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Captain Splendid's Journal: Sucks 29

Journal by Captain Splendid
I don't really do the self-pity thing. Not, I'll caution, because I'm not capable. The desire to say "why me?" is a human constant. No, the reason has more to do with fantastic conditioning: A moving target is harder to hit. Allowing yourself any luxury after a setback is just stupid.

Still, one can't stop asking questions and running mock scenarios. It's always nice to get the spadework done that prevents recurrences, and as such, I've got to wonder: Is this what the Creator intended? If yes, then I stand by my oft-repeated claims that He's a sick fuck. If no, what kind of weak ass deity are we worshiping anyway?

Kill your gods. Whether they exist or not doesn't matter anymore. We're just better off without them.
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  • Kill your gods. Whether they exist or not doesn't matter anymore. We're just better off without them.

    In Soviet Russia, atheism worked no' so weel, either.

    • Religion didn't work in Tanzania [bbc.co.uk], or
      Jonestown, Guyana [wikipedia.org], or in Afghanistan, Israel, Ireland, the United States of America and many, many other places.

      • Do you blame the language, or the implementation?
        IOW, is an atheistic approach to society intrinsically false, or did the bozos in question fail it?
        • I don't know, but most people agree that the soviet union failed due to its communist regime, not its atheism.

          The US is fairly unique amongst Western democracies in having a fundamentally theist society, somewhat ironic given it also has a fundamentally secular government (constitutionally, anyway. There's no "government religion", unlike, say, Britain, where most people are atheists but the Church of England is constitutionally a part of the State.) Almost all Western Democracies are successful. So it d

          • Sure, no direct cause/effect, but does preaching a Marxist end to history
            that flies in the face of conditions in the street
            lead to the erosion of the system?

            (Much as, say, the Infinite Federal Cash Machine may yet destroy that of the US, before the current crop of nitwits is done?)
        • by tomhudson (43916)

          In all things, I blame people. I can say that because I know there is no god, people have free will and are responsible for their actions.

          But even if there were a god, we'd still have to blame people. Either people have free will, in which case don't blame any deity, or people don't have free will, in which case life is meaningless. And since life, to the one living it, is FAR from meaningless ...

          To try to blame "god" for anything is to shirk our own responsibilities and deny our free will. We *like* s

          • I mostly agree, but can't confidently eliminate destiny as a meaningful teleological basis for life.
            Otherwise, what was the point of saving towards retirement?
            • by tomhudson (43916)

              Otherwise, what was the point of saving towards retirement?

              Didn't you get the memo? You're supposed to ask for a bail-out (oops, that's only for people making millions, and their buddies).

          • In all things, I blame people.

            Yep

            ...because I know there is no god, people have free will and are responsible for their actions.

            I would LOL if that were funny. "Free will" appears to be more of a religious concept. There is no proof of "free will" but there is a lot of evidence against it. People do make things up as they go along however... What people cast as "free will" is egoism. If people were only less Shakespearean in their behaviours and attitudes then existance would be more logical and tranquil.

            • You haven't resolved the dependency problem.
              Did no one act as if their own life was a tragedy prior to Shakespeare, and the bard created all the turgid modern drama, or
              are people people, and the bard merely captured them in a now classical way?
              The tension between free will and destiny is one of those classically ambiguous questions...
              • You haven't resolved the dependency problem.

                Not sure what you mean by the "dependency problem". People are certainly dependent on the complexities of their genes and their environments. When people do good they often (implicitly at least) proclaim it to be self-initiative or free-will. When people do bad they will often attribute it to their genes (i.e. mental-illness, lack of testosterone for being physically weak, etc). or their environment (i.e. it was the credit crunch which caused me to loose my job, which caused me to loose my wife, which cause

                • I was going to say chicken/egg problem pertaining to your use of Shakespeare, but you seem to have been highly metaphorical there, and unwilling to accept the nature/nurture aspect of my point.
                  • I was going to say chicken/egg problem pertaining to your use of Shakespeare

                    That's what I suspected, but as I said I wasn't sure; and I wanted to make any ambiguities I had clear. Thanks for elaborating.

                    but you seem to have been highly metaphorical there

                    True enough. Sometimes I can't help myself -:)

            • by tomhudson (43916)

              People do make things up as they go along however.

              Isn't that evidence of free will? They're free to do so (make things up as they go along), or not ...

              If people were only less Shakespearean in their behaviours and attitudes then existance would be more logical and tranquil.

              Would people be able to laugh, when there's nothing illogical or incongruous to laugh at?

              • People do make things up as they go along however.

                Isn't that evidence of free will? They're free to do so (make things up as they go along), or not ...

                Speech only vaguely reflects reality. Metaphorical speech even more so. What is apparent is not always real. The complexity of a good AI engine makes a Turing machine passable. Nope, my statement is evidence of nothing (excuse the rhetoric of that statement; sometimes I feel too lazy to explain myself more. Short of a long essay I thought that would suffice). What I want is proof, and that's a heavy burden I

                • by tomhudson (43916)
                  I have no problem accepting that most of what we accept as "free will" is not. Most of what people take for the "conscious state" is in fact not. However, that doesn't preclude free will and conscious acts in all things, just many. The usual caveats, ymmv, etc., apply.
        • As is often I can only guess as to what you actually mean (by your questions/statements)

          Do you blame the language, or the implementation?

          I blame nothing and nobody. Though you may want to read my response to Tom's reply for some perspective.

          BTW I am not an atheist, an agnostic, nor am I religious. Those terms only project personal meaning. I have no labels, though I am often labeled. So be it, I cannot control the way people think (about me).

        • Do you blame the language, or the implementation?

          Is there a difference? All I care about are results, and the road to heaven is paved in blood.
          • Big difference. Substitute "gun" and "murder" to see the point.
            Some argue that removal of guns will substantially preclude murder.
            Given access to explosives, the Mumbai murderers could've taken more lives.
    • In Soviet Russia, atheism worked no' so weel, either.

      Nah, they still clung to their religion. And, I daresay, their guns.

  • Re-read Flatland (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @09:52AM (#25924771) Homepage Journal

    Much of what our vainglorious little egos view as being important, or difficult or needless or senseless or necessary or cruel....

    We are a little pane containing rectangles and triangles - certain of the tragedies we encounter, which are little more than the glorious third-dimension outside our perception.

    A speck of a speck of a speck, with the audacity to imagine it can contain the reality of a being that cannot be encompassed by the Universe?

    Ahhh. The pagan God worshipped by so many monotheists is just that: A Jupiter, without partners. It is nothing more than the deified inflation of human designs and attributes, to what is imagined as a Cosmic scale. But, no.

    There is nothing but the absolute Truth. Nothing else exists. It is unitary and perfect. Sit again, and try doing the silent, breath meditation. Maybe you find only calm. Maybe...

    • Worship the potato? The idea seemed silly to me. But then I thought, what else is more deserving of worship? It's simple, it comes from the earth, and it can kill you if you disobey it.

      -Deep Thought by Jack Handey

  • The desire to say "why me?" is a human constant ...

    Actually, when everything has gone to hell in a handbasket and I'm already there and looking back on it all, I have to say, I have to say, that it was either absolutely and totally my own fault - iow, more or less inevitable given my own actions - or, if we posit a creator/intervener, that it made perfect sense to let me experience the whatever, put that burden on my shoulders.

    They say God doesn't burden you with more than you can bear; you dead yet? I'm no

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      They say God doesn't burden you with more than you can bear

      They're wrong. If God didn't burden anyone with more than they could bear, nobody would ever commit suicide.

      • I agree that you have a point. But, of the people I know/know of who have seriously considered suicide or knew who have, it appears to me that the greatest burden they carried was life itself. Should they then never have been born in the first place? (I admit that my 'sample' is by no means large enough for statistical analysis/certainty.)

        • I came across a quotation from D.H. Lawrence:

          'I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.'

          And it struck me that the overwhelming burden for (some) suicidal people isn't, perhaps, life itself, but the knowledge of our dying.

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