Initial thoughts on the measurement of courage (Owl convo)

Any thoughts on the measurement of courage?
I’ve been thinking about making an academic career out of that.

hard to be rigorous about it but if you break it down very discretely you might e able tog et something out of it

My hope is to make a regular career out of computer-based psychometrics.
These two things would go together nicely.

some people are more capable of dealing with social opporbrium versus pysical danger…etc

Yup. Women have higher pain tolerance, for example.
Lower risk tolerance.

you’d have to be careful with differentiating the physical appearance of courage with the internal state I think you’re trying to measure
blindness to consequences looks like courage, for instance

There are all sorts of things to untangle. That’s part of the reason it’s so enticing to invent the field.

it’s a fun problem to chew on

And it would save the world.
After such knowledge as Courage Quotient, what forgiveness?
You can’t reverse the invention of such a thing, even if it’s eventually suppressed like physiognomy.

How deliciously subversive, and for the promotion of the good and beautiful

First thing would be to distinguish the general quality from the outward actions, as you said.
So, courage versus courageous behavior.

without breaking it down too much and rendering the term meaningless
after all, some traits are likely to be constituent parts, and it makes no sense to try to analyze “cakeness” if you’re also trying to correct for “sugarness”, “eggness”, and “flourness”

Can you imagine any problems with defining courage as “that which tends to produce courageous actions”?
Other than the complexity of defining courageous action versus, for example, heedlessness.

The definition leaves open room for propaganda, motivational speeches, and other forms of controlling actions, so you need to specifiy “an internal quality” or something to that effect
But it depends on how strict you want to be about this, I guess

Moran defined it as “self”-control.

One can speka of “courage borne from love” or “the courage of a true zealot”

In other words, there’s no separating courage from value systems.
That may actually simplify things though. If it’s analogous to cybernetics where we see “thing for sitting on” before we see “chair”, then actions could be defined as “scary thing in front of ideal thing”.
*courageous actions
Perhaps scary/painful
I.e. Courage is to endure X for reason Y.

this should indicate a “courage potential” that can measure the likelihood and possible intensity of an individual’s couragesoua ctions

Right.
That’s the internal quality which could be measured via actions, and then hopefully by some proxy.
One notable trouble with measuring it through actions is we’d expect the measurement to change the quality.
Because we expect it to be a finite resource that replenishes slowly.

like willpower, with the implication that it can be built (or broken down) over time

Moran actually equates it with willpower, but I think that’s just approximate.
It depends a lot on what the values actually are.
Speaking of, I need to mention in here somewhere that we could define it objectively in terms of group-oriented values, i.e. altruism.
At least to begin with.
One thing this doesn’t capture is cucking.
But I suppose being cucked isn’t really valuable to the group so much as it happens more often to group-oriented people due to naivete.
So throw high versus low-trust in as a variable to control for.
Add to works cited: Dutton’s references on how stress produces religiosity and fertility (read: high trust and group-orientation), which is just the scientification of the observation that there are no atheists in foxholes.

group-oriented PLUS confusion about who is the group and who isn’t

Yeah.

Variables so far:
-Fear/pain/strife/stress
-Value system (the “reason” Y to endure X)

Confounds:
-Group orientation (ethnocentrism, religiosity)
-High/low trust
-Social intelligence
-Life experience in low-trust situations
Re: zealots, we’d also need to ask the question whether it’s possible to be both courageous in holiness and antisocial in the sense of hurting the people around you.
Generally we assume not, but it’s merely a heuristic.
Albeit a good one.

zealots do tend to feel the need to prove how devoted they are, and deliberate acts of unprovoked hurt is a pretty good way to show dedication
and obviously, dedication to a cause that allows harm causes that energy to be channeled into violent acts

I suppose that could be either harming group interest directly or harming self-interest indirectly by driving people away.
Or both, like in gang initiations.
Where was it that they would rape an elderly woman as the initiation?

I did read about that, but I can’t recall
I’ll still take “Chicago” for $1000

Well, raping an elderly woman is a good example of harming both the group and the individual unless the individual is really into old women and/or rape.

I’ll also point out that willingness to do harm for a cause is a foundational ethos not just for criminals and terrorists, but also soliders and cops and spies
people generally arrange these professions along a moral spectrum and favor some over others

Actually that’s not a bad definition for the opposite of a normie.
Call it conflict-aversion versus…
Conflict-willingness.
Hmm…updated courage definition:
“Will and ability to endure something you don’t like in the pursuit of something good.”
Note: Not in the pursuit of something you do like.

Hmmm…this takes up back to Moran’s idea of courage and willpower

Maybe ability is the external quality and will, properly contextualized, is the internal quality.

but maybe the distinction of “what is good” versus “what you like to do” is enough of a difference here
that’s a good point

More colloquially, “do the right thing”.

Yeah, courage as the manifestation of willpower feels like it gets us somehwere

So willpower as specifically spent on doing the right thing as opposed to math problems or putting up with customers.
This raises another distinction: moral effort spent proactively on determining the right thing versus reactively choosing from options shoved in your face.
Even more fun, there’s a right amount of moral effort to spend proactively versus carrying out the decision.
Now that I’m speaking in terms of “moral effort”, throw all previous studies on that in the bibliography.
This especially applies to bandwidth and the intelligence/conscientiousness to stay out of unnecessarily stressful life situations like poverty.

“Is it moral to spend all of one’s time contemplating right action while never actually doing it?”

It occurs to me this distinction is particularly salient in the Alt-Right where everybody is asking what the right thing to do is, and only the more Nietzschean types like Devon Stack and me are trying to answer that.
This may be less courage/cowardice than two facets of courage.
Of course, it’s one thing to post a skelly man from Berserk saying “struggle!” and another to come up with practicable advice like “join my commune in Idaho”.
Trying to think of terms for proactive versus reactive courage.
Maybe spirit and fortitude.
I like those. Spirit as in “spirit of the thing” suggests a more active mind.
Fields to borrow from:

  • Behavioral economics (for defining “dislike”)
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Cybernetics (for defining value systems)
  • Psychometrics, obviously

Might as well throw game theory in there too

Yeah, perhaps for help defining social intelligence.
This isn’t a bad start for an hour’s work.

About Aeoli Pera

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24 Responses to Initial thoughts on the measurement of courage (Owl convo)

  1. Aeoli Pera says:

    Hmm…maybe a good definition for doing the right thing is “something you want to have done, but don’t necessarily want to do.”

  2. MM says:

    Courage requires a religion (or ideology treated as religion) and, for all but a slim number of individual cases (IE crazy bastards like Ted K), a thoroughly reinforcing group in actual physical and social reality.

    What allowed for the courage of the Wehrmacht in WW2?
    The ideology,
    the training,
    the mass spectacles (religious ardor in pursuit of hardened zeal),
    the constant propaganda.
    the standard of behavior

    The entire culture…

    This is why the left is winning of course.

    They have the courage because they have an actual group and an actual religion. Weak as they may be, they are far stronger than their opponents at present.

    If you want to control the average actions of human populations…
    just copy those who have succeeded at it the most.

    To be practical it would behoove you to look into the heroism of the average man, and not the dreams of the few and the strange. Or to at least start there…

    Paul Fussel wrote the forward to this book, and praised it.
    It is topical and refreshingly realistic from what I have listened to.

    You can see “Sledge” frequently speak in the series “Hell in the Pacific” which is grisly as well.
    Part 4 is the best.

    This very well not be what you consider appropriate research materials for your potential project, as you are tasked moreso with ‘merely’ restoring a people’s will to live, but having done a few of these intellectual exercises myself… countering of any kind of naiveties as early as possible is paramount.
    Else you end up writing the kind of detached drivel that reflects the mindset the has led us here to begin with.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >What allowed for the courage of the Wehrmacht in WW2?

      Good list.

      >If you want to control the average actions of human populations…
      >just copy those who have succeeded at it the most.

      There’s a first mover problem here, which suggests the crazies have to come first.

      >This very well not be what you consider appropriate research materials for your potential project, as you are tasked moreso with ‘merely’ restoring a people’s will to live, but having done a few of these intellectual exercises myself… countering of any kind of naiveties as early as possible is paramount.

      Any good quantitative research is guided by qualitative counterfactuals. That said, it’s easy to get bogged down in the sheer volume of words people spend for lack of statistics.

  3. MM says:

    Also:
    “About Face” by Colonel David Hackworth. Never read it but have heard about it over and over.
    Hackworth was in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam.

  4. what says:

    How capable of self-control a person is and how willing he is to commit to an action. Courageous acts requires a person to place himself in situations where either his physical health is at risk or his social life is at risk, and before that it requires an environment in which such situations are possible. How willing someone is to place himself in such situations could be predicted based on how strongly he believes in his model of reality, or how emotionally attached is a person to the things that he’s placing himself in danger for. I don’t think it’s useful to think about whether someone can act courageously without any prior emotional reason, to act purely out of necessity or impulse. Although I think it’d be wrong to dismiss either rational necessity or impulse as not being a factor in courageous actions, since for the former the act of courage requires some situational awareness, which requires some sort of intellectual ability, and the latter certainly also happens, but to impulsively place oneself in a dangerous situations implies either insanity or some sort of compulsive obsession. Impulsive actions don’t always mean acts of passion.

    How a person’s faith in his model of reality affects his willingness to be courageous would depend on how strongly he feels about his own personal integrity, or the appearance of integrity, and how willing he is to place himself in harm’s way dependent on his personal degree of risk acceptance combined with how strongly he values the thing he’s acting for, or whether impulse takes over him and causes him to disregard the possible consequences of his situation. The exact things that would be involved in either isn’t one I thought about yet, but I don’t think it’s useful for creating a rough outline of what is courage.

    In relation to material incentives, or emotional incentives, for things like money or sex, risk tolerance would be the primary factor for courageous acts.

    Anxiety, rather than love, could also lead to courageous actions.

    The above mostly relates directly to courage as acts of the moment rather than acts of personal identity. Where the opposite end of willingness to be courageous would be nervous breakdowns, the opposite end of long-term courage, or morale, would be identity breakdown. For the sake of clarity I’ll refer to long-term courage as morale, and short-term courage, or situational courage, as courage. Both high morale and high courage requires a consistent but not constant presence of certain things which I’ll just refer to it as a combination of ego and superego, or identity. Identity is not morale.

    I’ll say that morale is not joviality. You do not have to be happy in order to be motivated, rather it’s possible that joy and being pleased acts to deter motivation. Morale is the willingness of someone to commit courageous acts, not his general high spirits.

    The rest is much more theoretical, as it’s guessing at what sort of personality traits would manifest high morale.

    I’ll define morale as the underlying motivational incentives that allow a person to commit to long-term self control, or motivations that prevent undesirable behaviors from manifesting. Morale itself can be divided into if it’s high morale derived from socially acceptable behavior, identity enforcing behavior, or base necessity fulfillment (food and entertainment).

    Most personality factors involved in high morale aren’t consistent across all environments and all sources, except for one factor, risk tolerance. If someone is incapable of accepting risk then courage can’t manifest. Also, again, self control, but that’s already captured in my definition of morale.

    Now the “probably I don’t know” parts. I’d expect anxieties over self-consistency, of whether or not one’s behavior reflects personal identity, plus a strong emotional connection to things related to superego, along with a certain level of heedlessness, of not taking situations seriously, and high mental energy for those in stressful situations. High mental energy in general is required for self control, unless someone is just highly anhedonic.

    The personality traits and the reasoning for possible inclusion needs to be thought of more. For that, just find populations that have in the past shown to be courageous, and find the general factor that connects all of them together. The main ones being, risk acceptance, group acceptance anxiety (not necessarily social anxiety in all its aspects), and self control. Which would lead me to believe it’s closer to superego-ego coherence. Group acceptance anxiety could be restated as prestige anxiety.

    Since some situations are more extreme than others, an instance of courage might become consistent high morale in a person who would not show high morale in every environment. Someone could be demotivated in peace time but show consistent courage in war. Latent factors would probably involved, or perhaps the mental space that war is in motivates in ways that peace time simply doesn’t. Those are some factors.

    I’ve not really said anything interesting or new. Courage as it’s implied in the post is closer to being someone of good character. Honesty, personal integrity, and compliance and acceptance of rules. The only thing required to distinguish good character from courage is to repeat that honesty would inhabit more than verbal honesty, but honesty in action as well. As, if you loved someone then you will be willing to die for him if the situations demands it. To do otherwise would result in mental dissonance.

    • ow says:

      >How capable of self-control a person is and how willing he is to commit to an action

      Kill me. Dangerous action. I even put an an there so I can’t make an excuse.

    • what says:

      Measures for self control could be found, and measures for strength of conviction also could be found. Those two things are probably what contributes most to courage, so figuring out these two things would encompass most of the question of what is courage and how to measure it. Questions like, how is courage maintained, how is mental energy stored and used, how to invoke bursts of energy and how to control its release, are also pertinent questions. The best method for figuring out how much mental energy does a person have is through measuring how long can someone last when physically, or mentally, exhausted. Confounds being, past training and innate physical or mental ability.

      For figuring out honesty, have someone commit a certain amount of reps in a particular exercise and have him rate his RPE, and then measure how closely it resembles his actual point of failure by having him reach failure. This would also be another approximate measure of courage. For strength of conviction, asking a person roundabout questions that approximate the intensity of his belief and intensity of emotion he feels for certain subjects like family, friends, politics, religion, or any other minutia that people tend to feel intense emotions about. Since the nature of the thing itself, of conviction and personal belief, is already subjective, I think the only confound would be the degree of self-awareness and honesty a person has. Which is a massive confound.

      Side step the issue by having other people who know him rate him, it isn’t perfect but it’s better. It’s the same problem that other personality metrics also have. For even greater predictive strength, how well does his self-measurement correspond with his actual activity? Although, with these measurements, I would think that neuroticism would positively correlate with courage, only because the neurotic could potentially be rated higher in terms of strength of conviction only because a neurotic would tend to be more aware of his own feelings, and be more verbal about his feelings, so that even other people would rate him higher in these things.

      I believe physical exertion would correlate most with courage as a personality trait, but it wouldn’t be enlightening in the realm of intellectual pursuits or problems. How well equipped someone is to maintain high morale when faced again intellectual problems would require a different sort of test. A rough test would be to subject someone to playing against a computer in a more intellectually intensive game, let’s say chess, and seeing how long he’s willing to continue playing against an obviously superior opponent. That has its own problems, which are obvious, but the least obvious problem would be how capable someone is within a particular intellectual domain. Someone might be better at strategic games with definite moves and definite objectives, whereas someone could likewise be better at games with poorly defined objects and intensive micro-management. Games with a bias towards one cognitive style will select for those who are most capable of engaging in that particular style of cognition.

      A test that measures courage through how long someone is willing to play against a computer would yield different results than a test that uses a game like toribash.

      Mental energy would only be the potential ability to act courageous, whereas strength of conviction would probably yield actual ability. But the latter is too subjective.

      • what says:

        I also predict testosterone levels to positively correlate with courageousness, only because those with higher testosterone tend to be both stubborn and unwilling to give up when faced against a problem.

        >A test that measures courage through how long someone is willing to play against a computer

        In chess*

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >I’ve not really said anything interesting or new.

      Anything useful I can extract?

      • what says:

        – Courage isn’t recklessness (Already covered in OP)
        – Strength of conviction could probably be the closest approximation to courage rather than willpower
        – Willpower however is necessary for long-term courage (morale)
        – Other things that should be elaborated on but non-essential

        >Measures for self control could be found, and measures for strength of conviction also could be found
        >I believe physical exertion would correlate most with courage as a personality trait
        >How well equipped someone is to maintain high morale when faced again intellectual problems would require a different sort of test

        Figure out what personality traits could lead to the manifestation of courage. For greater clarity separate intellectual courage and physical courage into two distinct categories with distinct skill sets. Primary goal isn’t actually the measurement of courage, but the measurement of morale, as courage could be a one-off anomaly in a person’s life rather than a personality trait.

        • what says:

          Would like to say I’ve started my own blog so I can write my thoughts without it having to be in a comment field. I do not think my thoughts are worth reading, but nonetheless the feeling of talking to a crowd is important to me, as it allows me to feel anxiety over whether or not I’m being coherent. It’s ugly to live out my neurosis in someone else’s blog.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          Thank you for putting in the effort to do that.

  5. bicebicebice says:

    courage is following convictions, yours or others, courage is not confronting a knife wielding maniac robber and getting stabbed just because you came pre-built with that framework, thats lack of unironic self control, evil people and normies are very courageous in this sense because they lack doubt completely.

    heroism is abandoning all comforts to confront the end boss straight away, this is insanity if you are not prepared but do happen cuz you just cant override your pre-built framework ie you were born to react to such feels-so what work did you actually put in except reacting to reactions?!?

    human compulsions are not good or beautiful or even worthy of appraise hence the tabula rasa concept where you are supposed to be born with no pre-existing conditions and just choosing the most difficult path in life because you are a good soul unironically, unfortunately Edenism and genes are real so thats that but then you have the Holy Spirit so theres that too…

    Program a computer program to be courageous and you will instantly understand what the fuck is actually going on…so you see in the end you need a massive purge of evil meaning a genocide and then you need to trim out the weeds of humanity for the rest of eternity, people who advocate for “good”, “courage” or “heroism” aren’t interested in the final solution to dealing with evil or rather the situations that call for good courage and heroism, the entire “debate” or “discussion” quickly becomes infantile and basically you just do the right thing or not in the end, sort of like paganism where you worship magical people and only they could solve problems because magic. and on it goes

    “Yup. Women have higher pain tolerance, for example.
    Lower risk tolerance.” <— thats not true because every woman can die during labor its non-negotiable, also no man would want to move in with a 250 kilo strongman who could kill you with one punch, that scenario is real to women when they move in even with a soyboy

  6. what says:

    >courage is following convictions, yours or others, courage is not confronting a knife wielding maniac robber and getting stabbed just because you came pre-built with that framework

    Fair point, but that’s more along the lines of what is noble rather than what is courageous. Which is, again, fair, since Aeoli is framing courage along the lines of what someone wants to do but may not be willing. Measuring someone’s willingness to commit to stupid acts wouldn’t be the goal, so excluding these examples would be reasonable. Although I suspect these two things, courage and recklessness, would correlate.

    Actions definitely are derived from a pre-built framework, beavers and all that, but the question is for how long are these pre-built frameworks capable of existing? If you periodically destroy a beaver’s dam a few days before its completion, consistently, how long will a beaver continue to build dams for? Think of it like a network of neurons that compel a person to act in a certain way, how long until experience sets in and extinguishes the connections, thus destroying the behavior? How quickly does the network of neurons repair itself, to reengage in previous activities? How often does the network of neurons engage in these activities? Human behavior being deterministic doesn’t negate the initial premise of whether courage can be measured, which I’m sure you understand, in fact it makes the question all the more necessary to ask.

    Although I’ll say that my personal opinion is that God wants the most activity from his children possible, and that evil is what can’t continue. It might not be consistent with christianity, I have no clue, but it would be consistent with God being merciful. It’s merciful to extinguish that which can’t survive his light. This life isn’t meant to be paradise.

    I think the philosophical question of what is courage has been adequately explored in Nicomachean Ethics (book 3, chapter 6-12), given that the concepts that’s been stated so far touches on major themes that Aristotle himself laid out.

  7. bicebicebice says:

    “>what says:
    December 20, 2021 at 12:16 pm”

    I hear you

    “Which is, again, fair, since Aeoli is framing courage along the lines of what someone wants to do but may not be willing.”

    I hear that too

    “Although I’ll say that my personal opinion is that God wants the most activity from his children possible, and that evil is what can’t continue.”

    thats a good take and i’ll take it for now, however “courage” is a bad word and with an added “this is my opinion of it” it becomes even worse and never-ending which is why the Romans got bored with the Greeks and demolished them, that may or may not be relevant to any discussion at all ever and a really triggering thing to say would be that God is finite (he has a plan) and evil is infinite (the bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy)

    Was Jesus Christ Really a courageous person when he was literally the Son of God with the unironic backing of the creator of Everything?come on man

    so you see it never ends, unless as aeoli said “this is my interpretation this time so don’t exceed that boundary” but then you get a corruption of real words and oh shit damn Kokainic was right HERESY IS AFOOT *alerts every town crier and rings every chuch bell*

  8. what says:

    Even the basic premise of people being at all capable of good, and therefore deserving of being called great, is made insulting by the fact that nature dictates so much of a person’s ability to do good, and that nature, while not static, dictates the extent of a person’s malleability.

    I have reservations with engaging in these questions since it’s not related to the OP. Forgive me for being self-indulgent. I don’t know how to reply to this concisely, either, without doing these things a massive injustice.

    >so you see it never ends

    That’s the basic starting point. Sprint as fast as your legs can carry you, explore every space, and deny the premise of there not being a correct answer, as before that can be stated as true the realm of inquiry needs to be fully understood. There are things that can be answered, and within that things that are immediately obvious and things that aren’t, and things that can’t, finding which side of the problem something stands on is the first step to understanding. Even if your lungs are spent of air and your legs incapable of holding your weight, your limits don’t dictate the limits of the possible space that can be explored.

    There are boundaries of thinking that, once completely explored, are pretty obvious in retrospect. Each domain of thought has limitations that dictate what is and isn’t within its sphere, such that a thing can be a thing in itself despite sharing fundamental similarities with other things that are equally real, and equally in themselves. Categorizing an object as a rock sets a boundary between rocks and non-rocks, and boundaries themselves can’t be proven to be really true, outside of accepting an axiom as an axiom. Some things can be proven, but proof requires the acceptance of axioms that in themselves can’t be proven. This is the limit of rational thought.

    Since a rock is made of material, and since all material is equally also made of material, there isn’t a clear distinction between a particular state of matter and another state of matter. But nonetheless the structure of a rock is different from the structure of a chunk of flesh, but at the same time the structures of things within the realm of rocks can also be different. The similarities that objects have in common make them alike, and the distinctions they share with other things do make them different, it’s a question of whether putting a name to things is itself wrong, or whether distinctions and similarities are actually ‘real’. These observations wouldn’t be described outside of a rational beings ability to describe them, but whether a description gives rise to order in things that have no order, or whether things have an order that are merely described, can’t be answered with words alone. Is experience itself real, in a way provable, or do we have to accept that only things that can be experienced by man are real, but can’t be proven? In order to not negate the premise of my own existence I’m forced to accept the latter and be skeptical of the former.

    Not that either are mutually exclusive, the only thing that must be excluded is that words are capable of describing things that aren’t themselves words. The word rock is not a rock, neither is a concept of a rock a rock as a thing in itself. A reality that exists in itself is real, only in the sense that it arrives to me through sensations. Existence hides from sight.

    The entirety of the anatta doctrine follows along this line of thought. Sense impressions have no essence, there is nothing there but deluded contrivances, no existence in itself and nothing in itself that gives it life, other than perhaps the existence of the self, which must also be denied for self-consistency. Experience doesn’t have meaning, essence, or life, and in fact only offers suffering. Buddhism can be denied this basic tenant by offering sense impressions a life that can’t be seen, known, or touched, only rationally pointed to. The self doesn’t exist outside of experience, and although experience itself is only the shapes found through sensation, given by that which it’s not, it nonetheless exists as a thing in itself. It’s likely I’m bastardizing buddhism, but that would imply there’s something I’m not bastardizing.

    The interpretation of anatta as rejecting that which are not in themselves is more interesting and more consistent with western philosophy, which I hold to be more truthful. Read Kant.

    The Tao of Bice is looking in wonder over thoughts, seeing where they fail, and pointing out the contradictions as a fact. Such that, an inconsistency is a consistency, as an inconsistency if consistently so what it is, becomes a consistency. Verbal paradoxes, different from visual ones, not the same as seeing a consistency and inconsistency as defining each other, so that one state is made true by the realization of another.

    I’m drawing on a comment you made in 2018 for the consistency/inconsistency dichotomy.

    In relation to evil, Tao Te Ching chapter 11 answers it pretty concisely. Maybe, as much as Taoism can answer anything. The Christian answer probably lies with the energy-essence distinction, at least as I understand it.

    In relation to philosophy as being never ending, yes I have the same problem. Delusion is so easy to be taken by, so easy to justify, so easy to miss that these things might as well be better left unexplored. Scholars should be beaten and flogged until they stop asking why. At the same time, I think everyone who doesn’t engage with philosophy needs to be beaten, quartered, and their parts made into fertilizer. I was going to quote Nietzche but I can’t find the exact quote in the place I expected it.

    >Was Jesus Christ Really a courageous person when he was literally the Son of God with the unironic backing of the creator of Everything?come on man

    And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mathew 27:46)

    This deserves a more detailed response but I honestly can’t answer it, don’t know how.

    I don’t know enough about the heresy thing to really take sides, but I will say this.
    “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Mathew 10:16)
    ““You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; 41 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (Mathew 5:38-41)
    It’s the same problem as God hardening the pharaoh’s heart. It actually does make angry to think Aeoli could convince himself that God would resort to lying, to resort to such base means, without understanding that it’s the beliefs of men themselves, in their refusal to repent, that justifies the consequences of their actions, and justifies the actions that God does against them. Although that in itself raises problems, but oh my look at how long this post is already…

    • what says:

      I keep meaning to reply directly to Bice but for some reason it consistently gets posted as a separate comment.

    • what says:

      >It actually does make angry to think Aeoli could convince himself that God would resort to lying

      I shouldn’t speak to rashly and so quickly about this. I have doubts over this, I’ll meditate on it.

      • what says:

        The question is more complicated than Aeoli gives it credit, and Koanic, although wrong by the word of the text, is closer to the spirit of the word that is essential to my interpretation of the bible. Mark 2:18-22 is closer to the spirit of the word in this context than Mathew 5:38-41. Koanic is wrong to call Aeoli a heretic, if his interpretation is at all wrong it’s only because it’s too literal. If Aeoli is wrong, then essential teachings of Christianity would not be neglected, therefore regardless of its veracity he isn’t a heretic for this, or even his interpretation of the Bible’s instructional content would not lead him to heresy. Rather, I think it’s immoral to cast the name of heresy on someone so lightly, that’s not good for the community. If he defines heresy as separation with God, everyone is objectively in a state of heresy in some way. Heresy is a very, very, very serious claim.

        Whether Aeoli is wrong, I need to meditate more on, and read both the bible and other people’s interpretation for a complete picture.

        Aeoli claiming God to be a liar is hyperbolic, but it’s one possible interpretation and a very serious one. Christianity would not be true if God wasn’t himself perfect. Him phrasing it as endorsing liars is perhaps more accurate, but it would be wrong to claim God endorses lying in itself. The means do not justify the ends, although it’s proper to accept that certain ends can only be achieved with certain means, and the spirit of man’s action is not made lessened by his imperfection. Which puts into question many things, specifically as it relates to miracles and how it relates to God’s hiddenness.

        I have other comments but those are more petty. I would’ve preferred if I had direct access to Koanic’s response.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Even the basic premise of people being at all capable of good, and therefore deserving of being called great, is made insulting by the fact that nature dictates so much of a person’s ability to do good, and that nature, while not static, dictates the extent of a person’s malleability.

      In the end we only care to predict courageous action in the future, with the internal quality mediated by circumstances being a starter model. For all we know courage is 100% socially mediated or something else relatively unexpected.

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