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Author Topic: How are people mixtures of good and bad?  (Read 18129 times)
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« on: April 12, 2012, 12:17:54 PM »

The other day I posted the following statement on CAF, when people were talking about weeds and wheat as being good v bad people.  My take is there are only people with thoughts that can be construed as good or bad by one who judges.

Anyway here is what I wrote:
"On a more serious note, though, each of us is a mixture of good and bad. Maybe we can all agree on that. In some, one may seem to be more apparent than the other, but the mixture remains."


Another poster (who may be joining our forum soon) asked me by email:
I would be interested in getting your take on what part of us you think is the "bad" part.  What part is that?



Here is the reply I sent.  I want to post it here because I like it and I want to share it with y'all, then not lose it.


Alan's email to the CAF poster:

From my new consciousness perspective, "good" and "bad" are words that mean nothing to me, except as to communicate with people who judge.  Since the vast majority of Catholics have no idea how not to judge, I use those words as "crutches" for myself to explain it as well as possible given my level of sophistication at explaining it and my take on what others will understand.

My idea about weeds v wheat, is that there are constructive and destructive thoughts that run through any given mind.  By "constructive" and "destructive," again I'm using a "mortal" power -- judgment -- on those thoughts, which I don't mind because at some point if I quit using mortal, dualistic speech, nobody will understand me.  At least that's where my faith level is so far.

What I'm trying to accomplish is calling into question our own ability to judge our own thoughts, to the point where I've driven a wedge in the "logic" used by those who are in consternation over their own thinking.  My advice, basically, is to go with the flow.  If I think something, and I have faith and trust in God's Holy Spirit for guidance, I have nothing to worry about no matter what my thoughts are.  That's where I'm trying to help people to get to, but one step at a time.

As I live in the kingdom, each day I get better at communicating so maybe in the near future I will learn how to do the same spiritual acts of mercy without caving in to Old Testament type thinking of judgment, right, and wrong.

I've discovered the God isn't the one who accuses or condemns.  People accuse and condemn themselves by their own thoughts -- which are much more powerful than any external forces -- but we aren't taught that when we are young.  When we are young it's about behavior modification via threats and bribes.  Jesus tried to explain that it isn't about threats and bribes.

In fact, I've been scolded for making it sounds like the Cross gave us a "get out for free" card.  That took me aback at first because, in fact, He did.  He didn't die on the cross so we could continue fighting over cheap behavior contests like the Scribes and the Pharisees.  But how do you go among a flock of "baby Christians" and tell them that once they are renewed by the Spirit there are no more behavioral issues because you will be guided?  Not to mention that's precisely what Jesus said.  Not to mention that's precisely what St. Paul said.  In Rom 2:15 we're told that the law is written on our hearts.  And yet we have scholars who bicker their entire lives about laws written on paper.  That's why Jesus thanked His Father for revealing to little children what is hidden from the wise and the learned.

But when I speak from the heart, people boggle (that's all Jesus was really doing at age 12 in the temple) because they think that the answer can't be just something our heart tells us.  By peer pressure and socialization they don't even know what the word "authority" means, as in "Jesus spoke with authority."

Well "authority" really means I am the author of my own words.  If I speak with authority, it means that I am speaking from my own mind based on feelings in my own heart ... and if I do so I take responsibility for them as well.  The meaning of "authority" in this context is all but destroyed by civilized society who demands from the time we write our first paper for school, that ones cites references that are deemed "credible."  Even when I'm talking in person to people, it's like pulling teeth sometimes to get them to tell me their personal opinion.  We are socialized and taught what to think, not how to think, so we have an entire civilization of people who think that to have any meaning, they must be able to find references to back them up.  It's amazing, the veil that God put in front of people who are wise, learned, and especially haughty, keeps them from seeing the obvious when there is nothing in the way but their own warped (due to toxic religion and "civilized" socialization) preconceived notions.

To beat a dead horse, when we were little if we said anything with our own hearts rather than what the teacher expects to hear, we get bad grades and/or social embarrassment.  When I was in grade school, the teachers LOVED using peer pressure as a weapon to make us all conform.

I think it's a matter of the Good News sounding too good for a people who grew up being taught that they are worthless pieces of crap.

Alan
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ncjohn
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 02:07:41 PM »

I have a somewhat similar take on the weeds and wheat idea. I am in full agreement that the statement wasn't about removing the "evil" people from among the "good" people since I have never met anyone who objectively evil or objectively good. Everyone ever born--I guess with the exception of Jesus and Mary--is a mixture of good and evil.

My subtle difference on the topic is that both are relative terms. What is good in one place is not necessarily good in another and the same is the same is good for bad. Even within medicine what cures 99% of the population may kill the other 1%. Does it make the treatment bad?

As relative terms I have come to see how God uses even the "bad" to help me find my way to Him. He will permit sin and suffering in my life to help me more desire to surrender to the better state I know He wants me to have. Catholic moral theology has one of its basic tenets to be that you can't use an evil means to achieve a good end. I think as a guideline that is a good thing to help us in considering that we should always be seeking the good. But good again becomes relative. Cutting somebody with a knife is "bad" in most of our minds yet cutting somebody with a knife to remove a tumor is good. We are technically using a bad thing to accomplish a good end. God similarly allows those evil things to happen to us to help us find our way to the Good.

If it wasn't so tragic it would be hilarious to watch the number of people who will split hairs on such things. A classic example is the ectopic pregnancy where a baby starts to form within the fallopian tubes rather than in the uterus. Catholic theology will tell you that you can't "kill the baby" to save the life of the mother but you have a situation where if something isn't done both the mother and the baby will die from this condition. There is a chemical that will wipe out the fetus in the tube without any necessary surgery and with nearly no side effects to the mother. Unfortunately this "kills the baby" as its primary action and thus is unacceptable to the Church. The second method is to surgically remove the tube, which has as its primary purpose to save the mother. It has the same effect of killing the baby but people will split hairs over what the real intention and "primary purpose" is and will tell a woman that she must endure an invasive and potentially life-threatening surgery rather than a simple treatment, both of which result in the same end.

There are any number of such dilemnas which people face on a daily basis and for which they will be labeled as "good" or "evil" for the choice they make under their own understandings and circumstances by people who have never had to walk in their shoes.

Back to the point at hand though, the pulling of the weeds that will also pull up the wheat, in my opinion, is about trying to avoid those sufferings that are necessary to our making our way to God. If we skip the suffering we never learn to surrender because we remain in control and don't need God. The sins that we commit today are the things that are going to make us miserable tomorrow until we call out to God in understanding that we're helpless to save ourselves from this misery. In psychological terms, it is the wrestling with our shadow (the "unacceptable part of ourselves) that we learn to accept our shadow as part of who we are. Without our shadow we don't have a reference point to seek the good.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 03:40:13 PM »

As relative terms I have come to see how God uses even the "bad" to help me find my way to Him. He will permit sin and suffering in my life to help me more desire to surrender to the better state I know He wants me to have.
Ever heard of Wayne Dyer?  He said that he had a dream of a discussion with God before he was born.  God asked what he wants to do with life, and he said he wants to spend it teaching people to be self-reliant.  So God said, "OK, then, we had better get your little butt into an orphanage."  And so they did.

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Catholic moral theology has one of its basic tenets to be that you can't use an evil means to achieve a good end. I think as a guideline that is a good thing to help us in considering that we should always be seeking the good. But good again becomes relative. Cutting somebody with a knife is "bad" in most of our minds yet cutting somebody with a knife to remove a tumor is good. We are technically using a bad thing to accomplish a good end. God similarly allows those evil things to happen to us to help us find our way to the Good.
I agree it's bullshit, and I wish they could untangle the terminology -- in particular emotionally loaded words.

For myself, there is no longer evil or good.  There is stuff I like or not, and I don't mind using "good/bad" to describe that, because that's something our language offers and people will know what I mean.

Like you say, it's stupid to say a knife is good or bad; it can be an instrument of healing or death.  We typically say healing is good and killing is bad, but again we're getting into judgment which has no place in a spirit-born psyche except as to communicate with others who use those words.  "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is indeed a guideline, not an absolute rule.  Look at how many volumes of spew we've had over the centuries trying to tease out the meaning from that tangled web.

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If it wasn't so tragic it would be hilarious to watch the number of people who will split hairs on such things.
God has a sense of humor, and doesn't recognize tragic, so I think God's right up there giggling with you.  Oops I forgot; he IS giggling hence He is in the form of your body actions.

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It has the same effect of killing the baby but people will split hairs over what the real intention and "primary purpose" is and will tell a woman that she must endure an invasive and potentially life-threatening surgery rather than a simple treatment, both of which result in the same end.

For real.  The Free Will God giveth us, the Church taketh away.  I guess she needs to drag us back to 3000 years of Old Testament crap on steroids (as in Jesus as thought police rather than thought coach) so we can keep the threat/bribe intact.

I just got a reprieve for the Church, though... damn.  I forgot what I was going ... oh yeah.  The Church has done what she thinks she had to do to last this long, and like the dishonest servant, she pulls plenty of shenanigans, counting on the behavior of imperfect humans and knowing how to control them to her advantage.  Hey, I like that!  I've used the "dishonest servant" trick to justify all kinds of evil I've done trying to beat sense into other people and institutions.  Wow... I just now because 50% less uptight about the Church!  Cool


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... who have never had to walk in their shoes. ...

Go! Go! Go, John!

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Back to the point at hand though, the pulling of the weeds that will also pull up the wheat, in my opinion, is about trying to avoid those sufferings that are necessary to our making our way to God. If we skip the suffering we never learn to surrender because we remain in control and don't need God. The sins that we commit today are the things that are going to make us miserable tomorrow until we call out to God in understanding that we're helpless to save ourselves from this misery. In psychological terms, it is the wrestling with our shadow (the "unacceptable part of ourselves) that we learn to accept our shadow as part of who we are. Without our shadow we don't have a reference point to seek the good.

AMEN!

Alan
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 09:08:39 AM »




From my new consciousness perspective, "good" and "bad" are words that mean nothing to me, except as to communicate with people who judge.  Since the vast majority of Catholics have no idea how not to judge, I use those words as "crutches" for myself to explain it as well as possible given my level of sophistication at explaining it and my take on what others will understand.

Hi Alan, I have finally taken the time to get on here, thanks for the invite. 

John has approached the labels in terms of behavior, which is quite understandable, because the parameters were not specific.  I think that when we use the words "good" and "evil", the reference to behaviors is different than the reference to intrinsic value of the human, but also that it is ultimately very hard to separate the two references.

Let me give an example.  Driver A has chosen to sneak from the right into the small but safe space (I keep two seconds) in front of me on the freeway in order to pass me.   I now have to back off.  Driver A has violated rule #56, "do not cut in front of me", and is now an immediate Adam Henry (as my father in law used to say, think of the initials).   In that case, the behavior (bad) has now led to the perception of value (bad) because when I resent, my mind looks for what I call an "Object of Resentment".  Driver A is now such an object, until I forgive.  Notice that the value of the person is specifically attached to the violation of my rule.  I tried for years to separate people from their behaviors, in terms of value.  For me, it didn't work.  What works for me is to go ahead and hate or despise, then realize that I have the illusion, and then forgive.

When we take the time (as you know, I have) to forgive all the OR's, including our inner drives and motives, "our shadow" in Jungspeak, then our "mind map" of Good and Evil can actually change.  For me, this means that whenever I think negatively about anyone, or whenever anyone else thinks negatively about anyone, then I know by "intuition" that the perception is an illusion, because it doesn't fit my mind map.

My vision for The Kingdom is that all adults come to the point of forming a different mind map.  Human value is not seen in terms of good or evil, or even "shades of gray", which still implies a one-dimensional continuum.  Human value, instead, is of ultimate good, and the balance scale or number line metaphor, "mind map" could be replaced by model such as the sun or a star, where the sun could represent either the self or humanity as a whole, and the rays of light traveling through space are the growing of our awareness of all that is.  I like that model, but I'm sure there are others that would communicate the same perspective.   

In my vision, people can keep each other in check.  When I am spouting off about someone, without realizing that I have forgotten to forgive, Alan says, "are you thinking this person is a #@%$ ?"  And I could break out of my trance, my illusion, and take the steps to pray and forgive, and then person isn't bad anymore, in my eyes. 

I went to a session on Forgiveness at the last catechist convention I went to, and I asked the presenter if there has been any connection made between forgiveness and dualism, and he was not aware of any such connection.  Maybe that is the connection that it is most fruitful to make in terms of changing people's awareness, but forgiveness is the real game-changer.

So, I agree, we can certainly use the words "good" and "bad" in reference to the value of people, in order to communicate with the vast majority who understandably see people's value on a continuum.  It is their "truth".  But for me, I want to take it to the next level.  Have you noticed that is how I try to steer such conversation on the CAF?  I'm trying to keep it on the agenda.  I think Jesus does too.
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ncjohn
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 01:53:26 PM »

John has approached the labels in terms of behavior, which is quite understandable, because the parameters were not specific.  I think that when we use the words "good" and "evil", the reference to behaviors is different than the reference to intrinsic value of the human, but also that it is ultimately very hard to separate the two references.

Hi OneSheep. It's nice to see you come on; Alan gave me a little heads-up and I've been waiting to hear what you might have to say. Smiley

In looking back at my post I can see that I did mostly reference behavior, probably because it is the easiest to "see" and evaluate, and thus use as a tool for communication. I do fully agree that there has to be a distinction between one's value as a human being and judgment of one's individual actions. At the ultimate level we are all infinitely precious in the sight of God, which at least in theory would, I assume, translate to human value being ultimately good. And to the extent that we would be able to alter our "mind maps" to consider each person we encounter--regardless of circumstances--to be a beloved child of God, we would in effect be finding and encouraging that ultimate good.

In reality though there is that shadow side of us. While by one definition that is simply the part of ourselves we are unable to accept, it is also that wounded part of ourselves from which we lash out in pain or as some sort of defense mechanism. Often times we are fully unaware of this baggage that we carry, some of it being the result of multigenerational dysfunction within families. There are short-circuits in our minid maps  that preclude their functioning in a "normal" or "whole" fashion. For many, your simple corrective mechanism of pointing out someone's illusion will in fact trigger a response that is violent to some greater or lesser level without the person even being aware of it.

When I referred to a person being a mixture of good and evil that is what I was addressing rather than the behavioral aspects that each of us does both good and bad. In some cases this inherent woundedness can be remediated, through some TLC on the part of someone with credibility, by therapy, by chemical rebalancing, etc. In other cases that may not be possible. While it may not change our ultimate "value" it does put a blemish that in some cases cannot be removed.

Either way though it doesn't mean that we don't forgive what Adam Henry did. I find more and more as the years fly by that almost all of it really falls into the "forgive them Father for they know not what they do" category. Yes, I'm sure there is the occasional intentionally evil act but I don't think many of us deal with many of those in our day-to-day lives.

Forgiveness is unquestionably the key though and gently helping people to set aside the wounds to their egos to forgive the seventy times seven times would go an awful long way to bringing about the Kingdom. It's not likely to come easily in a society that finds weakness in cutting anyone any slack but one would hope that at least some level of enlightenment might come from those claiming to be trying to follow Jesus.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 10:07:58 AM »

NCJohn

You stated:

In reality though there is that shadow side of us. While by one definition that is simply the part of ourselves we are unable to accept, it is also that wounded part of ourselves from which we lash out in pain or as some sort of defense mechanism.

I think the mechanism works this way:  By either example, wound, or causing wound on someone else (there may be other stimuli), we form what I call a "personal rulebook", which once developed is very hard to shake, even with awareness and internal reconciliation.  It is, to me, a stimulus/response thing.  I really have resolved all my issues, but I still react to stuff.  I forgive, and then I snicker.  If we can accept our own reactive behavior as a mechanism of our ego, I think it makes it easier to accept and deal with. 

Yes, I'm sure there is the occasional intentionally evil act....

And really, every act that is "evil" is intended at some level, so I agree completely.  What do you think of this?:  "Every intentional "evil" act is done to achieve some perceived good."  (note the use of the absolute "every")

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ncjohn
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 04:07:55 PM »

It is, to me, a stimulus/response thing.  I really have resolved all my issues, but I still react to stuff.

Absoultely. Many of these triggers are so deeply buried we may never find their origins even if we find ways to work around them. I know there are some that no level of awareness helps; if trigger A occurs, response B follows shortly behind before any kind of rational thought can even take place. Purely instinctive based on some "fight or flight" stimulus that was programmed decades ago. I don't know that I could lay claim to having "resovled all my issues." The mere fact that I still react, even if I'm able to recognize it after and snicker as I apologize yet again, says that the underlying issue is still present in some dark recess somewhere.

"Every intentional "evil" act is done to achieve some perceived good."  (note the use of the absolute "every")

I'm always wary of absolute terms (note my use of "always", LOL). I would agree though that the ego has justified/rationalized whatever "evil" act is committed as being good or necessary. I don't think any of us act in ways we don't perceive to be either for our own or someone else's good, though again I won't totally rule out the possiblility of someone or some act being purely evil. Even "Satan" though would theoretically be operating in a mode of accomplishing what he believes to be the greater good so it may be possible that your "every" is in fact valid.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 06:49:32 AM »

Even "Satan" though would theoretically be operating in a mode of accomplishing what he believes to be the greater good so it may be possible that your "every" is in fact valid.


   
I found this exercise both quite humbling and quite awakening: Try finding the "greater good" in the hurtful acts of others in your past  Keep moving on to others, say, historical figures.

What is interesting about the exercise is that it becomes, in time, very obvious that it is not really significant why Adam Henry did what he did, what his good intent actually was.    What IS significant is why I would do exactly the thing that Adam Henry did, what the "good" intent (however self-serving it was!, that is yet another avenue to follow in the exercise!) was in the doing of the hurtful deed.

Try for awhile... let me know where it goes.

Thanks for your reply.  You are stirring up some memories for me.
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 12:47:37 PM »


And really, every act that is "evil" is intended at some level, so I agree completely.  What do you think of this?:  "Every intentional "evil" act is done to achieve some perceived good."  (note the use of the absolute "every")



People who purposely cause pain to another because it gives them pleasure or satisfaction are not trying to achieve a thing but hurting someone for their own personal pleasure.  That's a pretty evil act.

It is God that can bring good from everything, if we follow Him.  We are not good.  Not one of us.  Nor are we evil.  But the spirit of God lives in each of us, and through that spirit we can be drawn to the good and by rejecting that spirit we can be entangled in the evil.   We are given extraordinary power for creating Light in the world.  We are capable of creating darkness.  But those things aren't equal: Light always dispels darkness, darkness is just the absence of Light. 

You bring God into Time.  Or, you can.
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ncjohn
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 02:13:38 PM »

What IS significant is why I would do exactly the thing that Adam Henry did, what the "good" intent (however self-serving it was!, that is yet another avenue to follow in the exercise!) was in the doing of the hurtful deed.

I'm not at all sure that that is what is significant at all. It is certainly significant from the standpoint of being able to forgive yourself or others. It may or may not be significant in being able to make anything better in the world. Since I'm not sure in what way you're making this statement it's hard for me to know whether I agree with it or not.

Where I have problems with it would be from the standpoint of us taking any act that Adam Henry commits and chuckling as we forgive him since we too might have done the same under the circumstances. I go back to this statement you made:

"And I could break out of my trance, my illusion, and take the steps to pray and forgive, and then person isn't bad anymore, in my eyes."

Again, if the significance you're attaching is in not finding the person's "value" to be bad, I'm fine with that. It doesn't however deal at all with how we are then going to work on eliminating the unacceptable behavior. I certainly dealt many times with my kids with the "I love you, and will always love you, but I don't like what you did."

To me, if we're not going to deal lovingly with the behavior it all becomes an exercise in relativism. I do realize of course that often times there is nothing we can individually do to address the behavior, nor should we try. Unless we have a position of credibility with the person the likelihood of being "heard" is minimal unless we have the ability to use some sort of coercive power. And of course coercive power does not produce transformation, only compliance until the person can find a way to bypass your coersion. Regardless of all that though, while we may find it in us to forgive, and even to forgive ourselves for our failures, it doesn't detract from the responsibility to try to do better next time and to try to help prevent innocent others from having to experience evl that could be avoided.

I may be totally missing your point on this whole thing though, and if I am please feel free to clarify.

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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 10:20:22 AM »

What IS significant is why I would do exactly the thing that Adam Henry did, what the "good" intent (however self-serving it was!, that is yet another avenue to follow in the exercise!) was in the doing of the hurtful deed.

I'm not at all sure that that is what is significant at all. It is certainly significant from the standpoint of being able to forgive yourself or others. It may or may not be significant in being able to make anything better in the world. Since I'm not sure in what way you're making this statement it's hard for me to know whether I agree with it or not.

.... please feel free to clarify.

Very good point about making a difference.  Anger motivates us to correct behaviors, and that is a good thing.  If we forgive, we are not angry anymore, and we may be less likely to correct the behavior, defeating the purpose of the punishment drive in the human ego.  My take on that is that it takes some discipline to forgive, and then take the steps to lovingly correct the behavior.  It may even mean that we have to feign some anger, in some cases. 
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 10:31:52 AM »


And really, every act that is "evil" is intended at some level, so I agree completely.  What do you think of this?:  "Every intentional "evil" act is done to achieve some perceived good."  (note the use of the absolute "every")



People who purposely cause pain to another because it gives them pleasure or satisfaction are not trying to achieve a thing but hurting someone for their own personal pleasure.  That's a pretty evil act.

It is God that can bring good from everything, if we follow Him.  We are not good.  Not one of us.  Nor are we evil.  But the spirit of God lives in each of us, and through that spirit we can be drawn to the good and by rejecting that spirit we can be entangled in the evil.   We are given extraordinary power for creating Light in the world.  We are capable of creating darkness.  But those things aren't equal: Light always dispels darkness, darkness is just the absence of Light. 

You bring God into Time.  Or, you can.

All very good points.  Let me clarify.  What I am saying about intent is based on the premise "good intent, given their perceptions".  Someone who hurts another is perceiving a lack of value in the other.  What harm they cause may itself be seen as good by the perpetrator, or inconsequential because the "other" is of low or negative value.  An example of the former may be a soldier at war.  An example of the latter may be a woman having a "convenience abortion".

Given this framework, "good intent" can be seen in all hurtful acts.  If you can think of an example that contradicts that statement, please let me know.  We can investigate together.  The underlying issue becomes not so much the behavior, but the lack of sight.
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ncjohn
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 03:09:34 PM »


If we forgive, we are not angry anymore, and we may be less likely to correct the behavior, defeating the purpose of the punishment drive in the human ego.  My take on that is that it takes some discipline to forgive, and then take the steps to lovingly correct the behavior.


I don't know that we're talking about defeating a punishment drive. One can even have a "righteous anger" (i.e. Jesus driving the moneychangers from the temple) without having a "punishment drive" at all. I don't think Jesus had any "punishment drive" at all but that didn't mean that he enabled or did not rebuke certain behaviors, especially the big sins of self-righteousness and creating obstacles to people being able to seek God.

Taking what I think was one of your initial examples, Adam Henry comes up on the right side to pass, presumably because the right lane is empty because everyone has merged left due to an accident causing traffic to "funnel" ahead. He operates under the assumption that somebody is going to be kind and let him in. I see him coming in my rear view mirror, am initially angered as his presumption but then catch myself and forgive him. However when he gets next to me I close the distance between me and the car ahead and refuse to let him in. Rather than enabling the bad behavior and furthering his experience that it is ok and people will let him in I lovingly show him that those of us who have had to wait owe him no debt and he has no right to presumption.

I see that as a win-win-win. I win because I was able to catch myself and improve my ability to forgive. He wins because he gets a free lesson that such behavior carries the risk of getting caught out in the cold. And I win again....

...because I get another immediate chance to forgive him for flipping me off!  Grin
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
Julia Mae
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2012, 02:06:40 AM »


All very good points.  Let me clarify.  What I am saying about intent is based on the premise "good intent, given their perceptions".  Someone who hurts another is perceiving a lack of value in the other.  What harm they cause may itself be seen as good by the perpetrator, or inconsequential because the "other" is of low or negative value.  An example of the former may be a soldier at war.  An example of the latter may be a woman having a "convenience abortion".

Given this framework, "good intent" can be seen in all hurtful acts.  If you can think of an example that contradicts that statement, please let me know.  We can investigate together.  The underlying issue becomes not so much the behavior, but the lack of sight.

If your parameters are that someone does an action always believing they are serving the good, then I agree for the most part.  However, if you are saying these are always the parameters that are extant, then I will disagree.

Some people kill for pleasure.  Or torture for pleasure.  I think depraved indifference to the value of human life cannot be seen in any way as good, because it is entirely a-theistic, without God.   
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2012, 02:11:33 AM »


I see that as a win-win-win.

Until he follows you to the next exit and pulls out a sawed-off. 

We do not "teach people lessons" we just justify our own controlling and passive-aggressive behaviors. 

Jesus would let him in.
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2012, 12:24:02 PM »


I don't know that we're talking about defeating a punishment drive. One can even have a "righteous anger" (i.e. Jesus driving the moneychangers from the temple) without having a "punishment drive" at all. I don't think Jesus had any "punishment drive" at all but that didn't mean that he enabled or did not rebuke certain behaviors, especially the big sins of self-righteousness and creating obstacles to people being able to seek God.


I just call it the "punishment drive" for lack of better words.  It seems to me that every human born will form rules in their mind, without deliberately doing so.  The way I see it, we have a "good" feeling when we follow our own rules (I call it a feeling of righteousness) and we have feelings of guilt when we don't.  We also feel warmly about those who follow our rules, and negatively about those who do not.  To me, it is simply part of the human condition.  Since Jesus is all human and all God, we have to assume that he had an ego.  I think that it is part of the mechanism of being a human.

Thanks for the funny example about the opportunities for forgiveness.  A woman did this to me last year, actually mouthed "thank you", and I didn't let her in anyway.  I did not forgive her until afterwards.  I'm not saying that it was ideal, but I can forgive myself and forgive her, and hopefully I can do better next time.
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2012, 12:39:47 PM »



If your parameters are that someone does an action always believing they are serving the good, then I agree for the most part.  However, if you are saying these are always the parameters that are extant, then I will disagree.

Some people kill for pleasure.  Or torture for pleasure.  I think depraved indifference to the value of human life cannot be seen in any way as good, because it is entirely a-theistic, without God.   

Well, can we investigate?  Can you think of an example of someone killing or torturing for pleasure?  For the torture example we could probably refer to Philip Zimbardo's work.  Let's take on "killing for pleasure" instead, okay?  If you don't mind  my starting out, we begin with the question "Why do people kill for pleasure?"  This is, of course, making an assumption, (that it actually occurs) but I will grant you that some people do indeed find pleasure in killing some, if not all other people.  I remember several episodes of Star Trek TNG investigating this phenomenon.  We can start with a real example, or make up a scenario.  Pick which ever way you want to go.  I am very open to your analysis.
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2012, 01:22:43 PM »



If your parameters are that someone does an action always believing they are serving the good, then I agree for the most part.  However, if you are saying these are always the parameters that are extant, then I will disagree.

Some people kill for pleasure.  Or torture for pleasure.  I think depraved indifference to the value of human life cannot be seen in any way as good, because it is entirely a-theistic, without God.   

Well, can we investigate?  Can you think of an example of someone killing or torturing for pleasure? 

John Wayne Gacy. Put "torture killer" into Google for a rather extensive list.  I really doubt I'll want to be delving into this kind of darkness, so, if you want to talk about it with me, please avoid specifics and state your philosophical position re: torture killers. 
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2012, 01:51:00 PM »

I have read, and re-read, and wonder why we are delving into this type of discussion...and why i am still not sure how to reply.
Wouldn't it be easier if we discussed how darkness has touched our lives. Not dark times, dark people.

I'd be able to FILL this thread with my ex. this is not stereotypical, or ex bashing, just a very very dark man i eventually fled from, and also haunts me still to this day. John and the gang here has actually helped me see past a lot of my fears as a result of this man.

otherwise we simply discuss a topic, and can not really delve into how it effected us spiritually. Or was that the point, i am not sure.

Lana
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Alan
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2012, 02:06:14 PM »

I have read, and re-read, and wonder why we are delving into this type of discussion...and why i am still not sure how to reply.
Wouldn't it be easier if we discussed how darkness has touched our lives. Not dark times, dark people.

I'd be able to FILL this thread with my ex. this is not stereotypical, or ex bashing, just a very very dark man i eventually fled from, and also haunts me still to this day. John and the gang here has actually helped me see past a lot of my fears as a result of this man.

otherwise we simply discuss a topic, and can not really delve into how it effected us spiritually. Or was that the point, i am not sure.

Lana

Lana,

I'm not sure in where the thread might be going, but my original premise (from what I can gather) that when Jesus is talking about separating the weeds and the wheat, it doesn't necessarily mean throwing some people into the fire and others stick around for heaven prep (purgatory), but in separating on the good and bad thoughts and spirits that are in us.  He can take our lives and tease them apart into that which is constructive and that which needs to be purged.  And I think most if not all have at least some of each kind.

I think that's all I was trying to say.  I sorely miss James, who could say what I say in 1 of his to 100 of my words.  Cry

Part of the reason I'm doing this is because in my new way of looking at things, I realize just how critical the judgment issues can be toward salvation.  That's kind of the kick I'm on at the moment, I guess.

Alan
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 02:08:21 PM by Alan » Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2012, 07:13:56 PM »

ok, i am further lost...i had not realized it was a scientific quest of debate...

i am out of here like now...sorry, move along people, nothing to see here, ...sighs embarasingly!

------
(not leaving my name, so THEY can not trace this...lol)

where's my aqua sacra gun when i need it...yer chipped Alan, put your tin foil hat back on!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 07:16:39 PM by Lana » Logged
Alan
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« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2012, 10:32:58 PM »

ok, i am further lost...i had not realized it was a scientific quest of debate...

i am out of here like now...sorry, move along people, nothing to see here, ...sighs embarasingly!

------
(not leaving my name, so THEY can not trace this...lol)

where's my aqua sacra gun when i need it...yer chipped Alan, put your tin foil hat back on!



I wasn't trying to get into dangerous region.  Actually I considered starting a new site for some of the things I'd like to talk about, but then I got to thinking that we could do it on WF.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 10:36:51 PM by Alan » Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2012, 06:21:41 AM »

hey, by all means, go for it...it is just hard for me to discifer when and where this is happening.

How about an area clearly labeled, then those go in with full knowledge. Not all of us know we have stepped in the "matter" before it can be fully warned.

I sound like such a complainer, not. but i go in with good intentions, but without this type of mind set, it is really just a mess for my type, a mess of confusion. I am looking for the lost lamb and how to assist, share and heal...this does not apply to the hypothetically, scientific, or exploration threads.

It is not your fault i look for the lost lamb, and discover that the lamb is not lost, but playing around on a whiteboard.

the thread areas to me are very very different, and should not be grouped together, as they are three very different tittles.
They should be directly separate doors, and not thought of as one.

Lana's humbled oppinion
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 06:24:12 AM by Lana » Logged
Lanasshoebox
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2012, 06:25:13 AM »

Alan, too bad we could not read this shirt up close. always wanted to!

Lana
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Alan
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2012, 12:53:35 PM »

Alan, too bad we could not read this shirt up close. always wanted to!

Lana

I found this in a post on CAF from Sept 1, 2005.  (Thank God for "advanced search")

Text on front:

10. It's Politically Incorrect.
(Annoy the Catholic bashers).

9. You can sing badly, and no one cares.
(9 out of 10 American Catholics are musically impaired).

8. You can impress your friends.
(Tell them you belong to a militant international institution).

7. Your Mother.
(Low cost way to keep her happy).

6. Great Weddings!
(When it comes to ceremony the Catholic Church is smokin')

5. Great Pope!

4. Saints.
(Talk about friends in high places!)

3. Confession
(No, it's not fun, but what a deal)

2. Dependability.
(Jesus founded our Church on Peter, the rock, and promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against It).

And the number one reason to stay Roman Catholic is the awesome gift that no other church on earth can offer...
(Drum roll, please...)

then there's a finger pointing toward the back.

I just noticed the fine print right after that, which may help those who want one locate it:

c 1995 CATHOLIC TRADITIONS
USED WITH PERMISSION BY
c 1993 Kathy Kalina Umbarger, TX
Designed by Richard Romero

Alan


*****************************
I don't know why nobody caught me, but I didn't say what was on the back.  The number 1 reason is The Eucharist.

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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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