Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

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Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by Deacon » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:57 pm

More and more this is getting under my skin. It's incredibly frustrating.

Surgeon undergoes years of schooling followed by years of internship and residency before finally tacking on years of experience, surrounded by a team of skilled people, in an OR made possible by incredible scientific breakthroughs in a shockingly short time period, removed a melanoma discovered by another skilled physician, left it sown up with deft work unlikely to result in any noticeable scarring or disfigurement? Skip directly to saying that an invisible wizard invented by desert barbarians thousands of years ago is good to you. Sure, he gave you cancer, but then he made it possible for him to do nothing at all while instead the hard work of real people made you well.

Never miss a mammogram, and through the amazing work of scientists, researchers, biochemists, surgeons, oncologists, and general practitioners breast cancer is found, removed, treated, and you're well now? Claim it was that invisible wizard who used all that to make you well. Sure, he gave you cancer, but then he made it possible for him to do nothing at all while instead the hard work of real people made you well.

Firemen and EMTs who show up at your the wreck your drunk son caused and save his life? Invisible ancient desert wizard in the sky blessed you. Sure, he got your son drunk and then caused him to get in a life threatening collision, but then he made it possible for him to do nothing at all while instead the hard work of real people covered in your son's real blood saved his life.

Doctors risk freedom and life itself to live under continual threat and armed guard so that they can come to you in your North Korean hell hole and fix your poor vision? Go immediately to the poster of your oppressor on the wall and gush your gratitude to it. Sure, your oppressor caused your predicament in the first place, but then he graciously allowed a handful of people to fix one tiny part of his mess for free as long as they don't metaphorically open your eyes.

I'm sick of it. It needs to fucking stop.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by NorthernComfort » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:35 pm

I'm a programmer, been doing it my whole life so far. Sometimes I get stuck on a really nasty bug, the kind that you can't reproduce reliably, and seems to hinge upon a stack of edge cases between multiple systems. The kind of bug that gives you gray hairs and makes you think of retiring with no further plans beyond a double scotch.

So some people find it weird when I fix one of those bugs and immediately un-roll my life-size poster of Kim-Jong Un to heap praise upon my generous and great leader for assisting me in fixing the bug. Especially since it's a political campaign. I tell them it's just my little secret programming tool.

But I know... he's the one that fixed the bug. I am merely Kim Jong Un's instrument for debugging my problems.

---

I don't get why people are so hesitant to give humans their due credit, seeing as we are 100% responsible for how well humanity fares in general. (Barring shit like asteroids, which then I guess we can thank Jeebus for helping us dodge)

I think people just prefer the status quo of Almight God > Helpless Humanity. It helps people excuse themselves (or their doctors etc) for failures, because for some reason it's okay for God to screw things up since he planned to... I dunno, this stuff falls so far out of the logical realm it's pretty hard for me to wrap my head around.
"I guess I have a gift for expressing pedestrian tastes. In a way, it's kind of depressing." -Bill Watterson

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by Deacon » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:09 pm

Oh I know the why. It's not complicated or shrouded. It's built into religion--especially the Abrahamic religions--to attribute all good things to their god. When practiced, it reinforces the feedback loop of religion in their mind and builds a platform for effortless confirmation bias. They're taught not just to be thankful for the good things, but in fact in all things give thanks. It's an all-encompassing system. Start with a populace deserving only of instant death and agony, and anything better is cause for praise while anything worse is the will of their god who moves in mysterious ways. It's all about reinforcing unquestioning loyalty and unthinking reverence.

Of the various capabilities my dad has, one is that he's a certified flight instructor (and instrument), and he told me a story going around about one time an instructor being up with a very nervous and devout Muslim guy (well before 9/11, by the way) from somewhere in the Middle East, and on the first lesson once up in the air he was told to go ahead and take the controls and just hold it straight and level. He left them alone and shouted desperately, "Allah wills it! Allah wills it!" as the nose started to dip. It was amusing to my dad that someone should have such mindless faith in the will of his god--with zero irony. None. No recognition of similarities with my dad's own faith in the invisible desert wizard he was told was real as a child. It's just that other iteration of the wizard that's silly and wrong.

We would laugh at an adult who believes in Santa or the tooth fairy or a rain dance, because we discovered at some point the mechanism behind those tails. Yet we're told we have to honor and respect the beliefs of adults who believe in invisible wizards or magic crystals despite the fact that we're aware of the mechanisms behind those tails, too. We would laugh at an adult who believes in leprechauns and unicorns and dragons, because those are clearly fictitious or mythical folk tales with zero evidence of them being real now or ever in the past. But the same does not apply to invisible desert wizards who seem to care a whole lot about what you do with your privates.

PS Such is the devotion to the myth that if they don't claim that fossils were placed in the geological stratum by a hateful and mischievous antagonist (and allowed to do so by an all powerful but inscrutable wizard) then they say that because the universe is only about 6,000 years old, dinosaurs were the inspiration for dragons since humans and dinosaurs (and every other prehistoric creature) all used to live peacefully side by side. The T-Rex was an herbivore, by the way. So were lions. No, I'm not making that up.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by Rorschach » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:51 am

I don't think there's much can be added to your points, to be honest but I do like this little snippet from Terry Pratchett
Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that's a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events -- the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there -- that must also be a miracle. Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous.
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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by Deacon » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:28 pm

Fate works in mysterious ways.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by raptor9k » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:19 pm

Why are you giving individuals credit for something their current levels of brain chemistry and random firing of their neurons accomplished?!
I'm putting my talents and skills to use for a business so that I receive compensatory funds that I may then choose to spend and invest and save as I see fit. If I choose to blow it all on hookers and Dr. Seuss books, I don't see how that means you owe me a comfortable retirement. - Deacon

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by Deacon » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:14 pm

That depends on whether or not you believe in the concept of free will versus being fated to be reading these words right now, nearly 14 billion years after the current iteration of the universe exploded into expansion.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by raptor9k » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:50 pm

Most likely, a health mix of both depending on your definition of Free Will and Fate. Not sure it would be the traditional meaning of fate, though. More likely, incapable of influencing a chain of events, though not necessarily due to the influence of a supernatural deity. If free will were completely in control an addict that truly wanted to quit would never relapse, yet it happens all the time (go chemistry...or is it fate?). If fate were calling the shots you'd have a hard time explaining a ton of actions people take on a daily basis.
I'm putting my talents and skills to use for a business so that I receive compensatory funds that I may then choose to spend and invest and save as I see fit. If I choose to blow it all on hookers and Dr. Seuss books, I don't see how that means you owe me a comfortable retirement. - Deacon

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by Deacon » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:32 pm

Impulses vs choices is wandering into some interesting scientific and philosophical territory. We all have various pressures on us (either biological or sociological based on biological) to make certain choices. Life isn't as simple as a basic risk-reward system, which is why economists have such a hard time nailing things down.

I meant the difference between believing in the notion that one set of atomic interactions must necessarily lead to the next which means there is no other possible outcome except that I am typing these words right now and you are now reading them some time later.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Someone did something good? Praise a deity instead.

Post by raptor9k » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:53 pm

I read them so it must be fate. But if I hadn't read them that could've also been fate. :D

Is this where the multi-universe theory where infinite parallel worlds revolving around every choice ever made originates?

For what it's worth, I, personally, subscribe to intelligent design partly because I believe in free will. I guess I can't grok how you'd get beyond random chemical reactions without some extra spark. I do not particularly subscribe to the idea that God is out there watching our every move and making minor nudges to events to influence them one way or the other. If 'he' does I'd imagine it's entirely out of amusement. I suppose I'm not a very good Christian but I see the bible as a collection of decent advice on how to live life to the fullest. Also the jews were weird.
I'm putting my talents and skills to use for a business so that I receive compensatory funds that I may then choose to spend and invest and save as I see fit. If I choose to blow it all on hookers and Dr. Seuss books, I don't see how that means you owe me a comfortable retirement. - Deacon

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