Author Topic: My wife's idea  (Read 9862 times)

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2012, 07:28:44 PM »
The concept of one thing having three distinct parts is not so foreign, is the point I was making.

I have no trouble seeing that God can be three things and also one.
Go on up you baldhead.

Online One Above All

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2012, 07:32:11 PM »
I get it. You have YHWH: the asshole who made everyone a sinner on purpose just for shits and giggles, and created hell for the same reason; then you have Jesus: the emo guy who had himself put on a cross to appease his dark side; and finally you have the holy ghost: the guy who's responsible for answering prayers, but since he's only part of the whole, he only answers some prayers.

It all makes sense now.
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Offline HAL

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2012, 07:39:06 PM »
I have no trouble seeing that God can be three things and also one.

Yes, we understand you have no trouble seeing that, and that's what the trouble is.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2012, 07:40:36 PM »
I have no trouble seeing that God can be three things and also one.

Yes, we understand you have no trouble seeing that, and that's what the trouble is.

How does that trouble you Hal?

Go on up you baldhead.

Offline HAL

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2012, 07:44:13 PM »
How does that trouble you Hal?

It should present a great deal of "trouble" to a critical thinker, seeing what you have no trouble seeing. Can you show me a method to see what you have no trouble seeing in this regard -

I have no trouble seeing that God can be three things and also one.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2012, 08:00:48 PM »

Two of the references in my signature show examples of this...though not the same things people are referring to in this thread.

Yeah, well, the references in your signature are crap and an example of fools finding verses in isolation, giving no regard to context and quite blatantly getting in wrong.

You claim Deuteronomy 22:24 condones the stoning of a rape victim, wrong. Read verse 25 and 26 as well.

Of course, you'll probably claim that any sort of capital punishment for adultery or sexual mis-conduct is evil, but then again, you can't claim any absolute morality even exists, so on what standard you'd judge this evil is up for question.

I've read the entirety of Deuteronomy 22 and know it's context, the only reason I've isolated it is because I'm taking a specific example. Before I put the quotes in my signature I read the entire sections AND in multiple translations. The case for the first item (about the listening to the Old Testament), I looked up more than 1 quote in the bible to suggest it, but I chose the one. The reason my signature is so limited is because this forum restricts the number of characters in your signature and it'd mess up the forum if I had something in a lot more detail.

Verse 25 is specific to being out in the country and not in a town. If in a town the woman has to scream, if she does not then she is considered guilty and in that instance the rape victim would be stoned to death.

For your reference:
Quote
25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die.
Verse 26 says not to punish the woman in verse 25.

Verse 26 does not apply to verse 24, which is the punishment (stoning) for the man AND woman in verse 23 (in the city when the woman does not scream).

Read verse 27 and you'll see the reasoning for verse 26, it's because nobody could rescue her if she screamed.

The last time I addressed this situation, I listed a number of reasons why a woman might not scream if raped. Being threatened with violence would be one, but the reasons are not limited to that.

It also says from verse 28 onwards , if they're discovered the rapist must marry their rape victim.

ALSO in verses 13 to 19 there are regulations surrounding the claims of a woman who is not a virgin on her marriage, but specifies no separate regulations for if the woman was previously raped. If followed strictly to the law it would mean rape victims who are found to NOT be virgins are to be stoned anyway!

What's even more disturbing, this EXACT punishment was recently delivered in Morocco (marriage to the rapist). From what I understand, it was based on Islamic law, but then Islam draws from the Old Testament as Christian does too. I don't know the specific laws for Islam, but I am not surprised this kind of thing would be repeated elsewhere as the 3 Abrahamic Religions draw from belief in the SAME God.



As for having no absolute morality, my morality is based on the reduction of suffering and what's best for those involved, in some ways similar to utilitarianism and I don't know if it'd strike you as weird, but similar to parts of Buddhism as well. A vague explanation, I know, but going into depth would detract from the topic. There is also a Christian version of moral relativity similar to utilitarianism called 'Situation Ethics', if that's something you'd more easily relate to.

But as you've got the bible, I take it you follow its moral absolutism?

Then perhaps you can tell me: Do you believe the punishments lined out in Deuteronomy's Regulations for Sexual Purity to be just? And do you believe because they are the word of God that should therefore still apply? Especially as Jesus said that these old laws still do apply.

[edit]

Perhaps my last few questions should refer to more specifically parts where the 'Sexual Impurity' involves/can involve the punishment of a rape victim. Although I believe capital punishment is too extreme for adultery, but I do not want my questions to involve that part, because I am talking specifically about the victims of rape.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 08:14:13 PM by Seppuku »
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Offline HAL

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2012, 08:12:30 PM »
I have no trouble seeing that God can be three things and also one.

Can god be three things and also 2? Or three things and also 1/2 thing?

How about 5 things and also 4? Or even 1,244 things and also 47? Care to speculate about Pi things and also Zero?

I'm intrigued by how many things your god can be at once.

Do you have any trouble with any of these possibilities MM?

Offline sun_king

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2012, 09:22:42 PM »
I still have trouble with the wave-particle duality of light. Something being three at the same time is too much...

And HAL's question makes it worse, why not 1,244 things? Will there be a God limit, something like, God cannot be more than 58008[1] at a time?

I still feel you should have read the bible more carefully MM, especially Timothy 2:11-12 which is something like "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet[2]"
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 2. This is because Adam came before Eve and Adam was not the one who was deceived

Offline HAL

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2012, 09:31:00 PM »
Why can't it just be one thing at once? It's a f*cking deity, why isn't one thing at once enough to accomplish it's goals?

Anyway, I'm tired, tomorrow's another day. See you all in the morning.

Offline atheola

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2012, 12:05:32 AM »
This reminds me of the jackoffs at AA who are so desperate to prove sitting around a smoke filled room pretending they know jack shit about, well..anything is going to make you not want to drink because you have to turn yourself over your higher power..and just who or what is this higher power pray tell? Why it can be ANYTHING INCLUDING of all things...an orange.. A FUCKING ORANGE! Yes.. I was told that more than once.
So...I hold Sunday services and midnight mass in Krogers produce department.. :angel:
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Offline HAL

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2012, 08:13:58 AM »
I have no trouble seeing that God can be three things and also one.

mm has no trouble seeing "that God can be three things and also one" because he either doesn't know how to challenge it or doesn't want to. If he was taught that his deity was seven things and also one do you think he would be OK with that? Of course he would, because he is just regurgitating rote learning - indoctrination. If he was taught that god was seven and one, he'd be here just the same, spouting off his proud claim like this -

"I have no trouble seeing that God can be seven things and also one. What a' matter HAL, is that hard for you to get?"

Pfffft. I just did a theist Poe using his posts and you can see why, when it comes to theists, you can put random sentences together from random posts and you'll get just as much sense out of them as if you were reading the original posts -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,12494.msg487032.html#msg487032


Offline Tero

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2012, 08:17:24 AM »
This reminds me of the jackoffs at AA who are so desperate to prove sitting around a smoke filled room pretending they know jack shit about, well..anything is going to make you not want to drink because you have to turn yourself over your higher power..and just who or what is this higher power pray tell? Why it can be ANYTHING INCLUDING of all things...an orange.. A FUCKING ORANGE! Yes.. I was told that more than once.
So...I hold Sunday services and midnight mass in Krogers produce department.. :angel:
I think that actually is Cognitive Therapy. You form some kind of internal dialog and place your moster into an object that you then push out of your life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_therapy

Offline joebbowers

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2012, 10:44:29 PM »
*sigh* I don't even have the energy to muster up a sarcastic reply to this. It's just too stupid.

Jesus claims he will answer your prayers if you believe. That's it. No caveats.
He doesn't. Therefore either Jesus is a liar or the bible is false. You choose.

You must try to understand that making up excuses to explain why Jesus doesn't do as he promises is your mind's way of coping with the fact that you know the bible doesn't make any sense. It's called a rationalization.

When you realize that Jesus doesn't exist, it is much easier to explain why prayers don't get answered.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2012, 10:53:11 AM »
Wrong. Look at the Lords prayer, Jesus' response to His disciples when He was asked how to pray. "Your will be done"
When Jesus was about to die on the cross: "Not my will but yours"
it's all very nice to think that prayer is some type of magic to help us, but it isn't.

which is the usual  Christain attempt to excuse their god that does nothing.  They of course ignore the parts that contradict what they want to claim as the only 'right' answer:

Matthew 77 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
   9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Mark 11: 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Luke 11: 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
   9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
   11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

John 14: 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
No qualifiers that one has to ask in god’s “will”.  In fact the only one that says this is indeed the “lord’s prayer”.  However, asking God for things, aka prayer, is asking him for something you don’t have and you have no idea if God knows you need.  If one was not supposed to pray for things, why does JC repeatedly say one should pray for things from this god?  If God already knows, prayer is pointless.  If prayer is just so your god can feel important, that’s even funnier.   

Matthew 18: 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

and:

John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Let’s see, the Christian excuse will be that JC was only talking to the apostles.  So we need to get two Christains to agree?  Well, there’s your problem!
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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2012, 11:41:31 AM »
Maybe his wife is right, time may be wasted here, all we do is complain about theists and the made up god. Instead we should be out there enjoying our existence on this planet rather than being negative all or most of the time.
If you want to help a homeless person just consider if they deserve it or what they should do with it best. If they are just gonna buy alcohol with it don't give it to them, unless you want them to do something horrible like pretend to be a superhero and fly of a building or yell at over people and get arrested....if they get arrested at least they will have a home.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 11:44:11 AM by Samuelxcs »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2012, 12:23:46 PM »
Maybe his wife is right, time may be wasted here, all we do is complain about theists and the made up god. Instead we should be out there enjoying our existence on this planet rather than being negative all or most of the time.
If you want to help a homeless person just consider if they deserve it or what they should do with it best. If they are just gonna buy alcohol with it don't give it to them, unless you want them to do something horrible like pretend to be a superhero and fly of a building or yell at over people and get arrested....if they get arrested at least they will have a home.

then, Sam, don't let the door hit your fanny on the way out.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2012, 03:05:10 PM »
Discussing this forum with my wife recently (she thinks I'm wasting my time, but anyway...), she had this analagy:


You obviously need to beat your wife more frequently.
I think you made your point a little too subtle. I know what I think it says:

If a man beats his wife she may or may not deserve it. It may actually be in her best interest, even though it is very very very likely to be it is not  This however was not to be assumed in olden times, becuase the underlying principle was the man knew better than the woman. if we apply basic human reasoning The distiction here, we are to ASSUME that the beating your god supposedly gives humanity is its best interest . We are not supposed to question it, as we, humanity, are the woman in the relationship.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Seppuku

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2012, 06:49:52 PM »
Maybe his wife is right, time may be wasted here, all we do is complain about theists and the made up god. Instead we should be out there enjoying our existence on this planet rather than being negative all or most of the time.
If you want to help a homeless person just consider if they deserve it or what they should do with it best. If they are just gonna buy alcohol with it don't give it to them, unless you want them to do something horrible like pretend to be a superhero and fly of a building or yell at over people and get arrested....if they get arrested at least they will have a home.

then, Sam, don't let the door hit your fanny on the way out.

It always makes me giggle immaturely when Americans say 'fanny', because it has a totally different meaning over here in the UK.  :P

Maybe his wife is right, time may be wasted here, all we do is complain about theists and the made up god. Instead we should be out there enjoying our existence on this planet rather than being negative all or most of the time.
If you want to help a homeless person just consider if they deserve it or what they should do with it best. If they are just gonna buy alcohol with it don't give it to them, unless you want them to do something horrible like pretend to be a superhero and fly of a building or yell at over people and get arrested....if they get arrested at least they will have a home.

I think you misinterpret the forums. 1) It's good support for atheist members here. Handy if you're living in a strictly religious community. 2) It provides a challenge to theists, granted, but I hope that from each discussion people go away and learn something...since being here I've learned a LOT and I hope it rubs off on theists, even if the effect isn't immediately obvious. Hope it means at the very least they walk away with some understanding of where we're coming from. Of course, some people are incredibly ignorant and that happens sometimes.

I hope from this Magicmiles will realise that a lot of the teachings in his bible are pretty sick. Maybe that'll allow him to reason that maybe the bible isn't that absolute word of God, not necessarily deconvert, but certainly learn to question what the bible says. Just look at his emotional reaction to comments made about his wife, he really took offence to it...now maybe it was harsh, but those comments were based around what the bible says, not their beliefs or them trolling.

3) It's a forum and a great place to wind down. Yes, it might strike people as weird as this is a wind down, but I stop here during breaks from writing or programming or when I get back from being out (like just now) and chilling for a few minutes before getting on with something else. I think it'd better than sticking on the TV and trailing through pages of crap or things you've seen a bajillion times. ;) Of course, there's combined with my other internet perusing.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2012, 02:16:26 AM »

Just look at his emotional reaction to comments made about his wife, he really took offence to it...

I'd call it more justifiable distaste.

Fanny doesn't mean bottom in Australia either...giggle.

Funny story: When my Auntie worked for a year in the UK in the 1960's she was at an office in the typing pool on her first day. She needed to make a correction and needed some white-out. Apparently in Australia at the time the common name for White-out was Durex ( the manufacturer ). So she casually asked around the office if someone had any durex she could borrow...apparently the reaction was hilarious
Go on up you baldhead.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2012, 06:21:44 AM »

Fanny doesn't mean bottom in Australia either...giggle.

Funny story: When my Auntie worked for a year in the UK in the 1960's she was at an office in the typing pool on her first day. She needed to make a correction and needed some white-out. Apparently in Australia at the time the common name for White-out was Durex ( the manufacturer ). So she casually asked around the office if someone had any durex she could borrow...apparently the reaction was hilarious

Lol, that's pretty funny. Interesting how seemingly innocent things mean something completely different elsewhere, speaking of which, aren't flip-flops in Australia called thongs?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2012, 06:31:01 AM »
Indeed they are...I am sure much to the amusement of un-suspecting Scandinavian backpackers

Go on up you baldhead.

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2012, 07:11:24 AM »
made your point a little too subtle. I know what I think it says:

I was making a couple of points, although I can see now how I was a little opaque.

First and foremost, he should beat her for being uppity and presuming to teach men.  That is strictly forbidden in the bible.

Second, her idea was crap.  I feel crap ideas should be met with violence. It encourages better ideas.

Third, while her idea was crap, it was still a far stretch better than Miles' own ideas, and it is clear to me who the brains of that operation is - definitely not Miles.  A man has to protect his position in the home, and Miles' position is obviously in imminent danger of being usurped.  He urgently needs to put her back in her place before he winds up wearing a taffeta gown and makeup and has to do the domestic work. 

Last, you should beat your wife every day. Even if you don't know what she did wrong, she does.

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2012, 07:37:27 AM »


Second, her idea was crap.  I feel crap ideas should be met with violence. It encourages better ideas.


Really, and here I was thinking derision, sarcasm, and mockery were the best tools.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2012, 08:47:10 AM »
Really, and here I was thinking derision, sarcasm, and mockery were the best tools.

Only when physical violence is unavailable or not feasible.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #53 on: March 20, 2012, 09:39:30 AM »

Only when physical violence is unavailable or not feasible.
But if you kill them, they don't learn.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 09:42:57 AM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2012, 10:27:30 AM »
But if you kill them, they don't learn.

Kill them?  I didn't say kill them.  Cripes man, what are you, some kind of maniac? 

No.  A crisp beating should suffice.  Maybe use a belt or a riding crop.  Oh, and wear stockings with a garter while doing it.  Perhaps with a nice pair of black silk panties and a boostier.  That always helps let a woman know who's in charge.  Being disciplined by a man in drag.
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Offline Grimm

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #55 on: March 21, 2012, 08:36:09 AM »
tell me, Grimm, in honest and full detail: What food did you consume today? Start with breakfast, include all snacks, then lunch, dinner, supper etc. Please also advise what food scraps were thrown away in your household today.

Then enlighten us all with the positive, actual, tangible methods you have employed to assist those in the world who are hungry.

You self-righteous twat.

I'm going to skip the first bit-  I'm a reasonable, middle-class male in the US - and I am not these children.  Obviously, I eat - probably better than I should.  First world problems, and all that.

If you'd like to see the second:

- I am currently working on the technical side of a project to address the food desert in my hometown, a place where the elderly and poor are not able to reach food, even if they can afford to buy it.
- My daily work is with an organization devoted to taking care of and improving the quality of life of the at-risk elderly.  In order to qualify, you have to be nursing-home qualified and make less than 10k a year; most of these people have zero income, eat only when they attend our program, and had no medication, medical care, or hope before they came through our doors.
- I also provide technical support to several ancillary facilities that work with other programs, ranging from a free rural medical facility to several low-income senior centers and three alzheimer's units, among other items.
- Personally, I give to Child's Play and Doctors Without Borders, and have provided technical support for no cost to local physicians participating in the latter program.

How much more do I have to do to satisfy you?  Would you like my further list of last year's charitable giving?  Shall I discuss that my wife and I are adopting on moral and personal grounds, hoping to give kids a home that need one rather than just add more kids to the mix?  Shall I talk about my personal work in assisting the disabled with low-cost solutions for individual physical issues?  I can go on. 

You see, I live my life without God - I recognize that, in order to fix the issues within my reach, human beings have to step up and do something.  It isn't enough to pray about it or to make feelgood assertions about the benevolence of a deity; I have  moral imperitive to get off my ass and make a difference.  Without God, I must be good - no one else is out there to do it for me, and no one can forgive me for the things I don't do.

Can I help those kids?  Nope.  My reach isn't far enough, and my charitable capability is absolutely at its limit - and it will stay there.  As my limits move, I'll do more.

You and your wife assert a certain vicious statement of fact:  God answers prayers, and God always does what is best for the world.  If your God is omnicient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, how is it I can show you that picture?  Why does that exist?  Is human agency so very powerful that it can derail the wishes of an omnipotent deity?  Do you understand, perhaps, why I hold such anger to people who say platitudes like 'God's will is unknowable, but it's always for the best' when those kids are representative of a 'for the best' that I cannot even begin to imagine as 'good' in any sense of the word?

When I do what I do, it damn well isn't God showing up and helping these people - guess how many times they attribute my work to God?  I don't really give a damn personally, but it abrogates people of responsibility to do the same.  They slough off any sense of their own ability to make a difference by inserting a God that made all of my hard work, all of a doctor's hard work, all of a project manager's or a social worker's or a psychiatrist's or a nurse or a homecare CNA or a pharmacist's work moot.  People make a difference, not your God.

If you want to assert that abysmal pablum of the 'yes, no, maybe' God, then i'm not going to explain the jug-of-milk analogy - I'm going to show you starving children, and I'm going to ask why your God lets that happen. 
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline velkyn

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #56 on: March 21, 2012, 09:01:04 AM »
Grimm, that was an excellent response to MM's attempt to excuse himself and his god. 
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: My wife's idea
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2012, 10:41:50 AM »
I agree with Grimm entirely here.  I fix computers for a living, and I know how I would feel if someone thanked God that their computer was working when I'm the one who actually did the work fixing it.  Whether anyone likes it or not, it's people who make the difference when it comes to helping others, not gods.  Most of the things that have made a tangible difference in the lives of people all around the world have come about because of other people who considered it their responsibility to make things better, not because of some deity on high who will fix it for them.

Do you know, I consider prayer to be essentially the counsel of despair?  When a person prays to their god, they're basically asking God to fix a problem in their life.  But you don't see people praying for God to fix their car - they just take it to a mechanic.  You don't see people praying for for God to unclog their toilet - they either use something like Drano or call the plumber.  You don't see generally see people praying to God that their children won't catch whooping cough or measles (though there are enough to be depressing)) - they get immunization shots for their children.

So when do people generally pray to God?  When it's something they want or need, but they feel they lack the power to do anything about.  In other words, they pray when there's nothing else they can do, as a way to feel like they're still doing something.

I read a fictional book by Thomas Krautman once - I disliked it because he has this ridiculous idea that atheists are only atheists by convenience (ala, "there are no atheists in foxholes"), but he made a good point in it which I don't think he realized the implications of.  He was comparing how Christians think to how Muslims think - namely, that Muslims expected that things would be as Allah wanted, whereas Christians went by "God helps those who help themselves".  He illustrated this by painting the picture of a future Christian America which was still progressing forward, where people did things and didn't expect God to take care of them, and a future Islamic Europe in decay, where people lived according to Allah's will.

So, while I disliked the book and his attitude, the implications of this point stuck with me.  Namely, if expecting that things will be as God wills results in a decaying society, and doing what you can, expecting that God will take care of what mortals cannot, will result in a society that grows...what, then, would be the result of doing what you can and endeavoring to find ways to do that which is currently impossible?  I think it would result in a society which can create "miracles", rather than having to have them come from on high.