Mankind's sufferings who's to blame?

by greendawn 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry
    How did you come up with the idea of "meaning" then? If there is no meaning to anything... how did the concepts of "meaning" and "no meaning" come about? If there was no meaning, why would humans prefer to not fathom a world without it? Where did they get the idea from?

    An intelligent question!

    Context is everything.

    When we say this means this; we are really invoking cause and effect.

    LIFE, you must admit, is a small four-letter word. However, it represents a vast and unmanageable complexity!

    Humans prefer simplicity whenever possible since survival historically could turn on a dime and instantaneous decisions could decide whether you live or die.

    But, it is silly and self-deceptive to think we can distill out of any complexity a simple: cause.

    After all, that is why we have the category of cause we call: GOD.

    However, I digress!

    Just as there are an endless multiplicity of woes and sufferings by numberless souls on our planet; so too, there are as many (or more) root causes.

    To resort to JUST ONE CAUSE is to indulge in what I call THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE SYNDROME.

    You take the loss of every ship and airplane in one geographical area (such as the Bermuda "Triangle") and attribute one cause:MYSTERIOUS FORCES!

    Now, you are free to invent any fantasy that appeals to your imagination! (And we do--oh my! We do!)

    Humans use the concept of "meaning" to allow themselves the relative comfort of simplicty in decision making and problem solving. There is really only context, purpose and result.

    How we interpret those three elements becomes MEANING.

  • joelbear

    genes are to blame, they are responsible for everything, well genes and the laws of physics. yep, that's about it.

  • trevor

    I don’t blame a god or mankind for suffering. There is also a lot of beauty and joy in life. I simply accept that we are part of something awesome and what we do affects the way life on earth develops.

    There is nothing to suggest that there is a pre-planned purpose or template that life is working to arrive at. IT simply IS. It seems that the life force that inhabits us moves on at death and continues with the adventure. That is not to say that we individually survive. For our short term on earth it dwells in us, then moves on and expresses itself through other people or some other form of life.

    A study of the natural world will show that it makes no judgement and does not attempt to rule or punish. It is impartial and has only one - aim to manifest and pervade. We can see this force and intelligence at work in all living things, which are a vehicle for its expression. If the vehicle is damaged the life force leaves.

    An acceptance of the possibility that we are all connected and the expression of an impartial, infinite life force is not the same as subscribing to a particular religion with the hope of reward, or believing in a judgemental God with human qualities.

    Believing we are collectively responsible for our world and not expecting to be blessed, helped or punished by a distant God, depending on whether we have chosen the correct religion, would be a huge step forward.

  • Star Moore
    Star Moore

    Well, hate to be square, but I vote for the JW's answer. Adam, Eve and Satan...and God had to let things run their course.

  • tetrapod.sapien




    I'll go work on my mildness, loving kindness , self control .. how did i go on gestures?

    LMFAO over here! ha ha!

    i am just sort of wondering lately, how pathetic we will get as a species, trying to make the world into the place that we imagine it to be, instead of just letting our dreams go, and simply letting the world be exactly the place it already is, and is going to continue being.

    TS (of the 'john lennon was wrong' class)

  • FairMind

    It is also good to keep in mind that God does not view suffering and death as we do. God’s intention is to one day eliminate death and suffering for all, even resurrecting those who have died. So, while God is not responsible for suffering and death, he is taking on the responsibility of ending these things.

  • tetrapod.sapien

    yes fairmind, i remember from my JW days...

  • kristyann

    I'm sorry... I really am not trying to be argumentative... I have read a lot about some of these topics on BOTH sides of the argument. I question things all of the time... but I just don't get why it would be more comforting to believe that the universe has meaning than to believe it doesn't... I know that humans can and do invent all sorts of things (elves, etc.)... but why would it be SO UNCOMFORTABLE to believe there is no meaning if there wasn't one? Why would it be so difficult for us to deal with that? Why would we hate that so much? I don't understand why we would be comforted by the idea of meaning... it's a lot different than being comforted by the idea of Santa Claus. It's a lot deeper than the elves issue. I just don't get those explanations. Please don't tell me how dumb I am or something. I have really tried to understand both sides of it but I don't comprehend how inventing "meaning" would comfort us... why would we need that to comfort us?

  • daystar
    why would it be SO UNCOMFORTABLE to believe there is no meaning if there wasn't one? Why would it be so difficult for us to deal with that? Why would we hate that so much?

    Well, most people just are uncomfortable facing the possibility that there simply is nothing to look forward to other than a relatively short lifespan here on earth. There are no rewards for being "good", no punishment for being "bad". The masters who control us do not burn in hell after death, and us good little angelic, humble folks don't fly up in heaven on wings when we die. We don't get resurrected into some Fantasy Island. We simply die.

    The Buddhists (and others) have their reincarnation theory for the same reasons.

    Why? I don't know. Probably because many of us were taught to believe in some hope beyond this life from a very young age. The consideration doesn't make you uncomfortable?

  • kid-A

    but I don't comprehend how inventing "meaning" would comfort us

    This is simply the consequence of how the human brain has evolved. At a simple level, sensory information is constantly entering the brain at all modalities. These signals need to be sorted, analyzed and distributed along complex neural pathways. In other words, the brain must assign meaning, at a very rudimentary level to all incoming information at all levels, sensory, emotional, conscious, unconscious, etc. A simple example, visual information must pass through at least 7 cortical processing layers in the lateral geniculate nucleus before being passed on to the primary visual cortex for final analysis.

    To make a very long story short, we have evolved brains that can only make sense of our environments be "constructing" meaning on incoming information. Why? Because without this, we would have no basis upon which to plan future actions or behaviours. Thus, meaning, as an essential function of the cognitive processes of the human brain, is not really complicated at all. We can ascribe all the complicated metaphysical interpretations we want onto it, but at the simplest level, we NEED to ascribe meaning or we could not function as biological beings that depend on sensory information to guide our thoughts and actions. Given that we require constructed meaning to survive, it logically follows that we would have evolved a natural affinity for ascribing "meaning" to everyday events.

    Primordial man invented the gods to explain that which could not be explained in the primitive proto-hominid mind. Hence, "thunder gods" "death gods" "sun gods" ad infinitum.......

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