Cheri wrote: To J. R., as far as our lives being “arranged by God”, I’m in complete disagreement. If God arranges our lives, that would put choice in His hands rather than ours, and what would be the purpose? That would make each of us nothing more than a puppet.
(J.R. notes: I am inserting this next video here because it has the image of a hand puppet, plus, as I recall, it is quite related to this conversation.)
Cheri replied: Carl, I wouldn’t call it an “assault to the ego”, as I see the ego as an assault to mankind as our ego is nothing more than self-aggrandizement, commonly referred to as “pride”.
J R replied: Cheri, consider that you are “preaching a kind of self-aggrandizement.” You may think “that is a bad thing!” I did not say that though. Too little self-aggrandizement could be just as problematic as too much.
If God is Almighty, then what other isolated authority is there that is not the puppet of God’s will? My question for people who claim to be monotheists (and to love a monotheistic God) is why keep rejecting the conceptual foundation of monotheism while claiming to “worship” it?
also, pride is not problematic like arrogance. If you feel proud that your grandkid learned to ride a bike, that is not arrogance. That is just a type of gratitude and joy.
If we think of arrogance as “just one flavoring,” then we can insert that flavor or remove it.
Assertive: “I expect you to help clean up in the kitchen now. Your job is to help load the dishwasher. You will first put mugs in the top part. Do you understand? Ok, go ahead.”
Arrogant: “oh NOOOOOO! what in the world are you doing?!?! You are supposed to be in there helping? Why aren’t you helping?!?! If you don’t get out of my face and get your butt in there and help right now, I am going to take away your stupid video games. I don’t care how you help- just go do something to help. You are not at all helpful! You are so selfish and just embarrassing. Go help! Why are you still standing here, you idiot! Oh my god, now the little baby is crying? What is it with you kids these days?!?!?”
That is arrogance and even contempt. It CAN be effective in terms of producing a cleaned kitchen. However, it is also “inefficient.”
It is not respectful. It is “I am over here struggling so hard against God and so you are supposed to save me but you are not and it is your fault that I am a powerless victim of your lack of cleanliness.”
In other words, it is a form of hysteria or panic. Also, it is VERY common in some cultures:
“The economy just should not be like this!?!?”
“The government just should not be like this!?!?”
“The weather just should not be like this!?!?”
As for the question of being a puppet of God (or not), there is another way to reference the same basic issue. God is the author and each organism is an activity of God.
Take the idea of “who is in control: either me or God?” That idea is already “outof focus” (sinful). That is already hysteria.
Take the idea of “who moves the front of my hand: is it me or is it God of is it my muscles or is it the back of my hand? I need to know!?!? Which is it!” That is again the activity of hysteria.
When there are confusing beliefs, that is no problem for the humble. They experience the confusion and then learn!
For those who are naive and arrogant, confusion is unwelcome. They are agonizing over how to avoid the social perception that they are naive, confused, and arrogant.
They say things that essentially may sound like this: “I just want you to tell me how can I keep my confusing beliefs but get rid of my experience of confusion! I did not want confusion! Confusion should not be so confusing!?!? Your words are so confusing! I am not frustrated though because i am not even interested in what you are saying because you are stupid and mean and you really just should be more like I think people should be. That would be much more convenient! Do you hear me!?!? Do you really?”
That again is hysteria. It is very common in some cultures.
Clarity vs Confusion & Pride vs Arrogance