #123 on: May 08, 2013, 07:12:12 PM »
A disease that a god of love could never force one to endure. A god of hate, however ...

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #124 on: May 08, 2013, 09:47:27 PM »
A disease that a god of love could never force one to endure. A god of hate, however ...

Yep. Senile dementia, the gift that keeps on taking. >:( :'(
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Quesi

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #125 on: May 11, 2013, 03:58:34 PM »
Yesterday I visited mum - she was as bad as I've ever seen her. 

She was pointing towards the TV in the corner of the day room, and either was totally convinced it was real or was hallucinating, worried that the people on there were running into the road.
She was crying for her father, "I want my daddy".
She gets stuck on words - she'll say things like "and we all went to the shops, the shops, the shops (starts to sing) we all went to the shops, the shops, to the shops", repeating the same phrase a dozen or more times.
She thinks I am her late husband, and will often say things like "I love you the best, I want to go to bed with you", which is not something you want to hear from your mother.
She's also doubly incontinent, just to add to the joys of this disease.

She's in a good home, and they see to her physical needs and give her cuddles and reassurance....but she is like a little child in a foreign land.  She can't read, she doesn't know where she is, she doesn't understand what people say to her, she can't make her needs known.  Even on a good day, she spends a lot of time just being frightened because she doesn't understand, on a bad day.....

Take every opportunity you can to be with your Nana, Nogodsforme.  I hope it takes a long time to happen to her, but its taken less than a year for my mum to go from someone who recognises me and can talk to me to someone who there is nothing left of the woman she once was.

I'm glad that she is in a home where her needs are being met, as much as they can be.  It must be so painful to watch her fear and confusion.  You have the luxury of the memories that she does not.  Remember the good times.  Even the bad ones.  Remember the woman she was. 

Offline tapdancingcow

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #126 on: May 15, 2013, 12:09:09 AM »
Oh, Anfauglir. I'm so sorry you are going through such a heartbreaking time.  Both my parents are dead.  My mother died of lung cancer but had a stroke twelve years prior to the cancer. Her mind was  jumbled up from the stroke and the cancer just added more pain to the situation.

It has taken me six years to remember my mom the way she was before her stroke and cancer.  Better memories of her younger days came back in little tiny moments.  The fun memories of her finally added up  and out weighed the sick memories.  But it took a long time.  When she died I remember it as almost a relief  because she was out of pain but then my father was all alone.   He died five years after my mother. 

When my father died (he was an atheist) my two brothers and I sat on our back porch  and told funny stories about him and all the great times we had growing up.  We got a little drunk.  Well..... my brothers got totally smashed.  We talked til two in the morning.  Then we took his ashes and mixed them with my mothers ashes and scattered them in a beautiful river my dad used to fish in. 

Again, I'm so sorry you're having to witness such personal devastation.

Tapdancer


Offline kin hell

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #127 on: May 15, 2013, 03:04:45 AM »
Anfauglir  without meaning to be insensitive at all, your mother's plight (and thus yours by inheritance and filial duty/love) is terrible, ...for both of you.

I wanted to ask, if it was legal, would you euthanise her?
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #128 on: May 15, 2013, 03:08:05 AM »
Thanks tap.

As I've said before, my mother went a long time ago - I reckon the last time I saw her was late Spring/early Summer last year, and even that was just a glimpse.  Since then I've been visiting someone else.

One of the social workers/counsellors that was involved said something that I think is very true.  "Having a loved one with dementia is like a grieving process that can't move on - you've lost the person you loved but you can't get closure because they are still there". 

I just really hope that if I ever start to see signs of it in myself, the laws on assisted suicide in this country will have changed enough so that I can be helped to go peacefully in hospital rather than having to do it all myself at home for my family to find, and/or have them help and risk getting jailed for it.   :(
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #129 on: May 15, 2013, 03:17:36 AM »
I wanted to ask, if it was legal, would you euthanise her?

Spooky - I'd written my reply to tap before I saw you'd posted this!

The answer is yes, I would.

She has no real quality of life left to her now.  The vast majority of the time she is scared and miserable and confused, its very rare that she is happy.  She cannot enjoy any of the things that she once loved - crosswords, jigsaws, she cannot even follow a TV show (she thinks it is all real and happening outside a window).  She wants her mummy and daddy all the time, gone some 40 or 50 years ago.  I'm crying now. 

I honestly and truly believe that if the woman she once was could see the woman she is now, she would agree with me.  She wouldn't want to carry on in misery.  Its not so much the physical aspects as the mental - she's not living, she is existing.  A lot of the time she is actively miserable.  A lot of the time she is simply vacant.  Very very rarely there is a flash of happiness.

So yes - I would. 

From an atheist/humanist perspective.....this is The One Life We All Have, and while most of the time I would say "well, things might get better - let's hang on one more day and see what happens", there is NO prospect of that happening.  She will only get worse, and more unhappy, as time goes on.  There IS no life left that she leads.

And from a theist point of view?  If I end her life, she will be reunited with her parents and her husband and her daughter.  No more misery, no more fear, and her brain will be restored.  In her circumstances, I cannot see any reason why a believer would not stand right behind me on this one.  And frankly, there is no loving god who would not likewise be saying to me "yes - that is the right thing to do".

So yes - I would.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline kin hell

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #130 on: May 15, 2013, 07:42:25 AM »
I agree wholeheartedly Anf, for myself, I have been researching painless non-messy methods (nitrogen asphyxiation leads the pole)  no fucker's gonna tell me I haven't the right to choose my exit when and however I want it.  Please note this is a long term awareness, not a short term intent.

I feel for you bloke given this world's stupid fears dressed up as morality, I have no way to help but to offer moral support
earthling to distressed earthling.
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all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Quesi

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #131 on: May 15, 2013, 10:07:21 AM »
Anfauglir - My heart breaks for you.  I lost both of my parents too young, and I often imagine that I wish they were alive - at any cost.  But your mom is gone.   I am so sorry. 

May there be moments in her days in which she smiles, even briefly, and when she dies, may this sad time in her life fade from the forefront of your memory, and may the woman that she was occupy your thoughts and stories. 

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #132 on: July 03, 2013, 06:56:41 PM »
Update, or downdate I suppose.

My MIL died on this past Sunday at midnight.

She fell on Saturday and I told my husband that was often a sign of the end.  He and daughter then visited her after church and she barely knew them. She was in so much pain, she kept saying, "Why can't I go, why can't I go?"

We have a friend who works with terminal cancer patients and she said families need to give the dying person permission to die, so they stop holding on. So my husband said that it was okay for her to go.

And that very night she died.
She was 87.

She was a difficult patient for the assisted living facility and hospice people, very demanding and never content. They still did a wonderful job, always kind and caring with her.

The one thing that annoys me a bit is that the facility decorated the announcement of her death with crosses and praying hands and other religious imagery. Why assume that was what she would have wanted? In all the years I knew her, she never went to church and expressed no religious beliefs other than a kind of generic knee-jerk "Easter and Christmas" Christianity.  :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online wright

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #133 on: July 03, 2013, 10:45:50 PM »
The one thing that annoys me a bit is that the facility decorated the announcement of her death with crosses and praying hands and other religious imagery. Why assume that was what she would have wanted? In all the years I knew her, she never went to church and expressed no religious beliefs other than a kind of generic knee-jerk "Easter and Christmas" Christianity.  :P

Another aspect of Christian privilege, I suppose. It will take at least a few more generations, even assuming favorable conditions, to significantly change popular assumptions like that.

Sorry for your loss, nogodsforme. It would seem your friend gave good advice; I'm not sure I would have had the strength your husband showed in that situation.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #134 on: July 04, 2013, 03:33:28 AM »
My MIL died on this past Sunday at midnight.

She fell on Saturday and I told my husband that was often a sign of the end.  He and daughter then visited her after church and she barely knew them. She was in so much pain, she kept saying, "Why can't I go, why can't I go?"

We have a friend who works with terminal cancer patients and she said families need to give the dying person permission to die, so they stop holding on. So my husband said that it was okay for her to go.

And that very night she died.

I'm so sorry for your loss, nogods.  But she is no longer in pain, and you got to say farewell.  Sometimes that's the best we can hope for.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Quesi

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #135 on: July 04, 2013, 09:27:36 AM »
Update, or downdate I suppose.

My MIL died on this past Sunday at midnight.

She fell on Saturday and I told my husband that was often a sign of the end.  He and daughter then visited her after church and she barely knew them. She was in so much pain, she kept saying, "Why can't I go, why can't I go?"

We have a friend who works with terminal cancer patients and she said families need to give the dying person permission to die, so they stop holding on. So my husband said that it was okay for her to go.

And that very night she died.
She was 87.

She was a difficult patient for the assisted living facility and hospice people, very demanding and never content. They still did a wonderful job, always kind and caring with her.

The one thing that annoys me a bit is that the facility decorated the announcement of her death with crosses and praying hands and other religious imagery. Why assume that was what she would have wanted? In all the years I knew her, she never went to church and expressed no religious beliefs other than a kind of generic knee-jerk "Easter and Christmas" Christianity.  :P

May you and your family remember the woman that she was before she became the "difficult patient,"  and not let the difficulties of recent years overshadow the rest of her life. 

You have all given so much of yourself during her decline.  I wish you comfort as you contemplate her life and her accomplishments, and her legacy. 

Sorry about the crosses.  What kind of service will you have?  I honestly found a lot of comfort in planning the services for each of my parents.  For both there were the photos of a lifetime of family and adventures.  For my dad, we displayed his art.  I actually blew up some correspondence that he had had with Bertrand Russell, and displayed it.  For my mom, I pulled out her 1930's typewriter, that her parents had bought used when she was a kid, and displayed it next to her laptop.  She had done some journalism in her retirement, and it seemed appropriate.

I hope that you and your husband find ways to honor your mother in law.  And find comfort in knowing that you all did everything you could. 

Offline idontknow

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #136 on: October 02, 2013, 03:29:07 AM »
The next day, she died.  I'm not sure she even got the chance to hold her babies.
...
My dad....again, I'm sure everyone was praying for him.  Yesterday morning he died, basically just worn out.  He was 75.  It all happened very fast - between the hospital calling to say "better come today" and calling to say "he's gone" was about 45 minutes.
...
My sister, my mother, my father.  All good Christians, all good people, with their church praying for them all.

Life stinks.  I am so, so glad that there is no god.  Because a god that would do all that.....

That's all.

Deep and humble condolences in times of such difficulty. If I could, I'd just walk up to you and give you a bear hug for about five minutes straight. Please take no offense at my editing down of your post in the quoted lines above.

I would like to share what I consider to be one of the most important things I ever learned in law school. It concerns causation, an issue that as you might guess is very important in any lawsuit. Typically it is taught in the torts and criminal law courses.

There are two types of causation. The labels most often ascribed are: (1) actual cause; and (2) proximate cause. (Sometimes actual cause is referred to as factual cause, cause in fact, or but-for cause, and sometimes proximate cause is referred to as legal cause, in case you've heard those phrases elsewhere, but I will stick with actual cause and proximate cause here.)

Actual cause is a very easy test to meet: would the harm have occurred were it not for some prior conduct of the defendant? Many, many things are actual causes of harm. If my parents never conceived me, I would not be typing this post. Therefore, their conduct is an actual cause of this post. Relatively few cases revolve around actual cause. To the best of my knowledge, they usually involve whether a particular chemical or prescription drug is ever physically or chemically capable of producing particular physiological results.

Proximate cause is therefore usually where the squabbles are whenever causation is at issue. It is basically a limiting device on actual cause, attempting to decide at what point legal liability should attach and at what point the defendant's conduct is too tenuously or remotely connected to the plaintiff's/victim's harm for liability to still be appropriate. Different courts (and I am speaking entirely from a common-law perspective here, by the way) have devised different tests to determine whether proximate cause exists. Without trying to generalize too much, they ultimately boil down to a question of whether it is really fair to consider the defendant's conduct to be the cause of the harm that the plaintiff/victim suffered.

Here, in your situation, and in the tragic situations of any of us, I would say - as a Christian - it is entirely reasonable to ascribe any and all earthly suffering to God (now here's the caveat) but only to the extent of what I've just described as actual cause. If, as the Bible describes, God created Lucifer/Satan and all demons (collectively, for convenience, I will simply refer to Satan) knowing in advance that Satan would rebel, and if God created Adam/Eve knowing they'd plunge the world into a fallen state for millenia, then God is the actual cause of everything that Satan and mankind have ever done, including all evil and tragedy, because none of us would be here doing anything if it weren't for him.

However, it does not stand to reason that God can rightfully be described as the proximate cause. He did not directly kill your sister or dad. Granted, he most certainly allowed it to happen. But that does not mean that he wanted it to happen or couldn't have prevented their deaths. After all, God did not want Satan to rebel or Adam/Eve to fall. But he seems to have established "rules of the game" so to speak, which he will not violate the vast majority of the time.

Death exists because this is a fallen world, not the world as God intended it. Someday, it will be restored. And there will be no more sadness or death. I urge you not to blend actual cause and proximate cause. I urge you not to become irreversibly bitter towards God or even the concept of a God. I know these sentiments will likely fall on deaf ears on a site like this, but I'm here to say it as tenderly yet resolutely as I know how: God exists, and you shouldn't let even the most emotionally traumatic moments in your life persuade you that he doesn't love you, care about you, and want to spend all of eternity with you, blessing you with abundant joy, indeed rejoined with your dad and sister once again.

Again, I am deeply saddened by the passing of your dad and sister, even though I obviously never knew them personally. It would be an enormous trial for anyone in your shoes. My maternal grandmother has dementia, and she's in a pitiful state currently. God is allowing it. God also allowed diabetes to take my paternal grandfather and cancer to take my paternal grandfather. Is God an actual cause of my grandma's dementia, and was he an actual cause of my grandfathers' deaths? Sure. But I'm not angry with God, because he's not the proximate cause. Nor did such things cause me to no longer believe God exists. It simply shows the fallen state of humanity, which someday will come to a close.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and I sincerely hope you are able to emotionally cope more and more each day that passes. I submit to you each and every sentence I've typed in this post with the utmost respect and brotherly love for you as is in me and with as much humility as I could try to muster through the impersonal veil of written words.

Very truly,
Jeff
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"A page of history is worth a volume of logic." Oliver Wendell Holmes, New York Trust Co. v. Eisner, 256 U.S. 345, 349 (1921)

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #137 on: October 02, 2013, 07:11:15 AM »
Deep and humble condolences in times of such difficulty. If I could, I'd just walk up to you and give you a bear hug for about five minutes straight. Please take no offense at my editing down of your post in the quoted lines above.

None taken, IDK - and thank you for your thoughts.

(Yahweh) did not directly kill your sister or dad. Granted, he most certainly allowed it to happen. But that does not mean that he wanted it to happen or couldn't have prevented their deaths. After all, God did not want Satan to rebel or Adam/Eve to fall. But he seems to have established "rules of the game" so to speak, which he will not violate the vast majority of the time.

And unfortunately, at that point your argument falls apart, as you intimate that - sometimes - Yahweh DOES intervene.  And that's where the "rules of the game" argument falls apart.

A god that set up the rules, and then NEVER intervenes, is fair enough.  It could have no claim to goodness, or love, but it would indeed be acceptable.

But the Christian god is not that hands-off non-interventionist deist god.  Its holy book is riddled with stories of how that god took a very definite and interventionist stance in the world, over and over again.  Indeed, there is an argument that the bulk of the book is very much that.

Further to that (and I don't know your personal stance on this), but the majority of Christians are very much of the opinion that their god continues to intervene, on a regular basis.  Believe that your god answers prayers?  Then you believe in a god that can and will intervene, can and will break the rules of the game.

Which makes Yahweh quite definitely the proximate cause of their deaths, because (in my sisters case) there were very definite prayers being said on her behalf, that he specifically chose to ignore.  A being that has the ability to act, is requested to act, and has a record of acting, is a very definite proximate cause.  He is as responsible as would have been a doctor with the skills to operate, but who stood by and ignored the pleas to do anything....who the day before, and the day after, had operated on others.  So, very definitely, Yahweh is the proximate cause.....unless your claim is that he does and has NEVER intervened.

Death exists because this is a fallen world, not the world as God intended it. Someday, it will be restored. And there will be no more sadness or death. I urge you not to blend actual cause and proximate cause.

And is very definitely the actual cause.  "Someday" you say.  Is your god not all powerful?  Is he not all loving?  Then "someday" can and should have been "yesterday".  "Someday" implies the will and the ability to do something……but just can't be bothered for the moment.  So all actual cause (in a similar way to the above) becomes proximate cause, in every case.

My maternal grandmother has dementia, and she's in a pitiful state currently. God is allowing it.

Yes.  On a daily basis.  Proximate cause, no matter how you wish to deny it.

God exists, and you shouldn't let even the most emotionally traumatic moments in your life persuade you that he doesn't love you, care about you, and want to spend all of eternity with you, blessing you with abundant joy, indeed rejoined with your dad and sister once again.

Please don't cheapen words like love and care in this way.  I had, and have, many real friends and family you demonstrated their love and care on a regular basis.  Who actually do and did things for me to see me through, even when it was a strain on their time and on more tangible resources.  This "god" you claim loves me, cares about me, has infinite resource and no barriers to demonstrating that resource - and chose to do nothing, as he continues, day by day, to do nothing to show that love and care.

So I repeat - don't cheapen the efforts of those who DO, by claiming that some creature who does nothing is displaying the same behaviours, because it demonstrably isn't so.

You read my account, and - despite as you say not knowing me or my family - showed the compassion to offer your condolences and best wishes for the future, and for that I thank you.  You demonstrated your care.  And I ask you this: if you had NOT posted, had NOT made contact to show your feelings, how would I know that you cared?  Would I not be entirely justified in assuming that you didn't give a toss?

Perhaps more importantly, what would it say about your true feelings if you'd hadn't posted your thoughts?  Could you really be said to "care" if you hadn't even bothered to spend a few minutes making contact?  Like I said before - your god allegedly has infinite resource and power…..and he hasn't done a damn thing.  That tells me all I need to know about how much he "cares".

As I said way back, I am delighted your god doesn't exist.  Because if he did, he is arguably the most evil thing there could possibly be.
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Offline idontknow

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #138 on: October 02, 2013, 01:43:20 PM »
You are of course correct that the Bible purports to record many instances of intervention by God. And so naturally my position is not that deistic one that God never intervenes. He sometimes does.

My position is what's known as dispensationalism: God has dealt and interacted with humanity in different ways at different times in history. Just before John the Baptist showed up on the scene, the Israelites appear to have had a period of about 400 years of seeming silence from God, during which time he was not directly intervening as he had in the times of Moses, Elijah, etc. It seems to me that we are in a similar period of historical silence from God, and my eschatology is such that he will begin to intervene more directly again soon.

If you want to know why God might choose to interact with humanity differently at different times in history, I have no idea. It's just his prerogative.

Since you brought up the requested-to-act argument, I would also like to humbly submit yet another very important concept I learned in law school: ordinarily, people are under no duty to rescue others in peril. There are exceptions, but the general rule would not impose liability in the following hypothetical for example. Michael Phelps, an obviously excellent swimmer, is walking by a pond one day in which a child is drowning and calling out for help. Phelps is not responsible for the child being in the water, but he's helped other drowning kids in the past. He didn't throw this particular child into the water or in any other way cause the child to be there. Phelps ignores this particular child's plea and keeps walking. The child drowns. The child's parents sue Phelps. The vast majority of American jurisdictions would find Phelps not liable, because he had no duty to act. Phelps is not the proximate cause.

But wouldn't Phelps rightfully be considered an enormous ass even if he escapes legal consequences? Pretty much. So what's different between God not answering prayers for healing and the Phelps analogy.

God is omniscient and allows things that we consider tragic because they are not objectively bad in the grand scheme of things. Sooner or later, some way or another, your dad and sister both would have died. Likewise, if my grandpa didn't die of diabetes, he would have died of something else eventually. If my other grandpa didn't die of cancer, he would have died of something else eventually. It might have been a few more years in the cases of my grandpas, and it might have been a few more decades in the case of your sister, but what's that compared to eternity? It's infinitesimally small, immeasurable really. Again, I know that sounds very harsh, but it's still true.

When I say "someday," of course my God is omnipotent. (But he's not all-loving, side note. I have no idea why people claim God is all-loving when the Bible specifically says he hates things. There is no Bible verse that says God is all-loving.) So of course "someday" could have been "yesterday." It's not that he can't be bothered at the moment but that he's waiting for everyone who will be saved to be saved. If the Second Coming of Christ occurred, for example, in the Dark Ages, then neither you nor I nor anyone we personally know would have ever lived. There have been millions, perhaps billions of people since the Dark Ages come to be saved. And so the evil that exists in the world is outweighed by those souls that have been saved, because it increases the number of people in heaven. This frankly has nothing to do with actual and proximate cause, and I would again humbly urge you not to conflate them.

Your ultimate reaction seems to stem from God's inaction. That is, you seem to be most hostile to the idea of God because if he exists he hasn't done enough to ease or reverse the suffering you and your family have endured. Again I say death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks. But bodily death isn't the end, according to Scripture. Your dad and sister now live in perfect bodies, and they will never suffer again.
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Offline Jag

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #139 on: October 02, 2013, 02:04:54 PM »
If God is the creator of all that exists, he most certainly IS the proximate cause.

And I gotta say, for someone with a law degree I'm quite surprised to read this, written by you: death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks.

Either he intervenes or he doesn't. Either he follows the rules or he doesn't. And if he sometimes doesn't, which you indicate is the case with that remark, then what is the purpose of rules in the first place, if they can be ignored at will - regardless of who is doing the ignoring?

That's some fancy double-think you got going on there in that remark.
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Offline idontknow

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #140 on: October 02, 2013, 02:13:17 PM »
If God is the creator of all that exists, he most certainly IS the proximate cause.

And I gotta say, for someone with a law degree I'm quite surprised to read this, written by you: death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks.

Either he intervenes or he doesn't. Either he follows the rules or he doesn't. And if he sometimes doesn't, which you indicate is the case with that remark, then what is the purpose of rules in the first place, if they can be ignored at will - regardless of who is doing the ignoring?

That's some fancy double-think you got going on there in that remark.

I say it that way because the Bible records two people who did not physically die.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" - Acts 16:31 (NKJV)

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #141 on: October 02, 2013, 03:22:04 PM »
So, it is possible for god to save people from dying, then, but he chooses not to in the vast majority of cases. Parents begging god to save their sick children, kids begging god to save their parents,  distraught friends, husbands, wives begging god to save their loved ones. And god says, what? "Not yet." "Not now." "Not today."
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online neopagan

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #142 on: October 02, 2013, 03:27:42 PM »
I say it that way because the Bible records two people who did not physically die.

God used up his power on these two?

Who are you counting, btw?  I count three... gotta add jeezus, since all he had was a crappy easter weekend then floated up to heaven.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 04:00:58 PM by neopagan »
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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #143 on: October 02, 2013, 04:00:19 PM »
idontknow

First of all, understand that most of us atheists talk in derogatory terms about your god when in fact we are making fun of what christians believe. We don't actually believe he is being a meany. He doesn't exist.

People dying is perfectly natural. And since nature, and not a god, is the cause, all sorts of things can go bad. Naturally. Diabetes, cancer, dementia, etc. None of these actually confuse us, or me at least. Because we understand that there are a wide range of fates awaiting us. So many ways to die.

If there is a god, this is the future he planned for us. So if he actually is real, he would have a hard time getting any worshipping out of me anyway. If all he does is sit back and watch things that he could easily prevent, then screw him.

I wouldn't want to spend an eternity with him or any other deity. Sandra Bullock included. Eternity is of no interest to me. Life is interesting, but not fascinating. I've enjoyed this one I've lived, but if there is another one after this, and I have to play by a bunch of stupid rules, I prefer real live death, so to speak. With nothing to follow. And whatever it is, if it is supposed to last an eternity, then screw that. I don't understand the appeal.

Well, except to those who are afraid to die. Those that cannot accept, or won't accept, that not everything in life is all rosy.

So the fact that you can't explain everything your god does, and are being open about it (others have come here with a bit more insight into the situation, if you believed them), doesn't free you from the silliness of religion. Beliefs of that sort are not necessary. Gods are not necessary. And believing that they do exist when they don't, and allowing the harm that such beliefs bring upon the planet, is criminal. IMHO.



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Online jynnan tonnix

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #144 on: October 02, 2013, 04:12:37 PM »
I kind of get what you are saying, IDK, as far as god not intervening to save someone, since, as you say, we will all die of something, someday.

But the very least he could do, it seems, is to at least alleviate some of the agony which comes with many causes of death.

You say the Bible never claims that god is all-loving, and does, indeed, state he actually hates some things. Fair enough. But the verses about the sparrows and lillies of the field do imply that he knows each of us down to every hair on our heads and cares for the least of us.

I also get the notion that a life devoid of any sorrow would not be a good thing, and that we learn by enduring the bad along with enjoying the good, but what of people who endure lifelong agony?  I don't believe that if all the dreadful suffering were eliminated from the world, people would come to view something like a hangnail as excruciating and unbearable pain.

But we DO see unbearable trials in this world.What of children who starve to death slowly, never knowing the satisfaction of a real meal? Those who die torturous, prolonged deaths? Their families, watching the suffering and not being able to do a thing about it?  All these people, praying, trusting in god, yet ultimately gaining nothing, and, in many cases, losing their faith over it?

And if they lose their faith, is salvation lost as well? Are they now headed for everlasting torment on top of what they suffered in their earthly life?

God may not swoop down to save every loved one who is dying, but why would he allow the level of suffering which so often comes with it?