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  1. #1501  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    I agree and disagree w/ Donovan...
    I get that a lot - sometimes no one is even there.
  2.    #1502  
    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer
    I see strong evidence as to the "why" God exists in the Bible. I don't see this in books/religions before/after the time of Judaism and Christianity.
    There were too many book burnings previously that destroyed books that differed from what todays church wanted being taught. This is pretty common in a large religious shift.
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer
    Let's discuss actual events rather than remaining vague. Let's document when these events occurred and why. You will find there was a form of "Darwinism" that protected the most valuable sources of information during the times of religious persecution of Christians. There was also destruction of books by various groups who found works they considered "incorrect" (or heretical). Once we've identified the periods of time when these "burnings" occurred and the reasons why, we can then logically evaluate your assertions.

    thank you
    No need to get so defensive. There have been a lot of book burnings in history and not all for religious reasons.
    I simply want to understand what you mean (and what facts or judgment process you used to obtain your conclusion). Let me remind you that I am (and have been very) open to alternate conclusions. Just like in the "next phone rumor" threads, though, I need some facts to back up your conclusions if you want me to consider the possibility that they are worth my time to investigate.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    You only see the 'facts' in your book because you want to.
    Or because I've looked for and attempted to test alternatives which proved less able to stand up to the same rigor I'm applying to the Bible and the Church. Believe me, I've tried pretty hard to debunk the Bible based on each objection I've been presented or that I've thought of. I've applied logic when considering or comparing Judiasm, various forms of Christianity, and Islam.) I haven't carefully looked at other religions (aside from the possibility that there is "no God"). You presented me with a possible "dent" in the armor that might lead to the possibility of "no God". I simply want you to present your argument so that I can evaluate it. My behavior is hardly "see[ing] the 'facts' in [my] book because [I] want to". It's your turn to back up your assertions if you really think they are meaningful and productive.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    There are plenty of other religious texts out (and have been for as long as someone could tap into a stone or press leaves into paper) there that are just as much of a fact to that follower of that religion.
    Are you saying that "truth is relative"? I don't find such a statement as being as logical as looking at each "proposed truth" and objectively testing/evaluating (beginning with whatever one "knows the most" about). One has to try hardest to "debunk" whatever "beliefs" they have (as a responsibility to the possibility that they been duped).

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    There are plenty of other religious texts out They would feel there are not facts for belief in your book either.
    I'm willing to listen to anyone's arguments (and also to research things on my own when I'm presented with "leads").

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    Like I have said before, when we were throwing human offerings into the fire for Ra it felt sooo right, also, burning goats and livestock to Zues felt so true and proper.
    I wasn't there (to my knowledge). You speak in the first person plural. I'm willing to listen to more about your first hand experience,

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    Later, these gods were abandoned just like the ones in the future will be too.
    Do you know why they were abandoned? Did you abandon them too? Why?
    Last edited by sudoer; 03/29/2010 at 03:53 PM.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  3. #1503  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I simply want to understand what you mean (and what facts or judgment process you used to obtain your conclusion). Let me remind you that I am (and have been very) open to alternate conclusions. Just like in the "next phone rumor" threads, though, I need some facts to back up your conclusions if you want me to consider the possibility that they are worth my time to investigate.
    I wouldn't worry about this too much but these things were taught in basic school. It is not worth looking back at when and who and what was burned. It is sufficient to say that there have been burnings for various reasons through history. If you have never heard of this practice Google can give you plenty of examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Or because I've looked for and attempted to test alternatives which proved less able to stand up to the same rigor I'm applying to the Bible and the Church. Believe me, I've tried pretty hard to debunk the Bible based on each objection I've been presented or that I've thought of. I've applied logic when considering or comparing Judiasm, various forms of Christianity, and Islam.) I haven't carefully looked at other religions (aside from the possibility that there is "no God"). You presented me with a possible "dent" in the armor that might lead to the possibility of "no God". I simply want you to present your argument so that I can evaluate it. My behavior is hardly "see[ing] the 'facts' in [my] book because [I] want to". It's your turn to back up your assertions if you really think they are meaningful and productive.
    You believe that you have been biased in your assessment of the bible but I don't - you have to believe this to continue to believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Are you saying that "truth is relative"? I don't find such a statement as being as logical as looking at each "proposed truth" and objectively testing/evaluating (beginning with whatever one "knows the most" about). One has to try hardest to "debunk" whatever "beliefs" they have (as a responsibility to the possibility that they been duped).
    Truth being relative should be obvious as the truth is different based on where you were born and live. It would be odd if growing up in your probably urban american town you were a Buddhist. Conversely, it would be weird if you were born in urban China for you to believe in the specific god as part of a specific religious sect you believe in. Therefore, relative.

    We lie to ourselves everyday (me included) as we don't understand everything but assume we do (to a certain degree of course). You think you understand why a god who could have anything and everything in the entire universe cares about one species of on one planet in billions of possible planets and solar systems? Come on, why would he care that much to force people to worship and pray and beg for forgiveness. Seems awfully human to me along with the emotions applied to him such as jealousy. What does he have to be jealous of? He could have anything he could think of.


    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I wasn't there (to my knowledge). You speak in the first person plural. I'm willing to listen to more about your first hand experience,
    My comment about how it felt to believe other gods has been in other comments in this thread by me. The first person was just to add perspective - I have not believed in 'old' gods ever. Had a hard enough time trying to believe in the 'new' god - failed.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Do you know why they were abandoned? Did you abandon them too? Why?
    Ra (for example) - was abandoned before I was born. He was probably abandoned after someone found out that the sun was not pulled by his chariot each day? Maybe some simple astronomy? I have no idea and don't really find it relevant to life today so I don't even worry about it. Maybe if one of my kids decided that they wanted to worship Ra it would interest me more. My point is that while it once felt right to worship this god it no longer does.
  4. #1504  
    does anyone know if/where there is a list of biblical stories that have been verified by the church to be interpreted as literal or figurative?
  5.    #1505  
    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    I wouldn't worry about this too much but these things were taught in basic school. It is not worth looking back at when and who and what was burned. It is sufficient to say that there have been burnings for various reasons through history. If you have never heard of this practice Google can give you plenty of examples.
    I may follow up on your comment out of curiosity sometime. I agree that numerous groups have burned books throughout history. I still don't see how you can make the leap from "books have been burned by various peoples for various reasons" to "the current Bible has been 'rigged' (and all prior evidence has been burned)". I think such a position would give the humans running the Church more credit than any man should deserve.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    You believe that you have been unbiased in your assessment of the bible but I don't - you have to believe this to continue to believe.
    I simply stated that I've expended a great deal of effort towards evaluating alternate positions. I have a bias toward the Christian position but I try my best to remain objective (mostly out of respect for God, should he exist). I will agree once one has "found beauty" it is very difficult to see other positions. Logic still dictates to me that "one God" would provide a single set of truths, and that man does not fully understand God. I certainly can't fully "understand God", but I'm willing to evaluate what others have postulated and build the most logical case I can towards either accepting or rejecting my belief.


    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    Truth being relative should be obvious as the truth is different based on where you were born and live. It would be odd if growing up in your probably urban american town you were a Buddhist. Conversely, it would be weird if you were born in urban China for you to believe in the specific god as part of a specific religious sect you believe in. Therefore, relative.
    I'd be willing to say that "understanding of truth" is relative, but I still have to disagree that truth itself is relative.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    We lie to ourselves everyday (me included) as we don't understand everything but assume we do (to a certain degree of course).
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    You think you understand why a god who could have anything and everything in the entire universe cares about one species of on one planet in billions of possible planets and solar systems?
    I'm not so sure there's anything in the Bible that says we are or will be the only set of creatures that he has created or cares about. We are "unique" in that he says he created us for a specific purpose (and that his purpose for us is temporary on Earth and eternal after our earthly lives). We are each also given a freedom to choose to freely serve or reject this God. Serving him seems "right" to me. While I wish others to understand what I know and share with me what they know, I believe we all deserve respect from each other to make the choices we feel are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    Come on, why would he care that much to force people to worship and pray and beg for forgiveness. Seems awfully human to me along with the emotions applied to him such as jealousy. What does he have to be jealous of? He could have anything he could think of.
    God does not force people as you are suggesting. At least according to my (Catholic) faith, God's people can participate intimately with the suffering of Christ and offer these sufferings towards the salvation of other souls. There may well be people praying for both me and you and we might eventually "see God" because others have asked God for our salvation. All salvation comes through Christ's saving power of the cross, but it's pretty clear (at least to me) that God wants us to unite our suffering with that of Jesus for the good of "the church". This same God both "gives" and "expects" differing amounts from different people. I'm sharing his message (hopefully in kindness and love) mostly because I want to share what I've found (if others think it might be something they want). Regarding the "beg for forgiveness" thing, I prefer to think of God as one would think of an earthly father: If we were to give our children everything they want, they would become "brats" and we'd really be hindering their development. I believe God gives us trials in life in order to "build our character" so we will be fully developed to living together with Him in the afterlife. We each have different levels of understanding God's message in the Bible. I'm simply stating that your understanding is short of the message He was trying to "get across". This is more "the fault of the Church" than any possible "shortcoming" on your part.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    My comment about how it felt to believe other gods has been in other comments in this thread by me. The first person was just to add perspective - I have not believed in 'old' gods ever. Had a hard enough time trying to believe in the 'new' god - failed.
    I know - I went for years having the same doubts as you do. I felt like "the Church" had "failed me" for several years. For a while I "blindly believed" (hoping that I would eventually see/find/understand the "message" on my own). It's very hard to get a good understanding of God's message as either a Catholic or non-Catholic Christian. Regarding the "first person" comment: I really was "fishing" to see if you believed in reincarnation. I was pretty sure you didn't but I didn't want to dismiss the idea without "poking" you a bit in that direction and seeing whether you might utter some piece of wisdom that neither of us were consciously aware of. You are a lot of fun to dialog with and I appreciate the insights and challenges you continually present to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    Ra (for example) - was abandoned before I was born. He was probably abandoned after someone found out that the sun was not pulled by his chariot each day? Maybe some simple astronomy?
    In other words, he was proven to not really be "God". I down, only 38,000 more to go!

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    I have no idea and don't really find it relevant to life today so I don't even worry about it. Maybe if one of my kids decided that they wanted to worship Ra it would interest me more.
    It's possible that the God I know may end up in the same fate, but His message is much stronger than that of this (and other) "human made" gods. The possibility also exists that my God will continue not to be proven wrong. He's been written about for around 4000 years so far and the story has been developing and remaining coherent (at least to me). I believe it's possible for you to see what I see with careful understanding of what the Church teaches and some research on your part (and a little luck). This might not be "your cup of tea" and I know you've made an effort to resolve this once before in your life and you came up empty.

    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    My point is that while it once felt right to worship this god it no longer does.
    It's not about "feelings". It's about carefully evaluating the message and testing it for possible validity. There will remain a "leap of faith" became much smaller for me than I ever expected it would be. I still think "God's way" is less convenient (for me) than not believing, but it's sort of like a "workout". While I can do nothing to "earn God's grace", following his will has helped my (otherwise miserable) live.

    I wish you well should you ever "continue the journey"! (PS: Sorry for making this post be so long.)
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  6.    #1506  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    does anyone know if/where there is a list of biblical stories that have been verified by the church to be interpreted as literal or figurative?
    There is 2000 years of "commentary" you can look at in the history of the Church. I'll look around and see if I can find any book or MP3 that might help to answer your question. There are some books that help you to "understand" the Bible. If you want to remain true to what the Catholic Church teaches, you will want to look for the words "Nihil Obstat" and "Imprimatur" somewhere on the title page or the copyright page. (I think it's the later, but I'm not sure.) "Nihil Obstat" means that it was read and checked to make sure it does not contain any doctrinal errors. "Imprimatur" (and some similar words) typically mean "ready/permission to print" which indicates that the book "has value". (I book that substantially diverged from Catholic belief would end up "losing" it's value, so in practice, the "Imprimatur" is almost (if not) always "good enough".

    Sometime around June, there's supposed to be an "Ignatius Study Bible" (for the New Testament) that should be both cheap and useful (around $15). I'd combine this with a Catholic "Bible Study" through the historical books of the Old Testament. The two would give you a good "baseline" of how the "Catholic Church" sees the Bible. (I put that in quotes because a majority of Catholic parishioners do not have a good grasp of the Bible. I was in this "same camp" until a couple of years ago. I'm still learning. Protestants often have a "love of scripture" but I would get the "Catholic baseline" first as you'll have 38,000 choices (many churches are their "own denomination) after this point. If you ever find a Protestant church that "rings true" to "what you believe", I'd say to "go there" if you find the Catholic Church "too restrictive". If you are "just curious", you could probably just participate in a Catholic Bible Study that surveys the Bible and "ask your questions there".
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  7.    #1507  
    Here's another "free" one (that I haven't yet listened through)
    Inside the Bible with Fr. Kenneth Baker
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  8.    #1508  
    @gsonspre,
    Here's a (one hour) radio show by someone who wrote a book on the "senses" of Scripture. It's probably exactly what you're looking for. (I might order the book after I first listen to the radio show.)

    Making Senses Out Scripture (radio show)

    Making Senses Out Scripture (book reviews on Amazon.com)
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  9. #1509  
    Thank You sudoer!
    I will look into that... edited a pointless rant of questions.....
  10.    #1510  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Thank You sudoer!
    I will look into that... edited a pointless rant of questions.....
    I understand. My previous two posts were a "lot more" than you wanted (especially when you were probably just looking for an Excel table or something similar). I don't believe it's quite as simple as that as there are usually multiple meanings to many passages, and the stories each "fit together in a theme" rather than being simple and plain "facts" (or sort).

    I hope this comment makes some "sense".
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  11. #1511  
    My 2cents on why it is highly likely the Christian God does not exist:

    The entire story is built from the basis that humans are the most important thing in the universe. It seems all to human to create a God that is in our image. Humans are a but tiny blip on the radar of the universe. We have only existed for a blink of the eye in the grand scheme of things. Earth itself is but one of billions of worlds, and even on Earth we are but a small cliff note. If there is a creature of the universe, why would this tiny insignificant creature we call humans be so special that the creator of everything would make us in his image? It seems that humans are way to full of themselves, the universe does not revolve around us.

    Furthermore, religion is almost universal throughout culture. Why is this? With reason man eventually came to a point of questioning his existence and purpose in life. Unlike an ant, which instinctively does what it does never questioning why, with our intellect we have developed this need for religion. Religion exists because most humans need to have something to believe in, to believe their life means something, to have hope that when they die there will be something more. With our intelligence comes the understanding of death, and knowing we will eventually face it. The sheer despair of knowing you will no longer exist is a powerful force, so strong that it has driven almost every culture to develop something to believe in. But just because we want there to be something more, that unfortunately does not make it true.

    There is one reason for my disbelief in Religion, I'll leave the reasoning for why there is no Creator for another time...
  12. #1512  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I understand. My previous two posts were a "lot more" than you wanted (especially when you were probably just looking for an Excel table or something similar). I don't believe it's quite as simple as that as there are usually multiple meanings to many passages, and the stories each "fit together in a theme" rather than being simple and plain "facts" (or sort).

    I hope this comment makes some "sense".
    It does! But i will prob get that book! Thanks for the input! as always
  13.    #1513  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    It does! But i will prob get that book! Thanks for the input! as always
    I ordered a used copy (from Alibris.com). It will take about 2 weeks to arrive, but I save about 3 bucks from new (on Amazon Prime, which would arrive in 2 days). If you find a used one you like, you can enter "TARA" in the coupon code (during March) and get $1 off.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  14. Micael's Avatar
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    #1514  
    Not wanting to start a new thread on this, and as this thread has covered several different related sub themes, I thought I'd post this here.

    I saw an article today, Iowa Town Renames Good Friday to 'Spring Holiday'.

    The local Christians are all up in arms over this change. At first I was like, "Geez, let the poor Christians alone... what's the point?".

    Then, after a bit I was struck with irony..... Good Friday and Easter were both strategically created to coincide Pagan holidays. Which pagan holidays varies, but there are some specific one's that I've seen mentioned that are centered around celebrations of Attir, or Adonis; as well as a miriad of other spring / vernal equinox related festivities. In fact, traditions like 'crossed buns', and 'bunnies with eggs', actually preceed Christianity, and were 'adopted' as part of the assimilation.

    Christianity, in it's effort to wipe out competing religions, has commandeered many many stories, traditions, and celebrations, over the last 2 thousand years.

    If some small town in Iowa makes an effort to turn back some of that, I say good on them.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  15. #1515  
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjab View Post
    My 2cents on why it is highly likely the Christian God does not exist:

    The entire story is built from the basis that humans are the most important thing in the universe. It seems all to human to create a God that is in our image. Humans are a but tiny blip on the radar of the universe. We have only existed for a blink of the eye in the grand scheme of things. Earth itself is but one of billions of worlds, and even on Earth we are but a small cliff note. If there is a creature of the universe, why would this tiny insignificant creature we call humans be so special that the creator of everything would make us in his image? It seems that humans are way to full of themselves, the universe does not revolve around us.

    Furthermore, religion is almost universal throughout culture. Why is this? With reason man eventually came to a point of questioning his existence and purpose in life. Unlike an ant, which instinctively does what it does never questioning why, with our intellect we have developed this need for religion. Religion exists because most humans need to have something to believe in, to believe their life means something, to have hope that when they die there will be something more. With our intelligence comes the understanding of death, and knowing we will eventually face it. The sheer despair of knowing you will no longer exist is a powerful force, so strong that it has driven almost every culture to develop something to believe in. But just because we want there to be something more, that unfortunately does not make it true.

    There is one reason for my disbelief in Religion, I'll leave the reasoning for why there is no Creator for another time...
    Pretty well said.
    Religion started to fill in information that man did not know. Polytheism was the beginning and there was a god for just about everything we could not answer. There was a god for the sun, the moon, day, night, the weather (multiple gods there), the trees, etc. Then as science and math continue to advance it all got a little messed up if you will. People had the knowledge that even if we don't sacrifice a virgin to Ra the sun will still rise in the morning because the earth simply spun on an axis around the sun. So poof, there goes one god and rest continue to follow the more we know.

    Now, i am going to take this a step further. The governments want you to believe in god too. Why? This allows things to happen, control over people, wars, killing, bad political policy implemented, etc., and religious people will claim that this is the will of god and not fully responsible to the actions of men (which it is). The government will even claim that science and religion can coexist (which they cannot as there is not scientific proof that a god exists) by altering textbooks and policy making. Foundations are funded that claim to promote this thought process too but really they are just providing false data. This is a huge propaganda scheme to control people. I know this may offend some people but this is my judgment.

    The universe had been around for more than 10 billion years (estimates vary but none are less than 10B except for creationists) and humans (a gods chosen species) have been around for lets just say 100,000 years (probably less than that). In the grand scheme of things that is nothing - a blink of an eye in universe time. To claim that all of this is for humans by a god is ludicrous. We are most likely not the greatest creature in the universe. I will say we are pretty awesome but if there is a 1 in a billion chance that there is more intelligent life in the universe other than us - then there are a billion other more intelligent forms of life already out there.

    Legal Disclaimer - I have never seen a UFO or little green men. However, statistically speaking, I think there is a better chance of them existing than a single creator.
  16. #1516  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Not wanting to start a new thread on this, and as this thread has covered several different related sub themes, I thought I'd post this here.

    I saw an article today, Iowa Town Renames Good Friday to 'Spring Holiday'.

    The local Christians are all up in arms over this change. At first I was like, "Geez, let the poor Christians alone... what's the point?".

    Then, after a bit I was struck with irony..... Good Friday and Easter were both strategically created to coincide Pagan holidays. Which pagan holidays varies, but there are some specific one's that I've seen mentioned that are centered around celebrations of Attir, or Adonis; as well as a miriad of other spring / vernal equinox related festivities. In fact, traditions like 'crossed buns', and 'bunnies with eggs', actually preceed Christianity, and were 'adopted' as part of the assimilation.

    Christianity, in it's effort to wipe out competing religions, has commandeered many many stories, traditions, and celebrations, over the last 2 thousand years.

    If some small town in Iowa makes an effort to turn back some of that, I say good on them.
    You are so correct.
    'Christians' did this to make 'christianity'
    more acceptable to the pagans.
  17.    #1517  
    I had meant to write a post on "redemptive suffering" before yesterday, but as Holy Week progressed, I felt more inclined to study God's word than to post here. I want to make a short post now just to mention (at least in my "time zone") this is the time of year when we commemorate Jesus' suffering on the Cross (between noon and 3pm, when Jesus gives up his spirit). I watched Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" for the first time (partly yesterday and today). It seems like a pretty effective depiction of this "story". I highly recommend it for anyone else who has not viewed this movie yet.

    --
    Bob
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  18.    #1518  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    @gsonspre,
    Here's a (one hour) radio show by someone who wrote a book on the "senses" of Scripture. It's probably exactly what you're looking for. (I might order the book after I first listen to the radio show.)

    Making Senses Out Scripture (radio show)

    Making Senses Out Scripture (book reviews on Amazon.com)
    @gsonspre,
    I started reading the above book and I think it's one that you might really like. Have you purchased a copy or started reading it yet?
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  19. Dic Doc's Avatar
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    #1519  
    sudoer, I haven't looked in on this thread for quite some time, just peeked in for old times' sake today.

    You stated above that you have done a lot of research looking into whether the Bible is factually based or not.

    Pick up a copy of "The Christian Delusion", edited by William Lobdell. Some very intellectual and well-researched (and footnotes with sources!) thoughts about Christianity.

    I know that there is only so much time in a day to read all the thusands of books about religion, but when you get around to it, this book will at least get you to think and question a bit more...
  20. #1520  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Whether there is a God or not, I personally find it very difficult to love God when he allows such horrible and devastating things (natural and/or man made) happen to innocent people every single day.
    People have every right to believe or not believe, but i resent the hypocrites that preach this and preach that and tell you how to live your life while committing their own sins (of which they preached against).
    i may be very late to this thread but i just wanted to comment on dbd's post..

    We often question God’s ways. But given the chance, how would we do things differently?


    The following is an Excerpt from the Book "If You where G-d" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan


    The Problem:

    You are given an island where several tribes live.

    By nature and culture, these tribes are exploitative and belligerent. This results in much suffering on the island, caused by war poverty and prejudice.

    They have been living this way for centuries without any sign of improvement.

    Your Assignment:

    To try to improve this society.

    To teach its members to live together in harmony and reduce suffering to a minimum or eliminate it entirely.

    To create a healthy society.

    Your Resources:

    You have all the resources that a highly advanced technology can offer.

    You have the entire island under surveillance and can see what is happening in any place at any time.

    You have such devices as cloud-seeding equipment and can plant underground explosives. Within reason, you can control weather, flooding, volcanoes and earthquakes, and produce any “natural” phenomenon on cue.

    You also have devices that can be used to implant ideas through subliminal suggestion. You can implant ideas to entire populations or to certain select leaders.

    However, you must take into account the sever limitations of subliminal suggestion. If you try to implant any ideas that go against the basic nature of the populace, they will be totally rejected and your efforts will be in vain.

    One alternative would be to implant ideas that somehow would make use of the acknowledged bad nature of these people.

    Your Restrictions:

    Under no circumstances are the natives of this island to be aware of your presence.

    This supersedes all other considerations.

    The cultural shock caused by your revealing yourself would disrupt the entire fabric of the island culture. It would cause much suffering and more than offset any good that you could possibly accomplish.

    The natives would be reduced to a state of almost vegetable-like dependence from which they would be unlikely to recover. If they did recover, they might rebel so violently as to eliminate any positive values they might have originally had.

    Therefore, the restrictions that you not reveal yourself must be followed without exception under any circumstances.

    But aside from this restriction, you have a free hand to proceed as humanely or as ruthlessly as you see fit.

    In short, you have the opportunity to play God.

    What would you do?

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