The Ineffability of God's Will

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Tiassa, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Ineffability of God's Will

    This week, a Melbourne, Australia church youth leader pled guilty to five charges derived from a brutal sexual attack against a fourteen year-old girl. Michael Hermogenes, 25, intoxicated the young woman, strangled her with her stockings, raped her, and then set her body and the house on fire.

    He has pled guilty to rape, production of child pornography, attempted murder, arson, and theft.

    His attorney, Peter Chadwick, said Hermogenes is very remorseful, and begged Justice Paul Coghlan to not hand down a "crushing" sentence against his young client.

    While Hermogenes had pled guilty, he also blamed his actions on "sexual demons". That is, he's really, really sorry, but it's not his fault. It was the demons.

    So, you know, the court shouldn't be too mad at Hermogenes. Don't give him a crushing sentence. It's not his fault he's crushed this young woman's life such that over half her body was seriously burned, and even after twelve months in hospital—including a month induced to coma—she cannot eat, or even stand without help.

    Blame the demons. Crush them.

    But go easy on the human vessel of this brutality. It's not his fault.

    Whatever else this horrific crime brings to mind, I'm curious about the religious aspect.

    The Supreme Court was today told that Michael Tuano Hermogenes, 25, suffocated the girl at her home in Caroline Springs in May last year with her stockings after plying her with alcohol.

    Crown prosecutor Andrew Grant said that after Hermogenes made the girl unconscious, he raped her and took her body to the bathroom.

    He piled her clothes nearby and went to buy petrol, which he then poured over the girl and around the house.

    Hermogenes set the girl and the house on fire after taking photos of her while she was naked and unconscious.

    Mr Grant said Hermogenes put the girl's mobile phone, laptop and the home phone on the stove and used aerosols around the house in an attempt to make the fire larger.


    This is what God wants. That is, God certainly did nothing to prevent it. Or, perhaps, the young woman ought to be thankful to God for her condition, since she's not, you know, dead.

    But in the long history we know as theology, much has been made about the Alpha and Omega, the monotheistic ultimate reality, the Big Guy In Charge. God is omniscient, except he doesn't know certain things. God is omnipotent, except He can't do certain things.

    The answer to these conflicts, of course, all comes down to the fact that life is, and if God took evil out of the world—it's not that He can't, or else that would mean parts of Creation exceed his authority—life wouldn't be the same.

    Thus, God has a purpose in allowing suffering to continue.

    Now, then: What was God's purpose in the rape, brutalization, and maiming of a fourteen year-old girl?

    This is the ineffability of God's Will.

    Don't get me started on God's love.


    Lowe, Adrian. "Suffocated, raped and set alight: church leader blames 'sexual demons'". The Age. June 20, 2011. June 20, 2011.
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  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    So it probably isn't demons, but we can't rule out that his urges didn't feel like demons, like they were coming from somewhere outside himself. There could very well be certain biological causes of this feeling.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (Insert title here)

    Well, sure. That's more an EM&J proposition, though. I'm actually trying to set that aside long enough to figure out the theological implications.

    Much of faith is transmitted from one generation to the next according to informal methods. I would even go so far as to propose that much of faith has become an arrangement of platitudes.

    In my own youth, even I was told much about God's will, His omniscience, and His omnipotence.

    Over the years, the faithful have invented some pretty creative exceptions in order to carry on believing in these things.

    Every once in a while, I feel the urge to check in, and see if people have gotten over that sort of silliness.

    In doing so, it is sometimes useful to contrast the proposition with a seemingly repugnant outcome.
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  7. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Calling them demons is one way to try to dodge responsibility...
    There is a problem with a religion that teaches you that you can be possessed by demons.

    Because...mostly, what those really are is impulses that are unacceptable to the conscious mind.
    The thing is, the more you shove said impulses down and deny to yourself you have them...the stronger and more dangerous they get.
    The thing to do with your internal monsters is manage them, and that means fully acknowledging them and monitoring them closely.

    Exorcising does not occur.
    The best one can do is transmute the destructive energy into something you'd rather have it do...with a lot of work. And so this idea of possession from outside does people a great disservice.

    I fell away from Christianity in my early teens. And one of the reasons for so doing, if not the primary one, was the extreme hypocrisy I saw in Christians-the ones where I live. They are mean as dirt in many cases.

    But that's the sort of thing you'd expect to see around here..."A demon made me do it!"
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Divine Exercise in Futility

    Theologically, however, such outcomes do God a great service of some sort. I'm trying to figure out what it is.

    Maybe He is trying to learn. You know, and this just wasn't the best way to go about it.

    Oh, right. Omniscience. We can just call this another one of those exceptions, though. Right? That's how the theology works, right? God knows all, except what He doesn't, but that doesn't mean God doesn't know all.

    Well ... okay, right, but ... let's grant them that in a specific context. Okay, so it was demons. God did nothing to intervene. God is ultimately responsible for all that occurs within the scope of His Creation.

    So ... what, exactly, did God get out of this?

    I mean, was this young woman destined to be a Queen of Evil, an extinctor of God's glory? And the nearest thing to hand in stopping her was her youth pastor, who could only strangle, rape, and burn her? I suppose it's cleaner than sending a satan to adjust the path of a comet or asteroid, right? And since the biblical-scale floods in Australia this year didn't get her, God needed to try something a little more direct?

    Or ... um ... something like that, I guess.

    I mean, I get it: People are often going to blame whatever they can in order to escape accountability. But what, exactly, are the implications of those pathetic excuses?

    I mean, you might as well look at the suicide bomber and say, "Whatever, man, but remember that God put your people under the oppressive boot. I'm sure He has His reasons."

    Which, of course, leads us back to the idea that God will bless a conception, pregnancy, and birth just so someone can grow up to be raped and maimed in order to serve His purposes, or blow themselves and other people up for His pleasure.

    Maybe the whole point of it is to make God look so terrible that the faithful will finally say, "You know what, God? Fuck you!" You know, disgust them until they no longer want to lean on Him like a crutch.

    Except, apparently, God willed that they should not understand.

    The ineffability of God's will is an exercise in futility.
  9. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    I see. Well, if it's demons, then he has no responsibility for the crime. But you never hear a religious person say that. He could still be responsible for allowing the demons in, probably by having sinful thoughts.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Insights of Faith

    That, I think, is why we need some insight from the faithful on this one. It is only by selective and inconsistent theology that the demons operate outside God's will.
  11. Rav Valued Senior Member

    That's a real piece of wisdom right there.
  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    You, ah, done your mindless poking yet? Those darn faithful, all conjuring up ineffable demons. Thank Myuu no one's made the leap to group them all together into one ineffable group.

    Oh, wait.
  13. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Have you just discovered that theism isn't logically consistent?
  14. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    i don't think that demons operate outside god's will. i also think that people are responsible for inviting particular spiritual entities into their lives and entertaining them. what kills me is how so many people don't have a problem with sin and with evil until it's taken to an extreme. well, i think that even when not taken to what we perceive as an extreme, it's cumulative effects over time affect us all terribly.

    i think god wants us to know (experience and witness) how bad it can be so we can learn something and make choices.

    also, i do think that god will rid the world of evil, or at least segregate good from evil, based on those choices. that's what i understand the concepts of heaven and hell to be, that extrapolation of good and evil. also, the kingdom of christ is a segregation of good from evil on earth.
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Ironically enough, a similar scenario comes to bear with a reductionist view of personality - "It's my dna/chemicals that made me do it"

    So we have two view points
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  16. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Thanks. I keep my inner psycho a$$hole on a tight chokechain these days. He nearly broke up my marriage when I wasn't looking.

    I just don't think there's any one deity in they're approximately as disorganized as we are.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  17. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    the devil made Me do it > It is Evil , the devil must have provoked it . Satan is the Great Scape Goat . Jesus put all the sins of the world on de devil . Scape Goat for Jesus too . I think it was Helen White writings that said that
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    God is an asshole, and other notes

    Even if that wasn't a petulant dodge on your part, one thing we can note is that the DNA proposition can at least be tested scientifically.

    ∴ Understanding the relationship of God to a cosmos that suffers is impossible as long as we refuse to accept that we are intended by the fact of our material creation to be miserable.

    I mean, that's fine with me. I don't object to the philosophical proposition that human beings exist specifically in order to suffer.

    But God, then, is an asshole, and has nobody to blame but Itself that human beings are capable of recognizing an asshole.

    What else do you say of a God who creates a person specifically to suffer in such a way, for Its own satisfaction?

    I have to admit, it's a creative argument you suggest.

    • • •​

    Could you please apply that principle to the young woman described in the topic post?
  19. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    sure. hearing that story makes an impression on me, about how dangerous lust is. it creates a negative association which changes my mind and changes my own behavior.

    but from what i can tell, unfortunately a lot of people either don't get it, or don't care. i hear people on this forum argue all the time about how lust is such a wonderful and/or harmless thing.

    they're obviously wrong.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    as if there is a (scientific) consensus on how dna affects behaviour

    who said anything about humans?
    we are talking about the material world, per se, as sphere of existence.
    never mind that the material world is precisely intended for assholes, huh?

    so if you suddenly wake up one day and discover the extent of your assholiness, you have no other option but to continue being an asshole?
    (please don't say you have the dna of an asshole and can't do anything about it ...)
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Not at all - as long as that same religion teaches you how to deal with them.

    And some religions - such as Buddhism - do teach that a person can be possessed by demons, but they also teach what to do in such a case.
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I'm afraid that as long as you don't explain to him about the five factors of action, and he accepts that as reasonable, the two of you will be stuck.
  23. Adstar Valued Senior Member

    What an emotional rant.

    Once mankind got the knowledge of Good and Evil things like this have happened down through human history. God will allow people with free will to attempt to do as they please, just as this man did to this girl. We are seeing more and more of this as the world comes closer and closer to the great tribulation.

    All Praise The Ancient Of Days

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