An old one from 8 years ago. Happy New Year!

Discussion (68)¬

  1. Jerry Coyne says:

    Third panel: “exists” is misspelled.

  2. What is beer?
    How do we know if something is beer?

  3. Roger says:

    An ultimately perfect being must have an ultimately perfect imagination. An ultimately perfect imagination must be so imaginative that it can imagine an even more ultimately perfect being. Therefore god isn’t the ultimately perfect being; therefore god isn’t god.

  4. WCorvi says:

    Actually, I CAN’T imagine an ultimately perfect being of god. Even trying to imagine some of his characteristics is impossible. Could he, for example, make a rock so heavy he can’t lift it? How could he have screwed up SO BADLY as to put a tempting tree in the garden with his ultimate creations?

    The only way he can be an ultimately perfect being is, as my priest used to say, ‘he works in strange and mysterious ways.’

  5. Pete says:

    Funny, that’s just how I imagine the perfect 1squintlliontrillionbillion dollarpounds I have in my account, trouble is my bank manager’s imagination isn’t as vivid as mine.

  6. Author says:

    Thanks, Jerry. Fixed. (Anyone still seeing the typo, please ‘hard refresh’ your browser)

  7. J+Ascher says:

    Ah, yes, the old ontological argument. It’s still not going to fly!

  8. Free Speech says:

    I think it’s time you introduced the two other major solar deities in today’s world, Krishna and the Buddha. That way, JC, K & B can gang up on Mohammed once in a while and you’d have enough characters for a real “world redeemer” soap opera. And, since Mohammed is drinking anyway, he should really have a ham sandwich or some scrambled eggs and bacon every other cartoon or so. Just a thought, carry on.

  9. Alverant says:

    Except perfection can’t exist in reality. A perfect being would not be neither distorted by gravity nor affected by entropy, two things every real object has to contend with.

  10. blackflag1961 says:

    Author, thanks for introducing me to ‘alternet’ in the last strip. I now know that women like men with large todgers, and that there’s an actor named Hamm who, allegedly, has a large todger.
    For other interweb based entertainment, this is a giggle:
    it’s worth watching for the signer alone.

  11. plainsuch says:

    I can imagine the perfect argument for empirical reason. I can imagine people of every religion unanimously discarding the darkness of superstition and embracing the light of logic and science when they hear it. Sadly, I have not observed this in the real world. I imagine that my imagination is just not perfect enough.

  12. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Define to existence a pint of ale
    Is the type of thing to fail
    The barmaid is there to turn the tap
    And listen the patrons flap
    Now fill the glasses and make a sale.

  13. Thanks, Author, for revisiting this Philosophy 101 argument in a way that makes it transparently stupid. Surely one of the most infuriating bit of apologetics one can encounter.

    Blackflag1961, Yes, former pastor Bell is apparently one of ours now, which means he’s getting a lot of insults from the loving Christians, including being called a faggot. I was particularly struck by the quotes at the end of this article:
    “You know, I think there are much more important issues to be focused on – things that are really threatening our society while we’re worried about what’s going to happen about after we die, when in reality, no one of us knows what’s going to happen to us after we die,” he explained. ” But what we do know is that if we don’t do something about the immediate challenges that we’re facing today, we’re going to die a lot sooner (laughter) than we might otherwise.”

    (My only quibble with this is that I think neuroscience has given us a good understanding of what happens to us when we die. We go back to the state we were in before we were born, i.e. we don’t exist.)

    Bell added, “My focus is I want to have a closer relationship to reality. I think before I wanted a closer relationship to God, and today, I just want a closer relationship with reality.”

    I had a little run in with two young Mormon “Elders” over the holiday. They were spreading their nonsense on the streets of Kamloops, B.C., and I couldn’t resist telling them that they are full of shite. We were interrupted by the most aggressive Buddhist I have ever encountered, a man waving copies of the Bhagavad Gita, who angrily asked my what I believe in. Regrettably, I was at a loss for words for a moment, because that’s a difficult question, but on reflection I believe in reality, that there is a reality, no matter how unknowable it may be. The purpose of science is to understand reality in ways that can be tested. And of course, none of the Mormon “reality” can stand up to any kind of a test.

    I did learn something interesting from the young Mormons. For example, did you know that, as his condition has deteriorated, Stephen Hawking has come to accept that there is a God? Makes one wonder where they get their information.

    At the time, I had in my pocket the technology to Google that assertion, but failed to use it. No doubt it would have made little difference.

    By the way, one has to admire the Mormon system for activating cognitive dissonance. Those two young men were investing a lot in their belief system, and according to cognitive dissonance theory, the more one invests in a belief, the more likely one is to ignore any evidence against that belief.

    Former pastor Bell had a lot invested in his belief system. Hats off to him for maintaining an open mind.

  14. Oh how I miss the edit function. A “my” instead of a “me” is a small stumble for the reader, but it sure is annoying.

  15. Vanity Unfair says:

    So, everything I can imagine already exists because I have an ultimately perfect imagination. That is the only reason I can imagine ultimate perfection.
    Well, that explains a lot.
    But how many ultimately perfect gods can there be? Obviously, one: but there are competing claims so at least all-but-one must be mistaken.
    Where is the evidence that the ultimately perfect god exists outside of my imagination? None has been forthcoming for millennia.
    When I, and my imagination, die the god also dies. That means that I am more powerful than the ultimately perfect god.
    Therefore I am god.
    Please send tithes to……..

  16. Max T. Furr says:

    Take that, Anselm! That’s the funniest debunking I’ve heard.

    Only thing, I don’t think anyone can imagine ultimate perfection. The phrase is only a platform from which the perfection promoter can launch countless absurdities to dodge logical arguments.

  17. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    DH, isn’t the Bhagavad Gita a Hindu book?

  18. Mark S says:

    Actually, the error here is in panel 1, where barmaid says “yes, I can imagine it”. It doesn’t make any sense to say “perfect” without describing “perfect for what?”

    In the US, we have a sandwich called a “cheesesteak” which is a long narrow roll cut in half with chopped steak and cheese melted on it. A perfect cheesesteak would be delicious to eat. We can try to imagine various attributes of it. But many people would say that fried onions are an element of the perfect cheesesteak, while I would say that a cheesesteak with fried onions on it is so far from perfect that it is inedible. It is impossible to have a perfect cheesesteak for everybody — there is only perfect for my purpose or perfect for your purpose.

    Or to view it another way: A being that can prevent me from getting cancer is clearly more perfect than a being that cannot, and a being that DOES prevent me from getting cancer is clearly more perfect than a being that can but does not. But I do have cancer, therefore this alleged perfect being must not exist.

    Actually, I’m surprised that Anselm’s ontological argument still gets taken seriously by anybody. When I was in school, shooting down Anselm’s argument was considered a suitable assignment for a freshman philosophy class.

  19. Jerrr www says:

    Mark S,
    Make mine a cheesesteak to go with extra grilled onions, but hold the cheese.

    Damn this curse of lactose intolerance .

  20. plainsuch says:

    Darwin Harmless

    May I suggest the following answers to the question of your ‘belief’.

    1. I’m already a member of a church.

    2. Join my church The Church of Reality. Our motto is, “If it’s real, we believe in it.”

    3. We are Monorealists, which means we believe in The One True Reality. This Reality is the sum of everything that actually exists.

    4. We care about what is real, not what we think is real or what we want to believe is real. The Church of Reality puts “real” Reality first.

    I have never had to go further than #2, people tend to get tongue tied while they’re working on, “If it’s real, we believe in it.” At any rate it’s probably better than the easy answers like, ” I believe you’re an idiot.” or “I believe I’ll have a beer.”

  21. plainsuch says:

    An ex-Mormon told me that they lose a lot of young missionaries. They just don’t come back after finding out that the outside world is a lot different than they were taught inside the confines of their cult.

  22. Robert not Bob, oops. You nailed me. I just associate all those eastern religions together and assumed it was Buddhist. Ignorance revealed again, and I think you for that.

  23. Mary2 says:

    This argument makes absolutely no sense to me. Apart from all the other glaring leaps (as described by Mark S), as someone who never studied philosophy, I don’t see the connection between ‘perfect’ and ‘must exist’. Why should something perfect necessarily exist? Maybe it is a failure of my imagination but surely the perfect sunrise can just as easily be imaginary as real? In fact something perfect is more likely to be imaginary. The perfect icecream would look a certain way, taste a certain way, not melt as you are eating it: all things that are much more likely in imagination than in reality.

    And then there is the obvious ‘look around you, Believers’. I can’t imagine (to use a bad pun) that there are many people whose idea of a perfect god who loves us does not include the necessity of saving good people from horrendous suffering but the number of Christian children dying of painful diseases shows that this ‘perfect’ god is obviously not in existence.

  24. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    Mary2, the usual response you’ll get is “all the bad stuff is from Satan/sin”.

  25. HaggisForBrains says:

    My perfect god would immediately destroy Satan/sin.

  26. BobUnco says:

    An oldie,but a goodie for the new year.

    Apart from the debunking done already, I can’t see that the original proposition precludes me fom imagining any number of perfect beings, all of whom must then exist. Still, as others have pointed out, the basic argument falls apart when it comes into contact with reality, so is basically gratuitous self-pleasuring aka ‘wank’.

  27. LongLifeBeer says:

    “Everything bad is Satan’s.”

    Right. So what made this Satan?

    “Yaweh, but it’s not his fault Satan’s bad. Satan had free will and **chose** to be bad.”

    Wasn’t Satan a robot messenger made by the creator thing?

    “Yes, he was a beloved, trusted angel before he rebelled. He corrupted a few other angels and they were all cast out of Heaven and down into the fiery pit.”

    Your almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing creator made a bunch of robots as messengers and one of them went bad? Why didn’t the boss just recall and **fix** it? Like any decent trouble-shooting programmer?

    “… free will …”

    Okay, but why didn’t the boss build his robots so they COULDN’T turn evil? Why did it build the potential for evil into them? Come to think of it, how could it have created evil at all if it’s such a good and merciful creator? Wouldn’t it **know** the suffering evil was about to cause and how it would tempt its pet clap people? While I’m bothering with this idiotic crud, why didn’t this almighty, all-knowing maker make **people** with a liking for being “good” so they would automatically reject evil? Surely programming a better human isn’t beyond the wit and imagination of such a powerful, knowledgeable being? Fuck, *I* could program a better human. Any *dog* imagines that humans are far better than they are, so is the Christo-judeo-islamic deity really thicker and less skilled at programming than a dog?

    “.. free will …”

    Yes, but it is supposed to have built humans with free will and a dislike of dog-shite on their corn flakes, humans with free will and a *liking* for *sugar* on their corn flakes; are all of you two thousand million believers telling me your boss creator deity couldn’t do the same for free will and a dislike of evil? That its own cadre of robot messengers couldn’t be better programmed? Is that really the inept, incompetent lack-wit you revere?

    “… free will …”

    Note that we haven’t even started on the absurdity of a loving, good deity who *already* has a “fiery pit” waiting and warmed for the occupants he so mercifully and regretfully must cast down. Or a merciful deity who thinks such a thing is even marginally **sane** never mind acceptable or moral. Or who considers leaving its pets to the gentle mercies of a rebelling defective robot and its broken hordes of lackeys is in any way civilised.

    And we haven’t even *touched* diseases and injury and the mis-born among other true evils deliberately and malevolently created.

    Truly a deity worthy of reverence.

    Now, let us discuss that “perfect must exist” idea in terms of the perfect shag, the perfect Full English and the perfect cancer, shall we? Or how about the perfect urination, the perfect arson, the perfect mass murder, the perfect lozenge or the perfect banana. Or even the perfect genocide? If, by religious logic, imagining one perfect thing **must** make it come true then where the fuck is my perfect bacon sandwich and beer?

    Magical, peasant thinking.

  28. blackflag1961 says:

    I read a Jewish story long ago, that ran something like this;
    the Rabbi was expounding on the perfection of god’s creation. A hunch-back in the congregation said ‘if god’s creation is perfect, how come he made me a hunch-back?’ The Rabbi replied ‘ah, but he made you a perfect hunch-back.’ As ever, an answer for everything, an explanation of nothing.

  29. Jim+Baerg says:

    Hi Darwin Harmless
    Presumably you live in or near Kamloops.
    Since I have attended “Imagine No Religion” in Kamloops a few times, I’m now wondering if I have met you in person.

    Jim Baerg

  30. Shaughn says:

    Existence is an imperfection,
    god is perfect
    Thus cannot exist.

    Happy 2015, all!

  31. Sinnataggen says:

    No doubt these two hardened con-men noticed that Barmaid was particularly busy when they slipped her this dud tenner: the term “clap-trap” seems especially fitting. If she had had a moment to reflect, she would of course have pointed out that perfection is only imaginable in relation to specified criteria and relevant entities (soufflés, garden tools, whatever). J&Ms acolytes and toadies have been playing this semantic trick down the ages, all too frequently enticing critics and sceptics into arguments on their (J&M’s) own hyperbolic, superlative and absolute terms. They claim that their “god” (whatever that word might mean – I haven’t the foggiest idea.) is “almighty”, “omniscient” “everywhere” etc. etc. But as with “perfection”, concepts having to do with power, knowledge, presence and so on can only be meaningfully used in relation to something that is particular, specified and or understood. Otherwise, they are devoid of real meaning – in a word: nonsense.

  32. Jim Baerg, it’s unlikely. I don’t live in Kamloops. Just visiting friends for Christmas. I wasn’t aware of an Imagine No Religion event in Kamloops, but it sounds like a great idea.

  33. Jim+Baerg says:

    This year it will be held in Richmond BC rather than Kamloops. Which is less convenient for me, but may be more convenient for you FAIK.

  34. blackflag1961 says:

    DH, at least the good rev. was only called a faggot; if he’d been a Muslim apostate, he’d be living under a death sentence. A few months back, a group of Iranian émigrés here in Leicester, UK, converted from Islam to Christianity. Quite brave, IMHO, even if they still believe in the invisible sky-fairy.

  35. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    I know some people who went to school with Pastor Bell. The current Adventists I’ve heard from are mostly complaining that people are making all Adventists look bad by acting childish.

  36. two cents' worth says:

    Mark S, if you don’t mind my asking, which cheesesteak sect do you belong to: sliced provolone or Cheez Whiz? 😉 I’m in the provolone camp, myself. (For those of you who want to know more about cheesesteaks, see ) For some in the Philadelphia region, the provolone vs. Cheez Whiz argument is like the “religious” disagreement between Mac and Windows users. (Does that make Linux users the atheists?)

  37. two cents' worth says:

    Darwin Harmless, thanks for the link. I smiled when I read about “Hawking’s insistence that his speech synthesizer, which gives him a curiously American accent, has had this consequence: ‘With the American accent, I’ve had far more success with women.’ ” I wonder if the reason for this is that he lives in the UK? I know that, in the US, a British accent (almost any kind of British accent!) is commonly considered cooler than an American one.

  38. two cents' worth says:

    LongLifeBeer, as you point out, I think it’s safe to say that practically all humans like sugar (and hate dog-shite) on their cornflakes. As for other preferences, as the saying goes, de gustibus non est disputandum–but people have such disputations anyway. If I remember correctly, in a TV series on the Bhagavad Gita that I saw long ago, the commentator remarked that one of the themes of the epic is dharma, which he defined as “the right thing.” He noted that all of the characters in the story were sincerely trying to do the right thing, but that the conflicts in the story arose because the characters all had different ideas about what “the right thing” was. Even when people agree on what “the right thing” is, they can disagree on how best to achieve it (the way the supporters of MAD argued with the no-nukes crowd when most people agreed that “the right thing” was to avoid a nuclear war).

    I think this diversity of opinion is one facet of the diversity within our species. The upside of diversity is that it has enabled humans to adapt to different conditions around the world, to have a variety of “tools” that they can use to fix various problems of various levels of complexity, and to have the ability to change when conditions change. The downside is that it diversity can lead to conflict when people impose their idea of the right thing or the right way on others.

    Liberal societies accommodate a wide diversity of ideas, but face the problem of how to cope with followers of totalitarian ideologies without becoming totalitarian themselves.

    One of the things that the loss of innocence entails is the realization that the grown-ups/the people in charge/the government are mere human beings and that the reason why they are not achieving solutions to problems like the one mentioned above is not necessarily because these human beings are evil or corrupt, but because they disagree on what the problem is, have no idea of how to solve it, or disagree about how to solve it.

  39. plainsuch says:

    Linux users must be Quakers. I don’t think they are Buddhists, AFAIK Buddhist’s have developed quit a religion out of the notion that there is no God we should just treat each other well.

  40. LongLifeBeer says:

    two cents’ worth, I am glad you qualified your observation with “practically” as there will always be the odd often very, very odd) human who will like *anything*. Some of those likes will be contra-indicated for survival, health and longevity but that never stopped a human getting rat-arsed.
    Perhaps that is the one true solution? Get all of the fundies rat-arsed a lot, get them a few enthusiastic ladies and some excellent porno with not much by way of plot and maybe they would kill fewer of us?

    In my last, “clap people” was meant to read “clay people”. I don’t know why the extra “p”. Maybe I needed one.

    I’m still awaiting my perfect beer and bacon sandwich, or, less ambiguously and less soggily, my perfect bacon sandwich and beer. I can easily imagine such a thing, so, by peasant magical binary thinking …

  41. LongLifeBeer says:

    Actually, come to think on it, I can imagine a perfect beer and bacon sandwich, too. It would *not* get soggy, the beer would stay cool and the bacon hot and the butter would neither clog arteries nor dip down my sleeve.

    The strange aspect of such a hand-meal is that some bugger is probably fervently at work in a lab somewhere in the First or New Worlds (also Korea) busily trying to fabricate such an animal and package it vending-machine ready. We don’t need no perfect deities to make weird, impossible meals, we’ve got materials scientists for that.

  42. Robert+Andrews says:

    The bible may have been created by god, but its heavily edited by man. The current 29 new testament books, was put together only as early as the 2nd century ce.

    This was done mainly by the council of Nicea by order of Byzantine emporers. They were seeking political order, with a homogenous bible. So the words of god were put together by a committee.

    The above taken from a History channel documentary.

  43. plainsuch says:

    The argument does make sense if you truly crave a magical sky-daddy to protect you from the scary things in the dark. A source of security that doesn’t exist is obviously defective.

    My only regret is that Rebecca Watson and Greta Christina won’t be there, possible because Dawkins has been an asshat toward them. As a committed feminist, I’d skip the Dawkins event if it weren’t for the rest of the lineup.
    Anyway, if you are interested in meeting Darwin Harmless, I’ll probably be the guy walking around wearing a banjo. Looking forward to it.
    Thanks again for the reminder. I’d forgotten that it’s coming up.

  45. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin (have banjo, will travel), you said earlier “who angrily asked me what I believe in. Regrettably, I was at a loss for words for a moment, because that’s a difficult question”. I’ve been asked that by every door-to-door hustler for God, every street preacher I’ve been unable to resist challenging, basically every believer I’ve ever pitted my wits against (which usually doesn’t require a very deep pit), and my answer has always been that I don’t need to believe in anything. I accept what the evidence tells me is correct.

    Should I need to go further – because some of them are persistent little gits – I tell them that I will place on the back burner awaiting confirmation anything that comes with partial or incomplete evidence, and will reject anything that requires a leap of faith to connect the effect to the cause.

    If they pull their holy tomes out and present them as evidence I simply tell them that their evidence is insufficient as it leaps straight to the conclusion; where’s the ‘working out’? That’s usually enough to tie their poor little minds up for a while.

    Now to the Ontological argument.
    As Mary and others have pointed out, there is no logical connection between imagination and reality so the argument falls flat right there. Yes, I would admit that that a ‘real’ perfect being would have to be by it’s very nature better than any imagined perfect being, but it doesn’t follow that it therefore has to exist.
    Add to that the fact that my idea of perfect – be it a god, a piece of pottery, or a recipe for sauce au poivre – would not meet others’ ideas of perfect and the argument turns into a manifold Mexican stand-off – and that pretty much sums up the state of religion as it has always been.

    Just one example of this: HFB said that his perfect god would immediately destroy Satan and sin; mine would not have made them to start with. Therefore, our joint perfect god would have to destroy something it had never made.
    But, if my perfect god hadn’t made Satan then Haggis could never have heard of him/it, so my perfect god would be the real god. But if I’m aware of both the concept of Satan and of his/its destruction, then Haggis’ perfect god would be the real deal.

    And this, people, is why theologians invariably look as though their brains are fried.

  46. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hullo, what’s that ‘ABC’ over the green tick that’s appeared over the comment box?

  47. plainsuch says:

    Hullo, what’s that ‘ABC’ over the green tick that’s appeared over the comment box?
    Eye yam a widow spiel checker
    Sea awl the tins aye dew.
    A knee weirds yaw onto picker
    Aisle Czech dim owl four yew

  48. Suffolk Blue says:

    *Mark S* – to rework a very old gag – how about a Zen cheesesteak sandwich?

    “Make me one with everything”

  49. HaggisForBrains says:

    Fair point AoS, and quite logical. Perhaps we need to start a new movement – Unsophisticated Theology™ – the kind that makes sense.

    I see no ABC.

  50. HaggisForBrains says:

    Oops – the ABC has appeared – spooky. Therefore god!

  51. blackflag1961 says:

    how about ‘my beliefs are none of your ‘kin business, you sanctimonious little twerp?’ This works well on Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    My favourite JW anecdote:
    A witness was on the doorstep, banging on about God’s creation. The irritated householder asked, “what about the dinosaurs, then?” The Witness, stumped for an answer, lost his temper and slapped the householder. In reply, the householder gave him a right-hook that laid him out on the path, saying, “I hope Jehovah witnessed that!” as he slammed the door shut.

  52. Mark S. says:

    Mary2: Yes, you’ve hit on another aspect of it. The true glory of Anselm’s argument is that there are so many things wrong with it packed into such a tiny bit of text.

    two cents’ worth: I am a cheese ecumenicist. Provolone, cheddar, even Velveeta. I just don’t go with extremist cheeses like bleu or feta.

    We get a lot of JWs through our neighborhood, in spite of the fact that I usually tell them “you know like 90% of the people here are Christians already, right?” I haven’t had any JWs at my door since my wife put up a sign that says “No Soliciting No Proselytizing”. I really laid in to a Comcast (cable tv / internet) salesman in a way that is quite uncharacteristic of my personality, and it upset my wife a lot. She’s been telling friends “I’ve never heard him raise his voice like that”. The plumber asked what “proselytizing” means, but either it works or it is just too cold for the JWs.

  53. plainsuch says:

    “Yaweh, but it’s not his fault Satan’s bad. Satan had free will and **chose** to be bad.”
    Wasn’t Satan a robot messenger made by the creator thing?

    As long as we’re talking about fan-fiction, I always liked William Blake’s. I took it to be that Yahweh and Satan had a power struggle and Satan was forced into exile while Yahweh controlled the press and the official account. Why would the Prince in exile bother to torture the enemies of his political rival? It would be more sensible to make a great show of torturing and burning whenever the Inspectors were looking and just party on the rest of the time.

  54. cooltheban says:

    God existed pre the big bang. Space and time were created at the big bang. Therefore god existed in no place for no time. God did not exist.

  55. white+squirrel says:

    The bible …created by god, but .. heavily edited by man.
    If a book WAS written by a deity then two things should have followed
    a] that any changes would have bene impossible as the ‘god’ would have influenced the thoughts of the participants

    b] New versions such as qu’ran, mormon or any other supplement would not have happened as the first book would have been ‘perfect’
    so the later books cannot have been derived from ‘god’ unless the ‘god’ changes its mind. but a ‘god’ that changes its mind can do so in any way it chooses
    it even allows the ‘god ‘ to that at one time decided that a ‘prophet was the last ever to change its mind and decide that maybe it will produce another after all.

    Atheism akbar atheism akbar
    there is no god, not one
    and Dawkins is no prophet

  56. white+squirrel says:

    things imagined in the bible are real

    so can we expect to see all characters items and events from other fiction novels and films to become real
    the culture and SC
    doc who ?

  57. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Apropos of nothing, I heard a wonderful (but possibly apocryphal) anecdote on an old QI last night:

    The famous philanderer King Edward VII said to his long-term mistress, Lily Langtree, “I’ve spent enough on you to buy a battleship”.

    “Yes”, she replied, “and you’ve spent enough in me to float one!”

  58. Todd says:

    You know, I can *imagine* myself having awesome sex with Natalie Portman, and since awesome sex with Natalie Portman would be ultimately better than not having awesome sex with Natalie Portman, so therefore I must be having awesome sex with Natalie Portman.

  59. plainsuch says:

    I thought sex was always awesome. It seemed so real, but maybe that was just my imagination. How would I know if the things in my memory were real or imagined? Would it make any difference to me either way?

  60. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Depends if that itch is real or imagined, plainsuch.

  61. LongLifeBeer says:

    plainsuch, sex is only “awesome” if it is the most dreadful, boring, worst and least interesting sex you ever have, otherwise it is a lot better than just “awesome”.

    Quietly cuddling is almost as nice. Sitting silently together and just being company for each other is nearly as good. I can imagine that there could be something even better than being with that special person but that doesn’t make it real.

    The map is not the territory.

  62. Plainsuch says:

    I am religiously imagining that the itching and burning is imaginary, because I don’t imagine it would be a good thing if it were real.

  63. Lasis says:

    Yeah, yeah, a really “fresh” argument, which is only some centuries old. 8D
    However, from this very “argument” a conclusion follows – if an absolutely perfect thing is impossible, then god doesn’t exist.

  64. Roland Kausen says:

    1. How can an imperfect being, despite having been (allegedly) created by a Perfect God, even begin to imagine Perfection?
    2. How could — and why would — a Perfect God create an imperfect being?

  65. Physeter says:

    “Oh. I guess I was mistaken. By your definition of perfect, I *can’t* imagine a perfect being.”

  66. David B. says:

    “An ultimately perfect being would have to exist, otherwise – by definition – it wouldn’t be perfect.”

    But an ultimately perfect being must be one without needs.
    So an ultimately perfect being must not need to exist.
    Hence if it did exist, it would be doing so unnecessarily.
    Which would be less than perfect.
    Consequently, an ultimately perfect being would not exist by choice.

  67. mist42nz says:

    Box two is the faulty assumption; if God was a perfect being, it could only exist in a perfect world as an imperfect world would not be able to contain a perfect being.
    Technically though, no being inside a perfect world could imagine/know of a perfect being and know it was perfect, as that would be an element of perfection. :. God cannot exist “inside” our universe. coll: any knowledge we would have of such a being would therefore be _im_perfect and _in_complete…and likely _in_accurate!


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