Agent of Change

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The entire thread can be found here
2019-May-25 @ 12:25 AM
ptbrainum
Tipsy
Member since 2019-May-14
Posts: 4

Love the discussion on faith, religion, and atheism.  I find it so interesting that people miss a few important details.
Biblically speaking, faith is defined at Hebrews 11:1, I like how the living English Bible puts it (a translation done at the turn of the 20th century by an individualist anarchist, seriously it's a great translation)
"And faith is assuming the validity of hopes, putting unseen things to the test."
Biblical faith is never supposed to be blind belief, but belief supported by related truth, and then thoroughly tested.

Of course I can't do anything about blind believers, because of free will.  Free Will, a concept that everyone should really deeply consider.  Free Will is the concept that everyone has the right to make choices for themselves, and while you can encourage what you view as a correct course in others, forcing, demanding, etc would be a violation of the inherent right to free Will.  Protecting someone from the consequences of their choice would also be a violation of that right.  Free Will requires you to accept your choices, accept the consequences.
Whether your an atheist, or believer, a violation of free will is a violation of humanity, or godly design respectively.

(posted from the Item Information Page)


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2019-May-25 @ 7:06 AM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

The only problem is, the verse you quote actually argues against your point.  I prefer the NIV translation, as it was done by a group of scholars, and translated directly from the original documents.  It reads this verse this way:  "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."  And that clearly states that "faith" means that no evidence at all is required for an acceptance of concept.

In fact, if you read through the rest of the chapter, it lists people who acted "by faith", and they were "commended" for their faith... but...

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,...

So... really, they were meant to act on blind faith, because based on evidence, they should have known that they would not receive what they were expecting.

And, of course, whether free will actually exists depends on the nature of God (if he exists).  If God is linear, and yet still knows our actions before we take them, then free will is an illusion.  Now, if God is a non-linear being, then free will could exist... unless the multiverse exists, in which case there is no "free will", we are simply the universe that exists on that "decision branch".

Eric Storm


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Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-May-27 @ 9:59 AM
ptbrainum
Tipsy
Member since 2019-May-14
Posts: 4

Either I have free Will, because there is no God, or I have free Will because A God capable of knowing everything chooses to wait for me to make my choices.  The alternative is I have no free Will, and thus God is not only personally responsible for all evil, but an asshole.

PS the Greek term used (pistis) in that verse really does mean belief based on evidence.  Like having a title dead to a property that says it's yours.  You can reasonably believe that you really do own the property, even if you've never seen it.  As a lover of the scientific method, Faith based on evidence is a requirement for me in all parts of my life, regardless of what I believe.  For me reality is evidence based.  I worry about those who don't have that requirement in what they believe.


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2019-May-27 @ 10:14 AM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

"Faith based on evidence" is an oxymoron.  Evidence removes the need for faith.  From Merriam-Webster online, the relevant definition is: ": firm belief in something for which there is no proof"  Thus, if there IS proof (evidence), it's no longer faith.

As to whether or not God is an asshole....

Look around.

Eric Storm

PS:  This conversation needs to end at this point, or be moved over to the Politics and Religion section, as we are straying too far into actual religious doctrine.


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Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-May-27 @ 1:34 PM
Barbarian3165
Completely Blotto
Member since 2015-Feb-11
Posts: 289

Hallelujah 😚


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2019-May-28 @ 9:44 PM
Blackie
Contributor
Member since 2017-Jul-13
Posts: 69

Sadly, I can't read the story yet, so, I have no idea how the discussion related to the story.


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-Himself

"Typos are very important to all written form. It gives the reader something to look for so they aren't distracted by the total lack of content in your writing." -Randy K. Milholland
2019-Jun-26 @ 7:09 AM
Josh.Bond
Inebriated
Member since 2014-Mar-11
Posts: 42

Awsome! this is a great addition to the story line. The added tint on the tapistry of organized crime I figured was going to happen, but not what part of the council was going to be tarred with that brush. I quoted the Ephesians 6:4 as "Parents provoke not your Children..." To my mother when she tried to quote the obey your mother and father at me once ... Lets just say she was not amused that her 17yo son was standing up to her idiosity. Keep up the great work I'm loving this story.

(posted from Chapter 6)


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2019-Jun-26 @ 7:10 AM
Timberwolf92
Inebriated
Member since 2015-Dec-11
Posts: 49

Superb chapter as always Eric.


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2019-Jun-29 @ 4:14 AM
thehilz
Wasted
Member since 2010-Sep-7
Posts: 248

As I have come to expect another excellent chapter. One thing I did not expect was Nick to blow up at his father like that.

I noticed it in chapter 5 that you referred to Nicks parents as Mr. and Mrs. Shilling instead of merely as his father/mother. Was this done for a particular reason?


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2019-Jun-29 @ 7:37 AM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

...because those are their names?

You get sick of writing the same things over and over again.  Things like this are virtually always done to simply break up the monotony.

Eric Storm


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Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Jun-29 @ 8:28 AM
Blackie
Contributor
Member since 2017-Jul-13
Posts: 69

Eric Storm wrote:

You get sick of writing the same things over and over again.

Eric Storm

The reason so many languages have synonyms. Boring to write, say, read, or hear the same words repeated too often.


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-Himself

"Typos are very important to all written form. It gives the reader something to look for so they aren't distracted by the total lack of content in your writing." -Randy K. Milholland
2019-Jun-29 @ 12:39 PM
thehilz
Wasted
Member since 2010-Sep-7
Posts: 248

Wasn’t sure if it was that or if you were trying to make a point of some kind of emotional distance between Nick and his parents or something like that.


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2019-Jun-29 @ 12:58 PM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

Nope.  I should probably have just used their first names, but that would probably have confused people, as I haven't used those names much in the story yet.

Eric Storm


-----
Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Jul-16 @ 7:42 AM
Elessar
Wasted
Member since 2009-Oct-28
Posts: 160

Can you tell the reviewers to hurry up? They are slow.


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2019-Jul-16 @ 3:30 PM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

You think I haven't?

Eric Storm


-----
Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Jul-22 @ 8:56 AM
Elessar
Wasted
Member since 2009-Oct-28
Posts: 160

Well, I do have to say that chapter wasn't as grand as I was expecting. There were a few turn of event's i kind of expected and was curious to see the outcome. If i had to grade it, I would say it was 7/10.

Without giving to much away, I would have to say his new lover was obvious from the last chapter, but was still nice to finally see it occur. I wasn't expecting that specific person to get pregnant, i would have thought it was someone else. I am happy to see the family issues are finally sorted out, that was expecting to be a long drawn out event.

I feel the story is flowing very nicely even with my personal dislikes, overall I am excited to see the next chapter play out.


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2019-Jul-22 @ 10:28 AM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

You do realize that a "critique" this vague is utterly useless to an author?

And that you think the family situation is "finally sorted out"... have you even READ any of my books???

Eric Storm


-----
Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Jul-22 @ 10:29 PM
Elessar
Wasted
Member since 2009-Oct-28
Posts: 160

It's this vague mostly because I couldn't remember all the details i liked without writing it down while i read. Which i would forget to write anyway.

As for the family situation being sorted out. I simply mean that he is away from his family now and can focus more on his other more important work.

Eric Storm wrote:

You do realize that a "critique" this vague is utterly useless to an author?

And that you think the family situation is "finally sorted out"... have you even READ any of my books???

Eric Storm


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2019-Jul-22 @ 10:33 PM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

I repeat:  Have you even READ my other books???

smile

Eric Storm


-----
Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Jul-22 @ 11:11 PM
Pudding5
Inebriated
Member since 2013-Feb-18
Posts: 22

On that note, I've always wondered why do you mostly write the main character's family as either broken or combative in some way?  I've never been bothered by it but just curious. Is it something that you can draw on personal experience, or a way to clear a path for the main character to become the de facto patriarch of his family?


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2019-Jul-22 @ 11:31 PM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

And surely you remember the things you DIDN'T like, which you were just as vague about...

Eric Storm


-----
Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Jul-23 @ 12:01 AM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

Pudding5:

A lot of my stories revolve around the family dynamic as a major part of the conflict.  You can't really do that if the family is loving, supportive, and stable.

Plus, removing the family as a support system gives the main character a tougher hill to climb, as he has to rely on other friends, or make new ones, to deal with whatever situation he's stuck in.

However, I would take some minor objection to your characterization.  My biggest work at this point is Woodward Academy, and David's family was perfectly stable until he freaked them out by turning into a demighost...  Warmth of a Touch, the family is supportive and stable.  Program Alpha-Omega, the family was supportive and stable until the MC started mucking about with it...  Dragonseekers, again, the family was supportive and stable until the MC turned into a wizard...  Hell, even in CAMP, the family majority is supportive, loving and stable... well, until Dawn freaked out thanks to the Russians...

I think, as you can see, in many cases, it's the events of the story that turn the family dysfunctional; they don't start out that way.  And in a lot of cases, the events of the story would turn just about any family dysfunctional.  How many people, for instance, do you think could keep their equanimity when their child turns transparent right in front of them?

Plus, let's not forget that, in today's world, it is hardly uncommon for families to be, at least, dysfunctional, if not completely broken.  I would characterize my own family as mildly dysfunctional while I was growing up.  My parents, I found out later, came close to getting a divorce.  Our family was not supportive to each other (still aren't).  But we weren't "broken".  I still had both parents - such as they were - and there was no physical abuse or sexual abuse going on.  (Well, unless my next-older brother occasionally beating on me counts as "physical abuse"...)  Yes, I suffered some minor (in my opinion) mental abuse... I have yet to see someone in a family of five kids who didn't...  Hell, being in a family that large is mental abuse.

I would also like to point out that I am far more likely to make a supportive family, with an antagonistic father.  This is for two reasons:

1. To get the father out of the way so that my MC can screw his mother...  smile , and
2. Because my father was an asshole, so I'm not real clear on the "this is what it's like to be a good father" perspective.  Trust me, watching my siblings attempt it hasn't helped any.

I hope this answers your question.  If not, feel free to ask for clarification.

Eric Storm

PS:  These characterizations of my family are colored by my experience, and may not be entirely accurate.  Also, keep in mind that, due to my handicap (legal blindness), I was a somewhat more difficult child to raise "without issues" than your normal kid.  My parents didn't do a great job of it, but they also didn't have anyone to teach them how it should be done, so I'm not sure how much I can blame them for that.


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Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Jul-24 @ 1:24 AM
Pudding5
Inebriated
Member since 2013-Feb-18
Posts: 22

Answered it perfectly. Thanks. Your rebuttals to my comments were on point.
I guess I should have said the main character's family rarely stays supportive/loving in your stories to address PAO and DS, in my head I included them in the question I was asking but didn't quite word it correctly. And I suspected this

Eric Storm wrote:

1. To get the father out of the way so that my MC can screw his mother...  smile

was one of the reasons, just wondering if there was more to it.

I had always wished that David could have had at least some type of continuing relationship with his parents. I see story wise why David needed to be on his own right at the beginning for his revenge, and just getting a feel for his new life and all that. But I wished he had been able to reconcile with them later on. But that is all personal preference and does not diminish my enjoyment of the story one bit.


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2019-Jul-24 @ 2:10 AM
Eric Storm
Pub Owner
Member since 2006-Sep-13
Posts: 4429

Well, as you know, they do reappear in book 7...

Eric Storm


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Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
Please don't be an asshole to me, because then I'll have to be an asshole to you... and I'm MUCH better at being an asshole than you are.
2019-Aug-22 @ 12:06 AM
Old Salt
Tipsy
Member since 2018-May-26
Posts: 3

Thank you for bringing this story line further forward. Looking for and anticipating the next chapter(s).

(posted from Chapter 7)


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