The Family Next Door

PhilipD's picture
Submitted by PhilipD on Thu, 2009-08-27 16:37

I don't talk to the family next-door.

I did once but the relationship is strained now. It all began to change when my neighbour become a Christian who cracks open the bible every Sunday at about the same time I’m cracking open my first cold beer; and she keeps giving me a frosty look from across the fence as I work my way through my third.

The relationship's strained because her husband -frankly he’s nuts- wanders around the garden early every day muttering crazy thoughts while his dog craps on my lawn. And the relationship’s strained because their airhead son is on the dole and plays 'Slayer' at full-volume whenever his parents aren't at home. Yet despite these tensions my good-gal Christian from next-door still thinks she should love-thy-neighbour; she's looking to mend some fences with me it seems.

And she's in luck! The Christchurch City Council is in the ‘fix-the-relationship-with-your-neighbour’ business, as again they get behind ‘Neighbourhood Week,’ which kicks-off in October. Neighbourhood week, “allows each of us to reach out and connect with our neighbours,” says the neighbourly Catherine McDonald, Community Support Manager with the Christchurch City Council. And that's just what my good-gal Christian from next-door wants; to reach out, connect and show me some love. 'Have a gala, a barbecue, a family fun day, a picnic, a working bee, a colouring competition,' suggests the council's special ‘Neighbourhood Week’ website. Or do as some did last year; organize a recycling swap or a sunflower seed distribution.

A picnic or a sunflower seed distribution, that's going to cost my good-gal Christian from next-door though, isn't it? Not at all! She just needs to apply for a 'small contribution' from her local community board by supplying all of her details and the details of the event, and then wait until the board has a meeting to approve the application and, should that succeed, complete the subsidy reimbursement form, wait four weeks and someone-else’s hard-earned cash will appear in her letterbox. Now that’s neighbourly.

But what if she's in need of help to organize her picnic, barbecue or distribution? Never mind, the council's handy website is bursting with tips on how to have fun. Invitations? Covered! They can be found, complete with city council logo, at the website; just download and print. Drinks? 'Ideas for you are juice, tea & coffee and water...' says the council. Food? Checkout the council's recipes; vegetarian nut balls, vegetarian fritters or gluten-free meatloaf, anyone? Oh, and '...don't forget to take some wet wipes with you for sticky fingers,' the website informs, helpfully. Please be informed though that council's 'small contributions' can't be used to fund alcohol or fireworks.

So it seems that all I have to do is turn-up at the event, meet my neighbours and mend some fences. It would be un-neighbourly not to, wouldn't it? But I won’t. I won’t not just because I object to ratepayers money being handed out for colouring competitions, galas and sun-bloody-flower seed distributions. And I won't not just because I object to ratepayer’s money being used to put up silly websites that offer patronizing advice. Most of all I won't because I don’t like Po-faced Christians, crazies, crapping dogs and Slayer-loving dole-bludgers. Is that still legal in the Christchurch City Council's sorry little fiefdom?


( categories: )

Worse

sharon's picture

"I'm thinking there may be quibbles over dealings with an anarchist."

And an atheist.

I suspect Sharia

gregster's picture

she's saying a few prayers to check with him upstairs whether it's OK.

I'm thinking there may be quibbles over dealings with an anarchist.

Rosie

sharon's picture

Any time when to expect your new thread regarding the case for God?

RIDDLER II

Jameson's picture

Rosie

sharon's picture

“I am happy to discuss whatever you would like to discuss. How do you want to structure it? Do you want to ask questions which I answer? or how do you see this discussion as being most effective?”

Rosie, I like your idea of starting a new thread called “The case for God” or something like this. Let’s have an open discussion. Start it off. Make your case for the existence of such a being as you see fit. Once I know the premises you proceed from, I will be able to jump in. Don’t worry about being philosophically technical. In fact, I would prefer a rather formal and structured debate. If is not known (I assume nothing) I should let you know that I am a “hard atheist.”

But, by all means--make your case. You have the floor and open ears.

"Like any discussion of worth, I would insist upon respect for each other's views and no nit picking if something is not written carefully enough and has to be revised or qualified. No silly nastiness or name calling - nothing that is irrelevant to the search for the truth kind-of-thing. Do you agree to these terms?"

Absolutely I do. Our debate should be worthy of being published in a philosophical journal with manners intact. ;]

"I went through this a long time ago and it would do me good to revise all those questions and answers. Of course, at the end of the day, I can never point to a physical being and say, "there He is!" I can only show circumstantial evidence, consistent scientific evidence, archaeological evidence…”

I anticipated this much. If you were able to point to some sort of “physical being”—we wouldn’t be having this discussion. You also can’t point to gravity and say “see, I mean this". You also can’t point to “higher abstractions”--as you could, say, point to a concrete, physical car—and say “See!” But all *concepts*, I would argue, must be able to be tied back to empirical reality for them to have any rational basis in fact. So, I would be interested to hear how you would prove the existence of God by means of “circumstantial evidence” let alone “scientific evidence.”

Let’s go. Get the thread started. Let’s have an engaging and interesting discussion.

Fucksake, Dick

Jameson's picture

Stop with the fucking riddles and ask a fucking question. You're boring me.

And why the fuck are you playing favourites with Rosie?

But here's the clincher, Rosie

Jameson's picture

"This is the love of God's grace - the stooping to love someone undeserving."

If you cannot or will not pass judgement on a man, making a distinction between men becomes impossible, and if your love extends to lowest of the low, to the Hermann Goerings of the world, then your love for a mass murderer is no different than your love for Richie.

In other words your definition of love is meaningless.

Omnia vincit amor? Bovis fimus!!

Jameson's picture

Six hundred words, Rosie.

Sorry, that's a lie... 598.

My late grandmother told me this story more than once growing up:

"A Nazi officer dragged a Jewish worker around the back of the concentration camp factory. He held the gun to the Jew's head, but just before he pulled the trigger the Jew said, "I love you." The Nazi hesitated, holstered his weapon and stormed away."

The moral of her story was something like, "the power of love can tame a monster's heart." I asked her, "Why weren't the Jews more loving? Why didn't they all just say that?" She replied, "Because the Nazis tricked the Jews into showers so they didn't have a chance to say it."

Years later I realised the real moral of her story was "Love thy enemy," a truly lethal prescription in any context. My Nan had had a tough life: fatherless after the Somme; a widow and solo mum after Dieppe. She was always a bit muddled, and certainly starved of nurture.

What's your excuse, Rosie?

The Money Quote

Jeff Perren's picture

Someone, I think it was Hilton, wondered how Ms. Purchas could accept Christianity as true and valuable.

Here's your answer:

"The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners and undeserving - it is simply a matter of degree.
...
I won't make it to heaven. I am way too sinful." [Rosie]

Christianity is the perfect philosophy for people who have this view of human nature, and of themselves.

Sharon

Rosie's picture

I don't know that I am high on the embracing and coddling of killers per se but I do know that hearts can change dramatically - even the apparantly worst and coldest. I also know that prisons and the death penalty have had very little impact on reducing crime. That these punishments are not the answer.
It is the spiritual things that have affected the rate of recidivism - not just Christianity but TM has been shown to have been influential. And it is also the hearts of people when these prisoners get out of prison that affects this.
I am certainly not the fire and brimstone type. I think fear is the worst reason for any decision. And I am not hung up on heaven and hell. I won't make it to heaven. I am way too sinful. But that is not the whole point for me and it certainly couldn't change my belief in God and the extraordinary nature of this experience. It has been a journey of the most extraordinary nature. And I am just so thankful that I was open enough to not let my prejudices against Christianity or Christians or my earlier preconceived notions about God as the legalist, prevent me from beginning along the path. I was not young when this occurred. I was quite old! And I did not know a single Christian in those days. So it is quite remarkable that it happened.

I am happy to discuss whatever you would like to discuss. How do you want to structure it? Do you want to ask questions which I answer? or how do you see this discussion as being most effective?
Do you want to discuss it by private message or email or on this public forum? (I ask this because I am not sure that anyone is very interested and it may be a bit annoying for them. We could start a separate thread of course? The case for God or something? That way people could just avoid it if they weren't interested. I wouldn't desire people coming on in an ad hoc fashion and missing the point and calling me names and how I disgust them etc. although I guess that is part of it all.) You decide. I will go along with whatever you think best.

Like any discussion of worth, I would insist upon respect for each other's views and no nit picking if something is not written carefully enough and has to be revised or qualified. No silly nastiness or name calling - nothing that is irrelevant to the search for the truth kind-of-thing. Do you agree to these terms? You strike me as very geniuine and (most times) able to keep your emotions under control! I don't mind being teased or funny jokes at my expense but just not those nasty malicious type comments that serve no purpose.

I went through this a long time ago and it would do me good to revise all those questions and answers. Of course, at the end of the day, I can never point to a physical being and say, "there He is!" I can only show circumstantial evidence, consistent scientific evidence, archaeological evidence as the Bible describes but which has been used as evidence that the Bible is wrong etc, my friends' experiences, books I have read of other people's experiences and most importantly to me, my own experiences. But there is one thing that you may not understand/experience and that is the more mystical processes that occurred to me during my study. Anyway, let's give it a shot.

Rosie

sharon's picture

Rosie, I get the impression that you are of a Christian cadre that Nietzsche would describe as a “saccharine pack”. That is, you are low on the brim stone and fire, and high on the embracing and coddling of killers.

Your arguments for Christian forgiveness takes me philosophically midstream—for it assumes the existence of a supernatural deity first (as if it were an axiom) and then, from this base, leaves us to argue for the merits or demerits of Christian justice. Given our philosophical differing perspectives, we will of course arrive at different ports in what we regard as "good" or "bad".

Regarding the issue of justice--and what that means in secular or Christian terms--it is a very interesting, but separate topic. It is the existence of God (or lack thereof) that sets the standards.

That interests me.

Metaphysics and epistemology are the starting points leading to all other questions and subjects. It is this that I would debate—or discuss –if you will.

That takes us to fundamentals. What say ye?

Sharon - Murder, she wrote

Rosie's picture

You didn't get it? Ah, then that explains your grotesque follow-up story.

The point of that true story (not a parable) was this:
1. Clearly the woman loathed the sin of murdering her husband and sons.
2. The woman distinguished between the sin and the sinner.
3. She judged his actions as sinful.
4. But she was still able to love the sinner. This is the love of God's grace - the stooping to love someone undeserving. (The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners and undeserving - it is simply a matter of degree.)
5. No arrogant heathen, she also would have recognised that she was not sinless herself.
6. Hence she would not be the one to hurl the first stone.
7. When given the opportunity to choose her justice, she showed that she put all of the above Christian doctrine in to practice as only someone with the changed heart of a true blue Christian could, and chose justice that could only be described as divine.
She gained a family, they saw the grace of the love of God through this woman, they learned and experienced true forgiveness. The results were extraordinary and hearts were changed.

The end of the story was nothing as you wrote in fact. These people loved one another. They were with her right up until the minute she died. The men and their families became Christians (the true sort) because of the example she showed them of such unearthly goodness. Not just in saving them from the firing squad or prison. She was good and righteous in all that she did. And she gained a loving family.

What would have been the alternative?
The men would have been killed or imprisoned leaving families behind with no father and no means of financial support. The children would have been left with the shame of a convicted murderer for a father and nothing to redeem him in their eyes for the rest of their lives. Just the knowledge of his foul crime.

As it turned out, through the woman's wisdom and grace, the men were able to (and did) rise above their low moral state and change. They did good things. And they atoned for their wrongdoing in the best possible and directly relevant way. This would have a flow on effect to the children and the choices they made for the future.

The old woman would have had no family. She probably would have had the support of people in her church but not the same relationship as people you can call your family who will be with you and for you through all times without reserve.

In modern parlance, it was a win-win situation!

Seriously, Glenn

Richard Goode's picture

One must never attempt to fake reality in any manner. - Ayn Rand

Thou shalt not raise a false report. - God

Richie

Jameson's picture

Rosie says it's true. It that true?

Seriously, Dick

Jameson's picture

grow the fuck up.

Aside

Rosie's picture

This is like a Friday night cyberspace cocktail party! And all the guests are arguing! Linz, as host, must be enjoying this immensely!

Lying?

Rosie's picture

I am not lying. Richard understands the distinction.

His point is that I said it, not him and that you cannot quote him as saying something that I said, not he!

God vs. Galt

Richard Goode's picture

You're the one attributing the quote to a fictional character - in both posts!!

And the problem with attributing quotes to story book characters is... what?

Rosie, are you lying to us?

Jameson's picture

Glenn: "Richie... May we quote you on this...:"

Richie: "No, you may not."

"What is it with you Objectivists?...

Jameson's picture

Always attributing to me things I didn't say"

Rosie is an Objectivist???!!!!

You dick!

Jameson's picture

You're the one attributing the quote to a fictional character - in both posts!! Grow the fuck up!!

No, you may not

Richard Goode's picture

Richie... May we quote you on this

No, you may not.

What is it with you Objectivists? Always attributing to me things I didn't say.

Who is John Galt?

Richard Goode's picture

Glenn, I hate to be the one to break this to you.

John Galt isn't real. He's a story book character.

'It failed miserably. It

PhilipD's picture

'It failed miserably. It chilled me to the bone and sickened me.'

Same here.

Richie

Jameson's picture

May we quote you on this:

"Richard understands the distinction between judging the sin vs judging the sinner and also what that this means as a consequence. I.e., Not to cast the first stone unless you are free from sin."

Murder, she wrote.

sharon's picture

Rosie, I am at a lost to understand the reason for the parable you provided regarding the murder of a woman’s husband. Was it your intention to provide food for thought, a morality tale to make me feel fuzzy inside? It failed miserably. It chilled me to the bone and sickened me.

I'm responding to Dick-head's weak and flippant remark

Jameson's picture

in which he quotes God: "Thou shalt not raise a false report."

What's your point, Riddler?

Jameson's picture

Your second quote was written by the same person who made the first. There is no cancellation, no self-condemnation.

Jameson

Rosie's picture

1. Must you sabotage one thread with another? Your comment bears no relation to Mr Duck's post and the ensuing conversation.
2. Richard understands the distinction between judging the sin vs judging the sinner and also what that this means as a consequence. I.e., Not to cast the first stone unless you are free from sin. You should too since it has been pointed out to you umpteen times with a link to another site to explain it in full. What more do you need to understand the distinction?

Get thee hence to the appropriate thread. And while you are at it, answer your own assertion from your own experience. I.e., how what you find sexually attractive illustrates your entire philosophy of life. In your own words from your own life.

Glenn's conundrum

Richard Goode's picture

One must never attempt to fake reality in any manner. - Ayn Rand

You may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest - but if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking. - John Galt

The first quote cancels out the second? - and taken on its own, the second condemns itself? Huh?

Really?!

Jameson's picture

So you can prove God said that?

Indeed, Sharon

Richard Goode's picture

Richard [is] sniffing out weak and flippant remarks to attack.

Glenn's remark was weak and flippant.

Indeed he is, Sharon

Jameson's picture

Goode, why won't you answer the question regarding the free pass you're giving Rosie after writing such a condemnation of people who refuse to judge?

Does your philosophy allow you to play favourites?

red alert:

sharon's picture

Richard has exhausted his argumentative capital on the “Talk to the Rand” thread and is looking for new territory here, sniffing out weak and flippant remarks to attack.

Man, you really are dumber than a sack of hammers

Jameson's picture

To believe in a talking God is to fake reality, which your first quote instructs you never to do. And because there is no God to utter the quote in the first place, the second quote is in itself a false report.

Did you buy your Ph.D off one of those diploma spammers we get here on SOLO?

So...

Richard Goode's picture

God is missing

So how does the first quote cancel out the second? And how does the second condemn itself?

God

Jameson's picture

is missing, Dick.

Am I missing something here?

Richard Goode's picture

Your first quote cancels out your second - and taken on its own, the second condemns itself.

I thought Ayn Rand and God were in agreement on this.

Am I missing something here?

Goode's Conundrum

Jameson's picture

One must never attempt to fake reality in any manner. - Ayn Rand

Thou shalt not raise a false report. - God

Your first quote cancels out your second - and taken on its own, the second condemns itself.

Um ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I assumed from the "Slayer" thing that this was a piece of polemical fiction based on fact, though I did check with Philip to see if he had indeed moved to ChCh. I think this falls under the category of literary license and folk shouldn't start delivering po-faced sermons about faking reality. Especially folk who believe the biggest load of fiction ever and proselytise on its behalf.

so the neighbour thing isn't true

Rosie's picture

I did not miss your point of "neighbourhood week" and I doubt that the two previous posters missed it either. It is obvious enough. For me, there was more to be said about the other more depressing aspects of your post. And if you did not wish this aspect to be commented on then you would have been better to have omitted it altogether. Especially if it not even true!

In terms of the only point you wanted to make, however, (a) there is a world phenomenon going on at the moment of "Something Day" or "Something Week" and this is nothing more than yet another one of these "awareness" things; (b) it is a sad indictment that it has come to this (as it is a sad indictment that Obama's professor friend's neighbour didn't know his own neighbour so that he rang the police thinking his neighbour was an intruder); (c) the participation of Neighbourhood Week is entirely voluntary so at least there is no coercion to take part; and (d) your objection to the spending of the ratepayer's money in this way is valid provided that at least one of the actual ratepayers agreed with you.

But if you seriously object to this why not be active (instead of a sideline moaner) and write to the CCC and others about it?

"the neighbour thing isn't true"

Richard Goode's picture

One must never attempt to fake reality in any manner. - Ayn Rand

Thou shalt not raise a false report. - God

'No need to make up stuff to

PhilipD's picture

'No need to make up stuff to make a point.'

Ross, I finished that post late at night and at the time thought it obvious that regulars here would know I don't live in ChCh- I've been posting from Thailand and about SE Asia ever since I joined SOLO over a year ago. That was a silly assumption. But I wasn't attempting to deceive.

Fuck Duck!

HWH's picture

"That's the purpose of the story, Rosie, you dumb bitch."

Have a heart mate...I think Rosie was honestly just trying to be nice.

I know their ancestors never showed compassion for those heretics who were broken on the wheel or roasted on a stack of sticks, but it's OK to spare a drop of piss on the odd Christian should you find them burning in a ditch, wouldn't you say?

Hilton

Phil...

Ross Elliot's picture

..."It seems though that I should have pointed out I don't live in ChCh- I live in Thailand- so the neighbour thing isn't true but all the daft 'Neighbourhood Week' stuff is"

I take back what I said. The dog can have the gun and shoot *you* in the ass. No need to make up stuff to make a point.

Oh Rosie...

Olivia's picture

you never ever fail to take the wrong end of the stick. Puzzled

I'm sick of do-gooders

PhilipD's picture

I'm sick of do-gooders spending other people's money in an attempt to force us all to get along. It's my business if I get along with my neighbours or not, it's not the business of the friggin' Christchurch City Council. That's the purpose of the story, Rosie, you dumb bitch.

It seems though that I should have pointed out I don't live in ChCh- I live in Thailand- so the neighbour thing isn't true but all the daft 'Neighbourhood Week' stuff is. I was trying to make the point of how far we have let the state into our lives, Rosie. Get it?

Mr Duck

Rosie's picture

Stories like yours - pictures of stubbornness, bitterness and loathing, pessimistic, uncreative and self destructive attitudes, content to let bitterness build between yourself and others and never taking a hand that is opened to you in show of friendship, frankly leaves me dead. Where is the "sense of life" in that?

To counter such a story I feel compelled to tell another. When my father died, my mother decided to leave the family home and buy an apartment that was being built in the middle of town. The apartment was delayed in its completion so that she was forced to rent a place for a few months until it was finished. She ended up in a place where the neighbours (a couple and their children) had terrible shouting matches with swearing, name calling and the occasional beating, drunken male revelry till all hours of the morning and were generally members of what my father used to describe as "the lower orders"! But listen to how she dealt with this. She befriended them. I can't remember now exactly how she did this (I do remember thinking how extraordinary it was at the time but I just can't recall the details now) but she got to know them well. She spent quite a lot of time with them and very subtly showed them a different way to deal with their problems. She is not a Christian I hasten to add; she simply loves people and has a wonderful, kind heart. The shouting and fighting completely stopped. And she told me that during one of the husband's drunken Friday or Saturday nights with his friends she heard him say, "Keep the noise down, mate, there's a very nice old lady next door and I don't want to keep her awake!"

Approach your neighbours with respect and a good spirit and you may be surprised at the outcome.

Haha, blimey

gregster's picture

Beer

How's the dog to know?

Ptgymatic's picture

just shovel it over the fence, or shrubs, or whatever--maybe fling in the center of the yard. They'll get the idea, assuming you don't have a dog yourself.

First thing, Phil...

Ross Elliot's picture

...get that mutt sorted out. Crapping on the lawn is grounds for extermination.

Do you have an air gun? Shoot it in the ass.

Then build a higher fence.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.