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Old 09-11-2017, 05:01 PM   #1
djg
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What is Meant by "Idle Fancies"?

Politics, Idle Fancies and Vain Imaginings

The above article contains some discussion on the topic, but mostly in the context of politics. The definitions section may here be useful:

"Idle: Not active, without purpose or effect, pointless

Fancies: A feeling of linking or attraction, typically one that is superficial or transient.

Vain: Producing no result, useless

Imaginings: Thoughts or fantasies"

But in a religious context, what is "pointless?"

Anything that's contrary to the will of God is clearly pointless, as the Cause is destined to be victorious in the end.

What about playing video games? What about making video games? Are these idle fancies and vain imaginings?

Is fantasy football an idle fancy? What about professional sports? These things are not expressly forbidden by God. They may serve to keep a person out of trouble. But clearly, their value is not inherently particularly high.

However, if by making video games, a man is able to provide for his family, and therefore fulfill part of his God-ordained role, then it does not seem like so much of an idle fancy.
 
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
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Oh, I don't think it's necessary to be that hard on oneself. After all, I think it's up to each of us to determine the meaning of that term.

Best

from

a gnat, who smiles at his own idle fancies.
 
Old 09-11-2017, 07:20 PM   #3
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djg,
Is there a specific quote your looking at?
In general in the writings I think idle or vain fancies or imagings is referring to theology made up by man. Not fantasy football but claims about the trinity or that pork is unclean but fish doesn't count as meat or only people who accept Jesus as God will go heaven. These are delusions that we humans have devised to possess and control God.
What if you aren't a theologian? Well subconsciously thinking that God is something you can control or manipulate by our outward signs of devotion. By thinking we have all the answers or being blind to our shortcomings while pointing out the faults in everyone else.

You still feel guilty about fantasy football and video games? These aren't in of themselves bad things. But do you ever play just another game and forget to set aside time to pray? Do you spend time on those things you could have spent practing compassion? Do you spend money on these things that could help someone have a hot meal or a safe bed for a homeless child to sleep on? We can always be doing more. Again leisure isn't bad, we need to recharge. But you only have so many moments on earth, you don't want to be in heaven wishing you had made better use of them.
 
Old 09-12-2017, 05:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
[url=http://bahaiteachings.org/politics-idle-fancies-vain-imaginings]What about playing video games? What about making video games? Are these idle fancies and vain imaginings?
No, the arts do not meet the definitions of "idle" or "vain" provided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
[url=http://bahaiteachings.org/politics-idle-fancies-vain-imaginings]Is fantasy football an idle fancy?
I have a bias against gambling and will thus not weigh in on the subject

Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
[url=http://bahaiteachings.org/politics-idle-fancies-vain-imaginings]What about professional sports?
The martial arts are also arts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
[url=http://bahaiteachings.org/politics-idle-fancies-vain-imaginings]These things are not expressly forbidden by God. They may serve to keep a person out of trouble.
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
[url=http://bahaiteachings.org/politics-idle-fancies-vain-imaginings]But clearly, their value is not inherently particularly high.
You seem to have very little regard for art. Either that or the arts you mentioned above don't interest you, so perhaps you aren't seeing them as the arts they are. Well then, to each their own I suppose.
 
Old 09-12-2017, 03:44 PM   #5
djg
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When I say "their value is not particularly high," I meant it in the same sense as one of the people above -- that it seems that the money would be better spent solving real problems in the world.

But perhaps this is an immature or naive perspective. The Manifestations of God have commanded us to give a certain amount of our material substance -- that is, 19% in excess of our bare necessities. I suppose that leaves the rest to spend as we please, be it on sporting events, video games, etc. etc.
 
Old 09-12-2017, 11:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
What about playing video games? What about making video games? Are these idle fancies and vain imaginings?
The gamification of education seems fruitful to me. Video games, professional sports, and so on aren't inherently idle fancies. The Olympic Games can displace people and produce negative results, but it seems better to reform them rather than do away with them all together? In my opinion, saying video games are idle fancies is similar to labeling all music as idle fancies - just because there are a few rotten apples. Any tool can be misused for a negative end.

Last edited by ahanu; 09-12-2017 at 11:47 PM.
 
Old 09-13-2017, 06:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
When I say "their value is not particularly high," I meant it in the same sense as one of the people above -- that it seems that the money would be better spent solving real problems in the world.
I don't see why you make the assumption that the arts cannot solve real problems.

I think if the arts had no value in problem solving, then Muhammad and Baha'u'llah would have written their books more straightforwardly, without all the flowery prose that both employed. But, as it stands, their books are artistic works that serve to solve real world problems.
 
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