why do good people die?

Princess Mary is writing a letter to her friend Julie Karagina and she offers an explanation of why good people die. She is consoling her friend following the death of her brother in one of the campaigns. She says she can only explain it as a providence of god, who loving her (Julie) wishes to try you and your excellent mother.

She then proceeds to say

Religion alone can save us from despair

which reminds me of the quote

religion; it’s given peace in a world torn apart by religion

She then says

religion alone can explain to us what without its help man cannot comprehend; why, for what cause, kind and noble beings able to find happiness in life are called away to god, while cruel, useless, harmful persons, or such as are a burden to themselves and others are left living.

And I know many are wondering what this answer may be. She says death was but an expression of the infinite goodness of the creator, who every action, though generally incomprehensible to us, is but a manifestation of his infinite love for his creatures.

And as her final apology for god, she says

and his will is governed only be infinite love for us and so whatever befalls us is for our good.

And at this point I ask why should a believer ask god to grant their wish, like ask god to make their team win? Is it not god’s will that the believer’s life is shitty and this for their own good? Am I missing something?

thoughts on happiness

Prince Andrew Bolkonski, in War and Peace, while reflecting on the words of Pierre says

one must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy.

and then he continues to say

let the dead bury the dead, but while one has life, one must live and be happy.

I think many of you will agree with either of the statements or both.

I think our greatest goal in life is to be happy.

on freewill, again

Regular readers have met Marvin. In his new post, freewill in a deterministic universe, he repeats the same claims he made in this post.

Now as then, I ask him to define what he means by freewill. I, when referring to freewill, mean un-caused. I don’t expand the meaning of free to include not being in bondage for that meaning is not relevant in our present discussion.

Though this

Our purpose — to survive as individuals, societies, and species — motivates us to adapt ourselves to our environment, and to adapt our environment to us

tells us nothing about freewill, adaptation to the environment happens without motivation. You adapt or perish, no two ways about it.

I confess readily English isn’t my first language, but I have tried to make sense of

It is us walking, talking, and thinking. It is us performing the mental process of choosing for ourselves what we will do next. And it is our own reasons and feelings, our own beliefs and values, our own genetic dispositions and our own life experiences, which guide our choosing

and I have failed. Apart from Monty Python’s Silly walk

which requires a lot of conscious effort, or military parades where the general does the thinking for the entire company, your walking style is unconscious, in fact if someone tried to imitate it, you’d hardly know it was you they were trying to imitate. And the same applies to all the things listed above here, they tell us nothing on the discussion about freewill.

So when he writes,

Ordinary free will is simply us deciding for ourselves what we will do (free), without being forced by someone else to choose or act against our will (unfree). And that is a meaningful distinction

I can fully appreciate the difficulty Marvin has here. In one scenario, and it is what confuses most people, a person is coerced to act in a certain way and in another there is no coercion. It is important to note; we don’t know how the subject would have acted without coercion and this is peripheral to our discussion on freewill. The relevant question to the discussion is whether the actions of the one who wasn’t coerced were un-caused. This is the only relevant question, all others are not relevant to this discussion.

I disagree with Marvin when he writes

But the single fact of inevitability tells us nothing we can put to any practical use. If you tell me my choice will be inevitable, but cannot tell me what that inevitable choice will be, then you’ve told me nothing helpful.

By telling you the above, I have told you all you need to know. Had we known all the circumstances, we would tell you what you would do, but because of this limitation, the best we can do is at least to reassure you that the outcome is inevitable and if all things were kept constant, that outcome will be repeated all the time.

It is good to remember words have different applications. and such meanings should not be confused.

This discussion will continue as long as we continue to equivocate.

I have been busy

enjoying life and that means I will be blogging intermittently in between. I read your blogs.

Here are some photos to keep you awed at our beautiful scenery

The believers’ dream

Pierre says to Prince Andrew

If there’s a god and future life, there is truth and good and man’s highest happiness consists in striving to attain them. We must live, we must love and we must believe that we live not only today on this scrap of earth, but have lived and shall live forever, there in the Whole.

I no longer have such a dream. I am earth bound.

Vanity! All is vanity

In War and Peace, after separating from his wife Helene, Pierre asks himself

what is bad? what is good? what should one love and what hate? what does one live for? and what am I? What is life and what is death? what power governs all?

In answer to these, he says

You’ll die and all will end. You’ll die and know all or cease asking.

this is very tired already

In his post, atheism equals war and misery, we have believer, the ancients tell us

Calm down. (Yes, I actually like you)

The reason you’re angry is because you haven’t fully given thought to what Atheism really means. You glibly declare “Atheism is just a lack of belief in God(s)” without any in-depth analysis or critical study of the fundamentals of this belief system.

No one believes atheists/materialists cannot be moral. The issue is, while they CAN be moral without a BELIEF in God; it is impossible for them to be moral WITHOUT God.
Because there is a standard by which morality must be measured. The point the original poster is making is that atheists/materialists have no basis upon which to object to “immoral acts” because ultimately you have no point of reference for the meaning of good/evil.
You have no standard upon which to make your case; you have no ultimate authority that imposes any moral duties upon you. You have no point of reference for meaning; however when you do declare your own standards of morality- in essence, borrowing from God- now you’re clearly living beyond your own metaphysical assumptions and is just a typical religionist who advocates a stance but is unable to live by it.

I would expect any idiot who intends to criticize atheism to at least know it isn’t a belief system. That it has no fundamentals and regardless of what believers and others may want it to mean, it really is a lack of belief. If you don’t like it, take it up with the dictionary.

But that isn’t my beef. Any believer who claims that without god morality is not possible is a danger to themselves and to the public and excuse my grammar, a dickhead. The Judaeo- Christian god whose story is  in the by-bowl is all things but moral. Maybe amoral would best describe this fictitious being.

Christians have killed one another for ages because of a failure to agree on the fiction they have to believe. To tell us the standard is this god or some book, is to display ignorance of the highest degree. For for almost every law given in the OT, there is to be found a place where the issuing authority disregards it or commands others to act in a way that directly contradicts the commandment.

For the umpteenth time, I want to remind this idiot and others, that morality only exist in groups. Without need to live together, in harmony, there would be no need for morals. Almost all, if not all, moral( whatever these are) prohibitions apply to groups. For example, to help this dimwit understand, do not steal would make no sense if you lived alone.

With god everything is permissible; rape, murder, theft, ritual killing. Don’t tell me we need the example of your monster phantom to live with each other.

Bikers’ paradise

Those of you who know a little more about the world than just what happens in their neighborhood would have heard of the late Prof. Wangari Maathai and her efforts in conjunction with the Greenbelt movement to save Karura Forest.

The forest, as I discovered yesterday is a bikers paradise.

Happy Sunday everyone

water fall in Karura