Making Sense out of Suffering for J Michael
#21
(06-22-2015, 05:48 PM)Estevao Wrote:
(06-22-2015, 03:04 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Well, this is just slander. Even his "enemy" Dr. Feser grants he's a philosopher and praised his most recent book The Experience of God. Not to mention his doctoral thesis is a tour de force. Its still the go to book for me when I want to criticize modernity and post modernity.
He might not be a philosopher in the American sense (but then again, which philosopher can America boast of?), since he doesn't fool around with analytic philosophy and is more of a continental guy.

His style is not for all—though I absolutely love it, in fact, it was his style that first caught my eye.

What's his doctoral thesis, is it "The Beauty of the Infinite"? I tried starting that once after the "Experience of God" but it was a bit too advanced for me.

Yes, its that book. Yes, one must have some notions of both classical and continental philosophy. If you gather up the knowledge along the way try the book once more, it has some good insights.
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#22
(06-22-2015, 03:04 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: (but then again, which philosopher can America boast of?)
Respondeo: Charles Sanders Peirce! I think that's about all though....haha.  :LOL:
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#23
Well, I started reading the problem of pain today.  So far, I definitely like Lewis' style better.  Having read the Kreeft book beforehand I think was helpful to keep in mind the idea that God allows suffering because there is something better that can come from it and because God loves us.  So that brings me to this problem.  Some of the things I suffer, I would gladly renounce whatever good might come from them, whatever it may be and no matter how good it may be, to not have that suffering.  I think about what if the loss is resolved in the next life, should I make it to heaven, would that be good enough?  No, because what causes me the suffering in this life is the loss of it in this life.  Even if it should be restored in the next, it is forever lost to me in this life, where it is most important.  I won't say God can't console that loss, but I honestly don't know how he could.  And if he would in the next, given the circumstances, I don't know why he wouldn't now, or have even let it happen to begin with.  But now, reading Lewis, I'm considering the possibility that, not only did God allow it because of free will (others, not mine), but because he sees something better can come from it and, specifically, that his love necessitates it (i.e., there never was any other way).  With that in mind, I'm sickened by the possibility and really tempted to completely and officially reject God's love forever.  The Eastern idea that heaven and hell are the same place really makes more sense to me now.  Heaven is just as much a raging inferno as Hell, if they are truly places of physical fire.  The fire is God's love, and whether you experience that love as joy or torment determines which place you are in.  The possibility that my particular suffering is necessary because of God's love for me exponentially increases the torment and despair that the suffering causes.  I'm definitely the person Kreeft mentioned that is driven to bitterness by suffering, instead of heroism.
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#24
(06-22-2015, 11:17 PM)Melkite Wrote: Well, I started reading the problem of pain today.  So far, I definitely like Lewis' style better.  Having read the Kreeft book beforehand I think was helpful to keep in mind the idea that God allows suffering because there is something better that can come from it and because God loves us.  So that brings me to this problem.  Some of the things I suffer, I would gladly renounce whatever good might come from them, whatever it may be and no matter how good it may be, to not have that suffering.  I think about what if the loss is resolved in the next life, should I make it to heaven, would that be good enough?  No, because what causes me the suffering in this life is the loss of it in this life.  Even if it should be restored in the next, it is forever lost to me in this life, where it is most important.  I won't say God can't console that loss, but I honestly don't know how he could.  And if he would in the next, given the circumstances, I don't know why he wouldn't now, or have even let it happen to begin with.  But now, reading Lewis, I'm considering the possibility that, not only did God allow it because of free will (others, not mine), but because he sees something better can come from it and, specifically, that his love necessitates it (i.e., there never was any other way).  With that in mind, I'm sickened by the possibility and really tempted to completely and officially reject God's love forever.  The Eastern idea that heaven and hell are the same place really makes more sense to me now.  Heaven is just as much a raging inferno as Hell, if they are truly places of physical fire.  The fire is God's love, and whether you experience that love as joy or torment determines which place you are in.  The possibility that my particular suffering is necessary because of God's love for me exponentially increases the torment and despair that the suffering causes.  I'm definitely the person Kreeft mentioned that is driven to bitterness by suffering, instead of heroism.

On an existential level, I can understand where you are coming from, because at times I am tempted to bitterness as well. But I keep this in mind: Either God is good, or he isn't. If he is good, then any suffering he allows in my life is for my own good, especially my highest good which eternity in heaven. Thus, if God who is who I believe him to be, then I really need this suffering in order to get to that highest good. Now, you further seem concerned with the idea that whatever loss we suffer in this life cannot be made up for in the next because it is a loss in this life. But I think that that objection rests on a faulty understanding of the good of the next life. The goodness of God is so blindingly, brilliantly infinite that it is a good that, in a sense, cannot help but overcome and blot out all loss, regardless the life in which the life occurred.
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#25
(06-23-2015, 09:47 AM)Papist Wrote: On an existential level, I can understand where you are coming from, because at times I am tempted to bitterness as well. But I keep this in mind: Either God is good, or he isn't. If he is good, then any suffering he allows in my life is for my own good, especially my highest good which eternity in heaven. Thus, if God who is who I believe him to be, then I really need this suffering in order to get to that highest good. Now, you further seem concerned with the idea that whatever loss we suffer in this life cannot be made up for in the next because it is a loss in this life. But I think that that objection rests on a faulty understanding of the good of the next life. The goodness of God is so blindingly, brilliantly infinite that it is a good that, in a sense, cannot help but overcome and blot out all loss, regardless the life in which the life occurred.

This is why it becomes exponentially more of a torment for me.  The only thing that mitigates the suffering, and even then, only a little, is the hope that the cause is at least not eternal.  But if the suffering is necessary because of God's love, that hope can only be turned to despair.  I'm not willing to forget what I could have had in this life, even if heaven is unimaginably greater.  If God is all good, then the suffering is not necessary for me to be good, but to be better for some reason.  If God were to not allow the suffering, I might not be as good as he wanted, but I would still be something, and perfectly, good, because an all good God can only make good things.  I think a big part of the reason this is so hard for me is that I'm not easily swayed by bigger and better things.  What need do I have for an amazing heaven if I'm perfectly content with a simple earth?  And if a perfect life on earth would leave me perfectly content, then my becoming better through suffering is not in anyway for my benefit, but for God's.  While it makes sense, I think this makes it more obvious, and that we don't really think about it that often, that God loves himself more than he loves us, and ultimately we are not his prime concern.
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#26
Dearest Melkite,

A few thoughts and questions, in no particular order, from having read your previous 2 posts:

1.  Just what are these insufferable sufferings that afflict you so badly that you are so willing to surrender an eternity of true happiness and even bliss with God for a few years of "comfort" here on Earth?  Sounds rather Faustian to me--just substitute Faust's desire for knowledge with your desire for "comfort and freedom from suffering", and...Bingo!  Feel free to either pm me about it or, if appropriate, tell me, as my son once put it to me about another matter, that "It's none of your damn Yankee business!" :)

2. "God loves himself more than he loves us, and ultimately we are not his prime concern." (and a couple of other sentences you wrote...) And just how do you KNOW this?  How can you, a creature, know the mind and thoughts and priorities of Him who created you?  Can the sculpture know the mind and intentions of the sculptor??  Apart from what God has already revealed to us, how can you know His mind and His concerns and who He loves how much?

3.  How can you even begin to pretend to know what you "could have had in  this life"??

4.  I've read/heard this in many different places, and think it may well apply to you (and all of us, for that matter):  A person suffering from _______ asks God (or whoever might be listening), "Why me?"  The answer is, "Why not?"  Or, as someone once told me, "Put on your big boy pants and cowboy up!!" 

5.  What is a "perfect life on Earth"?  What is "perfect contentment"?  How would you know them if you had them?  Before you answer that, take a good look around you.

6.  You're not willing to suffer for some greater good, one that you may not even know of?  Did your mother not suffer birth pangs to bring you into the world?  Or, do you hate her for doing so?  Did your parents not suffer your dirty diapers, your vomit, your messy eating, your temper tantrums, your teenage hormones to do, in spite of all their own failings, their best for you to become a good man?  Did your parents not sacrifice time and money on you that they could have used for more fun things, for things that might have made them more "happy" and "content"?

And, finally...
7.  What are the good things in your life?  What has God blessed you with so far?  For what are you thankful?

Forgive me for being a little (or a lot  :)) blunt or harsh--I'm still learning tact and diplomacy.  Just imagine what I was like 40-50 years ago  :grin: :O :grin:!

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#27
(06-23-2015, 03:19 PM)J Michael Wrote: Dearest Melkite,

A few thoughts and questions, in no particular order, from having read your previous 2 posts:

1.  Just what are these insufferable sufferings that afflict you so badly that you are so willing to surrender an eternity of true happiness and even bliss with God for a few years of "comfort" here on Earth?  Sounds rather Faustian to me--just substitute Faust's desire for knowledge with your desire for "comfort and freedom from suffering", and...Bingo!  Feel free to either pm me about it or, if appropriate, tell me, as my son once put it to me about another matter, that "It's none of your damn Yankee business!" :)

2. "God loves himself more than he loves us, and ultimately we are not his prime concern." (and a couple of other sentences you wrote...) And just how do you KNOW this?  How can you, a creature, know the mind and thoughts and priorities of Him who created you?  Can the sculpture know the mind and intentions of the sculptor??  Apart from what God has already revealed to us, how can you know His mind and His concerns and who He loves how much?

3.  How can you even begin to pretend to know what you "could have had in  this life"??

4.  I've read/heard this in many different places, and think it may well apply to you (and all of us, for that matter):  A person suffering from _______ asks God (or whoever might be listening), "Why me?"  The answer is, "Why not?"  Or, as someone once told me, "Put on your big boy pants and cowboy up!!" 

5.  What is a "perfect life on Earth"?  What is "perfect contentment"?  How would you know them if you had them?  Before you answer that, take a good look around you.

6.  You're not willing to suffer for some greater good, one that you may not even know of?  Did your mother not suffer birth pangs to bring you into the world?  Or, do you hate her for doing so?  Did your parents not suffer your dirty diapers, your vomit, your messy eating, your temper tantrums, your teenage hormones to do, in spite of all their own failings, their best for you to become a good man?  Did your parents not sacrifice time and money on you that they could have used for more fun things, for things that might have made them more "happy" and "content"?

And, finally...
7.  What are the good things in your life?  What has God blessed you with so far?  For what are you thankful?

Forgive me for being a little (or a lot  :)) blunt or harsh--I'm still learning tact and diplomacy.  Just imagine what I was like 40-50 years ago  :grin: :O :grin:!
Wisdom, be attentive!
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#28
(06-23-2015, 03:19 PM)J Michael Wrote: 1.  Just what are these insufferable sufferings that afflict you so badly that you are so willing to surrender an eternity of true happiness and even bliss with God for a few years of "comfort" here on Earth?  Sounds rather Faustian to me--just substitute Faust's desire for knowledge with your desire for "comfort and freedom from suffering", and...Bingo!  Feel free to either pm me about it or, if appropriate, tell me, as my son once put it to me about another matter, that "It's none of your damn Yankee business!" :)

Don't laugh.  This isn't news for some people because I've talked about this before.  I hate that I'm circumcised.  I hate that God allowed someone else to physically alter how God designed me to naturally be.  I hate that God commanded it of the Jews.  I hate that with one quick "yes" from someone else, my physical wholeness was obliterated and there is absolutely nothing I can ever do to change it.  I hate that I am permanently a prisoner to someone else's will for my body.  I hate that when I beg, scream and cry for God to undo this, he says no.  I hate that even if he were to say yes, he would not re-write history, so the first 34 years of being uncircumcised are still lost to me forever, even if he were to miraculously heal me right this very second.  I hate that the circumstances make it seem not like a plan of God, but a random accident of history that he had no great enough care to stop - that it's really only in America now, and only ever in the English-speaking world, that Christian men had their genitals mutilated; that I just happened to be born about 5 years too early to be born in the downswing of circumcision in America; that whatever possibly makes it better for me to be circumcised than uncircumcised, must be true for almost every other American man yet is not true of virtually every other non-Muslim man in the world; that modern circumcision is clearly an act of an ignorant man, not of an omniscient God.

Quote:2. "God loves himself more than he loves us, and ultimately we are not his prime concern." (and a couple of other sentences you wrote...) And just how do you KNOW this?  How can you, a creature, know the mind and thoughts and priorities of Him who created you?  Can the sculpture know the mind and intentions of the sculptor??  Apart from what God has already revealed to us, how can you know His mind and His concerns and who He loves how much?

I can know this from logic.  Circumcision is plainly unnatural.  If it were God's will for me to be circumcised, he would have made me that way.  He would not have designed and encoded in every single male born on this earth the DNA to be uncircumcised if it were not his will.  He tolerates a massive-scale violation of his will and does not stop it.  Either he is deistic in nature, or he intervenes in nature, he deems this massive violation not worthy of his intervention.  He will rain down fire and brimstone on a city because the men, having rejected nature, enjoy buggering each other, yet will do nothing to destroy an entire culture that rejects his designs for our nature.  If it is because he knows something better can be brought about by it and it is out of love for us that he allows it, then we, alone in the Christian world, have something so flawed in us that demands genital mutilation, and that the rest of the Christian world does not have wrong with them and so it is better for them to remain as God designed them.  If, knowing the few of us who realize what has been lost, are devastated by this fact and are willing to accept the goodness, even the lesser goodness, of remaining as God made us, and yet God says no because he loves us and wants us to be better, then logically it can only be because God loves himself more than he loves us.  It is the very nature of love to sacrifice your own will, willingly, for your beloved.  It is logically impossible that being uncircumcised is anything but good, otherwise God would never have designed us this way.  So it's not a question of a good versus a bad, it's a question of one definite good (being uncircumcised) and one possible good (whatever God sees as good coming through the evil of circumcision).  Therefore, if God is unwilling to sacrifice his will for our better self, in order for us to have a possibly less, but still absolutely good self, logically it can only be because God loves himself more than us, and us not enough to sacrifice his will for us when doing so will not harm us but only relieve our pain.

Quote:3.  How can you even begin to pretend to know what you "could have had in  this life"??

By looking at the experiences of uncircumcised men.
Quote:4.  I've read/heard this in many different places, and think it may well apply to you (and all of us, for that matter):  A person suffering from _______ asks God (or whoever might be listening), "Why me?"  The answer is, "Why not?"  Or, as someone once told me, "Put on your big boy pants and cowboy up!!"

Well, why anyone else?  Why only Americans?  50 years ago, why only English-speakers?  Why South Koreans?  The answer is purely man-made culture, nothing to do with God at all.

Respectfully, if a woman who has had her genitals mutilated is upset about it, would you tell her to put on her big girl pants and pony up?  Please, think about that honestly before you answer.

Quote:5.  What is a "perfect life on Earth"?  What is "perfect contentment"?  How would you know them if you had them?  Before you answer that, take a good look around you.

Well, I don't know what the perfect life would be, but I believe perfect contentment with a simple earth is just that, to be content with everything in one's physical surroundings.  I don't want the mind-blowing, eternal and unending orgasm of heaven that I don't know, when I know how beautiful the ocean and the trees and the singing treefrogs and the sunsets and thunderstorms and all the stars in the sky are.  The beauty of Nature is the closest I've ever experienced to perfect contentment.  I would be completely satisfied just to have that in perfection.  If heaven means I have to lose the earth, then I gladly renounce any claim to heaven.  Send me to limbo if there is such a place.

Quote: 6.  You're not willing to suffer for some greater good, one that you may not even know of?  Did your mother not suffer birth pangs to bring you into the world?  Or, do you hate her for doing so?  Did your parents not suffer your dirty diapers, your vomit, your messy eating, your temper tantrums, your teenage hormones to do, in spite of all their own failings, their best for you to become a good man?  Did your parents not sacrifice time and money on you that they could have used for more fun things, for things that might have made them more "happy" and "content"?

I don't know what the first sentence of this paragraph has to do with the rest of the paragraph.  Would I be willing to suffer for some greater good?  It depends on the suffering.  I've thought about how much being circumcised cause me mental anguish, and I've come to the conclusion that whatever greater good might come from my being circumcised, I don't want it if being circumcised is the price.  I say that, having imagined the most incredible things that I can possibly imagine (and I have a very active imagination), knowing that I cannot possibly come close to imagining what good God can bring about, and even considering the possibility that God would show me the good that would have come from circumcision and that I had lost that if he re-wrote history, something so good I would be devastated having chosen uncircumcision over this good if I were to know what it was, I would still gladly renounce that good, if circumcision is its price.  I.  Do.  Not.  Want.  It.

Quote:7.  What are the good things in your life?  What has God blessed you with so far?  For what are you thankful?

I'm thankful for my framily.  I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with them.  I'm thankful for my two beautiful godchildren, and number three on the way (I may not be a godfather again, but I'll at least get to be an uncle again!)  I'm thankful for their laughs and their uncontrollable giggles and the huge smiles on their faces every time I come through their door and camping and bonfires and music and the sky and the stars and the ocean and the waves and the sand between my toes and crabfeasts with lots of beer and corn on the cob and, well, crabs and the old bay-encrusted cardboard boxes they come in and clouds and the sunshine and cool autumn breezes  and leaves changing and blazing autumn sunsets and hot summer thunderstorms and barbecues and woodsmoke and the renaissance festival and blizzards piling snow so high that all civilization except the Irish pub down the street comes to a stand-still for a few days and I know where you're going with this... 

Would I give up all of that to be uncircumcised?  No, I wouldn't consider it for a second.  Would I give up even one of those things?  No, I wouldn't consider it for a second.  I shouldn't have to.  None of those things necessitate my circumcision.  Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of uncircumcised men are doing the exact same things and circumcision was never required of them.  If God would demand those from me, or even any one of them, in order to regain something he willed for me to begin with, something I was supposed to be, and something hundreds of millions still are, then on the last day I will gladly hurl myself, without hesitation, into the lake of fire because, as great and unspeakable a torment for all eternity as that place would be, it would be soft and sweet in comparison to even one moment trapped in the presence of that God.
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#29
(06-23-2015, 07:47 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(06-23-2015, 03:19 PM)J Michael Wrote: 1.  Just what are these insufferable sufferings that afflict you so badly that you are so willing to surrender an eternity of true happiness and even bliss with God for a few years of "comfort" here on Earth?  Sounds rather Faustian to me--just substitute Faust's desire for knowledge with your desire for "comfort and freedom from suffering", and...Bingo!  Feel free to either pm me about it or, if appropriate, tell me, as my son once put it to me about another matter, that "It's none of your damn Yankee business!" :)

Don't laugh.  This isn't news for some people because I've talked about this before.  I hate that I'm circumcised.  I hate that God allowed someone else to physically alter how God designed me to naturally be.  I hate that God commanded it of the Jews.  I hate that with one quick "yes" from someone else, my physical wholeness was obliterated and there is absolutely nothing I can ever do to change it.  I hate that I am permanently a prisoner to someone else's will for my body.  I hate that when I beg, scream and cry for God to undo this, he says no.  I hate that even if he were to say yes, he would not re-write history, so the first 34 years of being uncircumcised are still lost to me forever, even if he were to miraculously heal me right this very second.  I hate that the circumstances make it seem not like a plan of God, but a random accident of history that he had no great enough care to stop - that it's really only in America now, and only ever in the English-speaking world, that Christian men had their genitals mutilated; that I just happened to be born about 5 years too early to be born in the downswing of circumcision in America; that whatever possibly makes it better for me to be circumcised than uncircumcised, must be true for almost every other American man yet is not true of virtually every other non-Muslim man in the world; that modern circumcision is clearly an act of an ignorant man, not of an omniscient God.

Quote:2. "God loves himself more than he loves us, and ultimately we are not his prime concern." (and a couple of other sentences you wrote...) And just how do you KNOW this?  How can you, a creature, know the mind and thoughts and priorities of Him who created you?  Can the sculpture know the mind and intentions of the sculptor??  Apart from what God has already revealed to us, how can you know His mind and His concerns and who He loves how much?

I can know this from logic.  Circumcision is plainly unnatural.  If it were God's will for me to be circumcised, he would have made me that way.  He would not have designed and encoded in every single male born on this earth the DNA to be uncircumcised if it were not his will.  He tolerates a massive-scale violation of his will and does not stop it.  Either he is deistic in nature, or he intervenes in nature, he deems this massive violation not worthy of his intervention.  He will rain down fire and brimstone on a city because the men, having rejected nature, enjoy buggering each other, yet will do nothing to destroy an entire culture that rejects his designs for our nature.  If it is because he knows something better can be brought about by it and it is out of love for us that he allows it, then we, alone in the Christian world, have something so flawed in us that demands genital mutilation, and that the rest of the Christian world does not have wrong with them and so it is better for them to remain as God designed them.  If, knowing the few of us who realize what has been lost, are devastated by this fact and are willing to accept the goodness, even the lesser goodness, of remaining as God made us, and yet God says no because he loves us and wants us to be better, then logically it can only be because God loves himself more than he loves us.  It is the very nature of love to sacrifice your own will, willingly, for your beloved.  It is logically impossible that being uncircumcised is anything but good, otherwise God would never have designed us this way.  So it's not a question of a good versus a bad, it's a question of one definite good (being uncircumcised) and one possible good (whatever God sees as good coming through the evil of circumcision).  Therefore, if God is unwilling to sacrifice his will for our better self, in order for us to have a possibly less, but still absolutely good self, logically it can only be because God loves himself more than us, and us not enough to sacrifice his will for us when doing so will not harm us but only relieve our pain.

Quote:3.  How can you even begin to pretend to know what you "could have had in  this life"??

By looking at the experiences of uncircumcised men.
Quote:4.  I've read/heard this in many different places, and think it may well apply to you (and all of us, for that matter):  A person suffering from _______ asks God (or whoever might be listening), "Why me?"  The answer is, "Why not?"  Or, as someone once told me, "Put on your big boy pants and cowboy up!!"

Well, why anyone else?  Why only Americans?  50 years ago, why only English-speakers?  Why South Koreans?  The answer is purely man-made culture, nothing to do with God at all.

Respectfully, if a woman who has had her genitals mutilated is upset about it, would you tell her to put on her big girl pants and pony up?  Please, think about that honestly before you answer.

Quote:5.  What is a "perfect life on Earth"?  What is "perfect contentment"?  How would you know them if you had them?  Before you answer that, take a good look around you.

Well, I don't know what the perfect life would be, but I believe perfect contentment with a simple earth is just that, to be content with everything in one's physical surroundings.  I don't want the mind-blowing, eternal and unending orgasm of heaven that I don't know, when I know how beautiful the ocean and the trees and the singing treefrogs and the sunsets and thunderstorms and all the stars in the sky are.  The beauty of Nature is the closest I've ever experienced to perfect contentment.  I would be completely satisfied just to have that in perfection.  If heaven means I have to lose the earth, then I gladly renounce any claim to heaven.  Send me to limbo if there is such a place.

Quote: 6.  You're not willing to suffer for some greater good, one that you may not even know of?  Did your mother not suffer birth pangs to bring you into the world?  Or, do you hate her for doing so?  Did your parents not suffer your dirty diapers, your vomit, your messy eating, your temper tantrums, your teenage hormones to do, in spite of all their own failings, their best for you to become a good man?  Did your parents not sacrifice time and money on you that they could have used for more fun things, for things that might have made them more "happy" and "content"?

I don't know what the first sentence of this paragraph has to do with the rest of the paragraph.  Would I be willing to suffer for some greater good?  It depends on the suffering.  I've thought about how much being circumcised cause me mental anguish, and I've come to the conclusion that whatever greater good might come from my being circumcised, I don't want it if being circumcised is the price.  I say that, having imagined the most incredible things that I can possibly imagine (and I have a very active imagination), knowing that I cannot possibly come close to imagining what good God can bring about, and even considering the possibility that God would show me the good that would have come from circumcision and that I had lost that if he re-wrote history, something so good I would be devastated having chosen uncircumcision over this good if I were to know what it was, I would still gladly renounce that good, if circumcision is its price.  I.  Do.  Not.  Want.  It.

Quote:7.  What are the good things in your life?  What has God blessed you with so far?  For what are you thankful?

I'm thankful for my framily.  I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with them.  I'm thankful for my two beautiful godchildren, and number three on the way (I may not be a godfather again, but I'll at least get to be an uncle again!)  I'm thankful for their laughs and their uncontrollable giggles and the huge smiles on their faces every time I come through their door and camping and bonfires and music and the sky and the stars and the ocean and the waves and the sand between my toes and crabfeasts with lots of beer and corn on the cob and, well, crabs and the old bay-encrusted cardboard boxes they come in and clouds and the sunshine and cool autumn breezes  and leaves changing and blazing autumn sunsets and hot summer thunderstorms and barbecues and woodsmoke and the renaissance festival and blizzards piling snow so high that all civilization except the Irish pub down the street comes to a stand-still for a few days and I know where you're going with this... 

Would I give up all of that to be uncircumcised?  No, I wouldn't consider it for a second.  Would I give up even one of those things?  No, I wouldn't consider it for a second.  I shouldn't have to.  None of those things necessitate my circumcision.  Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of uncircumcised men are doing the exact same things and circumcision was never required of them.  If God would demand those from me, or even any one of them, in order to regain something he willed for me to begin with, something I was supposed to be, and something hundreds of millions still are, then on the last day I will gladly hurl myself, without hesitation, into the lake of fire because, as great and unspeakable a torment for all eternity as that place would be, it would be soft and sweet in comparison to even one moment trapped in the presence of that God.

Really??  That's it??? I'm not laughing, not at all.  I am, however, stunned, and for better or worse, I'm going to spew out the first few things that come to my mind.  You might not like them (remember how diplomatic and tactful I can be?  :LOL:), so if you don't want to read it, I'll leave some space and you can just skip over it:



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1.  Get over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You know...GET.OVER.IT!  Knock it off with the "poor me, my penis has been 'deformed', and knock it off with what seems now to me to be pseudo-intellectualizing about it!  If it's really that traumatic for you, then I seriously would recommend you find and stick with a good therapist.

2. Stop spending so much time and energy focusing on the shape and makeup of your penis!  There's far, FAR more to life than that, trust me!!

3. Millions, no...probably billions of men have been circumcised.  So what?  Abraham was circumcised, without benefit of a mohel or a surgeon, and at the ripe old age of 99, and Ishmael at the age of 13!  Be grateful and consider yourself blessed that you weren't circumcised as an adult, in primitive conditions as they were!

4.  If that's the biggest cross you will have to bear in your life, then consider yourself enormously blessed and lucky!!!

And, finally...
5.  Get over it.  You are no less a man for having been circumcised, but you would not necessarily be any "better" of man had you not been.


And, just so you know, I love and respect you anyway.
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#30
I love and respect you as well.  So please, understand it's not personal when I say I long for the day your generation is gone from the earth.
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