13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

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13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Cynical Idealist » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:58 pm UTC

http://blog.al.com/pr-community-news/2009/11/feeding_the_hungry_every_week.html

Spoiler:
Article wrote:Something about the way the homeless people in Bienville Square asked for leftovers from the Gumbo Cook Off last May touched the heart of 13-year-old Marina McKinley.

That incident started her family on the path to feeding 100 hungry souls every Sunday afternoon in Bienville Square. They’ve done it for the past four months.

“I looked at them and thought that maybe they didn’t have the means to get a job; maybe they didn’t have money for a resume or clothes for an interview,” said Marina, an eighth-grade student at Saraland Middle School.

“I thought about how they felt, being hungry and without money for a meal,” she said.

On the way home, she asked her parents, Mike and Lori McKinley, whether there might be some way they could help.

“One Meal: Feeding the Homeless, One Meal at a Time,” was born. It is a nonprofit organization that ensures that those who are hungry can depend on one solid meal a week.

McKinley said the 1,600-plus meals the family, including daughter Makayla, a fourth-grader, has served so far have been provided mainly through donations of food, water, paper products and cash.

“The economy is bad right now; there aren’t always jobs out there,” he said.

He said he realizes some are homeless because they want to be.

“But we are not here to judge; we are here solely to serve one meal to someone who feels they need that meal,” he said. “This is what God wants me to do.”

McKinley said that the family’s plans for a Thanksgiving meal include turkey and dressing, sweet peas and potatoes.

“The Farmer’s Market,” he said, “is pretty generous with potatoes.” He also hopes to come up with cakes or brownies for dessert.

“The ladies at our church — Shiloh Baptist in Saraland — love to bake,” he said.

The number of hungry homeless who turn up at 4 p.m. on Sundays has grown recently to about 125.

So far, McKinley said, he’s been able to stretch the meal to accommodate the increase. In giving basic information about One Meal, McKinley said the organization is not government-funded and works solely from contributions.

All workers are volunteers and receive no compensation. As a result, donations go directly to feeding the poor. Sponsorship of one Sunday’s dinner for the whole group is $150.

WANT TO HELP?
Items the McKinleys can use for One Meal include, but are not limited to the following: bottled water, bread, lunch meat, peanut butter, chips, cheese, jelly, fruit, cookies, cakes, mayonnaise and mustard packets, plastic spoons, napkins and sandwich bags.

The organization’s Web site is http://1-meal.org.


From the caption on the image:
“This is what God wants me to do,” Mike says.

Christianity: you're doing it right.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:35 am UTC

quite impressive
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Indon » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:45 am UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:Christianity: you're doing it right.


Twelve years later, Marina McKinley is killed by a mob for blasphemy. The sheer irony implodes the universe.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:From the caption on the image:
“This is what God wants me to do,” Mike says.

Christianity: you're doing it right.


I think it's a tad unfair to these people who are sweating to help others to suggest that they only do it because a supreme being tells them to. Maybe my faith is others is slightly misplaced but I think most people like to help others simply because they know it's a good thing to do and because they like doing it.

Not saying that we shouldn't encourage religious people to not buy into bigoted/hateful dogma but we should give credit where credit is due, yes? These people are good people. They deserve that said about them.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Rakysh » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Didn't the person pretty much say that was the reason though? Telling someone no, actually your motives aren't what you say they are seems a bit much.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:15 pm UTC

Does it? People often attribute something to other things post-fact as evidenced by many religions--all of them can't be right so a large percentage of all the attributions to God must be false attributions of personal desire in order to legitimise the desire. Either that or that large percentage is insane and hearing voices and then mistaking them for God. I imagine it's mostly false attribution though.

Even then, I suppose the father might have only done it because a supreme being (who can unmake him with a thought) told him. And I can certainly imagine a religous person who doesn't like helping people helping someone because they believe they were told to by God. But I don't feel as though we should celebrate or praise anyone like that.

The child, however, described a genuine feeling of empathy and caring. Which is something we all need to have and increase to include as many people as possible.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Bright Shadows » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:45 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Does it? People often attribute something to other things post-fact as evidenced by many religions--all of them can't be right so a large percentage of all the attributions to God must be false attributions of personal desire in order to legitimise the desire. Either that or that large percentage is insane and hearing voices and then mistaking them for God. I imagine it's mostly false attribution though.

Even then, I suppose the father might have only done it because a supreme being (who can unmake him with a thought) told him. And I can certainly imagine a religous person who doesn't like helping people helping someone because they believe they were told to by God. But I don't feel as though we should celebrate or praise anyone like that.

The child, however, described a genuine feeling of empathy and caring. Which is something we all need to have and increase to include as many people as possible.

*God working miracles and having people think it's someone else is nothing new. That happened in the Bible, twice if I remember my Paul escapades properly. I'm not saying it has to be the Bible's God either. If a Shinto spirit was goofing around and accidentally made Judaism / Christianity, I wouldn't be in terrible shock.

*If a misanthrope is doing good because they think God is telling them to, then surely that's better than them not doing anything? Why not celebrate someone who feeds the hungry on orders from a divine being as much as someone who does it purely because they sympathize? They're still doing good things. The reasons are both valid enough.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Rakysh » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:53 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Does it? People often attribute something to other things post-fact as evidenced by many religions--all of them can't be right so a large percentage of all the attributions to God must be false attributions of personal desire in order to legitimise the desire. Either that or that large percentage is insane and hearing voices and then mistaking them for God. I imagine it's mostly false attribution though.

My point wasn't that God does or doesn't want him to do it, but that he thinks God wants him to do it. Questioning that is a bit much. God may or may not have told him to do it (I personally don't think He did), but this fellah probably still thinks that God told him to do it. I don't see a problem with this, or any reason to deny it.

Gelsamel wrote:And I can certainly imagine a religous person who doesn't like helping people helping someone because they believe they were told to by God. But I don't feel as though we should celebrate or praise anyone like that.

Plenty of people like helping people, but just don't have the motivation to get up and do it. Perhaps this has given him that. It's not something we can really argue about, seeing as it's entirely conjecture.

Gelsamel wrote:The child, however, described a genuine feeling of empathy and caring. Which is something we all need to have and increase to include as many people as possible.

I agree entirely.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby lesliesage » Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:16 pm UTC

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Where they compare each other’s worshippers?
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And trace woodgrain lines for me, says one.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Cynical Idealist » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:
Cynical Idealist wrote:From the caption on the image:
“This is what God wants me to do,” Mike says.

Christianity: you're doing it right.


I think it's a tad unfair to these people who are sweating to help others to suggest that they only do it because a supreme being tells them to.

I think it's a tad unfair to call this person a liar.

Because that's what you're doing here. This person says that "this is what God wants me to do", and you're saying that we shouldn't say that he thinks God wants him to do something.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby lesliesage » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:41 pm UTC

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Last edited by lesliesage on Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:
Cynical Idealist wrote:From the caption on the image:
“This is what God wants me to do,” Mike says.

Christianity: you're doing it right.


I think it's a tad unfair to these people who are sweating to help others to suggest that they only do it because a supreme being tells them to.

I think it's a tad unfair to call this person a liar.

Because that's what you're doing here.


Not at all.

This person says that "this is what God wants me to do", and you're saying that we shouldn't say that he thinks God wants him to do something.


I'm certain he thinks that God wants him to do something. That's not what I'm saying at all.

It's not like you said "At least he isn't using God to justify bigotry" to which I replied "He isn't using God for anything!" or something.

You said "Christianity: You're Doing it Right" suggesting this was a result of Christianity. What I'm saying is that it's much more likely that these people, including Mike, are just good people and that they would have done this regardless of their belief. The rationalisation that it's 'God's will' is just that, a rationalisation for that desire to do good. It's not about lying, he fully believes this, of course.

It's about being mistaken... God didn't actually want him to do something, God didn't send any messages to him. Even theists could reasonably say that this man has no information about God's mind. And I think it's unlikely he is insane and hearing voices. What this is about rationalising things at a subconscious level.

Either Christianity is the deciding factor, or it isn't. If it is, then it's not particularly praise worthy because it says nothing about the willingness of the person to do good. Additionally the same servitude to religion/God is the one that causes pain, suffering, hate, and bigotry. Any logical argument supporting one automatically supports the other. If it isn't the deciding factor, then we should clearly and soundly praise the people themselves not some arbitrary system they are associated with.


Edit: I know we've been saying "Christianity" but is there really any indication that he is Christian and not just theistic? In any case you could mentally replace "Christianity" with any other appropriate word for what ever this man could accurately be labelled as.

Edit2: I would've had less problems with "This man is doing his Christianity in the right way" but then we wouldn't know what other views he held and even then the claiming to know God's mind/servitude thing is analogous to the wrong way (just 'nicer' if it doesn't yet include hate and bigotry).


Edit3:





Let me further explain:

1) God Exists
2) God's Mind can be Known
3) God Revealed His Mind to Mike
4) Mike was sure enough about the message's origin that he would act on it (ie. Mike accepts premises 1, 2, and 3). <----- Obviously true unless we claim Mike is lying.

If you disagree with just one of the above premises then the attribution of this charity to "God's Will" is a false attribution. It doesn't mean he is lying or doesn't believe it. It just means he is mistaken.

If you accept all the premises above as true then... well then I can't really argue with you except, again, to say that servitude isn't praiseworthy.

If the attribution is false then his desire to do this charity must come from else where. Either it comes from:

1) Himself, he naturally wants to do good and help people - Good, praiseworthy.
2) He is insane and heard voices - Not Good, not praiseworthy.
3) His Human, pattern-prone, mind otherwise saw patterns or made observations that led him to believe that God wants him to do this - Not Good, not praiseworthy.
4) He is doing it out of ulterior motives for what ever reason. -- Unknown.

It's not good and not praiseworthy for reasons I've given above about it not saying anything about his character (not praiseworthy) and how servitude to a God because you think you can (and do) know their mind leads to hate/bigotry/violence/etc. (Not Good). I believe (1) Is the most likely since he seems to have done it in response to his daughter asking if there was anything they could do (who asked for reason number (1)).

Is what I'm saying clear now?
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby LongLiveTheDutch » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

“This is what God wants me to do,” Mike says.


*note* this post only applies if Mike is actually a Christian.

I think what is happening is that the word "wants" is being mistaken for the word "told". While we don't know whether or not God actually said anything to Mike specifically, the Bible is fairly clear about Christian conduct.

For instance, Matthew 25:31-46 (infamous sheep v. goats)
Spoiler:
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."


tl;dr

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


Mike's rational could be that when he does these things for the "least of these", he is in fact doing them for God. Therefore, this is what God wants him to do.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

And if he is Christian and believes that God's Will is explained through the bible then, again, the situation is analogous except that I must specify "God's mind can be known through reading the Bible"

Is that alright? Whether he "Heard" or "Read" or "Epiphany'd" God's will doesn't matter. He said he thinks this is what God "Wants" him to do, thus it has to do with knowing God's will (or "Thinking that he might know it" but that's worse because (1) It's uncertain, it could be another human or a evil entity's will. So acting on that is foolish. (2) Still claiming it's possible to know it and dealing with the concept of knowing it, which I've already objected to).
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby LongLiveTheDutch » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:43 am UTC

Mike's rational could be that when he does these things for the "least of these", he is in fact doing them for God. Therefore, this is what God wants him to do.


I only said it could possibly be Mike's rationale. I by no means wish to get into a debate about the actual existence of God, because that would get us nowhere except off topic.

I believe your initial point (perhaps I'm wrong, this was the point to your second to last post) was against the OPs statement "Christianity: Doing it right". If Mike is indeed a Christian, and he believes the Bible to be true, then he is "doing Christianity right" in this way. You said something along these lines in the second edit of your second to last post.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:47 am UTC

LongLiveTheDutch wrote:
Mike's rational could be that when he does these things for the "least of these", he is in fact doing them for God. Therefore, this is what God wants him to do.


I only said it could possibly be Mike's rationale. I by no means wish to get into a debate about the actual existence of God, because that would get us nowhere except off topic.


Neither do I, I was just saying whether or not he gets it through a book or other method doesn't really matter. The point is he is claiming to know (or know about) God's will.

I believe your initial point (perhaps I'm wrong, this was the point to your second to last post) was against the OPs statement "Christianity: Doing it right". If Mike is indeed a Christian, and he believes the Bible to be true, then he is "doing Christianity right" in this way. You said something along these lines in the second edit of your second to last post.


But then, how can you do Christianity wrong? This statement is almost certainly made in contrast to those who use God/Christian Dogma/Bible to justify things the OP considered wrong... perhaps things like DOMA or killing abortion doctors or what ever else the OP in particular disagrees with (which is "Christianity: You're Doing It Wrong").

My point is that either these situations are the exactly the same ("Doing God's Will" where any statement about an immeasurable infallible being's will is as valid as another) and thus "Christianity: Doing It The Exact Same Way It's Always Done, I Just Happen To Like the Outcome This Time Around". Or, like I think in this situation, a huge amount of the time when it comes to things like this they're just good people who like helping others who would've done it anyway but attribute it to God's Will (for a myriad of subconscious and conscious reasons).

If you say the right way to do Christianity is "Do God's will as long as it is things that I think are Good" then that's just a meaningless statement since no one will have the same concept of good and values as you. If the right way is "Do God's Will as Long as it's what you think is Good" then that condones any imaginable action since it's conceivable any particular person acting under that maxim could hold "God is infallible/benevolent" or they could easily thing that murdering abortionists or restricting rights from homosexuals is a good thing.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby LongLiveTheDutch » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:55 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Neither do I, I was just saying whether or not he gets it through a book or other method doesn't really matter. The point is he is claiming to know (or know about) God's will.


Now, to be technical, most Christian theologians would define God's will as things that God makes happen. e.g. Things that humans have no control over. In contrast, what God wants Christians to do is different in that He won't make them happen. Refer to my original scripture quote for context ("goats" didn't do what God wanted of them).

But then, how can you do Christianity wrong? This statement is almost certainly made in contrast to those who use God/Christian Dogma/Bible to justify things the OP considered wrong... perhaps things like DOMA or killing abortion doctors or what ever else the OP in particular disagrees with (which is "Christianity: You're Doing It Wrong").


Much in the same way that you can do Christianity "right", the opposite is true for "wrong". If you read the Bible, and how Jesus wants his followers to act, you'll find that even hating someone is equated to murder, just as looking at a woman lustfully is equated with actually having sex with her in terms of sin and the effect on a relationship with God that sin has. (I don't want to discuss what is sin etc, I'm just explaining what I, as a Christian, believe. You are free to disagree)
My point is that either these situations are the exactly the same ("Doing God's Will" where any statement about an immeasurable infallible being's will is as valid as another) and thus "Christianity: Doing It The Exact Same Way It's Always Done, I Just Happen To Like the Outcome This Time Around". Or, like I think in this situation, a huge amount of the time when it comes to things like this they're just good people who like helping others who would've done it anyway but attribute it to God's Will (for a myriad of subconscious and conscious reasons).

If you say the right way to do Christianity is "Do God's will as long as it is things that I think are Good" then that's just a meaningless statement since no one will have the same concept of good and values as you. If the right way is "Do God's Will as Long as it's what you think is Good" then that condones any imaginable action since it's conceivable any particular person acting under that maxim could hold "God is infallible/benevolent" or they could easily thing that murdering abortionists or restricting rights from homosexuals is a good thing.


I agree with you that murdering abortionists or restriciting rights of homosexuals is something that is wrong to do. I base my opinion on what the Bible says. While one could argue that the Bible does not condone abortion or homosexuality, the Bible equally does not condone placing judgement on said people or enacting punishment upon them.

The thing to look for with people claiming to "hear God's will", is to find out whether or not it lines up with what the Bible says. If it doesn't line up, such as murdering people, regardless of the reason, then it obviously could not be God's will.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby WalkerRiley » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:30 am UTC

And lo, did He reach out His Noodly Appendage and say to me: "Go forth! Go forth and feed thy brothers and sisters!" And thus He made forth a banquet of spaghettis and meatballs and sauces and italian breads and pestos and garnishes. And I did take the meal and distributed it amongst my brethren, for they were poor and had not monies and were hungry. And so it came to pass that my divine mission, passed to me by His most Noodly Goodness, had been completed. And it was good.











I'm just stoked that people are being kind to other people again. Why does it matter if he believes God wanted him to? Just that he's doing it is enough for me.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:59 am UTC

LongLiveTheDutch wrote:You are free to disagree


And so is everyone else, that's the problem with "God's Will".

I agree with you that murdering abortionists or restriciting rights of homosexuals is something that is wrong to do. I base my opinion on what the Bible says. While one could argue that the Bible does not condone abortion or homosexuality, the Bible equally does not condone placing judgement on said people or enacting punishment upon them.


And yet clearly a group of people cite the bible for exactly that. I am not saying they're right, just that they use it as justification in the exact same manner.

The thing to look for with people claiming to "hear God's will", is to find out whether or not it lines up with what the Bible says. If it doesn't line up, such as murdering people, regardless of the reason, then it obviously could not be God's will.


Why would this be "Obvious" except for if you personally value the Bible as the most important source? Fine if you do. But If someone doesn't and instead values the Pope, or the voices they hear then it isn't obvious that it necessarily couldn't be God's Will.

WalkerRiley wrote:Why does it matter if he believes God wanted him to?


This is, in a way, what I am saying. His Christianity (probably) doesn't matter, he is (probably) doing good because it's nice to be good. Hence my objection to "Christianity: You're doing it right".

I'd say "Being Human: You're doing it right"
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Bright Shadows » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:37 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:
LongLiveTheDutch wrote:The thing to look for with people claiming to "hear God's will", is to find out whether or not it lines up with what the Bible says. If it doesn't line up, such as murdering people, regardless of the reason, then it obviously could not be God's will.


Why would this be "Obvious" except for if you personally value the Bible as the most important source? Fine if you do. But If someone doesn't and instead values the Pope, or the voices they hear then it isn't obvious that it necessarily couldn't be God's Will.

Thing is, there is an actual point made in the Bible to tell you to check out things with scripture first. By Paul. I'll hunt down the epistle later. Point is, the Bible is intended to be the primary source of confirmation if not information. If someone is putting the Pope's word above the Bible, that's Doing It Wrongtm, let alone the voices.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:45 am UTC

Bright Shadows wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:
LongLiveTheDutch wrote:The thing to look for with people claiming to "hear God's will", is to find out whether or not it lines up with what the Bible says. If it doesn't line up, such as murdering people, regardless of the reason, then it obviously could not be God's will.


Why would this be "Obvious" except for if you personally value the Bible as the most important source? Fine if you do. But If someone doesn't and instead values the Pope, or the voices they hear then it isn't obvious that it necessarily couldn't be God's Will.

Thing is, there is an actual point made in the Bible to tell you to check out things with scripture first. By Paul. I'll hunt down the epistle later. Point is, the Bible is intended to be the primary source of confirmation if not information. If someone is putting the Pope's word above the Bible, that's Doing It Wrongtm, let alone the voices.


Doing it wrong by virtue of tautology? What it comes down to is what you value as an information source. If you belief in God, think he has to be obeyed and fully believe that he is speaking to you. Then what's wrong about acting on that? It's about as right as acting on a particular interpretation of the Bible for the sole reason that "It's God's Word" and not because you think it's reasonable and is conducive to the good of all.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby guenther » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:02 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:This is, in a way, what I am saying. His Christianity (probably) doesn't matter, he is (probably) doing good because it's nice to be good. Hence my objection to "Christianity: You're doing it right".

I'd say "Being Human: You're doing it right"

So if a Christian is going around persecuting people for being homosexual, I presume you go out of your way to make sure Christianity isn't blamed, but rather it's the person that's doing it wrong? He's probably just picking on gay people because their icky, not because God told him to, right?

If people want to give Christianity a black eye for the bad stuff, fine; but it's seems disingenuous to discredit all the good stuff at the same time.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:17 am UTC

guenther wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:This is, in a way, what I am saying. His Christianity (probably) doesn't matter, he is (probably) doing good because it's nice to be good. Hence my objection to "Christianity: You're doing it right".

I'd say "Being Human: You're doing it right"

So if a Christian is going around persecuting people for being homosexual, I presume you go out of your way to make sure Christianity isn't blamed, but rather it's the person that's doing it wrong? He's probably just picking on gay people because their icky, not because God told him to, right?


Maybe. I sure wouldn't praise the person in either situation, unlike this one where I think we should encourage being naturally good and discourage doing stuff because "God wants it". In the situation you've presented I wouldn't find persecution for persecution's sake nor persecution of God's sake to be particularly virtuous.

If people want to give Christianity a black eye for the bad stuff, fine; but it's seems disingenuous to discredit all the good stuff at the same time.


Not Christianity... "People who take actions at the whim of what they believe to be an ultimate being's will and not what they themselves find to be true and conducive to the good of all" that's who I'm giving a black eye while simultaneously saying that that is probably not the type of person the article is describing. Whether they're Christians or Muslims or any other particular theism doesn't matter.

You can certainly imagine, say, an evil/bad person who does do Good or indeed does charity as a result of subservience to a God. You can certainly claim that Good for a religion if you wish. All I'm saying is is it's bullshit to praise this process itself as it is the identical process which creates the bad that comes out of religion.

Edit: And really what I was against was labelling these people, who I see as almost certainly a naturally good person, as though it was a result of 'Doing Christianity Right' and not just a result of 'Being a Human Right' -- because really, saying the former is somewhat insulting to someone who might consider themselves a caring and loving human being.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby LongLiveTheDutch » Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:50 am UTC

My main objective Gelsamel, was to inform you on how the Bible defines "Christianity: doing it right". I don't intend to debate debatable matters, because it's the InterentTM and what happens here doesn't really matter. You won't change my mind, just as I won't change yours.

I understand your point of view, and I see where you're coming from, but I also see that we are at an impasse. I hope you have a good day :)

@Bright Shadows - the reference you're looking for is in 1st or 2nd Timothy, and goes roughly as follows: "All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching etc etc"

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby General_Norris » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:42 pm UTC

In my opinion the boy is helping people but he is not doing the right thing if he does it because of religion and not his own chain of thought.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:36 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Not Christianity... "People who take actions at the whim of what they believe to be an ultimate being's will and not what they themselves find to be true and conducive to the good of all"
Surely you realise that to many Christians there is absolutely no difference between those two things?
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby guenther » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:01 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Not Christianity... "People who take actions at the whim of what they believe to be an ultimate being's will and not what they themselves find to be true and conducive to the good of all"

In a free country, how many people will continue serving God if it keeps grating against their notion of good? There are a lot of less demanding lifestyles out there.

From personal experience, I know that when I get really hurt, angry, or even strongly desirous of something, my perception of justifiable behavior changes. So I'm more likely to take an action that I'll regret later when I'm more clear headed. To protect against that, I try to convince myself that I should do God's will and reject my own intuition. So this seems like a special case example of what you oppose, but I I think it's a very useful tool that helps me get results that I will find intuitively good down the road.

And more on point with the article, if religion can help get more people to do what the kid has done, that's a good thing, and something we should encourage.

General_Norris wrote:In my opinion the boy is helping people but he is not doing the right thing if he does it because of religion and not his own chain of thought.

So is there some metaphysical goodness that religion falls short of? This sounds like it's just replacing one metaphysical explanation for another.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Rakysh » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

Yeah. There are certainly arguments to be made for people just doing good things for selfish reasons. I spose you could scale all motives with relative goodness, but objectivity is impossible, so I guess we just have to be thankful for good deeds.

In other words:
Where ones are wrong?

I'm good because my parents told me to be good.
I'm good because I'm praised when I'm good.
I'm good because I get a sense of satisfaction when I am.
I'm good because it will end up better for me in the long run.
I'm good because I believe God wants to be good.

In picking and chosing, we just select on personal bias.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby General_Norris » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:44 pm UTC

guenter wrote:So is there some metaphysical goodness that religion falls short of? This sounds like it's just replacing one metaphysical explanation for another.


Not metaphysical. If I feed the poor because of the fame it may give to me, do you think I'm doing the right thing? I think not.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Rakysh » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Please to reply to my post, thanks. It addresses your point.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Cynical Idealist » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:48 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:Not metaphysical. If I feed the poor because of the fame it may give to me, do you think I'm doing the right thing? I think not.

Yes, I do think you're doing the right thing. Perhaps you're doing it for selfish reasons, but you are still helping people who need the help, which is a good thing.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby General_Norris » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:35 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:Yes, I do think you're doing the right thing. Perhaps you're doing it for selfish reasons, but you are still helping people who need the help, which is a good thing.


Thus, you value result over intent?

@Rakysh.

All of them are wrong.

Strictly speaking I can't choose other but the second one, it's the lesser of all evils. Humans can't seek non-hapiness. Now, I don't select based on personal bias, I select based on reason and then make THAT my bias.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Rakysh » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

People do good things for loads of reasons, usually lots of different reasons at the same time. We're products of our upbringing, our faith, what we've had done to us. I cannot honestly say I am certain that I would do "good" (assuming I came up with a concept of good which matches yours) things were I just left to think things over myself in a box with no outside stimulus. And you can never know someone's motivation truly anyway, so judging them for being honest about why they are doing things isn't going to help anyone.

You seem to be hoping for a truly unselfish act, but such a thing does not exist, because the knowledge that one is a truly unselfish person brings one gratification. Even doing good things in secret carries with it the personal pleasure of doing good things in secret. "I do good things because, and ONLY because, they are the right thing to do" doesn't exist.

General_Norris wrote:Now, I don't select based on personal bias

Bullshit, I'm afraid. You human? Then you are biased. Everyone has a place they are coming from, an upbringing.

General_Norris wrote:I select based on reason and then make THAT my bias.

As to deciding on rationality- you decided on that because you formulated a system of reason and then went along with that system, because according to that system, it is the "best" way to live? Or because you had someone else's concept of reason suggested to you, and then implied or explicitly told to you that it was the best way to live, so you did your best to fulfil it? If it's the first one, I congratulate you on covering thousands of years of thought in a couple decades (I assume you are in your teens; correct me if I'm wrong.) If it's the second, congratulations on being human.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Cynical Idealist » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:
Cynical Idealist wrote:Yes, I do think you're doing the right thing. Perhaps you're doing it for selfish reasons, but you are still helping people who need the help, which is a good thing.


Thus, you value result over intent?

Yes, yes I do.

As long as you are doing something that is a Good Thing (feeding the poor, for example), your reasoning is irrelevant.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:09 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
General_Norris wrote:
Cynical Idealist wrote:Yes, I do think you're doing the right thing. Perhaps you're doing it for selfish reasons, but you are still helping people who need the help, which is a good thing.


Thus, you value result over intent?

Yes, yes I do.

As long as you are doing something that is a Good Thing (feeding the poor, for example), your reasoning is irrelevant.


Except your judgement of good and theirs is different and by reinforcing their bad reasoning you reinforce all the bad shit done by that reasoning. It's also just kind of assholish to attributing their Good Thing to bad reasoning when it could indeed be good reasoning.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Rakysh » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Except your judgement of good and theirs is different and by reinforcing their bad reasoning you reinforce all the bad shit done by that reasoning. It's also just kind of assholish to attributing their Good Thing to bad reasoning when it could indeed be good reasoning.

If our relative concepts of good and bad as attributes of reasoning can differ, why not our relative concepts of good and bad as attributes of actions? Your argument comes from the standpoint that your moral knowledge of motivation is imperfect, but your moral knowledge of deeds is perfect. Which seems kind of strange to me. Not indefensible, just strange.

I'm not saying you're wrong; I think I may agree, but it's a point to be made.

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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:39 pm UTC

Rakysh wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:Except your judgement of good and theirs is different and by reinforcing their bad reasoning you reinforce all the bad shit done by that reasoning. It's also just kind of assholish to attributing their Good Thing to bad reasoning when it could indeed be good reasoning.

If our relative concepts of good and bad as attributes of reasoning can differ, why not our relative concepts of good and bad as attributes of actions? Your argument comes from the standpoint that your moral knowledge of motivation is imperfect, but your moral knowledge of deeds is perfect. Which seems kind of strange to me. Not indefensible, just strange.

I'm not saying you're wrong; I think I may agree, but it's a point to be made.


No that would be pretty much indefensible.

What I'm saying is that reinforcing "It's okay to be greedy/seeking fame/doing God's will as long as it ends up doing good things" reinforces stuff like... killing abortion doctors because reinforcing that would also reinforce "It's okay to oppress homosexuals as long as that is a good thing" and to many people not allowing homosexuals to marry is a 'Good Thing'.

I'm not going to make a judgement of whether Oppression or Greed or anything like that is -evil- (thus moral relativity doesn't come into it). Just that these motivations often lead to people being objectively harmed (and I'm not going to make a moral judgement about whether harm is bad or not, because someone might say it is).

Just solely that if you don't want to reinforce processes of harm then you should disagree with "You should do something you typically wouldn't do if God tells you to do it" (a la Issac) because often that means naturally good people (like I consider myself) becoming bigots against their better judgement (like I did back when I was Christian).

Sure, like you said, some good can come from people doing things against their better judgement... ie. people who only do, indeed, only do charity due to their faith. But if it's borne from the same poor reasoning that often causes harm we should be vocal in denouncing that.

If instead, we have someone who has analysed the bible as a philosophical book (and not an infallible and benevolent being's word) and who has considered a certain tenant and reasonably finds it to be true (Like, "You should oppose profiteering in the church") and additionally finds it to be conducive to what they consider good (Stopping people being scammed/conned). Then I have no problem with that.

Sure their version of "Good" might not jive with mine but I'm not about to tell people they shouldn't try and do what they themselves consider good because then no one will ever try to do those things. We can't oppose the reasoning of "Doing (what I consider) 'Good' for it's own sake" just because it sometimes ends up doing things someone else disagrees with. It would be like opposing a stranger's good will because they ended up offending someone's culture when they offered charity/help.

The problem is when people say "God's Will == Good" (or actually any authority, it just happens much more often with God because God is often considered to be infallible. For instance "Stalin's Will == Good" is equally screwed up.) without comparing it against what they themselves know and feel.

Basically it comes down to that famous quote something along the lines of "Only religion can make a good person do evil things" (although I'd change it to "Only adherence to an infallible entity" since there are religions that don't advocate following divine beings. And, as I mentioned with the Stalin thing, also works for Hirohito). Sure it can occasionally make evil people do good things but you cannot support the reasoning which causes so much pain and suffering just because of this subjective interpretation of what is 'Good' and just because this "Good in spite of evil intent" happens sometimes.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Er.. ranted a bit. To summarise what I'm saying would be "You shouldn't support a set of reasoning which often leads to -- (1) People doing what they otherwise wouldn't -- (2) Objective harm/intollerance/bigotry -- just because the outcome in this case was 'Good' (a meaningless statement due to everyone having different judgements of Good)".

After all if you did that you'd have absolutely no reasonable basis to reject "I used a set of reasoning that often leads to me doing things I wouldn't do otherwise and causing harm... but this time I did a 'Good Thing'... I killed an abortion doctor and did 'God's Will'!"... You'd only have a meaningless basis to reject it, which would be "Well... I didn't think that was a 'Good Thing'".

Therefore if you want to have a reasonable basis to denounce (what you, personally, consider) evil acts in the name God you should denounce the process of "Acting the the name of an Infallible Authority" as harmful instead of making moral judgements about the acts themselves which anyone could contest with a simple "No, you're wrong".
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby guenther » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:44 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:Not metaphysical. If I feed the poor because of the fame it may give to me, do you think I'm doing the right thing? I think not.

Is the [girl] doing it for fame? And I still don't see how religious motivation doesn't stack up except for the ideological reason that religion is bad. What test for motivation are you applying to see if it's good or bad?

EDIT: Changed boy to girl, I misread the story the first time.

Gelsamel wrote:Except your judgement of good and theirs is different and by reinforcing their bad reasoning you reinforce all the bad shit done by that reasoning.

Why do you say "because God wants me to" is bad reasoning? It could be bad, but if the person has chosen a God that wants good things, then it could lead to great decision making, and in practice I think we see lots of evidence for this happening. In my experience "because I want me to" leads to worse decision making.

A more objective way to look at decision making might be to look at how it affects one's quality of life. And I think religious people come out looking pretty good for most metrics I've seen.
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby scrovak » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:46 pm UTC

lesliesage wrote:
Orson Scott Card wrote:Is there some annual get-together
Where they compare each other’s worshippers?
Mine will bow their faces to the floor
And trace woodgrain lines for me, says one.
Mine will sacrifice animals, says another.
Mine will kill anyone who insults me, says a third.
Here is the question I think of most often:
Are there any who can honestly boast,
My worshippers obey my good laws,
And treat each other kindly,
And live simple generous lives?

-from The God Whispers of Han Qing-jao

This. COTM, if I recall correctly?
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Re: 13-year-old feeding the poor, one meal at a time.

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:03 pm UTC

guenther wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:Except your judgement of good and theirs is different and by reinforcing their bad reasoning you reinforce all the bad shit done by that reasoning.

Why do you say "because God wants me to" is bad reasoning?


Did you read the rest of my post? And if so are you going to actually respond to it?

It could be bad, but if the person has chosen a God that wants good things, then it could lead to great decision making


Yeah, assuming;
1. God Exists
2. Has a mind/will that can be known.
3. Makes his mind known to others
4. Is Perfectly Benevolent
5. Actually has made his mind known to that person in a way that means it's logically impossible that the message could not have come from another source.

If any of those are not true then the decision making is by definition fallacious and thus "poor decision making". Even if you actually accept 1-4, 5 is demonstratively false as evidenced by the myriad of people with different beliefs, different concepts of good who all take different actions (with the same complete certainty) in the name of God.

, and in practice I think we see lots of evidence for this happening.


Do we? I personally do not consider the oppression of homosexuals (almost, but not entirely, exclusively a result of following dogma) to be "Great Decision Making".

In my experience "because I want me to" leads to worse decision making.


Arguable, and False Dichotomy Much?

A more objective way to look at decision making might be to look at how it affects one's quality of life.


Only if you accept that quality of life is something that you want to work for. A person who accept God's (or any other Authority's) Will as absolute only cares for fulfilling that will regardless of it's consequences.

And I think religious people come out looking pretty good for most metrics I've seen.


And what metrics are those? Keeping in mind that we should be comparing the difference this reasoning makes, just not the number of people who do what you consider Good who use that reasoning. As in, how many people do good with this reasoning who, if this reasoning was denounced and stopped being used, would not do that good thing.
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