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Thread: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    this is really only for the religious people, but i guess atheists can join in as well.

    do you believe in divine intervention? do you believe that god meddles in your life?

    i know this sounds nuts, but i do.

    today i feigned being sick because i wanted to play ETW. and what do you know, my cooling fan breaks and now i cant use my laptop for a week or more.

    a year ago i publicly humiliated someone for no reason, and my hard drive breaks.

    the list goes on. basically whenever i do something wrong, im always punished in some way (not always by my laptop breaking).

    come to think of it, this past week when my gf cruelly broke up with me, i realized i had accused someone of doing something wrong previously, when he didnt do it, and i never apologized.

    everything just comes right back and hits me.

    thoughts?
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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    I think divine intervention is possible, but I think it must co-exist with free will. Further, the interventions you mentioned seem fairly minor, except for your gf, but I doubt God got involoved there.
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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    If you constantly search for it I am sure you can find traces of divine intervention.

    If you constantly look for it you can probably also find traces of pixie intervention...

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    i just feel that for everything bad i do he whollops me back.
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Coincidence maybe?
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    maybe my subconscious?
    its too strange for it not to be anything more than a coincidence. my life is, according to some, perfect when i do the right things, but kinda like hell when i dont.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 05-08-2009 at 00:37.
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Hooahguy, I think thats called Karma. And I'm not religious... But my teacher says I'm one of the more spiritual people he's met.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Veho Nex View Post
    Hooahguy, I think thats called Karma. And I'm not religious... But my teacher says I'm one of the more spiritual people he's met.
    Buddhism fleshes out that system of belief, so Hooahguy can have a look at that if he's curious. The basics AFAIK are that good deeds and bad deeds accumulate and are rewarded/punished, if not in this life, then in a later incarnation. Bad luck in this life can be attributed to bad deeds in this life, or in an earlier incarnation.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Buddhism fleshes out that system of belief, so Hooahguy can have a look at that if he's curious. The basics AFAIK are that good deeds and bad deeds accumulate and are rewarded/punished, if not in this life, then in a later incarnation. Bad luck in this life can be attributed to bad deeds in this life, or in an earlier incarnation.
    sounds like Judasim...
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    sounds like Judasim...
    Does Judaism have incarnations?

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    some say so. he is called the "Moshiach" or "messiah"
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 05-08-2009 at 02:36.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Yes. But I also believe in coincidence.

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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    I can't be convinced otherwise. God's done really good things with me, not really something I can or should try to convince people of over the internet. It's not unreasonable for other people to not believe me, if I were in their place I probably wouldn't believe me either. But happily I am who I am.

    It's all good in the end.

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    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    It depends on what your interpretation of Divine Intervention is. I'd say its coincidence more than anything, I don't think god wastes his time on making you miserable for doing a bad deed every now and again.

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    Senior Member Senior Member naut's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    I feel two ways about this:

    1) I think we must be fairly vain to think that a divine being, one that can do anything, would actually be interested in our puny lives. I mean it's pretty absurd to think that a divine being would care enough to intervene in your specific life.

    2) Whenever I have been more spiritual I have had hotter women. So I always feel it could be possible, I wouldn't rule it out, but at the same time I don't dwell on it, since doing so is absurd.
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    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    FSM interweaves his noodly appendages in the Fates of All Men.
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    Have you just been dumped?

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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Buddhism fleshes out that system of belief, so Hooahguy can have a look at that if he's curious. The basics AFAIK are that good deeds and bad deeds accumulate and are rewarded/punished, if not in this life, then in a later incarnation. Bad luck in this life can be attributed to bad deeds in this life, or in an earlier incarnation.
    I was thinking along the lines of Taoism(Daoism), Yin and Yang and all that jazz. Thats kinda what I believe in.
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
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    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

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    Friend of Lady Luck Member Mooks's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    When I was a theist I never really believed in divine intervention. Especially karma like intervention. Think of all the people around the globe that do sick atrocities and never ever have to pay for it (Escaped nazi's come to mind). If god really cares about you hurting someones feelings, and he punishes you for that while a mass murderer like Mugabe is still in his palace, then he has his priorities messed up.
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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    OMG, this is so weird! Last night, my pasta dish came out all soggy. Just when I hadn't sacrificed to the Spaghetti Monster!

    Coincidence? I think not...
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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    I believe in God, and I don't think its vain at all to think He's interested in our daily lives. In fact, He says in scripture that He wants to know, and He wants a better relationship with us. If you look at it that way, prayer becomes a conversation, which is how I think its supposed to work.

    I do think He intervenes in our lives, but not over every tiny little detail. He may not be happy that you humiliated your friend, but your hard drive crashing sounds like coincidence. Not that it wasn't divine intervention, I'm just saying I think the Almighty keeps His powder dry for the big stuff....

    As with all matters of faith, well, its based on faith. If somebody is agnostic or atheistic, the idea of divine intervention probably seems laughable, and hence all the flying spaghetti monster jokes:
    (though I thought the FSM was originally supposed to just deride creationists, didn't realize that FSM had 'evolved' into a satire on any belief whatsoever). Go ahead and keep laughing, I'm sure it seems ridiculous from that perspective, and I'll keep praying for you, as your position appears hopeless and sad from my perspective.

    I don't mean this as criticism, I'm seriously curious... if you close your mind to anything but that which can be detected empirically, how do you avoid devolving into a state of cynicism? A belief in God is no more, no less tenable than a belief in the inherent goodness of mankind or a belief in a better world. At the end of the day, are all intelligent people required to abandon all hope and cling to nihilism?
    Last edited by Don Corleone; 05-08-2009 at 12:15.
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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooks View Post
    When I was a theist I never really believed in divine intervention. Especially karma like intervention. Think of all the people around the globe that do sick atrocities and never ever have to pay for it (Escaped nazi's come to mind). If god really cares about you hurting someones feelings, and he punishes you for that while a mass murderer like Mugabe is still in his palace, then he has his priorities messed up.
    I think this is the crucial point.

    Any deity that allows itself to interfere in any way with the lives of its creation must be alid open to the charge of culpability in evil. A god that breaks a laptop fan yet ignores the suffering of even a single child, is utterly amoral. The old excuse that "we don't know God's plans" does not absolve said deity from responsibility.

    The ancients dealt with this by imagining gods that were, for the most part, entirely selfish creatures prone to human lusts and conflicts. That characterisation makes some sense.

    A loving, personal god cannot have the power to interfere in even the smallest way. The only consistent explanation for such a god would be that it set in motion a creation based on free will and let the clockwork run. To me, that's why Jesus' divinity must be questioned: why should some people have been granted freedom from their sufferings through miracles, and not others. Not through faith, because there is plenty of people since who have believed but still suffered - they were just unlucky, born in the wrong time.

    When millions of children die in pitiful poverty of disease and starvation, why would any god worth the name break a hard drive because someone was slightly beastly one day?
    Last edited by Banquo's Ghost; 05-08-2009 at 12:26. Reason: Spelling, d'oh
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    Useless Member Member Fixiwee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    OMG, this is so weird! Last night, my pasta dish came out all soggy. Just when I hadn't sacrificed to the Spaghetti Monster!

    Coincidence? I think not...
    Best post in this thread so far. All praise to the Spaghetti Monster!

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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    @hooah: I feel the exact same way, so often similar things have happened to me and there is no way that it is coincidence. Sometimes if I get overconfident and start thinking I'm not doing anything wrong, then I'll get beaten back on track and reminded that thankfully, doing good doesn't come from me, but from God.

    Anyway, God does not intervene in every matter simply because it is what we asked for. Not just Adam, but all of us. I know some people say that we should not be punished for one man's mistakes, but the fact is that if we really accepted God then we would all be born Christian/religious and we would never do a single bad deed in our life. We all make the same mistake as Adam in asking for a Godless world, ever since we commit our first sin we run from God because we fear the judgement.

    Thankfully, God does interevene in this world, because it is by that intervention that He transforms us. With the beloved idol of free will, many people complain that God uses them as puppets, and that they must be able to come to Him by their own merit, as if they were born good and did not need a saviour in the first place! They complain about Godlessness, when God does not intervene in every affair of our world; but then they also complain about Godliness, because it tramples over their beloved idol.

    God will intervene to gather his sheep, as the scripture says. That doesn't mean it makes things easy for them in this life, far from it. Part of what it is all about is facing persecution, look at the history of the Jews for example. Crucially, they will be gathered together in the end, and now they have their state in Israel. The same parallels exist in becoming a Christian.
    Last edited by Rhyfelwyr; 05-08-2009 at 12:49.
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Anyway, God does not intervene in every matter simply because it is what we asked for. Not just Adam, but all of us. I know some people say that we should not be punished for one man's mistakes, but the fact is that if we really accepted God then we would all be born Christian/religious and we would never do a single bad deed in our life.
    This doesn't make sense to me, maybe I'm reading it the wrong way. I don't think any of us can know God so fully on earth that we never do anything against His nature. I consider "bad" to mean against the nature of God, because from what I know of God he is the very essense of "good". By far the greatest enjoyment and satisfaction I have in life is from being like God with other people, being merciful or kind or understanding.

    Regarding free will, that is one part of the nature of God that is so important. God freely decided to give us free will so we could choose whether to love him or not. Free will isn't a bad thing or against God's nature at all. Would you rather have a wife who was predestined and essentially "forced" to love you, or a wife who has fallings-out with you but still chooses to love you. I think God feels the same way.


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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost View Post
    I think this is the crucial point.

    Any deity that allows itself to interfere in any way with the lives of its creation must be alid open to the charge of culpability in evil. A god that breaks a laptop fan yet ignores the suffering of even a single child, is utterly amoral. The old excuse that "we don't know God's plans" does not absolve said deity from responsibility.

    The ancients dealt with this by imagining gods that were, for the most part, entirely selfish creatures prone to human lusts and conflicts. That characterisation makes some sense.

    A loving, personal god cannot have the power to interfere in even the smallest way. The only consistent explanation for such a god would be that it set in motion a creation based on free will and let the clockwork run. To me, that's why Jesus' divinity must be questioned: why should some people have been granted freedom from their sufferings through miracles, and not others. Not through faith, because there is plenty of people since who have believed but still suffered - they were just unlucky, born in the wrong time.

    When millions of children die in pitiful poverty of disease and starvation, why would any god worth the name break a hard drive because someone was slightly beastly one day?
    I think there's a lot to be said for this. However, within the basic framework of free will there might still be some play for divine intervention.

    If God only intervenes in small ways then he can't stop one particular diaster, but he might be able to lessen the impact for the greatest number of people.

    For example, I don't believe God would usually make it so that you were not in a building during an earthquake, but he might make you stand a foot to the lef so that a structuaral beam doesn't crush you. I think very little things, little nudges, are all he usually does. So, with the Biblical miracles it's a question of you having made the choices to be in the right place at the right time. Beyond that, the miracles themselves are explicitely stated to be signs, not acts of charity. Jesus eliviates the suffering of the few so that the many enter Heaven. Beyond that it could be argued that people do recieve miracles when they have faith. Many people believe this, and even in my own young life I have seen things that make it impossible for me to discount.
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    Vindicative son of a gun Member Jolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    BLARGH!

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    I'm seriously curious... if you close your mind to anything but that which can be detected empirically, how do you avoid devolving into a state of cynicism? A belief in God is no more, no less tenable than a belief in the inherent goodness of mankind or a belief in a better world. At the end of the day, are all intelligent people required to abandon all hope and cling to nihilism?
    Atheists have no more a moral or emotional void than Christians have an intellectual or moral void. We descent no more into cynicism than a Christian descents into cretinism. This is not how it works.

    The witnessing of great natural wonders, the narrow avoidance of misfortune, the birth of new life - these equally stir the emotions of both the religious and the non-religious.

    The difference is, that when I find food on my plate tonight, I know that it is the fruit of my own hard labour. It is what being an autonomous, free being is about. No god, no master. I will neither sacrifice part of my food to the spirit of my microwave, nor say thanks to some wrathful guy with a spycam in my head*. Whereas the religious do. This does not mean they are childish, or slaverish, or afraid of being free. That is not how it works, I think.


    *Child abuse, I say. Small children will believe Santa Claus is real. So they certainly will believe that a nasty old man is peeking down their brain constantly to check for 'wrong thoughts', for which he will burn them alive forever.
    Religion is fine, but spare children. I think it ought to be prohibited to take children to churches, temples, mosques and other cultist centres until they are eightteen.


    Beastly anti-Chistianism from Louis? Perhaps. However, all my posts combined will not be harsher, will not be a more scathing indictment of Christianity, than that single sentence that is posted daily in the signature of an ex-Catholic on this forum. Speaking of which, Camus struggled with the very topic of this post. He vehemently resisted nihilism as the outcome of individual freedom. But I am not well versed enough in his thought to quote anything of acute relevance.


    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolt View Post
    Genius. So very apt.
    Last edited by Louis VI the Fat; 05-08-2009 at 14:03.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost View Post
    I think this is the crucial point.

    Any deity that allows itself to interfere in any way with the lives of its creation must be alid open to the charge of culpability in evil. A god that breaks a laptop fan yet ignores the suffering of even a single child, is utterly amoral. The old excuse that "we don't know God's plans" does not absolve said deity from responsibility.

    The ancients dealt with this by imagining gods that were, for the most part, entirely selfish creatures prone to human lusts and conflicts. That characterisation makes some sense.

    A loving, personal god cannot have the power to interfere in even the smallest way. The only consistent explanation for such a god would be that it set in motion a creation based on free will and let the clockwork run. To me, that's why Jesus' divinity must be questioned: why should some people have been granted freedom from their sufferings through miracles, and not others. Not through faith, because there is plenty of people since who have believed but still suffered - they were just unlucky, born in the wrong time.

    When millions of children die in pitiful poverty of disease and starvation, why would any god worth the name break a hard drive because someone was slightly beastly one day?
    That's where the Buddhist system of belief explains everything. If you're suffering in this life through no fault of your own, despite all the good things you've done, it must be because of bad things you've done in a previous life. Which of course can't be disproven. And thanks to the nature of incarnations, even cruelty against animals fits neatly into this system. Have any other belief systems tried to incorporate this catch-all explanation into their beliefs?

  29. #29
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garnier View Post
    This doesn't make sense to me, maybe I'm reading it the wrong way. I don't think any of us can know God so fully on earth that we never do anything against His nature. I consider "bad" to mean against the nature of God, because from what I know of God he is the very essense of "good". By far the greatest enjoyment and satisfaction I have in life is from being like God with other people, being merciful or kind or understanding.
    I agree completely with that. I'm not sure what bit I said that you disagree with, its hard to make myself clear on these complicated issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garnier View Post
    Regarding free will, that is one part of the nature of God that is so important. God freely decided to give us free will so we could choose whether to love him or not. Free will isn't a bad thing or against God's nature at all. Would you rather have a wife who was predestined and essentially "forced" to love you, or a wife who has fallings-out with you but still chooses to love you. I think God feels the same way.
    Removing choice doesn't necessarily mean that we are forced to do things against our nature. When I argue against free will, I mean that everything we do has been seen beforehand, and so we cannot act without that framework of events. It doesn't actually mean we do anything against our will, but rather we had no choice to do otherwise. So if a wife was predestined to love her husband, she would not love him because she was forced to, but she was always going to be inclined to do so anyway. It is inevitable, Mr. Anderson.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  30. #30
    Member Member Hax's Avatar
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    Default Re: for religious folk: do you believe in divine intervention?

    That's where the Buddhist system of belief explains everything. If you're suffering in this life through no fault of your own, despite all the good things you've done, it must be because of bad things you've done in a previous life. Which of course can't be disproven. And thanks to the nature of incarnations, even cruelty against animals fits neatly into this system. Have any other belief systems tried to incorporate this catch-all explanation into their beliefs?
    What specific system of Buddhism is this? Mahayana or Theravada?

    Being a Buddhist/Shintoïst myself, I strongly disagree with this. I do not believe in "Divine Intervention", what I do believe in is positive thought and the fact that good and bad is different for everyone. A breaking laptop could be seen as a punishment, but also as an opportunity to go out and hang out more with friends or family. It all depends on how you look at the situation. With that in mind, there is no such thing as punishment. And punishment because of something you did in a previous life, for which people should not be made to suffer. It does not seem righteous at all. And animal cruelty is even worse, in my opinion.

    Rhyfelwyr, if a predestined fates exist, what's the point of free will?
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