The Good Shepherd

100 word stories. Post all you like, maybe we'll dip in and use yours?
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Mr. Tweedy
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:33 pm

Version 1 is better, because the god is not malicious: He really is fond of his little sheep, but gotta eat, ya know? One gets the impression that he would really prefer not to eat souls, but he's stoic about it, because that's just how life is. The last line of version 2 spoils the god's likeability and makes him seem sinister: He wants the humans to be deceived for the sake of their flavor. In version 1, we can relate to this dude and kind for feel for him; he's a nice soul eater. In version 2, he's a bastard. Go with 1.

There is a distinguishing feature of Christianity that trips up the god snacks hypothesis: Christ. We eat Christ. God could just be lying about everything and fattening us up for the eventual slaughter... except that God was slaughtered for us, which isn't something a farmer would do for his piggies.
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by strawman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:08 pm

eric_marsh wrote: This is not to say that one idea is right and another is wrong. They are just ideas. Of course religion is a touchy subject and so I don't like to tread too heavily but on the other hand I don't have many sacred cows.
That's what we need... another Texan who's all hat and no cattle.
Course, if you had even one cow, it would be sacred, according to my friend, Mahesh.

My brother and I have been discussing how things are known. One characteristic of knowing that is most fascinating to me is the matter of objective vs subjective. At an atomic level, the mere act of observation changes the character of the thing we seek to know. At a larger level, the scientific method requires the greatest possible amount of objectivity. What about "knowing" supernatural things, then? Pretty clearly they can only be accessible subjectively, because by definition they are not objects.

PhD's in Theology are a curious thing to me. At least these days, they seem to be required to conform to the objective, scientific method, which means they have to confine themselves to the study of the effects that faith produces. It would poison their perspective to actually experience a Road-to-Damascus event. It seems to me that there is good reason that french has two different words, savoir and connaitre, for knowing. One conveys knowledge of a fact, the other conveys understanding and familiarity. I think personal experience is the key to understanding something. The type of faith produced by savoir comes from family and teachers. But connaitre of the supernatural comes only from events such as the road to Damascus or Emmaus (interesting to me that both of these involve roads and journeys). The personal experience is non-transferrable as connaitre.

Anyway, that bears on the discussion of gnosticism as personal revelation. Obviously, personal experience has been proven to be an unreliable scientific indicator. Patrick Kennedy recently offered as proof of global warming an observation that the snow was much deeper when he was a child. I think Ethel must have had a fling with Yogi Berra.

What we know about the past is subject to the same principles of knowing/understanding. Information is filtered through the minds of those whose ideas have prevailed.

Our story this week really got me thinking about the fact that each of us is born with a time machine in the basement. I am the great great great grandson of George Moffitt Patrick, next to whose property in Houston the battle of San Jacinto was fought. George was such a fascinating character that he has sucked my imagination back almost 200 years, and I am time-traveling from Savoir to Connaitre. Just wish I had found out about this time machine a long time ago.

Anyway, probably need to discipline myself here back on thread.

Eric, my vote is for Version 1.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by dreamrock » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:14 pm

eric_marsh wrote:This is not to say that one idea is right and another is wrong. They are just ideas. Of course religion is a touchy subject and so I don't like to tread too heavily but on the other hand I don't have many sacred cows.
I think your exploration of the assumptions common in modern theism are a positive thing. If the tables were reversed and there were more atheists than theists on the forum, then doing stories that made people think about their assumptions about the non-existence of god would be equally good.

Also, more yeast stories in either case. I was thinking about one the other day where the supreme deity was the universal collective of yeast. Our father, which art in bread, beer, and quite a bit in us and other places.

eric_marsh wrote:So do you guys like V1 or V2 better, or should I twist it in an entirely different direction?
I like them best in tandem. But if I had to go with one or the other, I'd go with version 2. They're both awesome, but the slightly self-serving edge of the second one twists common assumptions a little further.
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:32 pm

The whole quantum observer thing is illogical. That doesn't, I suppose, mean it can't be true, but, if true, it is illogical. Observation causes probabilities to collapse, but yet the observer does not choose which "real" configuration will be the result of that collapse.

When we open the box on Shrodinger's cat, we find it either alive or dead. We do not choose which state the cat will be in: We discover. But if the cat is not truly alive or dead until we look, then there is nothing to discover. An non-existent object is inherently unobservable, and yet it must be observed in order to exist. This offers, it seems to me, an insoluble paradox.

This leads me to freaky idea that God must be continually observing all particles, and if God were ever to blink, existence, unobserved, would cease to exist. Which, now that I think of it, is exactly what my personal picture of hell is like: A mind alone, utterly. So, then, hell is simply when God stops looking at you. Whoa.

This has been a Tweedy stream of consciousness rant. This rant has no warranty and is not guaranteed to have any relevance to anything.
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Post by eric_marsh » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:05 pm

strawman wrote:
eric_marsh wrote: This is not to say that one idea is right and another is wrong. They are just ideas. Of course religion is a touchy subject and so I don't like to tread too heavily but on the other hand I don't have many sacred cows.
That's what we need... another Texan who's all hat and no cattle.
Course, if you had even one cow, it would be sacred, according to my friend, Mahesh.
My cows aren't sacred. They're demonic. Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!!

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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by ROU Killing Time » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:16 pm

strawman wrote:I doubt it.
Boo! Hiss! /rimshot :)
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by strawman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:14 pm

Thanks for the catch.
My full answer is that there's an enormous amount of legend surrounding Thomas, such as that he stole away to India with Jesus after Jesus narrowly avoided death by crucifixion. This makes him the perfect candidate to author a gnostic pseudogospel, of which there are additional examples. Conclusion: I doubt he wrote it.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
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Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by ROU Killing Time » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:55 pm

Hmm, I actually wasn't thinking about "The Gospel of Thomas" which I am aware of. It was more a comment about whether the fact that it took placing his fingers in the wounds himself and gaining the proof of knowledge from personal experience would make him a gnostic believer as opposed to one who believes by faith without having any direct knowledge or proof.
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by eric_marsh » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:59 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:Version 1 is better, because the god is not malicious: He really is fond of his little sheep, but gotta eat, ya know? One gets the impression that he would really prefer not to eat souls, but he's stoic about it, because that's just how life is. The last line of version 2 spoils the god's likeability and makes him seem sinister: He wants the humans to be deceived for the sake of their flavor. In version 1, we can relate to this dude and kind for feel for him; he's a nice soul eater. In version 2, he's a bastard. Go with 1.
I'm with you on that. I took a bit of version two, melded it into version one to get ride of the repeating statement and created version three. I think I'm more or less satisfied with it.

Version two works better in a horror story context but that's not what I started out trying to do. I really wanted to turn the tables a bit, toss out another way of looking at deity and also tell a story where we''re on the other side of that preditor/prey relationship.
Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. - Horace Walpole
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by strawman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:04 pm

ROU Killing Time wrote:Hmm, I actually wasn't thinking about "The Gospel of Thomas" which I am aware of. It was more a comment about whether the fact that it took placing his fingers in the wounds himself and gaining the proof of knowledge from personal experience would make him a gnostic believer as opposed to one who believes by faith without having any direct knowledge or proof.
I see what you mean. My understanding of gnosticism is that it's a lot more esoteric and hidden. In fact, I've been studying Freemasonry a bit, and it appears to fit the bill.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by ROU Killing Time » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:24 pm

strawman wrote:
ROU Killing Time wrote:Hmm, I actually wasn't thinking about "The Gospel of Thomas" which I am aware of. It was more a comment about whether the fact that it took placing his fingers in the wounds himself and gaining the proof of knowledge from personal experience would make him a gnostic believer as opposed to one who believes by faith without having any direct knowledge or proof.
I see what you mean. My understanding of gnosticism is that it's a lot more esoteric and hidden. In fact, I've been studying Freemasonry a bit, and it appears to fit the bill.
Well, if you have been studying Freemasonry, here's some vital source material for your research.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1bHBthJN9w
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by eric_marsh » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:38 pm

I can probably tell you a bit about Masonry too. There actually is a pretty good series called The Secrets of Freemasonry that was produced by the Discovery Channel and is available on youtube. Here's part one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa-mdPb77K0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
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Re: The Good Shepherd

Post by strawman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:24 pm

Yes, no doubt about it. This is gnosticism.

And just as an A-theist means Theist(not)
in the same way, A-gnostic means Gnostic(not)

Guess that means DC gets to keep its trousers on.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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