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George Jung
06-16-2012, 10:43 PM
Interesting discussion - might even provide some insight for those here who are so critical of God for her short-comings...


The Holy Scapeghost — Why We Blame God for Our ProblemsThe existence of suffering in the world has made people question their faith for millennia. And yet many believers, rather than reject their faith, attempt to understand the purpose of the suffering. They see it as part of God’s plan.

A disastrous event may even enhance one’s belief in a master planner. Kurt Gray of the University of Maryland and Daniel Wegner of Harvard have proposed a dyadic template for morality: if there’s a recipient of help or harm, we assume there is someone doing the helping or harming—creating a dyad of do-ee and do-er. They argue that we make liberal use of the template: if there’s no obvious responsible party, we find a scapegoat. And what happens if no acceptable scapegoats are in sight? We credit a supernatural one.
Gray and Wegner presented subjects who believed in a higher power with one of four stories. In all four versions, a family is picnicking in a valley when the water level rises. In half the stories, lunch is ruined by the flood, and in the other half lunch is really ruined because everyone drowns. Also, in half the stories a dam worker is said to have caused the flood, and in half of them the cause of the flood is unknown. Subjects then rated how much the story’s outcome was part of God’s plan. God drew much more blame when people died and no one was clearly responsible than in the other three scenarios. The tragedy needed an explanation, and human intervention wasn’t an option


Spoiler alert - your angst and extreme disappointment may be misplaced...

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/06/magical-thinking-book-excerpt/

hanleyclifford
06-17-2012, 04:39 PM
If you are refering to the God of the Bible, you can be sure that blaming Him for disasters stems from a lack of understanding of the Book and it's theme.

Tom Montgomery
06-17-2012, 04:43 PM
I am not one of the blamers.

Blaming an invisible man in the sky for our problems seems absurd to me.

elf
06-17-2012, 06:28 PM
Ah, but it's so convenient. Let's us off the hook!

Chip-skiff
06-17-2012, 07:01 PM
Even when very young, I never believed in the sort of god that Christianity preaches. I couldn't feel that sort of presence anywhere, especially not in a church. So, when my mother would drop me off at church (so she and my Da could go back to bed with some whisky), I would hide in the cloakroom until the hymns began, then sneak out to the park across the road.

A spot of shade with leaves sighing over my head and a sprinkler making that tick-hush, tick-hush. Sometimes there'd be a friendly dog.

More than enough to believe in.

Durnik
06-17-2012, 08:05 PM
>More than enough to believe in.

I Believe it! ;-)

enjoy
bobby

skuthorp
06-17-2012, 10:01 PM
I'm not critical, how can you criticise something that does not exist? Which is not to say that the concept has not been useful to our species but the varying franchises have not lived up to the ideal, but then none of us do do we?

Gerarddm
06-17-2012, 10:51 PM
...which is not to say there are realms beyond our immediate comprehension. Recommended book: The Holographic Universe.

skipper68
06-17-2012, 11:38 PM
...which is not to say there are realms beyond our immediate comprehension. Recommended book: The Holographic Universe. True. If you tune in, there is a Universal Conscience. We really are connected like bees and ants. Without being connected, you don"t get that"Gut feeling".I recommend Edgar Casey. Some of his readings are right, but wrong time. There is more than the vessel of our body. Will NOT name the Enity, but church and man made religion is not true. Anyone who kills one of his souls, are wrong.KARMA exists.

skuthorp
06-18-2012, 05:49 AM
Ho, sounds like some elements of spiritualism to me. Which is OK. And I do not presume to think that we are sufficiently developed to comprehend everything. But you've got to be true to yourself. If there is a god you can't fool it, or pay insurance.

TomF
06-18-2012, 07:56 AM
A book I was reading the other day by Rob Bell made an interesting observation. The premise of many discussions about God hinges on the notion of belief - the notion that the God-believers (irrationally) believe something, and that the non-God-believers (rationally) don't.

Bell's point is that it isn't a distinction between belief and non-belief, but belief in one worldview or belief in another. Though the discussions are often framed otherwise, both positions have belief, have faith. The question is in what to put belief or faith, and on what basis.

George Jung
06-18-2012, 08:04 AM
I'd agree; but that position tends to not be favorably received in these parts! Ah well.

BrianY
06-18-2012, 09:41 AM
One of my problems with the Christian God - or at least the way that he/she/it is conceived of by most Christians - is that God is supposed to be the cause of everything, yet God somehow does not cause the bad stuff - except when it's an impersonal "act of God" like a hurricane or tornado, then it IS caused by God be we should feel OK with it because it's all "part of His plan".

If 100people are killed by a crazy post office worker, that's EVIL and NOT God's fault (even though God created everything including the possibility of evil....)
If 100 people are killed by a hurricane, that's all "part of God's plan" and we should just accept it.

It makes absolutely no sense to me.

TomF
06-18-2012, 10:08 AM
Frankly, such a view - that God's only responsible for the "good stuff" - while common, reflects a selective reading of the Bible. Isaiah 45:7 goes so far as to say: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

The question really, is why. Even if (as I'd do) people argue that God simply created a universe in which evil could exist rather than takes an active hand in evil itself, why would God do such a thing?

I think, as Brian implied, one should also distinguish between stuff that happens by an individual's intention (death via a murder, say) and stuff that happens through no fault of anybody's (death via a tree branch falling in a freak accident). One seems more likely to be "evil" than the other.

I have sorted through my thoughts on such things before - here even. I can't take the time to re-write them just now, but if folks are interested I could play with it again later.

John Bell
06-18-2012, 10:43 AM
A book I was reading the other day by Rob Bell made an interesting observation. The premise of many discussions about God hinges on the notion of belief - the notion that the God-believers (irrationally) believe something, and that the non-God-believers (rationally) don't.

Bell's point is that it isn't a distinction between belief and non-belief, but belief in one worldview or belief in another. Though the discussions are often framed otherwise, both positions have belief, have faith. The question is in what to put belief or faith, and on what basis.

OT aside follows: +1 on Rob Bell (no relation). I just read Velvet Elvis and plan to read a lot more of his stuff. He's been pretty roundly condemned in conservative religious circles for having a universalist bent. I'm of the same bent, so that's OK with me. My fellow Presbyterians get on me about my apostasy, but I always argue I see no reason for the elect not to be everyone...

TomF
06-18-2012, 11:05 AM
OT aside follows: +1 on Rob Bell (no relation). I just read Velvet Elvis and plan to read a lot more of his stuff. He's been pretty roundly condemned in conservative religious circles for having a universalist bent. I'm of the same bent, so that's OK with me. My fellow Presbyterians get on me about my apostasy, but I always argue I see no reason for the elect not to be everyone...I read "Love Wins" first - maybe a year ago. No, Bell's not beloved by the conservative brand(s), but I've got a lot of time for him. Smart, compassionate man.

Boston
06-18-2012, 11:38 AM
while I'd have to agree with the parts about there being some form of connection I generally find the bits about the christian mythos downright humorous. The She reference by our OP is great, lol on that one.

I'm constantly impressed by how people, particularly religious people can have such selective comprehension and memories. But the requirement of a dyadetic system has also always kinda baffled me, beliefs which hinge around numerous causal forces seem much more reasonable. Even Pauline Christianity is after all a polytheistic belief system. That father son and holly ghost bit should also include Asherah = 4 gods, and then of course there's Marry which the Latin world prays to regularly so = 5 But wait there's more, you've also got the sacred heart of Marry and the blood of christ, name of our lord, which depending on how you want to look at it brings us up to something like 7 and then there's all those saints, apostles and of course Paul who invented the whole thing.

So why there's even a hint of dyadic insistence seems more rooted in the typical human psychi rather than it be found supported by the Pauline or christian mythos.

besides I thought we were supposed to blame everything bad on Satan and give the invisible sky dude credit for all the good stuff ?

hanleyclifford
06-18-2012, 01:49 PM
Frankly, such a view - that God's only responsible for the "good stuff" - while common, reflects a selective reading of the Bible. Isaiah 45:7 goes so far as to say: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

The question really, is why. Even if (as I'd do) people argue that God simply created a universe in which evil could exist rather than takes an active hand in evil itself, why would God do such a thing?

I think, as Brian implied, one should also distinguish between stuff that happens by an individual's intention (death via a murder, say) and stuff that happens through no fault of anybody's (death via a tree branch falling in a freak accident). One seems more likely to be "evil" than the other.

I have sorted through my thoughts on such things before - here even. I can't take the time to re-write them just now, but if folks are interested I could play with it again later. Your understanding of Isaiah 45:7 is flawed by the use of the word "evil"; a better rendering is "calamity" - see the cross reference to Isaiah 10:6.

TomF
06-18-2012, 02:02 PM
Your understanding of Isaiah 45:7 is flawed by the use of the word "evil"; a better rendering is "calamity" - see the cross reference to Isaiah 10:6.Evil, calamity, bad times, disaster ... the word "evil" is the word used in the traditional King James translation. Essentially, the passage sets up a parallel - contrasting light/dark, and peace/evil. So in the parallel structure, I guess you could argue "war" would be an implied meaning too. OK, without going to a lot of extra study, I can "buy" that difference in translation.

How do you interpret the passage, as you read it alongside Isaiah 10:6, where God's claiming to have set a military invasion in motion?

hanleyclifford
06-18-2012, 07:29 PM
Evil, calamity, bad times, disaster ... the word "evil" is the word used in the traditional King James translation. Essentially, the passage sets up a parallel - contrasting light/dark, and peace/evil. So in the parallel structure, I guess you could argue "war" would be an implied meaning too. OK, without going to a lot of extra study, I can "buy" that difference in translation.

How do you interpret the passage, as you read it alongside Isaiah 10:6, where God's claiming to have set a military invasion in motion? Both of these scriptures describe God's punishment of his chosen people by reason of their apostasy. Isaiah 10:6 is directed against the 10 tribe nation of Israel; Isaiah 65:7 is directed against the 2 tribe kingdom of Judah. In the former case God used the Assyrians as his instrument; in the latter, the Babylonians.

Osborne Russell
06-18-2012, 07:37 PM
A book I was reading the other day by Rob Bell made an interesting observation. The premise of many discussions about God hinges on the notion of belief - the notion that the God-believers (irrationally) believe something, and that the non-God-believers (rationally) don't.

Bell's point is that it isn't a distinction between belief and non-belief, but belief in one worldview or belief in another. Though the discussions are often framed otherwise, both positions have belief, have faith. The question is in what to put belief or faith, and on what basis.

This is twiddling with the various meanings of "believe".

1. I believe that if X + 2 = 4, then X =2.

2. I believe the Sun requires human sacrifice to go on rising every day.

2. I believe I'll have another beer.

Not the same.

Boston
06-18-2012, 07:37 PM
Nice, so the presumed forerunner of the pauline christian god is using "sinners" and evil doers to do "his" dirty work ?

Where do I sign up ? ;-)

It seems reasonable to point out you guys are arguing the minutia without considering the source.

Great place to start might be a book called "the Bible Unearthed"

cheers
B

skuthorp
06-18-2012, 07:52 PM
Just keep in mind the god of the book(s) is just one of a succession of gods, and there were others in parallel, that Homo Erectus seems to have believed in. It is very likely that as long as we don't queer the pitch for the species survival there will be others. Of course, given that there is indeed such an entity, all will be just different names and different concepts, franchises as I like to say.

hanleyclifford
06-18-2012, 08:11 PM
Nice, so the presumed forerunner of the pauline christian god is using "sinners" and evil doers to do "his" dirty work ?

Where do I sign up ? ;-)

It seems reasonable to point out you guys are arguing the minutia without considering the source.

Great place to start might be a book called "the Bible Unearthed"

cheers
B If God wants to use humans carry out his purposes on the earth he has to use "sinners", since that is all that are available on the planet currently.

hanleyclifford
06-18-2012, 08:14 PM
Just keep in mind the god of the book(s) is just one of a succession of gods, and there were others in parallel, that Homo Erectus seems to have believed in. It is very likely that as long as we don't queer the pitch for the species survival there will be others. Of course, given that there is indeed such an entity, all will be just different names and different concepts, franchises as I like to say. You got that right. There are millions of gods out there; you can worship just about anything or so it seems.