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2007/12/17 - God Is Good
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filecore



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Azmoten wrote:
I never thought that quote was saying knowledge itself was bad, merely that


Yes, that's rather the point, isn't it? Knowledge isn't bad if you're not aware of it. Under those rules, I'm 100% for living in sin.
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Azmoten



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...Why did you include ", merely that"?
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filecore



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that's a nice way of avoiding the topic. I thought it relevant that Azmoten was saying that he thought that the quote meant that knowledge itself wasn't bad, but merely that... whatever. My point was that I disagree with it and there is no "merely that".
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well that's just it, the aliens in the mythos aren't evil, except from our point of view, their motivations are just beyond our comprehension. look at the full quote

Quote:
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.


we live on a placid island of ignorance, knowledge will bring about a new dark age. Also remember that HPL was an atheist.
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Azmoten



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

filecore wrote:
Well that's a nice way of avoiding the topic. I thought it relevant that Azmoten was saying that he thought that the quote meant that knowledge itself wasn't bad, but merely that... whatever. My point was that I disagree with it and there is no "merely that".


When talking about that little snippet of the whole quote and saying that I didn't read it as knowledge being evil in-and-of itself, there is very clearly a "merely that", because the quote certainly isn't saying knowledge is a good thing.

But I see what you're talking about and I don't disagree; knowledge is a good thing. At least when applied constructively. Oh drat I've gone and inserted the equivalent of a "merely that" yet again, damn.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Also remember that HPL was an atheist.


and that he was writing fantasy/horror fiction.

besides, it wasn't just "the tree of knowledge" - it was "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" - so of course, once you know what evil (and good) is, you are responsible for the choices you make.
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filecore



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
besides, it wasn't just "the tree of knowledge" - it was "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" - so of course, once you know what evil (and good) is, you are responsible for the choices you make.


That's a fair point and would otherwise be a fair distinction, but I do believe that it's largely irrelevant here. Can you say that knowledge, or knowledge of good and evil, aren't the same thing? If you have knowledge (eg, how to make an atomic bomb) then you should therefore be able to work out that you can explode it near people - killing them - or you can try to do something else with it (nuclear power). Now your intent may not be specifically good or evil there, but doesn't the knowledge along with a bit of common sense (which I'll admit that a majority of the human race seems to actually lack) automatically imply an understanding of the concepts of 'good' and 'evil'?
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ZigZag



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no atheist, but I like this quote by an atheist:

"The human brain has evolved to such an enormous size, that it is nearly impossible for him [the human] to stay happy"

and this one:

"The human is the only animal that thinks it's supposed to be happy, all the other animals can just be.

These are not the exact quotes, but the meaning is the same. I got them from this video (YouTube): http://youtube.com/watch?v=a15KgyXBX24
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

filecore wrote:
mouse wrote:
besides, it wasn't just "the tree of knowledge" - it was "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" - so of course, once you know what evil (and good) is, you are responsible for the choices you make.


That's a fair point and would otherwise be a fair distinction, but I do believe that it's largely irrelevant here. Can you say that knowledge, or knowledge of good and evil, aren't the same thing? If you have knowledge (eg, how to make an atomic bomb) then you should therefore be able to work out that you can explode it near people - killing them - or you can try to do something else with it (nuclear power). Now your intent may not be specifically good or evil there, but doesn't the knowledge along with a bit of common sense (which I'll admit that a majority of the human race seems to actually lack) automatically imply an understanding of the concepts of 'good' and 'evil'?


well, the people who wrote the bible had no clue that such a thing as a nuclear bomb would ever exist. i would posit that most things the humans have knowledge of are not clearly good or evil - think about everything we know about animals, about how to farm and spin and weave and make pottery and glass - even metal working primarily turns out useful implements. most weapons have multiple uses - sure, you can use a bow to kill another human, or you can use it to hunt a deer.

and actually, killing other humans doesn't enter into the adam-and-eve story at all, since there were just the two of them, and eve wasn't sentenced to the pain of childbirth until they were thrown out of the garden. and god's warning was "don't eat it, or you will die". presumably, if they hadn't eaten, they would still be alive, just them and the critters, all in the garden of eden.
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kame



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
and eve wasn't sentenced to the pain of childbirth until they were thrown out of the garden. and god's warning was "don't eat it, or you will die". presumably, if they hadn't eaten, they would still be alive, just them and the critters, all in the garden of eden.


Watch out, Mouse. You play the game on the theists' terms and they can make up all the batshit crazy stuff they want. Though I am curious as to how we got from 2 people to 6 billion or so in 6000 years.

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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mega DNA.
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Sojobo



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

filecore wrote:
mouse wrote:
besides, it wasn't just "the tree of knowledge" - it was "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" - so of course, once you know what evil (and good) is, you are responsible for the choices you make.


That's a fair point and would otherwise be a fair distinction, but I do believe that it's largely irrelevant here. Can you say that knowledge, or knowledge of good and evil, aren't the same thing?

Yes.

filecore wrote:
Now your intent may not be specifically good or evil there, but doesn't the knowledge along with a bit of common sense (which I'll admit that a majority of the human race seems to actually lack) automatically imply an understanding of the concepts of 'good' and 'evil'?

Knowledge of fission does not imply knowledge of good and evil. It seems like it does only because in our experience, all adult humans (which is everyone we know who understands fission) have knowledge of good and evil. Correlation, not causality.

It may clarify to consider a child, who doesn't have knowledge of good and evil (or who "doesn't know any better" (note the strongly similar idiom)), and his action of hitting his brother. Compare that to an adult, who does have knowledge of good and evil, hitting his brother.
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