Archive for December, 2008
This is the problem with the internet– there’s always someone who’s wrong.
Ray Comfort is an evangelical creationist who is almost always wrong, often willfully so, but I think he thinks that everything he does is for the best. But then I read other things he writes and I’m not sure, and I think maybe he’s just a douche who enjoys attention and selling books. I just don’t know.
His latest post is about the consolation of Christianity, which is generally considered a given, and generally I wouldn’t argue against (because whether or not something is comforting is entirely beside the point of whether it is true), but he is just so annoyingly smug in his unassailable belief system that I feel like disagreeing with him on even this small point.
Is it really so comforting to believe that your family died horribly as part of God’s plan? I can’t imagine so. If I believed in God such an event would probably make me despair at what reason God may have had to allow this to happen. And then I might have a crisis of faith over how everyone can have free will and yet somehow all of our actions fit perfectly into God’s plan. And then I might hate God for taking my family– He could have made a different plan couldn’t He? And then I might hate myself for hating God. And then I might try to remember how I felt about my lost family before I wasted years of my life trying to understand the purpose of their deaths. And then, hopefully, I would realize that there was no higher purpose, no cosmic significance to this awful event, apart from the fact that tragedy can occur at any time, and that we should hold life precious and take nothing for granted.
The only way I can see that belief in God would be comforting is as a way of indefinitely deferring dealing with such a loss, by telling myself that it’s not over and my loved ones are still there in some vague kind of way and lalalalala it’s all too hard and I don’t want to think about this anymore.
Then there’s the whole idea of believing something because it brings comfort rather than because it’s true. I’m with every fifth Star Trek episode on this one, in that given the choice between being told a comfortable lie and the awful truth, I will ask for the truth (even while knowing that I may have been happier with the former). I’m not a child, and would prefer not to be treated as one– but perhaps the devout feel differently, what with their fixation on innocence and credulity and the institutionalized suspicion of knowledge and discovery.
Would it be better to tell someone whose loved one has been killed that in fact they were called away on a secret government mission and can never return? If it were true I would be more comforted by the latter, but I certainly hate the idea of being told such a lie simply to protect my fragile human psyche.
UPDATE: In case you don’t know just how douchey Comfort (and his buddy-in-Christ Kirk Cameron) can be, you need to see this fabulous clip, The Atheist’s Nightmare!— It’s funny until you realize they’re actually serious.
Here are some random things you may or may not know about me:
- I am 36, which in base-6 notation is 100*
- I still can’t grow a decent goddamn beard
- I get disproportionately angry about:
- television commercials for youth oriented SMS based services
- creationists, especially potentially influential ones like Ray Comfort (whose proud ignorance knows no bounds)
- young male voice-over artists who seem to be hired specifically for their blokey douche-bag tones (sometimes for aforementioned TV commercials)
- software that takes longer to shutdown than it does to start up (frikkin MS Visual Studio)
- newspaper based "blogs"
- I weigh 97.5 kg– too much for my height, which is about 5’11"
- My attention span is getting shorter every year
- I don’t like wine
- I am impossible to buy for
- I lean very much to the left, but am not a socialist (except by American standards)
- I thought Ratatouille was the best of the Pixar movies
- I have not finished a book in a very, very long time
* the number 36 as written in various bases:
10010 (base 2, binary )
1100 (base 3, ternary )
210 (base 4, quaternary )
121 (base 5, quinary )
100 (base 6, senary )
51 (base 7, septenary )
42 (base 8, octal )
40 (base 9, nonary )
36 (base 10, decimal )
30 (base 12, duodecimal, dozenal )
24 (base 16, hexadecimal )
This ugly powerpoint slide is part of an official military presentation designed to show how we can prevent USAF personnel from topping themselves by accepting God into their lives. Note that Darwin (as in Charles) is inexplicably listed as a leader of the former Soviet Union.
(Full presentation can be viewed here.)