Thursday, January 22, 2009

Almost Thou Persuadest Me

Mark Shea:

Saying Anything and Everything

A reader notes that the website I mentioned below that is peddling various atheist bric-a-brac so that socially inept gits will feel affirmed in their okayness offers t-shirts and coffee mugs with these quotes:

"The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference." - Charles Darwin [sic; it was actually Dawkins, but even more accurate, since Dawkins is 150 years smarter than Darwin. The atheist bric-a-brac store misattributed the quote, not Mark Shea]

Does anybody notice a certain dissonance here? One would think that the sort of people who spend their days combing through the Bible for contradictions would give some thought to making sure their agitprop was coherent. Instead, a hundred years after the publication of Orthodoxy, the same tired blunders are made. The Prophet Chesterton had their number back in 1908:

A good Chesterton quote follows.

Also, from the comments:

A few months ago, the NY Times covered a symposium of scientists who were trying to bury religion once and for all (good luck with that).

The "highlights" were:

1) A biologist showing slides of babies and fetuses dying from terrible diseases and/or deformities, and stating, prompting viewers to wonder how a benevolent god could allow such things.

2) An astronomer showing slides of supernovas and comets, and saying, roughly, "This is FAR more wonderful than any story or account I've ever heard of God."

I almost wondered if those two scientists ever met or tried to reconcile their visions. Which story are we to believe- "The universe is so horrible and evil that there couldn't be a God," or "The universe is so wonderful, who needs God?"

I've noticed that myself. On the one hand, God is utterly evil because he doesn't barge in and do anything about our troubles, but on the other hand the very idea of God fiddling in any way, shape or form with the splendid and beautiful self-running world is repugnant and laughable. So God is somehow inept and puny if he has to intervene, and monstrously evil for not intervening.

"We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn." (Mt 11:17) Nothing ever changes.

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