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Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:36 pm
by Unblinking
ROU Killing Time wrote:
strawman wrote:Actually, there was no mention of an apple. I have no idea where that came from.
More likely a mango. They are sinfully delicious.
I've heard that a pomegranate was a likely fruit to have been the one. :)

Anyway, the Adam and Eve story has always bothered me. In our ignorance we could've stayed in paradise forever. We learn in church that the first downfall of humanity occurred when we ate from the tree of knowledge. We are told this is a sin, and for it we were cast out of the garden. And after learning this lesson we leave the church and go drive our cars, talk on our phones, go live in our climate controlled homes, sync our iPods and then talk on online forums about the stories we hear, those are all fairly recent inventions created by centuries of systematic collection of knowledge in the form of scientific exploration. So if knowledge is a sin, we're committing and celebrating it constantly, without any apparent sense of irony.

So, either I'm completely missing the point of that story, or it clashes with our entire modern lifestyle.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:20 pm
by strawman
If a worldview is pretty much the basis for human civilization, it's also probably worth thinking about. But to properly prepare, it's probably a good idea to acknowledge that the early 21st century has a certain zeitgeist lens, and if we look through it, the object of consideration will appear different from some other perspective.

The proper lens is one that is neutral, that does not presume that wisdom evolves according to an inexorable timeline towards Truth and Intelligence. While it is true the world has television and iPads, it's also possible that the sum of human foolishness has increased apace. Homer used to perform The Iliad from memory. Where are the 21st Century's Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle? There haven't been many Renaissance men since... well, the Renaissance. Maybe what appears to us to be progress is just THINGS becoming smarter, while people become more more foolish. Maybe.

Anyway, if you can get to a more objective, dispassionate point of view, ancient truths can be appreciated in a larger context.
Unblinking wrote: So, either I'm completely missing the point of that story, or it clashes with our entire modern lifestyle.
Yes. And yes.
The point of the story is not that knowledge is evil. In fact, Eve saw that it was good and pleasing. The point is simply that God had said that the consequence of eating it was death. When you choose knowledge, you lose innocence. You become responsible for the consequences of your choices. Our modern system of justice is based on this same premise, that responsibility is connected to consequences. A 6 year old cannot be charged with premeditated murder, or even shoplifting. He has not reached the age of accountability; he is de facto innocent.

"The entire modern lifestyle" is mostly about things. When there is a riot, the people on TV are all carrying off the TV's and iPads, right?

Anyway, it's best not to listen to preachers about this stuff, cause they've got their own distorting lens, being mostly preoccupied with the topic of Obedience, with God being the lead singer for Inner Circle:

The point of the story isn't about the modern lifestyle, in the same way that e=mc2 isn't. It just is what it is.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:46 pm
by Unblinking
When talking about modern lifestyle, I wasn't so much referring to gadgetry like iPads and TVs, more things that could be more clearly said to improve individual lives: most clearly medical technology. One could argue that technology is only encouraging overpopulation so it's still not entirely positive, but I mean from the perspective of a woman being able to give birth with a much reduced chance of either her or the baby dying in the process, antibiotics to keep minor injuries from turning into life-threatening infections, surgeries, etc...

Which isn't to say that your point isn't invalid, only that when I was referring to modern technology I wasn't as interested in entertainment gadgets, but rather things with other purposes than entertainment.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:13 pm
by strawman
True. Things and knowledge both are neutral. The same transplant knowledge that saves lives has created a black market in India, where there is a major problem with people waking up in back alleys missing livers and kidneys. And China, where dissidents are routinely executed by the thousands so the state can cut them up and sell their parts.

Then there's the discussion about whether or not it is ethical to grow embryos from your own cells so you can make your own rejection-resistant parts.

Problem is that the people who profit from the outcome are the very ones considering the ethics. Speaking as one who has rationalized just about every conceivable selfish good, I am amused that most people will not accept the scientific conclusions of a lab financed by a tobacco company or an oil company because they are presumably biased by their funding, but somehow we seldom doubt our own ethical conclusions when self-interest is involved.

I may be wrong, but this is what the Genesis story about Knowledge vs Life is essentially about, in my opinion.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:52 pm
by Christi
I’m confused. Do you mean that we are allowed a certain amount of development before we are extinguished, to make way for the next in line? Is there too much immorality in the face of development?
Is that what the story was about?
I thought it was about faith in God, regardless of what atrocities you witness in the culmination of his grand plan.

Don’t question why, there is no answer.

This reality is truly scary because it gives so much power to the church leaders. We have no way of understanding God’s plan, so we revert back to blind faith. Unfortunately this faith in our Creator is manipulated and twisted by the leaders of religion for their own benefit and gain.
We are raised in the faith of our ancestors, it is indoctrinated into us, that’s why we believe what we believe, its been preached to us.
Zealots jump in with what they believe is the truth, and will kill to defend this perception.
So we begin to question, we lose our way; because there is no answer that we have any hope of understanding and we seek answers from the leaders of religion…it’s a viciouscircle.
I also have a personal dilemma with this. Its not in my nature to believe blindly in something, its too easy to be taken advantage of, and frankly so much of it is bullsh$#T But what choice do I have?

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:54 pm
by strawman
I think you hit the human dilemma nail on the head. We are very conflicted about what we "know". Who do you believe? Who do you trust? Isn't it my human responsibility to decide for myself, without the propaganda of teachers and politicians and priests?

Problem: I don't know what I don't know. This compels a huge demand for priests and teachers of different persuasions, and an equal number of skeptics who trust (ie "have faith in") themselves. If you combine the humility of learning that "you don't know what you don't know" with the responsibility of deciding for yourself, isn't it inevitable to end up in a helpless place, concluding "If there is such a thing as truth and meaning, it is beyond man's ability to comprehend it".

Isn't that the fruit of the tree of knowledge?

I think I need to face the fact that everything I know may be wrong, in order to be "saved" from the dilemma. Ironic that the last words of the "innocent Adam", who is said to have been nailed to the tree of life should be, "Forgive them, Father, they don't know."

In a world of laws, I've never been much attracted to the proposition that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Every year they make more laws that I am ignorant of, and I have less and less excuse. Seems like it's only a matter of time before they can lock anyone up whenever they want to, or even target them with a drone.

All fruit of that tree.

Not that we'd do it different if we had a do-over. After all, most people seem to think of themselves as the cops or the judges, rather than the "bad boys, bad boys".

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:02 pm
by Christi
You have a lot of wisdom Strawman, you could be a preacher! :D
Seriously though I love the way you see things.
This topic is worthy of hours and hours of conversation, accompanied by a good bottle of red wine (maybe two bottles)…and even then there would be more questions asked than answered.
All we can do is the best we can do. Have faith but not in the church, in our God and what he means to us. After all, religion is man-made and therefore flawed.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:34 pm
by strawman
You are very kind to say so. I understand South Africa makes some fine wine.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:45 pm
by ROU Killing Time
strawman wrote:You are very kind to say so. I understand South Africa makes some fine wine.
And lets not forget Oregon's Pinot Noir.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:23 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
I liked this story when I first read it, zillions of years ago. And, Norm did his usual fine job of telling it...

But nowadays, it seems a little too much like a riff on the ancient "Why do bad things happen to good people?" meme (As CosmicAC already noted) without offering new answers...

Unless, God was saying, "Here's one way to meet your end with Grace; for I may smite you for a reason beyond your ability to know, bitches!"

Norm's treatment of the twabble was unexpected. I'd meant it to be sung and in the same tone and pacing of the song I'd bastardized (in fact, I sing it in my head and include the X-rated verses).

Norm Shatnerized it! I admit that sometimes Shatnerization works out pretty well; so was this a genius move?

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:09 pm
by strawman
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote: ~~~~~~
(in fact, I sing it in my head and include the X-rated verses).
Next time you see a guy walking down the street whistling and smiling, remember that these days, chances are it's probably not "Zippity Do Da", and that's not a bluebird on his shoulder.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:51 pm
by Travelin Corpse Feet
More like, oh little town of Death-lehem, right? (I have nothing further to contribute to this discussion.)

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:02 am
by enoch
I was just listening to some back episodes of Escape Pod, when I ran across a cool intro where he talkes about Clarke. Steve Eley mentioned that he would never run this story, it was to sad for a christmas tale.

I felt the need to say thank you Norm, although I wont bad talk Don Eley's decision. I am so, so, glad that you chose to run this story. It inspired great discussion, (see above) , and it is definitely a thought provoking story from one of the masters of Sci-Fi.

Thank you Norm for continuing the tradition of weirdness and non conformity. :)

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:54 am
by cinnamon
strawman wrote:Actually, there was no mention of an apple. I have no idea where that came from.
I am reading a book that claims it was meant to be a banana.

It's a book about bananas.

Anyway, if a star's gotta die, might as well get some use out of it. God probably meant well, but I think he's sort of socially inept in terms of human society.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:59 pm
by Varda
Great story and great reading by Norm. Reading through this discussion was perhaps even better than the episode itself. I'm disappointed that I'm a year late to the party. Climate change, theodicy, and an examination of the moral and ethical problems of literalist readings of the Bible? Excellent. You'd all be most welcome in my rather lively science and faith book club if you ever find yourself in northeast Georgia for the day.

I agree that Clarke's not so much set up a loss of faith in the Jesuit as a reevaluation of the goodness of God. It had a "Cabin in the Woods"-ish flavor--his God exists, and his God does indeed love and favor humanity, but the very proof of these things necessitates that any truly moral person must fight against such a being. It's as if, in your adulthood, your parents reveal to you that you had a sibling, but they put her up for adoption. They kept you because they LIKE you more. Now aren't you flattered by their love and favor? Aren't you??

Well-played Clarke--this is one of those stories that made me wish I'd thought of it first.

On a positive note, I'm thrilled to be entering the Drabblecast 2012 era! Dying to catch up so I can join the active discussions. Maybe I should just declare archive bankruptcy and listen to the newest episode already.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:38 pm
by strawman
I wish we had more discussions like this, and fewer about wretched puns. I warn you, Varda, the Drabble thread is dangerous. That way, madness lies.

Seriously, if your faith/science group has an online component, sign me up. You around Augusta?

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:10 pm
by Varda
I wish we had an online component, but alas, we mainly lurk in coffee shops, living rooms, and unspeakable places of darkness in Athens. How far south are you located? Valdosta?

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:26 pm
by strawman
Thomasville. Son spent a couple years in Athens and has a groomsman coming down from there for his wedding.

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 8:40 pm
by gravymonkey
I loved this episode, it's been one of my favorites since I started listening years ago.

On a side note, I was wondering why there have not been any new episodes since January. I follow the Drabblecast Twitter and Facebook accounts, but there hasn't been mush posted there. Doesn't anyone know why there haven't been any new posts?

Re: Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:48 pm
by McLaughin
Gravy Monkey, baby: We all may have to find new maddening and incomprehensible Elder Gods to worship, as it seems that the Drabblecast isn't gonna be waking from its ancient dreams any time soon. No word on anything officially, but Norm recently pulled away from his work on EscapePod. With that in mind, I'm sort of thinking that his real life may have become complicated or he's maybe feeling burnt out on podcasting in general. I wish him all the best, this whole crazy ride has been amazing and I'll still listen to the older episodes here whenever I feel the urge. I'm also not going to unsubscribe though, because who really knows? Maybe ol' Uncle Norm will come back to it when he can. Love all you fellow weirdos out there, take care of yourselves and keep spreading the weird.