Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oolon, Call Your Office

Bryan Owen has put himself through the torment of reading the drivel coming out of another Jesus Seminar event. I personally can't bring myself to do it any more; the smugness and the intellectual bankruptcy of it all got to me years ago. But then Douglas Adams did the heavy lifting in the ridicule department years ago:
Now [the babelfish] is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could evolve purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing".
"But," says man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It proves you exist and so therefore you don't. QED."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"Oh, that was easy," says man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white, and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.

Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys. But this did not stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme for his best selling book, Well That About Wraps It Up for God.
Robert Munday's characterization of it as "an intellectual Ponzi scheme" is more or less on the mark as well. In that regard it's a testament to the gullibility of journalists who write about it as if it were something novel and challenging, when in fact it has been grinding along for over twenty-five years. I suppose there could be some point to this sort of critical study, but the conspicuous biases of this group and the manner in which it has sold the souls of its members to publicity make it mostly useful as an object example of what not to do. If this is the alternative to traditional faith, then it makes traditional faith easy to swallow.

No comments: