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Writing Descriptions for SOL

Slutsinger

What can people say about writing descriptions for the SOL community? My feeling as a reader is that people take a different approach here for writing a description than they might for writing a book jacket or product description for Amazon or a more traditional publication outlet. I am not good at describing the differences I see.
I'd be interested in people's advice on what approaches work best for writing descriptions that are effective at getting the readers who want to read your stuff?
I'm not really looking for general description-writing advice: there's a lot of that out on the Internet. I'm more interested in what people have found about this specific community.
I apologize in advance if this is too vague to be a useful question.

Ernest Bywater

@Slutsinger

I use the same description here as for a bo0ok jacket, because they're essentially the same. However, there are many authors at SoL who don't know how to write those descriptions properly and write a different type of description. Then again, there are some stories that defy any sort of description.

Replies:   Slutsinger
Slutsinger

@Ernest Bywater

Yeah, distinguishing is different from should be different is something that I can't do with my reader hat on. I suspect I'm not a very typical reader.

Joe_Bondi_Beach
Updated:

@Slutsinger


What can people say about writing descriptions for the SOL community?


I think the descriptions closest to what you find either as a blurb or jacket copy are the strongest, i.e., most likely to catch my eye. The "Follow [him her it] as [insert pronoun] does [something] and then does [something else]" descriptions don't spark my interest, but that's personal taste.

The absolute requirement, in addition to accurate codes, is to flag a probable squick to many readers---MM, scat or the like---in the description itself in addition to coding it.

EDIT TO ADD: I think we see descriptions on SOL that seem particular to SOL is more because authors see what others have written and follow along than because the SOL community expects a certain kind of description.

bb

samuelmichaels

@Slutsinger

I'm more interested in what people have found about this specific community.
I apologize in advance if this is too vague to be a useful question.

There seems to be a large variation in descriptions. Some describe the general plot. Some just the relationship to previous stories in a series. Some give the opening hook.

Crumbly Writer

One difference between SOL descriptions and book descriptions is the allowable length. I typically have to cut quite a bit from my book descriptions, reworking paragraphs to save enough space. Sometimes, they lose a lot in the process, but then, that happens when publishing too. Amazon allows less than Create Space, while lulu allows less than either one. I typically keep a short and long version of each book description.

By the way, squick warnings do not belong in a story description, because for every squick listed, you lose vital information about the story, producing uninteresting descriptions. If you dislike certain codes, read the story codes instead of penalizing every reader besides you, the one with the particular squick!

I also try to mention the main character--to help the reader relate and recall whether they're read it before, I describe the main conflict and what the main character faces, as well as the secondary conflict--usually between the main male and female characters. That gives readers a decent overview of the story.

Switch Blayde

@Slutsinger

I believe the SOL description is not necessarily the same one you'd see as a book blurb.

Often, an SOL description talks directly to the reader (rather than simply what the story is about). I believe the SOL reader appreciates that.

And I disagree with Crumbly about warnings not being in the description. A reader might not even look at the story codes so a warning might save you a 1-bomb.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

SOL's descriptions are for an entire story. Where some sites the description is by chapter and can change from one chapter to the next.

The same applies to codes. Some sites the codes are per chapter as well as the genre labels. On SOL those codes are for the entire story.

Each system has its advantages and disadvantages for everyone. SOL and its sister sites have a nice balance, but its an ongoing procedure.

Ernest Bywater

It may be a good time to mention what the official position is for story descriptions at SoL. from the site web page:

http://storiesonline.net/author/posting_guidelines.php

we have:

Proper Description:

A good description is key to attracting readers. Few people will read a story without knowing what it's about, so if you want wider readership you need to have an attractive story description; that's your invitation to the reader to read your work.

Story description should tell something about the story's subject, it's supposed to make the story appealing to your audience. It's not the place to say why you wrote the story. It's not the place to ask for comments and feedback and it's not the place for you to introduce yourself. Your author's profile is the place for these things or even the story's text itself.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

And I disagree with Crumbly about warnings not being in the description. A reader might not even look at the story codes so a warning might save you a 1-bomb.

My objection to including squick warnings is due to the character limit on story descriptions. Since I'm already cutting my standard description short, anything I include about squicks limits what I can say about the story. Given that limitation, I don't think it's appropriate for authors to limit the story description to the few people who don't understand how story codes operate. If you only have a two or three line story description, then fine, include all the warnings you want. But story warnings DON'T sell your story, and a limited description isn't an efficient enticement for readers to read your story.

If you want to warn your readers, say because you have a MM encounter in chapter 12, then putting something into that chapter is more effective than making your entire sales pitch a weak and unconvincing argument.

That said, I have included warnings in my story descriptions before--though I've come to see them as a disincentive to read the story. So I now try to stay away from them.

In the end, if you include scat or MM codes in your stories, you're going to get 1-bombed no matter what you do, and announcing you're including it only encourages the dreaded 1-bombers to seek you out (whereas otherwise they might not even notice the story).

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

My objection to including squick warnings is due to the character limit on story descriptions. Since I'm already cutting my standard description short, anything I include about squicks limits what I can say about the story.


While this is literally true, i.e., more words about A means fewer about B when there's a fixed limit, it's a false dichotomy to say anything that isn't description is a fatal flaw to the description itself.

Indeed, the art is in offering a hook in those limited words to draw the reader in. The whole 5-second, 15-second, 30-second pitch thing, right?

bb

REP

I finish reading the this thread and switched back to the Home Page and saw something that dumbfounded me. I thought of this thread and all the things we have said about adding the applicable story codes here and in other threads.

Under Serial Update there is a story called A Sharing Pact by Mark Gander. I know nothing about the story or the author. However, it is an excellent example of overwhelming a reader with story codes. There are 9 lines of story codes. I'm not going to count the codes, but it looks like over 100 codes.

docholladay

@REP

There are 9 lines of story codes.


Definitely a case where I wonder if there is really a story or if its only the acts referenced by all of the codes. I haven't looked at that story either yet, so I can not say which.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Under Serial Update there is a story called A Sharing Pact by Mark Gander. I know nothing about the story or the author. However, it is an excellent example of overwhelming a reader with story codes. There are 9 lines of story codes. I'm not going to count the codes, but it looks like over 100 codes.

A common problem with many stroke stories is that they keep trying to best themselves, so each chapter ratchets up the sex content, adding extra codes as they go. Some of these stories increase the number of partners (a long list of women the main character has sex with, or else they add a long list of codes, instead of relying on a central story thread).

These stories work, as readers are intrigued to a degree, but the list of codes becomes overwhelming.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

What is really crazy is the description for the story only takes 3 lines.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Under Serial Update there is a story called A Sharing Pact by Mark Gander. I know nothing about the story or the author. However, it is an excellent example of overwhelming a reader with story codes. There are 9 lines of story codes. I'm not going to count the codes, but it looks like over 100 codes.


As a reader, I take a more complex view of long code lists.

1. The longer the story is the more codes in can support.

2. Stroke stories should be relatively short. Novel or Saga length stroke stories are absurd.

3. I am somewhat forgiving of lots of codes for a short story if it's in progress and there is at least the promise of being long enough for the code list.

4. The tags fall into groupings. A number of groupings have generic tags with more detailed tags. If you code for all the detailed tags, just the generic tag would work better.

5. There is one group of level/type consent tags. Not all consent levels/types mix well in a single story.

6. There are three groupings of of genre tags. Not all genres will mix well in a single story and having too many genres makes a mess.

7. Age/gender combo tags. I am a bit of a fan of harem/polyamory stories, but I prefer stable groupings to swinging. Less is better unless your story follows multiple groupings.

Now let me review the tag list for A Sharing Pact against those criteria.

1. It's at 27 chapters an 481K it's a fairly long story, but the tag list demands a saga on the order of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

2 Long story, but it's coded much sex not stroke.

3. In progress, but it's been 7 years and it's still only 27 chapters and 481K. I don't think it will ever get long enough to do justice to that code list without being a stroke story.

4 Groupings with generic/detailed.
4.1 Incest, Brother, Sister, Father, Daughter, Cousins, Uncle, Niece, Aunt, Nephew, InLaws

Why not just incest?

4.2 BDSM, DomSub, MaleDom, FemaleDom, Spanking, Rough, Light Bond, Humiliation, Sadistic, Torture

The only detailed tag left out was snuff. Personally I would have dropped everything but the generic BDSM, Sadistic, and Torture. The latter two because they are major squicks even for some people who otherwise enjoy BDSM stories.

4.3 Interracial, White Couple, Black Couple, Black Female, Black Male, White Male, White Female, Oriental Male, Oriental Female, Hispanic Male, Hispanic Female, Indian Male, Indian Female

Got the whole group in this time.

5. Consent tags: Consensual, Romantic, NonConsensual, Reluctant, Rape, Coercion, Blackmail, Mind Control, Hypnosis, Drunk/Drugged, Magic

Okay, he threw in everything except pedophilia, Lolita, and slavery. Why slavery was left out I have no idea.

I do think you can have good stories that mix consensual and non-consensual elements. However, Romantic generally doesn't mix well with the more extreme forms of non-consent.

He probably could get away with just consensual and non-consensual.

6. Genres: Humor, Science Fiction, Post Apocalypse, Extra Sensory Perception, Paranormal, Ghost

Too many for anything short of an epic saga. Probably too many for an epic saga.

Science Fiction and Paranormal are hard to do well together, so are Humor and Post Apocalypse.

If you are going to mix those, the description better sell it, and the description on this story caries no indication of SciFi, Paranormal, or Post Apocalypse.

7. Age / Gender: Again, the author threw on just about everything, but the description doesn't really fit teenagers or any of the teen/teen or adult/teen combos.

You get down to sexual activities, fetishes and again, the author threw on just about everything.

My opinion, the author tagged out the story with no real plan for where it was going.

Replies:   John Demille
Dominions Son
Updated:

@docholladay


What is really crazy is the description for the story only takes 3 lines.


And a lot of the tags make little or no sense compared to the description.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Dominions Son

And a lot of the tags make little or no sense compared to the description.


I don't know about others, but the combination causes me to just ignore that story. Sure I know sometimes it takes a lot of codes for longer stories, but still keep them reasonable.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

I don't know about others, but the combination causes me to just ignore that story.


Me too, and from the description alone, I might have read it otherwise.

John Demille

@Dominions Son

I went to investigate the story to see if the author has mis-tagged it or not. So I started skimming the thing and up to chapter 16 the story was pure stroke.

However, in chapter 17 the protagonist turned out to be God himself!

So I just gave up.

Ross at Play

@John Demille

the protagonist turned out to be God himself

He caused more than enough trouble last time, with just one little virgin :) ... God help us! ... that OBVIOUSLY won't work ... Who can save us?

Crumbly Writer

@John Demille

However, in chapter 17 the protagonist turned out to be God himself!

So I just gave up.

That's a lot of squicks for God. Whatever happened to "Love thy Neighbor"? Or maybe he took that a bit too literally?

Dominions Son

@John Demille

So I started skimming the thing and up to chapter 16 the story was pure stroke.


And as I said, long stroke stories are absurd. Who's going to keep reading after they bust a nut. And if it takes you long enough to get that far into a stroke story, you have other problems.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

That's a lot of squicks for God. Whatever happened to "Love thy Neighbor"? Or maybe he took that a bit too literally?


Maybe it's a miss-translation and he meant "fuck thy neighbor"?

Did he not command Abraham to be fruitful and multiply? Gotta spread those genes around.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

That's a lot of squicks for God.


You didn't read the Old Testament. Nothing was off limits to Him. Incest. Adultery. Murder.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

read the Old Testament

No thanks. I'll get my fictional porno here.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

If you believe that 'rib' was a mistranslation of 'bakulum' (God wasn't very good at science in those times), it's no great stretch to wonder if Eve was in fact Adam's daughter, the ultimate 'forbidden fruit'.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

If you believe that 'rib' was a mistranslation of 'bakulum'


The English version of the Bible have some accidental mistranslations, but it also has far more translations where options were available and the translators chose the one that suited what they wanted to say best, as well as some deliberate mistranslations. Then you get to add in the deliberate falsification of doctrine and meanings by the later Church leadership.

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Back in my teen years I was a member of the youth group at my church. Our Minister ran the group and he helped us to learn about the bible. One of the things he made us aware of is a book called the Interpreter's Bible, I may have the title wrong, but it explains the different books of the King James's bible and the meaning of different verses.

One of the Bible's errors addressed by this book is a translation error in Genesis. If I recall the error correctly, the Bible was written in Hebrew and that version of the Bible indicates that God made Man and Life. Evidently the translation came through as God made Adam and Eve.

The book of Revelations is another book that is misunderstood by many. Based on what I recall, Revelations is based on a series of letters John the Baptist wrote to his fellow disciples while he was imprisoned by the Romans. It is written using a code that refers to the political structure of the Roman Empire in the Middle East during that time in history. If you understand the code, the letters were not prophesies but letters of encouragement to the other disciples.

Capt Zapp

@awnlee jawking

...wonder if Eve was in fact Adam's daughter, the ultimate 'forbidden fruit'.


Why so? I think the only reason it is 'forbidden fruit' is because someone somewhere along the way decided it is so.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


it's no great stretch to wonder if Eve was in fact Adam's daughter


I don't remember the people's names in the Old Testament, but two daughters got their father drunk to have sex with him to get pregnant.

EDITED TO ADD: It was Lot and his daughters.

And Cain must have married his sister (since they both had to be children of Adam and Eve).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


And Cain must have married his sister (since they both had to be children of Adam and Eve).


It's never explicitly stated anywhere in Genesis, but it's assumed that, when God created "Man and Woman", he meant "of his people", since there were enough other people for his sons to select their own brides (since Genesis makes no mention of daughters).

However, in that case, Adam and Eve represent no "miracle" but rather another Frankenstein error, where God tried to make a better human, using his angels as models, and ultimately screwed up once again.

Genesis is less a "creation story" as it is a badly handled "oral tradition" story of who "begat" whom.

Replies:   Capt Zapp  Switch Blayde
Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

Genesis is less a "creation story" as it is a badly handled "oral tradition" story of who "begat" whom.


An yet almost every morality law is based on something in the Bible.

awnlee jawking

@Capt Zapp

I suspect even in those times they had an inkling of the dangers of incest, something still not appreciated on the Indian subcontinent, where the abundance of second cousin marriages leads to an abundance of birth defects.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

It's never explicitly stated anywhere in Genesis, but it's assumed that, when God created "Man and Woman", he meant "of his people", since there were enough other people for his sons to select their own brides (since Genesis makes no mention of daughters).


When I say the Old Testament I mean the Hebrew version, not Genesis in the Christian Bible. There is no mention of "other people."

On the 6th day, God created the land animals, and at the end of the day, man. No mention of "other people." So if Adam and Eve didn't have a daughter who Cain married, then Cain committed bestiality.

awnlee jawking

@Capt Zapp

I believe there are two reasons for that. The first is that most of them are basic requirements for a civilised society. And secondly, even the non-requisites have become widespread because of the dominance of the Abrahamic religions.

AJ

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@awnlee jawking

The first is that most of them are basic requirements for a civilised society. And secondly, even the non-requisites have become widespread because of the dominance of the Abrahamic religions.


What do you base this on? How do we know what the 'basic requirements for civilized society' are? Just because another group does things different doesn't mean they are wrong, it only means you have been taught and believe what they are doing is wrong.

Everything we 'know' as immoral is biased by what we have been taught based on 'translations' of religious writings.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I suspect even in those times they had an inkling of the dangers of incest, something still not appreciated on the Indian subcontinent, where the abundance of second cousin marriages leads to an abundance of birth defects.


First, Most US states allow second cousin marriages (mostly without restriction). Just under half of all US states allow first cousin marriages though some place restrictions on first cousin marriages.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin_marriage_law_in_the_United_States_by_state

Second: controlled breeding of domesticated animals offers a slightly different perspective. Inbreeding is often deliberately used, and it shows that the risk is small unless repeated across many generations.

Whether the risk is under appreciated or not on the Indian sub-continent I have no idea. However the risk is generally drastically overstated in the western world.

Unless the family is already carrying a recessive genetic defect the risk of first generation incest is not significantly higher than for the general public. Inbreeding only becomes a significant risk when it is repeated over many generations.

If cousin marriages are as common as you suggest, in India, the high birth defect rates are likely the result of multi-generational inbreeding.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Inbreeding only becomes a significant risk when it is repeated over many generations.


That explains the British Royal Family. (I apologize to all you Brits. I couldn't resist.)


If cousin marriages are as common as you suggest, in India.


I know a girl in Pakistan who just got engaged to her first cousin. It's common there.

Can't a brother and sister marry in Sweden? I don't see a lot of genetic deformity there.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

There is no mention of "other people."


@Crumbly

It's never explicitly stated anywhere

You're going to refute me by repeating what I said? It's NEVER STATED EXPLICITLY that there are any other people, yet they show up, so you figure out where they came from. If God created Adam and Eve, then why is their world already filled with others?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

That explains the British Royal Family. (I apologize to all you Brits. I couldn't resist.)


It wasn't just the Brits. All the royal houses of Europe are largely one big extended family. You go back to medieval Europe and Royalty rarely marries anyone but other Royalty. Kind of cuts the options down.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

It's NEVER STATED EXPLICITLY that there are any other people, yet they show up, so you figure out where they came from. If God created Adam and Eve, then why is their world already filled with others?


It's not.

Even though only these three males are mentioned by name, Adam and Eve had other children. In Genesis 5:4 a statement sums up the life of Adam and Eve—"And the days of Adam after he had fathered Seth were eight hundred years. And he fathered sons and daughters." This does not say when they were born. Many could have been born in the 130 years (Genesis 5:3) before Seth was born.


During their lives, Adam and Eve had a number of male and female children. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that, "The number of Adam's children, as says the old tradition, was thirty-three sons and twenty-three daughters."[11]

11 - William Whiston, translator, The Complete Works of Josephus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1981), p. 27.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I know a girl in Pakistan who just got engaged to her first cousin. It's common there.


So is having heaps of kids, so the relationships like that are more common while still having a wider gene pool to go with. The high defect rate in some countries is more often related to the nutrition levels during pregnancy than anything else.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

There is no mention of "other people."


Genesis 6: 2 The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them to wives of all which they chose.

The theme of God's sons and the daughters of men continues in Genesis 6:4

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

You left out 6:1 which drastically changes the context.

Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6:6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

So, no, "sons of god" and "men" in "daughters of men" do not refer to two distinct groups.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth


It seems sin/wickedness goes back to the beginning. Didn't God create man in His image?

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

And the topic of "blurbs" for SOL stories mutates into another religious argument. Lets kill this one now, before someone brings in Politics.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

It seems sin/wickedness goes back to the beginning. Didn't God create man in His image?


You seem to be forgetting what happened with the serpent and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

So, no, "sons of god" and "men" in "daughters of men" do not refer to two distinct groups.


Theologians have been debating that one for centuries. There is no general consensus, because there are two clearly defined groups - sons of God - and men.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater


Theologians have been debating that one for centuries. There is no general consensus, because there are two clearly defined groups - sons of God - and men.


Cite an actual Theologian then.

awnlee jawking

@Capt Zapp

There are strong elements of reciprocity in the Christian commandments. For example, it's much easier for civilisation to flourish if you don't go around trying to kill people and they don't try to kill you. Similarly if you don't steal their wife or possessions and they don't try to steal yours. I think those precepts were widely accepted before the idea of legitimising them with a flying spaghetti monster even occurred to religionists, that's why they were adopted.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

First cousin marriages are legal in the UK too, although genetic counselling is recommended first.

In areas of the UK with large populations of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, there has been a dramatic rise of births with genetic defects. The multi-generational aspect may play a part since there's a tradition of trying to keep businesses within the family.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Cite an actual Theologian then.


Augustine of Hippo

edit to add: for a more modern one Charles Gordon Strachan

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

In areas of the UK with large populations of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, there has been a dramatic rise of births with genetic defects. The multi-generational aspect may play a part since there's a tradition of trying to keep businesses within the family.


An other aspect that likely has an impact is that this population may have a high level of recessive defects in the base gene pool. If so, even non-incestuous couples would be at much higher risk of birth defects.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

If so, even non-incestuous couples would be at much higher risk of birth defects.


There's no evidence of that. The birth defects only correlate with cousin marriages.

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

There's no evidence of that. The birth defects only correlate with cousin marriages.


Correlation is not causation and I would be very surprised if you could actually back put the assertion that among the UK Indian immigrants, birth defects only correlate with cousin marriages.

Not all birth defects are even genetic. Some are caused by malnutrition or exposure to certain toxins.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Not all birth defects are even genetic. Some are caused by malnutrition or exposure to certain toxins.


Some are caused by a mosquito.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Technically, those are caused by a virus. The mosquitoes are just a transmission vector for the virus.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Then you get to add in the deliberate falsification of doctrine and meanings by the later Church leadership.


I'm NOT saying EB does not know what follows. :-)

How can anyone think that Book COULD be interpreted literally? It has no provenance at all! It started well before the King James version. At best, it was about a dozen accounts littered with hearsay and personal agendas. The earliest leaders were selective about what they allowed in, then Roman Emperors perverted it to justify their claims of authority. Christie's and Sotherby's probably would be interested in the one with squiggly writing, but they'd instantly dismiss the other as a fake.

EDIT TO ADD: And I forget about all of the unintended translation errors as well.

Ross at Play

@Capt Zapp

An yet almost every morality law is based on something in the Bible.

It's not the advice about how humans should behave in religious texts that bothers me, they all seem to have sound practical advice for ways of avoiding the most common pitfalls of existence when tempted by apparent short-term advantages. They were all written by wise and insightful men.
What bothers me is the fantasies included to justify claims the advice comes from something higher than humans, rather than simply, "Do these things as best you can and you will be happier in the long run".

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

The birth defects only correlate with cousin marriages.

Is there an assumption in the statistics that the fathers of children born in-wedlock are married to the children's mothers? I would not be confident those statistics are reliable. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Correlation is not causation


Heh, the UN has ruled that it is in their meat/cancer scare.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

You can probably have more confidence than with the native Christian-oriented population. Family honour is more important to people originating from the Indian Subcontinent, and not just to Islamists.

AJ

Capt Zapp

@Ross at Play

What bothers me is the fantasies included to justify claims the advice comes from something higher than humans, rather than simply, "Do these things as best you can and you will be happier in the long run".


The problem with that is that just being happy is not motivation enough for many. The 'something higher than humans' said that there were consequences after the physical body was dead. You couldn't get away with anything just by killing yourself to escape the justice meted out by your fellow humans. Personally, I believe it is the lack of belief in 'final judgement' that has crime on the upswing. The human justice system does not provide punishment that deters criminal behavior. 'Criminal 'X' sentenced to 5 years with all but 2 months suspended and allowed out to work.' WTF kind of punishment is that? This is the kind of BS 'justice' the courts hand out these days.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Cite an actual Theologian then.

Bob said it, as well as 3,926 others, most forgotten by history.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

What bothers me is the fantasies included to justify claims the advice comes from something higher than humans, rather than simply, "Do these things as best you can and you will be happier in the long run".

What annoys me is the common assumption that, without the fear of Devine retribution, no one would ever behave honorably. However, that's simply not true. In most disaster scenarios, the majority of people do the right thing, even when it takes weeks to restore order. When law and order collapses, it's often the result of long-term economic failure, where people grow desperate and those without morals manage to steal more than anyone else, building status as warlords. That doesn't point to a basic inhumanity, but the need for equitable resolutions--something most Western (cough, cough, Americans) Christians resist as "Communistic".

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