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This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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MerrieMiss
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You signed up for this

Post by MerrieMiss » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:15 am

I recently saw an old TBM friend – we’re the same age. We run into each other every so often so she was giving me the updates and a now-ten-year old child we knew from many years ago has terminal cancer. She was telling me how it was okay because, “he signed up for this in the pre-existence.”

I just said, “Maybe.” There are cultural and language differences between us that seemed too large to bridge for the short time we had together. She added that my kid signed up for his particular ailment. She went on to say that sunscreen doesn’t even matter because if you signed up for skin cancer, you’re going to get it. She also offered me essential oil advice. (Apparently, the essential oils are powerful enough to counteract the power of having got on the short list in the pre-mortal realm. Or maybe I signed up as a doTerra rep in the pre-existence so I have a personal advantage – I’d better get on that.)

I though we got rid of this rhetoric a long time ago.

There are a lot of reasons this is a terrible belief. Because of personal situations, I found this belief particularly horrifying at this time. And the particularly nasty part of me wonders if she’ll still be spouting this garbage when something happens to her kids.
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

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Linked
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Linked » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:18 am

What a steaming pile. That attitude placates those who live a charmed life and makes them feel special and like they don't have to do anything or feel bad about something. Let's just mourn with those that mourn and recognize it could just as easily be us and it is hard.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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wtfluff
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by wtfluff » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:42 am

Wow. :shock:

(I'm really, truly speechless...)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who taught you how to hate?

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2bizE
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by 2bizE » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:18 pm

Absolutely a terrible thing to believe. Maybe this is her coping mechanism, but it is certainly sadistic.
~2bizE

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Raylan Givens
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Raylan Givens » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:42 pm

2bizE wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:18 pm
Absolutely a terrible thing to believe. Maybe this is her coping mechanism, but it is certainly sadistic.
I think this is probably right. It is her way of saying, "this is in God's hands."

If pressed most of us just accept that things happen, we just don't want to feel that we don't have control. By this being "signed up for," she pulls in a familiar sense of control.
"Ah, you know, I think you use the Bible to do whatever the hell you like" - Raylan Givens

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alas
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by alas » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:00 pm

That is just plain a horrible thing to say to anyone. Talk about victim blaming. Talk about refusing to offer comfort because the person wanted the suffering. Ye Gods. Talk about using religion as a weapon.

Now, the belief itself might not be so bad, if the person also has the belief that she personally "signed up in the preexistence" to help and comfort the suffering person. And TELLING them that they "signed up for the suffering" is one heck of a long way away from comforting them.

Looking at the belief itself, yeah, I think I did "sign up" for the abusive family I was born into. But that is my personality, not any body else's. I was the college student who purposely signed up for the hardest classes, because I learned more that way, then cussed the class and professor the whole semester, then promptly signed up for his next class, then cussed the class, him, and myself for signing up for such torture, then signed up for his next class. But most off y'all are not masochists like me.

But part of my thoughts on reincarnation is that we "sign up for what we want to learn". While it can be fun to speculate about such things, it is never right to use such things to blame the victim. And while I may speculate about myself, I would never tell someone that they "signed up for" the crap that happens in life. For one thing, it comes awfully close to telling them they deserve the hurt, and that is SO not true. For another, I really don't know. Because even if we do "volunteer" for certain things in life, I also believe there is a lot that is just random. *IF* there is a preexistence, and *IF* we do sign up for stuff, even IF, it has nothing to do with giving comfort. And from our earthly perspective, it doesn't matter. The person is hurting, so you help and comfort them, and keep your damned theories about any preexistence to yourself, cause you don't know and it only adds to the pain right now.

Here, let me hit you with my religion.

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Lithium Sunset
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Lithium Sunset » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:49 pm

I think it’s more brainwashing and ignorance than coping skill. Just thinking about the boy’s mother hearing her words makes me want to punch your friend in the face. And the whole essential oils just proves the disgusting and backwards thought process. Cross my path instead, I promise better conversations.

I have one particularly dark and painful memory that I push deep down in my mind and heart. The shame I feel.... Just sharing this much and thinking about it makes me feel ill. I should have never said what I said to a woman, a friend, who lost a child at birth. It’s been over thirteen years and I feel she forgave me but I don’t forgive myself. I will carry the guilt so I never do it again... not that it would just go away if I told it to. ....Ignorance and brainwashing.... not coping.... grateful I gave up this damn religion. I would have never said it without indoctrination. I know that for a fact.

When I first left the church I thought it was too hard to think for myself... to go through life trying to come up with all of life’s answers... HARD! Where to look?! Who has them?! Guess what? You don’t need answers for everything. Imagine that.

I just wanted to edit in- thanks so much NOM and New NOM for helping me on my journey out and my maintenance path... damn again... now my heart feels full. You all are the best.
"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Archimedes
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Archimedes » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:06 pm

This is a bullshit philosophy and is akin to early pilgrims shuffling about muttering "God's will" as one after another of them dropped dead from starvation or disease. Nobody was pre ordained to have ALS, or Downs Syndrome. What an evil God is behind this philosophy, sending his/her children off with one ailment after another, doomed from the beginning.

"Sorry Bob we're all out of the good bodies and brains. You'll have to go down as a severe autistic if you don't want to stay up here with Satan's followers."

Bob: "I'll take that deal, where do I sign up? "

Ridiculous
"She never loved you; she loved the church, her one true love. She used you to marry the church by proxy."

-- unknown reddit poster

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Corsair
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Corsair » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:39 am

This doctrinal idea is only a step away from a famous "Far Side" cartoon

Image

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achilles
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by achilles » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:34 pm

Wow.

I have a TBM friend who is fond of saying "everything happens for a reason". I never say anything to challenge it, but I just can't believe that crap. No, everything does not happen for a reason. Sometimes stuff just happens. Childhood cancer is a perfect example.

My biggest problem with God's existence is the Problem of Evil. I just can't fathom a benevolent god striking children with cancer, or letting them starve, be raped, etc. That "soul-making" garbage is just a load of BEEP. They signed up for it? That is not a god I want any part of.

This essential oil friend with a dying child--my heart just aches for her. Maybe this is her coping mechanism. But saying it to you about your child? Wow...
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

― Carl Sagan

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."

-Joseph Campbell

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Dravin
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Dravin » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:29 pm

2bizE wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:18 pm
Absolutely a terrible thing to believe. Maybe this is her coping mechanism, but it is certainly sadistic.
It's a common coping mechanism in my experience, for some the thought of divine preordained suffering is more comforting than the thought of something simply being random or the result of poorly understood factors. A gentler version is seen with accidental deaths with sentiments such as, "It was their time." or "The Lord needed them." Personally the idea of genetic mutation or failed anti-lock breaks is less terrifying than an all powerful being pointing his finger and deciding that, "Today, you suffer."
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

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blazerb
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by blazerb » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:49 pm

essential oil.jpg
essential oil.jpg (9.92 KiB) Viewed 627 times
I know this is borderline, but it's relevant.

Wonderment
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Wonderment » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:39 pm

There are a lot of reasons this is a terrible belief. Because of personal situations, I found this belief particularly horrifying at this time. And the particularly nasty part of me wonders if she’ll still be spouting this garbage when something happens to her kids.
Despite the language and cultural differences, I would have been so shocked, that I might have asked her, "Whatever do you mean? Do you think he is being punished for something he did in the pre-existence, or what?" ( It seems like such a terribly sad thing to say about a seriously ill chidl -- "he deserved it.") I tend to be a little out-spoken when religious people start talking about pre-destination and other Calvinistic ideas.
Honestly, this kind of behavior just breaks my heart. Does she think that she is behaving in a Christlike manner with this horrible judgment? :cry:

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John G.
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by John G. » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:38 am

Raylan Givens wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:42 pm
2bizE wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:18 pm
Absolutely a terrible thing to believe. Maybe this is her coping mechanism, but it is certainly sadistic.
I think this is probably right. It is her way of saying, "this is in God's hands."

If pressed most of us just accept that things happen, we just don't want to feel that we don't have control. By this being "signed up for," she pulls in a familiar sense of control.
I agree that it is a coping mechanism. It's way to feel like you are in control of your fate. But it is, of course, a delusion. The lack of contol over life causes stress and religion sells the fantasy that you can control the uncontrollable. Get a terrible disease? You knew you’d get it before you came and accepted it then. Fear death? Just gives us 10% of your income and be obedient and you can live forever!

I’ve been replacing moromism with the stoic philosophy. The stoic way is to amor fati , or Love Fate. Accept that you can’t control most stuff in life! Accept it, and get used to it. I like it because its not supernatual based and makes sense. And its alot cheaper!
"If your children are taught untruths on evolution in the public schools or even in our Church schools, provide them with a copy of President Joseph Fielding Smith's excellent rebuttal in his book Man, His Origin and Destiny."

Ezra Taft Benson

Margarita
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Margarita » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:42 pm

For years I thought that I was such a valiant spirit in the pre existence that i signed up to be deaf...yep...that is what I wanted in very musical family..

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moksha
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by moksha » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:27 pm

MerrieMiss wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:15 am
“he signed up for this in the pre-existence.”
This is part of the Mormon belief system that is known as The Plan. Within the parameters of The Plan, the preexistent spirit entered in the parameters of items they were willing to accept before entering the memory lounger to experience their virtual life. Anyway, it all makes sense if you look at it diagonally and adjust the antennae for better reception. Just point it toward the seer stone translating station in your local area.

The trouble with your friend is that she fails to realize how terribly offensive her Plan is to those who have a loved one experiencing such an illness and who do not subscribe to her brand of fatalism. People can be such numbskulls, yet they are us and we can forgive ourselves and others.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Reuben
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Re: You signed up for this

Post by Reuben » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:00 am

moksha wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:27 pm
MerrieMiss wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:15 am
“he signed up for this in the pre-existence.”
This is part of the Mormon belief system that is known as The Plan. Within the parameters of The Plan, the preexistent spirit entered in the parameters of items they were willing to accept before entering the memory lounger to experience their virtual life. Anyway, it all makes sense if you look at it diagonally and adjust the antennae for better reception. Just point it toward the seer stone translating station in your local area.

The trouble with your friend is that she fails to realize how terribly offensive her Plan is to those who have a loved one experiencing such an illness and who do not subscribe to her brand of fatalism. People can be such numbskulls, yet they are us and we can forgive ourselves and others.
I haven't been in this situation before, so I don't know if this will help, but... I wonder if keeping in mind that we all do this kind of thing would help us let it go when others do it. We all try to strengthen our core beliefs when we feel threatened. We often do it by getting other people to affirm them.

At the risk of going too meta, this thread is a fine example. It seems that we all share the beliefs that "you signed up for this" amounts to blame, and that among all the ways humans have invented to solve the problem of evil, it's one of the most heartless. Honestly, I find it comforting to be among like-minded individuals on this. It makes me feel like I understand life a little better.

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