Patterico's Pontifications

12/28/2021

For Your Consideration

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:37 pm



[guest post by Dana]

As we close out 2021, you can find some interesting (and brief) essays about current events at Bari Weiss’s Common Sense. And whether or not I agreed with them in full, they were worth reading. A few excerpts:

From Enes Kanter Freedom on freedom:

The first time I came to America, in 2009, one of my teammates at Stoneridge Prep, in Simi Valley, California, was criticizing the president. I was scared for him, because I thought he was going to be jailed. Then he sat down and talked to me about freedom of speech, religion and the press. “Wait,” I said, “you’re telling me a TV channel or a newspaper is not going to be shut down because they are criticizing the regime?” He told me that’s not how it works here. I was shocked.

The thing about freedom is, once you taste it, you want everyone else to taste it, too. That’s why I marched for Black Lives Matter and spoke out for democracy in Hong Kong. It’s why I advocate for Tibetan freedom and safety for Taiwan. It’s why I continue to call out the corporations that talk about social justice but ignore China’s Uyghur genocide. And it’s why, a few months ago, I changed my name. I’m now Enes Kanter Freedom.

From Ayaan Hirsi Ali on liberalism:

Since I left the world I was born into—the world of Somalia, the world of Islam, and all of the strictures that society and religion put on me as a woman—I have always identified as a liberal. I mean that in the most capacious sense of the world: a belief in the rule of law; in individual liberty; in equality between men and women; in due process; and in, yes, a belief that some cultures—namely, liberal and democratic ones—are better than others.

Lately, I worry that liberalism is insufficient. Or to put it another way: that the weak version of liberalism we see across the West cannot compete with muscular ideologies, like Islamism and populism rising on the right and the left across Europe and here in America.

A value-neutral liberalism that insists that all cultures and choices are equally good is liberalism in name only. For liberalism to win, it needs to stand up to its enemies yet again.

From Chloe Valdary on CRT and racism:

I was surprised to read [Derrick] Bell’s argument promoting school choice for black and white Americans alike. Bell also laments what he calls “racial balance remedies,” or the conflation of equality of opportunity with the notion that racial parity (the idea that an institution should perfectly match the racial breakdown of the community it serves) as the only measure of “anti-racism.”

This overlap between traditionally conservative views about education and critical race theorists can be helpful to those, like me, who are trying to fight racism by avoiding the temptation to caricature others. A vision of anti-racism that genuinely seeks to refrain from demonizing our differences has to begin with finding common ground.

Go see what you think.

–Dana

51 Responses to “For Your Consideration”

  1. Any reminder to not take things for granted in this life is gold.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. Over the past few years, it’s been made starkly clear that a world without the major religions is not a world without religion—it’s a world with a bunch of new religions sprouting up and quickly capturing millions of “atheists.” These new religions—many political—have not been put through centuries of trial and error, and the moral structures they provide often stoke the worst parts of our nature.

    I could restate this as “institutions without religious foundations are not institutions without religion. They’re institutions that adopt new sets of rules that function as religion despite their lack of a god concept. These institutional religions — many political — have not been put through centuries of trial and error, and the moral structures they provide often stoke the worst parts of our nature.

    Such as the Calvinball thing called “cancel culture.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. Freedom, Urban, Markowicz, and Ali have some interesting and important things to say.

    I’ll admit I’m not sure I understand Valdary but I’d like too.

    frosty (f27e97)

  4. The comment section over there is deplorable.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. It’s interesting to listen to Bari Weiss and then read the, um, unevolved commentary she receives.

    Ugly.

    Even when I don’t agree with her, I still find her a worthwhile listen.

    Simon Jester (bf08b0)

  6. If I didn’t know better, I would think she’d ran afoul of Scientologists

    steveg (e81d76)

  7. Urban: “These new religions—many political—have not been put through centuries of trial and error, and the moral structures they provide often stoke the worst parts of our nature.”

    We all search for meaning and purpose in life. I agree with Urban that there is a good amount of wisdom locked inside of traditional religion….that gives people comfort. The idea of a personal God in Christianity….with all of the language of family, relationship, and love…has always been powerfully attractive…..someone is out there listening, walking by your side, inspiring your better nature.

    The challenge has always been how to blend religion into a secular society where not everyone believes the same….and then the influence of culture back onto religion…sometimes good but often corrupting. Right now, traditional religion seems to have little solution for our political toxicity and our media obsession with owning the other side. Love your neighbor and your enemy, turning the other cheek, and serving those in need seem weirdly archaic….as if none of that matters when we engage in political discussion.

    Now granted the Bible has no clear guidance on optimal tax rates or in government’s exact role in social welfare programs, income redistribution, vaccine mandates, or regulating immigration. Both sides use their favorite Bible quotes against the other in our struggle to self govern. Still it’s weird to see people come out of xmas as nasty as ever. Jesus didn’t seem consumed by the political stuff….in fact, he seemed to look at it as a distraction. I just wonder what we are to take from that…..

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  8. AJ,

    As one who is not especially religious, I value the social and moral instruction in the various faiths more than I do their particular take on God (which I find quite unknowable). And it is in these areas that modern belief systems (not all involve a deity) then to fail.

    Secular humanism, in particular, and especially as its adherents attempt to make it support all the newest, um, advances in social behavior. Since there is no god involved, it seems to be OK when the State establishes it as the official belief system.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. *tend to fail

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. “Can’t you understand? If you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding.

    And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we’ll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared to bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!” – Henry Drummond [Spencer Tracy] ‘ Inherit The Wind’ 1960

    Not to worry: Planetary Management will handle everything by 2250.

    ____________

    We all search for meaning and purpose in life… Now granted the Bible has no clear guidance on optimal tax rates or in government’s exact role in social welfare programs, income redistribution, vaccine mandates, or regulating immigration. Both sides use their favorite Bible quotes against the other in our struggle to self govern. Still it’s weird to see people come out of xmas as nasty as ever. Jesus didn’t seem consumed by the political stuff….in fact, he seemed to look at it as a distraction. I just wonder what we are to take from that…..

    I’m usually searching for my car keys or the TV remote. If it ‘clicks right’- w/you, you’ll discover you don’t need a ‘middle man’ as the grand scheme of things motions forth. It’s a serene comfort. But taxes: take from it what you will:

    https://biblereasons.com/paying-taxes/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  11. The newly updated CDC guidelines don’t require testing at the end of isolation because PCR tests can stay positive for up to 12 weeks, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told “Good Morning America” Wednesday. “So we would have people in isolation for a very long time if we were relying on PCRs,” Walensky explained.

    https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2021/12/29/cdc-director-drops-bombshell-calling-covid-testing-protocol-into-question-n498778

    Plenty of great questions at the link for the 81 million strong Walensky.

    Ultimately the erroneous breathalyzer results are putting drunk drivers everywhere.

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  12. Apparently I am, as most of you have reconciled, a complete idiot.

    I swear I am on the open thread and then whamo.

    I will try one more time and then leave everyone alone for the day.

    My sincere apologies.

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  13. If I didn’t know better, I would think she’d ran afoul of Scientologists

    Worse. She’s a lesbian who was fired from The New York Times, refuses to embrace the full left/woke/LGBTQ culture, and speaks her mind eloquently. She’s the equivalent of a minority Republican.

    Voice In The Desert (6fff93)

  14. Urban is a big man for admitting he may have been wrong to dismiss religion altogether as recently as 2008. His short piece is quite thought-provoking.

    norcal (3d2db9)

  15. During the storming of the bastille the conservatives were defending it the leftists were attacking it and wimp liberals were knocking on the door asking to be let in! The wimps are called the democrat party establishment today.

    asset (be7b72)

  16. “Secular humanism, in particular, and especially as its adherents attempt to make it support all the newest, um, advances in social behavior.”

    Certainly people are going to push to get their values instantiated into the culture…be it political correctness, global warming, Critical Race Theory, gun control, or extra-large sugary drinks….and opponents will mock it as a “religion”. Though I’m not sure it’s accurate to call leftist, socialist, or liberal values as a religion….as they’re no different than the other side of the coin…it’s collective action. My assumption is that you need some appeal to the supernatural or spiritual realm to get to religion.

    This is where I’ve drifted from organized religion. Like you, I can appreciate the social function and moral framework of organized religion….I just struggle to see evidence of an active God (minus the Cubs winning the World Series of course). There’s just too much random pain and suffering….and the whole notion that God had to sacrifice himself to himself to open up the gates to where he controls entrance for a creation he purposefully endowed with a sinful nature….well…it’s kind of a hard sell.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  17. There’s just too much random pain and suffering….and the whole notion that God had to sacrifice himself to himself to open up the gates to where he controls entrance for a creation he purposefully endowed with a sinful nature….well…it’s kind of a hard sell.
    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 12/29/2021 @ 2:12 pm

    It is, indeed a hard sell when put in those terms.

    First, pain and suffering can seem random, even for those who are paying attention. But put simply, pain and suffering entered into the world with the fall of Adam – original sin. Now, the story of Adam, the two creation stories in Genesis, and the expulsion, do not explain how G*D made the everything; it explains why. Because He is Love. Love creates. Man was made in G*D’s image, so this is the answer to “What is man that G*d considers him?” or even bothers with him.

    But forget Genesis for now, what about pain and suffering – right now? Your p&s, my p&s, somebody’s p&s somewhere. The oversimplified source is personal decisions by everyone, everywhere. Sure, it is easy to see, say political decisions harming a segment, but the decision of one teenager? That is hard to see, but ask the parent of that teen and you might get an incredibly specific answer, an answer that is none of our beeswax, but has concrete, not abstract consequences.

    Why was it necessary for Jesus to be Crucified, the innocent in the place of the guilty? Simply put again, it was so that He could have the right, in all Justice, to have mercy on us. His sacrifice is not about control over his creation. Man’s nature is not sinful, but divine because we have been created in G*d’s image; our sinfulness is consequence of our free will.

    G*d endowed man with free will so that man may freely chose or reject Him. Men love to say “if there is a G*D, why is there evil in the world?” They should be asking, if there is no G*D, why is there good in the world?”

    Anyone who has a child knows about the pain and suffering caused by an unconditional love for that child, and the sacrifices made on that child’s behalf. Is it such hard sell to apply this knowledge to The Creator Who is? Who is Love itself?

    felipe (484255)

  18. My assumption is that you need some appeal to the supernatural or spiritual realm to get to religion.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 12/29/2021 @ 2:12 pm

    Not necessarily but this depends a bit on what’s meant by supernatural or spiritual realm.

    An easier question is whether, or to what degree, faith is involved. This is why it’s more common than you’d think and shows up in places you don’t expect.

    frosty (f27e97)

  19. I’m agnostic. If I’m honest with myself, I don’t know if there is a God or an afterlife. And that’s okay. I can tolerate mystery. Some people can’t, and I get that.

    I see the Bible as Jewish mythology, an attempt to make sense of the world and man’s purpose in it. I view Jesus as a great philosopher who called out the hypocrisy and hidebound nature of the Jewish clergy and culture.

    Having said that, I think there are good arguments on both sides as to whether religion on balance is a net positive or negative for society.

    norcal (3d2db9)

  20. I prefer christian existentialism. We don’t burn young girls at the stake for being witches/heritics.

    asset (ec707e)

  21. felipe, certainly pain and suffering occurs due to free choices people make or due to living in a natural world. Still, the question becomes is God active in that natural world? Does he listen to prayers and intercede? Say a young faithful couple has a child with cancer. They desperately pray for his recovery but alas no miracle comes. There is no free will involved….there is no evil that is being punished. Some would wonder does God not want to save the child or does he not have the power to save the child. Personally, I’m ok with a less-than-active God because I’m not sure he ever promised lives without pain and suffering. But it’s a sticking point for many. There are also tantalizing places in the Bible where God instructs that certain good behavior will be rewarded by God answering your prayers….the implication being, be good and good things will happen to you (there was a Sunday reading related to honoring your father promising pryers would be answered).

    Now some will say that such pain and suffering allows for others to exhibit virtuous behavior and that people learn and evolve from suffering….but that can all be true without God in the picture. Atheists and agnostics have overcome grief and moved on from tragedy too. It doesn’t seem to be absolutely necessary. Also in the case of remarkable recoveries…it’s not always the extremely devout that benefit…it’s as if it is randomly distributed. I don’t doubt that prayer “helps”, but I’m not convinced that it does any more than other secular psychological coping mechanisms.

    Still, there’s no evidence here….it’s mostly theology….truth without proof…..like God made us in his image. How can we even test that claim? I know, I know…you just have to have faith…..

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  22. Well said felipe. God is great.

    NJRob (da9026)

  23. is God active in that natural world? Does he listen to prayers and intercede?

    Yes, and yes.

    Say a young faithful couple has a child with cancer. They desperately pray for his recovery but alas no miracle comes. There is no free will involved….there is no evil that is being punished.

    The parent’s prayers are the result of their free will. Cancer is not “evil;” when sickness is overcome, “evil” is not punished. Say a young faithless couple have a child dying from cancer and, in desperation, turn to prayer and the child goes into remission. Is G*D’s intercession in this case and not the other, a sign of injustice? Did one set of parents “have faith” and the other not? These are honest questions.

    To lose faith in the Lord for not getting one’s way is a sign of a “consumer faith” where faith is held to be a product, and if a product is purchased and if it does not “work” then it is defective and should be returned for an expected refund. If I were G*D, I’d not honor that kind of faith. But then, I’d make a piss-poor god. Fortunately, Jesus gave us a good example of how to react when answer to our prayer is delayed, or some cases, denied.

    Can you imagine how surprised people were when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead? I am sure there were holdouts who felt fully vindicated when Lazarus died later. “Some G*D,” right? How chagrined must the faithful have been, who prayed for, and received the life of their child, only to see the child perish eventually anyway, right? What, then, was the point of a divine intervention if we are all going to die anyway? You know that everybody dies.

    To the faithful,Divine interventions are signs that remind us of the truth of G*D, Who is, and an afterlife where our presence is greatly longed for by He Who died in our place. That’s the point.

    G*D does answer prayers, all prayers. The answer is sometimes “no.” Did you know that Jesus prayed to the Father, that he be spared from crucifixion? We know how The Creator responded. We know that Jesus gave his assent to the answer.

    Yeah, it really is G*D’s way, or the highway – and yes, we get to freely chose between the two. Chose wisely.

    felipe (484255)

  24. I’m not sure he ever promised lives without pain and suffering. But it’s a sticking point for many. There are also tantalizing places in the Bible where God instructs that certain good behavior will be rewarded by God answering your prayers….the implication being, be good and good things will happen to you (there was a Sunday reading related to honoring your father promising pryers would be answered).

    You are right. In fact, we find Jesus telling us explicitly that we will suffer for our faith in him. Every Christian should know this if not by having been told, then by having constant persecution visited upon them. The good thing promised for “honoring” one’s parents is a long life. But of course it will be full of suffering, courtesy, not of G*D, but of the world that hates us because of our faith in Him.

    I hope you don’t mind my taking several comments to respond to your one comment.

    felipe (484255)

  25. AJ_Liberty (3cb02f) — 12/30/2021 @ 7:26 am

    Lets acknowledge that we’ve moved past religion generally and this is a now a discussion of Christianity right? This would be a different discussion for Buddhism for example.

    Does he listen to prayers and intercede?

    There is a belief among many that if you pray for a new truck and don’t get it that God didn’t answer your prayers. I know this seems like a flippant counterpoint to a child with cancer but the same mechanism is in play. Prayer isn’t a magic wish mechanism. Prayer itself has been become grossly misrepresented and misunderstood. But this is a larger topic than might fit here.

    there is no evil that is being punished

    There is also a misunderstanding that “bad things” happening to you are a punishment for an evil you did and good things are a reward for something you did. I don’t know the specific examples you are referring to so I can’t comment in depth. If you give me an example I’ll try. But overall I do not think God has made a blanket promise to reward good behavior with good fortune in this life. In fact he has made the opposite promise in 2 Timothy 3:12. There’s also the question of what Lot did to deserve his bad fortune. Or the prophets. Or Jesus. Or the apostles. The Bible is full of good people not being rewarded in this life.

    but that can all be true without God in the picture

    This is very much a matter of debate. I’d say it’d be more correct to say this can be true even for people who don’t believe but we’d need to get into a longer discussion of the role of the Holy Spirit.

    It’s not for nothing that He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

    frosty (f27e97)

  26. .but that can all be true without God in the picture.

    By “in the picture” if you mean a person’s acknowledgment of G*D, then yes, absolutely. G*D does not require our awareness in order to be benevolent. But if by “in the picture” you mean that G*D exists, then no, absolutely not. Simply put, no G*D, no Man.

    You see, when an atheistic perseveres, that perseverance is not a refutation of G*D. When an atheist loves, it only proves love exists.

    It doesn’t seem to be absolutely necessary

    Belief in G*D is not necessary to enjoy the world He has created, to enjoy a body that heals itself in most cases, to enjoy all the benefits of freedom. That is true. You don’t even have to believe in democracy to enjoy its benefits.

    Also in the case of remarkable recoveries…it’s not always the extremely devout that benefit…it’s as if it is randomly distributed

    This should be evidence of God’s impartiality, and proof of His love for all sinners.

    I don’t doubt that prayer “helps”, but I’m not convinced that it does any more than other secular psychological coping mechanisms.

    I think you misunderstand the “purpose” of prayer. It is an illusion to think we initiate prayer, and thus can use it as a tool to cope, or any other merely human activity. No. prayer is a response to G*D. It is G*D Who initiates prayer by His love for us. We are merely responding by a free act of will. A person is always free to refuse G*D’s love, by refusing to pray. But do you know what is terrifying? That a person will use prayer to mock the Creator.

    Just remember that G*D really is, that He loves you, and that every urge to pray was initiated by Him to simply say “I AM, I love you.”

    felipe (484255)

  27. NJRob (da9026) — 12/30/2021 @ 9:06 am

    Thank you, Amen.

    felipe (484255)

  28. Still, there’s no evidence here….it’s mostly theology….truth without proof…..like God made us in his image. How can we even test that claim? I know, I know…you just have to have faith…..
    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f) — 12/30/2021 @ 7:26 am

    Oh my goodness! The evidence is everywhere! All of creation, in fact, is evidence. That you are even here to ask the question at all. You have two paths to testing a claim, prove it, or refute it. Take all the time in the world to refute it. But before you begin, try something easier than that. Try to prove or disprove love.

    felipe (484255)

  29. Try to prove or disprove love.

    felipe (484255) — 12/30/2021 @ 10:00 am

    I have a similar discussion with a close friend. He maintains that he’s a die hard atheist who only believes in material, aka real, things.

    I ask him if he loves his daughter and whether that’s real. He never feels argumentative enough to say his own feelings are a programmed evolutionary response.

    frosty (f27e97)

  30. frosty (f27e97) — 12/30/2021 @ 10:10 am

    I would not be surprised to find that this happens all the time. Love is where the rubber meets the road.

    felipe (484255)

  31. Here is another version of what Karol Markowicz wrote:

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/leaving-new-york-city-florida-karol-markowicz

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  32. Well “love” is not a uniquely human trait….many species pair bond and jointly care for their offspring: beavers, wolves, some bats, bees, and ants come to mind. The ability to care and form relationships paves the way for larger scale cooperation and sociality. It’s how species adapt and solve collective action problems. Of course competition, envy and fear cause us to mistrust as we move further away from our own tribe. We don’t need the supernatural to explain why we care for one another. We don’t argue that our competitive nature for land and resources (that frequently results in conflict and war) is taught to us or given to us by God. You’re just cherry-picking a positive abstract trait and seeing God…while observing negative abstract traits and saying disapprovingly “not God”. That doesn’t seem objective.

    Our amazing evolutionary journey….us being here and communicating at the speed of light or however fast we can type….certainly begs the questions: how and why? We crave meaning…purpose….and comfort in not being alone or in what follows death. Again, a personal God checks all those boxes. As humans, we’ve always filled in our knowledge gaps with gods or the supernatural….with the added benefit of teaching the next generation accumulated wisdom. How many wars have been fought with competing concepts of god…where god is invoked to justify slaughter. I mean thank God we were born in the right country and not in one of those other misguided countries with their completely made up gods….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  33. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 12/30/2021 @ 11:10 am

    Do you love anyone? Or do you tell them it’s a programmed evolutionary response that most often takes the form of various social constructs?

    I’m not trying to argue you into believing something you don’t want to accept. I’m just curious if that’s something that works out for you.

    frosty (83511a)

  34. My assumption is that you need some appeal to the supernatural or spiritual realm to get to religion.

    Well, as I said, I find that the operative part of “religion” is establishing social and ethical mores. As in “God said that….” In some cynical moments I might argue that this was the whole point and that the “god” stuff is just to help sell it.

    Something that does the exact same thing in establishing mores, with the same dogmatic “because!”, but does not reference a God or gods (other than the State) ought to be treated AS a religion from the point of view of the Establishment Clause.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  35. I just struggle to see evidence of an active God

    I see one, but not the way you think.

    I see a Power that will give me the strength I need to get through my difficulties, even ones that I have repeatedly failed to get through on my own. If I reach out and ask. This has worked in my life for some time now. It’s maybe not what people mean when they talk about an active God, but it works for me.

    I haven’t a clue what this Power is, although it seems to be a loving and forgiving one, and it seems to be available to others, too, even people who profess different religions from each other.

    It seems poor at finding me parking spaces or good stocks to invest in, but it’s “God” not Santa Claus.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. G*d endowed man with free will

    Well, yes, for all kinds of reasons. Starting with it would be tedious to run all our lives for us*. As it is, He wants to see how we develop and how we approach our understanding of Him and the cosmos He created. Some say he has intervened a few times, but that is not necessary to understand God.

    As I’ve said already, I see Him in the Power He offers. There may be more than that, but that is my contact point. From time to time, there may be miracles. Hard to say.

    —-
    * We have government for that anyway, as there are people for whom that is apparently not tedious.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. Say a young faithful couple has a child with cancer. They desperately pray for his recovery but alas no miracle comes

    They may be asking for the wrong thing, as the world is clearly not filled with the kind of miracle they are asking for. Instead, they should be asking for the strength to get through their child’s illness and to offer the child their strength and support themselves. Their support is critical and going to pieces over this will not help. Focus on the footwork, not the outcome.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. I’m sure there is love in the world. I wish there was Karma.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. Why does the development of complex emotions prove the existence of an active God…or a spiritual realm? Yes, our brains got bigger and we are able to conceive of lots of abstract complex concepts…like string theory…art…communication. Yet from our perspective, some pretty simple animals also mate for life and help care for their offspring….is it safe to say they also “love”? If love proves God, then what does hate prove?….fear….anger? You’ll need to be more explicit.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  40. KevinM

    That is why a lot of religious people say “your will be done” at the end of a prayer of petition.
    Petition isn’t wrong, but most of the time it gets “a play on” from the ref.

    We do not have any idea of how much we do not know, which is a gift. There are 3200 stars with orbiting planets in our galaxy. 200 billion galaxies (and counting). That number no doubt contains a lot of knowledge I’ll never have.

    Isaiah puts it like this:

    Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
    Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?
    13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
    14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
    Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding?

    Prayers for healing are done with the full knowledge that all the towns that Jesus went to and spoke to still had sick, people still died, people went hungry, laws were used to persecute innocents. Jews who followed Jesus were not immaculately inoculated from the world

    steveg (e81d76)

  41. There are people who will argue over God’s hat size.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. If love proves God, then what does hate prove?….fear….anger? You’ll need to be more explicit.
    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 12/30/2021 @ 2:12 pm

    Your comment suggest that you think that hate is the opposite of love. It is not. It also seems that you refuse to recognize evidence, even as you wield it in your hand. I want to persuade you, but you are not open to it. You close your eyes and wish to find fault in me for it. You will your situation, not I.

    felipe (484255)

  43. Serenity w/t Lord means cutting out the middle men.

    It works.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  44. steveg (e81d76) — 12/30/2021 @ 2:58 pm
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/30/2021 @ 1:15 pm

    Very good comments.

    Let us bear no ill-will to AJ, he is made in G*D’s image, and that is good enough for me.

    felipe (484255)

  45. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 12/30/2021 @ 3:58 pm

    Your wisdom is showing.

    felipe (484255)

  46. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 12/30/2021 @ 2:12 pm

    I would ask it from a different perspective. If you really accept materialism as the fundamental truth why don’t you act as if you do? The question of the existence of evil, and for that matter complex emotions, isn’t relevant if materialism is the nature of reality.

    If you don’t accept materialism then it’s just a question of which superstitions and supernatural beliefs you subscribe too.

    frosty (f27e97)

  47. @45. Haven’t been to an organized church service since spring, 1968, felipe. Rarely share this- as it is deeply personal to me- but “the deal” was sealed December 24-25, 1968. After a wretched year -[nothing since has even come close]- it just all “clicked” in a singular, magnificent moment. Still feel it. And I’ve been connected and content w/that without any ‘middle men’ – ever since. And that, truly is “glorious.”

    __

    OTOH- witnessed a knife attack today outside of a Ralph’s grocery store while getting some munchies for New Years Eve… just entering the store and two homeless dudes got into a fight by the door, kicking, punching– one guy then pulled a large knife- slashing and stabbing– blood on the pavement… store people called cops- 10 minute response- gave chase… fortunately, a store employee had videoed the whole attack on a phone for the police so they had all the info they needed fropm two employees. But it didn’t hit me until getting home that it was literally an attempted murder.

    So have a safe New Years everybody.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  48. Why does the development of complex emotions prove the existence of an active God…or a spiritual realm

    I don’t think it does. What it shows is that there are non-physical and quite real forces in the world. I don’t think that “love” can be explained with chemistry or physics, and probably not with 29th century biology.

    God does not explain everything, because God does not explain God. But neither does “just happened” explain why it “just happened.” Random chance does not explain random chance.

    But I don’t get the “supernatural” argument against God, since — if I didn’t know better — I’d treat life as “supernatural” since it erupts out of lifelessness. There is no scientific argument either way.

    The best argument for God is that this universe HAS life and THAT is a flipping miracle. I’ve seen the multi-multi-infinite universes counter-argument where this is one of an infinite set and it just happens to be one that has life, but it seems a larger reach than “God” and still doesn’t answer any of the main questions starting with “why is there anything?”

    For me, the spiritual journey was traveling the distance from my head to my heart. It’s hard to get started.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. Shorter: That life can evolve to consciousness and creativity, and do so from no-life-at-all, is a miracle. How many more do I need, before I think think about a God?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  50. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/30/2021 @ 4:35 pm

    There’s an old joke that I always get wrong; God and a Nobel Prize winning scientist were having a friendly discussion. The scientist says he can prove life appeared without the need for Him because he’s figured the whole thing out and can recreate it from scratch. God says that’s interesting and he’d like to see this. So, the scientist reaches down and gets some dirt and water and starts collecting everything else he needs to kick off the process. Before he gets to far God interrupts and says, “That’s my dirt. You said from scratch.”

    frosty (f27e97)

  51. ha! That’s a good variation. I heard it this way:

    A scientist says to G*d “so, you created a man from dirt? I can, too.”

    “G*d says show me.”

    The scientist bends down to pick up some dirt and G*D says “no,no,no – use your own dirt!”

    felipe (484255)

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