From: Marilyn Burge
To: Al Schroeder
Date: Mar 3 1996 9:36:20 pm
Subject: A Fair & Just God [1]
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On (01 Mar 96) Al Schroeder wrote to Marilyn Burge...

MB> "Do as I say, not as I do." A parent that behaves that way is
MB> usually ignored (and given contempt, sooner or later) by his or
MB> her offspring. If that's his way of leading, I want no part of it.
MB> I believe in leading by example.

AS> Do not be overcome with the favorite analogy in the Bible, of
AS> a Father and a son. Of course that is the closest analogy we
AS> can come to, but it is really a unique relationship. In terms
AS> of power and intellect, we may have more in common with a
AS> virus (who is at least part of the same evolutionary tree)
AS> than with a Being who created the entire cosmos. Evidently HE
AS> feels there is some likeness, some sort of analogy between
AS> His feelings and ours, but He is NOT a physical parent, that
AS> we can aspire to be some day, nor is He a leader of men in
AS> the sense you talk about. He is not a politician running for
AS> something. We are instructed to imitate Him in some things.
AS> And we will fail short of the impossibly high mark.

AS> And I notice you still didn't answer the objection above. If
AS> He leads by example, He either allows no death...with the
AS> consequent misery everyone would suffer from germs and
AS> viruses and insects multiplying without limit, as well as the
AS> slower extinction earned by humanity expanding without
AS> limit...we wouldn't die, but we would be in constant agony...
AS> OR He allows us to kill with impunity, and follow that
AS> example, with the resultant bloodfeuds and misery THAT would
AS> cause??

IO see a HUGE qualititative difference between wiping out the
Midianites because they worship the wrong god and allowing people
to die of old age or disease.  If you don't, I can do nothing but
question your sense of ethics.

AS> If you want to make a leader analogy, the state has the
AS> authority to kill to preserve itself, either through capitol
AS> punishment or through war. Capitol punishment is debatable,
AS> but I think any society must sanction violence to preserve
AS> itself, either through policemen or soldiery. Yet it forbids
AS> private vengeance. Do you then want NO part of any political
AS> process, because every society known sanctions such? (Larger
AS> society, anyway.) Do you refuse to be part of THAT process
AS> because it is not "leading by example"? (Before you ask, I
AS> generally do not favor capitol punishment, although I will
AS> admit for child molestors and such I have been known to let
AS> my anger at the crime override what I know about the futility
AS> of such.)

Only in your dreams.  You mean after all this time you didn't
know that I'm a pacifist?  I don't believe the State has the
"right" to kill for ANY reason, nor do I believe individuals do.

MB> No, but he cheats by making up rules as he goes along, while
MB> playing with me and insisting that I follow the old rules. It
MB> doesn't take much of that for me to give up the game in disgust
MB> and tell him to go do the anatomically impossible.

AS>  For all the good it will do you. Like cussing out the judge or the
AS>  policeman. You CAN'T leave this game, Marilyn. If there is an
AS> afterlife,  then you are still bound by His rules.

Or, in this case, his lack of a sense of fairness.  Not me, Al,
not me.  This is one of the ways that I am certain your god doesn't
exist.  His utter hypocracy tells me of his nonexistence.

MB> But if he changes them only for himself while insisting that
MB> everybody else must play by the old rules or suffer
MB> immeasurably, he's a liar and a fool. He'll not get others to
MB> abide by his interestingly flexible "rules," and he'll make a
MB> fool of himself by his insistence that they do.

AS> (Amused smile.) Then you don't recognize ANY hierarchy of
AS> responsibilities and abilities? That there might be some
AS> things that we, both finite in intellect and power, cannot do
AS> with impunity, and that God might? Would you let a babboon
AS> drive a car? God doesn't reverve a lot of things for Himself.
AS> But He has expressly forbidden private vengeance, saying only
AS> HE can dole that out. I think He would be more foolish the
AS> other way, myself. Again, you cannot put a scenario where He
AS> can lead by example in EVERYTHING and not result in something
AS> worse than our existence here.

I do not pay homage to ANY form of authoritarian inconsistency,
no.  I do not respect bosses who tell me I can't make personal
phone calls at work, then when I walk into their work area I find
them talking to a bowling buddy; I do not respect any authority
figure who tells me I can't exact vengeance, then publickly
declares "vengeance is mine."  I think your (and the Bible's)
god-concept stinks like three-day-old fish.

AS> Again, I was arguing about changing the rules before the
AS> game...i.e., before time began, in the actual example we are
AS> talking about. However, I DO think there is an actual
AS> qualitative difference between God and us, and our role in
AS> the "game"--the same way a queen in chess can make many moves
AS> that are denied to a pawn, a castle, or a bishop. I do NOT
AS> think God changes His morality with time. But that the
AS> "morality" that humans aspire to, that they would perceive as
AS> the greatest good for the greatest number of people, would be
AS> affected by the morality the creator chooses for, and must
AS> reflect that. (I do, on the other hand,

MB> Oh, I get it. You see no reason why his behavior must be good for
MB> people at all. I'll pass on that god. He's a prick and deserve my
MB> contempt all the way.

AS> Hmmm. Exactly HOW do you reach that conclusion from the
AS> above? Because there is nothing that could be remotely be
AS> conceived as such a suggestion. I was suggesting that the
AS> duty and responsibilites of a diety and His goodness might
AS> entail different things than what it entails for us. A good
AS> watchdog will bite a stranger who comes unexpectantly into a
AS> home, and be fulfilling a dog's "goodness" to the best of his
AS> ability. You would think a little differently about someone
AS> who attacked or bit someone he hadn't seen before, without
AS> reason..if they are a human being.

Double standards are the epitome of hypocracy.  I don't respect
hypocrites, and I certainly don't bow down and worship them!

MB> I suppose. You're still justifying the unjustifiable, so long as
MB> your god is doing it.

AS> And you are still determined to blame Him for not doing the
AS> logically contradictory. You want your cake and eat it too.
AS> You want to be totally free from restraint that a diety might
AS> impose yet enjoy all the pleasures He might provide...
AS> pleasures that, like yourself, would not exist without Him.
AS> Like I said, like old times.

Oh, yes.  I'd exist without him.  I'm here, aren't I?  Where is
he?  I do not see him, nor do I acknowledge the petty tyrant in
my imagination.

... Programming is like sex:  One mistake and you support it.

--- PPoint 2.00
* Origin: So What's Yer Point? (1:105/40.666)
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