Friday, March 27, 2009

Short and sharp

I don't think I'm mistaken in saying that the greatest challenge to the empiricist today is getting through to the people who've never really paid any attention to the way scientific progress is made. And, of course, one of the first, biggest hurdles to get past is the great lie that is religion. Here's a brief argument against the Abrahamic god that popped into my head last night, while I was in that place between sleep and consciousness, no thanks to my cats' insistence on playing tag under my blanket.

Take the Israel-Palestine conflict. You'll be hard pressed to find believers more devoted than the ones you find killing each other over there. Now let's assume God exists. Don't you think by now he'd have said something? Perhaps a little "Hi! Actually, you're both worshipping the same guy - Me! So kindly stop killing each other and play nice, ok?" How many prayers do you suppose are going unanswered over there, hmm? I mean, he wasn't exactly shy with the miracles in the Bible, was he? You say he's all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful, but somehow, something doesn't quite fit. Epicurus phrased it very well:

God is all-powerful.
God is perfectly good.
Evil exists.
If God exists, there would be no evil.
Therefore God does not exist.
-- Epicurus

Though in the interests of keeping an open mind, I think it's only fair to include the possibility that God exists, but does not know of the foolishness that occurs in His name (so all-knowing is out) or He simply does not care (so all-loving is out). If we discarded the "perfectly good" clause, then that could go some way towards explaining the present state of the Middle East: He LIKES people killing each other in His name! But, of course, this raises the question of who on Earth would be stupid enough to go about bowing and praying to a nasty little sod like that.

Hence, the stance of the atheist:

Either a theist God does not exist or he does not give a shit.

And if you keep your eyes open and pay some attention when you look at our world, you will find the atheists are right: God is a fiction, concocted to play security blanket because ignorance is kinda scary and people too dumb to think for themselves needed to fill the vast empty gulfs in their knowledge with something nice and comforting. One thing led to another, and here we are now, with huge chunks of humanity still trying to talk to imaginary friends.

Bugger. I read that again and it came out a little harsher than I'd intended. So much for being gentle...

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