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Op Ed

The Gospel Coalition - How to Respond to the Video Game Crisis.
So far I have never struggled with addiction to video games, and I can't speak to the psychological research and theorizing. Instead, I simply wish to provide in this article some clarity and nuance for a subject too often considered in an alarmist context, especially within the church. Video games are a comparatively new medium, and as such they are the object of much skepticism and intrigue. Those who do not play games often view the medium as a waste of time at best and a corrupting influence at worst. Meanwhile, video game proponents---permanently on the defensive---make excuses for bad art and actual corrupting influences. We Christians must be truthful about these things, but neither side right now is telling the whole story.

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36 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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36. Re: Op Ed Jun 18, 2012, 00:42 Sepharo
 
Great post. Thanks for coming back to share.  
Avatar 17249
 
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35. Re: Op Ed Jun 17, 2012, 11:47 space captain
 
We make a distinction between "conscience" and "morality". Conscience is the feeling you experience when your actions affect the world. Morality is a codified set of rules used to designate behavior as being "good" or "bad". However, the morality of the middle-east is clearly in a violent and deadly conflict with the morality of the western world - this is just one of MANY MANY examples of why morality is essentially bullshit in terms of an objective existence put in place by an all-powerful supernatural being. Just because your particular brand of morality is the one you were raised with (Go team! woohoo!) does not mean it is the "one, true morality". Morals are defined very differently by different cultures, sometimes in stark oppositions.

So we see that morality is created by mankind, according to their limited understanding. Mankind did not invent the planet earth, however, nor did mankind invent their own bodies. Countless other processes accomplished this, many of which we currently do not understand. Modern science is not all-knowing, and if you think it is then you are just as much of a blind-faith nutjob as a christian fundamentalist that thinks the world is 4000 years old.

Our DNA contains a vast storehouse of information, over 90% of which is not currently understood. It is possible that the standard mechanical biological processes which allow us to sleep, eat, fuck, and so forth are also wildly more complex than is currently assumed.

Conscience would be something you are born with, instead of something you are taught by people around you. Therefore it is the closest thing to a "universal morality" there is, regarding humanity. The problem is that conscience is a painful experience if you act in harmful ways. This is why people block it out of their minds, beginning at a very early age. By the time they are adolescents, the defensive structure surrounding conscience is effectively "locked in". There are always glimpses of it trying to get through, but people learn to be very skillful in self-denial. Especially now that we have a very sturdy blanket of technology with which we can cover the natural world (and its life and death risks), we can afford to be much less connected to the biosphere in a direct way.

So perhaps there is a universal morality, but humanity does not want it. They want the easy way out, the quick fix, the silver bullet for 19.95. Why choose knowledge when ignorance is bliss? That is the problem facing our world. These matters are biological in origin and therefore they belong to the entire biosphere itself, which in turn belongs to the solar system, which in turn belongs to the galaxy and so on. These are realms of physical substance and physical mechanics, unlike the abstracted mythologies and ideologies of any given culture.

The existence of self-regulating systems in the natural world is a commonly known fact. Humanity is part of the natural world. We are subject to its laws. That's the most basic gist of it. People tend to forget our current civilization is only about 8000 years old. The earth is millions of years old. We really havent been doing this very long, on the timescale of the earth itself.
 
Go forth, and kill!
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34. Re: Op Ed Jun 16, 2012, 14:23 TurdFergasun
 
only on blues news could a face-palmingly ignorant religious article bring about intriguing existential debate nearly free of auto-dogmatic male cow fecal discharge.  
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33. Re: Op Ed Jun 16, 2012, 01:06 Overon
 
We're not talking about electro-chemical responses, but a free willed mind capable of understanding action and reaction. Ethics and morality.
Are you a mind dualist or an idealist? You think our sense of ethics and morality is independent of "electro chemicial responses?" You don't think that when you decide to help a stranger there is electrical chemical responses in your brain?

So I think your core understanding of this is all about is grounded in materialism and trapped in the same anti-human deception the world has bought into.
Why is materialism anti-human? It's a completely intellectually honest position. There is no compelling evidence for anything outside of materialism. Therefore, until there is evidence for non material anything, materialism is the reasonable position to hold. Do you understand how that works? It is reasonable to think Bigfoot does not exist UNTIL there is reasonable evidence that he does. The universe it what it is, and is not what it is not, and wishing it be another way does not make it so.


People are now composing their moral view against what animals do! LOL
Humans are animals. Our genes have been mapped, so have the genes of other animals and all life on earth is connected genetically. What other reasonable interpretation for this genetic commonality other than humans are animals? What exactly are you arguing against? Some things are in our nature, but we also have choices in matters on how we act toward each other ie ethics. Perhaps you think that only humans can act ethically or morally? If you do, you really should get acquainted with the literature on non human animal altruism. If altruism is moral, humans are not the only ones who have it!

This comment was edited on Jun 17, 2012, 21:55.
 
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32. Re: Op Ed Jun 16, 2012, 00:36 NicklePop
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jun 16, 2012, 00:16:
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:59:
Sepharo wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:39:
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:16:
What you put in can't possibly effect what comes out? Right? Just like the human body, you can eat McDonalds your whole life and not suffer any consequences!

I know nobody does exactly, but I don't think you understand how brains work.

Your point reveals the faulty philosophy you operate under.

We're not talking about electro-chemical responses, but a free willed mind capable of understanding action and reaction. Ethics and morality.

So I think your core understanding of this is all about is grounded in materialism and trapped in the same anti-human deception the world has bought into.

People are now composing their moral view against what animals do! LOL

Do you make a habit of replying to the same post multiple times? Regardless, I doubt you could explain half of the gobbledegook that you're spewing. It's a lot of pseudo-psych gibberish. There's really no point in arguing with that kind of stuff.

Fair enough. I'll only mention the hilarious auto-response of grammar correction or forum etiquette in place of reason.

Get out of the petri dish and think for yourself amoeba!
 
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31. Re: Op Ed Jun 16, 2012, 00:16 Wowbagger_TIP
 
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:59:
Sepharo wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:39:
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:16:
What you put in can't possibly effect what comes out? Right? Just like the human body, you can eat McDonalds your whole life and not suffer any consequences!

I know nobody does exactly, but I don't think you understand how brains work.

Your point reveals the faulty philosophy you operate under.

We're not talking about electro-chemical responses, but a free willed mind capable of understanding action and reaction. Ethics and morality.

So I think your core understanding of this is all about is grounded in materialism and trapped in the same anti-human deception the world has bought into.

People are now composing their moral view against what animals do! LOL

Do you make a habit of replying to the same post multiple times? Regardless, I doubt you could explain half of the gobbledegook that you're spewing. It's a lot of pseudo-psych gibberish. There's really no point in arguing with that kind of stuff.
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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30. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 23:59 NicklePop
 
Sepharo wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:39:
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:16:
What you put in can't possibly effect what comes out? Right? Just like the human body, you can eat McDonalds your whole life and not suffer any consequences!

I know nobody does exactly, but I don't think you understand how brains work.

Your point reveals the faulty philosophy you operate under.

We're not talking about electro-chemical responses, but a free willed mind capable of understanding action and reaction. Ethics and morality.

So I think your core understanding of this is all about is grounded in materialism and trapped in the same anti-human deception the world has bought into.

People are now composing their moral view against what animals do! LOL
 
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29. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 23:57 NicklePop
 
Sepharo wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:39:
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:16:
What you put in can't possibly effect what comes out? Right? Just like the human body, you can eat McDonalds your whole life and not suffer any consequences!

I know nobody does exactly, but I don't think you understand how brains work.

Likewise!

I'm guessing your a 'friends DON'T spoil useful habits' guy eh?
 
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28. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 23:39 Sepharo
 
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 23:16:
What you put in can't possibly effect what comes out? Right? Just like the human body, you can eat McDonalds your whole life and not suffer any consequences!

I know nobody does exactly, but I don't think you understand how brains work.
 
Avatar 17249
 
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27. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 23:16 NicklePop
 
Basically my point is that people have become preconditioned to reject that which leads to a higher state of mental being... but will consume mass amounts of mental detritus without consideration.

Moral relativism is what leads to this anti-good reactionary thinking; hypocritically preferring the dark and easy route to a higher sense of being, which requires thought and conjecture about the nature and benefit of actions.

It's hilariously obvious in it's foolishness; yet the 'greatest minds' of the day subscribe to this anti-human perspective.

So ... go for it, give your kids CoD X and see what happens. What you put in can't possibly effect what comes out? Right? Just like the human body, you can eat McDonalds your whole life and not suffer any consequences!
 
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26. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 23:09 jdreyer
 
Lukin wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 16:25:
Anyway, the data he cites is a joke, anecdotal and ignoring (what one of the commenters of in the CNN article pointed out) that society itself is different from the biased perspective of the the psychologist who conducted the "study." And, a lot has happened since Biblical times , too.

Interestingly, violent crime of all types is way down vs. 20 years ago. This correlates directly to the rise in popularity of video games. I've not seen any studies showing causation yet, but there's lots of anecdotal evidence showing that people who would normally be out on the streets doing actual violence are now staying home to commit virtual violence.
 
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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25. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 21:37 Overon
 
Lukin wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 21:27:
I pretty much agree with you, but it is a website devoted to religious issues. Of, by and for Christians. So you can't be too surprised of his perspective. I clicked around on the site, this article really is quite moderate compared to what else is up there.
Agreed.
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 21:27 Lukin
 
I pretty much agree with you, but it is a website devoted to religious issues. Of, by and for Christians. So you can't be too surprised of his perspective. I clicked around on the site, this article really is quite moderate compared to what else is up there.  
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23. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 21:17 Overon
 
There's no question: we are facing a crisis. A number of men are shirking their responsibilities, finding fulfillment in trivial things, and abandoning crucial spiritual and academic pursuits.
A crisis? Really? Is this the kind of alarmist statements the authore is decrying when he goes on later in the article to say "Instead, I simply wish to provide in this article some clarity and nuance for a subject too often considered in an alarmist context, especially within the church." You contradict yourself. What is the evidence for this crysis? I think people (especially the "millenials" are abandoning religious (aka spiritual) pursuits because they realize that the spiritual isn't real. That it exists in the mind only. http://www.pewforum.org/Age/Religion-Among-the-Millennials.aspx

We Christians must be truthful about these things, but neither side right now is telling the whole story.
I love black and white binary thinking. There is only two sides to every story right? Come on, see some grey.

The guys goes on to complain about video game violence. And there is a ton of video game violence, I agree. He offers no actual evidence that video game violence is harmful other than to point to studies that link video games and violence. When he was in seminary they didn't teach him the difference between scientific research methodologies that are designed to test for causation and those designed to test for correlation. Correlation does not imply causation. Eating rice and having black hair is highly correlated. But eating rice does not cause black hair.

Also being a Christian, does he not realize that he celebrates the torture and death of a person on a Roman execution device? The very basis of the religion is violence. Has he not read his Bible? It's full of genocide and homicide. Does he not know Christian history? Lots and lots of violence. People who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones, even little pebbles as in his soft sell attempt in that article.

This comment was edited on Jun 16, 2012, 01:09.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 19:54 smg77
 
Atomic wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 16:00:
Seems some folks missed the point of the article. All he was saying is, don't let video games take over your life "learn to responsibly engage". Seems a pretty harmless, and even somewhat helpful, message, so I don't understand what all the fuss is about. I guess some people just like to exercise their religiophobia at any opportunity.

It's a bit disingenuous considering how detrimental religion has been to humans while "video game addiction" is a made-up affliction.
 
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21. Re: seraphim, from Jun 15, 2012, 18:51 ASeven
 
space captain wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 18:17:
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 16:35:
By the relativist philosophy dumping the philosophical equivalent of garbage into your mind is the same thing as studying Socrates.

Hahahaha. How do you not see the foolishness of this perspective?

Is everything OK? Should society take-up mass heroin use?

If not, then what is the limit? Or are you saying that the only limit is somewhere beyond the Christians?


this is totally distorted and wrong, but understandable coming from a fundamentalist apologist

relativity emphasizes the differences between things - thats why its called relativity - because its about the relationships between things, and the context of a given "observer - observed" type of scenario...

absolutism is the perspective that says everything is the same, that its all equivalent

the problem is that people think they can operate their minds in a way where they can utilize absolutes as an actual concept, which is not the case - people cannot think "infinity", they cannot grasp it conceptually, but rather they assume they "know" what it means because they can label it, name it, designate it in some way..

but just because you can slap a name on something, does not mean you actually understand it

the real question, about whether there is a biologically based "conscience" rather than the purely external and conditional influences of morality (shaped exclusively by a particular geographical location and particular period of time)... thats another matter

spacecaptain, your ability to utterly astound me in the best of ways never ceases to amaze me.

Also, related to the topic, the article and this discussion reminds me of this:

http://i.imgur.com/7EtDg.gif
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 18:47 Jonny
 
Sambek_Z wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 18:15:
Moral relativism is a logical contradiction. If one is truly a moral relativist, then he should have nothing to say to someone whose morality is based on science, reading tea leaves, or believing in a god. Nor should he boast that he is moral to others or attempt to persuade others of his point of view, because that would be nonsensical. His morality is for his actions alone, how others think or behave should be irrelevant. Therefore, I find hypocrisy and logical self-contradiction in those who say they espouse moral relativism and yet advocate for it.

Rather, these people should realize that they are really moral absolutists who happen to conflict with the views of other moral absolutists.

You've described it, then used a bizarre moral strawman (Hi! I'm a moral relativist, you must comply to what I believe! Oh, bugger, now I'm an absolutist. ) to try and denounce it. Nice one.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 18:40 Lukin
 
Sambek_Z wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 18:15:
Moral relativism is a logical contradiction. If one is truly a moral relativist, then he should have nothing to say to someone whose morality is based on science, reading tea leaves, or believing in a god. Nor should he boast that he is moral to others or attempt to persuade others of his point of view, because that would be nonsensical. His morality is for his actions alone, how others think or behave should be irrelevant. Therefore, I find hypocrisy and logical self-contradiction in those who say they espouse moral relativism and yet advocate for it.

Rather, these people should realize that they are really moral absolutists who happen to conflict with the views of other moral absolutists.

I think you are misapplying these terms. Someone who sees morality as relative isn't saying that every concept of morality is equally valid, only that, in a given situation people have different views on what is best for themselves. If your idea of what is good is also good for many people, it would behoove you to try to convince those people to agree with you. And, it wouldn't be deceitful to make that argument because you could demonstrate it was better for the most people.

For example, let's say (given the religious topic) you believe that the belief in the supernatural is bad for most of society. You could try to convince a churchgoer this is true, but it might actually conflict with what is better for that churchgoer. The churchgoer has friends and family, all invested in the belief of the supernatural. Maybe he's employed by a religious institution. Therefore, it wouldn't be best for the churchgoer's immediate interests to forsake all things supernatural.

This doesn't mean that our society wouldn't be better off, in the long run, if people didn't believe in the supernatural.(This is just an example, I'm not saying this can be proven). Also, it doesn't mean that the churchgoer and the example-man couldn't join forces to stop someone who believed Satan was controlling him to kill babies. Even though the example-man disagrees with the churchgoer on the point of the supernatural, they agree that killing babies is bad for everyone.

Traditionally, Absolute Morality pertains to what god says. It is the belief that whatever god (or the president, or your dad, whatever) says is always right because they are an authority figure who knows best.
 
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18. seraphim, from Jun 15, 2012, 18:17 space captain
 
NicklePop wrote on Jun 15, 2012, 16:35:
By the relativist philosophy dumping the philosophical equivalent of garbage into your mind is the same thing as studying Socrates.

Hahahaha. How do you not see the foolishness of this perspective?

Is everything OK? Should society take-up mass heroin use?

If not, then what is the limit? Or are you saying that the only limit is somewhere beyond the Christians?


this is totally distorted and wrong, but understandable coming from a fundamentalist apologist

relativity emphasizes the differences between things - thats why its called relativity - because its about the relationships between things, and the context of a given "observer - observed" type of scenario...

absolutism is the perspective that says everything is the same, that its all equivalent

the problem is that people think they can operate their minds in a way where they can utilize absolutes as an actual concept, which is not the case - people cannot think "infinity", they cannot grasp it conceptually, but rather they assume they "know" what it means because they can label it, name it, designate it in some way..

but just because you can slap a name on something, does not mean you actually understand it

the real question, about whether there is a biologically based "conscience" rather than the purely external and conditional influences of morality (shaped exclusively by a particular geographical location and particular period of time)... thats another matter
 
Go forth, and kill!
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17. Re: Op Ed Jun 15, 2012, 18:15 Sambek_Z
 
Moral relativism is a logical contradiction. If one is truly a moral relativist, then he should have nothing to say to someone whose morality is based on science, reading tea leaves, or believing in a god. Nor should he boast that he is moral to others or attempt to persuade others of his point of view, because that would be nonsensical. His morality is for his actions alone, how others think or behave should be irrelevant. Therefore, I find hypocrisy and logical self-contradiction in those who say they espouse moral relativism and yet advocate for it.

Rather, these people should realize that they are really moral absolutists who happen to conflict with the views of other moral absolutists.
 
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