Nice people say the stupidest shit.

Went to a local annual motorcycle event yesterday to take in the sights and sounds. Wonderfully cool for August BTW. I was talking to a couple fellows from 'off' and we were discussing the local rides that are great for motorcycling. Then I warned them about one particular road that has a habit of devouring riders who can't cope with it's demanding off camber turns and such. I mentioned that each year usually one or more riders become a fatality on this particular route. One of them responded about a friend who had died when a 'cager' had pulled out in front of them and they t-boned the vehicle dying on impact. He said the Lord took him right then and there. My cognitive processes are clicking along taking in the stories offered by these friendly strangers when, WHAM, they say something totally incoherent. The idea that an individual would need to experience the incredible pain of severe head trauma and broken limbs to 'meet their maker' is mind-boggling when instead their gawd could of snapped it's onmipotent fingers and prevented the event from ever happening at all. Even though you have never meant these people before you want to mention the incongruity of their thought. Humans say the dumbest things and never realize just how crazy it really sounds to the ears of a freethinker.

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Comment by Diane on August 17, 2013 at 12:43pm

I agree Ed.  Sometimes the stupid things they say are also, albeit probably not intentionally so for the most part, hurtful.  Most of the time now I don't even bother saying anything unless it affects me personally. 

When a family member was suicidal for a year and had 3 attempts, the last one of which was near-fatal, more than one religious acquaintance said something like, "God never gives you more than you can handle."  Really?  In this case, the concept of God figured prominently in the person's problems in the first place.  It was so difficult not to, in my fear and sadness, say something particularly helpful and blasphemous that included many f-bombs. 

I know I said a few times, "I don't believe in God and if I did, I'd tell him off right about now.  This is definitely too much to handle."  Of course I proved myself wrong by handling it anyway, not without some serious difficulties though, and without a deity setting me up and tearing me down to teach me ... what?... life is fucking brutal sometimes?  I think I know that already.

I have said these same thoughts to Christians before and some have handled it admirably.  Some have been absolute assclowns, saying if I would just surrender and stop being so angry I would know God's grace and yadda yadda yadda. 

I need to have forgiveness and understanding for these folks so I don't rip into the next unfortunate soul that says something so thoughtless and stupid to me.

Comment by Simon Paynton on August 17, 2013 at 1:33pm

"He said the Lord took him right then and there."  - doesn't that just mean, he died? 

Comment by Simon Paynton on August 17, 2013 at 1:33pm

In Christian language. 

Comment by Kairan Nierde on August 17, 2013 at 11:25pm

You can't just say someone died. It fucks with people's minds too much. You have to use a phrase like "passed on" or "lost their battle with cancer" or "overdosed" or "passed way" or "won their final Darwin Award." I tried being blunt about death but it makes people get all feral looking.

Comment by Ed on August 18, 2013 at 9:09am

@ Simon

It is in the context of the event that I find the 'took him right then and there' so inappropriate. A supernatural being, you would hope, would have a little more class in retrieving his followers to the 'big pearlies.'

Comment by Simon Paynton on August 18, 2013 at 9:39am

I see what you mean.  This opens a theological can of worms.  We could say there are two sides to God - the Great Mother (healing, compassion) and the Great Father (truth, reality, brick wall at 100 mph).  These two sides are necessary and complementary. 

Comment by _Robert_ on August 18, 2013 at 10:22am

Its a effort to relegate responsibility away from those who partake in risky activities. Especially if you happen to do the same things. Isn't it odd how god very often selects people to meet when they happen fall asleep drunk on the train tracks?

 

Comment by Dr. Bob on August 18, 2013 at 12:59pm

The idea that an individual would need to experience the incredible pain of severe head trauma and broken limbs to 'meet their maker' is mind-boggling when instead their gawd could of snapped it's onmipotent fingers and prevented the event from ever happening at all.

It's interesting, because as a theist I look at a statement like that and say quietly to myself "nice people say the stupidist shit".   Oh, I can certainly understand anger as a necessary and important state of grief, and for some people as a necessary spur to action to do something good for the community.  Telling God off is perfectly acceptable, healthy, and necessary.

However, the notion that Deity should go around snapping its fingers in order to save every individual human from the consequences of every choice, inaction, inattention, design flaw or whatnot is just comical.   It's like an extreme version of wanting "Big Brother" government there to prevent anything bad from happening to anyone by law or policy or helo drop.  Make it so that no matter what, everyone else will pay and respond (or the entire universe will rearrange itself!)  just to protect me from the consequences of my own choices. 

The problem with Big Brother doing that is that destroys freedom and personal responsibility and creativity and individual compassion.  Taken to the level of Deity, In that universe, there wouldn't be any natural laws.  No science, nothing to explore, nothing to experiment with or test or figure out.   Nothing to strive for, no understanding to seek, no reason to work hard.   The universe would always just rearrange everything to bubble-wrap the stupidist or most violent of humans just in time to prevent anyone from experiencing any discomfort.

Comment by H3xx on August 18, 2013 at 1:09pm

Comment by Simon Paynton on August 19, 2013 at 6:47am

"the notion that Deity should go around snapping its fingers in order to save every individual human from the consequences of every choice, inaction, inattention, design flaw or whatnot is just comical."  - if you want special favours, they have to be earned.  That seems reasonable enough. 

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