Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

14-2 Law


One of the points that we discussed as a group was having a better world by accepting a little bit of suffering. We had a brief discussion on the Boston bombing. Even though this is a disaster, does it make our country better somehow? We then discussed if disaster destroys peoples faith. Can a bombing make someone question their faith? We decided it could.

We then discussed the results of these disasters. Many times changes are made with the "best intentions" in mind. However, some of the worst actions in history were made with "best intentions" behind them. For example, we discussed forced sterilization. Can this make the world better? Perhaps, but at what price. Dr. Oliver had an interesting saying on the subject: "mistrust people who want to help you and is willing to force that help onto you". 

Our discussion then went back to suffering for a better world. We discussed how some homes caught on fire and damaged the house. But, because the house was insured, the repairs made the house better and increased its value. So a little bit of suffering can make life better in some cases.

8 comments:

  1. The bombing can cause people to question their faith, but should they? This is a time that most people cling tightly to their beliefs. I don't really think you can throw faith out the window because of the bad things that happen. After all if you question faith then are you a true believer?

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    1. I think this brings the concept of faith itself into question. If you define faith as belief in something you have no direct evidence of, then for most people faith springs from tradition and habits formed when they were young. These are often never questioned until something jarring comes along that violates the tenets they always took for granted. By being forced to re-examine these long-held beliefs, some people can no longer agree with what they were told.
      Note that this is completely different from the person who comes to religion later in life because of an experience that they go though.

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  2. In life I feel we have to go through some suffering and loss, to understand and get the meaning on how great and how much we love something to get better and improve at it. Also, if you don't have faith then you really don't have any beliefs or thougths behind your answers or arguements. Bombings will continue to happen which brings the world closer for a moment and then get back to its troubled ways, therefore no I don't think disasters have a value to them.

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  3. Yes disaster can make a person question their faith but I think that we need the suffering to truly understand and appreciate the good things in life as well as realize that bad things do happen.

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  4. Tony Spelta11:29 AM CDT

    I think that there needs to be suffering in the world because it is a necessary part of life. Everything cant just be good forever. If it was so why would anyone work for anything if everything was perfect.

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    1. Good point perfection would be boring and humans would have no purpose. The constant need for balance in the world is what makes humans suffer and succeed, and gives us purpose.

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  5. I commented on this last week, and I'll repeat it here. It makes a lot of sense to look at it in the light of "you need suffering to appreciate good" and I fully agree with that, it gives us perspective. However, I think that Law is really bringing up the *amount* of suffering as his reasoning for disbelief in the traditional God. As a parent, there is no way I would ever knowingly let any of my kids come to great suffering if I could prevent it so easily. Sure I let them jump off the couch, so that when they fall off and it hurts, they learn "the hard way" not to do that. God is our Father, and we are His children, according to the religions that Law is criticizing here. What kind of parent would I be if I allowed my kids to learn "the hard way" not to jump in front of a bus? Or strap a bomb onto their body and step onto a bus?
    This line of reasoning only deals with "free will" issues of humans harmingthemselves or other humans through choices. If you saw a person who could control the weather, but sat by and watched while a hurricane hit the coast and killed their own kids, would you consider that person a good parent? Would you write it off by saying that clearly by nature of his ability to control weather he must have a better understanding of the universe and thus must recognize that thos killed are serving their happiness and the worlds' happiness better by being dead?
    Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, I agree with Law

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  6. You've nailed it, Matt. The evidential problem of suffering, the question of "amount," poses a serious challenge to faith in a providential deity. For some of us, it's a conclusive challenge. And it's simply false that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Too often, what doesn't kill still maims, breaks, debilitates, does not improve.

    But the issue is finally personal. Each of us must answer this one for ourselves.

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