Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, When You Put It That Way ...

Sam Harris characterizes Christianity as a creed holding, among other things, that an

invisible carpenter will one day return to earth to judge humanity for its sexual indiscretions and skeptical doubts, at which time he will grant immortality to anyone who has had the good fortune to be convinced, on Mother's knee, that this baffling litany of miracles is the most important series of truths ever revealed about the cosmos. [The Moral Landscape, p. 168]
Zing! If you think that sounds contemptuous, it has nothing on the e-mails Richard Dawkins receives:

5 comments:

Sean G said...

That video was hilarious! The quote was good too, but I haven't been so cheered up by a video since... well, it probably involved a kitten and antics of some sort, but that's not important.

Paul Sunstone said...

People often argue that we cannot know one way or the other whether god exists. True enough, yet, we can know a great deal about a few specific gods. Enough, perhaps, to know they cannot exist without a fantastic set of circumstances being true.

Dale said...

@Sean, youtube has a few more in the series, including one in which a letter-writer calls Dawkins "the fart of god."

@Paul, right. The only god that can be squared with reality as we have worked hard to understand it is a god who has no effect on anything. Whereupon we're talking about a god that's either so very distant that we might as well be talking about a form of life trillions of light years away and even less technologically advanced than we are -- not much to be said of such a form of life -- or something that's outside of reality. Outside of reality is just a needlessly confusing way of saying "not real."

Paul Sunstone said...

That's so true, Dale. I like to say, "God is an unnecessary hypothesis. There is nothing one is required to posit the existence of deity to explain." I like to say that because I live in a largely fundametalist town and saying it in a loud enough voice has the effect of clearing a path for me through even the densest crowds here. One only must be careful to step over those who merely fainted rather than ran.

Paul Sunstone said...

In the video, I love that, "I hope you get hit by a church van..." That just cracks me up.