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View Diary: Is there a God? (With Poll) (279 comments)

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  •  Wow, there's a lot in that comment. (1+ / 0-)
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    Joieau

    I don't think I can fully respond to it, but I do have a fairly different view of this than you do, I think. Within certain parameters, we do have apparently more freedom than other animals. But I think this is largely an illusion, although a useful one. The fact that we have the ability to think and process things doesn't make us fundamentally different. There is likely some level of consciousness that animals have as well. I think it's more a difference of degree rather than a difference in kind. I don't think we are necessarily more free than an animal is. Are we more empathetic? Perhaps, but I don't really know. A lot of what we can see about ourselves is due to our reflective capability. Somehow, we see other humans as possessing the same capabilities, but not chimps or dolphins or birds. To some degree this is due to evidence, but it is probably also influenced by cultural traditions and prejudices.

    My views about our lack of free will have not necessarily been helpful to me. I mentioned in another comment about my depression. It also doesn't mesh well with political activism, and has been a factor in my lack of said activism. My parents and therapists have been frustrated by my attitude, and I've tried to believe in a sort of provisional free will, and not think so much about ideas that seem real but are not helpful.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:18:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Ah. You explain that well. (1+ / 0-)
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      AaronInSanDiego

      Don't know your background, but I grew up in a Calvinist tradition. They have a very strange, internally inconsistent worldview where not even God has any free will, our salvation is preordained from the beginning. Or not. Yet they can be real sticklers for imposing their prudish and hypocritical morality standards on other people - and to themselves - anyway. Not an effort to save anybody's immortal soul (including their own), just an uncomfortable social structure chock full of guilt for what they claim nobody can be held guilty for. Two equal and opposite spiritual forces forever at war for the measley souls of hapless humans, external to us and our physical wiring, and to which all we have the power to do is react. Never act (which would be seen as direct challenge). Weird, yet this is considered 'mainline' Protestant theology.

      Growing up with such cognitive dissonance built-in makes it fairly easy to escape when the time comes. Basic philosophy is: It [whatever "it" is] Doesn't Mean Shit To A Tree. Once you figure out you can never ever possibly in a million years do, say or think anything that might make any of them or their god/godlings happy, you're free to find happiness elsewhere by exercise of the choice hiding in plain sight.

      A twisted path, obviously. But it does quite often spur people toward more consistent and fulfilling ways of life through its very rejection. Serves a purpose in the overall scheme of things psychological.

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