Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dawkins's Brilliant Insight: If There Were a God, the FCC Would Have Shut Him Down!

The problem with God, you see, is that since he listens to everyone's prayers at once, he must be very complex--as well as being an enormous bandwidth hog--and since the universe must originate with very simple things, God cannot have been there at the beginning. How do we know the origin is simple? Because that's how things tend to work in the universe--complexity emerges from simplicity--and since we know that any God must be in the universe, we can then deduce that there is, in fact, no God.

Wait, God is something in the universe?

Isn't that like imagining that the author lives in the book or the programmer in the software or the cook in the soup? Remember, we're arguing about whether there is a creator, so we're arguing about something that, by definition, stands apart from the creation. What sense could it possibly make to talk about the putative God as if it were part of the universe and as if it were bound to follow the particular habits of that universe--complexity from simplicity, for instance. If there is a God, those habits of nature are something he made up, not something he is subject to. You don't expect the programmer to follow the rules of his program or the author to be bound by the rules of his fiction. It's impossible that TS Eliot wrote the Hollow Men, because it says that "between the conception and the creation...falls the shadow." Therefore, the poem, once concieved, could not possibly have been created; rather, it must have sprung naturally from a cactus.

So why is Dawkins carrying on his silly circularity? Why does he argue against, not any real person's perception of divinity, but his own idiot God who floats around out there doing feats of signal processing?

Ah, now I remember. It is a point of faith for Dawkins that there can't be anything outside the universe. Well, once again, we have to say, "If that is your one inviolable assumption, fine, but then why pretend to carry out a deductive argument about whether it is true?"

Really, why embarrass yourself with stuff like this: "Such Bandwidth! God may not have a brain made of neurones, or a CPU made of silicon, but if he has the powers attributed to him he must have something far more elaborately and non-randomly constructed than the largest brain of the largest computer we know." Again, he assumes that God is "constructed" by the universe. Weird place to find the universe's creator.

Christopher Hitchens carries on in just as silly a manner with a homunculus God of his own creation, but where Hitchens's God is cast by John Cleese and the boys, Dawkins's is drawn from Star Trek. God is an extra special deluxe computer, like V-ger. And how the hell did a crummy old space probe get enough memory to record everything that is happening in the universe, anyway? Similarly, how does God have enough processor to keep it all running. And who can have built such a thing. Cray? The Military? Xenu?

In other words, if one posits a God with characteristics that are absurd enough (he lives somewhere out in space, for instance), why bother with the whole long-assed argument? I suppose it's just a little bait and switch he's running, where you begin talking about the God discerned by other people and then impute to that God a set of ridiculous properties of your own invention. After all, it's always easier to win an argument when you get to state the other guy's positions for him.

But here's a question I have for our ultrabright scientific con artist from across the pond: Can it really be true that mathematics exists, and that its numbers go on infinitely? Well do tell then, where can all those numbers possibly be stored? Awful dang big hard drive, ain't it?

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