Discussions about the intersection of the things of this world and the things of the world beyond it.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Simplify

"If God exists, he must be the most complex thing in the universe."
"Why?"
"Because the things in our experience that do the sort of things God is said to do are complex. And God is said to do them vastly better. So he must be vastly more complex."
"But what if part of being God entails being able to do things vastly better and yet *not* be more complex. What if part of being the Supreme Being is to *be* in such a way one is all one is and can do all one can do without need of parts or systems or other elements of complexity?"
"Well, God would certainly have to be radically different from anything else in the universe."
"No."
"No?"
"Yes. No."
"Why 'no'?"
"Because if we're talking about God and not something else, we're not talking about something or someone *in* the universe, like a can of peas or a Big Gulp or Jennifer Lawrence. So God would not be radically different from anything *else* in the universe."
"Okay. God would have to be radically different from anything in the universe."
"Yep."

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A would-be first-time book author wants to re-purpose his blog posts. He laments their failure to generate the attention he thinks they deserve. Perhaps, he opines, if they were published in print he would reach his desired audience and thus get his vital message before a candid and truth-hungry world.

So why wouldn't a publisher want to risk investing some $20,000 or $25,000 (not counting special marketing costs) to help the would-be first-time book author turn his posts into pulp and reach the eager-to-read-but-hard-to-reach vast market for his thoughts?

Friday, January 1, 2016

How's Your TOE?

Do you have a bog TOE or a little TOE? (TOE being an acronym for Theory of Everything.) Contemporary physicists eagerly pursue TOEs. Philosophers do too. Theologians as well. What about you?

If your TOE tries to account for EVERYTHING in all caps, then we can call it a big TOE. A TOE that tries to account for everything in a particular branch of study--physics, say--without claiming that branch of study includes everything else, we can call a little TOE.

Do you have a TOE? If so, is it big or little?
You realize, of course, that if you take the genealogies in Genesis as factual, uninterrupted tallies of lifespans, in order to make arguments about who was still alive when so and so was also alive, that you wind up with a 6000-year-old world, right?

Now, ask yourself, "Is that something I think I have reasonable grounds for doing, in order to bolster an interpretative theory first proposed by people with no sense of the age of the earth?"
Not everyone who disagrees with you is stupid, evil, or both. Smart people and good people and both smart and good people can be mistaken. Even you might just possibly be a little bit in error. Just possibly. At some point or another. On this topic or that.

Which is not to say you shouldn't argue vigorously for your positions. Please do. Still, if you want to persuade me, it's probably best not to treat me as if you suppose me to be stupid, evil, or both.

Happy New Year.


More to come in 2016.