"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Thursday, January 31, 2008

God Is A Poopyhead

I haven't read "The God Delusion" or" God Is Not Great". I don't need effete French intellectuals to tell me how to think...

I was therefore interested to read this in Brent Rasmussen's review of Vox Day's new book called "The Irrational Atheist":

"Day... scrupulously breaks down many of the arguments and claims made by Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Dennett, and Onfray in their books, and then demonstrates, with meticulously detailed footnotes and references, why each one is flawed in some fashion - logically fallacious, historically inaccurate, mathematically incorrect, or statistically flawed.
This is no surprise. Anyone who thinks they can prove that there is no "greater power" in the Universe is on the same road to delusion as the South Carolina housewife who thinks Jesus helps her biscuits raise in the oven. We're all irrational beings.

The point is, of course, that the burden of proof is on those who want to argue that some definable, understandable, type of God actually does exist... And the whole point of Reason, surely, is to help us keep a collective grip on reality.

In many ways the whole argument is diversionary. As Rasmussen says:
"over the years I have come to realize that being an atheist is only rather secondary to who I am, and how I choose to define myself. First and foremost, I am a husband, and a father. Second, I am an American. After that, I am a civil libertarian politically. Then, I am an atheist.

Weirdly enough, this doesn't put me very far off from Vox Day himself -- except for the whole God and Jesus thing. Heh."

Well put.

Of course, things get gnarly when people insist that their particular irrational view of the world should be imposed on everyone else. We saw it in the 20th century with Facism and Communism, and we're seeing it in this century with religious Fundamentalism.

Over at the amusingly named Casey's Critical Thinking, I got into a discussion with Casey and a commenter on his blog about predestination and free will.

As ever, the conversation swiftly turned to morals in a world without God:
"If your conscience tells you that it is wrong to
rape and murder, what if someone else feels it is perfectly normal to do these things? On what basis can you condemn these actions other than you feel it is wrong?"

I could never work out why anyone would think that this argument is anything more than droolingly cretinous.

But then I had a revelation. I realised Fundamentalist Christians think that in a world without "God" might would be right, the end would justify the means, and no-one would be accountable to anyone because that is precisely how their "God" acts in the Bible.

"He" is accountable to no-one - not even his own rules... Might is Right and He broaches no opposition or dissent... And the End Justifies the Means, since all arguments about "the problem of evil" ultimately come down to God being a bit of a jerk either (a) for reasons beyond our comprehension; or (b) for our own good. (Ht: AtBC).

It's not just the Fundamentalist God which is utterly absurd. The standard "Christian" view of God depends entirely on the Resurrection of Christ meaning something. But we are talking about an all-powerful omnipotent omniscient God: a God who can fix the World Series and watch Angelina Jolie in the Shower any time He wants; a God who can take the pain of a bazillion Supernovas going off directly in his face without flinching. I fail to see what could possibly be impressive about the "suffering" he incurred dying on a cross. He's bloomin' immortal, for heaven's sake.

The God described in the Christian Bible is a dysfunctional father. He is a bully, a tyrant and a psychopath. But beyond that, the mere notion that a Universe-Encompassing being would be so insecure as to require us to believe it and punish us if we don't, is ludicrous.

That's why I can safely say that God is a poopyhead.



Casey said...

Thanks for stopping by, PTET. I admire your wittiness. You do have a way with words, even if we don't agree. I find your posts entertaining, even though I'm on the opposite side of the debate.

PTET said...

Thanks Casey! Much appreciated. Your thirst for knowledge, inquiry and discussion is joyous and inspirational. Keep up the good work on your site :)

IrishFarmer said...

Don't you think its a red herring, when someone asks you how you justify your morality, for you to start speculating about that person's beliefs?

I've seen atheists do that before, and I think the reason why is because it makes them very uncomfortable to be asked that question since they have no answer.

PTET said...

Hi Irishfarmer

Thanks for dropping by.

I didn't speculate about anyone's beliefs.

I provided a link in my article to the original discussion so that readers could see the conversation for themselves, in context. I see that you didn't bother to click the link - you just assumed that I had "speculated about their beliefs."

So what does that make you, Irishfarmer? Lazy? Or a bearer of false witness? And saying that morality requires God is like saying that presents require Santa Claus. It makes you look silly.

But hey, I see from your profile that you have a fun taste in music and movies. So I'd still buy you a beer.

(And I'd buy God a beer too, Poopyhead or not).