Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Oh, God

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  • Moz, in reply to UglyTruth,

    "your God’s existence is democratic" ... I never said that.

    except here, where you said:

    which is a more irrational position given the number of witnesses who support...

    Can you explain how your statement is not equivalent to "this factual question can be answered by counting the number of supporters of each answer"? Even using "witnesses" instead of people, the underlying principle remains that of counting people. Viz, democracy.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to UglyTruth,

    Either deity exists or it doesn’t, there are no other rational positions to take.

    Couldn't a deity, if She chose, come into and out of what we call 'existence' at a rate of variable oscillation beyond human measurement, making this point moot?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz,

    Schrodinger's God?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    Schrodinger's God?

    Sounds like one that Gareth Morgan would support :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to B Jones,

    Could we not agree to disagree and move on to more interesting subjects?

    I find it amazing that such a boring tedious and recycled discussion can go on so long. there is simply nothing more pointless than arguing with a religious zealot, it makes nobody happy and resolves nothing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    there is simply nothing more pointless than arguing with a religious zealot, it makes nobody happy and resolves nothing.

    I dunno, I pop in and out as the fancy takes me. It's amusing thinking up smart remarks that won't upset Russell too much.

    The idea of a democratic collection of gods appeals to me for much the same reason that Pratchet books do (and that's what the earlier stuff reminded me of). The whole "small gods" book revolved around that idea. Albeit in a much funnier way than the ugly ones writings.

    I vote for Cthulu, safe in the knowledge that he'll be a minor party in a coalition of more sensible gods. I wonder how many nominal Christians or Muslims would actually vote for their god to be made real? "vote Christian. Listen to the burning bush, it knows the truth!" (note: Jah Rastafari was wrong about which sort of bush) ... bring on the fire and brimstone, and hope the Seventh Day mob are wrong about heaven only having space for 144,000 souls.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Agnostics everywhere will be shamed by this.

    We'll be releasing a statement shortly.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Couldn’t a deity, if She chose, come into and out of what we call ‘existence’ at a rate of variable oscillation beyond human measurement, making this point moot?

    Yet again, I regret that PAS does not have "favourite" buttons.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Moz,

    I vote for Cthulu, safe in the knowledge that he'll be a minor party in a coalition of more sensible gods.

    We've done what beer is each political party like, perhaps we could do what god/denomination.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Winston Peters: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I've been keeping a careful eye on this, because as several people have pointed out it's bad faith arguing (SEE WHAT I DID THERE), but I figure you guys are smart enough to walk away when it's not fun.

    However. I have a column on a much more delicate and sensitive subject to go up early next week, and I'm quite tempted to close this discussion thread then.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Kim Dotcom: rub my belly to receive wealth and good fortune.

    John Key: "I will return to lift you up"

    Laila Harre: "blessed are the little children"

    I can't help thinking that The Greens would come out as some kind of Rangi and Papa type spiritualists. But I can't think of an apposite quote or aphorism.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Emma Hart,

    However. I have a column on a much more delicate and sensitive subject to go up early next week, and I'm quite tempted to close this discussion thread then.

    We'll be good.

    Closing it would not be a bad idea, I suspect the silliness will wear off fairly soon.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to B Jones,

    NZ Democrats for Social Credit as Lynx, mainly just:

    It is considered an elusive and mysterious creature

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Either deity exists or it doesn’t, there are no other rational positions to take.

    Oh dear. Agnostics everywhere will be shamed by this.

    I wouldn't, as an agnostic. Just because something either exists or doesn't exist is no reason to have an opinion either way. I'm agnostic about the poo-monster too (although there were some suspicious stains on the bowl this morning - could be a sign, in conjunction with my dream).

    Rejecting it is rejecting the law of the excluded middle. Many respectable people do reject this, but in the case of this kind of argument it's not needed. It doesn't really matter if something is true, not true, or something else, when it is quite impossible to show either way. To practical purposes, such things are just best treated as not-important, rather than not-true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I’m quite tempted to close this discussion thread then.

    As a major guilty party in carrying on with it, I have no objections.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    It’s amusing thinking up smart remarks that won’t upset Russell too much.

    I had a horrified fascination in how many loops could be involved, and under what conditions the loop could be broken out of. I'm still none the wiser. Reminds me of the time I spent 5 hours debugging 10 lines of code. It took me that long to work out that the compiler was actually broken, not the algorithm. Many many loops through the same lines until ping under just the right conditions the code jumped back to a starting point just one spot removed from where the syntax in C++ meant that it should go to, and around and around it went.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    misty mystic frequencies...

    ...come into and out of what we call ‘existence’ at a rate of variable oscillation beyond human measurement

    our refresh rate is crap by modern standards...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to UglyTruth,

    Irrelevant, it doesn’t change the fact that the there is no available evidence against the proposition that deity exists.

    Everything. Every single thing in existence is proof that there's no gods. Photons, Neutrinos, Cell Phones, Dark Matter, Cosmological Expansion, Plate Tectonics, the Evolution of Species, Universal Gravitation, everything is chemicals (even your thoughts and ideas), we're made of stardust, birds are dinosaurs, the atoms my body is composed of are much more recently attached to the whole than the date of my birth.

    Sociology, history, we've records of people from long before god was supposed to have created the earth by hanging the sky-blanket over the mountains, creating light, and then later on remembering to create the sun and everything else which makes it. Only that's not how it happened, the sky-blanket theory is not correct.

    We're not babushka dolls, there's no homunculus, prayer does nothing, there's no god on the mountain tops, no god in the clouds, no god on the moon, Saturn and Jupiter and Mars and Venus and Mercury aren't gods either, there's no gods on Neptune, none in the Kuiper Belt or among the Plutinos, and despite there being thousands of planets around nearby stars (averaging about 1.3 gas giants per star, at least in the disk), there's no god there either.

    There's no god at the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, which has hundreds of billions of stars in it's bar and disk.

    ~300,000,000,000 stars, locally, within our own galaxy. There's no god in the novas as some of them eat their smaller companions which spiral inside the Roche limit.

    There's no god in the quasars that turned out to be distant supermassive black holes gobbling up giant stars a hundred billion other galaxies.

    ~170,000,000,000 galaxies. And no sign of god, at all. Most much smaller, some hugely bigger, we end up average.


    So there's ~300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, a number so big I'd have to double the length of this post to let you even try to grok it. And they're just the ones within the observable universe, the whole thing is at least several thousand times larger. There's no god in the cosmic microwave background either. The father-figure who doesn't like to see you masturbating but just can't help watching anyway wasn't hiding in the Higgs boson, it was recently discovered. Jokes about being infinitely good at hide-and-seek are ... a very good argument against there being no gods of any kind.

    There's no god in polio, or herpes, or HIV, or smallpox. We killed smallpox, all of it (bar lab samples), forever, because it was related to harmless old cow pox and we could train our immune system's T-cells on them to kill the thing before it got a good hold on us, and it's unusually stable genome prevented it mutating a solution in time. God didn't help after a thousand years of prayer and billions dead, because there's no god and prayer does nothing. Vaccination, that works. Science.


    It's not mysterious, there's no sophisticated version that makes any more sense, it was just bronze and iron age men trying to make sense of the world while securing their social dominance by murdering the competition. There were thousands of stories invented about gods, and just a handful of them survived into the modern world in a persistent enough meme to overcome the starkly obvious lack of any gods, backed by the evidence of every single thing ever turning out to not have your god in it, or anyone else's god in it. All of it, everything, there's no gods, not even one.


    Evidence. There's nothing but evidence. /mic drop.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Beautiful.
    Along with the lack of evidence one could point to logical incoherence in most claims of deity.
    But in a wonderful universe, it hardly matters :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart, in reply to tussock,

    Where is the goddamn like button when you need it! [applauds]

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    ... And loud clapping from the back seats

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to tussock,

    I take it back.

    I was completely wrong.

    Tussock your post was the perfect reason to continue arguing with a religious zealot.

    Applause.

    Oh and a nomination for post of the year!

    We do have a post of the year don't we?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    +1

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    This kind of obtuseness is exactly what I mean by you not engaging.

    To continiue your Dojo analogy, I think it's more like practicing on a punchbag, or one of those wooden wing chun dummies. No matter how skilled and powerful your strikes, the dummy (being an inanimate object) is essentially unchanged and is incapable of launching an effective return. All you're really doing is sharpening up your own skills and possibly showing off for 3rd parties.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

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