Author Topic: This has started to bug me....  (Read 689 times)

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Online nogodsforme

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This has started to bug me....
« on: October 20, 2012, 11:44:23 PM »
Attended an all day training for work.

The opening session was a motivational speech by a highly accomplished black woman who was an excellent speaker. She was funny, insightful, attractive, well-traveled, dynamic and very intelligent. We gave her a standing ovation. During the Q and A one of my colleagues, a fundy guy (who I and other non-believers at work have clashed with on occasion) asked the speaker what role, if any, religious faith had played in her life and work. I could almost have predicted her response, because it is so common.  :-\

She said that she was a churchgoer and she had to believe that she had been put on earth at this point in time for a reason. She could not imagine how she managed to do what she did without religious faith. She had to believe that there was a higher purpose to her work, because there were times when it was so hard to "keep your eyes on the prize". You can't get sidetracked and faith helps you to stay on target, and so forth. She even said that she could not imagine how people function without religious faith. :?

Here is what really bugs me about this: This woman can't accept that she is just a very strong, focused and fortunate person-- it has to be some supernatural force moving her along like a puppet. And what about people whose lives are not nearly as great as hers? That mentally ill homeless lady digging through the trash can on the corner? What is her higher purpose? Why should she think she was put on earth? Is it just that she has not realized that she too could be a well-paid motivational speaker in an expensive outfit if only she put her faith in a supernatural being? Why can't everyone be a successful puppet? &)

And how do atheists like me even get out of bed in the morning, without god's supernatural force giving us that marvelous higher purpose? It seems that those of us who do not have religious faith or who do not believe in god's higher purpose are just dumb cogs in the wheel for the religious people.

Most people who have ever lived on the planet have just scraped by, and have not been able to make any huge impact on anything outside their immediate lives. Many people alive on earth today are just scraping by, and have no higher purpose other than their own survival and that of their family and friends.

What is the higher purpose of the Burmese people suffering in refugee camps in Thailand or of the people living under the dictatorship in North Korea? What great things does god have in store for the children enslaved in Mauritania? For the kids sold into the sex trade in India?  >:(

I would love to have this conversation with one of those "god has a higher purpose for everyone" types. :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 stuffin

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 12:28:26 AM »
The will or the drive humans possess is utilized differently by each of us. We all have different goals and routes to those goals. Just because some of us make right choices and obtain those goals to become successful or (semi) famous, does not mean it was the fault of an entity who has magical powers. Tim Tebow comes to mind.

I had this discussion with a coworker recently. She couldn't understand how or where the driving force comes from for people like Obama or Romney. I explained we all have the force or will to obtain our goals, it is stronger in some, plus everybody has a different reason for how they choose their direction. I used her as an example being a working mother with three children. Her drive allowed her to own a beautiful house and her children attended the best school around because her drive made it possible. I also used myself as an example. I told her I wanted to be a United States Marine since I was about 8 years old. I was small, 5 foot 3 inches and 130lbs at 18 when I went to Parris Island. I kicked plenty of booty there and never allowed the Drill Instructors to break me. Mission accomplished!  I had to reset my goals after my disappointment with the military and achieved my next goal. I was the only male to graduate in a class of 72 nurses. Trust me; Nursing School was worse than Marine Boot Camp. My point being, god had nothing to with any of this. It was my will and drive I hold responsible. Our goal(s) were different but the drive was just as strong in her and me as it is Obama or Romney. It seems people need to have the comfort of a special force in the background to explain their lives, I don't understand that need.
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Online nogodsforme

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 01:43:15 PM »
^^^^I agree that talent and drive accounts for much of a person's success, not supernatural beings. But opportunity, luck and circumstance plays a big role as well. If you had been born with one arm or had been raised a devout JW, or were developmentally delayed, your chances of becoming a Marine would have been nil, no matter how much drive you had.

During the Great Depression millions of people worked very hard and still lost everything and fell into desperate poverty. It was not because of a lack of personal drive, and they could not solve their problems without a huge change in the external circumstances of their lives. Individuals could not pull themselves out of poverty during the Depression; it took massive federal government intervention, extensive safety net programs, WWII, etc.

Consider a kid growing up on welfare in a housing project run by gangs, or on the rez with alcoholic parents, or who becomes a mom at 16 and has to prostitute to support herself. Those kids are unlikely to graduate with an MBA from Harvard and become a Fortune 500 CEO. It sometimes happens, and it makes news because it is so difficult and so rare.

A child born with brain damage in a refugee camp in war-ravaged South Sudan will probably not get the chance to become a pro golfer or a corporate attorney. It is not impossible, just very, very unlikely because the connections and skills that those positions require are far less available. Sometimes it takes more than personal drive.

I think of what I have been able to do in my life compared to previous generations of black women. My great-grandmother was a slave. My grandmother cleaned houses for a living. I am a college professor. Is it just that I made all the right choices and they didn't, or is it that the larger circumstances of my life were so much better and I had more choices available? Hmmm. Maybe civil rights, women's rights, affirmative action, racial integration, college loans, government assistance had a little bit to do with it.....

So I think we have to be careful of looking at people and assuming that all they need is personal drive to succeed. Or that if someone does not achieve a high degree of success in life, it is because they somehow screwed up along the way, made the wrong choices, and it is therefore their own damn fault. That is getting pretty close to blaming the human condition on original sin-- if only Adam and Eve had made better choices!
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 Nam

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 02:46:41 PM »
I have the drive and force to do nothing but it's not in me to actually "do nothing", so, that's out.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline jetson

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 03:33:55 PM »
nogods...I think she has never given the matter much actual thought.  I could be wrong, but I find it very difficult to imagine a very successful person giving all of the credit to their faith.  Success in human terms is different for each of us, but there is a social stereotype in many cultures.  Wealth, status, leisure, etc.  Built in to that stereotype is some level of guilt regarding those left behind, or those who don't achieve as much.  I think it holds many of us back.

Then again, one person's success is another person's complete failure!

Offline stuffin

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 07:03:00 PM »
^^^^I agree that talent and drive accounts for much of a person's success, not supernatural beings. But opportunity, luck and circumstance plays a big role as well.

Quote
Certainly agree, "depending on the situation" has always been a saying of mine.

During the Great Depression millions of people worked very hard and still lost everything and fell into desperate poverty. It was not because of a lack of personal drive, and they could not solve their problems without a huge change in the external circumstances of their lives. Individuals could not pull themselves out of poverty during the Depression; it took massive federal government intervention, extensive safety net programs, WWII, etc.

Consider a kid growing up on welfare in a housing project run by gangs, or on the rez with alcoholic parents,

Quote
I'm white, grew up in a housing project, getting in and out my building and school alive everyday was a daily life threatening routine


I think of what I have been able to do in my life compared to previous generations of black women.

Quote
If you compare to where I started to where I am now, I traveled a great distance socially and economically, probably two or three times as far as Romney has.

So I think we have to be careful of looking at people and assuming that all they need is personal drive to succeed.
Quote
No doubt there. But the will or drive an individual possesses, no matter their starting point, has much to say where they end. A line from a song like "Where you end usually depends on where you begin"

no gods...I think she has never given the matter much actual thought.  I could be wrong, but I find it very difficult to imagine a very successful person giving all of the credit to their faith.  Success in human terms is different for each of us, but there is a social stereotype in many cultures.  Wealth, status, leisure, etc.  Built in to that stereotype is some level of guilt regarding those left behind, or those who don't achieve as much.  I think it holds many of us back.

Then again, one person's success is another person's complete failure!

Quote
I agree, most people are so conditioned to believe a super natural being is overseeing their lives it is just routine for them to give credit where credit isn't due.
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Online Nam

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 07:04:26 PM »
I am a yarnball of failure. But, like a cat: I don't really care. Of course not really striving for anything probably can't be viewed as failure since there's really no starting point.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 07:27:05 PM »
I would love to have this conversation with one of those "god has a higher purpose for everyone" types. :P

I used to tell my best friend and others that "everything was unfolding according to plan". My thoughts along those lines are deep and wide and probably filled full of holes but I still think that way from time to time.

Would you like to have that conversation with me? It might prove interesting since I am neither rich nor successful but still hold a notion of that line of thought.

I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Offline jetson

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 07:39:36 PM »
I would love to have this conversation with one of those "god has a higher purpose for everyone" types. :P

"everything was unfolding according to plan"

Said Emperor Palpatine.

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 08:05:30 PM »
At some point in my far distant past (I don't remember the details, I'm old) someone commented that I had a gift from god for some ability or other that I had just done. I more or less remember my response though: "Wish he would have given me that talent earlier so I wouldn't have had to do all that practicing..."

Good observations, nogods. It perplexes me as well. Giving credit where credit is due is fine. Giving credit where credit is made up: not so much.



Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline kindred

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 08:29:15 PM »
Success is the devil's work. Material wealth and fame only brings you farther from god. That woman is an unwitting pawn of tah devilz.

I compelz you in teh nem of teh emprah! I mean god or whatever deity is in vogue.

 
"Keep calm and carry on"

"I trust you are not in too much distress"

Online Nam

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 09:11:36 PM »
^Madonna

;)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 09:20:00 PM »
Said Emperor Palpatine.

Oooooh...did he say that? That's kind of creepy...I was saying that from about 1990 to 1995....The force is some powerful shit.

Edit

I guess everything happens for a reason.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 09:22:03 PM by Mr. Blackwell »
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Online Nam

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 09:28:52 PM »
Everyone's life can be equated to a Star Wars film, or character from the series (film/books/comics/etc.,)

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 09:29:51 PM »
George Lucas is God?
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Online Nam

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2012, 09:33:07 PM »
^I'm afraid so.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2012, 09:36:29 PM »
I knew he was a powerfully creative force in this universe but damn...I think I need to sleep on this.

Good night.
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Online Nam

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2012, 09:40:35 PM »
^May the force be with you.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline on:bread:alone

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2012, 10:04:31 PM »
George Lucas is God?

^I'm afraid so.

-Nam

time to start building a fallout shelter. things have undoubtedly taken a turn for the worse.
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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2012, 10:19:46 PM »
^blasphemor! Taking the Lucas name in vain...well, at least implying it. Well...perhaps not implying but....well, you know what you did.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Poseidon

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2012, 01:06:04 AM »
I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2012, 07:44:21 AM »
Everyone's life can be equated to a Star Wars film, or character from the series (film/books/comics/etc.,)

Why do you think so few people officially change their name to Darth Vader? They do all sorts of other dumb things, like tattoo and pierce themselves, but they keep their family name that they hate.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Online Nam

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2012, 09:09:52 AM »
People are a fickle thing.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline kindred

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2012, 10:31:09 AM »
Heck, if you're going to change your name, why settle for Darth Vader? Why not Rex Yeager(King Hunter) or The MAN!(as in first name The and Surname all caps M-A-N and an exclamation point?

I'll do you one better. How about naming yourself Teal-14 or Barghest(essentially a demon dog from England)? Go nuts.
"Keep calm and carry on"

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2012, 03:50:01 PM »
I thought about changing my name to Nam.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline changeling

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2012, 05:41:14 AM »
^^^^ I never figured out if you were a member of
the National Association of Mathematicians or just a backwards man.  :D
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Offline Strawman

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2012, 09:36:23 AM »
Quote
Fear is a powerful emotion. It inspires cruelty, hatred and irrational belief. But it also plays a vital role in our survival as a species.
Throughout our evolution up to this point, fear made us run from the rustling bush that may or may not have concealed a predator, made us build high walls and develop great machines of war and industry to surpass our enemies and keep them at bay. It fuelled conquest that brought great wealth and prosperity, and justified the resultant suffering.
From my thread on the importance of irrationality.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 09:38:42 AM by Strawman »
If God exists at all he clearly wishes to reside exclusively in the imagination.

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2012, 09:19:28 PM »
so where is this god for people who really need it?

 Sounds like hard work and determination got here where she is,no god had a hand in it...
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

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Re: This has started to bug me....
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2012, 10:25:32 PM »
Don't tell her that; she might commit suicide.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.