Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stuff Happens

You would be surprised how profound people think this statement is. I mean, where is the profundity in saying that something is going to happen without being specific about what is going to happen?

Yet that's exactly what people do when they claim something is true without the possibility of observing a contradiction or evidence to the contrary.

Yes, we're talking about the classic case of the goodness of God. "God is good," say the theists. And when you ask them what experiences would be evidence that God isn't good, they shrug. Their claims can be translated as "stuff will happen, and no matter what happens, proposition P is true."

This means that the truth of P has no implication for what will happen or what will be experienced. If P were not about the world of happenings and experience, this might be acceptable. For example, 1+1=2 could be regarded as such a proposition whose truth is independent of happenings. I wouldn't regard it so, but some might. If a person said that 1+1=2 isn't about what happens in the world (excluding the world of mental computation), then they would have a reasonable case.

However, when theists say God is good, they are talking about the actions of God, i.e., about happenings. How can "God is good" be a proposition about happenings yet have no implication for what happens? In that case ~P would mean "stuff will happens, and no matter what happens, P is false."

So every experience we have, mental or physical, confirms ~P as much as P. Needless to say, P isn't profound at all. It is self-delusional to even regard P as a proposition, let alone claim it true.

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