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Author Topic: A rational God and human suffering  (Read 5138 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 02, 2008, 10:40:31 PM »

This thread was split from the following discussion:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18557.0.html

--YtterbiumAnalyst


DICO  If you could have expanded your enthymeme, you would have--unless you knew that the missing premise would have been embarrassing.  A lot of arguments are like that.

What, that those who do not push the limits of scientific knowledge or become highly influential in our economy or make other notable contributions to the advancement of the human race make poor excuses for human beings? I thought that was self evident and unnecessary to spell out in detail? But, if you insist, I have no trouble making that point: those content to live their lives in mundane jobs at the bottom of the lower middle class represent failures as citizens and humans.
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 11:55:02 AM »

DICO  If you could have expanded your enthymeme, you would have--unless you knew that the missing premise would have been embarrassing.  A lot of arguments are like that.

What, that those who do not push the limits of scientific knowledge or become highly influential in our economy or make other notable contributions to the advancement of the human race make poor excuses for human beings? I thought that was self evident and unnecessary to spell out in detail? But, if you insist, I have no trouble making that point: those content to live their lives in mundane jobs at the bottom of the lower middle class represent failures as citizens and humans.
How does an atheist have any criteria by which to measure another's success or lack there of?
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 01:13:08 PM »

How does an atheist have any criteria by which to measure another's success or lack there of?

Quite easy, a cost benefit analysis, does one contribute more resources than one consumes?

The universe got along quite fine without a god for billions of years, if it wasn't so sad it would be comical how people have a hard time understanding a rational world.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 01:21:32 PM »

How does an atheist have any criteria by which to measure another's success or lack there of?

Quite easy, a cost benefit analysis, does one contribute more resources than one consumes?

The universe got along quite fine without a god for billions of years, if it wasn't so sad it would be comical how people have a hard time understanding a rational world.
The idea that the world need not be lack God to be rational. I think that the idea anything has meaning, in the sense of value, without a God is pretty silly. Why does gaining  more benefits make some one more successful? Our wold is filled with suffering. If I am to assume the irrational position of atheism, then it would seem that death, the end of suffereing, would be the goal that would be most "beneficial". That being said, wouldn't being a success academically and financially would seem to be not really amount to any real kind of "success" because neither of those things would lead to the "best" goal of death. Note, I use all of the terms as conventions but not really as meaning anything in an atheisitic world.
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 04:55:10 PM »

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those content to live their lives in mundane jobs at the bottom of the lower middle class represent failures as citizens and humans.

Well with that I certainly disagree... and not just because I have a mundane job at the bottom end of the lower middle class.  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2008, 05:52:50 PM »

The idea that the world need not be lack God to be rational.

A world where people randomly are healed, walk on water, and part oceans is not rational. A rational world and a god are two diametrically opposed concepts.

Quote
I think that the idea anything has meaning, in the sense of value, without a God is pretty silly.

How can anything have meaning if there is a god? We would live our lives for everything our species has accomplished to be undermined and the entire race of men turned in to chattel. Your god won't even allow us to die with dignity and pass into non-existence, no you are forced into eternal slavery with the best you can hope for is to alleviate pain and suffering by sacrificing your dignity as a human being. A price I would think is too high to pay. In a world where we merely await and look forward to the apocalypse, how can anything have meaning or value in any sense of the terms?

Quote
Why does gaining  more benefits make some one more successful?

The advancing of the species is 'successful' in an objective evolutionary sense.

Quote
Our wold is filled with suffering. If I am to assume the irrational position of atheism, then it would seem that death, the end of suffereing, would be the goal that would be most "beneficial". That being said, wouldn't being a success academically and financially would seem to be not really amount to any real kind of "success" because neither of those things would lead to the "best" goal of death. Note, I use all of the terms as conventions but not really as meaning anything in an atheisitic world.

Only if you assume that suffering is the ultimate (and an inevitable) evil and that the only goal of man is to quickly escape it...which is the assumption of Christianity, not of atheism. In fact, you have to have a system controlled by irrational fear and tyranny with no respect for the human person to base a philosophy around 'fear of suffering'. Rather, I would argue that suffering has a healthy place in the world, if not taken to extremes. One cannot know joy without something to compare it to, suffering; one cannot appreciate the highs of life if they have not experienced its lows. Suffering, in many ways, has been minimized by advances in society and technology, but to eliminate suffering is to eliminate free will. It would be an indefensible tyranny far worse than any temporary discomfort...psychological, physical, or otherwise.
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 10:27:45 PM »

The universe got along quite fine without a god for billions of years, if it wasn't so sad it would be comical how people have a hard time understanding a rational world.


You tickle me Elmo, because ipso facto the universe would have equally gotten along quite fine without any people needed to possess rational thought to make claims that the world is only rational without GOD.  When did thegodless universe ordain rational people to anything other than Elton John's circle of life?
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 11:50:09 PM »



Only if you assume that suffering is the ultimate (and an inevitable) evil and that the only goal of man is to quickly escape it...which is the assumption of Christianity, not of atheism. In fact, you have to have a system controlled by irrational fear and tyranny with no respect for the human person to base a philosophy around 'fear of suffering'. Rather, I would argue that suffering has a healthy place in the world, if not taken to extremes. One cannot know joy without something to compare it to, suffering; one cannot appreciate the highs of life if they have not experienced its lows. Suffering, in many ways, has been minimized by advances in society and technology, but to eliminate suffering is to eliminate free will. It would be an indefensible tyranny far worse than any temporary discomfort...psychological, physical, or otherwise.

It's pretty clear to see that man before the fall was in his infancy and the creation story is meant as a lesson for those in this age. Western Christianity along with many Orthodox tend to shift our time frame towards the future. While the whole time, scripture refers us to the present time and present man. When we view things like hell we always tend to thing of them as future events, but when people suffer they are in hell in the present. Until we realize that the bible is meant to be read as a spiritual reality of the present. We lose sight of the true meaning.
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2008, 09:36:51 AM »

I am not sure that suffering per se is "normal." A dose of suffering can make you stronger, yes, granted. But what about children born with congenital defects that make them and their relatives (and, to think of it, every normal human being, related to them or not related to them by blood) suffer for life, without any hope? And what about those who, like my dad, suffered quietly in their little closed "shell," trying to make a good "face," and then eventually succumbed to the absolutely unbearable suffering and ended their life?

No, I tend to believe, really, that suffering per se is evil, it is not a part of the right design for the universe and humanity. Salvation is a good idea...
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 12:04:20 PM »

I am not sure that suffering per se is "normal." A dose of suffering can make you stronger, yes, granted. But what about children born with congenital defects that make them and their relatives (and, to think of it, every normal human being, related to them or not related to them by blood) suffer for life, without any hope? And what about those who, like my dad, suffered quietly in their little closed "shell," trying to make a good "face," and then eventually succumbed to the absolutely unbearable suffering and ended their life?

Granted, some suffer more than anyone ever should, though I am confident that much of this suffering can be overcome by advancments in science and medicine, as well as in culture and society. But, even then, this suffering has been a great incentive for us to advance ourselves as a species, most of the accomplishments of mankind have been to overcome suffering in one way or another, the advancements that set up apart from the lower animals.

Quote
No, I tend to believe, really, that suffering per se is evil, it is not a part of the right design for the universe and humanity. Salvation is a good idea...

Well, if you really want to end suffering, there's a way to do it in this life, get yourself some black tar, sit on your couch, and prepare for a day of bliss. I'm sure you have enough medical experience to manage a simple IV injection. But while this may lead to complete bliss, 'no more sorrow, no more pain' (until you come down, anyway), is it really how we want to spend our lives? Even if we can always stay high and never come down? That's what an ultimate end to all suffering would look like, an eternal IV drip with our tolerances never increasing and, quite frankly, that's often how heaven comes across.

Personally, no thanks, I'll take the ups and downs of life, the highs and lows; I'll take those times in my life that force me to get out there, do something new, and accomplish something different along with the rewards I get from doing so. Change, accomplishment, overcoming hardship these are the things that make life worth living, these are the things that give meaning and purpose to our short existence...not some eternal IV in the sky.
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2008, 12:38:57 PM »

Granted, some suffer more than anyone ever should, though I am confident that much of this suffering can be overcome by advancments in science and medicine, as well as in culture and society.

But where are these latter (societal) changes going? Does it matter for starving children in Africa who are dying of malaria or trachoma that we now have mastered the manufacturing of 1,000 wonderful antibiotics and gene cloning? And WILL it EVER matter? I am somehow very pessimistic about that. Humans are intrinsically damaged (sinful), and therefore they are trying to improve their condition and never accomplish much. Even with the progress in science and technology, each century appears to be more barbaric than the previous one. The nineteenth century did not know antibiotics, but it did not know the two world wars or Auschwitz or the Ukrainian Holodomor. This, 21st, century started with slaughter of people in Darfur, and Gitmo and Abu Graib and secret CIA dungeons all over the world and God knows what else...

Personally, no thanks, I'll take the ups and downs of life, the highs and lows; I'll take those times in my life that force me to get out there, do something new, and accomplish something different along with the rewards I get from doing so. Change, accomplishment, overcoming hardship these are the things that make life worth living, these are the things that give meaning and purpose to our short existence...not some eternal IV in the sky.

Well, how could one really know whether it will be just "TV." There are only fuzzy, murky allusions in our sacred texts about what really WILL this "age to come" be like.
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2008, 01:25:23 PM »



Granted, some suffer more than anyone ever should, though I am confident that much of this suffering can be overcome by advancments in science and medicine, as well as in culture and society. But, even then, this suffering has been a great incentive for us to advance ourselves as a species, most of the accomplishments of mankind have been to overcome suffering in one way or another, the advancements that set up apart from the lower animals.

This may be a bit of a tangent and, if so, I have no problem with it being split off.

GiC, how do you feel about the stance of many in the deaf community (from my relatively broad experience with that community it seems to be a majority but I could be wrong statistically) that their deafness is not an affliction or a type of suffering?  I know I have a hard time wrapping my head around this idea, but I'm not deaf Smiley  Based solely on your posts here, I have a feeling you might see deafness as an aberration or a form of suffering that medical science can and should remove.  However, there are quite a few deaf folks who would find such a suggestion not only distasteful but outright offensive.

What would you say to a deaf person who finds value in his or her deafness?
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2008, 02:12:19 PM »

What would you say to a deaf person who finds value in his or her deafness?

And there are many in the HIV positive community that view their condition as part of their identity...it gives them a different perspective and makes them members of a community. So, should we not research ways to overcome this virus?

But, in the end, there are many deaf people who would like to be able to hear, who believe there may be more value to hearing than to deafness. Why should these people be denied viable medical research to help them overcome their condition? I would say that such research should by all means proceed and hopefully treatments will eventually be discovered. Now, just because there is a treatment doesn't mean that it should be forced on anyone, one is free to embrace or reject them, but there is no good reason not to continue the research.
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2008, 02:31:45 PM »

What would you say to a deaf person who finds value in his or her deafness?

And there are many in the HIV positive community that view their condition as part of their identity...it gives them a different perspective and makes them members of a community. So, should we not research ways to overcome this virus?

But, in the end, there are many deaf people who would like to be able to hear, who believe there may be more value to hearing than to deafness. Why should these people be denied viable medical research to help them overcome their condition? I would say that such research should by all means proceed and hopefully treatments will eventually be discovered. Now, just because there is a treatment doesn't mean that it should be forced on anyone, one is free to embrace or reject them, but there is no good reason not to continue the research.

You miss my point. 

It is my observation that you would have issue with deaf people who could hear via medical procedure by choose to do so because they value their deafness.  Such deaf folk would also be disinclined to allow their minor children to undergo such a procedure.  Considering you find the teaching of religion to children to be a form of child abuse, would you consider a deaf parent's desire to keep his or her minor child deaf a form of child abuse, also? 

As to your comment regarding people with HIV, those who value such an identification are relatively few in number to those in the deaf community who value their deafness.

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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2008, 02:59:55 PM »

You miss my point. 

It is my observation that you would have issue with deaf people who could hear via medical procedure by choose to do so because they value their deafness.  Such deaf folk would also be disinclined to allow their minor children to undergo such a procedure.  Considering you find the teaching of religion to children to be a form of child abuse, would you consider a deaf parent's desire to keep his or her minor child deaf a form of child abuse, also? 

Now you're asking a different question, a sociological one rather than one about scientific research. For reasons entirely unrelated to the previous issue I would argue than any genetic deficiences possile should removed from children, they should not be forced to suffer because of abusive selfishness on the part of their parents. If later in life the person wants to have their hearing removed so they can be part of this community, by all means...but they should at least have a fair chance at success in life. And, considering what I know of deaf education and other opportunities in this country, I have little doubt they will have better chances if they can hear.

Quote
As to your comment regarding people with HIV, those who value such an identification are relatively few in number to those in the deaf community who value their deafness.

Possibly, but why is the relative size of the two communities relevant?
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2008, 03:28:58 PM »

What would you say to a deaf person who finds value in his or her deafness?

And there are many in the HIV positive community that view their condition as part of their identity...it gives them a different perspective and makes them members of a community. So, should we not research ways to overcome this virus?

But, in the end, there are many deaf people who would like to be able to hear, who believe there may be more value to hearing than to deafness. Why should these people be denied viable medical research to help them overcome their condition? I would say that such research should by all means proceed and hopefully treatments will eventually be discovered. Now, just because there is a treatment doesn't mean that it should be forced on anyone, one is free to embrace or reject them, but there is no good reason not to continue the research.

You miss my point. 

It is my observation that you would have issue with deaf people who could hear via medical procedure by choose to do so because they value their deafness.  Such deaf folk would also be disinclined to allow their minor children to undergo such a procedure.  Considering you find the teaching of religion to children to be a form of child abuse, would you consider a deaf parent's desire to keep his or her minor child deaf a form of child abuse, also? 




A person isn't complete unless they are fully functioning. Anybody that denies there own ears in the same way denies there existence. When we say no to something that is given us, we rebel against our creator. We are saying that, I don't want what you have given me or what I should have had. Take it back. Who asked me if I wanted it.  We are accustom to accepting defects, but a person isn't whole without ears to hear. I believe that if a parent denies their child the ability to be normal. They are in fact sick them selves. Unless off course they don't have the funds to help their child.
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2008, 03:35:47 PM »

Quote
As to your comment regarding people with HIV, those who value such an identification are relatively few in number to those in the deaf community who value their deafness.

Possibly, but why is the relative size of the two communities relevant?

It is relevant to my question because while you might find HIV+ folks who wear their infection as a badge of honor, the vast majority of those who have the virus would gladly be cured of it.  I know the three HIV+ people I know sure wish they didn't have the virus.

On the other side, in my experience, what at least approaches (if not outrightly so) a majority of deaf folk would choose not to hear if given the choice.  In fact, it's one of the strongest tenets of deaf culture. 

NOTE:  I don't necessarily agree with it, I'm just reporting.  One of my good friends is a hearing child of deaf parents and deaf culture fascinates me. 
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2008, 03:41:26 PM »

A person isn't complete unless they are fully functioning. Anybody that denies there own ears in the same way denies there existence. When we say no to something that is given us, we rebel against our creator. We are saying that, I don't want what you have given me or what I should have had. Take it back. Who asked me if I wanted it.  We are accustom to accepting defects, but a person isn't whole without ears to hear. I believe that if a parent denies their child the ability to be normal. They are in fact sick them selves. Unless off course they don't have the funds to help their child.


Does that mean that a deaf person is less than a human, since they are not "whole"?  Deaf folk have come a LONG way since the days of Christ.  ASL (and other forms of sign language) are as intricate and complex as any other language on the planet.  Plenty of deaf people I know see their deafness as a blessing from God for their own personal salvation which allows them to ignore much of the noise (literally and metaphorically) we experience in our hearing lives and focus on God.  Would telling these people that they are less than whole be a detriment or an asset to their salvation? 

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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2008, 04:07:14 PM »

Demetrios, couldn't one say also that being sinful is also being incompletely human, since God had originally intended us to be pure and innocent? What about the God who made the deaf person? Is there something deficient in God for making "an incomplete human"? Everything happens for a reason. Perhaps the reason why some people are deaf is because of the reason Schultz provided, especially with some of the awful things people have to hear in this world--rap music, cursing, sexually disgusting things, yelling and screaming and fighting. It was God who gave them these defects; it is up to us to accept them as members of the Body of Christ, perfect or not. If we can help them, then we should, but part of our main mission in this imperfect life is to see them, as they are, as fellow Children of God. There is a Zen saying: "Who knows what is good and what is bad?" Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2008, 04:16:22 PM »

Demetrios, couldn't one say also that being sinful is also being incompletely human, since God had originally intended us to be pure and innocent?

Good point. None of us is complete. Only Christ is complete as a human being.
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« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2008, 05:05:05 PM »

Demetrios, couldn't one say also that being sinful is also being incompletely human, since God had originally intended us to be pure and innocent?
What do you think thesois is about? Overcoming sin?

Quote
What about the God who made the deaf person? Is there something deficient in God for making "an incomplete human"? Everything happens for a reason. Perhaps the reason why some people are deaf is because of the reason Schultz provided, especially with some of the awful things people have to hear in this world--rap music, cursing, sexually disgusting things, yelling and screaming and fighting. It was God who gave them these defects; it is up to us to accept them as members of the Body of Christ, perfect or not. If we can help them, then we should, but part of our main mission in this imperfect life is to see them, as they are, as fellow Children of God. There is a Zen saying: "Who knows what is good and what is bad?" Smiley

Let's blame god for everything, why don't we. There are plenty of reasons why children are born as you put it "incomplete". Most of them being the result of there parents, drug and alcohol abuse. The environment they live in. "Trinoble" ring a bell? Radio waves in the air, Cigarettes, makeup, you name it. Do you realize that the space that you live in belonged to someone else. Your forefathers killed those people to make space for you. Your guilty as well. The world is guilty for most of the short falling you describe and not god.
All the way back to your first parents. Adam and eve. Society as a whole has lived in sin from the time of the fall. It's easy to blame god. The truth is we are guilty. Until you realize that, you will see god as your enemy.

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« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2008, 05:09:20 PM »

What do you think thesois is about? Overcoming sin?

It is overcoming sin, and failing, and trying again, and failing again... till the moment you die. AFAIK, there are no living sinless humans, except Christ.
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« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2008, 05:22:04 PM »

A person isn't complete unless they are fully functioning. Anybody that denies there own ears in the same way denies there existence. When we say no to something that is given us, we rebel against our creator. We are saying that, I don't want what you have given me or what I should have had. Take it back. Who asked me if I wanted it.  We are accustom to accepting defects, but a person isn't whole without ears to hear. I believe that if a parent denies their child the ability to be normal. They are in fact sick them selves. Unless off course they don't have the funds to help their child.


Does that mean that a deaf person is less than a human, since they are not "whole"?  Deaf folk have come a LONG way since the days of Christ.  ASL (and other forms of sign language) are as intricate and complex as any other language on the planet.  Plenty of deaf people I know see their deafness as a blessing from God for their own personal salvation which allows them to ignore much of the noise (literally and metaphorically) we experience in our hearing lives and focus on God.  Would telling these people that they are less than whole be a detriment or an asset to their salvation? 


I sympathize for all defective people, but the truth is that they aren't whole. Just like humanity isn't whole. If we were than there would be no death to worry about and lets not forget that many people who get old begin to suffer ailments such as hearing loss, eye sight, brain disease such as Alzheimer's. Just because you deem it as worthy to mention the youth. Don't forget that people age and are struck down with defects as well.
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« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2008, 06:00:13 PM »

I sympathize for all defective people, but the truth is that they aren't whole. Just like humanity isn't whole. If we were than there would be no death to worry about and lets not forget that many people who get old begin to suffer ailments such as hearing loss, eye sight, brain disease such as Alzheimer's. Just because you deem it as worthy to mention the youth. Don't forget that people age and are struck down with defects as well.

There's a marked difference between realizing that humanity as a whole is defective spritually and steeped in sin and marking out particular members of that humanity as "defective" because they are physically different from self, especially when such "defectives" see their supposed affliction as an asset on their part.  Or do you fail to realize that by calling someone who deaf a "defective person" that you are really telling them "You are less than me, because I am normal and you are not".  It's like someone who beats his wife on a regular basis calling a homosexual a "faggot".

People have the right and duty to define themselves, not by your definition but by their own.  Their own inherent physical self worth (remember, we're talking about PHYSICAL not SPIRITUAL things) is not determined by your or my pronouncements.  If a deaf person wants to be proud of their deafness and avoid a medical procedure by which he or she can hear, it is not for me nor you to call such a person "defective".

Your attitude is reminiscent of the logic some racists use to justify their prejudice by asserting that non-whites are inferior because they can't show "blood in the face".  In their view, anyone who isn't white is "defective".
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« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2008, 07:11:30 PM »

Let's blame god for everything, why don't we. There are plenty of reasons why children are born as you put it "incomplete". Most of them being the result of there parents, drug and alcohol abuse. The environment they live in. "Trinoble" ring a bell? Radio waves in the air, Cigarettes, makeup, you name it. Do you realize that the space that you live in belonged to someone else. Your forefathers killed those people to make space for you. Your guilty as well. The world is guilty for most of the short falling you describe and not god.
All the way back to your first parents. Adam and eve. Society as a whole has lived in sin from the time of the fall. It's easy to blame god. The truth is we are guilty. Until you realize that, you will see god as your enemy.

Do not put words in my mouth, Demetrios. I do not see God as my enemy just because of death and disease and defects. Outside of other forces, if God feels a person is meant to be deaf, who are we to cry foul? I do agree that God is not in the mix when it comes to some defects, such as the defects brought on by the use of Thalidomide and nuclear disasters, but what of the deaf and blind in Jesus' time? If God does not ultimately control whether a baby is born deaf or blind, does that mean He is not omnipotent? Ultimately, He decides all things, I believe.
Also, I am not guilty of my forefathers' sins. No one is. I do bear the responsiblity to help right the wrong, as much as I am able to, but I am not guilty of another's sins. And unless you can see into the past, you ought not to accuse my ancestors of killing anyone, since you don't know my ancestry and you didn't know my ancestors. That is bearing false witness, which I think you did not mean to do, so... Smiley
I do not blame God as if He's a bad child in a corner. I am simply saying that He has a purpose for things and who are we to judge what is right and what is wrong in this flawed world? Therein lies our original sin: Pride. I'm not saying modern medicine is sinful when it reverses disease and defects. If God meant for something to be permanent, He would have cut out the loophole that Medicine is.
Ultimately, we should focus more on peoples' spiritual welfare, since we're only on this earth for the blink of an eye compared to all eternity. How defective would I look in my Father's eyes if I cure someone's deafness, but he remains outside Heaven? Remember, "not by bread alone...", or in this case, "not by medicine alone..."
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« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2008, 07:33:49 PM »

I don't think there is inherently wrong with calling such people defective, provided we don't uphold ourselves as models of perfection. I may be (relatively) 'normal', but there are genetic alleles of mine I'd like to change, they may be alleles shared with 2/3rds of the population or even 99.9% of the population, but there are other possile genetic combinations that would produce better results and in that way I am defective. It's not wrong to realize that we're all physically defective because once we realize it, and the science behind it, we can begin to correct these defects leading to the overall improvement of the human race.
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« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2008, 07:42:30 PM »

^So much for natural selection.
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« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2008, 08:02:28 PM »

What do you think thesois is about? Overcoming sin?

It is overcoming sin, and failing, and trying again, and failing again... till the moment you die. AFAIK, there are no living sinless humans, except Christ.
You missed the point. We all sin, but when we unrecognize them and stop from repeating them. Than we come closer to what Christ is. With enough time one can become perfect in Christ.
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« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2008, 09:05:23 PM »

^So much for natural selection.

If we want to wait a few million years, it'd probably work just fine, but then again, with protection from natural selection granted to the weaker members of society by our sociological and technological advancements, it may not. In any case, why not speed the process along a bit and accomplish in a century what may otherwise take a million years?
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« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2008, 09:09:09 PM »

why not speed the process along a bit and accomplish in a century what may otherwise take a million years?
Because we could make the wrong choices due to faulty wiring based on defective genes..... Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2008, 09:39:19 PM »

why not speed the process along a bit and accomplish in a century what may otherwise take a million years?
Because we could make the wrong choices due to faulty wiring based on defective genes..... Smiley

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« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2008, 11:06:13 PM »

why not speed the process along a bit and accomplish in a century what may otherwise take a million years?
Because we could make the wrong choices due to faulty wiring based on defective genes..... Smiley

Yes, we could...then again, sometimes natural selection leads to extinction of a given species. Sometimes you just have to toss the bones and hope for midnight. Wink But seriously, if it makes you feel any better I'm sure there'll be thousandsof computer models of potential outcomes of future human evolution assuming various environmental conditions before we actually get to start playing around with them on a large scale.
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« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2008, 11:29:43 PM »

I sympathize for all defective people, but the truth is that they aren't whole. Just like humanity isn't whole. If we were than there would be no death to worry about and lets not forget that many people who get old begin to suffer ailments such as hearing loss, eye sight, brain disease such as Alzheimer's. Just because you deem it as worthy to mention the youth. Don't forget that people age and are struck down with defects as well.

There's a marked difference between realizing that humanity as a whole is defective spritually and steeped in sin and marking out particular members of that humanity as "defective" because they are physically different from self, especially when such "defectives" see their supposed affliction as an asset on their part.  Or do you fail to realize that by calling someone who deaf a "defective person" that you are really telling them "You are less than me, because I am normal and you are not".  It's like someone who beats his wife on a regular basis calling a homosexual a "faggot".

I don't complete agree that the soul is defective. That is a RC interpretation. The biggest defect of all is physical death. It just shouldn't be. We are all defective in that respect. To say that a child is spiritually defective is quite wrong. We become defective the moment we sin.
A physically deficient person shouldn't take it as put down when they are called defective unless the person calling the defective person meant it as a derogatory comment. If a doctor tells you that you have a defective heart valve. Will you become offended?


Quote
People have the right and duty to define themselves, not by your definition but by their own.  Their own inherent physical self worth (remember, we're talking about PHYSICAL not SPIRITUAL things) is not determined by your or my pronouncements.  If a deaf person wants to be proud of their deafness and avoid a medical procedure by which he or she can hear, it is not for me nor you to call such a person "defective".


Spiritual and physical ailments both warrant correction. Why suffer when there is help. It is a spiritual problem when one doesn't want to be well.
Quote
Your attitude is reminiscent of the logic some racists use to justify their prejudice by asserting that non-whites are inferior because they can't show "blood in the face".  In their view, anyone who isn't white is "defective".
Now you are way off. If I love a person and want the best for them even when they them selves don't know what is best. I am evil. or do I know what is better for them?
I don't know if you have children or not , but if a child is not doing something correctly. Will you allow them to continue in their ill behavior or will you correct them? Most of the time inaction leads to worse consequences.
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« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2008, 11:43:50 PM »

Yes, we could...then again, sometimes natural selection leads to extinction of a given species.
Well, shouldn't they die out? "Survival of the fittest" doesn't work if it allows defective genes to survive. We cannot afford any sentimentality or illogical value systems here if we are going to be rational. All congenitally disabled people should be euthanazed, then we could use them as compost. At least they'd be contributing some resources then instead of just sapping them.
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« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2008, 12:10:37 AM »

Now you are both on to something. Death is exactly what we need salvation from.  Natural selection just explains how we have gotten there and baptism as a means of escape. Wink
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« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2008, 07:07:26 PM »

Well, shouldn't they die out? "Survival of the fittest" doesn't work if it allows defective genes to survive. We cannot afford any sentimentality or illogical value systems here if we are going to be rational.

It of course depends on the definition of 'fittest', as determined by the environment. When you have an artificial environment like the one we now live in, it's reasonable to pursue artificial selection. Natural selection has worked wonderfully for billions of years, but may not work so well in the artificial context of human civilization. For instance, birth rates tend to be higher amongst the poor and IQ's lower. Since these people are protected by the developments in civilization and technology that can mostly be credited to more intelligent elements of society, on account of sentimentality they risk being 'unnaturally' selected...of course, genetic engineering can fix this abnormality putting human evolution more in line with what would be seen in a natural environment and even then we can to choose to be more specific, naturally strength may develop at the expense of brains (or not, probably depending on random mutations), we can judge which attributes we believe to be most beneficial to our species and develop them first and foremost.

You see, the system is perfectly rational.

Quote
All congenitally disabled people should be euthanazed, then we could use them as compost. At least they'd be contributing some resources then instead of just sapping them.

Perhaps they shouldn't be able to reproduce, but they can provide a valuable resource, their genomes can be sequenced and genotypes compared with phenotypes. Helping us further decode the genetic basis of human intelligence.
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« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2008, 07:16:00 PM »

Perhaps they shouldn't be able to reproduce, but they can provide a valuable resource, their genomes can be sequenced and genotypes compared with phenotypes. Helping us further decode the genetic basis of human intelligence.
True, but you need only one nucleus for that. The rest can feed the genetically modified corn field.
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« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2008, 07:50:30 PM »

Perhaps they shouldn't be able to reproduce, but they can provide a valuable resource, their genomes can be sequenced and genotypes compared with phenotypes. Helping us further decode the genetic basis of human intelligence.
True, but you need only one nucleus for that. The rest can feed the genetically modified corn field.

Well, it would be nice to have a bit more material to start out with, it would cut costs, even if in theory one nucleus is all that is needed. But that's just to calculate the genotype, continued observation is necessary to cataloge all the details of the sundry phenotypes.

Plus, killing them would create countless political problems; that they probably shouldn't have been allowed to be born, I agree...but killing citizens for most reasons after birth carries a political cost that outweighs the economic benefit.
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« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2008, 07:56:01 PM »

Well, it would be nice to have a bit more material to start out with, it would cut costs, even if in theory one nucleus is all that is needed. But that's just to calculate the genotype, continued observation is necessary to cataloge all the details of the sundry phenotypes.
The cells could easily be cultured in petri dishes. No need for any waste of resources.
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« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2008, 07:58:18 PM »

Well, it would be nice to have a bit more material to start out with, it would cut costs, even if in theory one nucleus is all that is needed. But that's just to calculate the genotype, continued observation is necessary to cataloge all the details of the sundry phenotypes.
The cells could easily be cultured in petri dishes. No need for any waste of resources.

What if the cell you get is abnormal relative to the remainder of cells in the body? Or what if the initial replications of the cell introduce errors that dominate the sample, not giving you a true representation of the specimen's genome? You're better off starting with more than one cell.
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« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2008, 08:03:30 PM »

What if the cell you get is abnormal relative to the remainder of cells in the body? Or what if the initial replications of the cell introduce errors that dominate the sample, not giving you a true representation of the specimen's genome? You're better off starting with more than one cell.

The average human body contains about ten trillion cells. You could sample 1,000,000 if you wanted and still leave plenty of fertilizer.
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« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2008, 08:10:15 PM »

...or even Soylent Green.
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« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2008, 08:26:35 PM »

...or even Soylent Green.

Of course, it's we who want to solve the problem of over-population before it becomes necessary to eat each other to survive. It's you guys who thing children are 'god's gift' and a 'blessing' even if born into famine and disease ravaged conditions.
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« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2008, 08:31:53 PM »

Of course, it's we who want to solve the problem of over-population before it becomes necessary to eat each other to survive.
Why? What is so irrational about eating undesirable gene carriers?
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« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2008, 08:46:30 PM »

Of course, it's we who want to solve the problem of over-population before it becomes necessary to eat each other to survive.
Why? What is so irrational about eating undesirable gene carriers?

You mean other than the neurological diseases associated with cannibalism?
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« Reply #45 on: December 06, 2008, 08:53:11 PM »

You mean other than the neurological diseases associated with cannibalism?

Come now, that's irrational. Cannibalism only poses a problem if the carcass is unprocessed. Soylent Green is a protein wafer produced by highly refined processing techniques. No chance of disease transmission. Let's not live in the unenlightened ages. Thanks to science, the problem is solved.
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« Reply #46 on: December 06, 2008, 09:27:56 PM »

Come now, that's irrational. Cannibalism only poses a problem if the carcass is unprocessed. Soylent Green is a protein wafer produced by highly refined processing techniques. No chance of disease transmission. Let's not live in the unenlightened ages. Thanks to science, the problem is solved.

I must say, I am curious...what science? I don't have any 'moral objections' to cannibalism only practical medical and political ones...I would actually appreciate it if you could remove my medical concerns...I believe I've said before that I'm willing to try anything once. Wink
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« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2008, 09:39:52 PM »

I must say, I am curious...what science? I don't have any 'moral objections' to cannibalism only practical medical and political ones...I would actually appreciate it if you could remove my medical concerns...I believe I've said before that I'm willing to try anything once. Wink

Same principle as TVP (Textured Vegetable Protien):



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« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2008, 01:22:20 AM »

Same principle as TVP (Textured Vegetable Protien):

So are you going to make people out of soy???
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« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2008, 10:30:55 PM »

Same principle as TVP (Textured Vegetable Protien):

So are you going to make people out of soy???

Do you also salute with your palm showing?
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« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2008, 12:51:46 PM »

I don't have any 'moral objections' to cannibalism only practical medical and political ones...

I dunno...perhaps that is because you are not the one being eaten?
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« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2008, 12:53:44 PM »

I don't have any 'moral objections' to cannibalism only practical medical and political ones...

I dunno...perhaps that is because you are not the one being eaten?
Please explain how cannibalism is acceptable in your view.
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« Reply #52 on: December 08, 2008, 12:58:26 PM »

Do you also salute with your palm showing?

Nope...just my middle finger.
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« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2008, 01:21:20 PM »

Do you also salute with your palm showing?

Nope...just my middle finger.
Here in NYC. That's how we say hello.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
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Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


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« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2008, 01:30:31 PM »

Do you also salute with your palm showing?

Nope...just my middle finger.
Here in NYC. That's how we say hello.

 Cheesy LOL!
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If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
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