December 18, 2018, 03:29:54 PM

Author Topic: Politics and other ailments of the real world  (Read 189377 times)

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2940 on: December 08, 2018, 09:51:39 AM »
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2941 on: December 08, 2018, 05:48:04 PM »
It's difficult for anyone in our modern, secular society to understand genuine religious motivation. As an atheist, I absolutely get how ridiculous all that is. At the same time, I'm a medieval historian. I spent decades trying to understand people whose behaviors on the surface appear nonsensical. In the context of Christian missionaries, the man's actions make sense.

Once you grant that God is not only real but active in the world, once you grant that miracles can and do happen, and once you steep yourself in the history of martyrs, Protestant and Catholic alike, then you come away clad in bright armor. Any missionary will point out that for every evangelist murdered by savages, there are hundreds upon thousands of "miraculous" conversions of the pagan. People whose lives were genuinely transformed for the better. And yes, thousands of others who converted and relapsed, or whose conversions were mere pretense. All that, and more. The history of evangelizing and of conversions is marvelously complex.

One of the most basic lessons learned in my discipline is that the historian must come to understanding before coming to judgment, and understanding is no quick road.

Yeah, this guy should have seen it coming, and his faith let him put on blinders and call them eyeglasses. At the same time, I find it curious that no one is condemning his killers. For all the faults of monotheistic religions, I'm very glad we no longer live in a world where it's not merely okay but admirable to kill someone simply because they're a foreigner. It's weird we not only tolerate this, but actively protect it. Humans are a funny species.

Visit Altearth

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2942 on: December 08, 2018, 06:22:20 PM »
Yeah, this guy should have seen it coming, and his faith let him put on blinders and call them eyeglasses. At the same time, I find it curious that no one is condemning his killers. For all the faults of monotheistic religions, I'm very glad we no longer live in a world where it's not merely okay but admirable to kill someone simply because they're a foreigner. It's weird we not only tolerate this, but actively protect it. Humans are a funny species.

I've seen the theory floated that they've retained stories of what happened the last time outsiders messed with them to a significant degree.

As for understanding the devoutly religious mindset... I think I ultimately can't. I'm not only a regular atheist, I happen to have a condition that casts my worldview almost entirely in facts and material good/bad. I roll my eyes at the idea, both current and historical, that anyone and anything not directly off one's own god and worldview is BAD. I can only perceive it as unbelievable arrogance. Not even getting into the whole idea of God creating a bunch of people, then plopping them down in a part of the world where they'll never hear of him, so he can send them to Hell for not worshipping him...
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline JMack

  • Hircum Magna Rex of the Fabled Atku Temple, and writing contest regular
  • Writing Group
  • Ringbearer
  • *****
  • Posts: 6759
  • Total likes: 4599
  • Gender: Male
  • ridiculously obscure is my super power.
    • View Profile
    • Tales of Starlit Lands
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2943 on: December 08, 2018, 07:28:09 PM »
I go to church many Sundays and sing in the contemporary ensemble. My dad used to say I go because that’s where they’ll let me sing every week.

I view my faith as a means to touch the spiritual in human experience. Which implies, of course, that I believe in a spritual experience that has reality. And many days I do, while others I don’t.

I’ve had several experiences which I can explain through brain chemistry, suggestion, what have you.

The first was at a pentecostal church down the corner from my house. A friend (now head of the philosophy department at a well-regarded liberal arts college in the U.S. ) suggested we go due to a common interest in exploring faith. There was an “altar call” to accept Jesus as one’s personal savior. I went up and knelt. The pastor put his hands on my hand, declared that I was saved and I went into an altered state. My body felt filled with electricity and my mind expanded and exploded. I won’t go into more long history about what happened after. Suffice it to say that I went through a period of believing that the experience was caused by a connection to God and then a period in which I saw it as chemically induced trance. These days I sort of see it both way. I believe the two are not mutually exclusive.

The second was very recent. Before my heart surgery, I prayed with a chaplain, who led a visualization based on a scene where the risen Christ appears to his apostles while they’re fishing. He basically runs a quick beachside fish fry, and it’s (to me) an utterly charming story. After my surgery, when I h]was in considerable distress and pain, a nurse told me to essentially go to my “happy place”. I intended in that moment to picture our camp in Maine, but instead found myself on the beach in Galilee at night in front of a small fire encountering a welcoming and powerful figure in the shadows. My distress vanished and I was back in my body in the hospital and through that part of the ordeal.

Of course, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, “animists”, and others will relate their own stories of how they were touched by the eternal otherness, or what have you. My experience is in keeping with theirs and in a Christian context because that’s what I’ve found useful (and frustrating, maddening) in my life. It’s my context, so it’s the frame of these experiences.

I hate the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” Bullshit. I remember a quote from a novel I read in college. “Remember, things do not slide, glide, form, or fashion. They fall in place.”

But I’ve had these experiences and they are real. They may be self-hypnosis of a sort. I can buy that. But only up to a point. So in the meantime, I go to church where they let me sing each Sunday. I’m a fine singer.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Elderling
  • *
  • Posts: 5662
  • Total likes: 2426
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile
    • Fictional Times
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2944 on: December 08, 2018, 07:34:24 PM »
At the same time, I find it curious that no one is condemning his killers. For all the faults of monotheistic religions, I'm very glad we no longer live in a world where it's not merely okay but admirable to kill someone simply because they're a foreigner. It's weird we not only tolerate this, but actively protect it. Humans are a funny species.
I agree with your first part but I don't think no one is condemning the Sentinelese and I disagree with the quoted part.
He presented a real danger to them (maybe not in the way they think or maybe they have stories about contact to outsiders who brought diseases with them) and they were protecting themselves and their families in the only possible way.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2945 on: December 08, 2018, 09:52:34 PM »
The second was very recent. Before my heart surgery, I prayed with a chaplain, who led a visualization based on a scene where the risen Christ appears to his apostles while they’re fishing. He basically runs a quick beachside fish fry, and it’s (to me) an utterly charming story. After my surgery, when I h]was in considerable distress and pain, a nurse told me to essentially go to my “happy place”. I intended in that moment to picture our camp in Maine, but instead found myself on the beach in Galilee at night in front of a small fire encountering a welcoming and powerful figure in the shadows. My distress vanished and I was back in my body in the hospital and through that part of the ordeal.

Of course, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, “animists”, and others will relate their own stories of how they were touched by the eternal otherness, or what have you. My experience is in keeping with theirs and in a Christian context because that’s what I’ve found useful (and frustrating, maddening) in my life. It’s my context, so it’s the frame of these experiences.

That second story is quite charming.

I'm sure there is great relief and comfort in being able to immerse oneself in something like that, or in believing that something is looking out for us. I'm just can't. My mind isn't wired that way.
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2946 on: December 08, 2018, 10:10:36 PM »
>God creating a bunch of people, then plopping them down in a part of the world where they'll never hear of him, so he can send them to Hell for not worshipping him...

Yup, sure. I once had a whole blog on atheism. But allow me to point out a distinction here. You (rightly, sez I) mock or dismiss these ideas. What I was talking about was the people.

My medieval professor shocked me when he said I should take reports of miracles at face value. The source says people saw whole armies in the sky. Plainly impossible, right? Being a good professor, he merely dropped the bomb in my lap and let me work out how to defuse it. When I did, I found insight that served me ever since.

My job as historian is not to evaluate the ideas, it's to understand the people. And these people saw armies in the sky (insert miracle of choice here). I could dismiss them as "unscientific" or whatever, but that would be to miss the point. Once I accepted that they were telling the truth *as they understood it* then my focus as a historian radically changed.

I began to ask, do all miracles get reported the same way? Are the reports uncritical? Is there standard vocabulary used? Why does this particular miracle get reported just here? Are there other sources that speak to the same event? The answers were fascinating, subtle, and some were beyond answering.

FWIW, and all that.

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2947 on: December 08, 2018, 10:17:14 PM »
>He presented a real danger to them

Pretty sure that evangelism is not a legal defense on a murder charge. I was only observing that with these "protected" peoples we don't merely apply a different set of standards, we suspend our standards so utterly we ignore what is called natural law. It's okay to kill people if you are sufficiently primitive and killing folks is just one of those things you do.

The numbskull evangelist ought to have known this. If he did, and went ahead, he's a fool. If he went ahead without doing even that basic research, he's doubly a fool. No need to invoke religion to explain human foolishness.

Visit Altearth

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2948 on: December 08, 2018, 10:27:17 PM »
>He presented a real danger to them

Pretty sure that evangelism is not a legal defense on a murder charge.

Xiagan meant the much-repeated fact that this tribe has no defence against common diseases. Anything that makes it there from outside might wipe them all out.
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2949 on: December 08, 2018, 11:13:59 PM »
Any contact? Looks like they've been contacted multiple times
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese#Contact
including return visits in the 1990s
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2018/12/first-woman-chattopadhyay-contact-sentinelese-andaman/

But this is a cultural decision, rendered easier to make because they live on an island. I doubt the same choice would have been made if such a people were discovered in the next county over.
Visit Altearth

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2950 on: December 09, 2018, 12:19:54 AM »
They behaved as expected. It is not about supporting the actions of the Sentinelese or defending their actions they would not have killed John Chou if he had not encroached on their land, broken the law by doing so and done so to inflict his version of Christianity on them, not that they were probably aware of such (re the Indian mutiny for interesting reading on missionary work in India and the effects). As stated when belief trumps common sense, survival instinct and common decency is that really religious fervour or the actions of a brain washing cult?

Offline J.R. Darewood

  • aka Duckly Breadgood
  • Writing Group
  • Master Namer
  • ******
  • Posts: 2141
  • Total likes: 1240
  • Gender: Male
  • Zork. And it was all downhill from there.
    • View Profile
    • Nerd Empire
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2951 on: December 09, 2018, 08:45:23 AM »
Any contact? Looks like they've been contacted multiple times
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese#Contact
including return visits in the 1990s
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2018/12/first-woman-chattopadhyay-contact-sentinelese-andaman/

But this is a cultural decision, rendered easier to make because they live on an island. I doubt the same choice would have been made if such a people were discovered in the next county over.

I don't know that throwing coconuts at them counts as contact, or in the older incidences recovering dead bodies from the island or kidnapping some of them (most of whom died immediately) and rushing the survivors back to the island. Even with the handful of coconut exchanges (if they've never seen one, a coconut is really challenging to open without a machete, that whole exchange sounded so absurd), there's nothing to say that the few people that even saw the outsiders are connected to every tribe on the island. 

I'd say they meet the definition of uncontacted pretty squarely, according to these links.


Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2952 on: December 12, 2018, 05:28:30 PM »
And back in the UK our PM is about to lose a vote of no confidence. Her single task has been to remove the UK the from the EU political/trade group. The deal she has negotiated is not what she has been saying she would do and does not please those who chose to remain or leave. The UK would be in a situation where we would be bound by all current agreements but have absolutely no say in the EU going forwards and it will only cost us 39 Billion pounds.

I do not know if she is criminal or just utterly incompetent, but she is certainly not acting in the interests of the UK.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk

Online ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 10061
  • Total likes: 5887
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2953 on: December 12, 2018, 06:57:03 PM »
I think the deal she negotiated is the only one possible, the EU would never bend themselves backwards to give the UK everything it wants - the whole thing is a shambles and I'm sick to death of politicians only caring about themselves and their businesses.
This should never have gone to a referendum, it's such a complex situation, no "normal" person understands fully the implications (and I include myself in that group).
The country is being ruined and I feel very sad...
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3995
  • Total likes: 1938
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2954 on: December 12, 2018, 07:10:14 PM »
If we do leave do you think the Canada plus deal would be any good for the U.K? I thought the EU offered it to us once.

I heard some talk of a Norway deal too.



I haven’t been impressed with this current generation of politicians.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 07:12:24 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate