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(a) Providence Options
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:04:38 PM

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Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
Oxford Learner's Dictionaries say it's uncountable:

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/providence_1

Quote:
providence noun
(also Providence)
[uncountable] (formal)

God, or a force that some people believe controls our lives and the things that happen to us, usually in a way that protects us

Yet here's an example:

Quote:
Plato distinguishes three sorts of Atheists; such as deny absolutely that there are any Gods; Others who allow the existence of the Gods, but deny that they concern themselves with human affairs, and so disbelieve a Providence; and lastly, such as believe in the Gods and a Providence, but think that they are very easily appeased, and remit the greatest crimes for the smallest supplication.

How do I understand this?


აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:42:43 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,568
Neurons: 46,044
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
Oxford Learner's Dictionaries say it's uncountable:

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/providence_1

Quote:
providence noun
(also Providence)
[uncountable] (formal)

God, or a force that some people believe controls our lives and the things that happen to us, usually in a way that protects us

Yet here's an example:

Quote:
Plato distinguishes three sorts of Atheists; such as deny absolutely that there are any Gods; Others who allow the existence of the Gods, but deny that they concern themselves with human affairs, and so disbelieve a Providence; and lastly, such as believe in the Gods and a Providence, but think that they are very easily appeased, and remit the greatest crimes for the smallest supplication.

How do I understand this?

You could think of it as the definition says, "a God, or a force".

Plato distinguishes three sorts of Atheists; such as deny absolutely that there are any Gods; Others who allow the existence of the Gods, but deny that they concern themselves with human affairs, and so disbelieve a God; and lastly, such as believe in the Gods and a force, but think that they are very easily appeased, and remit the greatest crimes for the smallest supplication.

A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 3:06:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/2015
Posts: 1,356
Neurons: 488,183
Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
Thank you.


აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Romany
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 6:24:30 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

It's a word I know but have never used, nor heard used, because it's a very vague and inexact..

As you have come across it in this context it could stand for "a higher being", "Intelligent design", "a panoply of gods", " the supernatural" "accepted religious beliefs"....well you get the idea: its a word whose meaning in any particular context would have to be explained and defined within the text in order to understand how it's being used.

Which is why, I expect, I've never heard anyone using it, nor used it myself. Would rather say what one means clearly with no possibility for individual interpretations.

(PS. This is from a BE pov. I think, in America however, it might have a common meaning that everyone is familiar with?)
thar
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 8:37:14 AM

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I must say as a BrE speaker of not much literature and practical!y no religion - to me it implies lucky 'fate' - now what controls that is left open. I would say it implies some intervention whilst deliberately not calling it "God". Whistle
But, like I said, I have practically no religion (and what I have is Protestant along the lines of "fix it yourself, don't expect God to do it for you!" Whistle )

It only makes me think of
"She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island..."
(Presumable named by those very religious early settlers.)
- Eagles The Last Resort - Which is a song not exactly supportive of western religion! Whistle
Romany
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 11:24:31 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Thar -

Snap! Rhode Island is the first association I make too! I have to make a nano-second adjustment in my head to get it to apply to an abstract rather than a fixed place.
FounDit
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 11:35:15 AM

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Being an American, and given an education rooted in pride in our country, I think of the Founders and the Declaration of Independence, which mentions "Divine Providence". I think that may be my earliest encounter with the word.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
thar
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 11:55:37 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Romany wrote:

Thar -

Snap! Rhode Island is the first association I make too! I have to make a nano-second adjustment in my head to get it to apply to an abstract rather than a fixed place.


I still think of it more as the idea because it is only a place I know from the song- I assumed the use of in the the song was allegorical,or whatever the correct word would be. More than the place. An irony, for what is coming.


Presumably the origin is provide - ence - that which is given,rather than that which 'happens'. Ah, I'm wrong. With a little p > Foresight, > good governance > guiding hand > financial planning and frugality.
With a capital P >"Divine care or direction, the will of God or the gods; fate."


Yes, as non-Americans we certainly come at it from a different prospective.


But interesting that states "Divine Providence" - implying that you have to add 'Divine' or it could be 'non-Divine' providence - random happenstance? Fate? Or even worse, dark forces...Whistle
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 12:06:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/2015
Posts: 1,356
Neurons: 488,183
Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
thar wrote:
I would say it implies some intervention whilst deliberately not calling it "God". Whistle

To me, an atheist born and bred, it is divine intervention, divine will. But this is not the question I asked. What about the use of articles with this word?


აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
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