Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Three Takes on a Common Theme

The first, from the ever cogent Mike Flynn, writing in response to this:

A physicist named Victor Stenger seems willing to contribute to the mounting pile of evidence that those trained in the metrical properties of physical bodies can't do metaphysics for dog barf. We will try to accommodate him.

Yes, it's the auld God-does-not-exist-and-I-can-prove-it foolishness through *Science!*

Believe it or don't believe it, sez I; but don't believe you don't have to believe it.

Like many narrowly trained, he extends his own tool kit into domains of discourse for which it is not suited, much like a plumber who comes to counsel your teenager on his anxieties. In particular, terms are always to be understood in the casual ways in which he understands them. Dr. Stenger would not tolerate this sort of thing if the subject were physics. "Dark Matter? Well, dark means it's not lit up, so if we shine a light on it, we should see it." This would induce a similar eye-rolling to some of the usages in the essay.

But in any case, said essay provides a number of tasty tidbits for our intellectual noshing.

A. Absence.

Lets start with his title: Absence of Evidence Is Evidence of Absence. Apparently, he believes that believers believe this as an explanation for "why there is no scientific evidence of God." (Hey. It couldn't possibly be because God is not a physical body and his existence is not a metrical property. Could it?)

Later, Flynn writes:

The notion that the God supposed by the Christians wrote his "plan" down as a set of instructions, rolled them up and stuck them inside the ur-block, that these instructions must be physical, and so that there is no "room" for "God's Plan" in the initial universe simply misses the point. The God of the Christians is not "in" the universe any more than Shakespeare is "in" Hamlet.

The second, from a new blog called BadCatholic:

The most laughable statement I've heard from atheists - and that includes their origin-of-the-universe theories - is that religion is an opiate, a crutch, a delusion created by a bunch of saps looking for something to hope for, a celestial pie-in-the-sky. To this idiocy I can only offer a short transcript that, for good reasons, was never found by anyone, ever.

Caveman 1: Bro, these mammoths are frightening, and I don't know why it rains.
Caveman 2: Yeah, sounds like we need some supernatural explanation for natural phenomena for which we are not yet advanced enough to understand.
Caveman 1: Right. So we'll need a god...
Caveman 2: Nice.
Caveman 1: And let's have no adultery with beautiful women...
Caveman 2: Uh-
Caveman 1: And in with the concept of eternal, unimaginable torment-
Caveman 2: Slow down-
Caveman 1: And moral obligations, and no more of this survival of the fittest. We'll not be able to lie, or steal, or cheat, or masturbate-
Caveman 2: Are you sure you-
Caveman 1: Or eat too much, or drink too much, or be lazy, or be prideful...

And the third:


Mark D. said...

Good stuff John. However, I don't believe in atheists, and frankly, I am not too sure about agnostics either.

K T Cat said...

Great post! I hadn't seen some of this before, particularly the atheism poster. Thanks for sharing.