Sunday, July 12, 2009

Response to M. Rowe

The following was my response to a response to my response to a letter in The West:

M. Rowe (Don't usurp God's power, 3/7) embarks upon a journey through the Vale of Silliness, and attempts to take us all along.

Firstly, near-death experiences are not evidence for the existence of souls, but they are evidence that the human brain, a highly complex biological machine, behaves very strangely when suffering a lack of oxygen or some other form of damage. This should not be surprising, as most complex systems behave oddly when they malfunction. I have a friend who once saw a six-foot tall cockroach when suffering from a high fever, which in no way serves as evidence for the existence of six-foot tall cockroaches.

Further, the wonders of the universe (and I grant, they are indeed wondrous) are evidence for the existence of the universe, but that's about all. They don't serve as evidence for the existence of God, and especially not for the existence of the Biblical God. Rather, they provide robust evidence that the Biblical God is the product of fanciful human imaginations. This has nothing to do with belief, which has been accorded all too much unwarranted credit. It is simply what the evidence shows. The universe was not created 6000 years ago in the space of a week, replete with vegetarian lions, talking snakes, and an entirely innocent pair of fully-grown humans doomed by their omniscient creator to be punished for a crime they couldn't avoid.

Adam and Eve did not exist. This is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of fact. Nor is anyone claiming that humans descended from monkeys, which is a farcical claim that has nothing to do with anything, and betrays a severe lack of knowledge of what science (based upon evidence) tells us. We share a common ancestor with monkeys, and it was quite some time ago. We share a more recent common ancestor with chimpanzees, and a more distant one with cabbages. The "humans descended from monkeys" line is what is known as a "straw man fallacy".

On top of all this, the Biblical God is a repugnant character, behaving in such ways that, were they exhibited by a modern citizen of this nation, would result in his rapid removal from the broader society and incarceration, quite probably under some sort of sedation.

Threats of hellfire and brimstone and days of judgment are simply that: empty threats, and as such they have no place in the creation of legislation.

The above was reply to a reply to my previous letter.

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