Friday, January 27, 2006

B: It's like a milkshake???

After 6 years of raging against the machine and what not, I think Mandy and I are suffering from outrage overload. I am simply exhausted with how totally corrupt our government and this war are, and discouraged that the majority of americans are just starting to lose faith in the current administration. I'm done for awhile. Round here it will just be quaint news items, pictures of doggies knitting and fish, and the occasional great quote. And of course off topic rants about things of a non-political nature.

On that note did anybody hear the full recording of the now famous speach that Mayor Nagin (New Orleans) made about "...keeping New Orleans chocolate"? To me the most outrageous thing was not the racism of his statements (I can just imagine the public outrage if some mayor of a major metropolitan area made a speech vowing to "Keep Seattle vanilla!"), but the fact that nobody said anything about the part when he stated that the hurricane was punishment from God for the war in Iraq, and black people's sins. You expect this from Pat Robertson, but an elected official?! I simply can not fathom people that would continue to worship a god that they believe punishes people with huricanes. It is yet another example of how intangible the idea of omnipotency is to some people.

I had a great philosophy teacher who laid out in a really organized manner the central problem with defining an omnipotent deity. I can't begin to do it justice, but the central theme was that if a deity is truly omnipotent then there is no free will unless it is allowed by the deity. If the free will is allowed by the deity then that deity must also be capable of forseeing the outcome of those actions (which creates a weakened form of free will). If the deity allows things which were forseeable to occur, then the deity must have wanted those things to happen or just doesn't care. The omnipotent deity which exists beyond the boundaries of the universe, creator of all existent, the beginning and the end, the origin of all contiousness is: a) a being which can not be fathomed, defined in a book, or even really related to in any way by man and is therefore beyond all definition, and b) a being that probably couldn't give a damn (and thusly doesn't bother to punish people with huricanes). If on the other hand God can not control free will, or is limited by space and time, then he is not omnipotent, he must then exists within the Universe. He would then be a superior, but not supreme being and thus God must have a creator outside of the universe. That is just a demoralizing concept that you worship some vice management level god that is relatively powerless except to occasionally author a minor miracle or whip up a hurricane to punish the chocolate city. The conclusions must be therefore that either God is weak and not supreme, supreme and doesn't care, or supreme and allowed all thing which have happened to happen. If you believe god haphazardly hits broad swaths of the nation with a hurricane like a drunk driver taking out his neighbors fence, rather than specifically targetting President Bush, or absentee fathers, or abortion doctors or whatever other absurd percieved sin you can muster up then you clearly believe in one fucked up deity. Hope that works out for you.

Anyways, here's a Friday puppy! As always up for adoption here locally.


agent1776 said...

Bodie, I can't imagine how pissed you must be with all the good news on the Alito confirmation... it pushes back the liberal agenda for say, what 20 years!? Most liberal ideals are just unpopular in the electorate and need judicial activism to circumvent the will of the people... howz about the election in Iraq? Jeez, who knew that such positive news out of the middle east would be so downheartening for the libs... as always, it will be interesting to watch you spiral down into some hateful rant sooner or later... good news for the country has that very effect on you I've noticed.

susan said...

While I definitely appreciate both of your well-targeted outrage, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see more pictures of fish and puppies...

And I like the omnipotent argument. Not that I don't still believe in God, but I always think things like that are interesting to ponder. I think that the closest I've come to understanding it is via something my mom said when I was thirteen and we talked about this sort of thing a lot: that God is a mystery that we can't understand. Not that we don't understand his motivations, or why he allows bad things to happen, but that our human brains can't comprehend the structure or form of a higher level. Very similar to the way that we can't really come to grips with the physical implications of the word infinite. And thus, God is a mystery.

Usually I like answers to things, but I'm happy to not have to think too much about the nature of God beyond saying that it's incomprehensible. It makes potentially contradictory areas like science and religion compatible, and makes self-determination necessary. (if you assume that we have free will and it's really God, then it will all go to plan and no one will be the wiser, but if you assume everything is predetermined and you're wrong, you're potentially screwed and have wasted your life.)

.. but anyway, aside from the theological interestingness, all I really wanted to say was yes to the fish & puppies. :-)

Bodie said...

Last time I checked this nation was split pretty damn evenly in the last several elections, so I guess I am in good company in my being universally wrong on everything.

Whatever. Hope god doesn't accidentally kill you when he makes Rainier blow up to punish me for my sins.

mandy said...

I'm just wondering where you're going to get pictures of doggies knitting; and how we can train Luna to do that.