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  1. #101
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Okay guys, I should clarify. The Mysterious Stranger gave that speech. And The mysterious Stranger was Satan. BUT WAIT! Before you dismiss the whole thing, he's not your usual Satan character. He seemed more like a mouthpiece for Twain's darkest thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Isnt the mysterious stranger the devil?
    Edit: yes, I should have said that before.

  2. #102
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    I haven't been thinking about God very long, as I was a self-proclaimed 'atheist' for 20+ years, but do you believe that God gives us free will?

    I do, and if so, that would mean that God gives us the ability to allow the 'Devil' to work in us and to inflict pain and suffering on ourselves and others. Therefore, I don't think we can attribute any suffering to God, unless it is suffering of the kind that is going to make us stronger or benefit us in the long run, or is His will in some way. I think some suffering, perhaps most, is from elsewhere. The Devil, for lack of a better term.

    And that if we all lived as close to God's will as we could, merging it with our will, not against it, we would likely actually 'suffer' very little.


    I think we can only attribute Love to God. Not suffering.


    EDIT: If you were interpreting Twain, etc., I'm sorry. Just ignore my post, if you like.
    I was interpreting Twain. See my reply to Beefeater. I could write a lot on this subject ^^^, but this probably isn't the thread for it.

  3. #103
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBGGAjMg9vw"]Some creepy shit[/YOUTUBE]

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    You don't give that original Twain quote enough credit to read its subleties. If there is a God, then all suffering can be attributed to him. Therefore he (Twain, or a fictional character?? I haven't read that.) denies there is a God. But since there is no God, there is nothing.

    Anyway, maybe it's a type of lament, but it's not a simple FU to God.
    Perhaps, I read an interesting interpretation of old testament belief in God as a negation of belief in idols, so that belief in God is really a belief in "is not [insert the wicked alternative]".

  5. #105
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    It's a quote, I don't understand the context. I don't know if I am projecting, but I feel that I understand the feeling behind it. Maybe I am wrong.

    It feels like an expression of dissatsifaction. The same type of dissatisfaction that I had being raised believing in a deity, but having all my senses and reasoning tell me that if a diety exists then he should be rejected, and if a diety doesn't exist, then living is emptiness. I've reconciled with those feelings. I can't even begin to speak for Twain, except that I think I he understood this feeling at some point, and at some other point he wrote it in a book. I don't know what point in his life this was, people change their points of views all through their time.

    I think it's a very expressive passage. I don't think it's childish whining.
    I don't doubt that you suffered and relate to this in a different way than I do. If I recall correctly you were raised JW. I can imagine that type of experience would make one more understanding of Twain's sentiment.

    I didn't have a perfect upbringing in the church, but it was far from manipulative or shame inducing.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    Okay guys, I should clarify. The Mysterious Stranger gave that speech. And The mysterious Stranger was Satan. BUT WAIT! Before you dismiss the whole thing, he's not your usual Satan character. He seemed more like a mouthpiece for Twain's darkest thoughts.



    Edit: yes, I should have said that before.
    What do you mean by not your usual satan character? What is your usual satan character?

    I've read two great anthologies of devil stories, one was by Hitchcock and it was entitled Devils, Devils, Devils, there was another one but which I dont recall the title of, it had an Asimov story to start I think with a devil attempting to trick someone but not thinking of the fourth dimension, travel in time.

    God and the devil are complex and not thought of much anymore, the rise of secularism and humanism has actively deprived the world of archetypes and narratives, just another reason to be suspiscious of that particular trend.

  7. #107
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Perhaps, I read an interesting interpretation of old testament belief in God as a negation of belief in idols, so that belief in God is really a belief in "is not [insert the wicked alternative]".
    That is really interesting, and has some verisimilitude from what I know of Jewish thought, being that a lot of what was in Law was specifically set out to separate the Israelites from those around them as a people.

  8. #108
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I don't doubt that you suffered and relate to this in a different way than I do. If I recall correctly you were raised JW. I can imagine that type of experience would make one more understanding of Twain's sentiment.

    I didn't have a perfect upbringing in the church, but it was far from manipulative or shame inducing.
    A lot of JWs end up perfectly well adjusted and happy and confused when their kids aren't. Some people are more suited to a type of experience than others. Sometimes it has less to do with the experience and more to do with the person. Of course some religions really test an average person's acceptance.

  9. #109
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What do you mean by not your usual satan character? What is your usual satan character?

    I've read two great anthologies of devil stories, one was by Hitchcock and it was entitled Devils, Devils, Devils, there was another one but which I dont recall the title of, it had an Asimov story to start I think with a devil attempting to trick someone but not thinking of the fourth dimension, travel in time.

    God and the devil are complex and not thought of much anymore, the rise of secularism and humanism has actively deprived the world of archetypes and narratives, just another reason to be suspiscious of that particular trend.
    Oh I just meant, it's not like Satan came out with a pitchfork and a red pajamas and everyone hated him in the story.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    That is really interesting, and has some verisimilitude from what I know of Jewish thought, being that a lot of what was in Law was specifically set out to separate the Israelites from those around them as a people.
    It leads to some interesting and odd but perfectly consistent possible beliefs when you think about it, like "I believe in God rather than capitalism/communism/materialism", what is really being asserted is disbelief in capitalism, communism, materialism (I only use those because they are modern examples of underpinning, unacknowledged belief systems), not really belief in God as a being exterior to human life and thought.

    I read it in Erich Fromm and I suspected originally that he was trying to do for Judahism what Fuerbach did for Christianity, although he has cited other earlier Jewish sources who do appear to agree with him, like Maimonides http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maimoni...ative_theology

    On the other hand I think it may be possible to assert negative theology like Maimonides without necessarily disbelieving in God as an exterior being, I think that Wittgenstein was suggesting something like this in the books he wrote which were mistakenly celebrated by atheists like Bertrand Russell.

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