Friday, March 28, 2014

Standards of proof

Here's something light hearted for a Friday that's intended to generate a grin (and a slight rolling of the eyes) I happened across this Christian publication the other day, it's called "Charisma News", this was the first thing that made me smile, this is a pretty optimistic title for most serious Christians I've ever met. However, the WEB site seems like a genuine attempt at relevant news, I wondered if perhaps the title was evidence of further wish-thinking contained within, I read on..

Inside the site, an article entitled "7 things that prove God is real" caught my eye; at last I thought, some tangible evidence that one of the persistent mythologies of the last couple of millennia might actually be true in some way, in the hope of enlightenment I persevered, just what are these "7 things" then?

1. Babies
2. Thunderstorms
3. Flowers
4. The Bible
5. The spread of Christianity
6. Jesus
7. My personal friendship with God

Whoa, wait, what, flowers? is this a spoof? clearly I need to take a closer look at these "proofs"..

1. Babies - Clearly the author gets that warm fuzzy feeling most of us do when he looks at a baby, particularly his own, but is this "proof" of God? It struck me that the author must come from one of those scientifically impoverished Southern US states and didn't study any Biology! If he had he would have a wonderfully complete picture of life on Earth; how we got here, how our cells and bodies actually work, how we reproduce, why we love our babies and more importantly what happens when the process goes wrong, tellingly something he doesn't cite as evidence for his God.

2. Thunderstorms - I'd agree thunder and lightening can be impressive, but "proof" of a Deity? Clearly his education is lacking again, the author is deficient in three important scholarly disciplines. Firstly, meteorology to understand the weather and why storms happen, then physics to understand electricity and lastly religious education, everyone knows it's Thor and not Yahweh who is the God of thunder, duh!!

3. Flowers - Wow is this guy impressed by flowers! The way they look and the way they smell, their subtle colours and hues, who knows, perhaps this is an indicator of suppressed gender orientation issues? You know what those repressed clergy can be like, or possibly an argument that God is a giant insect?

4. The Bible - You can get the gist of this one pretty quickly, my Bible is true, because it says so in my Bible, it says in the Lord of the Rings that when elves die they go to Valinor but can be re-born in middle Earth, just as a point of comparison.

5.The spread of Christianity - I guess he has a point here, considering the poor quality of the ideas it contains it seems like a miracle to me too! Then again, when you look at the facts we're over 2000 years into the invention of this particular religion and during the first 80% of it's life it was spread at the points of swords and red-hot pokers! Even with the threat of unspeakable horrors the "good news" still hasn't percolated to everyone on this tiny planet. If this omniscient God of his does exist I think it's fair to say he's a hopeless communicator.

6. Jesus - I guess they didn't have any lessons on logic in whatever Southern Baptist school the author attended either, the proof that god exists is the son of God. In other news, the proof that Jor-El is real is Superman, also he has a cloak and x-ray vision, which Jesus does not, so there.

7. My personal friendship with God -  Love this one, God is real, I know he's real because I believe in him, he created the universe just for me and will reward me for thinking this way, it's classic solipsism bordering on psychopathy. Whilst this is certainly a clear illustration of ego and self aggrandisement it has no bearing on the reality of the universe the rest of us inhabit. Christians often label themselves as humble, but this "proof" reminds me of a description I once heard of the "humble" Christian position, it went something like..

"Yahweh created a universe of a hundred billion galaxies each with a hundred billion stars like our own Sun, then he picked one particular planet circling one insignificant star, on that planet he chose one particular species from millions and one individual member of that species, again from millions; at that critical point he thought to himself I really must tell that guy not to gather sticks on the Sabbath"...

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