Bags of Bran


Apologia 17: Tiny Rubber Bands
April 16, 2012, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Apologioi

Curt,

I’m sorry I didn’t qualify Pascal’s words. I wasn’t calling you names by citing him: I was citing him as a thinker we could both admire who had brought a cogent internal critique to the practice of apologetics. If he has offended you, then forgive me for not vetting him better first. I understand why you’d be frustrated.

Pascal’s point is that God is “hidden:” trying to reveal Him in the very things that blind people to His presence is a waste of time. You don’t demonstrate constellations by sifting for fern seed. Theistic “proofs” are only “proofs” if you grant their premises.

I want to thank you for your commitment to decorum in this discussion: a good friend said that you “argue like a gentleman.” I want to do the same. I would not frame an argument with the words Pascal used because I’ve felt it from the other side. So I ask for your forgiveness.

Per an earlier discussion, I do pray that God would reveal Himself to you. Just know that it would never be on your terms, because those terms are not valid for appraising metaphysical things. Count love. Weigh courage. Quantify fatherhood. Measure brotherhood. Distill justice. Place the laws of logic in a box. Then ask for evidence to believe in.

I would, again, challenge your insistence upon evidence. What kind of evidence are you looking for? Is this a demand that is appropriate for its object? What kind of evidence do you require for the existence of Julius Caesar? Of yourself? Of me? No amount of evidence could convince someone who wished to remain unconvinced. “A man convinc’d against his will is of the same opinion still.”

So then: since I’m not able to give you evidence for God—and no one could except Him—how about one of my pet theories?

Have you ever heard of the Tiny Rubber Band theory of gravitation, which posits that every object is connected to every other object by TRB’s? They are far too small to see, even with instrumentation, and intelligent enough to politely move out of the way, or momentarily sever themselves, in order to not get tangled up. They tend to gang up on objects with more mass, and they also get frustrated by Bernoulli’s Law of Invisible Crutches, which keeps geese in the air.

Do you have a better explanation for the mechanics of gravitation, or will you merely cite effects of gravitation as evidence for some unseen mechanics that I just have to believe in, on the pain of irrationality? (by the way, I think the latter is how “theistic proofs” supposedly work)

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