[2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

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[2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby vhsaddict » Sun May 20, 2012 5:18 am

The old standby complaint of "The last panel is unnecessary" is definitely true here, but I enjoyed this one. This is an interesting, but really super depressing answer to some classical theological questions.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Sun May 20, 2012 6:28 am

It is the dude's sad faces that make this comic for me.
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby Guest » Sun May 20, 2012 8:36 am

I've had a lot of fantasies like this... it's like coherent (but still improbable) version of god
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby nextbreed » Sun May 20, 2012 1:10 pm

42?
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby ThatLazyBum » Sun May 20, 2012 3:40 pm

But what is the definition of "good" and what makes you think that that definition is absolute?

Furthermore, what is the definition of "bad" and what makes you think that that definition is absolute?

Taoists have a saying: "Who can say what is good or bad?"

And there's a story that goes with that saying:

A farmer named Sai Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide. One day this beautiful horse disappeared. The people of his village offered sympathy to Sai Weng for his great misfortune. Sai Weng said simply, "Who can say what is good or bad?"

A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion. The village congratulated Sai Weng for his good fortune. He said, "Who can say what is good or bad?"

Some time later, Sai Weng's only son, while breaking in the stallion, fell off and broke his leg. The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sai Weng's misfortune. Sai Weng again said, "Who can say what is good or bad?"

Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sai Weng's lame son were drafted and were killed in battle. The village people were amazed as Sai Weng's good luck. His son was the only young man left alive in the village. But Sai Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, "Who can say what is good or bad?"

My mother is diabetic. Is this bad? Well, because of this, I have been motivated to research nutrition and encourage her to change her diet based on demonstratably good diets. Basically, everyone should eat like a diabetic.

So my mother's diabetic diagnosis may result in a longer, healthier life for both of us, as well as anyone to whom I give the same information. Of course, many people don't see such benefits from diabetes. Why? Simple. They don't do the research. So perhaps a god-figure that rewards good and punishes bad would want people to do the research. There are actually a few places in the Bible that imply that increasing your knowledge is good and rejecting knowledge (or being lazy in acquisition of knowledge) is bad.

Of note:

"He who loves knowledge loves correction. Stupid is the man that hates rebuke." ~Proverbs 12:1

This is one example where the effect can be easily traced to its cause. Oftentimes, the line linking cause and effect is not so clear.

Oops. Did I accidentally philosophize on the SMBC forums? Bad me.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby Destructicus » Mon May 21, 2012 2:00 pm

I don't understand the second panel.
The god-character claims that the qestion "Why is there something instead of nothing?" answers the question of why bad things happen to bad people. Then it claims that its kind created the universe in an attempt to answer the latter question. I think it's the other way around, that the second question is answered by the first: "Something exists instead of nothing, in order to find an answer to the question of why bad stuff happens to good people."
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby topher » Mon May 21, 2012 3:18 pm

ThatLazyBum wrote:A farmer named Sai Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide. One day this beautiful horse disappeared. The people of his village offered sympathy to Sai Weng for his great misfortune. Sai Weng said simply, "Who can say what is good or bad?"
A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion. The village congratulated Sai Weng for his good fortune. He said, "Who can say what is good or bad?"
Some time later, Sai Weng's only son, while breaking in the stallion, fell off and broke his leg. The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sai Weng's misfortune. Sai Weng again said, "Who can say what is good or bad?"
Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sai Weng's lame son were drafted and were killed in battle. The village people were amazed as Sai Weng's good luck. His son was the only young man left alive in the village. But Sai Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, "Who can say what is good or bad?"

Oops. Did I accidentally philosophize on the SMBC forums? Bad me.


Philosophy is all well and good, but that Sai Weng story really needs a punchline.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Mon May 21, 2012 3:28 pm

"Sai Weng and everyone else in this story are long dead now."
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Mon May 21, 2012 3:32 pm

Ha! I get it.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby KD » Tue May 22, 2012 10:39 am

Only thing I got out of the Sai Weng story, is that Sai Weng is a giant anti-social douche bag.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby Sandwiches » Tue May 22, 2012 11:17 am

ThatLazyBum wrote:Oops. Did I accidentally philosophize on the SMBC forums? Bad me.



we're idiots
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby DonRetrasado » Tue May 22, 2012 12:29 pm

Assholes should've asked Sai Weng's son what he wanted to do.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby holy shit » Tue May 22, 2012 5:16 pm

Zach, go back to writing one panel comics. You're killing me.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby GUTCHUCKER » Wed May 23, 2012 4:11 am

Zach reads the forum. He really does.
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Re: [2012-May-20] Question of Suffering

Postby Jewlian » Fri May 25, 2012 3:54 pm

I think Sai Weng's indifference to good and bad fortune is likely a symptom of clinical depression. Some SSRIs would fix him right up.
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