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Only a Sith deals in absolutes


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Showing 1-25 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 6, 2012 1:16:21 AM PST
B. Josephson says:
This is a Star Wars line.

Now I think itn a sense it is abosultely wrong just by its use of the term only.

But it does seem to have some truth to it. The Sith do seem to be those whow have certain characteristics, and maybe those who do see things in black and white are at least Sith-like.

For years I have debated whether Lucas wrote a profound line or whether it was one of ths silly lines he has in some of his movies.

How aobut it, it does seem to me to relate to relgion where some people, both religious and non-religious makes some prtty absolutist statements where there is not grayness.

Is Lucas saying something interesting, or something which is nonsense?

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 4:09:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 4:42:02 AM PST
Alan says:
This raises some interesting points. Star Wars (which I have never seen, and about which I know little other that what I have read in newspapers and heard on TV discussions) is obviously all made up, yet people talk about it as though it has some validity in reality.

Who knows, after a millennium or two it may have developed a sophisticated theology, perhaps with rival factions, each claiming the Truth as their own, which they know with absolute certainty through Faith. Or perhaps this is just wild speculation, with no similar precedents.

However 'Jedi' is already an official religion in the UK. This is because in the 2001 census one of the questions was about religious affiliation. Many people, myself included, found such a question offensively intrusive and none of the government's business. Responding to this intrusion into private matters there was a campaign for people to give 'Jedi' as their religion. The number of people claiming to be Jedi was so great it met the criteria to be classified as an official religion. In the following 2011 census there was no requirement to disclose religious belief.

Perhaps in 2000 years time it could be argued that the latest research has shown that the records clearly state that within the First Generation the Jedi faith had already been well established, and therefore that it could not be doubted that this indisputable evidence supports the Truth of the Jedi

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 5:21:22 AM PST
B. Josephson - "it does seem to me to relate to relgion where some people, both religious and non-religious makes some prtty absolutist statements "

I think the difference is that absolutist statements are the norm in religion, and a rare exception in the non-religious. I've encountered less than a handful of atheists who outright claimed God's non-existence. The vast majority are agnostic atheists. So I can't pretend that 'both sides' are equivalent.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 5:25:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 5:28:46 AM PST
B. Josephson says:
Well, I am thinking of other types of absolutists statements among atheists than that. One atheist recently suggested that religion did no good at all comparing religion to faeces.

Now there is one thing to criticize specific actions of religous people, and it is another to not note any good religion does.

A second example is the declaration of a couple of atheists on the Religion forum that religious belief is equivalent to mental illness, despite the fact that no professional mental health organization supports such a claim.

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 5:30:25 AM PST
B. Josephson says:
In Korea to get access to a military base I filled out the same form Korean nationals do, and it asked what religion I was. I answered, none of your business.

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 5:34:32 AM PST
B. Josephson - "One atheist recently suggested that religion did no good at all comparing religion to faeces."

Ah, I thought we were talking about atheists qua atheists, not the bare fact that every group of humans has some obnoxious jerks present. On this metric, I guess every group is the same. Not much reason to even qualify that observation with theism vs atheism.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 5:38:09 AM PST
B. Josephson says:
Well, I think when you have absolutists ideas, it leads to making statements about others like this.

You see the world in terms of black and white, good and evil, no shades of grey, no idea that people may be descent people who happen to be wrong on a particular issue.

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 5:58:09 AM PST
B. Josephson - " it leads to making statements about others like this"

Pointing out innate human fallibility is an 'absolutist idea'?

" no idea that people may be descent people who happen to be wrong on a particular issue."

I said that every group will have an obnoxious jerk in there somewhere, not that all people were obnoxious jerks. Some people are obnoxious, intolerant, rude, etc. when promoting their views, and they can be found in every group--liberals, conservatives, atheists, theists, stamp collectors, tennis players, D&D enthusiasts, linux users, potheads, sunday-school teachers, etc. This isn't an "absolutist" idea, rather just the basic idea that human fallibility manifests across the spectrum of human activity. Some things bring it out more, but I've seen acrimonious, rude flame-wars over brands of cooking pans. We bring our underlying personality to whatever activity and interest we're engaging in, and if we're a jerk it'll come across. My point was this had nothing in particular to do with theism vs. atheism.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:05:47 AM PST
B. Josephson says:
Well, certainly personalisty is an issue, but maybe absoloutism is the common character trait which leads to acting in this way.

It seems to me that tolerance promotes civility and absolutism promotes rudeness.

Looking back on your post, you seem to be saying something similar to this.

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:39:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 6:40:28 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
Religion has been a way to divinize the ideals of a particular culture. Ideals are never grey: love, or peace, or war, or hard work, or family, etc, etc... The ideals of the culture are projected to the gods to give them sanction.

The problem is that in the real world, ideals clash. And sometimes they clash irreconcilably, leaving us having to compromise between them: sometimes work, and sometimes time with the family, sometimes peace, and sometimes war. Sometimes love, and sometimes hate. Sometimes to forgive and forget, and sometimes to not let people push you around. But how much of this, and how much of that? That's where all the grey comes in.

So if you think of religion as a particular culture's statement of its ideals, it makes sense. It could not be otherwise than in black and white. But when you start to put those ideals into practice, that is where pragmatism and utilitarian thinking is necessary. Sometimes it becomes necessary to compromise some ideals for the sake of others. Sometimes, the compromises can be very painful. Sometimes, tragedy is inevitable.

The problem with some religious people is they forget this important point between having a heaven of ideals and living in the real world.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:08:42 AM PST
B. Josephson - "but maybe absoloutism is the common character trait which leads to acting in this way"

I mistakenly thought that by "absolutist" you were referring to epistemelogical statements. That's why I pointed out the fact that "absolutism" is rare among athiests. But if we're just addressing the fact that some people are jerks, that spans over all groups, activities, communities, etc, and there is nothing particular about the theism/atheism divide that makes it especially relevant. I suspect people's tendency to rudeness manifests regardless of ideology, and is likely to be encountered in anything-goes hippie communes as it is the most strict fundamentalist church. People are people, and human frailty is a constant.

"It seems to me that tolerance promotes civility and absolutism promotes rudeness"

Perhaps. But even "tolerant" people can be breathtakingly rude. Liberals (and I write this as a liberal) promote and admire tolerance, but can be resolutely intolerant. Or, they can bend over backwards to accomodate, even to the point of tolerating Nazis or whatnot. Even staunch, otherwise authoritarian conservatives can be tolerant, when it suits them. People are just people. Some personalities may gravitate to particular ideologies, but I don't think one personality type, or one ideology, has cornered the market on either "absolutism" or on being a jerk.

"Looking back on your post, you seem to be saying something similar to this."

All I've been saying is that people are people, no matter where you go.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 8:21:43 AM PST
some things are absolute

ever take a math class ?

1+1 = 2 except in the new math the liberals use
where any answer is close enough as long as you feel good about yourself

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 8:29:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 9:56:08 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
"ever take a math class?

1+1 = 2 except in the new math the liberals use"

You may need to take a few more math classes, horsey.

It turns out that in the real world, that's not always the case. 1+1=2 is actually quite provincial. The crazy liberal math, also known as Boolean geometry, seems to better fit the relativistic universe we live in than the Euclidean one where 1+1 always equals two. 1+1=2 seems to work only in the small, local, day-to-day distances and speeds we encounter here in our little corner of the universe. Get outside of those comfortable little quarters, and the universe starts to act much more differently- with more liberal math, you might say.

So even there in math, there are no absolutes, it seems- except for uneducated, uninformed, know-nothing, privincial conservative rednecks who have never stepped outside their little backwoods county their entire lives.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 8:30:34 AM PST
you need the math classes

i am well aware of what you say
and took out of context

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 8:34:59 AM PST
Jack Vix says:
The statement "only a sith deals in absolutes" is itself an absolute. It seems as though he was unwittingly calling himself a sith.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 8:37:01 AM PST
it was ironic

i thought bj was smart enough to realise it
and was tweaking the responders in advance

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 9:54:53 AM PST
Rev. Otter says:
<<For years I have debated whether Lucas wrote a profound line or whether it was one of ths silly lines he has in some of his movies.>>

silly line.

"Only the Sith deal in absolutes!"
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely!"

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 10:00:47 AM PST
libloon2 says:
A sith you say.

That must be 5 and one-half.
Somithing between a fifth and a sixth.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 10:08:22 AM PST
Jack Vix says:
"If you're not with me, you're against me."
"You're either a jedi and don't use absolutes or you're a sith."

It's the exact same logic hahaha

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 10:20:58 AM PST
W.T. says:
I think saying "only a Sith" does something is the Jedi equivalent of calling someone "racist" in our society. It really just means that you disagree with them.

Besides, Yoda spoke in absolutes many times. "Do or Do Not. There is no 'try'," is the obvious example.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 10:42:43 AM PST
Jack Vix says:
Do or do not. Try, there is no.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 12:06:36 PM PST
The Jedi is a master of lies. "Theses aren't the droids you are looking for"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 12:10:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 12:13:42 PM PST
W.T. says:
Yes, and "Darth Vader murdered your father."

Or Yoda being a silly swamp creature with a admiration for energy bars and flashlights.

Or Obi-Wan being named "Ben".

For Jedi are masters of Clintonian spin. "What I said was true, from a certain point of view."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 2:23:39 PM PST
The Weasel says:
That explains a lot!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 5:48:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 5:49:05 PM PST
B. Josephson says:
Well, certainly Jedis tell lies.

I guess they don't believe that honesty is an absolute.

Best Wishes,
Shaamba Kaambwaat
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  35
Initial post:  Nov 6, 2012
Latest post:  May 1, 2014

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