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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Partisan Prayer?
Thread: Partisan Prayer?
Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted February 17, 2004 12:11 AM

Partisan Prayer?

Disclaimer: If this topic is deemed unrelated rambling, the mods should feel free to banish it to the Wastelands.  I'm putting it here in the Other Side because I'd like thoughts and feedback from some of the serious posters here.    It is, however, a personal and time-sensitive quandry, so I will understand if others find it useless. So...

As mentioned in another thread, someone close to me is suing an incompetent professional who mismanaged a lot of money.  My acquaintance asked me for to pray for them with regard to this lawsuit, which is generating a great deal of stress.  Not only cash but also reputations are involved since both sides are accusing one another of lying.  My problem:
A) My religious focus is characteristically on divine mercy, not divine justice.
B) I am not a fan of asking the divine to take sides (i.e. praying for victory for one's sports team ).
What do I do?  The tension between mercy and justice hasn't been a pivotal part of my theology, but it's definately there (seeing as they are represented by two different entities), and this has made me rethink what the concepts mean to me.  Preferring the path of mercy in most cases -- i.e. not holding grudges and giving easy forgiveness, as I do -- but turning to justice in this one instance feels hypocritical.  Furthermore, I'm not sure how much I'm really appealing to "justice" at all.  In case it isn't obvious from my not-so-objective summary above, while there is certainly a share of blame for both sides, I think my acquaintance is more in the right than the professional, and I think my acquaintance deserves financial recompense for financial losses caused by this person's incompetence.  Needless to say, I don't have all the information, and my opinion is heavily influenced by my acquantaince's position.  Am I really asking for justice, or am I just asking for my acquaintance to win and therefore for the divinity to take a side?  I'm trying to think of this as calling Justice's attention to the case in general, knowing that this might hurt my acquaintance, but it still feels wrong somehow.

This would all be rather abstract, except that a post-Valentine's Day sale made rose bouquets very cheap and therefore within my price range.  I bought one as an altar sacrifice, since roses symbolize the justice-entity.  But my uncertainty makes dedication difficult -- do I give it to her to draw her attention to the case?  Is that a bribe?  Or could it count as just normal worship? (I'd been thinking of getting roses for her before my acquaintance made the prayer request, but they were too expensive.)  Right now, they're sitting on my altar with a dedication along the line of "here's a bunch of roses for you; I don't know what to say about that case of [acquaintance]'s, so I leave that up to you."

So, anyway, there's my ramble.  Non-spammy comments on any of the topics touched upon, feedback, fellow rambles, etc. are welcome.  I just needed to get this off my chest.
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Aculias
Aculias


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Pretty Boy Angel Sacraficer
posted February 17, 2004 03:12 AM

If a company screwed up then you must do whats nessary to undo what has been done, if it has to do with suing them.
Praying wont help,you make a mistake, you pay the price.
If there is a true religion, it wont help with a person that did wrong, if it was intentially or no.

SOmeone messed with my money then you damb right I will sue what I have to do.
Then also to ruin my reputation.
If I was in the wrong, then i would be one screwed up rich dude.
Most time only the rich can get away with it.
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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted February 17, 2004 07:35 AM

You Are Who You Are, Be You And Nobody Else

Quote:
My religious focus is characteristically on divine mercy, not divine justice.
I am not a fan of asking the divine to take sides (i.e. praying for victory for one's sports team ).


You have defined yourself with these statements Khaelo.

My own philosophy dictates encompass character portrayal of self-defining choice. You are Khaelo(whatever you real name is I do not know) and are known for the choices you have made in your life.

I have found in my experiences when communicating to other people that sometimes a person ,referred to as an "acquaintance", falls under many different categories. Whatever category your friend considers you to be I do not know, but the basic principle of strengths and weaknesses does still apply. The two questions are:

1. What are you known for?

A) a person who changes your mind (i.e. your opinions)
B) a person who has a known set of preferrences(self-defining choices)

2. When making decisions what are you known for?

A) when making a decision you are a person who stands solidly behind your choice
B) when making decisions you are known for wavering your choice in favor of any number of circumstances

I have found that when a person deviates from the character they have created for themselves they are found to have a weakness, while maintaning your character is seen as a strength.

After having defined yourself in a relationship with a person I think it is best to stay the course of your character that you believe you have created.

Sometimes friends don't always understand each other's behavior and it might cause the friend in question to lose value as a strong person. In cases such as this I have found that if the person has strength then they find themselves explaining the situation in question relating their questionable behavior to one's character that they feel they have already created.

By applying my logic to you I would advise you to make sure, above all else, that whatever action you take, it must be an action that shows strength of character. I think that if you all of the sudden behave in some manner supporting this divine justice, to which you have already defined as "not you" then I believe it would be a sign of weakness. If this person is your friend then you must ask yourself, "Would I cease to be me if I do this?" To thine own self be true and others will love you for it. When you are yourself I believe you will make the appropriate friends as opposed to if you were putting on a show. If you put on a show then it might attract people who want to be friends with the show and not your true self.

That's my opinion, hope it helps.
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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted February 20, 2004 12:54 AM
Edited By: Khaelo on 19 Feb 2004

First, I should point out that my acquaintance is doing all the practical steps necessary to recoup losses.  After all, they have pressed the legal proceedings in the first place rather than letting the incident slide.  Fortunately, the professional is almost as sloppy/incompetant in making up evidence and lying as they are in doing their real job.    My role has primarily been to provide a listening ear for my acquaintance's rants, offer (non-expert!) advice, and eventually to attend the mediation sessions as visible moral support.   The prayer thing is a supplementry action -- my acquaintance believes prayer works, and I think an extra psychological boost to confidence can't hurt.  But no one's betting their chips on divine intervention here.

So, the ramble above isn't really about practical results.  To move into the other topic touched upon, it's not about me or my character, either.  My concern is the implications of the actions and how they relate to one another.  I believe the technical term for this sort of speculation is "navel-gazing."  Thus the understanding if this thread gets banished to the Wastelands.

===
Character -- Points brought up:
1) Choices define character.
2) Inconsistent choices are weakness of character, whereas consistent choices are strength.
3) Character is created (self-consciously?).
4) Strong character should be shown by choices consistent with the "self".

Is that an accurate summary, Consis?

Questions:
1) Is character internal or external?  Is it the "soul" a person is inside, or is the "face" seen by others?
2) Do a person's choices create their character?  Or do choices simply reflect the character that already exists?
3) Can change of character ever be good?  Change implies inconsistency, and therefore weakness in this system, but it can also imply growth.
    3b) "To thy own self be true" -- the saying presupposes that other famous saying, "Know thyself."  Both imply a static self.  How does one stay true to oneself when one is still an unfinished, maturing individual?  A child, for instance?
4) What is the difference between self-consciously staying true to one's character and creating a "showy" strong character?  Where is the line of truth drawn?

My own philosophy has focused on character as an internal phenomenon which is continually created and shaped by experiences (which may or may not have been generated by personal choices), and that choices reflect the current state of character.  So, I'm curious as to the workings of this different outlook.  

====
Edit:
Peacemaker (post below)...wow.  You've hit so many nails on the head!

Your story is one I will definately keep in mind.
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted February 20, 2004 01:30 AM
Edited By: Peacemaker on 20 Feb 2004

Khaelo --

Very interesting thread.  You seem to have the same struggles with "prayer" that I have had in the past.  I believe that we send energy thoughts out into the universe all the time, and that those thoughts tend to generate responses in like kind (i.e. anger thoughts bring anger into your life; loving thoughts bring love into your life; victimization thoughts bring victimization into your life; etc.)  I think that the act of actually, affirmatively addressing higher powers in your thoughts is slightly different, perhaps a little more powerful.

Anyways, after decades of being involved with various Indian and other religions that incorporate the power of thought and prayer into their thinking and actions, this is my suggestion to you.

By asking for a specific outcome in a prayer to the higher power, it implies you have already made the decision for the higher power.  My habit nowadays is to send as strong a prayer or thought signal to the higher power that the people around this situation need the right thing to happen.  I don't know what the right thing is.  We seldom do.  But by sending the true "justice" signals out you are reaffirming that you want the energies in the situation to flow in the right direction and not in the wrong direction.

The right direction, however, is up to the higher power.  All you are doing is opening up the energy thinking to let that happen with as little interference as possible.

So if you "pray" for your friend, then my suggestion is that you pray that it works out for her the best way that it should according to the open energy, clearing the path of any negativity that might disrupt the eventual right way the thing is supposed to turn out.  That eventuality might not be what she wants right now.

But my experience has been this: if you trust the universe enough, and then live according to those energy wishes that everything turns out the way it is supposed to, you sometimes find that the way you wanted something to turn out wasn't the best thing after all.

Here's an example:  I recently re-applied for a position that I had about five years ago.  I was let go under less-than-favorable circumstances because of some internal politics that had nothing to do with my performance.

I was a single mom with a mortgage and a two-year-old son.  I lost everything, except my son.  I had to sell my house, and could find nothing in the way of employment for months.  We ended up living in a boarded up house with no heat and no toilet, and set about refurbishing the place. All my personal effects were destroyed in a basement flood during the refurbishing process.

But the worst loss of all was my job.  I loved that job.  It was my life.  The people I worked with still, to this day five years later, consider me part of the team.  When they found out that I was re-applying to come back, they all rallied and put immense pressure on the decisionmaker to re-hire me.  The suspicious circumstnaces of my departure were unknown to the new hiring entity.  All he knew was that I was compelled to resign, but that that people were coming out of the woodwork demanding I be re-hired, that I was the perfect if not the only candidate for the position (which is very specialized), and that if he didn't hire me back he'd better give a good reason, because one was never forthcoming the first time.

I wanted it so bad I could taste it, Khaelo.  But I sent the good energy out that this thing should work out the way it is supposed to; i.e. the way that is best for everybody affected.  

When the decision came in, the decisionmaker called me, and told me I was not chosen.  In an instant, I was crushed.  But as he continued to speak, the weight lifted, the tears stopped, and I saw that it all happened just the way that it should have.  

He chose a woman who was already in the office half-time, who was getting a divorce, and was getting stuck with child support for her three children based on a full-time salary despite that she was a half-time worker (among other totally unfair things happening in her divorce), and who could easily have gone completely under if he hadn't chosen her for the position.  She is an old acquaintence of mine, a wonderful person and mom, and frankly, if I had known of her situation and application, I might just have withdrawn to make sure she would get it.

So, did it work out the way I wanted it to for me?  No.  But did the best thing happen?  Absolutely.

I consider my prayers answered, and myself vindicated of any lingering doubts about my departure from the office, because after he pared down several dozen candidates, in the end it was between me and her.  And she needed it more than I did.  These people know I have backup now, and can take the hit.  The way I see it, any wrong to me five years ago was vindicated because they looked out for a member of the team, who deserved it, who needed it, and who might just have gone under as badly as I did if they had not.

I don't care who they right the wrong with.  The fact that they did the right thing this time cures the whole situation as far as I'm concerned.

In this instance, I was lucky to get enough information to see why what I wanted wasn't the best thing, and why my prayer/meditiation really was answered.

But that's not always the case, Khaelo.  Frequently, we don't have the whole picture, or don't see why something that looks bad when it happens, is actually the best thing in the long run.  We simply have to put out our best energy for the best thing to happen, and then trust that we have done all that we can to do the right thing.

I hope this kind of thinking helps in some way.

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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted February 20, 2004 02:32 AM

Such An Interesting Thread

Quote:
Character -- Points brought up:
1) Choices define character.
2) Inconsistent choices reflect weakness of character, whereas consistent choices reflect strength.
3) Character is created (self-consciously?).
4) Strong character should be shown by choices consistent with the "self".

Is that an accurate summary, Consis?


Yes, that is an accurate summary of what I wrote. Thankyou for listening.

Quote:
Questions:
1) Do a person's choices make them who they are?  Or do they simply reflect who they are?


I'm not sure exactly what you are asking here but I feel that you are a strong person and I would trust your judgment based on your responses.

Through this logic I feel there's nothing to worry about as I see you to be of good strong moral character. Do your choices make you who you are? I think the answer is yes for both you and I. To other people such as those with autism I would say the answer is no.

Are a person's choices reflectors of who they are? I say that in some cases the answer is yes but in others the answer is no. I think that sometimes a person is forced to make certain decisions based on the facts presented inside a narrow scope of options. In a case such as that I would say that the person did what they felt they had to do. My own logic calls for judgment of character through a lifetime of choices. I believe in the old saying, "It takes a person a good long time to create an honorable reputation. However, one wrong move and the reputation can be utterly destroyed literally overnight. One mistake can kill a history of good deeds."

Peacemaker's post is really very interesting. I think it's good to remind one's self of the bigger picture sometimes. It was very sad to hear about her circumstances but I believe she comes off as a much stronger person from the experience. I like sponging off her strength in this post of hers. It's a good post and it's a good reminder to people that if you stay strong and hold on to what is most important to you(Peacemaker's son for example) then you will emerge even stronger with newfound courage and hope.
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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted February 20, 2004 09:22 AM
Edited By: Consis on 20 Feb 2004

LoL, My Post Count Will Not Increase

Quote:
3) Can change of character ever be good?  Change implies inconsistency, and therefore weakness in this system, but it can also imply growth.


Can change of character ever be good you ask? That's a damn good question. Yes and no. Changing for the better is, ofcourse, subjective. Changing for the worse is, ofcourse, also subjective.

I'll input some of my logic. I don't expect anyone to start thinking what I think but I feel good about the way I figure things out. If someone reads this and says, "Hey this guy sounds about right, not quite but I'd respect him if I met him" then that's good enough for me. If someone else said they thought I was a complete idiot for my logic then I'd respect them too because I know that I am only one man with only one opinion. Can I change the world? Probably not but I do have a vote in the matter and that makes me feel plenty important.

Change of character under my logic falls into the algorythm of whether or not one also believes in having peers as judges. I think having a set of respected peers is healthy for character change. I consider it to be a highly respected job to be one of my peers. A peer to me is a person who I feel I could learn from. I respect their opinions and I want to learn more from them. I have friends but not all of them are my peers you see. Some people whom I don't even know are my peers. It all depends on what kind of person you might want to become. Using myself, for example, I want to be a real-life hero. I look for other people that I feel display attributes that I feel would further my growth as a character towards this goal of becoming a hero. I consider my ideal end character to be a collection of what I think are the best traits to be the kind of hero that I dream about. If I was to change my character towards this end then I would consider that kind of change to be for the better. If I strayed from this then I would consider that to be a personal let-down. Defeating myself happens often when I find that reality takes the place of fantasy more so than not. Reality being the role of a father and fantasy being that which I dream of doing to save the lives of other people. I often find that I have to constantly remind myself that my children are my highest priority. If there ever came a time to save someone else's life or tend to the needs of my children then I would have to weigh the situation placing a greater importance on my children than the victim. Would my children be hurt or injured if I left them to save a person's life? That's the kind of question I must ask myself.

Quote:
3b) "To thy own self be true" -- the saying presupposes that other famous saying, "Know thyself."  Both imply a static self.  How does one stay true to oneself when one is still an unfinished, maturing individual?  A child, for instance?


Absolutely excellent question. When are you yourself so that you can start adhering to your character? A static self is the question. When is it? I'll say my peace and once again it is only my opinion. I believe there are two kinds of people in this world. People with a reservation of logic and those with a reservation for testing limits. I believe both are born being who they are. I do not believe in the so-called "born-again-christian". Strangely enough I also believe that we choose our fate. The two may not coincide under my own logic but that's how I think of things. I believe we all react to things in the way we would naturally. Having said that, yes, I believe we're all born into who we already are. Growing and expounding upon the character we already are is the challenge I think we all face. Do we have the courage to become the truly great person we were born to be? I say that we all have an equal chance to go for the dream of the best of ourselves. Some falter and some rise to meet the challenge.

Quote:
4) What is the difference between self-consciously staying true to one's character and creating a "showy" strong character?  Where is the line of truth drawn?


There is no need to answer this question. Everyone knows where the line of truth is drawn. Ask yourself. You know it. So does everyone else. If it is one thing about the truth, it is that the truth is always where it is. It doesn't move around and try to avoid being seen. It's in all our hearts. People know its there. To find it is to be enlightened. To ignore it is to willingly drink poison.

Quote:
My own philosophy has focused on character as an internal phenomenon which is continually created and shaped by experiences (which may or may not have been generated by personal choices), and that choices reflect the current state of character.


I accept this philosophy. I agree with it.
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Aculias
Aculias


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Pretty Boy Angel Sacraficer
posted February 20, 2004 11:38 AM

What does prayer have to do with anythang.
Helps you believe in the god you believe in & boosts your morale to believe in yourself that you can actually get away with murder also so to speak.

If your god can fix a problem then we would all be perfect & whats the use of this test in our life on why we are on earth & for what reason etc.


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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted February 20, 2004 05:15 PM
Edited By: Peacemaker on 20 Feb 2004

Boy, you guys really blow my doors off!  Great posts.  Consis and Khaelo, you both seem to be delving into self-examination and asking critical questions which reflect the level of your investment in being the best that you can be.

I think the dialogue going on between the two of you also represents an interesting consideration I have heard of before -- about the different ways men and women tend to think ethically.  Women tend to be situationally ethical -- adjusting their sights based on new data and the particulars of a given situation.

Men on the other hand incline toward "the black-letter law" -- establishing consistent guidelines and then judging and reacting to each situation within those guidelines.

While this isn't a set pattern, as alternative considerations set forth in both your posts suggests, the tendency is still there.

Acu -- LOL!   Excellent point, man.  Even as I was writing my post, I was thinking, so if we really trust the higher power and believe in it, what's the point in praying to begin with if the higher power is going to "do the right thing" anyways?  Why bother "praying" at all?  So you voiced my own unspoken doubts about my own theory there.

The only answer I can come up with is the idea about the higher power being a kind of energy.  I have a very strong impression that we are all a part of that energy and it is what binds us all together spiritually.  In a sense, the way people think and act has a great, long-term impact on how the energy in turn impacts others over time.  The choices we make echo down through time in our lives and the lives of others.  If we invest energy and thoughts into positive, productive outcomes, I really believe it has an impact in the choices we make moment-to-moment if we let it.  

So for instance, say somebody mistreats you over a long period of time.  You don't respond in kind, but simply let them be, as best you can without letting them actually harm you.  You look to the higher power for the strength and guidance to tolerate their bad treatment.  

Then, when the opportunity comes up to help them, you do. They may (or may not) respond by realizing they were wrong to mistreat you like they did.  So instead of feeding back into the negative treatment, you stop the cycle and maybe even change the way that person treats the next guy by your example.

Alternatively, if you let the person's bad treatment of you make you respond badly, then you have let that person's bad actions lead you to act badly too.  The energy you are feeding back out into the universe simply remains bad or negative just like it came in.  Nothing changes, and people go on treating one another badly because they think it is "justified."

So then Khaelo and Consis talk about praying for just outcomes, I guess the thing I am adding is that, I believe, true justice finds its own way if we respond with love and kindness despite what others do to us.  Praying for the right thing to happen (although we may not know what that is and trust the higher power with that judgment) adds to the energy that the right thing will happen.  Praying for vengeance adds to the energy that vengeance will happen.  And so on.

In my book, your thoughts and energy do have an influence, if over nothing else than your own future ability to react in the way that you are thinking about right now.  The ways that you respond impact others either way.  We have a choice to either keep reacting to one another's negative energy like a bunch of billiard balls bouncing off one another, or to break the negative cycle by responding like spiritual beings investing in one another, even those around us still trying to bounce off us like billiard balls.  It is a very internal choice, and frequently a very difficult one.

So, when I "pray," I don't really ask for a particular outcome.  I ask for the universal guidance to respond in the best and most productive way based on the higher powers that be. I look to the higher powers for guidance, and try very hard to listen to that guidance, and it frequently tells me something other than my own narrow sense of judgment and justice might have told me.

Oh and, by the way, Consis.  Thank you sincerely for your compliments about my post.  Sponge all you want my friend.  That right there is, hopefully, a perfect example of how sending out good energy affects other people positively. Your comment honors me deeply.

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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted February 21, 2004 12:21 AM
Edited By: Khaelo on 20 Feb 2004

I've tried to frame this problem in a non-denominational fashion and to keep my peculiar theology out, but Aculias' and Peacemaker's points touch upon some of the fundamental issues.  Peacemaker, your descriptions of energy are beautiful and show the social importance of individuals' morality.  I'm with you to some degree, but my trust in energy's natural workings just isn't at the same level as yours.

In my worldview, the default entity involved in actions outside of mortal control is Fate/Destiny/Luck/Chance (all the same IMHO).  We can predict the results of a situation with more or less certainty most of the time, but sometimes things just happen.  That's Fate.

Aculias asks, "What does prayer have to do with anything?"  Prayer, in this case, has to do with getting the gods to reduce the effects of Fate.  In my opinion, the gods aren't going to do the "right thing" anyway.  There's two parts to that: one, that god(s) aren't omnipotent/omniscient and two, they don't set the standards for righteousness.  

Divinity, I think, is not omnipotent or omniscient.  The gods are much more powerful and knowledgeable than any mortal, and they can control for Fate, but they're not running around doing everything for everybody.  If you want them to intervene, you have to holler at them.  By invoking the lady of Justice to this case, I am attempting to call her attention, which may be elsewhere, to this particular situation.  A fair solution may occur without the Justice-soul (for lack of a better term)'s intervention, but on the other hand it might not.  When I pray, I hope that the Lady in question will look at this arbitration and choose to keep Fate's quirks out of it, making the resolution truly fair.  Unfortunately for my own objectiveness, I think that means a solution in favor of my acquaintance.    Does that qualify as praying for a particular outcome, or asking the divine to pick a side?

The second part is the slippery definition of "the best thing."  Peacemaker's story is an excellent illustration of this.  An intervention by Justice would have gotten Peacemaker the job, since she was more qualified and deserved it more than the other woman.  An intervention by Mercy would have given the other woman the job, since she needed it more.  How to judge which is the better solution?  The gods won't tell you, or they give conflicting answers.  One must use one's own judgment and knowledge, limited though those may be, to make decisions.  My tendencies are typically towards mercy (the relief/prevention of the most suffering possible).  Given your kind-hearted reaction to the results of your job application, Peacemaker, your inclinations seem to be in the same direction.    But in this case I want to invoke justice on behalf of my acquaintance.  Hence my fear of hypocritical behavior.  

In this polytheistic system, the choice of who to pray to may already indicate praying for a particular outcome, even when I want to leave things to turn out for "the best."  There isn't anyone in charge of deciding what is the best, never mind running around with "the best" as a particular goal.

In practice, of course, as already implied, I don't know what will happen as a result of prayer.  Maybe the lady will ignore the plea, maybe she'll follow up on it, maybe the mercy-god (my patron) will jump on it first.  Maybe justice and mercy aren't conflicted in this case, say, if the professional needs to learn a hard life lesson to ultimately improve their existance.  

Hopefully, that makes some sense and isn't completely incomprehensible and/or offensive.  

Consis, I'm still thinking about your character posts.  

Edit: too many smilies!
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted February 21, 2004 01:20 AM
Edited By: Peacemaker on 20 Feb 2004

Khaelo -- how you and I flail around in the same ethical morass!!  I'm with you, baby...

I'm now a middle-aged woman.  My trust in the universe has come about only through hard experience, much of it against me, or at least I so percieved at the moment.  How odd, then, that I should trust the higher powers/god(s)?

I think this is truly an issue of introspection for those who are so inclined.  We have the most doubts in the presumably reassuring words of the religious conduits that "God" is "with us."  Who is this "god"  anyways, and what does "with us" mean?

When a brother is taken by an accident or a child is tortured to death before our eyes, is "God with us?"

When huge numbers of our nation are taken through deliberate acts of genocide, is "God with us?"

When seemingly one terrible thing after another happens in our personal lives, is "God with us?"

You know part of me really thinks, after these considerations, that I am full of crap on my theories.  I know they must sound shallow given the bigger picture of human existence, and your reluctance to trust the higher powers seems well-justified for these reasons.

OOP -- gotta go deal with something in RL -- BRB --

<EDIT>

So, I guess all this leaves us with one undeniable question:  If the powers that be are righteous, then why do these things happen?

Well I just don't know the answer to this.  But my physioligical, emotional reaction is one of the things that led me to become an activist in my twenties and thirties.

I could not stand that others just stood by and let these thing happen.  I did crazy things like, lay down in the middle of the street, walk around with posters and banners advertizing what I thought were social outrages, and the like. I had to do something.

When the prevailing authorities allow or actually engage in these atrocities, past or present, then I have to send out my signals to the people around me, in the best vehicle I have available, that people should engage in stopping them.

So, here's my theory.  Negative human will, for whatever reason, can actually overcome the higher powers in given situations.  If I stand by and let it happen, then I may as well be contributing.  Cause the whole thing is happening because of negative human energies and nobody stepping forward to counterbalance those negative energies.

I have ALWAYS felt a MORAL human obligation to do whatever I felt was the most effective thing in stopping those negative energies.  I cannot explain how they are so powerful, and do not understand why they are.  But when I see people being hurt, I will make my voice heard in whatever way I see is effective at the time.

I have changed my views on what is effective through my years, but my feelings about those negative things remain the same.

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Aculias
Aculias


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Pretty Boy Angel Sacraficer
posted February 21, 2004 05:10 AM

it's weird but this life is so full of Mysteries,I dont think anyone can really understand the more powerful beings or gods.

Like prayer, How do we know that the Lord loves to hear us pray but, it only sooths your own soul & have more confidence in what you do or say.
This worlds a mystery.
Religion is a very Mystery.

Like asking, what does Prayer really mean then what you think it means or hear.
What do dreams mean when yuo have a certain dream.
What are you supposed to do in this world to make sure, you satisfy the lord.
SO many Q but do any of us really know the answers.
Maybe some do I dont know.
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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted February 22, 2004 12:57 AM

Agreed, Aculias -- but the inability to understand the divine has never stopped us human-types from trying!    There is a point, somewhere, at which we should just stop, throw up our hands, and leave the Mystery untouched, unexplained.  But where is it?

Peacemaker,
{theory}Maybe your activist impulses were the higher power's way of manifesting its/their will in this world, to counter the effects of the negative human energies?  Someone had to step forward, so it/they found somebody with the inclination and ability to do so -- you.{/theory}

I tend to think of morality as a human thing, not a divine thing, but that doesn't make it any less important.  After all, we're all human beings. As you say, we have a moral, human obligation to counter destructive forces.  Part of morality, in my opinion, is defining the entire human species as the unit worthy of recieving the net benefit of our actions (as opposed to just ourselves, our local area, etc.).  Combined with empathy, that is the basis of my ethical standards, and why I get so darn frustrated with certain behaviors on the part of the U.S. government and American society in general.    Your generation believed(s?) in activism more than mine does, I think.  We're still trying to figure out how to change things.

There has only been one time in my life when a god has directly interfered with my moral decisions (don't know if I mentioned that in "Suicides" or not...).  Even in that case, the choice was still ultimately left to me.  For most quandries, divine input is minimal to nonexistant, which is why I've learned to rely on sources other than religion for ethics.  Maybe by the time I'm middle-aged, I'll have learned to trust in the universe as well -- my mom does.
====
This is partially in response to this thread and partially in response to recent comments in "Should we believe in God or no?"  Sorry about that, but the issues are very connected.
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Aculias
Aculias


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Pretty Boy Angel Sacraficer
posted February 22, 2004 01:26 AM

Thats true but I believe that religion also causes more war as much as stops crime.

Like Bin Ladin & his so called holy war.

Then again helping crime like say someone feels the need to murder someone.
Then they think, hmm if I do I may chance myself of going to a bad place for eternity.
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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted February 22, 2004 06:32 AM

Aculias

I remember the first time I saw your post after becoming a member of the Heroes Community. It was in the "Why the Hatred?" thread. You accidentally used my name to respond to someone else. I remember freaking out and thinking, "what did I say?" But as time went on and I read more and more of, not only your posts, but many of the other members here who know you that you are known for this type of posting. I also found more of your posts to be truly heartfelt and considerate of other member's feelings. On top of that many of your badly posted messages inspired me. How? I don't know how but I like you. Your typing skills and grammar mistakes are atrocious but I think you are a good person. I like your posts, your opinions, and I think you have a good heart with a beautiful imagination.

I'm merely stating that I enjoy hearing from you in these forums. It's good to hear the human side of cold technological debates at times. I think you bring a unique perspective to the table of many topics that contributes to the rest of the community. Thanks for being you.
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Peacemaker
Peacemaker


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Peacemaker = double entendre
posted February 22, 2004 06:33 AM

Acu, I agree that the institutions of religion are at the root of much of history's violence.  But a person's individual spirituality and what is really at work in the universe is separate from religious institutions.

While the institutions themselves may be all screwed up (which I think in large part they are), the real forces at work in the universe continue to be at work despite the screwed up institutions.  People have begun to reject religious dogma and look inward (and outward) for better answers to the ultimate questions in their lives.  I think this dialogue is an example.

Khaelo, I know and am glad that the next generation continues to seek out ways to make the changes. I have begun to think much of the tactics of my generation have either become counterproductive or were that way in the first place.  Not all of them but some.  We need to get more creative and figure out more effective methods.

This may sound ironic to some people but it's the main reason I became a lawyer.

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Aculias
Aculias


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Pretty Boy Angel Sacraficer
posted February 22, 2004 07:00 AM

Thanks COnsis,I learned in my life that I dont have to impress no one to be me.
Theres many reasons for outcomes in your life.
It is true I am a bad speller but in my history you may see why.
WHen I was at least in 4th grade I could spell any word basically.

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