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Thread: Psalm 14: Who was Jesus' grandpa?

  1. #161
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    Never tried it myself, but call me an idiot for saying I'd claim its possible. People I know who have visited some of the poorest countries in the world return marveling at how "happy" some of those impoverished people are (depending on the place and circumstances).
    I've been there and done that (albeit only for 2 or 3 days). It was unbelievably miserable and depressing. Normally in the case of these impoverished people their cultural needs are met by their community and they're not isolated; I'm willing to bet that if you took away the communal aspect of their existence they'd become depressed and lonely pretty damn quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    Sure, adjusting ones attitude is a form of adaptation, but is it negative? We could argue ideals all day, but in the real world, being able to adapt and find enjoyment from unexpected sources is a useful trait.
    Useful, yes. Potentially psychologically damaging, also yes, as anyone who's been in an abusive relationship could tell you. There's a difference between adapting to unusual circumstances and adapting to circumstances that don't bring you pleasure.

  2. #162
    One Thousand Member butternut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    Have you ever tried living in a house with ragged wallpaper where the heating is all provided by a small stove in the kitchen, and where you don't have enough money to run a television or even, occasionally, provide enough light to read by, unless you want to starve for a week? Arguably all basic needs are provided for - food, shelter, protection from the outside world - but you'd be an idiot to claim that's an enjoyable lifestyle. It's all about money in this land of milk and honey.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    Never tried it myself, but call me an idiot for saying I'd claim its possible. People I know who have visited some of the poorest countries in the world return marveling at how "happy" some of those impoverished people are (depending on the place and circumstances).
    Guys, this is subjective. And what makes one happy or not depends on the person, his background, and a million other things. If you have seen what pleasure is like, then you can't stay happy without it. From your own examples : a person who is used to staying in a nice house, with a television, and awesome food everyday will find it impossible to live without these things. But the people in the poor countries don't know what it's like to experience all that. For them pleasure would be something like living together, having a great feast on special occasions, good harvest(if they're farmers) and other such things which you might consider 'simple'. I know this and can say this for sure because I have experienced it. If you really want to argue and reach a consensus, take a common sample space.

    But I do agree on one point. Take away pleasure from a person (be it in any form - whatever that person considers pleasure) and life is not really worth living for him, unless he's like a caveman (because the basic food, shelter and protection etc were his pleasures).

    And about adaptability, I see nothing wrong with it. Adapting is one thing, just tolerating is another. Adapting is coming to like it. Tolerating is just bearing with it and sort of going along with it whether you like it or not. And I agree with Fenn, adaptability is a useful trait. If you can't/don't want to adapt, make things around you suit you. One way or another, it's you doing things, not waiting for things to change or escaping from them.

  3. #163
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    I've been there and done that (albeit only for 2 or 3 days). It was unbelievably miserable and depressing. Normally in the case of these impoverished people their cultural needs are met by their community and they're not isolated; I'm willing to bet that if you took away the communal aspect of their existence they'd become depressed and lonely pretty damn quickly.
    I'll certainly take your word for it, but let me make a couple points. I don't know what your normal life is like, but I take it that was a pretty big switch. Also, I'm going to boldy presume you did not know the language fluently enough to hold complete conversations with those you were living with, unless you went with a group. And, like you said, it was only for three days. You could have still been in shock at the loss of things you had come to expect in life.

    I also have more questions: were these people eating at least enough to give them passable health? Was the temperature also at least borderline acceptable to live in without notable discomfort? If not then they do not meet the criteria specified and have every reason to be miserable.

    Lastly, removing the communal aspect from many ways of life, or life itself, will usually decrease the level of pleasure in that aspect. Most humans are, by nature, social creatures There are certainly introverted individuals who enjoy large levels of solitude, but even they are inclined to some sort of social interaction, usually with small, intimate groups. The company of others is a crucial piece of the pleasure puzzle for, I would guesstimate, the majority of people on this planet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    Useful, yes. Potentially psychologically damaging, also yes, as anyone who's been in an abusive relationship could tell you. There's a difference between adapting to unusual circumstances and adapting to circumstances that don't bring you pleasure.
    There is also a difference between adapting to circumstances that don't bring you pleasure and circumstances that harm you. You can dislike a situation without being negatively affected by it. Furthermore, life will not cater to any human's whim and preference. We can try to make our life as close to ideal as possible, but for most of us this goal will fall short. When faced with undesirable circumstances, we can either avoid/change our situation if possible (usually the best in the case of a harmful situation like an abusive relationship or poverty), or change our attitude and perspective towards it. The latter option, in my opinion, is both realistic and very satisfying when applied to unfavorable, non-harmful circumstances such as a boring job or dull community.

    There is nothing wrong with voluntarily changing one's perspectives on enjoyment to suit a situation, especially since attitude is often much more under our control than external environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by saphira View Post
    Guys, this is subjective. And what makes one happy or not depends on the person, his background, and a million other things. If you have seen what pleasure is like, then you can't stay happy without it. From your own examples : a person who is used to staying in a nice house, with a television, and awesome food everyday will find it impossible to live without these things. But the people in the poor countries don't know what it's like to experience all that. For them pleasure would be something like living together, having a great feast on special occasions, good harvest(if they're farmers) and other such things which you might consider 'simple'. I know this and can say this for sure because I have experienced it. If you really want to argue and reach a consensus, take a common sample space.
    Yes, you are right, it is subjective to a point. In essence niether of us can be right about what brings us pleasure. I'd just like to point out that saying someone else should be happy when their situation is grave as an excuse not to help said person enters into objective territory.

    Quote Originally Posted by saphira View Post
    But I do agree on one point. Take away pleasure from a person (be it in any form - whatever that person considers pleasure) and life is not really worth living for him, unless he's like a caveman (because the basic food, shelter and protection etc were his pleasures).
    If you mean all pleasure, than yes. Human survival instincts may kick in to degree, but as an increasing suicide rate can shown, no happiness can equal no purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by saphira View Post
    And about adaptability, I see nothing wrong with it. Adapting is one thing, just tolerating is another. Adapting is coming to like it. Tolerating is just bearing with it and sort of going along with it whether you like it or not. And I agree with Fenn, adaptability is a useful trait. If you can't/don't want to adapt, make things around you suit you. One way or another, it's you doing things, not waiting for things to change or escaping from them.
    Thank's for the support. I want to clarify again that I don't believe adaption is the only answer, especially in the case of those in poverty or suffering from the effects of a terrible event or abusive lifestyle.

    Point: I am NOT simply saying "deal with it."

  4. #164
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    So how about that God guy, huh?

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  5. #165
    One Thousand Member butternut's Avatar
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    Oops! Sorry, the discussion kinda got side-tracked. (but the above post really cracked me up!)

    Here's what I believe and think. I'm an agnostic. I don't really believe in religion, but I do understand why some things(traditions, teachings and all that blah) are followed, and don't understand why the others are being followed. But I don't see how it is evil or harmful to the world in general. Sure you can quote the examples of genocide, female oppression and other stuff the Church did in the past. But that was IN THE PAST. Right now, there are still a minority of people who strictly follow whatever is said in the books but that is a very small minority. I don't see any major destruction now. If you say that they are evil because they believe in evil things, or still think about doing something that will harm others, well, they are just thinking about it but not propagating it or actually doing it right? I just can't understand why you are so extreme about it. As long as nothing really bad is happening...

  6. #166
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saphira View Post
    Oops! Sorry, the discussion kinda got side-tracked. (but the above post really cracked me up!)

    Here's what I believe and think. I'm an agnostic. I don't really believe in religion, but I do understand why some things(traditions, teachings and all that blah) are followed, and don't understand why the others are being followed. But I don't see how it is evil or harmful to the world in general.
    It is wrong, dangerous, and harmful for anyone, anywhere, to knowingly embrace ignorance. Doubly so when, in their ignorance, they begin to argue that some beliefs can be justified without logic. Once you have established that precedent anything is possible.

    Sure you can quote the examples of genocide, female oppression and other stuff the Church did in the past. But that was IN THE PAST.
    Yes. It's not like the Catholic Church still contributes towards misogyny, intolerance, and archaic ways of thinking. It's not like Christianity is a major driving force behind most hate groups in the West, as well as many of the atrocities in the Middle East committed by American invaders. It's not like the ongoing genocide in Palestine is motivated largely by religion, or rather justified by such, anyway.

    Oh, wait, it is.

    Religion is still the single largest cause of human misery and barrier to progress in the world.

    Right now, there are still a minority of people who strictly follow whatever is said in the books but that is a very small minority.
    It may or may not be a minority, but it is not very small. America is run by such people. Well, rather, by such people who use such idiots to keep and maintain power and justify their plutocratic policies.

    I don't see any major destruction now.
    Perpetual war in African and the Middle East, genocide, America invading and occupying foreign countries, fighting in the Philippines. Nope. Fighting between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. Fighting between Muslims and Hindus. Nope. Definitely no major destruction wrought by religion going on atm!

    If you say that they are evil because they believe in evil things, or still think about doing something that will harm others, well, they are just thinking about it but not propagating it or actually doing it right? I just can't understand why you are so extreme about it. As long as nothing really bad is happening...
    See above.

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  7. #167
    Fenn
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    Sorry about the sidetrack.

    Hm, I wonder what will become of monotheistic religions once they fall into the realm of mythology? Society kind of trimmed and sugar-coated the stories of the gods of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, etc. until they became like superheroes/symbolic figures. Can you see the same happening to the god(s) of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and others, or will they be cast into the trash barrel of history?

  8. #168
    I have a question for Kodos:

    Has any religious person anywhere, be it on the net or in life, made any compelling argument that has given you pause for thought?

  9. #169
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    Sorry about the sidetrack.

    Hm, I wonder what will become of monotheistic religions once they fall into the realm of mythology? Society kind of trimmed and sugar-coated the stories of the gods of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, etc. until they became like superheroes/symbolic figures. Can you see the same happening to the god(s) of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and others, or will they be cast into the trash barrel of history?
    Hopefully they will be remembered for what they were - horrible and destructive ideologies rooted in unreason that have caused more suffering in history than any other thing - and be preserved in history as warnings of the dangers of superstition, magical thinking, and unreason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester_Of_Sorrow View Post
    I have a question for Kodos:

    Has any religious person anywhere, be it on the net or in life, made any compelling argument that has given you pause for thought?
    I've had a few that gave me pause for thought insofar as it took a little while trying to figure out exactly what the fallacy at play was, and there's plenty that have been so incoherent that it took me considerable time to decipher and refute them, but I've yet to find any that were able to withstand even cursory scrutiny.

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  10. #170
    Hm, I wonder what will become of monotheistic religions once they fall into the realm of mythology? Society kind of trimmed and sugar-coated the stories of the gods of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, etc. until they became like superheroes/symbolic figures. Can you see the same happening to the god(s) of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and others, or will they be cast into the trash barrel of history?
    I know this wasn't directed at me, but I'll get in on the chat anyway.

    Yes, ofcourse Judeo-Christian as well as the main asian faiths will fall into the catagory of mythology within time. That isn't to say they will be gone for good, their are still people in Norway and Denmark to this day who still believe in Odin, but you see what I mean. Mankind evolves and its ideas evolve along with them.

    Although, since you mentioned the Greeks I will say this; I have a hard-on for the Ancient Greeks. They were an amazing collective of people who, you could say, were so ahead of their time in terms of artistry and politics (not medicine, but still) and even religion. The Greeks understood something that no monotheistic religion can, and in all probability ever will; We are better than our creators.

    The Gods of Greek myth were jealous and petty and they envied humans because their lives were short, they had meaning, they had purpose, and after they died their names would be remembered. Whereas the Gods were eternal, envious and mercilessly cruel to humans they envied. It sounds obvious, but even an uneducated normal Greek person, even 4000 years ago, looking at the world (or the known world as its was then, which was essentially the Mediterrainian region) would think 'If there are beings that created all of us, then they are at best capricious and lazy and at worst complete and utter evil.' , but looking at many religious people today obvious clearly doesnt mean obvious.

    They understood that, although they didn't believe this was the only life we had (they did ofcourse believe in an afterlife), this life had value, it had purpose and it was the envy of those who are divine.

    Name me one major religion that plays on this idea today? All Judeo Christian faiths, aswell as most of major asian ones, play on the idea that it will be a blessed day when this life is over. This is just a trial run, the demo version of reality, and only after this life is over is when the real fun begins of serving and serving and serving.

    I'd also like to add that throughout all of human history, in every country, culture, religion and time, there have been people held in high esteem. Heros, for want of a better term; Leonidas, Cochise, Joan of Arc, James Connolly, Wyatt Earp, and many thousands of others. People who have gone down in human history as greats. People who are sung, as some say. Now, if you are a secularist like myself, you look at these people, study their lives and think 'Wow, those people fought, and sometimes died, for freedom/equality/justice etc. They showed courage, honour and value for the people they cared about. They did the right thing, simply becuase it was the right thing to do.' If you believe in any of the monotheistic faiths you think; 'Wow, those people obeyed God/Allah/Yahweh etc and got the right results.' It cheapens them to say that. It degards them. They weren't brave, they weren't honourable, they were just following orders, and they followed those orders either to be rewarded after they were dead or to not be tortured forever after they were dead.

    Religion degrades us. Its the biggest slap in the face to all of mankinds achievements.

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