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chockfull

Keyser Soze - The Usual Suspects

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placeholder for the start of an interesting discussion on this quote from "The Usual Suspects".  

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.

 

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Also in discussion - is it mere coincidence that a strange movie called The Usual Suspects stars Kevin Spacey?   

Or is Kevin Spacey a usual suspect in strange movies?

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I didn't mean to completely ignore this thread. But I did want to treat it with a fair bit of seriousness... unfortunately, as you can probably tell by most of my posting habits lately, I haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to these discussions.

Nonetheless, let's take a crack at it, approaching this topic with all seriousness (which is to say, if you were just posting it for giggles, I'm missing the point).

 

The seriousness behind this topic is to look at two possibilities.

1. The devil does exist, and he wants people to think he doesn't.

2. The devil doesn't exist and was invented as a foil for God and a convenient scapegoat to absolve people of their responsibility/capacity for evil.

[Third possibility: I have proposed a false dichotomy and you can think of a third possibility I did not consider in my effort to keep the conversation simple. Feel free to chime in].

 

I believe the second proposition. At the risk of opening a can of worms, I don't believe in objective good and evil. I do believe that ALL good and evil are subjective by definition. That is, we determine whether something is good or evil by placing a value judgment on it, and value judgments are subjective. 

This is a far cry from what people dismiss routinely as subjective morality, where everyone decides for themselves what is moral and what is not, and no one has the right to elevate his or her morality over anyone else's. If I say it's okay to rape butterflies, who are you to tell me I'm wrong? That portrayal of morality and ethics is simply a strawman concocted to dismiss the ability of man to determine right and wrong outside the interference of a deity.

Evil works the same way. Evil is an adjective, not a noun, although we can use it as a noun by metonymy.

But I personally believe there is a problem when we personify evil as a sentient being: Satan, Lucifer, Loki, Apep, Mara, Ahriman, Ruha Qadishta... these beings were created as foils for their respective gods (or as gods themselves in religions that were less dualistic and where gods were not "perfect").

Evil was not introduced to the world by a sentient being who was bored with good or who chose to rebel against all-powerful perfection.

In my view, "Devil" was introduced into the world by sentient people who wanted to do evil but did not want to be held responsible for it.

Hence, my retort to "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist" is:

 

The greatest trick evil ever pulled was convincing the world the devil does exist.

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2 hours ago, Raf said:

[Third possibility: I have proposed a false dichotomy and you can think of a third possibility I did not consider in my effort to keep the conversation simple. Feel free to chime in].

hmmm... not that I'm terribly interested or intrigued in this, or that I think it's an invalid dichotomy... but, perhaps there's a third perspective (presuming it can be called that) if considered from the future looking backwards.  Because if it's thought that there is a (future) possibility that no devil will exist (or, exists no longer)... then so might it be possible to consider what an existence now could be regardless of whether the Devil does or doesn't exist.

In other words, perhaps the devil gets far, far more thought and/or attention then warranted or needed to live in peace and prosperity in the arms of God.

Edited by TLC

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Gods arise because we are social creatures who need to work together for survival of the species.  A devil would be no different.  When too many individuals are unwilling to make most of the small choices, or personal sacrifices, for good, that collection of ideals as an abstraction could easily be called a devil.  To say that cannot happen is certainly a trick.

Edited by Bolshevik
Devil in the details

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Your argument is that someone invented the devil like it's part of some Zeitgeist.  As opposed to a naturally occurring inescapable phenomena, described over time as "devil".

Edited by Bolshevik
*your

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My problem is that you redefine terms and then act as though everyone needs to bend to your definition, which is not how dialogue works.

 

There is fundamentally no difference between the devil being invented as some zeitgeist and the devil being a description over time of naturally occurring phenomena.

It is really frustrating to get sidetracked by your babbling BS everytime you decide to redefine terms to invent conflict. Sheesh.

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26 minutes ago, Raf said:

. . .

There is fundamentally no difference between the devil being invented as some zeitgeist and the devil being a description over time of naturally occurring phenomena.

. . .

Because one is imagination and the other is not.

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They are both attributing personality to an entity that does not exist as an individual.

Really, man, the reason I put you on ignore before is I was tired of having to stop and agree on simple terms in order for a conversation to take place. You seem far more interested in bending people to your peculiar word usage than you are in actual dialogue. I won't entertain you further until you can demonstrate that you can have a conversation without descending into babbling.

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9 minutes ago, Raf said:

They are both attributing personality to an entity that does not exist as an individual.

Really, man, the reason I put you on ignore before is I was tired of having to stop and agree on simple terms in order for a conversation to take place. You seem far more interested in bending people to your peculiar word usage than you are in actual dialogue. I won't entertain you further until you can demonstrate that you can have a conversation without descending into babbling.

I am not interested in ruining this thread with a side discussion.  Start another thread on redefining terms I think is the general retort.

I am going to think on your comments concerning personality.

 

 

 

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On 1/10/2018 at 10:55 AM, chockfull said:

placeholder for the start of an interesting discussion on this quote from "The Usual Suspects".  

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.

 

Do I understand your topic and intent correctly? Was there something you wanted to discuss?

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On 1/31/2018 at 12:11 PM, Raf said:

They are both attributing personality to an entity that does not exist as an individual.

This is kind of what I was digging into.  If the entity exists (i.e. the devil and God for that matter), attributing personality is a description.  If not, it's a fallacy.

In your terms of #1 and #2  - the #2 you described would be the fallacy.  However, I think you would need to just limit it to:

#2 The devil doesn't exist and was invented

Any more than that kind of clouds the discussion - with foil for God , whatever.  There could be many reasons for invention, both individual and collective.  However, as both God and the devil are "spirit beings" or "spirit entities" who, even if they exist and are described accurately in personal depictions or writings, are not actually able to be seen it pretty much boils down to whether a person believes in their existence or not.  

 

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Nations exist.  But don't try to study them from space.  You can't see them.  Individuals can choose not to believe in nations.  Those individuals are unlikely to have much impact against a nation though and most likely have to work and live within one.

I know in TWI the Adversary was clearly used to promote personal emotionally charged agendas, under some form of the power of positive (and negative) thinking.  Those views assigned more control to the individual than they really have in some areas, and less than they really have in others.  I don't remember a description of a personality beyond some bad dancing in leotards.

I don't know that whether or not the devil has horns, tail and pitchfork matters.  Or whether or not it is sentient matters either.  But we all try to understand what causes change in life.  Many of these are negative and words like devil come up in trying to understand that.  Something exists.  It needs to be acknowledged to be dealt with.  If devil is a bad description of that, is there a better one?

 

 

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So now we're going to parse the word "exists."

 

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44 minutes ago, Raf said:

So now we're going to parse the word "exists."

 

You provided the evidence in the third post.  This phenomenon, convergent evolution, of the devil happens independently in numerous cultures across time.

So how can it be a trick then?

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Because the point of the thread is whether he exists as a person or not.

Anything else clouds the issue.

But you just go on and hijack the thread so we can all go down your redefinition rabbit hole.

Let me know when you're done.

 

I suppose parsing the word "exists" could be a way of saying I presented a false dichotomy, though it wasn't what I had in mind and it apparently wasn't what chockfull had in mind. Either way, it's not a discussion I'm interested in, but if anyone else is, have fun.

Edited by Raf

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52 minutes ago, Raf said:

Because the point of the thread is whether he exists as a person or not.

Anything else clouds the issue.

But you just go on and hijack the thread so we can all go down your redefinition rabbit hole.

Let me know when you're done.

. . . 

Your first sentence, where you add "exist as a person or not", was not abundantly clear from the opening post, which I read a serious topic.  Unlike, is the Easter Bunny of the order of Lagomorpha?

You initiated a flame war.  I have done everything to stay on topic as I understood it. 

If I have gone to far off, I apologize to the one who started the topic, only.

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Quote

 

In your terms of #1 and #2  - the #2 you described would be the fallacy.  However, I think you would need to just limit it to:

#2 The devil doesn't exist and was invented

Any more than that kind of clouds the discussion 

 

That was Chockfull referring to my original post, with emphasis added by me.

 

On 1/30/2018 at 3:21 PM, Raf said:

The seriousness behind this topic is to look at two possibilities.

1. The devil does exist, and he wants people to think he doesn't.

2. The devil doesn't exist and was invented as a foil for God and a convenient scapegoat to absolve people of their responsibility/capacity for evil.

 

So I'm sorry if that was not clear, but in my opinion it is only unclear if you want to come in and redefine simple terms like "exist" so that people who agree the devil does not exist have to disagree because now you've turned non-existence into existence by metaphor or metonymy or Bolsheviksiosis. That's why I asked Chockfull to clarify, which he did quite adequately when he said ANY MORE THAN THAT KIND OF CLOUDS THE DISCUSSION.

To which you replied by clouding the discussion.

I'm not trying to start a flame war. I'm trying to stop a hijacking. But I guess I'm too late for that.

Like I said, when you're done, let me know.

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24 minutes ago, Raf said:

 

So I'm sorry if that was not clear, but in my opinion it is only unclear if you want to come in and redefine simple terms like "exist" so that people who agree the devil does not exist have to disagree because now you've turned non-existence into existence by metaphor or metonymy or Bolsheviksiosis. 

You stated "you're babbling"

I tried to understand your view and re-explained mine.

You were trolling.

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You were redefining commonly accepted terms for the specific purpose of derailing the conversation to what you want it to be rather than what it was.

I sought clarity from the person who asked the question just to be sure, and was validated.

So with all due respect, which admittedly is not much, the troll is the person trying to derail the thread, not the one trying to prevent that from happening.

Edited by Raf

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For the purpose of this thread discussion, "exists" has to mean in reality as opposed to as a collective idea or some other form.  That is the distinction between

#1 - Exists

#2 - Invented

In reality to follow has to mean as a sentient being with a sentient identity.  

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On 2/5/2018 at 9:28 AM, Bolshevik said:

Nations exist.  But don't try to study them from space.  You can't see them.  Individuals can choose not to believe in nations.  Those individuals are unlikely to have much impact against a nation though and most likely have to work and live within one.

I know in TWI the Adversary was clearly used to promote personal emotionally charged agendas, under some form of the power of positive (and negative) thinking.  Those views assigned more control to the individual than they really have in some areas, and less than they really have in others.  I don't remember a description of a personality beyond some bad dancing in leotards.

I don't know that whether or not the devil has horns, tail and pitchfork matters.  Or whether or not it is sentient matters either.  But we all try to understand what causes change in life.  Many of these are negative and words like devil come up in trying to understand that.  Something exists.  It needs to be acknowledged to be dealt with.  If devil is a bad description of that, is there a better one?

Bible teachings of course refer to Lucifer the fallen angel of light.  In teachings the devil is sentient.

Some view the Bible as a moral code with weird stories and old laws.  

From that perspective the devil certainly could be whatever perceived negative change agent is going on.  

I can recall a common proverbial phrase "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know".

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On 1/30/2018 at 1:21 PM, Raf said:

I didn't mean to completely ignore this thread. But I did want to treat it with a fair bit of seriousness... unfortunately, as you can probably tell by most of my posting habits lately, I haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to these discussions.

Nonetheless, let's take a crack at it, approaching this topic with all seriousness (which is to say, if you were just posting it for giggles, I'm missing the point).

 

The seriousness behind this topic is to look at two possibilities.

1. The devil does exist, and he wants people to think he doesn't.

2. The devil doesn't exist and was invented as a foil for God and a convenient scapegoat to absolve people of their responsibility/capacity for evil.

[Third possibility: I have proposed a false dichotomy and you can think of a third possibility I did not consider in my effort to keep the conversation simple. Feel free to chime in].

 

I believe the second proposition. At the risk of opening a can of worms, I don't believe in objective good and evil. I do believe that ALL good and evil are subjective by definition. That is, we determine whether something is good or evil by placing a value judgment on it, and value judgments are subjective. 

This is a far cry from what people dismiss routinely as subjective morality, where everyone decides for themselves what is moral and what is not, and no one has the right to elevate his or her morality over anyone else's. If I say it's okay to rape butterflies, who are you to tell me I'm wrong? That portrayal of morality and ethics is simply a strawman concocted to dismiss the ability of man to determine right and wrong outside the interference of a deity.

Evil works the same way. Evil is an adjective, not a noun, although we can use it as a noun by metonymy.

But I personally believe there is a problem when we personify evil as a sentient being: Satan, Lucifer, Loki, Apep, Mara, Ahriman, Ruha Qadishta... these beings were created as foils for their respective gods (or as gods themselves in religions that were less dualistic and where gods were not "perfect").

Evil was not introduced to the world by a sentient being who was bored with good or who chose to rebel against all-powerful perfection.

In my view, "Devil" was introduced into the world by sentient people who wanted to do evil but did not want to be held responsible for it.

Hence, my retort to "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist" is:

 

The greatest trick evil ever pulled was convincing the world the devil does exist.

So with the discussion between objective and subjective evil, some of that is a viewpoint discussion and some of that is a measurement discussion.  If evil can be objectively measured, it is by a standard.  What is that standard?  Well a fundamentalist would obviously say "God's Word".  But then we get down a rabbithole of descriptive virtues and vices such as "fruit of the spirit" vs. "fruit of the flesh" as described in Galatians and all sorts of judgement.

Most religions have virtues they are trying to direct a soul towards.  And moral codes wrapped up in that religion.  From certain garments wore to types of prayer at times to refraining from certain foods or intakes at times.   The more you live according to the moral code, the more you are supposed to see the virtue arise.

If evil and good are subjective, subjective to what?  One individual's moral code?  More often than not it works out to be your local neighborhood's moral code, like the Native Americans for example.  It's OK to rape, pillage, torture, kill, as long as it is a stranger tribe.  Take their wives and kids for your own, grow your tribe.  

Pack animal ethics.

 

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Before I answer or attempt to answer the excellent questions you raise, let me ask you this. Are you allowing me in this discussion to expand the parameters of the thread you started? And are you allowing Bolshevik the same privilege to expand the topic in the direction that he wants to expand it? The second answer will determine my future responses to his posts.

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