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20 January 2008

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Labi - just stumbled on this poem.

It strikes a chord and reminds me of quite a few late night discussions I have had, with (in those instances) christians about the "god-given" free-will that we all enjoy.

My response in all those discussions was : that if god gave us free-will - and that we acted freely; and we were judged (come the day) by him on those actions - then god could be legitimately seen as not much more than a divine vivisectionist , and all of us nothing but laboratory rodents.

Didn't seem to go down very well.

Best wishes as usual from this atheist corner of Devon

Sweepy Jean

I respect your right to have an opinion.
I do not respect the opinions you have expressed and promote.
“If God is responsible, then we are responsible”? How so?

I judge your opinions so far to be wrong headed and harmful as those encouraging a child to take toys from its younger, physically weaker siblings using violence if it deems that violence necessary or pleasurable.

I judge the opinions you have expressed to be, at best, the product of psychosis: a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

Because you express the prevailing theistic human view, I definitely am trying, by promoting a more critical and rigorous mode of thought, to change your mind and the minds of the billions of others who so lazily and harmfully think as you do.

“Well, this robustness won’t do it” is a legitimate, expected and accepted response but I am a poet; I leave diplomacy to others.

To be omnipotent (able to do anything) and omniscient (knowing everything) and to create something that can do no other than you have designed it, in total, to do, is not “giving it” “free will”.

To be omnipotent and omniscient and to create something that can do no other than you have designed it, in total, to do, and then to blame it and punish it for so doing is entrapment.

An omnipotent, omniscient entity, albeit a human invention/concept, that exercises that process, is contemptible and absurd and, if it existed, would be responsible for all that followed from its act of creation.

The thought processes that invented such a concept were crude and uninformed as to the technical processes of the universe. We, possessing vastly more information regarding those processes, betray our humanity and descendants by continuing to promote as accurate those crude, uninformed thought processes.

Therein lies our responsibility.

I will try to comment on the point of the poem. But first, what I meant to say was that while I do not agree with your premise, I respect your opinion, Labi, in relation to the ideas expressed in this particular poem, and that I respect the opinions about this poem of those who posted their comments here. I don't universally respect all opinions, and unfortunately, being polite has not been fashionable in quite some time. I'm only stating an opinion, not trying to change anybody's mind.

As to the point of the poem as you have stated it, the prevailing God of theism chose to create humanity as it is, with the capacity to do unspeakable evil via free will. If you think giving humans free will was a mistake, then sure, end of argument, it's all God's fault, because it knew that some people would be good and some would not. I think that position is a cop out because the argument keeps turning on itself: If God is responsible, then we are responsible. We are not absolved; we don't have to behave badly because we can, we chose to behave badly--or not. People also have the capacity for as much kindness as there is evil.

Day night, light dark, positive negative--the world is built upon dualities whether you think a God created the world or not. In any event, peace in the world starts with how we treat each other.

THE WALL (a response from me, Labi Siffre, to Sweepy Jean & others)


First of all, for all commentators, I do not respect everyone's viewpoint ... and neither do you. So let's cut the fashionable bullshit and try responsibility.

You miss, or choose to avoid, the clear point of the poem. The poem addresses the major belief system on the planet: Theism based on the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, supreme being, creator. Not a conceit, a psychosis.

Being omnipotent and omniscient, knowing all that would result from its choice to create the universe in the way that it chose ... the prevailing God of theism, who could have chosen to create a universe in which horrors would not occur ... or could have chosen to do nothing … nonetheless proceeded to create the universe and humanity as it is.

There is the crime.
Therein lies the responsibility.
The buck starts and stops at an omnipotent, omniscient God’s desk.
That is the point of the poem that apologists for the psychosis and hypocrisy of theism avoid.

If you can address the point of the poem, comment further; but if you and others wish only to evade the point of the poem, please don't waste space and time by writing here again.

ditto!!!

the man made reality of religion is too inhumanely unreal to be logical or just...

that is why i am only spiritual

i have no use for any religion as i only worship the same god that trees do

a universal spirit that is only freedom and love

peace,
alicia banks
eloquent fury

Assuming the conceit that God created the world, what if we compare God's creation of humans to a writer creating a poem, essay or story? Once a piece of writing is presented to others to read, it takes on a life of its own. Everyone can have his or her own interpretation. That's what free will is. How can we shift the blame for the evil acts of humankind to the creator or humankind, assuming we believe in such a thing? I don't see how the presence of evil in the world negates God's existence.

I'm just saying this for the sake of conversation, Labi; I respect your and everyone's viewpoint.

A supreme being creates lesser beings (knowing, before creating them, everything they will ever do) and is said to have given them "free will" (to do what their creator already knew they would do).

An honest reading is that such a supreme being is primarily responsible for every action his creations take and every consequence resulting.

To sidestep that, in defense of this God (while no surprise from theists) is spurious and as dishonest as the god itself.

Theists' avoidance of their God's universal and comprehensive responsibility in their creation myth is revealing and cause for concern regarding their good faith, their courage and their mental health.

I honestly don't think we are punished for anything we do or do not do on this earth.....we are here to experience..just experience....the source, the light, the whatever .....would not put his children into kindergarten and then slap him into hell for getting it wrong first time around....there is an energy, a love, a light that penetrates every soul, every living thing...and that energy is the thing that we have to concentrate on....not worrying about the body of flesh we use as the vehicle to experience, that is just the vehicle....the spirit, the essence is the thing to learn about, it is growing, expanding all the time, each time we rise above the crap, and reach inside to find the strength, the love, the hope to carry on.....life on earth is not a punishment...it's a gift to learn I guess...on the other hand..we are god, we are light and energy....so if he is guilty, if he should be responsible for giving us free will, then we are all responsible for how we use it....or something like that :o)

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