I recently read a Guardian article online. The title was so maliciously provocative that it sucked me in. ‘Stephen Fry (a British comedian) on an Irish TV program denounced God as “utterly evil, capricious and monstrous”, if he were to exist.’
It set off a shit storm of 2550 comments and counting. In case you were wondering, Brits by and large seem to mostly fall on the atheist side of religious spectrum these days. Judging by many of the comments that I have read to both to this and other similar articles suggests the reason being is somehow intellectualism (however pretended) precludes faith in a higher being.
Some of these people were almost rabid in their denunciations. Stephen Fry’s argument of an evil god – ‘if there was one’ (a useful caveat, right?) – seemed to be wrapped around the raw deal man was getting from a God who was the perpetrator of all mankind’s suffering. Of course this line of reasoning precipitated numerous bilious counterarguments that Fry was a uneducated fool because – well – there is no god.
All of the discussions in the form of comments obviously led nowhere. There were the usual loud bleatings of the anti-god establishment. And the occasional faint voices of people who professed faith. Only to be inevitably shouted down by the most rabid elements of the opposition.
I couldn’t help myself. I dropped in a comment that said, “This is one of those things I call a La Brea Tar Pit discussion. There is no right answer in the context of this type of discussion. And every word one could say on the subject just gets you pulled deeper into the quagmire.”
I thought I was done till some jack-in-the-box replied to my comment saying, “If the basis of the Universe is Quantum mechanics (probability,) then you cannot have an omniscient God. We seem to have proven the existence of Quantum mechanics, so you cannot have God, however desirable he maybe be.”
What? Like somehow this idiot read my anti-argument (with fools) comment as being one of pro-god? Wherever did he get that? Now, I am not saying I don’t believe in God (because I do). I just didn’t say it there. I didn’t even infer it. Not to mention the reply comment was totally off the hook. And wrong to boot.
I thought about it and just how positively and vilely ignorant the whole thing was and like Brer Rabbit I stepped in and took another swing at Tar Baby. (That’s my other working metaphor for these kinds of conversations).
I did have a few minutes to spare. And contrary to the book stack next to his bed, mine includes the very brilliant and well written ‘ The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene. So I decided to fire one final meaningless salvo in his direction.
So I replied, “Here I am getting sucked into the quagmire…Einstein’s General Relativity [still] provides the framework for understanding the universe at the largest scales – stars, galaxies, clusters, etc. But Quantum Mechanics provides the framework for understanding the universe on the smallest of scales – molecules, atoms, and all the way down to subatomic particles. Superstring Theory is now being postulated as being the bridge that connect these two antagonistic viewpoints; the one theory for small things and another theory for the big things. However, none of these theories prove or disprove the existence of a god. (That’s it for me. Going to go get some gasoline to wash off some of this nasty tar stuff…)”
PS – I won’t tell you what he came back with – because it was stupid – except to say he called me stupid.
Yep. All in all, nothing but a truly La Brea Tar Pit waste of time.