Sunday, August 30, 2009

Religion as LARP

Nice essay by Steve Zara: Creationists are honest.

Dr. Zara informs us that we are doomed to disappoint when we try to convince creationists that the theory of evolution and some variant of creationism are compatible notions.

It's true. God isn't required for natural selection and the emergence of humans as a distinct species. And by implication, God probably isn't necessary to explain other events in the history of the universe, such as the origin of self-replicating molecules from non-living matter or the Big Bang at the start of it all.

Maybe there is a God who fiddles with our material world somehow. Who knows? I dunno. But I do note that the physicists, chemists, biologists, and mathematicians to date have not required God in their explanations of how stuff works.

Creationists assert that humans require God. God is not optional. From the creationist viewpoint, any model of the history of the universe that makes no reference to God is not just wrong. It's willfully wrong and offensive, as all lies are offensive.

But what of the liberal believer who is content to read Genesis as metaphor? The believer who respects science but who also finds the notion of a loving Creator-God comforting? Can't the theory of evolution get along well enough with such mild religious claims?

Well, typically, the religious propositions asserted by liberal believers are incoherent. What they say they believe and how they live and what they accept as evidence in a court of law and what they understand about the actual world we share don't add up. The mess of personal belief is self-compatible only insofar as it's shielded from scrutiny.

Ever wondered why some liberal religionists called you cold when you threw a bit of logical argument their way? It's the wool in their heads. Apparently it does more than merely dampen cognitive dissonance. It also helps to keep them feeling cozy-warm. Consequently they are not keen to give it up, you heartless godless bastards.

Maybe one day everyone will recognize that God is not required to explain much of anything. Per the parsimony rule, any entity not required is a non-entity, and so there will be no God. No real God, anyway. The LARP or "live action roll play" God(s) humans have enjoyed for centuries can carry on as before. All that will change is our mindfulness of the boundary between LARP and IRL action.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A good metaphor popped into my head today.

    If one were to crawl naked into a pile of bullshit, and wrap it around themselves like a cocoon, and blindfolded themselves, after awhile, they'd get so used to the stink, they wouldn't smell it anymore.
    All they'd sense of their fecal pupa, is the warmth.
    Leave them in long enough, they'd even forget it was bullshit.

    Then, if someone hauled them out of that warmth, and hosed them off, well, they'd scream and whine about the coldness.