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Discussion (24)¬

  1. Tinkling Think says:

    How a supreme being would behave? Do you mean a supreme being that created paediatric cancers and TV Evangelists? A supreme being that allows Marmite and car horns that batter out that American riff at weird o’clock in the morning? A supreme being with that sort of sense of humour is capable of anything, Mo’.

  2. PeterN says:

    Jesus, you are so Zen. Meditate on the Koan:
    What is the creation of a creator that does not exist?
    What is the mindset of the unfathomable fiction

    Stop. Circle Time.
    if god does not exist and Jesus is the son of god, then Jesus came from the nothing that is god. Jesus is a miracle of god.

  3. Michael says:

    You stupid atheists wouldn’t recognize evidence for God if I rammed it down your throats. Therefore God exists.

  4. banks says:

    Welp, can’t argue with that…

  5. Oh yeah? Well, sensus divinitatus, so there!

  6. Lakabux says:

    Obviously God exists. Only an omnipotent and all-powerful being could manage to pull off the feat of creating three major religions, each with many sub-religions, all of whom claim with absolute certainty that theirs is the correct one, and all of whom worship the same god! Nothing but a supernatural being could even have thought up such a thing, let alone pulled it off. Quod erat demonstrandum.

  7. Michael says, you are quite correct, though I don’t accept that I am stupid. The truth is: If god were to appear before me and perform all manner of tricks to show that he/she/it exists, I would have a decision to make. Is it more likely that god exists or more likely that I’ve lost my mind and am barking mad? It seems to me that the latter is far more likely. Since the existence of god doesn’t make any sense in light of the evidence, no evidence of his existence would make me believe he exists. Even if, as you so eloquently put it, he rammed it down my throat. Guess you could call me a true disbeliever.

  8. jb says:

    If a powerful being were to show me all manner of tricks — and if the tricks were sufficiently amazing, and if everybody else saw them too — then I’d be inclined to take its claims seriously, whatever they were. Amazing tricks are evidence too, and in any case it doesn’t seem wise to tick off powerful beings when you can actually see them right in front of you. Until that happens though I’ll have to make do with the evidence I’ve got, and that evidence says that there is probably nothing to these rumors I keep hearing.

  9. Troubleshooter says:

    …certainty is not the measure of the truth of a claim; it is the measure of the individual’s confidence in the claim.
    — Matt Dillahunty

    Confidence in rectitude does not mean that the speaker actually HAS rectitude. Ol’ J could be 100% confident and Still Be WRONG … which correlates to a quote which Matt stated immediately after the above statement:

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    — Bertrand Russell

  10. Someone says:

    Here’s a good question that answers itself:
    Why would an omnipresent, omniscient creator being of a vast, expanding universe (one that either humbles with curiosity or drives mad those who try and understand the full meaning of its origins as well as they’re own place within said universe) waste its time with one individual non-believer, who in relative size is but a quark in the grand design of all existence, by popping up and showing them magic tricks?

    If such a being exists, I’m pretty sure they have something better to do than worry about one fraction of one small planet. And besides, why bother with one person when they could make a grand entrance, so there is no doubt in the minds of any person in the world? Hell, they could even tell the fractured religious to grow up and stop killing each other for no good reason. Call it divine intervention.

    Of course that won’t happen because there is no God. And if there is, to quote The Devil’s Advocate, he’s a sadist, an absentee landlord.

  11. jb says:

    An omnipresent, omniscient creator might concern itself with one individual non-believer because, being omnipresent and omniscient, it is able to do so! Frankly I think it is kind of foolish to speculate about what an almighty god would or wouldn’t do if it existed, because such a being would be so far above us that we would have little hope of comprehending its motives. Much more productive to focus on the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any good evidence that such a thing exists.

    BTW, if you are interested in a fictional account of how such a being might behave, and what its motives might be, I strongly recommend Olaf Stapledon’s remarkable 1937 science fiction novel Star Maker. It is brilliant not only for anticipating all sorts of important ideas, like genetic engineering, Dyson spheres, emergent behavior, and the multiverse, but for coming up with a reasonably coherent account of what a creator god might actually be trying to accomplish.

  12. Laripu says:

    jb and Darwin, mere tricks aren’t enough to establish the existence of a deity.

    While a deity needs to perform a genuine miracle for it to constitute proof, it doesn’t need to perform tricks like walking on water or turning water into wine, or loaves and fishes. Just one thing world be good enough, and that thing would be: to reincarnate your beloved dead family members, including pets, young, healthy, happy and of sound mind.

    I believe that nothing is perfect, but sometimes things are good enough. Daedalus and Icarus failed, but aircraft succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Good enough. Star Trek communicators seem to be monotaskers compared to my smart phone. Zeus and Thor could hurl thunderbolts, but that’s pretty wimpy compared to nuclear weapons. We’ve easily exceeded the tech of Jules Verne’s stories. One day neural interfaces combined with cell phone technology will give us good enough pseudo-telepathy.

    If a putative deity brought back my dead family members, that would be good enough for me.

  13. Laripu, if I start seeing dead family members, apparently alive and well, that will be good evidence that I’ve gone barking mad. And that happens to people all the time. It’s called schizophrenia. I know what my brain is capable of, and I don’t trust it for a second.

  14. Laripu says:

    Darwin, don’t forget the technological prologue. The point was that what used to be seen as miraculous has been accomplished or exceeded, technologically.

    I don’t know what the future holds, but I think it might be possible that in the very far future there could exist an entities and cultures which are not gods, but would appear so by our limited understanding of future tech. After all, much if what we take for granted in daily life would appear miraculous to someone 2000 years ago. Hey, I’d bet that if Jesus could see automatic doors, firearms, and helicopters, he’d worship us. 🙂

    I drew a line at the “miracle” I’d need, the “miracle” that would be good enough for me to fall into reverence. If it was actually technologically created, that wouldn’t bother me one bit. I wouldn’t question it, I’d just be grateful.

  15. Troubleshooter says:

    Frankly, just a bunch of improbable to impossible tricks would not be sufficient to convince me that the being doing them was a god. Technology in general and special effects in particular are so advanced in this day and age that virtually 100% of the miracles described in the bible, perhaps short of resurrection, are currently realizable.

    Maybe, as Laripu suggested, bringing back the dead would be proof enough, ESPECIALLY if the bodies had been cremated (!!!), but they’d better be subject to DNA verification as well as memory tests and interactions with living relatives as well. Now that I think of it, cloning technology is damned near the point where bringing back the BODY of someone who had died isn’t that much of a reach. The fact is that Yahweh’s bag of tricks would have to be expanded well beyond what we’ve seen of the Old and New Testaments.

    Now, all that said, would I WORSHIP such a being? Ohhhhh, now THAT is a WHOLE ‘nother matter!

  16. pink squirrel says:

    an argument that circular must have a very high speed of rotation

  17. Anonymous says:

    panel four – how would any human even begin to predict how an alleged ‘supreme being’ would behave

  18. henry Ford says:

    Darwin ( the real one ) had particular trouble with the Divinity after studying parasitic wasps for a while: the ones that lay eggs in larvae and whose grubs eat the living larvae from the inside out. He thought no God could be that cruel.

  19. Laripu, I didn’t miss your point at all. Couldn’t agree more. In fact, with the current attempts to interface electronics with the human brain, I could imagine a day coming when what would amount to telepathy is just taken for granted. We already have the babblefish. If everybody’s brain were connected by technology, would we then merge egos and become one hive mind ego? And if that happened, wouldn’t that amount to immortality, for at least as long as our species exists?
    My wife spent some time as a computer programmer. She said she liked it because it was like doing magic. You just got the words right and stuff happened. We don’t have flying monkeys, but drones come close, and crystal balls are taken for granted. Who knows where we will get to if we don’t destroy ourselves in the next few decades.

    Pink squirrel, yes. I was very aware that my argument was circular. Since the evidence says there is no god, no evidence could convince me there is. Can’t get more circular than that, and that’s what makes it rather amusing. No lumps or bumps to cause wobbles or slow the spin.
    The mirror image is the fundie statement: “Since I know there is a god, no amount of evidence will convince me there isn’t one.” The difference is that my statement begins with evidence. At least, as the real Darwin and henry Ford pointed out, evidence against the existence of a loving, caring god.

  20. Son of Glenner says:

    DH: I thought Pink Squirrel’s remark referred to the remarks by J&M in this strip, not to your own argument.

  21. Son of Glenner, of course you are most likely correct. There I go making everything about me again. I blush with shame.

  22. postdoggerel says:

    to conciliate is pusillanimous
    it’s the contrapositive of animus
    to get on you will need
    that your terms be agreed
    and in the end one be magnanimous

    – not Bertrand Russell

  23. Hatstand says:

    I have often had Christians threaten that I would regret my atheism when I died and “met my maker”.
    If that were ever to happen, I would hope to have the courage to spit in its eye. If any god were to exist, it most certainly wouldn’t deserve to be worshipped.

  24. Horrible Heathen says:

    To reference Troubleshooter and Darwin, As Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Thus, the third possibility, not that you’re barking mad or are in the presence of a/the god, but are being fooled by or even presented with technology so advanced that you cannot know of the origin of the phenomena. Then we cannot say even what would convince us, but the claim made by many thirsts that their god is all-knowing necessitates that their god would know the very thing that would indeed convince us, and-by virtue of our atheism-chooses not to reveal itself in that way.


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