Blaming God

8 years 7 months ago #188772 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic Blaming God
this is from viktor frankl's "mans search for meaning"

"In attempting this presentation and explanation of the typical characteristics
of a concentration camp inmate, I may give the impression that the human being is completely and
unavoidably influenced by his surroundings. (In this case the surroundings being the unique structure of camp life, which forced the prisoner to conform his conduct to a certain set pattern.) But what about human liberty? Is there no spiritual freedom in regard to behavior and reaction to any given surroundings? Is that theory true which would have us believe that man is no more than a product of many conditional and environmental factors - be they of a biological, psychological or sociological nature? Is man but an accidental product of these? Most important, do the prisoners' reactions to the singular world of the concentration camp prove that man cannot escape the influences of his surroundings? Does man have no choice of action in the face of such circumstances?

We can answer these questions from experience as well as on principle. The experiences of camp life show that man does have a choice of action. There were enough examples, often of a heroic nature, which proved that apathy could be overcome, irritability suppressed. Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress. We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. And there were always choices to make. Every day,every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.

Seen from this point of view, the mental reactions of the inmates of a concentration camp must seem more to us than the mere expression of certain physical and sociological conditions. Even though conditions may suggest
that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone.

Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him - mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp. Dostoevski said once, "There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings."{OB1 note: this is here translated more as "that i do not have the inner resources to meet my suffering with dignity" than that "i fear to suffer in ways which are "unfair" or which i do not "deserve" most understand that but theres always that one (usually ME) who needs things explained very carefully} These words frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost. It can be said that they were worthy of their sufferings; the way they bore their suffering was a genuine inner achievement. It is this spiritual freedom - which cannot be taken away - that makes life meaningful and purposeful

The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not."

its a pretty short read but covers obviously some really powerful and meaningful ground, which i thought was quite relevant to the topic

he actually goes on to speak particularly of individuals reaction to medical issues later in the work but i chose to excerpt this particularly because of its universality

heres a pdf for those interested
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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #188849 by Tarran
Replied by Tarran on topic Blaming God
Streen - I like how you think ;)

Akkarin wrote: God gave us free will.
But God is also all-knowing (omniscient).
If God is all-knowing then God knows what we are going to do before we do it.
If God knows what we're going to do before we do it then our actions must already be known and decided.
If our actions are already decided then we cannot have free will.
Similarly God already knows what we're going to think before we think it.
If what we are going to think is already known and decided then we cannot have a choice in thinking it nor agreeing with it (since agreeing with a thought would also be pre-known).

This is a well known philosophical problem for believing in a platonic God such as the Christian God. I'll tell you now both Saint Augustine and Saint Aquinas tried to grapple with this problem and with very limited sucess - that's why it's still a problem ;)

I've known/known of those who think *almost* this way... although they would put it that God's omniscience is that which allows himself to *potentially* know all, should he wish to, but not necessarily automatically know *everything all at once*, and perpetually, and all the time... unless/until he chose to access it all. In other words, they seem to suggest that he likes to watch things unfold. Like where, in the bible, Adam became aware that h was naked, and hid... and when God was ambling about in the Garden, he was all like, "Adam! Where... where are ya, man??"

It's one of those things that seems to mirror my mental image of Eawawonaka, the Great Creator Spirit, and his personality... which I find kind of nice, because it allows me some sense of common ground when speaking on spiritual matters with those of a Judeo-Christian background. But I digress...

steamboat28 wrote: I'm reminded of a comic I wish I could find.

A man sits on a park bench with God and asks Him, "Why do you allow such suffering to exist in the world? Why do so many bad things happen? Why aren't evil people stopped? Why aren't the hungry fed, and the sick healed, and the poor clothed? Why do we live in a world where evil is allowed to run rampant?"

And God looks at the man and says "I was going to ask you the same thing."

THAT was bloody brilliant! :D
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Tarran.

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8 years 7 months ago #188853 by Cyan Sarden
Replied by Cyan Sarden on topic Re:Blaming God
Everything happens for a reason you make up afterwards.

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That's exactly what my behavior used to be (and still is in some instances).

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