Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:33 PM
David said :
" If I have something by chance, then I am not grateful, I am glad that I have it but you can't be grateful to blind luck/chance. "
And i disagree. While I do recognize the subtle distinction you place between thankfullness and gratitude, for the sake of argument im going to mentally exaggerate the gap between the two ( cause personally i think they ammount to the same thing ) ...
My main reason for thinking good luck is worthy of our gratefulness is because although it is seemingly intangible, ie: nothing we 'do' creates it, but while 'causeless' the effects are still a measurable, percievable thing. When you have good luck, you may never know why, you may never be ABLE to know why, but you have it. Yes, finding a $20 bill on the floor may be being in the right place at the right time, or more specifically, because someone dropped it in that place, and you happened to come along and find it, the net effect is the same - you are suddenly richer by $20. Plain, blind luck - which if suddenly i find myself needing a cab ride to the hospital to say goodbye to my dying mother, im going to be as grateful to as the chance to say goodbye in the first place.. probably good luck in itself right there.
I am as grateful to the unperceivable sequence of events that lead me into good luck as i am for the brain in my head or the stars in the sky, because i am here, and i can witness, indulge and utilize their benefit to me. None of those things are things i can control, yet i have them, and I am grateful for them. Same with being born in Canada, healthy and to middle class parents. I had absolultely no say in that, yet here I am, and im hella grateful for the fact i dont dodge bombs or hunt rats to stay alive. Isn't that worth our gratitude ?
Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:40 PM
But for the sake of arguement, if someone isn't religious there are still things to be grateful for, even if there doesn't seem to be anyone responsible for them.
It's easy to be grateful to live in a free, decent country. You can be grateful to the men and women in history who have worked and fought to keep it free. Or, you can simply be grateful to your parents for settling there when they had you.
Are bills a little tight, and you oddly stumble on a $20? It didn't just appear, someone dropped it there. Be thankful for that person doing so. Maybe you'll never find them or losing the bill caused problems for them. Either way, if you're in a better situation because of it and appreciate the extra money, you can be grateful to that person for putting food on your table.
Okay, so maybe you argue that someone needs to be on a receiving end of your gratitude. What's a better way to show it than passing the favour down? When you're in a better position, give $20 to someone who needs it. Work to keep your country free and keeping the dreams of those who worked to keep it that way. That's gratitude in itself: To show that you appreciate what you've gotten and respect people for what they've given.
Well, that's the way I see it, anyways.
Posted 18 January 2006 - 06:46 AM
Well, my whole reason for being thankful/grateful for lucky shit is that I think if I wasn't grateful for that sort of stuff, I'd be the kind of person that takes things for gratned. Being happy and appreciative of a good turn of events, doesn't mean I'm giving credit to a man in the sky or anything. At least to me, it doesn't. If there is an other entity I am giving credit, I guess it'd be blind luck/the universe.
Posted 18 January 2006 - 11:34 PM
Being grateful requires being grateful/thankful to someone/something. I am suggesting that being thankful to nothing in particular, or being thankful that blind luck resulted in your benefit, quite literally mean nothing.
Posted 19 January 2006 - 12:36 AM
I am greatful and think ppl should be grateful for everything that makes they a lil better off in life.....
and i'm grateful I'm not gonna write a ton because I have classes that make me do that
Posted 19 January 2006 - 09:47 AM
I totally understand what you're saying, but I disagree. I don't believe in god, you know this. Yet I still feel grateful for certain things that come from luck. Luck, good or bad, is a byproduct of direct actions gone indirect. Chance of the good sort is something to celebrate, even if it's just to yourself. For example, when people say "Thank god" are they really thanking god? And when they say "Thank goodness" who are they thanking? God or goodness? Or are they really thanking anybody at all? I mean, WHO THE FUCK IS GOODNESS?!!! THE GOD THAT WEARS A PINK BOWTIE AND SINGS IN THE RAIN?
Ahem. Not to be confused with Amen.
You hit on a good point. Relief. Happiness. The things we say (to show gratefulness, etc) are extensions of those emtions most of the time. I do think there are times when people really are thanking a god. But for the most part it's just a verbal expression of joy/relief/frustration.
Shit happens. When bad luck happens to you, I know you understand that it is a mathematical given in the universe that at some point, due to indirect reasons, something bad will happen to you that you did not work for or "earn" (unless you believe in Karma, which is a WHOLE OTHER THING!). Using your logic, you should not be frustrated at these occurences. You should not be antigrateful at the sandbag falling from the top of that building and crushing your neck. I don't want to hear your complaining. I don't want to see a frown. Or when it misses you, I don't want to hear a "whew..."
I'm not mocking you. Ok. Maybe a little. I'm just trying to make a point that gratitude for the unearned is not unwarranted. Just like anger/frustration toward an unexpected misfortune is warrented. I do think it's... pointless to thank a god for good luck because luck is not from god. It's just from shit happening. But I don't think it's pointless to express relief/joy/gratitude because. It's more of a character thing than anything else. It shows the kind of person you are, not necessarily what you believe in, and even more so, these sorts of sayings are at their most basic: verbal emoting.
Anyway. This post seems kinda disjointed to me. They actually have me working today. I like the bit about the bow tie god, though. That's fucking great.
Posted 21 January 2006 - 02:25 PM
This is what I believe these words mean.
Gratitude is thankfulness to something, and is different entirely from happiness/gladness/joy; being different from those its also different from their opposites anger and frustration.
I'm saying that gratitude has to be aimed at someone or something and gratitude aimed at random chance is nonsensical. My basis for saying that it has to be aimed is that that is the definition of it, or if u disagree with the definition, then it is what I defined it as to start my post.
Why is having it aimed at luck nonsensical? Because you cant thank nothing.
Thanking requires two parties, one expressing thankfulness, the other acknowledging your thanks. you can't thank a rock, just like u cant thank blind luck.
If you believe that something is not the direct result of pure luck, then thank away. However, if you believe that an event is the result of pure luck, and only luck, then being thankful/grateful does not make sense. However, being glad/happy does.
This is all I am pointing out. I realize it has become a trite discussion now, but I am bored on Saturday morning so I am going to respond.
This does not mean that I am a ungrateful person, nor that I am cold hearted or that I do not realize how lucky I am to be in a free country etc.
The above and my previous post are a result of my views, (there is no god of any sort, the Universe is just here, not the result of any being of any sort.)
So while I am grateful to things that others do for me, my parents for example, I am not thankful that I was born here simply because there is no one to thank, it was pure chance. I am glad and I feel very lucky, however, I am not thankful.
Posted 25 January 2006 - 02:50 AM
ok, well certainly up there. im serious in saying the last couple posts here were fucking fascinating to read. thank you both, and i mean it !
Im probably goign to go badly offtrack, so you're warned. its late too, but better late to the party than never, eh?
Quick mentions go to a few things - first, david, your post was so brilliantly lucid, as i read i literally felt your opinion like it was my own. it was really a fantastic, well written post from a laymans point of view (ie offhand impression, not critique) and i enjoyed it immensely. *puffff* *cough* seriously ! Second, frank, you really picked up on the salient points i noticed too, such as d's personality showing through, and an apparent indifference to random chance and further perhaps an exaggerated sense of emotional neutrality twoards the antics of beloved lady luck... i felt all that too, and reading your post was like thinking aloud in several places.. such an entertaining read !
so yeah, those were the quick mentions..
Seeing now what you have exposed correctly as an argument of faith, I sat and pondered the issue, with this slightly new perspective. I see very clearly how you define gratitude, and further the logic behind the mechanism of thanks - i hadn't originally factored that.
What i really liked about your post was that it made me see that i am in fact a person of faith, of some sort of faith. im not shocked, i knew this - but i seldom dwell directly on that simple fact, and being reminded was a little like licking a half spent 9v battery. And with that realisation i must concede utter and total pwnage over endorsing the giving of thanks for a random event good or bad - it is purely irrational and completely without purpose if you are in fact a resolved atheist.
I guess the littlle jolt was from realising im not that, and that even though it's not god, or karma, or midi-chlorians that i believe in, i do believe in something. classic agnosticism i guess, but the value to yall here is that it made me want to try and verbalise it, so as to not make for a completely pointless and off topic post..
In the end i chalk it up to my insistence that my disbelief in an afterlife/god/organized nice place you go that you can percieve after death must also credit a disbilief for an utter *lack* of such a scenario. What i mean is, in the end, i believe there is a design, after all. behind it all. behind the last, last, last velvet curtain there is an ultimate connection between all things, every single atom bound in some way, that moves the things in this giant sandbox we understand to be the universe, and it all moves as one, if only by the most perfect, unconceivable machinations.
to me, even if something is decidedly and specifically a non-event, it still happens. And that happening is god touching you. and the perception of that to me is something i guess i try to always be thankful for. even for just the touch, good, or bad.
what is this really affirming in my mind ? what might it stem from ? hopeless, wanton optimism ? loneliness ? irrational persistence that there is a god ? that someone or something/force is watching or at least just *there* ? i dont really know, and cant answer really for having the ultimate bias(me), So w/e.. thats not really what were talking about anyways, i digress !
I think that the end result is that im a person who thinks that there *is* a layer of curtains which hide something - not a literal something, but a 'level of understanding' where if you could see into, you'd realise the connections between ALL things, all of them, right to the last atom - and in so doing, would affect them, continuing the cycle ad infinitum. I know that sounds kinda wacky, but the salient point is that i guess my interpretation is that 'blind luck' just isnt, that everthing good or bad happens for a reason percievable to us(or itself) or not, and that i believe in this theory strongly enough that i identify with and give it considerable mental real estate... enough to write this five fucking thousand pound post at 1:46am. lol !
Seriously though. mega enjoyable thread. no real convincing/persuasiveness was intended originally, but i found my opinion shifted, altered and enhanced - sooooo cool. thanks u both ! : )
Posted 25 January 2006 - 06:50 AM
I don't believe in a god specifically, but there are times that I believe karma is involved. However, really, what is karma but the obvious consequences of some people's actions? A real simple example. A person who is an asshole and has friends. This person is an asshole to his/her friends. Eventually, all the friends go away and this person is left alone with no one to help him/her out in his/her time of need. Some people would say, HA, karma bit the person in the ass. But really, what the fuck else is going to happen when someone's a dick?
This brings me around to "reason" in the sense of: quoting Steve "i guess my interpretation is that 'blind luck' just isnt, that everthing good or bad happens for a reason percievable to us(or itself) or not..." I kind of agree with this. But not in the sense that Steve means it, which is an overall almost giving a god credit for everything, kind of reason.
Reason. Cause and effect. Totally related. You find that 20 dollar bill. Why did it happen? Was god shining down on you that day? Did the good deeds of your past life mixed with the bad deeds of your current one ring up at the checkout counter of karma with a little leftover change? Or was the person that dropped it just not paying attention?
We can talk it till it's blue in the face, really. But the only one of those things that you KNOW happened (minus the probability that some crazy son of a bitch is just dropping 20 dollar bills all over the place) is the person did it by accident. In that situation, isn't your luck just someone else's misfortune? Here we can get into definition arguments again.
But it boils down to this: chance, luck, misfortune, it's all math. It's all stuff bouncing off of stuff. It happens because it happens. A "miracle" is bound to occur every so often. I am going to kill QUachie at the end of a round once in a while. Steve's going to stop hitting Mr. Orange for 2 days straight eventually. 2 cars will wreck at an intersection and the broken off flying death piece windshield of one vehicle will not hit the little girl standing on the street corner because car one did not hit car 2 at the angle necessary for that to happen.
Man walks down the sidewalk. Puts his hand in his wallet pocket to grab a mint. A pocket is a small thing usually. The man has a big hand. The mint has come out of its wrapper. It has touched everything in the pocket. The booger rag. The one key. The wallet. The loose 20 dollar bill that will belong to me in a few sentences. Man grabs mint from the top, daintily with just the tips of his fingers. Mint has folded 20 dollar bill sticking to the bottom of it. Man looks up to cross the street. Man pulls out mint. 20 dollar bill floats lazily to the sidewalk, dancing between the shafts of early morning sun that cut the air in ragged pieces through the chainlink fence that's right there.
20 dollar bill lands with a giant quiet BOOM. I come along. I pick up the 20 dollar bill. I scratch my balls. I smile. I thank NOBODY. But I'm grateful. I just am. To who? To the numbers, maybe? To the fact that this is a planet where this kind of shit can happen to you sometimes? I don't know. But I live in American and my president sucks and has my phone tapped without my consent. I SMILE because I NEED to smile, because I want to smile, because smiling feels good.
This ain't about god or luck or any of that. This is about ME.
Every morning, someone has a mint and someone finds 20 dollars somewhere and it's all good.
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