What I cannot understand in these hypothetical arguments is that God would rather have us

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From: ednclark@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au (Jeffrey Clark) Message-ID: What I cannot understand in these hypothetical arguments is that God would rather have us dying of AIDS than committing extra-marital or homosexual sex. Why is God so caught up on sex? What is this cosmological concern for what these puny bits of animated space dust do to reproduce or find pleasure? I know, I know, "We cannot know the mind of God" (tm), right! It just seems to me that it's our particular culture which is so caught up in SEX (I hope that shocked you) and not some supernatural all powerful being. It seems to me that someone somewhere (probably St.Paul of Romans) decided that in order to ensure continued devotion of his flock, he must get them to surrender something they take pleasure in. This way they have a substantial investment in their belief system (we call it dissonance theory these days, and it's very powerful). Then they are far less willing to consider alternative belief structures which are mutually exclusive to their own, because if they find that the belief structure, for which they have sacrificed some of their pleasure, is inconsistent with perceived reality, they will see that they have sacrificed for nothing (this sets up dissonance). Therefore it is easier to turn a deaf ear on alternative belief structures; even if they are more consistent with perceived reality, and therefore the sheep stay in the flock (I'll never accuse Paul of being dumb). Anyway so this simple idea caught on and eventually invaded our entire society (behaviourally, normatively, politically, and legally), to the point where even those who do not conform to the belief structure now conform to the sacrifice due to societally induced normative pressure. Sick isn't it!!

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