DOWN AND DIRTY SYLLOGISM
Christians love to claim that all we have to do is look at the world, and we’ll see god at work. Stupid, they cry at us, can something come from nothing!
Lemme splain: If, as they claim, something cannot come from nothing, and if god is something rather than nothing, then where did god come from?
IRRATIONALITY, THE CHRISTIAN WAY
In Kaufmann’s anthology, “Existentialism From Dostoevsky to Sartre”, we discover another two renowned Christians willing to admit that they love irrationality. Although, the way Kaufmann introduces the quotes, it’s hard to tell whether Martin Luther or Kierkegaard wrote the words which follow. “. . .he [Kierkegaard?] echoes Luther’s famous dicta: ‘Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason’ and ‘You must part with reason and not know anything of it and kill it; else one will not get into the kingdom of heaven’ and ‘reason is a whore.’” (p.18)
I find that many Christians must have read these two and taken their advice to heart when I try to have a logical conversation with them about their so-called holy writings.
WELL. . . THIS IS HARD TO BELIEVE
Recall Pinker’s statistical analysis of what factors most influence what a child becomes and how he ends up? Pinker says that 50% of what a child becomes is decided by it’s genes and 50% is decided by its peers. The most influence parents can have is to get their child into a good school with stable conditions, high intellectual standards and in safe neighborhoods. My most recent “Newsweek” which goes on and on about why a parent needs to say, “No” (The Power of No), seems to be completely ignorant of Pinker’s conclusions. What are we to make of that?
I think Pinker is mostly correct, remember? For if a child grows up to be like his parents he’ll have no success in his working relationships with his job peers and friendships and so many other things. Yes, a child will like the music of his peers, use the language of his peers, adopt the values of his peers, share common values of beauty and morality. But isn’t there left a little room for a parent to yell a big loud, “NO!” Honestly, folks, ain’t this a tough one to swallow? Don’t we think we’re in the catbird seat when it comes to how our children turn out?
HERE’S ANOTHER THING FROM “GOING INSIDE”
In studying how the senses take in the outside world, we learned from “Going Inside” that the brain experiences bits and pieces of the world rather than a continuous flow of info. We experience reality as a series of snapshots rather than as a continuous consciousness, just like a motion picture is a series of snapshots rather than a continuous reception of images.
The doctor, Oliver Sacks, who wrote “Awakenings” from which the movie of that title was made concurs in a New Yorker article (8/23/2004, p. 64): “This does much to suggest that conscious perception. . . is not continuous but consists of discrete moments, like the frames of a movie, which are then blended to give an appearance of continuity.”
It’s a wonder we can make a police report that makes any sense at all. Perhaps that’s why eye witness reports are becoming ever less respected when it comes to truth. What can we trust in this world if reality is so fragmented and piecemeal? What about all this Swift boat stuff from 40 years back if memory is so holey?
TODAY'S JOKE TO STRING YOU ALONG
Such is the world of physics with string theory, and I don't know what'all! Merlin Donald in A Mind So Rare (my newest read which claims that free will does exist) mentions that Niels Bohr (Nobel laureate) is reported to have said to a colleague, "We all agree that your theory is crazy; where we disagree is whether it is crazy enough."