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User talk:Bertrc

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How serious are we - well, we welcome all voices but be prepared to defend your viewpoint against some rather pointed criticisms. Bad Faith (talk) 22:31, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Cool! --Bertrc (talk) 21:41, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Hello Bertrc[edit]

Let me share with you my opinion on the problem of evil. I believe God loves us as particular persons. Let me give an example - Patrick and Michelle had a daughter Sarah, but Sarah died when she was three months old. Then they had a son Steven. Now, Pat and Michelle may very much wish that Sarah had not died - but if she had not, would their son Steven exist? Quite possibly, if Sarah had lived, they would still have had another child anyway - but would that other child have been Steven? There would be a significant likelihood that next child would have been conceived at a different time than Steven was, quite possibly with a different egg. If you consider the millions of sperm, and the myriad chance events which must determine which sperm fertilises the egg, it would almost certainly be a different sperm also. So this other child would have had different DNA. And his or her experiences of growing up, having an older sister vs. being the eldest, would be very different also. So, it seems, Steven's existence depends on Sarah's death; in a world in which Sarah lives, Steven is never born, even if a younger sibling is, that younger sibling is not going to be Steven. (Even if they had a boy, and named him Steven, these two "Stevens" would have different experiences and likely different DNA too, and thus not be the same person despite having the same name.) It is like Sarah and Steven are incompatible existents. But, since God loves us as particular persons, God loves Steven as a particular person, and loves him enough to cause his existence. But since his existence requires Sarah's death, thus God causes Sarah's death as a means to the end of Steven's existence. God creates good as an end-in-itself, and evil as a necessary means to the end of good. (((Zack Martin))) 23:12, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Bert, pay no attention to Mara. He spouts this sort of cretinous prattle constantly. Eventually he becomes a bit like the hum of a rather shabby household appliance. You cease to notice. MtDPinko Scum 23:24, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Mratrean's muttering sounds like my old vacuum cleaner. AceAce For Mod! 23:25, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Or a cheap vibrator whats batteries is running down but you don't care enough to replace them. --MtDPinko Scum 23:36, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I got this razor with an electric bread-trimmer on one end. It sounds like Maratrean when the batteries run down. Funnily enough when the blade goes dull it is akin to Maratreans cutting wit. AceAce For Mod! 23:41, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Let's be honest: It is no worse than most of the stuff I have been spouting.  :-) --Bertrc (talk) 00:18, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Maratrean, I think you should be very careful. I think it is quite dangerous to think we can understand things to such specificity. Heck, I even think it is dangerous to try to understand things at the vague, general levels with which I have been irritating people on those talk pages. I just do not think we can come close to understanding the why's and wherefore's of suffering that way. Personally, I feel a little affronted when somebody claims my suffering (miniscule though it might be) is part of God's plan and I feel even more irritated if they try to tell me what good might come out of it. However, I gladly accept that, ultimately, God can bring good out of it and that God's plan for my good has not been derailed by it. That is the metaphysical level. On a practical level, the people on this site could tear huge holes in the scenario you give above.  :-) . . . I don't want to be harsh . . . but it is a little simplistic. Their daughter died. That is a tragedy and no earthly reasoning can change that. I would pray that God be with them and that they turn to God. I would grieve, as God is grieving, with them. If it were at all appropriate (if they came to me or some such) I could tell them I am praying and grieving for them; I might talk about God being with them and feeling their pain; at most, I might talk about how God can bring about all things for our good, even though "how" is beyond me . . . Heh, actually, I hope that I would first pray that God help me center myself on Him; I would pray that loving and being loved by Him might lead me to make the correct decisions in what to say to Patrick and Michelle.  :-) --Bertrc (talk) 00:18, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Bert, this line of thought, to explain the evil in the world, I'm not suggesting that at a pastoral level it is necessarily the right answer for every person in every situation, but that something isn't helpful for someone in their immediate situation doesn't mean it's wrong either. Myself, I'm sure if once you told me that my sufferings were part of God's plan for the greater good, I would have got rather angry and thought you stupid. But having thought about the topic an awful lot, I have reached the conclusion that it is the right answer. Now, if I'm in the middle of some pain or trauma, I'll still believe this in my head but probably not in my heart, whereas in more pacific times I can believe it in my heart more. But my difficulty in fully absorbing this answer, at an emotional level, doesn't mean for me it is wrong. (((Zack Martin))) 01:33, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I should add, I actually am the equivalent of Steven in the above example. Well, the names and some of the details have been changed, but in broad outline that is my own life story. Maybe that is why the explanation makes most sense to me, since I've thought about that personal fact about me (I am the eldest surviving child of my parents, but not the eldest child of my parents) a fair amount over the years. (((Zack Martin))) 01:38, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Dude, I don't know if that kind of thinking is healthy for you. You are more special than that. To be blunt, your sibling is more special than that as well. If the heart of the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the entire, friggin' Universe overflows at the thought of you, then, IMHO, no sibling had to die any more than any sibling had to live for you to be there. Death is a tragedy and the fact that you are growing up without a sibling is a tragedy; don't forget how Jesus wept when Lazarus died. However, none of those statements needs to remove hope or cause despair. Yes, I pray that you realize God is there, for and with you, and that you are moved by the wonder of it; but I also pray for you to realize God is there, for and with your sibling, and for you to realize how blindingly wonderful that is. --Bertrc (talk) 02:00, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, maybe this is where you really get off the bus... but my own thinking is that there exists a parallel universe (or universes) in which my elder siblings lived, but myself (and my younger siblings) were never born. If God can create one universe, why can't he create several? Us two groups of siblings (my deceased elder siblings, and myself and my living younger siblings) are incompatible, we can't exist in the same universe, but that doesn't mean God can't create two universes, one for us and one for them. That is how God shows his love for both of us groups of siblings, by creating for each of us universes containing the events necessary for our existence. (((Zack Martin))) 02:20, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
. . . But this is what I mean by unhealthy. You can imagine one universe where you are, and one where your elder sibling is, but none where you both are? Aside from that, this is God we are talking about. Sure He might have created parallel universes but why would he want to? Again, I am sorry to be blunt, but it sounds more like something that you want. My life has lead me to the belief that God tends to give us what we truly long for, not what we happen to think we want. What we truly need and long for is God. Do you know the passage in the Bible where a paraplegic comes to Jesus through the hole in the roof? Jesus doesn't heal the guy; instead, Jesus forgives his sins because that is what the guy truly wanted and needed. Jesus only heals the guy for the sake of the other people around. If I were to venture a guess, I think you need to see the power and majesty of a God that can go beyond your paltry imaginings. A God that doesn't have to bother creating separate Universes for each of two children He loves so dearly; instead He can create a single, eternal existence that will be a wonder for both of them, even if the younger one can't grasp it yet. --Bertrc (talk) 02:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I don't think separate universes are forever separate. God will, in due time, bring them together into union/communication with each other. In my belief, souls and universes merge and divide. (((Zack Martin))) 03:15, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes . . . but try to see how this might not be a healthy. Why can't you imagine that there is a universe with both of you? You can believe that there is a Universe where you are not alive (or even exist), but you cannot believe there is a Universe where you both are alive; that strikes me as some sort of emotional or mental block. Not that I think there is a universe where both of you are alive any more than I think there is a universe where you are not alive; I truly think you are underselling God to think He cannot express perfect love to you both within the same universe, even if your elder sibling died in infancy. --Bertrc (talk) 03:36, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Michelle? Is she that fundie brood sow with the eleventy-squillion offspring? --MtDPinko Scum 00:21, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
No, they were just random names I pulled out of a hat. (((Zack Martin))) 01:29, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah. I really should read these things before I mouth off. I'm surprised to see you equating yourself with "Steven". I had always assumed you're as a queer as a double breasted hat. --MtDPinko Scum 01:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
MtD . . . So, if I understand your logic, you no longer think he is gay because you found out he had an elder sibling. That seems to imply that you do not think gays can have siblings . . . Wow, I have encountered a lot of forms of homophobia, but that is a first. --Bertrc (talk) 02:04, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Settle down Bertie! I can't be homophobic as I am a big nelly queen myself. --MtDPinko Scum 02:07, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
That didn't stop Larry Craig, Mark Foley or Rush Limbaugh. --Bertrc (talk) 02:12, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
You left out the Fabulously Reverend Ted Haggard. ;) --MtDPinko Scum 02:16, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

so...[edit]

whats your goal here?--il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 22:04, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Ha! Ask vague questions much? It depends what you mean by "here". If you mean rationalwiki, then my goal is to have fun and to have discussions where I am not limitted to the neutral, non-snarky tone of wikipedia. If you mean "the problem of evil" then my present goal is to make the Christianity section less . . . lousy, I guess. Why? What are you thinking? What are your thoughts? --Bertrc (talk) 02:28, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Just curious. And im whatever i feel like being at that moment. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 22:38, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
So what do you feel like being at the moment? --Bertrc (talk) 00:25, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

GtsfrStrl[edit]

GoatsforSterile.svg sterileGoatsforSterile.svgno new information 05:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

"See you can include comments in a revert!"[edit]

You are confusing "rollback" with "undo". Secondly; talk page. Not edit war. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:51, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

 ? Is rollback even an option? Cool! (Although it does seem to allow editor to be lazy and by making it easier for them to not discriminate between the changes they are moving!  :-P~  ;-) ) --Bertrc (talk) 17:54, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
The weakness of the "undo" is that it can only undo the latest edit, one at a time. A rollback undoes back to the last editor (whoever that was). Which is why, sometimes, you have to rollback and give your reasons for the rollback somewhere else (and that is the weakness of the rollback) — talkpages, block logs and/or in the edit notices for further edits. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:03, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Meh, I still call laziness facilitation. Rollback undoes everything. Individual edits takes more work. Certainly, you were not being lazy (This time!  :-P~  ;-) ) when you subsequently did additional edits to move some things back, but therein, I call inefficiency!  ;-) --Bertrc (talk) 18:12, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Noticing that Wiki software can be inefficient at times? Feel free to join our club (and I do mean that — that's the place we discuss things like that). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:16, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Don't[edit]

stick your comments in the middle of someone else's post, it's really confusing for someone reading it a week later. Christopher (talk) 14:35, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

*HA*  :-D When I was reading your page, I saw that my comments were indented after the wrong post. I thought I had done that. I hadn't realized it was you. I didn't consider it "in the middle" of RBP's post. I believed RBP had made two posts (The first was that what I was writing made no sense, and the second was that God is putting the charge for evil on somebody else's bill) I had a separate response for each, so I indented them after each. Still, it is your talk page, so if you consider them one post, that's what they are. --Bertrc (talk) 15:00, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
There was only one signature so I think it was only one post, in general you should always put new comments at the bottom anyway. (FYI, all talk pages are considered community property, although your userpage is considered "yours"). Christopher (talk) 15:27, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
I chocked the single signature up to RBP being lazy. And if the dag'um gov'mint thinks my talk page is community property, I gots me a shotgun says different! --Bertrc (talk) 15:34, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

         /\          /\
      ,-~__~-.____,-~__~-.
     / /~  ~\ \--/ /~  ~\ \
    ( (      ) || (      ) )
     \ \_  _/ /--\ \_  _/ /
      `-_~~_-'`--'`-_~~_-'     > BOOM <
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             ######

You've got a mop as well! Here's how to use it. Christopher (talk) 15:39, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

I hope this finds you well[edit]

Having randomly re-read some of our 'old' discussions, the impression I was left with was not a pleasurable one.

Across the few disparate threads I happened to peruse, the presence of an apparent pattern slowly dawned on me. This morning, after taking a long good look in the mirror, I sat down and started writing you this.

During my reading, I could honestly swear I discerned several instances in which your certifiably friendly attempts at striking up some amicable conversation with a random editor — just, the way people do — were either left ignored, or instantly made suspect (and sometimes even ridiculed outright, typically by me).

Looking back at our 'recent' conversations, it's perfectly plain for anyone to see that I wasn't justified in losing both temper and patience with you (and so quickly at that). I now hang my head in shame.

Due to my inability to deal with the situation more maturely, I ended up conducting myself like an entitled grumpass towards you. I was mistreating you, and you did not deserve that.

I now experience pangs of disappointment with myself for thinking I was somehow 'within my rights' to act like such an abrasive pencil dick towards you.

Possible explanations as to why can be explored some other time, and that's assuming the veto of interest is yours. What matters here is only how sorry I am if ever I hurt you (which I could almost guarantee you that I did). I take full responsibility for the way I acted, and I only hope you could ever forgive me.

If given the chance, I'd be downright honored to discuss with you (amicably this time!), should the fancy to do so ever strike you.

PS: The last thing on Earth which I, of all people should ever pretend to 'place myself above' is fart jokes. Th hug.gif

All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:52, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

@Reverend Black Percy, Hey RBP, Sorry that I never responded. I have been completely off-line from rational wiki due to stuff out here in meat-space. I just read this, now. Thank you, I'm grateful and have to tell you: Do not worry!! Yes, I noticed you sometimes seemed a little . . . overly grumpy . . . but we all find ourselves in that place at times (my afore-mentioned meat-space problems have certainly put me in a surly mood) and there were also always light-hearted touches from you. Beside, let's be honest: I'm often asking for it!  :-) I'm really glad you're here. In fact, I have some really, really bad news for you: You've helped me grow in my faith and in my walk with God -- Trying to figure out how to express my ideas and confronting weaknesses in them has helped me come to, what I hope are, more accurate beliefs in God. Seriously, having people like you to talk to about God encourages me in my prayer life and in my spiritual journey -- So don't worry; I appreciate you and you haven't hurt me. Thanks, again. --Bertrc (talk) 14:51, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
FYI, I only dialed in, now, to see if we had any articles about that wacko Ed Klein. I'm still dealing with stuff out here in the real word which is why any responses from me might be very delayed. If you have a chance, say a prayer for me.  ;-) --Bertrc (talk) 14:51, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

"I replied to your message here"[edit]

You post a lot of messages like that, an easier way to let someone know you've responded to them is to include {{ping|their account name}} somewhere in your response, usually the start. It looks like this: @Bertrc and . Christopher (talk) 16:31, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

@Christopher, Awesome! Thanks! I had always thought those were just somebody explicitly typing "@", as some kind of standard. Heh, you should have just pinged me in my post over at RBP's page.  :-D --Bertrc (talk) 13:48, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

-Bertrc[edit]

Your arguments are incoherent - and accusing people of being on drugs is unlikely to make them look favourably on you.

If 'most of the universe' runs according to scientific laws ('entropy increases', 'things move in a straight line until something diverts them' etc) so God doesn't have to consider such localities - are they by definition evil? Or does sentience have to be present - and why would God create entities which have an evil nature?

Bear in mind I am rather more patient than you will ever be - and I have an inclination towards 'If I find myself born or drafted into a universe wherein the laws of nature do not obey consistent principles, I will depart for an alternate universe created by a more reasonable author.' Anna Livia (talk) 15:05, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, Oh no! I did not at all mean to imply you were on drugs. I am so sorry if it came across that way!!!!!!
When I wrote:
I would fully accept any of the following admissions from you, but just want to know which:
  1. Yeah, I'm just messing with you by repeatedly talking about God doing things as the definition of good, even though you keep screaming that "God being present" is the definition of good. It is funny to see you tie yourself up in linguistic knots.
  2. You blather on so much that I don't actually bother to read everything you say. Seriously, would you read all of that?
  3. You are really incoherent and have not at all explained how "God being present in the void" is at all different from "God actively having to do things in the void". At least, you haven't explained it in a way that makes sense to any sane person who is not high on drugs.
I meant I would accept any of those if written from your perspective. ie. if you wrote the phrase "At least, you haven't explained it in a way that makes sense to any sane person who is not high on drugs." See? If you write a phrase with "you" in it, you would actually be referring to me!  :-D --Bertrc (talk) 14:24, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
Why do you keep on bringing drugs into the argument?
@Anna Livia, Because I like putting myself down, and the best way I see for that is to compare myself to somebody on drugs. :-D --Bertrc (talk) 18:39, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
You have not answered the Vicar of Stiffkey question.
You seem to be conflating two different usages of 'good/evil' - 'the presence or absence' of God and 'being "ethical"/doing malicious things.' There is a place 'beyond Hell' where the Devil does not go due to the stinging nettles - is God there?
The 'places between those universe-geography localities where sentience is absent' are probably those where God is indifferent/does not need to take action.
I am patient (and can bring in any number of quotes and references) - and you, dear B, have not answered the question. Anna Livia (talk) 18:35, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
Und Anzug war es nicht. Anna Livia (talk) 19:02, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, I'm not quite sure what you are asking with Vicar and StiffKey and Nettles and "the Question" and somebody's Anzug but you should probably ask on the articles talk page. Otherwise, you'll be the only one who gets to poke fun at my fancies. --Bertrc (talk) 18:39, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Look up the Vicar yourself Bertrc.
The question is one, you Bertrc, have to answer - why is 'where God (which one?) is not by its nature evil?' If God is coterminous with the universe - God is everywhere and with all sentients, so no-where is evil: if evil is associated with some sentient entities (and most are 'naughty' at most) and involves 'malicious wrongdoing' then 'outer space and the centre of a black hole cannot be evil.'
Be more coherent in your argument - or you are likely to get mocked/given some 'dead dove' (which you can also look up). Anna Livia (talk) 19:55, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, I'll move that question over to the article.--Bertrc (talk) 23:44, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

A suggestion[edit]

Get involved in the 'omnipotence paradox' discussions (where your views may be relevant). Anna Livia (talk) 15:31, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, *HA* (just search for "Bertrc"  ;-) ) --Bertrc (talk) 14:46, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Quotation[edit]

The Evil Men Do[edit]

The quotation is 'the evil that men do' - ie there is a component of conscious intent. Anna Livia (talk) 15:18, 14 November 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, Personally, I think women and children do evil, too (and nature can be evil, as well)  :-P~  ;-) I certainly agree that conscious intent can result in evil, in a manner poorly parallel to how putting a heat sink next to something can result in that thing being colder. However, I would also say that conscious intent of that sort also comes from evil, in a manner poorly parallel to how a heat sink has less energy in it. I guess I would ask you: "When somebody consciously and intentionally makes an evil choice, why did they make that choice?" --Bertrc (talk) 19:31, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
Note the quote marks - and saying that 'nature can be evil' implies an agency other than God is involved Anna Livia (talk) 00:08, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, Yes! Exactly! The other agency involved (I believe) is us. ie. People. When we use our agency to put other things ahead of God, it corrupts the world (nature) around us; evil occurrences/situations in nature are the result of that corruption. eg. When immediate profit is our idol, mountain sides wind up getting stripped of trees; this leads to landslides killing people. Those landslides are evil! (imho) [Note 1] The landslides, themselves, may not have conscious agency, but their underlying cause can be traced to conscious choices by us. --Bertrc (talk) 21:14, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, Additionally, you never answered my question: "When somebody consciously and intentionally makes an evil choice, why did they make that choice?" --Bertrc (talk) 21:14, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

The Evil we do[edit]

The God of the Bible does some things which we-his-creations now find unacceptable (Noah's flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Egyptian firstborn in the time of Moses 'etc etc etc': is it evil to disagree with Him? Anna Livia (talk) 15:18, 14 November 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, I'm not sure I agree that we find it unacceptable, but I would certainly concede that we do not understand it. There are nuances to "disagree". I would say that believing you can do better than God (let alone acting on such a belief) comes from evil (ie. comes from founding your identity on your abilities, rather than on God) and leads to evil (ie. leads to situations that are less founded on God) At least, that is where my present beliefs lie. Fortunately, God is regularly redeeming the evil that we do. --Bertrc (talk) 19:31, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

Could it be . . . Satan?![edit]

Where does 'Satan/the Devil/Lucifer' fit into your theology - or the humanitarian atheist who improves the world? Anna Livia (talk) 15:18, 14 November 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, I certainly believe that we have a simplistic view of whatever Satan/the Devil/Lucifer/the accuser is. That being said, my theology primarily revolves around our relationship with God, so Satan/the Devil/Lucifer/the accuser is pretty much non-existent in my theology. --Bertrc (talk) 19:31, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, A humanitarian atheist is not really a supernatural existence so I'm not sure what you mean by asking how humanitarian atheists fit in my theology . . . --Bertrc (talk) 19:31, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

You talk too much[edit]

Bertrc - you leave too many messages, but you never actually answer the questions - just reiterate the same statement without adding information. Anna Livia (talk) 00:08, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, I would say that you never read my answers.  :-P~  ;-)  :-D More seriously, do you truly believe that? Do you truly not see anything new in all the different ways I try to phrase my answers about evil? Do you honestly feel me saying "The devil isn't really part of my theology" was just avoiding the question and reiterating something I have said before? If so, I certainly do apologize for my failings in that area. However, to be blunt, you also have to look at yourself for this situation (imho) I at least try to respond to all your questions; I try different phrasings to convey the answer; I let you know if I don't understand what you are asking; I tell you when I don't have any answer. On the other hand, I feel you ignore all the questions I pose to you. Yes, you might be avoiding a Socratic trap, but you also are refusing to provide me with any language that you might accept. Go take a look at the talk page of "Evil is the Absence of God". There is an entire section devoted to you, and you have not placed a single reply in there. Don't get me wrong; I do understand choosing to ignore all the questions of somebody you are disagreeing with because you feel answering would give them ammunition [Note 2] However, in light of doing that, I honestly feel it is a little disingenuous to accuse the other person of not answering questions. That is just my opinion, of course. Also, you might be doing all this deliberately to troll me, in which case: Good on yah! You certainly are getting me good with that.  :-D --Bertrc (talk) 21:14, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
I do read your answers - which boil down to a circular argument multiply phrased - 'Evil is God un-present' when most people would say 'Evil is the opposite of good or the refusal to do good'. Anna Livia (talk) 00:28, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, Exactly!! That is what I am trying to point out (Well: "Evil is God less present") The term "evil" has more than one meaning. There is the evil effects and actions (which matches the definition you think "most people" would say) and there is the underlying evil cause or nature (which ultimately comes from having something other than God challenging God's position as the heart, center and sole support or foundation) --Bertrc (talk) 16:32, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
You have just admitted you are making a circular argument. (talk) 10:24, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
You appear to be incorporating a category error - God being an entity (or Deities are entities) and evil being a descriptive. Consider the statement 'Green is the "absence of Bertrc".' This is structurally equivalent to your statement: what is your response. Anna Livia (talk) 10:24, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, since we seem to have swerved from how much I talk back to what evil actually can mean, I'm gonna move this whole section back to the talk page of the article. --Bertrc (talk) 22:30, 19 December 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, Well, except for the poetry bit, which still seems nicely on point.  :-) --Bertrc (talk) 22:36, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

Bertrc - please define 'evil' by some other means than 'not God' (or some people might think 'repetitiveness is the presence of Bertrc.' Anna Livia (talk) 00:06, 20 December 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, Please ask this on the talk page of the article. I've even added an entry for you to avoid in your section, there --Bertrc (talk) 22:32, 21 December 2020 (UTC)

Out in Space[edit]

Take the place where nothing that cannot be explained by 'the ordinary laws of physics' (even those applying to black holes) ever happens throughout the course of the universe's history: why should it be evil, when God has more reason to be indifferent to it (things are working as they should). God is more likely to be concerned with 'sentient entities' (of whatever nature) who can choose to be good, ethical, etc or the reverse. Anna Livia (talk) 00:28, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, See, it is statements like that which make me think you are just trolling me!  :-D I keep saying that those places out beyond the effect of our actions are not evil. I have said that repeatedly, but you keep asking if those places are evil. They are not evil! I also keep pointing out that God is more fully founding and supporting those places than anywhere near us because nothing has tried to displace Him; however, no matter how many times I point out how strongly God is present in such places, you always seem to be saying that He would not bother being there. Let me try to be as clear as I can: God is fully present out in the vastness of space, where we have not done anything; those places are not at all evil. I have even added a fourth question for you to avoid in your section of the "Evil is the absense of God" talk page. --Bertrc (talk) 16:32, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

Poetry[edit]

Another quote, adapted 'Sure Bertrc has not got much of a bark/And sure any he has it’s all beside the mark.' Anna Livia (talk) 00:08, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia . . . How can a bark be beside a mark? Soundwaves generally go out in a spherical wave. I guess you can be too far away when you bark, so that it doesn't reach the mark, but to bark beside a mark, I think you would need one of those special machines that makes focused sound. But why would you be going through the trouble of using such a machine when you don't even have much bark to begin with? How about: 'Sure Bertrc has not got much of a bark/And sure any he has is directed at the wrong mark'? --Bertrc (talk) 21:14, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
You don't know your James Joyce then [1] Anna Livia (talk) 00:28, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
@Anna Livia Nah, I just don't care for it. I was trolling you this time.  :-P~  ;-) I find myself very critical of most art and poetry. --Bertrc (talk) 16:36, 13 December 2020 (UTC)



  1. Yes, I know I am simplifying cause and effect, but I hope it conveys how evil actions by us can lead to evil in nature
  2. I may understand it, but I do consider such a tactic unproductive. It's just not cricket

Something I have noticed[edit]

Your contribution pattern by dates. Anna Livia (talk) 14:04, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

@Anna Livia, very intriguing! What is the pattern? Seriously, if there is one, I am curious. --Bertrc (talk) 20:47, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Look at your contributions and you will see. (Mind the gaps) Anna Livia (talk) 00:45, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Sorry, I am not the brightest person. I am missing the pattern other than that I have weeks in between when I can dedicate any time, here. --Bertrc (talk) 02:35, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

Pinging me[edit]

Unless you are going to add something to the conversation (rather than 'I have answered you') please stop pinging me. Do not ping me multiple times on the same article page. Anna Livia (talk) 11:58, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

Sure.  :-D Like I said hours earlier' I am so sorry about all the pings. I am, however, curious about where you think I was simply saying "I have answered you". I feel that I usually say (or, at least, try to say) "I have answered you, but here is another way to phrase my answer." (snarkily, I admit) --Bertrc (talk) 19:18, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

You will not convert me to your viewpoint by so doing. Anna Livia (talk) 11:58, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

 :-D I am even more curious to know what viewpoint you think I am trying to convert you to! In all honestly, I am not trying to convert you. That is not my place. Rather, I am trying to get thoughts out so I can understand them, myself. If God moves others by them, all the better. I suppose I am hoping to be an example that the loud, prosperity-gospel tele-preachers do not truly represent the humility, acceptance and grace of most Christians; ie. I hope to be a witness that most Christians understand their own limitations, fallibility and sinfulness and do not think they can judge others. However, I wouldn't see that as a viewpoint I am trying to convert you to; it is merely an example that I am striving for. --Bertrc (talk) 19:18, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Most people accept that the 'look at me spouting' Christians (including the persons on street corners) are only one part of the range of views/presentations (as it is for all beliefs) - there are many more for whom their religion brings comfort/a reason for doing good and helping others/enjoying the wonder of the universe/being creative (whether or not in the name of God of whatever version you choose - the Registan square Samarkand). Anna Livia (talk) 19:46, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I have heard many people rail against Christianity, itself, due to people like Paula White and the congregation of Westborough. There are militant atheists who, understandably, have a rather strong reaction to Christianity because of that, and there are agnostics and less driven atheists whom I know who have a block against Christianity because of the bad examples of Christianity out there. I hope that I present a better example, as poor as that example may be. --Bertrc (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2021 (UTC)


Repeatedly saying 'evil is the absence of God' and refusing to define what evil is - when other people have a different view of what evil is - persuades no-one. Anna Livia (talk) 19:46, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Sure, but just what do you think I am trying to pursuade you about? --Bertrc (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Also I try to give examples and show applications, implications and paths that this view can lead you down. --Bertrc (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
In terms of defining what I believe evil is, I have tried to define it for you; also, in my defense, I do feel I have given you multiple opportunities to help me find phrasings that you would accept as actual definitions. --Bertrc (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2021 (UTC)


Most RW users who are not agnostic or atheist do not parade their religious/ethical beliefs on the wiki - and they want a more varied response than you are providing. Anna Livia (talk) 19:46, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
 :-D Gee, I wonder why not? I apologize for the following (and preceding) snark, but it is too delicious to resist [Note 1]: I'm sure all the other non-atheist, non-agnostic RW users are glad you are speaking for them!  :-P~  ;-) --Bertrc (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
The nature of RW is - you-the-reader/contributor's religious-ethical etc belief system is not the primary facet of what is on display. Anna Livia (talk) 13:24, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Well, similar to my previous thought, I'm sure all the other rationalwikians are glad you are declaring the nature of RW.  ;-) *sigh* Okay, sorry for the snark. In all honestly, I disagree. IMHO, rational wiki is meant to be a forum for ideas. On the whole, the ideas are from an atheist perspective (or so it seems to me) but I think the nature of RW is to have actual Christian ideas presented as well, so that rationalwikians can see them, experience the breadth of ideas and explore such via discussion. --Bertrc (talk) 21:04, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
What is your response to the Cao Cao quote I posted on RW a little while ago - 'I would rather betray the world than have the world betray me'? Anna Livia (talk) 19:46, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
I did not see that. You should include a link to you quoting him. What was the context? I do not know much about Cao Cao. Did he actually say that, or was it just propoganda spread to make him look worse? On the surface level, that statement seems very self-absorbed, non-sacrificial and antithetical to Christ's teachings and examples. --Bertrc (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
This chap - with a different, non-Christian philosophy. Anna Livia (talk) 13:24, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, but you did not include a link to where you posted that quote! --Bertrc (talk) 19:48, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
There are more important things in the world at the moment than considering your view of what evil is (and I have other projects to pursue). Anna Livia (talk) 13:24, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Sure, we all do. Why do you think there is so much time in between when I respond to you? BTW, you still have not answered my question about the pattern you see to the dates of my responses (honestly, I do not see the pattern. I'm not all that bright, I'm afraid, and usually need some hand-holding) --Bertrc (talk) 19:48, 21 January 2021 (UTC)



  1. You may have noticed/realized: I came to Rationalwiki to be light hearted, to enjoy myself and to be able to laugh with others and at myself.

Suggestions the next[edit]

Have something on your user page.

Contribute to a more diverse range of pages than the Evil is the absence of God page - or people will draw their own conclusions. Anna Livia (talk) 11:21, 17 February 2021 (UTC)

Meh, Rational wiki is pretty much the closest I come to social media. Putting something on my user page is a bit too much commitment.  :-) I've got a handful of pages that I check and I'll tweak a few that I stumble across. Unfortunately, I once rubbed somebody the wrong way and they tracked down every edit I had made, then reverted them; that experience has made me a little . . . reticent . . . about editting pages. Still, I did have an insight the other day, so I plan to add a couple new sections to "Evil is the absence of God" (If I can work up the nerve to do so!  ;-) ) --Bertrc (talk) 23:18, 27 February 2021 (UTC)

My fiction[edit]

Would not be to your taste.

'I know so, not suppose so.'

I suggest you write and post fanfic of your essay (relevant websites can be easily found) and see what response you get. (Be very careful - there is some very weird stuff out there, and not everybody is friendly). Anna Livia (talk) 23:55, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

Can you at least tell me what genre? Sci Fi? Drama? Comedy? Seriously, there is little that is not my taste. It is like eating -- Just because my goto preference is McDonald's, doesn't mean I don't enjoy Nobu. --Bertrc (talk) 22:24, 6 March 2021 (UTC)
Various, and no. Anna Livia (talk) 23:00, 6 March 2021 (UTC)
 :_(
Y'know you do do this a lot:
- You: "I see a pattern in when you post." Me: "Cool! What pattern?" You: "No."
- You: "You need to answer the Vicar of Stiffkey." Me: "Sure! Who is he and what is his question?" You: "No."
- You: "I quoted Cao Cao." Me: "Cool! Where?" You: "No."
- You: "You are not going to persuade me." Me: "Okay . . . But persuade you about what?" You: "No."
- You: "Watch yourself!! You are almost 'invoking the usual suspects'! Me: "Oops! Sure! Thanks . . . um . . . What does 'Invoking the usual suspects' mean?" You: "No."
- You: "The characters in my stories don't like you." Me: "No kidding! What stories?!" You: "No."
 :-D
Look, I get refusing to answer when I ask questions about philosophy because you are wary of a Socratic trap (although simply ignoring the questions is not quite cricket, imho.  ;-) ) but, here, I thought we were just shooting the breeze. I honestly would love to see your stuff. If you are freaked out about connecting your RW account to any real world account, I get it but you really should just say that. Heck, this isn't even a Megan moment, since I am responding to things you have brought up first. --Bertrc (talk) 23:15, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
Are you aware of the range of fanfic? A fair bit would not be to your taste (and some would give incels nightmares). ( Anna Livia (talk) 10:40, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Sure, but fan fic is a huge genre! Just about every tale in the world has a following of fanfic. Seriously, everything from "Smurfs" to "Hamilton". Range of fanfic surrounding what story? If it disturbs incels, I would probably appreciate it. It's not fanfic, but if strong, multi-dimensional female characters are your thing, you should check out the "Girl Genius" and "Gunnerkrigg Court" on-line comics. --Bertrc (talk) 20:28, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
One of the attributes of RW is that contributors often keep it separate from their other contributory activities (even if they admit to being active at the other place and/or the rest of the wikiverse). Anna Livia (talk) 10:40, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
I totally get that. That is all you needed to say, rather than dodging the question. From here on out, I won't ask about your other stuff (although, on your side, you might not want to bring it up in an attempt to make a point. It is difficult to understand the point you are trying to make if you reference some writing that you, understandably, don't want to share) --Bertrc (talk) 20:28, 21 March 2021 (UTC)

And this is why I so rarely edit[edit]

@Anna Livia, BTW, somewhere you were asking why I only focus on a small subset of articles. The reason is that I never know when I might accidentally edit somebody's special baby, angering them into hunting down all my contributions then blindly reverting them with no comment or discussion (along with them trying to hide the reverts as minor edits) I do not know about you, but I come here to discuss, learn and grow. I don't really enjoy or gain much when things seem to become personal and when people do not care about working together on something. I have found that limitting my focus tends to avoid unproductive situations like that. --Bertrc (talk) 21:18, 21 March 2021 (UTC)

Reverting is automatically marked as minor. It shouldn't take you 10+ years to notice this. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png 🎄LeftyGreenMario!🎄(Mod) 23:13, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
Those edits should’ve been dealt with the talkpage and the undo button, not reversion. Christopher (talk) 23:15, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
Bertc - the simplest way of identifying "people's particular babies and hobbyhorses (not being centaurs)" - look at the number of contributors in the revision history - and if anyone objects to 'minor typos corrected and other improvements' that is their problem. If they are 'hunting down and reverting someone else's edits' (the other person not being a troll or other nuisance) their behaviour will be somewhat obvious and will be dealt with accordingly. Anna Livia (talk) 13:02, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
Ha! I honestly did not know that reverts would be marked as minor by default. My goodness, what is the logic behind that?! Well, good to know. I guess I am still learning after almost ten years.  :-P~  ;-) --Bertrc (talk) 00:04, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
Cards on the table -- I also rarely edit because I have little free time; that is probably another reason why I did not know reverts are minor by default (That, and the fact that I so rarely revert other people's work.  ;-) ) Thanks all three of you! Given my limitted free time, I usually do not get very engaged in an article when somebody is in the mindset to just undo my edits without comment or discussion; I'm not as young as I used to be and don't really have the energy for it. But I will continue to try to contribute. --Bertrc (talk) 00:04, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

Archives about evil in the absence of god[edit]

Why are you meddling with them? Senioritas (talk) 22:09, 3 September 2021 (UTC)

He seems to have been mostly modifying links to other parts of the same page, presumably because they stopped working when it was archived. I have no idea what our policy is on this. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 22:27, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
Serene got it on the nose (Although, I admit, I occasionally fix one of my spelling or grammatical mistakes) I have not made any substantive changes. I was going through my old posts to try to gather my thoughts, and the broken links kept derailing me. Is that a problem? --Bertrc (talk) 22:32, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
Editing archived pages is generally discouraged and usually gets reverted, but I don't think I've ever seen it except when somebody was replying to a thread on an archived page. You made 23 edits over 2 hours and nobody reverted you; I'd be surprised if it was because nobody else noticed. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 22:39, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, I figured they were harmless. Replying or any meaningful change would have deserved a revert but cleanup should be fine. Ugh, we all probably get enough "bureaucracy on principle" at work. --Bertrc (talk) 22:46, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
. . . I admit, I probably should not have made this change, but I just found it too funny not to do. --Bertrc (talk) 22:49, 3 September 2021 (UTC)