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Moon Phase

June 2019
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Bruce [userpic]
Fuzzy Thinking

I realize none of us humans are particularly good at logical thinking, but occasionally something just... irritates me. And I'm going to share my irritation over Matisyahu's "One Day."

I can't fault the basic hope for a future filled with love, but let's start with:

then I pray
don't take me soon
cause I am here for a reason

Let's just look at this for a bit, eh? He's praying, to his God, to not take him because there's a reason he's alive. Apparently God didn't get the memo. In fact, the general implication is that there's a higher power above God (Fate, perhaps? He is one of the Endless) that has decreed a function for him.

I'm not sure why I have to pick on this, when the next lines are:
sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down

Apparently he only drowns in happy tears. Or at least, neutral tears.

I believe this hits me harder than would other badly thought-out lyrics, because it seems to match very well with a standard set of behaviors - at least a standard set of Christian behaviors.

I mean, take prayer in general. God is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent (though Epicurus pointed out 350 years before Christ that the combination of those three is inconsistent with the observed world). Your god already knows what you want, knows what's best for everyone, and, let's face it, if He's doing His job, has already decided what should happen.

What's with the whole "begging Him to change His mind" bit? If not for the fact that, deep down, even true believers don't really believe their god is omniscient. There's information that God doesn't know. There are things He hasn't figured out yet.

And sometimes He just needs a good talking-to.

Current Location: The Duplex
Mood: annoyedannoyed
(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Do you mean they don't????


Now I'm imagining little sperm-shaped bon bons.

Hmmmm... product idea...

Ye olde ineffability dodge...

It doesn't work, but it does sound really cool.

Pretty, but the point?

If you're trying to say that many talk to God just to, well, talk, well, then, I have no logical issue with that.

Much as I have no issue with prayers for the improvement of self (though the flawed nature of that self is a direct indicator of a glitch in at least one of the omnipotent, omniscient, or benevolent qualities).

But many pray for their side to win in a war. For their team to win. For it not to rain on little Jimmy's graduation ceremony. For their friend to recover from cancer.

Valid desires, all, but ones that will, given the described nature of The Management, already have been taken care of.

As far as the point that one doesn't necessarily behave in a non-contradictory manner, well, I did start the post by pointing out we weren't the most logical beings...

I get the impression that you recognize some limits to the applicability of logic to poetry.
That would be my point.

It is self expression, exploration, cognition in action but not yet complete.

I recognize there is no direct application of logic to poetry.

Or are you saying the universe is a performance art piece? Maybe a freshman year art class project? It would explain a lot...

Regarding flawed nature of self...

"God saw that it was good ... it was very good."

This is the starting point of transactional analysis.
I'm okay, you're okay.
If there's going to be a relationship we'll work on it together from there and see where it goes.

Some people get all hung up on the notion (their own notion) of "perfection".
It's important not to forget the starting point.

I have no issue with believing we are the products of a greater being. I don't, personally, but that's beside the point.

Problems occur when there is insistence that the being in question is the epitome of perfection. And yes, I realize that "perfection" is a fairly nebulous concept.

But we are, as humans, deeply flawed beings. Hell, even our sinuses don't work right. A creator with all three defined attributes would have built us better.

Yeah, I've always wondered, ya know...

If the Lord is my Shepherd, does that mean we get fleeced? And eventually end up on the dinner table?

I am so not clicking on the video link...

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Cute. I really should watch more of that show...

Some of us humans are particularly good at logical thinking, at least for working with wetware. It would, however, be a cold, hard place if the only way we thought was logically.

Religion provides an emotional focus, not a rational one. We mostly get in trouble when we start treating dogma as a logical basis, but I do believe that faith provides emotional benefits for those who can buy into it.

Regarding the impossibility of God as defined, I can't help but point out that quite a few inconsistencies go away if you don't assume he's benevolent. After all, at best, we only had his word on that...

I tend to believe that the world is a cold, hard place. But we're herd animals, and we don't like it that way, so we go to great lengths to decorate it with fuzzy "Love" wallpaper, comfortable "Safety" furniture, and nice lacy "Eternal life" curtains over the garbage chute.

And I appreciate the decorations, really I do. I think they make the place much cheerier and brighter. I even go out of my way to try to make many of them more substantial. But I don't have huge amounts of patience with people who mistake the decorations for reality.

As far as the benevolence thing goes, Epicurus' point was that you can't have all three and the observed universe at the same time. There's no problem if you loosen any one of the three.

You picked benevolence. Most of the christians I've met explain things away by backing off on a bit of the other two. They don't realize that's what they're doing, but, for example, they'll explain that humans are dicks because we're "flawed." Well, generally, that means the manufacturer goofed up...


Yeah. I pick that one because even in accepted scripture, there's not a lot of evidence to support it. Kinder, Gentler God came in during the New Testament, and even then it's kind of hit or miss.

My own worldview includes duality:

The world is a cold, hard place that operates by rules, even if we don't always understand the rules. If we escape sheer determinism, it's only through something inherently random, like quantum effect.

However, our experience of the world also has to be accounted for, and it may not track the actual world one to one. One obvious example would be in our perception of time, and how it's affected by fight-or-flight or boredom. Our experience is, by necessity, at a macro level, and perhaps doesn't obviously follow set rules (even if it's a product of chemical reactions that do).

Faith--in whatever you might be faithful to--is a way to modify and reconcile that experience. And as such, perhaps it defies analysis.

D'oh. Stupid LJ cookie. Above was me.