May it whirl up all over the world!
Maybe just in time to remodel it all for the better!
Rip it up and start again.
Man, typing into these innieasrcgly small comment boxes is tough! Dewde, do you know anyone who knows anything about html and css that might be able to fix something like this? No? Hmmm.Okay After reading Zero’s message, I’m confused as to how I’m anywhere saying that there’s no way to know what’s good. I’m saying that there’s no way to know what some God would consider good, unless such a situation is explicitly written in some God-authored book. I can state that his cleaning up the mess was good, because I also stated my definition of good. The act was good in my definition, because it heightened the enjoyment of others and lessened their pain. When *you* say something else is good, I suspect you’re making some value judgment based on your best guess. You surely don’t know the mind of God, right? So how can you possibly suggest that you have this absolute morality available to you? Instead, you might do what you *think* God would advocate in your situation, based on your reading of the bible or personal revelation or whatever other source of religious opinion you might have. This seems a good approach, but it still involves a decision on your part. My issue with that is that the outcome of your decision your action is not really any different than the action taken by the person who simply tries to maximize happiness and minimize suffering in their environment. And because life is complicated, it isn’t any more obvious what the right and good answer is. I reject any assertion that any two identical actions can vary in their level of goodness simply because one was religiously motivated and the other was not. Please let me know if you’re really arguing from that perspective.I’m not necessarily saying that there’s no point in prayer. I suspect many people derive great personal enjoyment out of it, presence of mind, or just some quiet time to consider their thoughts. I’m not really bothered by that at all. I do think that it’s being way too generous to claim that one’s prayer helps *others*, though. Intercessory prayer has repeatedly been shown to have no measurable effect on the people being prayed for. Look, I defined good as something that has a murky but measurable outcome. Of course there are situations that are way more complex and difficult to measure. I’m not being the judge here: this could well be the opinion of Family X themselves. I’m claiming that it’s likely that Family X had a ever-so-slightly better time at the playground because of Dewde’s act. If you disagree with that last sentence, then you’re surely just disagreeing for the sake of disagreement. Sure, it’s possible that some family just *loves* vandalized playgrounds, but let’s play the percentages here. If they had a better time than they otherwise would have had, then that’s good.I agree with your point that Dewde and probably many other Christians do perform good deeds because of some heightened religious sense. I don’t know if Dewde would have cleaned up that space in his pre-Christian days, but he seemed like a nice guy then, so he very well might have. You seem to be implying that Christians are just more generous people. I dunno. They might be. I’m not sure how easy that is to really measure, though, since despite the occasional claim that Christians are X percent more likely to give to charities and give Y percent more money, much of that is both self-reported and is funneled through and distributed by churches, so it’s just really hard to get real and unbiased numbers. I suspect the real differences are not as stark as some people report. Still, even if Christians give more money and time, it doesn’t change the issue of what is good. I’m happy to acknowledge that many Christians and Christian charities do a lot of good things.I have a question. You seem to think that this sense of absolute morality, truth, and goodness is available to the religious and not to the non-religious. Can you think of any situation at all where you would define a good act as something different from the good of the person who simply seeks to minimize suffering? I’d be interested to hear this. And please try to make it as straightforward as possible, since it’s certainly possible to argue nuances in complicated situations where there’s no choice that’s a clear winner. (If I do A, then this person is miserable now for a short time, but this other person is *way* happier a year from now, but if I do B, then both people are sort of happy all the time ) Despite our possibly different motivations, the thought process is likely to be the same, and we are likely to come to the same conclusions much of the time. And the cases where we disagree are likely to be because of subtle issues that could reasonably have been argued either way from *either* a religious or secular perspective. And again, I’m asserting that no action can be better than an identical action simply because the actor was religious. That’s begging the question. So, I’m quite interested in your, or anyone’s, opinions here.
Rhat picture of Iran is from a pro-government demonstration with “Killer” written on the Moussavi poster.
Somehow it doesn’t fit to the other pictures.
I for one find any revolt in Iran unlikely. The state and Ahmedinejad have massive support in the people.
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