Saturday, 9 June 2007

Oh dear, God!

"I went down on my knees and prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance ... and one night late it came to me this way. We could not leave (the Philippines) to themselves--they were unfit for self-government--and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's was... There was nothing left for us to do but take them all and educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them."

- President William McKinley

"Our men have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of 10 up... Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to 'make them talk,' and have taken prisoners people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later. stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down, as examples to those who found their bullet-loaded corpses."

- Philadelphia Ledger newspaper in 1901, from its Manila [Philippines] correspondent during the US war with Spain for the control of the Philippines.


Jose said...

Do their consciences experience any qualms after having invoked God's intercession?

Or not unlike the Catholic confession, does all this kneeling-down and praying clean their souls before they die?

anticant said...

Those who receive private personal communications from their Deity rarely behave any better towards their fellow humans as a result - usually the opposite.

Jose said...

Using them as their scapegoat, indeed.

Richard W. Symonds said...

Methinks it is important to remind ourselves how young and underdeveloped our minds actually are.

I can't quote Joad exactly here, but he said cocksureness is a function of ignorance...if we take 100 years as the time life began on this planet, 'civilised' Man came along in the last hour or so.

Life is likely to go on for another 100,000 years on the same time scale - so, unless Man destroys himself in the meantime, our minds have quite some way to go in understanding what the hell it's all about.

I don't really have a problem believing in God and an after-life. We are created beings - we are not man-made - so that implies a Creator...which many believe to be God.

I believe there is a God - in faith - and I believe I will be 'going home' in some way when I die.

People might mock me, but putting it irreverently - I really don't give a shit.

As our minds are so young and undeveloped, the common sense stance to take would be agnostic - we simply don't know.

There are many earthly things we don't know, and we often rely on the knowledge of others 'in good faith'.

No different with non-earthly matters, to my mind.

I don't have a problem with a benign God, but I do have a problem with non-benign Man who exploits and manipulates our young and underdeveloped minds to their own advantage - and that has nothing to do with God.

anticant said...

Richard, you are welcome to believe whatever you like if it is any comfort to you, but I find your assertions so pathetically irrational and naive that there's no point in debating them. In any case, we've been around this particular mulberry bush several times in previous exchanges.

Frankly, I'm bored by this and many other topics which get endlessly mulled around to no purpose on our little group of blogs, which is why I won't be posting so much in future. After nearly a year's blogging I am beginning to realise that there are better things to do with one's life than to engage in endless debates which get nowhere and have no influence on the course of events.

Richard W. Symonds said...

"Pathetically irrational and naive", eh ?!

With our collective wisdom - or otherwise - let's change the subject, AC ;)

anticant said...

Yes, indeed! To pose an 'either/or' alternative between our being either 'created' or man-made strikes me as piffle. In any case, your comment was completely off-subject, and did not address the issues of religious self-delusion and hypocrisy raised by the two quotes I posted.

Richard W. Symonds said...

"Religious delusion", like those you quote, is disgusting but not exclusively "religious".

I am sure we could come up with the same kind of nonsense, but uttered by a Fascist Dictator or Communist General, or some other non-religious nutter.

anticant said...

Of course - but the point is, the religious nutters believe their "voices" come from God. Where do YOU think they come from?

Richard W. Symonds said...

How do I know, AC ?

In such matters I can only 'step outside myself and look in', and try and communicate my results.

It all depends what you mean by "voices". If I 'look & listen' to myself, I am trying to make order of chaos...I see and hear, imagine, create, think and feel a vast jumble of images, memories, thoughts, emotions etc. I think in words, and articulate to myself how I feel...blah, blah, blah...

I don't think I'm alone here - but I might be wrong.

Amid the chaos of all this, I am having a dialogue with well as with others - like with you now. This dialogue going on in my head could be called "voices".

I'm sure you are familiar with the counselling idea of hearing the negative voice on one shoulder (eg I'm useless, I'm going to fail...), and the positive voice on the other shoulder (eg I'm great, I'm going to win)...

I know you think my 'being created implies a Creator' idea is are entitled to your view which I respect, AC, but it is one which I disagree with.

Believing that, I can talk to myself and to my Creator - and a good place to get a reply is through Nature, Others, Church, Bible etc.

I can feel your emotions from here, AC - and they are not positive...definitely negative vibes !

But millions of people - especially extremely unshallow people - have believed this too. They are not 'extremists', just common decent folk living their life in the best way they can - with a simple faith in God.

What right do you, or Dawkins, have to ridicule or mock such people, and say it's a 'God Delusion' ? You have no right - you only have an opinion.

I have to be honest with you - for most people it is a delusion - especially with religious nutters - but not all.

anticant said...

Richard, please re-read my first response to your first comment on this thread, and let it rest! I don't mock or ridicule your beliefs - you are welcome to them - but I do find them utterly tedious and boring, and not worth arguing with. Sorry.