SCIENCE VS RELIGION

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Moderator » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:12 pm

Lori

I didn't catch the offense here. Please PM me to explain.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:10 pm

Fraaaank! I guess you didn't get the gist of my post.

DON"T DO THEOLOGY AT THE FUNERAL.

Do like Job's friends in the Bible. Sit quietly and don't be helpful. Be available.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:53 am

Barber wrote:Lori

I didn't catch the offense here. Please PM me to explain.


I caught it. I await the outcome of this one.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:33 am

Is Harlan going to the funeral?

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Moderator » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:33 am

Reposting Lori's comment here.

Lori Koonce wrote:Where to begin....

First and foremost, each of you get a heartfelt thank you. Sometimes this is the only reason I bother to get up.

Now for a few personal things and I leave you all in what goes for peace around here...


Frank, while it looks like it's been removed, but I am truly am sorry about that rather rude comment I made yesterday. Looks like my way to cope and yours don't mix well. I work on my end ad I hope you work on yours.

FinderDoug, one of the mist insidious things that depression gives you is the ability to feel badly no matter where you are or how many people you have that care about you. Case in point just a few moments ago I started crying while listening to the song Spinning Wheel, looking out the coffee shop window and realizing that no one really gives a shit. Try have things like that happening to youn24/7 and you will understand just the tip of the tip of the iceberg that people like Harlan and I deal with.
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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Moderator » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:46 am

Lori, as I messaged you I appreciate your comments here and on PM. I understand your reading of Franks comments, though didn't and don't read them the same way.

If I can offer -- as Steve, not as Mod -- this observation:

Frank likes to attack our society. Our culture. The collective "we" which encompasses the greater whole.

With only a few exceptions over the years, I have not seen him attack anyone here -- individuals -- directly. I've seen sarcasm, cynicism, and a handful of questions about resources and motivation regarding individual board members. But "Barber, you're an idiot" isn't his usual style.

Like everyone here he's crossed the line and been smacked for it. But I think there are times I see people reading everything he writes that way, and that's where the heat begins.

For obvious reasons, Lori can identify with Robin Williams in a way most of the rest of us cannot, and so it's easy to forgive the emotional response. I respect her post, and her input on the Depression thread is invaluable to helping the rest of us understand.

Frank gets my goat as much as he does anyone else's, but part of the reformation of the attitudes here must be to ask when we think there's been an insult instead of automatically assuming one. If it is, THEN take the other person's head off.

Just sayin' 8)
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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:16 pm

I am truly humbled Steve.

One of the reasons I stay away from places like this in the middle of an episode is because I KNOW I misunderstand pretty much everything that is said. You and the rest of the crew don't deserve that one iota.

Not only do I know what he felt on a deep and more personal level than most, but I know what a kind and wonderful soul we lost when Robin Williams left us. He used to put on a hoodie and roam the streets of SF handing out money and coats to homeless people in the winter. He gave a lot of money and time to a local church and I just found out that he was one of the first people in line at out blood bank the day after the world trade center debacle.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Keendawg » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:56 pm

Mark Tiedemann wrote:
Barber wrote:Lori

I didn't catch the offense here. Please PM me to explain.


I caught it. I await the outcome of this one.


I'd like to hear your take on this, Mark.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:31 pm

Image
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:56 pm

Image
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:31 am

Keendawg wrote:
Mark Tiedemann wrote:
Barber wrote:Lori

I didn't catch the offense here. Please PM me to explain.


I caught it. I await the outcome of this one.


I'd like to hear your take on this, Mark.


Basically, the question was "How can god allow bad things to happen to good people." I paraphrasing, but it came down to that. The follow on was that, well, because there is no god, but if there were, why defend the thug?

What was then said was "We allow it."

There are several ways to take this, but the one that seemed obvious was that it's "our fault" that bad things happen like this. That it is never "god" but us. Attached to that are hanging bunches of assumptions that, depending on context, make it very personal, like a big finger pointing at us, accusing us, in this case, of having "let" someone die. Given the personalities involved, a further assumption can be drawn that "we" "allow" this kind of thing by not believing in a benevolent god, so why should he bother to help out? The Pat Robertson school of moral blackmail. A further complication from this is that, because we don't believe in that god, there is a hole in our heart that permits us to turn our back on pain and suffering, which if we embraced god we would not do, as if god, in whatever manifestation you care to accept it, is a necessary and sufficient condition for compassion, and this is a further form of blackmail, kind of like telling someone because they didn't support the politician who was going to sponsor the funding building the bridge collapsed and it is our fault, personally. "We allow it" comes freighted with myriad little emotional bombs.


I actually doubt that was how it was intended, but that's the problem with soundbite responses, isn't it?

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Moderator » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:21 am

I find it odd that such a sentence would be any more or less offensive under theological or non-theological conditions. I don't see that single sentence as stating anything other than "We", humanity, "allow bad things to happen to good people", and I think that's startlingly accurate. We do.

The key is the word "allow". It betrays an indifference, not a cause in and of itself. It's a passive role, in that by not acting, or acting in opposition, we allow bad things to happen. We're allowing bad things to happen to innocent Iraqis under ISIS (now simply IS). We allow -- as a society -- poor people to suffer. We allowed, through inattention, 9/11 and the VA hospital crisis to happen. That doesn't mean we wanted them to, it simply means that an opportunity was granted to people who, directly or otherwise, caused a lot of suffering and grief.

The question isn't whether God allows it -- it happens regardless of whether you believe in a supreme being or you don't -- it's that we, as humans, allow it.

That's how I read Frank's comment, and a good example of what I referenced above as deliberately trying to find insult in his posts.
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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:04 am

Steve,

I agree with what you say, but for a couple of things. The blanket "we allow it" suggests, depending on context, an almost godlike ability to intervene and that something bad happened can be laid at anyone's feet. Sometimes the opposite it true---"You can't stop it" is often just as true. So to say to someone who is asking, honestly and painfully, why did this happen, "We (by extension you) allowed it" might be true but it is also hurtful.

And it doesn't actually provide an answer.

We allow it. How? Tell me how we can prevent it. Don't lay the guilt on me without showing me how it's my fault. (Speaking hypothetically here.) There's an element of self-righteousness (not necessarily or exclusively in the religious sense) to the phrase, especially when that's not what is being asked.

As I said, I doubt that was intended, but speaking myself I find that phrase generally annoyingly useless. It sounds profound and may be intended sympathetically, but it doesn't answer the question. Speaking directly to your point about finding things to take offense at in what Frank says, yes, we do all seemed primed for that, but as Ezra said earlier "Don't do theology at the funeral" which is kinda what happened. I think Frank intended what he said as supportive, a hug, in a way, but there is this other side to phrases like that.

We tend, if I may expand a bit, to use cliches too often. (Daniel Kahneman's book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, really goes into that in a useful way) They're handy and we expect everyone to know what they mean, even if their actual content is otherwise. I'm guilty of it as much as anyone else. The temptation to say anything even if you don't have something truly useful to say is part of our social programming.

(I get irrationally discombobulated when people offer me an "I'll pray for you" when I go through a rough patch. I've trained myself not to react anymore because I know they mean well, but the whole suite of assumptions that come with that phrase---which they aren't thinking about at the time, because for some people it's kind of an automatic thing---really rub me the wrong way. I'm sure others have similar reactions to other phrases. Another one of my pet peeves is in trials or senate hearings when someone says to a bad guy "You failed to do this" when discussing a criminal action. It bothers me. No, he didn't "fail" to do anything---that suggests he tried to do something and couldn't manage it rather than the reality that he never intended to so that thing and didn't fail to do it at all, he simply didn't do it. It may seem like nitpicking, but I find it to be an abuse of semantic content. Anyway...)

I repeat, I don't think Frank intended offense, I only said I could see where it lay. I was asked to explain. I think Lori also realized Frank didn't mean it the way it came across.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:26 am

See, that's what bothers me. Trying to find evil in my words, even though I am both a Christian and human rights advocate. Maybe on off nights I am pure evil. I can be snide, but I can also be sweet as light. Lori I am not mad at because she just took what I said the wrong way--she thought I directed the jibe to her; what I did direct the jibe was at mankind as a whole, including me. We allow Hitler, we allow wars, we allow poverty, we allow awful culture, we allow--I am part of we. I never put myself in the good column. We are all guilty as Carlin used to say.

Love and friendship to Lori and the rest.

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Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:27 am

Lori, you ever catch Robin in the hoodie?

Parkinsons is a bad scene. It explains a bit, but it is still very sad.


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