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Technical Difficulties With Automated Blog Posts

[20100131] The blog is still refusing mail from gmail. I've stopped the forwarders. When the mail server stops trying to deliver mail (probably by the 5th). I'll try another strategy.
I'm trying to find the equilibrium between Google News Alerts, Gmail and Blogger to permit automated posting of Google News Alerts to the blog so I can have them for reference and work on other things. My goal is not to focus on one news topic, but to have the varied topics in the news feeds automatically posted in the blog daily or weekly because I can capture more unique data that way.

Suicide Bomb News Feed

The Jihad News Feed

Witch News Feed

Ritual Abuse and Killing News Feed

Faith Heal News Feed

Female Genital Mutilation News

Exorcism News Feed

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Church Abuse News Feed

Animal Sacrifice News Feed

Religious Exemption News Feed

Friday, November 20, 2009

Faulty Analogy of Gods as Shepherds and "The Problem of Victimization"

Theists use a shepherd analogy to describe the relationship between Gods (i.e. Jesus and Krishna) and us. However, a simple seconds reflection or a trip to your local animal shelter should reveal the flaw in that analogy.  Theists who follow a loving, caring characteristically good god have spent thousands of years trying to resolve the Problem of Evil.  I say, why worry about the WHOLE problem of evil? Good problem solving techniques break complicated problems down into little pieces, so they should just pick a small piece and start there. Lets start with "The Problem Of Victimization".

Typically a culture that is nomadic will be pastoral.  Typically a culture that is settled will be agrarian. Their Gods reflect their culture.  That in itself is worthy of an article, but I'll just stick to the point. 

What is that Shepherds do? 
They protect the flock don't they?
They care for the flock don't they?
They run off predators. Predators are usually not the same type of animal as the herd, and are usually more vicious. 
Above all, Shepherds protect their investment.

The predators for humans are the same as for other types of animals, but humans have weapons on their side.

So that's one difference right there. But what about vicious, harmful or sickly animals in the herd? Well the Shepherd takes some action to perpetuate the health and welfare of the majority of the herd.  They separate the healthy majority from the vicious, harmful or sickly minority. They protect their investment.

Now go to the local animal shelter, or even (to a small degree) the local pet shop, the same principles apply there. 

So now, lets take the "Shepherds Principle" and apply it to Gods.  
Do Gods take some action to perpetuate the health and welfare of the rest of the human herd?  Do they separate the healthy majority from the vicious, harmful or sickly minority?
No they don't.
They let human children be abducted, raped and killed many times each day.

That means as shepherds they are intentionally permitting predation within the herd, are negligent or simply aren't there.

Using the principle of Occams razor to cross-check the "Shepherds Principle",
the simplest solution is that Gods really aren't there to act as shepherds.

So then, if they aren't there to act as shepherds, what is it they do?
Curioser, and curioser!

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akakiwibear said...

Hi HQ, you seem to have missed the point of the shepherd analogy which is that of a spititual shepherd.

Oh and by the way it is a limited analogy anyway using selected characteristics of a shepherd.

Perhaps analogies are not perfect??

Sala kahle - peace

Harlan Quinn said...

no akakiwibear,
there is another analogy to cover that.
the analogy of being the 'lamp unto my feet' or the "light" that guides the path.

No, the shepherd is a faulty analogy used as persuasion rhetoric seemingly intended to give whatever god its applied to characteristics they don't possess.

It seems designed to co-opt wishful thinking and human insecurity.

you are trying to 'move the goalpoast' and minimize the problem.

Analogies are not perfect, but they can be made adequate to cover the topic.

Analogies are used every day, sometimes we call them models. They can even be computer generated. In order to work, they have to account for all the variables in the problem.

akakiwibear said...

In order to work, they have to account for all the variables in the problem. not so. They are only similar in certain aspects c.f definition of the word a comparison between things which have similar features, often used to help explain a principle or idea

besides I like the idea of a shepard cuddling a little lamb - and being from the land of the great multitude of white sheep (apologies to the orignal Maori) I claim expertise ;)

An interesting point you raised in the anaolgy is the separation of the healthy from the sick - would the final separation of sheep & goats satisfy you there?

As for teh overall validity of the analogy ... hell I don't think its material to the theist debate - it illustrates a point. Yes it is used as persuasion rhetoric seemingly intended to give whatever god its applied to characteristics so a little literary licence ...

sala kahle -peace

Harlan Quinn said...

I hope you don't work in the technical, customer service, engineering, medical or safety fields because your attitude of
"its good enough"

Harlan Quinn said...

IN fact I would go so far as to say "its good enough" and your position on God is incoherent where Gods and High Reliability Organization is concerned and in terms of any one religion.

you say one god for all religions, and then advocate Jesus, when its hinduism that better supports the one god for all concept. And I think you know that but your tight coupling to your culture prevents you from assuming a coherent position.

akakiwibear said...

HQ and you have a proof absolute for your side of the argument?

Do I advocate for Jesus/ It seems i advocate for one common God.

Yes I agree the Hindu position (among others is more universal). However within my social context I choose a religion(and denomination) that works as a readily accessable and convenient vehicle for my relationship with God.

I have that choice and my position is internally consistent and with the evidence. Evidence which I don't have to indulge in questionable mental gymnastics to dismiss.

sala kahle - peace

P.S. Its Friday evening & I am off to the mountains for the weekend, so a slow reply is not an intention to offend.

Harlan Quinn said...

take me with you! I was supposed to go to the mountains last weekend but my car broke!

akakiwibear said...

HQ, I suspect we could enjoy the mountain air and a bottle of fine red with good conversation.

sala kahle - peace

Harlan Quinn said...

hell yea,
can we invite gandolf and richd too?

stay tuned, I'm working on an article about the soul, you can see it draft by clicking on the link in the sidebar.

We've had some good discussions about the soul in the past.

Gandolf said...

Akakiwibear probably has some real secret hide-away spot HQ .

Might just about take a need of selling your own soul, to find out where it actually is

akakiwibear said...

Souls are plentiful I will only settle for good wine, blood red ;)

I think we may be abusing John's hospitality

RichD said...

I'd pass on the wine, not my drink, I love mountain getaways. I especially love mountain getaways that involve my boat. Utah has some of the best around.

RichD said...

Sorry HQ I also am not fond of your novels, romance just ain't my readin flavor


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