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Old 15th July 2021, 01:56 PM   #1
wasapi
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This really made me angry.

I was on another forum, either Quora or Reddit, and was reading comments about the condo collapse. Someone posted that she had located her cat after several days, and had already given up looking for him. When she found him, he had crawled into a small space that wound up protecting him. Lots of tears when she and the cat were reunited. OK.

Then I started to read the comments. Several people told her that it was "proof" that "everyone has a "guardian angel"! And it was the guardian angel that reunited the cat with his owner.

I think I had steam coming out of my nostrils. So, apparently all of the other pets and people that did die, or the people who were never reunited with their pets, begs the question - where were their guardian angels? Tied up in traffic? Taking a day off?

OK, I have vented. Thanks!
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Old 15th July 2021, 02:03 PM   #2
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They never think it through but when they do they say something stupid like God has a plan and we don't/can't know what it is.

I am no less angry.
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Old 15th July 2021, 02:08 PM   #3
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I don't believe in such things, personally. I also don't get angry over those who do.
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Old 15th July 2021, 03:33 PM   #4
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It does make me angry.

The idea I'm asked to believe is this: God or his subordinate angels couldn't be assed to save little children dying in terror and pain, because of being too busy with saving one guy's cat. (Not to mention, busy fixing football games, fixing music awards, finding someone's keys, etc.)

And to put it into perspective, a child under 5 years old dies every 6 seconds or so. Before you've finished reading this paragraph, one or two will have died.

Half of those, so about 5 per minute, die in their first month of life. So it's not like they could have even done anything to deserve it. They can't even commit the thought crimes that are the seven deadly sins, because their brain and mental model aren't able to yet.

Also, out of all those dead children, every 15 minutes or so, one dies as a direct result of violence.

But nope, God and angels can't be assed to save those. Finding someone's cat is more important, apparently.

I mean, I love cats as much as the next guy or gal, but... WHAT THE HELL?
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Old 15th July 2021, 04:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The idea I'm asked to believe is this: God or his subordinate angels couldn't be assed to save little children dying in terror and pain, because of being too busy with saving one guy's cat.
Not...really? You're asked to believe that God chose to save one guy's cat, but the rest is an uncharitable reading that you're choosing to apply because you're upset by this silly idea that was conceived as an attempt at sharing personal emotional joy with one person and not as some kind of theological analysis of the entire disaster and all of its victims.
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Old 15th July 2021, 04:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I don't believe in such things, personally. I also don't get angry over those who do.
I'm like 61% sure cats are in fact real. YMMV.
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Old 15th July 2021, 05:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I'm like 61% sure cats are in fact real. YMMV.
I've had several cats come and go in my life, and I can assure you, they aren't real.
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Old 15th July 2021, 05:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
I've had several cats come and go in my life, and I can assure you, they aren't real.
Philosophicats.
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Old 15th July 2021, 05:36 PM   #9
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I can't remember who said it, but I stand by "Thanking God for saving you from a disaster that kills other people is like thanking a serial killer for choosing to go to your neighbours house rather than yours".
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Old 15th July 2021, 05:39 PM   #10
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I keep all the former ones in the catacombs.
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Old 15th July 2021, 07:28 PM   #11
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Not...really? You're asked to believe that God chose to save one guy's cat, but the rest is an uncharitable reading that you're choosing to apply because you're upset by this silly idea that was conceived as an attempt at sharing personal emotional joy with one person and not as some kind of theological analysis of the entire disaster and all of its victims.
Uncharitable, maybe, is it accurate? That IS the implication, given the reality we're talking about: an omnipotent (i.e., CAN do it) and omniscient (i.e., knows when and where it's needed) God chooses to save cats and fix football games, but also chooses not to save the 2.5 million children a year who die of preventable causes in their first month.

It seems to me like it tells you right there what that deity's priorities are. Doesn't it?
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Old 15th July 2021, 08:24 PM   #12
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Pity.
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Old 15th July 2021, 08:40 PM   #13
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I AGREE


I don't believe in guardian angels, and even if they were real, this incident wouldn't constitute a proof that everyone has a guardian angel. As a matter of fact, those that were not reunited with their pets could be used as a counterexample to refute the alleged proof.

My reaction is not one of anger, however. To me, it's just an example of people being bad at logic, and of people believing in superstition. Disappointed, maybe a bit, but not angry.

I take from your comments you think they were being inconsiderate of the feelings of those who had not been reunited with their pets. Is that it?

ETA: This will probably work better as the Ricky Gervais link I tried to post since it points to the actual joke: https://youtu.be/zsbKWjkKqME?t=194
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Old 16th July 2021, 06:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
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I AGREE


I don't believe in guardian angels, and even if they were real, this incident wouldn't constitute a proof that everyone has a guardian angel. As a matter of fact, those that were not reunited with their pets could be used as a counterexample to refute the alleged proof.

My reaction is not one of anger, however. To me, it's just an example of people being bad at logic, and of people believing in superstition. Disappointed, maybe a bit, but not angry.

I take from your comments you think they were being inconsiderate of the feelings of those who had not been reunited with their pets. Is that it?

ETA: This will probably work better as the Ricky Gervais link I tried to post since it points to the actual joke: https://youtu.be/zsbKWjkKqME?t=194
I sort of agree but I think it depends on how much you think about things yourself, because although that particular bit of idiocy is not very important, it is a reminder that we are surrounded by idiots, many of whom are voting and determining policy with similar lack of insight.
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Old 16th July 2021, 07:16 AM   #15
sir drinks-a-lot
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I sort of agree but I think it depends on how much you think about things yourself, because although that particular bit of idiocy is not very important, it is a reminder that we are surrounded by idiots, many of whom are voting and determining policy with similar lack of insight.
Someone once said to me to think of hoe stupid the average American is, and then realize that half of them are dumber than that. I thought that was pretty funny, although I don't even know if I'd be that quick to say that the people posting the guardian angel stuff were dumb. I wouldn't be so sure that they even believed in guardian angels. I think a lot of people use that stuff as a placeholder for an idea, and just use it to try and say something nice.

I'd agree that voting or determining policy based on guardian angels would be terrifying.
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Old 16th July 2021, 07:32 AM   #16
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During the very brief period that Marvel redesigned the Punisher as a supernatural character (yes, seriously), it was revealed that the guardian angel assigned to him and his family was an alcoholic and was on a drunken bender when his family was murdered.
Maybe drunken angels are more common than we realize.
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Old 16th July 2021, 09:42 AM   #17
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It kind of just rolls off me when people say stuff like that. They never mean it in a cruel way. They just haven't picked apart all the possible philosophical and theological implications of their platitudes.
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Old 16th July 2021, 09:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Not...really? You're asked to believe that God chose to save one guy's cat, but the rest is an uncharitable reading that you're choosing to apply because you're upset by this silly idea that was conceived as an attempt at sharing personal emotional joy with one person and not as some kind of theological analysis of the entire disaster and all of its victims.
Pretty much. I don't get too bent out of shape when someone sneezes and somebody else says, "Bless you." So long as you and I are not actively trying to convert each other to something, I'm pretty content to let us all go about our own business.

Edit: personal details just not relevant to discussion.
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Old 16th July 2021, 10:51 AM   #19
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My other problem with this is it is not theologically consistent.

Bible says God gave us free will. That means we're on our own. That apartment building you're living in is structurally unsound? That's your problem.

The Old Testament was clear about who does the killing: God.

And if it was a big killing job, like Sodom and Gomorrah, God sent angles to level the place and kill everyone. If an angel did step in it was usually to warn someone, but what happened next was up to them (that whole free-will thing again). If God didn't intervene to save Jesus directly or by sending avenging angels then God sure as hell isn't going to save a cat.

Not to say that God flattened the building, just to say God didn't stop it, or wake everyone up to get them out.

Technically intervention is blasphemy, but a certain unnamed church based in Rome made a lot of money with their whole Saints intervening on your behalf with God. So they back off from doing their job and shutting this nonsense down.
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Old 16th July 2021, 11:12 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
My other problem with this is it is not theologically consistent.
I'm not sure there truly is such a thing. I'd sooner believe in cats, than that notion.
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Old 16th July 2021, 11:29 AM   #21
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^ Checks scars on both knees: I definitely believe in cats. Guardian angels or equivalents, not so much...
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Old 16th July 2021, 11:48 AM   #22
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It's just human nature. Platitudes for the good, console the losses and be glad it wasn't your ass that took the risks.

It doesn't have to mean much if it sounds correct.

I live in an area with many hyper christian sects. Saying thank god, or god bless you may get a discount next purchase, wearing a Marilyn Manson tee probably wouldn't go over as well. Even if I agree with Sr. Larson far more.

Business is business and it doesn't hurt to have weird allies in the game of daily life.

I spent my entire childhood dodging two religions, it's old hat to just continue on offending as few as possible enroute.
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Old 16th July 2021, 12:13 PM   #23
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It makes me fume when disaster survivors thank god for their deliverance, instead of the emergency workers who risked their lives. What about the people who died? Did god overlook them, or weren't they worthy?
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Old 16th July 2021, 01:33 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
It makes me fume when disaster survivors thank god for their deliverance, instead of the emergency workers who risked their lives. What about the people who died? Did god overlook them, or weren't they worthy?
This is exactly what I was was trying to say in the OP, but you said it better than I could.
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Old 16th July 2021, 02:02 PM   #25
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Those people are actually suffering. From being stupid. And it often is painful, and can be even fatal. You shouldn't be angry. You should pray for them ..
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Old 16th July 2021, 02:03 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
It makes me fume when disaster survivors thank god for their deliverance, instead of the emergency workers who risked their lives. What about the people who died? Did god overlook them, or weren't they worthy?
Well, maybe they weren't worthy? Who can say?

Either way, not upsetting, to me.
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Old 16th July 2021, 03:12 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
And if it was a big killing job, like Sodom and Gomorrah, God sent angles to level the place and kill everyone.
That's rather obtuse. Did God go off on a tangent? And did Jesus cosine that order?
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Old 16th July 2021, 04:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I was on another forum, either Quora or Reddit, and was reading comments about the condo collapse. Someone posted that she had located her cat after several days, and had already given up looking for him. When she found him, he had crawled into a small space that wound up protecting him. Lots of tears when she and the cat were reunited. OK.

Then I started to read the comments. Several people told her that it was "proof" that "everyone has a "guardian angel"! And it was the guardian angel that reunited the cat with his owner.

I think I had steam coming out of my nostrils. So, apparently all of the other pets and people that did die, or the people who were never reunited with their pets, begs the question - where were their guardian angels? Tied up in traffic? Taking a day off?

OK, I have vented. Thanks!

Good vent.

I am sure the faithful will give you a line about faith being needed, to get guardian angel protection - so the cat was faithful I suppose.

Churches have a high strike rate from lightening I read. The fact they are tall buildings, and often located on the top of the highest hills, may have something to do with this. In spite of this, the fitting of lightening poles was deliberately not done by many in the past. The prevailing thinking being, that fitting lightening poles showed a lack of faith in God's protection.

I wonder if the modern trend to fit the poles indicates a lessening of faith?
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Old 16th July 2021, 05:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
It makes me fume when disaster survivors thank god for their deliverance, instead of the emergency workers who risked their lives.
Yeah, back in my younger, fitter days when I did SAR, that might have irked me a bit.

My theory is that we also have guardian demons, and someone might be preserved because they're going to be the next D.C. sniper or something. I figure that's just as irrational as guardian angels, but it somehow balances the books.
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Old 16th July 2021, 07:08 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I'm not sure there truly is such a thing. ...
Good point. I'm sure there isn't, in the Judeo-Christian version at least.
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Old 16th July 2021, 07:51 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
That's rather obtuse. Did God go off on a tangent? And did Jesus cosine that order?
Sodom and Gomorrah were long before the J-man.

I'm not a religious person, just pointing out there is an actual rule book for this kind of crap.
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Old 16th July 2021, 08:33 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
That's rather obtuse. Did God go off on a tangent? And did Jesus cosine that order?
Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Sodom and Gomorrah were long before the J-man.

I'm not a religious person, just pointing out there is an actual rule book for this kind of crap.

I think you may have missed shemp's humorous intent here, or perhaps I am missing some subtly, in your response.
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Old 16th July 2021, 11:26 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Butter! View Post
It kind of just rolls off me when people say stuff like that. They never mean it in a cruel way. They just haven't picked apart all the possible philosophical and theological implications of their platitudes.
Probably, yes. But it's actually the stupidity of it that ticks me off more than if they actually were trying to say "my cat is more important than a thousand sub-saharan babies."

It's kinda like those who spew stuff like "Mussolini made the trains run on time." Yeah, they probably don't actually think 'a couple million dead and losing the Italian colonies are totally less important than me occasionally waiting an extra 15 minutes at the railway station.' But fer fork's sake, nature or God or whatever gave them a brain for a reason. Make sure it's engaged before throwing the mouth into gear


Well, that and the fact that it's usually crediting God or angels at the expense of the people who actually did all the work. Like, in this case, the cat who used its intelligence to keep itself safe. Or the owner who obviously treated it well enough that the cat didn't just <bleep> off when it had the chance. I mean, it's not as bad as when they deny a surgeon's work or such, the rescue workers' work, but still...

And, while not explicit here, that belief in divine (or angelic) intervention tends to make people less likely to actually do something themselves. And really, why would you, if you sincerely believe that far more qualified entities than yourself do intervene where there's an actual need? It would be like trying to throw a bucket of water yourself on a burning house, when there are already two firemen crews on the job and you're just getting in their way.

But it results in stuff like, as I may have mentioned before, a couple of months after grandma died of brain cancer, one of her 'friends' calls to tell me "I prayed for her." Like, see, she did her part. And I'm thinking, "yeah, but hopping on a train to visit her at the hospital would have been too much work on YOUR part, right?" I didn't actually say it, because I hadn't yet come to terms with my being an ass hole, but I kinda wish I had.


So yeah, plenty of reason for me to get angry.
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Old 16th July 2021, 11:46 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Uncharitable, maybe, is it accurate? That IS the implication, given the reality we're talking about:
Is it though? Do you believe their empathetic messages about a cat surviving were intended to convey a judgment or theological assessment of "God's" treatment of the rest of the victims of the disaster? If not, then it's less of an implication and more of an inference - the latter being something you choose on your own to make.

Absolutely anyone who says, out of joy and relief, that they're glad their friend, relative, or other loved one has survived in the wake of a deadly disaster - however they choose to frame or communicate that joy and relief - has made a statement that an unrelated bystander at whom the message wasn't directed can always choose to interpret as a thoughtless minimization of the lives of those who did not survive, and the feelings of those victims' relatives, and can go on to castigate them for being selfishly jubilant in the face of a tragedy. But that interpretation and reaction, I think, shows a deeper lack of empathy than the expression it is lashing out at.
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Old 17th July 2021, 12:29 AM   #35
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Intended to be cruel? No, probably not. Bloody stupid to ignore the obvious connection, though? I'd certainly say so.
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Old 17th July 2021, 12:37 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I was on another forum, either Quora or Reddit, and was reading comments about the condo collapse. Someone posted that she had located her cat after several days, and had already given up looking for him. When she found him, he had crawled into a small space that wound up protecting him. Lots of tears when she and the cat were reunited. OK.

Then I started to read the comments. Several people told her that it was "proof" that "everyone has a "guardian angel"! And it was the guardian angel that reunited the cat with his owner.

I think I had steam coming out of my nostrils. So, apparently all of the other pets and people that did die, or the people who were never reunited with their pets, begs the question - where were their guardian angels? Tied up in traffic? Taking a day off?

OK, I have vented. Thanks!


Could examining why you're angry about this be a richer vein to mine than the one you're focused on.?
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Old 17th July 2021, 01:06 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Intended to be cruel? No, probably not. Bloody stupid to ignore the obvious connection, though? I'd certainly say so.
You say it's "obvious", but look at what you've actually done here. Some people made a simple, superficially comforting statement to the owner of a cat who survived a disaster, about the cat having a "guardian angel". From that statement, you have

1. Extrapolated an entire theological ontology about the nature of a hypothetical deity responsible for that decision, then

2. Analyzed that extrapolation and rendered a value judgment about said hypothetical deity, and then

3. Essentially condemned these individuals as "stupid" for not engaging in the same wandering ontological speculation and coming to the same conclusions as you while they were, you know, telling someone they think it's kind of sweet that his cat is still alive.
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Old 17th July 2021, 02:25 AM   #38
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While I may have used some more data -- though even that isn't exactly hard to come by, to say the least -- everyone has SOME friend or relative who died in some horrible way. Like, literally, cancer, stroke, and some form of heart failure account for almost half the deaths in the west. Alzheimer's or other forms of brain failure are also way up there, especially among women, for some reason.

Unless you're secretly from a line of immortals, you already have all the data you need to ask yourself, well, where was grandma's guardian angel then? It's not exactly rocket surgery or anything. Nor some kind of theology that needs a Ph.D. in Bible Studies.

Nor does it take a genius to figure out that probably so did the person you're telling that divine intervention saved their cat.

I dunno. I still don't feel any particular shame about expecting people to make sure the brain is engaged before throwing the mouth into gear. They have a big head for a reason. It's not there just so it won't rain down their throat.
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Old 17th July 2021, 11:21 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I dunno. I still don't feel any particular shame about expecting people to make sure the brain is engaged before throwing the mouth into gear. They have a big head for a reason. It's not there just so it won't rain down their throat.
I'm not saying your expectation is shameful; simply that it is unreasonable. Maybe they have considered the implications of the notion that "guardian angels" sometimes save cats but did not save their own terminally-ill grandmother, but didn't come to the same judgment about that situation that you did and so are still comfortable making the statement.

If we're pragmatic, the number of people will become outraged at the wider theological implications of other peoples' empathetic platitudes to still other people that some deity might be involved in a nice thing that has just happened to that person, is likely so small that most people have never actually encountered one; they would have to invent the idea that such a person exists, and then resolve to guard their language so that this hypothetical person, who only exists conceptually in their mind, won't be offended.
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Old 17th July 2021, 12:17 PM   #40
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I didn't say the problem is whether or not they shut up about it. I find it offensively stupid that that kind of idiocy exists. Whether or not someone shuts up about their pet idiocy, doesn't change it being an idiocy.
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