Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, February 10, 2012

Reflecting, and all that jazz...

Gotta say, hilarious post David-I got Poseidon! Glad I can walk away from this earth with at least that stylish, wet look.
Funny you mentioned Pascal, as well.. for I'll be honest, I just finished the third essay in Antony's book by Daniel Garber (I'm doing some serious catching up this weekend), and I'd never really looked at Pascal's Wager in the sense that Garber did. I can also closely relate to his claim that he likes to "tour" the world of the believers, but he could just never live there. And as Garber described of Pascal's claim that even if we don't believe, we should act as believers do, I just can't convince any part of myself that doing so would really amount to much of anything. Like he stated, you either do, or you don't.
So I guess what my point to all this is and what really stuck out to me in Garber's essay is Pascal's quoting God at the bottom of page 36:

"There is enough light for those who desire to see, and enough darkness for those of a
contrary disposition."

Maybe down the road I'll change my "stubbornness" in this matter, perhaps I never will, and for either to happen is quite alright with me, for I don't really see it mattering in the first place. But I can't help but to question God's purpose if he did exist. If, through God, we find a [better] reason/meaning to life, then in the end, what is God's overall reason for anything? Perhaps the majority of us find ourselves smack dab in the middle of heaven's lair in the end of it all. What do we say? Do we shake God's hand and in awe congratulate him for keeping us on our toes all these years? Most of us would agree that a little more than that would be said. Nevertheless, I find it hard to imagine a God that is so demanding of a love that for some is simply impossible to generate.


  1. It has been said, no I don't remember where, that God's love can be seen in his allowing us to refute him and his love that we are given the essence of life itself, choice.

    1. To which god are you referring because all the gods are excelling at the particular notion of being refuted?

    2. The christian god, I believe, is what the quote is meant for. That is who I thought was being addressed in the post, with the notions of a demanding love and ability to potentially shake God's hand. It is in the christian god's omnipotence that he has allowed us the ability to choose to deny him.

    3. My bad...I was hoping you were talking about Poseidon but, upon reflection, that wouldn't make any sense because I can see water.

    4. I appreciate the notion/sentiment that's been put forward there. But in the end, doesn't that wind us right back up where we've been circling around for the class. If the essence of life itself is choice, and our great power is the power to refute God, it still places all of the credit and hope for goodness squarely in our own hands, not in his.

    5. I have never refuted God. I have, however, repeatedly refuted the concept of a God as put forward by a human being. I don't know about you, but everything I "know" about Gods has come people, who got their "knowledge" from other people, who got their "knowledge" from other people, etc. Why can't we just go straight to the source? It would sure clear up some of the confusion out there.

  2. It's a good question: what WOULD you say to Mr. Deity? Oh, Lord, you didn't give us enough evidence? Or maybe: you made it impossible for some of us to believe you? (...made some of us incapable of believing in you?)

    I might also add: you weren't my first failed role-model. You KNEW McGwire would reach for the Andro, didn't You!?

    1. Are you saying Yahweh is juicing? Maybe so. That would explain all the anger and capricious behavior.

    2. Phil is using the highly academic "baseball argument" against the existence of gods, and I was replying to his post.

      If I were you I wouldn't try and understand it. The baseball argument against gods is a highly technical logical construction of quantum statistics and complex computer programs designed to crush probabilities to 12 decimal places. With the interjection of the Andro factor, this has added an extra equation into the already complex and problematic data stream. My suggestion is that only those with highly advanced degrees or a BS in Religion should try and comprehend it. I don't even understand it as I'm writing about it now.

      So, back to your original post jch2m, what god were your referring to again, Poseidon?

    3. That sounds rather aggressive and demeaning. I'm just trying to understand it.

    4. There's not much to understand here, we're just having fun. Mark McGwire consumed a performance-enhancing substance called Androstenedione ("Andro")the year he set a new single-season home run record, then lied about it and told a Congressional Committee he wasn't there to "talk about the past." He wasn't really my hero, and I had already long since put divine and terrestrial role-models behind me. (My daughter had been a McGwire fan, though, and hasn't forgiven him yet.)

    5. Nobody is on a blood-stained, aggressive Christian Crusade here but if you're being sincere, I would say you're missing the underlying humor of the posts that are based on relatively current events in baseball, notes from the professor's personal anecdotes, and atheistic media combined with the glaring gaps in the arguments for god or gods. The punchline was specifically based on determinism.

      Go back and read Dr. Oliver's (Phil) post again and google (verb use) any words that you don't understand. You may have to read several articles to get up to speed. Also, look over your class notes and see if Dr. Oliver has made any personal references to baseball. If you do that, you will have an idea of what was being discussed.

      That way it won't sound so aggressive and demeaning--you'll just recognize it as darn good humor.

    6. Dr. Oliver,

      Just for clarity, my reply was to jch2m.

      We must have been typing at the same time and you won (hit it out of the park) because I didn't see your reply prior to my posting.

    7. Hi jch2m,

      I would like to extend my sincere apologies to you in regards to my reply to your "I'm not sure I follow?" post.

      I completely misread the meaning of your statement and--like an idiot--didn't catch the sincerity of your question. You were right, it came off as aggressive and demeaning but I assure you I didn't mean it personally and I feel really awful.

      I thought you were using a common debate tactic used against someone who has made an unjustified assertion. They, as a tactic, will often say "I don't understand what your mean" or " I'm at a loss, could you explain that more clearly." This forces the person making the unfounded assertion to try and explain something they can't really explain. Hence the extra helping of snark and aggression.

      Again, I'm sorry for misreading your post. I'm trying to understand life just like you and everyone else in class. I don't have a lot of answers but I sure enjoy sharing deep questions about life with anyone who's willing to converse.



    8. You're a mensch, Dean. I guess the lesson for us all is, in diverse social settings like this one, to resist the temptation to lapse into Inside Baseball. Not everyone knows or should be expected to know how to crack the code.

      But, that said... I've sure been enjoying these exchanges!

  3. Rachel, the last line of your comment reminded me of this quote, which I love:

    "“Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
    Born under one law, to another bound;
    Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
    Created sick, commanded to be sound.”
    ― Fulke Greville