Sunday, March 09, 2008

Nothing would convince me

It comes up a lot: "What would convince you?" they ask, "that God exists?"

Well, nothing, at least nothing short of a lobotomy.

I'm convinced only by natural reasons: by the evidence of my senses and the workings of my own mind. By definition, I cannot be convinced of the supernatural: that which is, by definition, unavailable to my senses and mind.

If a God were to exist, if such an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who thought it good — indeed the highest good — that I believe that it existed, then I would simply believe. It would be absolutely impossible to honestly doubt such a being, just as I cannot honestly doubt the existence of objective, physical reality (no matter how much I study philosophy). Either no God exists, or God just doesn't give a shit whether or not we believe it exists.

Religion is nothing more than a big con job, there to persuade you to obedience. To persuade you, at the end of the day, to kill the "evildoers" when they threaten the luxury and livelihood of parasitic priests. Nothing more.

11 comments:

  1. Larry,

    God does want you to believe, he just doesn't want to give you any kind of testable evidence. After all, where would the fun be in that.

    I don't doubt God cracks up every time he looks in on the creation museum. How could you not explode in laughter when look at a bunch of 'scientists' trying to convince themselves that humans and veloceraptors cohabited peacefully as vegetarians. Those huge claws, and razor sharp teeth are perfect for eating grass and those powerful hind legs allow it to run at great speed; very handy for chasing down the faster species of tree.

    And lets not forget, being a gullible dupe is the highest virtue. You should be more virtuous and believe what the guy in the fancy costume is telling you. Don't be cinical now. Just because he relies on you buying his fairytale to make a living he is really only calling you names like fallen and sinner for your own good. He has the magic formula that can prevent you from being eternally boiled in lava by the omnibenevolent, loving and forgiving God so you had better show that dude some respect. Honestly Larry, loads more people believe this than don't so you must be wrong. I mean when has the mob ever been wrong before???

    You want evidence you say. Well I saw a statue move once and I had a kind of a dream about a snake. I think it was singing kareoke tunes....anyway that obviously means that God wants us to repent ours sins. Oh and that statue, I was staring at it without blinking for five hours and I can tell you it definately moved at least a quater of a centimeter. FACT. QED.

    I don't know Larry, sometimes I think you just don't want to believe. All this evidence and still you don't fall to you knees to thank Jesus Christ, your personal saviour for saving you from being punished by the all-merciful God for something you didn't do. Talk about ungrateful.

    I will pray for you Larry, no need to thank me.

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  2. That's good enough to run as a post. May I?

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  3. The Barefoot Bum wrote:
    "It comes up a lot: 'What would convince you?' they ask, 'that God exists?'

    Well, nothing, at least nothing short of a lobotomy.

    I'm convinced only by natural reasons: by the evidence of my senses and the workings of my own mind."


    Okay, what about this: Tomorrow night a message appears in the sky in glowing letters saying: "I am God. I here by proclaim my existence and I want you all to know that I had nothing to do with any of your holy books or religions -- you created those. This is my first message to humanity."

    Astronomers confirm that the message in the sky is written in sun-like stellar plasma out beyond the orbit of Jupiter in several languages in letters a hundred times larger than Jupiter. They cannot explain how they got there.

    I think that would open my mind to the possibility a god existed.

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  4. Tomorrow night a message appears in the sky in glowing letters saying: "I am God. I here by proclaim my existence and I want you all to know that I had nothing to do with any of your holy books or religions -- you created those. This is my first message to humanity."

    I would first hypothesize that I was the victim of an elaborate hoax. If that hypothesis didn't stand up, I would suspect my sanity. But at best (worst?), I might possibly conclude that a very powerful natural intelligence had created the message.

    But a supernatural God? No way. It's still logically impossible for me to draw any conclusions at all about the supernatural using only natural means and evidentiary reasoning.

    A supernatural God would have no need of such tricksy bullshit.

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  5. Well, I'd ask: "Okay, I now know. By what stretch of the imagination must I worship?

    Norman,

    What if the message were written in the Arabic of original Koran?

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  6. James F. Elliott asked:
    "What if the message were written in the Arabic of original Koran?"

    I'd actually be less inclined to believe it. If God wanted to say something to me he needs to learn English and speak to me, not through translators -- I just don't trust people who speak on God's behalf. And if the message confirmed the Koran I'd be even less likely to believe it because the Koran is a pretty messed up book with horses flying to Heaven and other impossible miracles (is heaven actually up in the sky where a creature with wings can reach it?)

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  7. And if the message confirmed the Koran I'd be even less likely to believe it because the Koran is a pretty messed up book with horses flying to Heaven and other impossible miracles...

    As opposed to the Bible, of course.

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  8. Larry wrote:
    "But a supernatural God? No way. It's still logically impossible for me to draw any conclusions at all about the supernatural using only natural means and evidentiary reasoning."

    The absolute distinction between the natural and supernatural is a product of modern times and the failure of scientific evidence to confirm God. Demons and souls and miracles were considered rather natural to the writers of the Bible.

    And the God of the Old Testament is remarkably wimpy when compared to the claims made for him. It's like Captain Kirking asking "Why does God need a starship?" But the ancient Hebrews never asked "why does God need us to do his killing?" or "why does God need us to sacrifice animals to him?"

    "A supernatural God would have no need of such tricksy bullshit."

    You expect him to re-write your neural codes so that you just believe in him. The New Testament makes some claims about something like that happening.

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  9. Larry wrote:
    "As opposed to the Bible, of course."

    The Bible is of course almost just as silly.

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  10. It's true, Norm: I don't have a well-thought-out position on every stupid idea ever propounded in recorded history. I'd just as soon stick to the bullshit du jour.

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