Divine Blindness: Day 5

Still nothing! I am disappointed in the extreme. Surely God can have no more excuses? I mean, why would an omnipotent, omniscient being have any difficulty at all in doing as His follower bade Him? It’s been five days and the time for traipsing Mill Ave. is nearly upon us again. If God is so interested in the goings-on of Mill, wouldn’t it benefit Him to have one of the Resistance out of action and suffering a crisis of non-faith?

Wait, you’re thinking. God doesn’t have to obey anyone! So what if Cesar claimed to be able to call down the Lord’s wrath upon me? That doesn’t mean He’s going to do it.

But why, though? This deity, who would necessarily have to be very well acquainted with who I am, knows what proof I need to believe in him, and to thus be “saved”. If he can perform such enormous feats as destroying Sodom and Gomorrah and (paradoxically) impregnating a young woman sans genitalia, why can’t he blind me to save me from the fires of Hell? Surely he knows that I would be more inclined to believe after such a miraculous experience.

Perhaps the Lord is as I suspected: a cruel god, a tyrant unmatched. Perhaps he truly does not care for his followers one bit…

Or perhaps, just perhaps, He is not the god of the Bible. He could be a different god entirely, one who never claims to intervene. Or maybe it is a deist god, who does not interfere with the universe much after creating it, leaving its creations (us) in a state of benign neglect…

Or maybe, and much more likely, it’s none of these things at all. The reason Cesar couldn’t blind me using the power of the Lord is because there is no Lord. There is no power to call on outside of ourselves to get the things that we want. Didn’t Jesus claim several times (in Mark 11:24 – 25, for instance) that whatever a Christian believed would happen and prayed for would take place? Not so, it would seem.

Science has never found much in the way of evidence for gods at all, and nothing that can’t be explained by naturalistic causes. And thankfully, when science (and the scientifically-inclined mind) doesn’t know something, it tries its damndest to discover what it is. That’s in direct opposition to religion, which can only spew the same nonsense it ever has, with some obnoxious apologetics thrown in for flavor.

My point is this: I very much doubt that there will ever be evidence for a god or gods. With so much progress being made by science in the past few hundred years, evidence has begun to increasingly show that the natural world has far more explanations and answers than any religious book. And as this progresses, the gaps for God to exist in become smaller and smaller. When you get to present times, He becomes little more than a handyman, stepping in to do the heavy lifting when things get too hard for poor little science to handle. And nearly all hypotheses involving God have either gone kaput or are regarded as nonscientific.

Religion is simply not reconcilable with scientific observation. Hence the overwhelming majority of atheist/agnostic scientists. They’re applying the scientific principles of skepticism to their own lives, as all of us should.

And as for those who believe in the Christian God, the one called upon to blind me, they have no basis at all for what they believe other than an ancient book written by men and deemed infallible. The God of the Bible could never have created the universe or us. I doubt he could ever do more than sit and have a temper tantrum of the floor of some cosmic nursery.

However it may be (and my position on the matter should be obvious), the truth remains that I am not blind. Hooray!

Divine Blindness: Day 2

Being blind seems to be remarkably similar to having sight. I’m beginning to think that perhaps nothing is happening at all.

Then I remember that Father’s Day was yesterday. I can’t expect so much out of God. I mean, like any good dad He was probably partying into the early hours with His son Jesus, going all Old Testament on a keg of prodigious size. The resulting hangover will surely take a day or two to overcome.

Meanwhile I sit and wait for the proof that he even exists. Surely blinding an 18-year-old girl shouldn’t be too hard for him? Once He can get up off the couch without puking up a universe or two, I’m sure he’ll get right to it. Cesar’s request is probably not far down the queue, right?

We’ll see.

On Debating Specifics

I often state that religion can be defied on reason alone. Simply put, if there is no evidence for it, there is no reason to believe it. There is also no reason to disbelieve it, though if evidence can be brought against it, the claims become increasingly absurd and defy Occam’s razor to the point of ridiculousness.

Thus, it’s often seemed silly to me that so many of us are forced to argue the specifics of Bible passages and the like in order to make our point. The thing is, though, that many of the people we’re debating against are willing to make great rationalizations for what they believe. They’re incredibly forgiving with the book. They variously condemn us for taking a phrase too literally or, alternately, not literally enough.

And yet they say that their book is not open to interpretation, that it is concrete and infallible. I find this disturbing; they accuse us of living our lives without a guiding code, but it is they who are willing to mold their scriptures to reflect whatever they like them to. And they still claim infallibility, and promote that their own interpretation is the only way. All others are not the *true* followers.

Of course, so many people won’t listen unless we know the specifics of their particular faith (usually varying forms of Christianity). They’ll call us on these specifics when what we’re arguing is for reason. It’s like discussing bad slash-fiction with a middle-aged basement dweller: none of it ever happened, none of it will ever happen, and yet you’re arguing over specific plausibility like it really matters. It’s not about the specifics. It’s about fundamental concepts of rationality. They’re large, large enough that it seems people can’t see them so often, preferring to pick over smaller things.

It isn’t about the smaller things. It’s about the things required for faith in their God: deep solipsism, the relinquishment of personal responsibility, suppression of the questioning intellect, and the acceptance of personal unworthiness and helplessness that are necessary to be “saved.” All of these things are, to my mind, unhealthly in any person looking to improve the state of things. These are the mentalities of downtrodden slaves, not of thinking human beings.

Little is accomplished by going down the list of contradictions and conflicting interpretations in the Bible, of which I understand there to be many. But it would seem that we will never be listened to if we cannot play their game. With any luck, by showing proficiency with their texts, they become more willing to listen to what it is we have to say: that reason and rationality should not be suppressed, and that religion is a prime enemy of the intellect. I hope that one day people will listen to reason, rather than arguing empty, truthless scripture.