Some Problems With Theological Proof 1

Do you ever see an athlete publicly acknowledging the Lord Jesus after a losing game?

Doesn’t happen.*

Jesus-Athlete-206x300

Have you ever heard devout folk blaming god for an earthquake that killed thousands of people?

No dice — they’re too intent on praising the miracle of one or two victims getting extracted from the rubble alive, a week later. That’s right: Rather than take the thousands of innocents who got crushed and suffocated as compelling evidence that there is no (benevolent) god, they focus on the odd survivor as proof that there is.

But didn’t god create that earthquake in the first place?

It’s long been driving me nuts.

Let’s say you order the chef’s menu in a restaurant and are served an appetizer of dried nasal mucus in goat-turd sauce, a main course of soiled crusty socks cooked in a reduction of maggots, and a dessert that is actually a pretty good ice-cream sundae. On balance, would you call that a satisfying culinary experience?

praying-chef

Christians do it all the time. In fact, they rave about the celestial chef’s miracle sundae, while ignoring the torrents of revolting shit he unleashes on unsuspecting diners. The most they’ll say about the revolting shit is that they probably deserve and must endure it, because chef got mad at a few of the other guests (probably the two guys holding hands in the corner).

And after they’ve gobbled it all up, every last repellent lump, they insist that this chef is the best and only chef in the universe; and they pity others who don’t want the shit buffet; and they pray for them to come round and sample the divine fare.

The Godless Geeks website calls the god-is-good line of reasoning an “Argument from incomplete devastation.”

(1) A plane crashed killing 143 passengers and crew.
(2) But one child survived with only third-degree burns.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

While I’m at it, another one that exasperates me is the fallacious argument from tradition, which essentially holds that the Christian god exists because people have been believing in him for 2,000 years.

One commenter over at the Popehat blog came to a realization about that today:

I just figured out why the phrase “2000-year-old traditions” makes me want to punch an angel in the face. It’s not “2000-year-old traditions.” It’s “the traditions of 2000 years ago”.

A memorable thought.

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*(Except for the idiotic but refreshingly consistent football player Steve Johnson.)

[top image via a corinthian; bottom image via ucc.org]

One comment on “Some Problems With Theological Proof

  1. Scott May 1, 2013 11:46 am

    I will add that the ‘2000 year old tradition’ (or vice versa) is, in itself, also a well-documented lie.

    The First Council of Nicea, which occurred in 325 AD, is when Catholicism was first canonized. Thus, the ‘tradition’ is barely 1700 years old.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

    Before this Council met and then VOTED on what Christianity was, there was no tradition. There were a slough of various beliefs, but none of them were in anyway universally recognized.

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