Thursday, February 11, 2016


The excellent J and M has a new cartoon up today talking about the ridiculous rules that Theistic religions (Islam in this case) invent to control and distinguish their constituents. 

Many people have Deistic leanings in that they have this fuzzy feeling that there maybe something else in the Universe, some higher being or force that is by definition unknowable but had some role in the creation of things. I have some sympathy for this point of view and many famous thinkers wrote about it, Einstein, Locke, Paine, Voltaire etc. all had Deistic tendencies. Personally, I think that if you think that nature or the Universe is God then why bother with the word God? It's redundant, just call it nature? Anyway, the point of this post (and the cartoon) is to explore how vast a leap it is to move from a Deistic position to a Theistic one. The Theist not only claims what the Deist does (which is unfalsifiable but semi-reasonable) but adds a whole new layer of complexity and parochial make-believe on top of this already flimsy idea.

The Theist claims that he or she not only believes in a higher force but that they know the mind of this being, they know what he wants us to eat, to wear, what to say, which parts of our (God-like?) bodies we should cut off, what to think and who we should sleep with and in what positions. What the Theist does is move the idea of "God" from the untouchable realm of the Deist into the real world of evolved primates and perhaps unwittingly into the realm of science. If their God(s) interfere in the affairs of men and twiddle the cosmic knobs then by definition he's detectable and his existence (or otherwise) is therefore a scientific question. The problem for the Theist is that no scintilla or atom of evidence (which is what we use to prove things in the real world) has ever been seen or found for their assertions which means coercion (as per this cartoon) is needed to enforce them; in many ways they should of stuck to being Deists, there would have been a lot less trouble.

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