Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Faith or … poof!

Posted by Ron Coleman on November 29, 2007

They’re having a freewheeling “God, Truth and Eternity” series of posts and related threads on Dean’s World.  That’s one of that blog’s enduring merits — it doesn’t consider itself too fancy to have Square One debates early, often and wide open.

I wrote the following in response to a comment there, which is quoted in the indented passages here:

[T]he concept of a “God” who demands that I believe things that are logically indistinguishable from fairy tales or else he will punish me eternally… that is a God I find abhorrent, immoral and if not pure evil, then it’s hard to find something more evil than that.

Your logic is inconsistent. If there were such a God he would by your own definition transcend your definition, or ability to define, good and evil. And old argument, of course.

But I think more significant is that it really is a very egotistical formulation. Listen:

the concept of a “God” who demands that I believe things that are logically indistinguishable from fairy tales or else he will punish me eternally…

You are judging good and evil, and indeed divinity, based on your personal analysis of what is “logically indistinguishable from fairy tales”? Do you realize how many people, as smart as you, have so characterized assertions that have turned out to actually be true, in the worlds of science and history?

This is what people mean when they say that a certain kind of purported non-believer worships only himself. That’s what this formulation amounts to: If I — the height of cognitive evolution, and utterly devoid of bias — can’t figure it out, it’s not only impossible. It’s — what was the formulation again?

abhorrent, immoral and if not pure evil, then it’s hard to find something more evil than that

Du-hude!

weekday-morning.jpg

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4 Responses to “Faith or … poof!”

  1. jaymaster said

    So my choice is between g-d and a British homosexual?

    In all seriousness (well, 60 to 70% seriousness), the significance of the photo escapes me.

    Technically, it’s a pretty crappy photo (which I’m sure you understand). So I assume the text is the real message. Could you interpret?

  2. Technically, I think it’s a brilliant photo. It’s a picture of what I see every morning when I attend synagogue — a bag, with my name written on it in Hebrew, containing my phylacteries and my tallis, and a prayer book also kept in that bag. I place them down on the table and remove the prayer book, put on the tallis and then the phylacteries and say the morning prayers. Every day, no matter what. (Well, no phylacteries on the Sabbath.)

  3. jaymaster said

    Maybe I should have said “artistically”….

    Anyway, thanks for the info. I get it now.

    I think I have mentioned this before, but I don’t know much about the Jewish faith other than the basic higher level beliefs, things I picked up in some comparative religion classes I took decades ago. When it comes to more specific things like traditions, rituals, or differences in beliefs of various sects, I am embarrassingly ignorant.

    So I appreciate it when you take the time to explain things like this.

  4. You’re quite welcome. It’s a shame you can’t “get” this one, actually. The guy’s initials spell out a well-known Yiddish word that’s not safe for Likelihood of Success.

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