The Raving Theist

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Machinery

September 30, 2006 | 13 Comments

A cosmos one day being rebuked by a pessimist replied, “How can you who revile me consent to speak by my machinery? Permit me to reduce you to nothingness and then we will discuss the matter.”

Moral. You should not look a gift universe in the mouth.

G.K. Chesterton

Comments

13 Responses to “Machinery”

  1. "Q" the Enchanter
    September 30th, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    The cosmos, having been the pessimist’s progenitor, hardly has cause for indignation.

  2. "Q" the Enchanter
    September 30th, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    The cosmos, having been the pessimist’s progenitor, hardly has cause for indignation.

  3. "Q" the Enchanter
    September 30th, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    The cosmos, having been the pessimist’s progenitor, hardly has cause for indignation.

  4. EK
    September 30th, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

    A gift universe? Wow. That’s sad.

    The next time you feel the need to suggest this life or existence was given to us as a gift, please remember that many have died after very short lives having known only pain.

    Chesterton’s cosmos appearently would suggest a dying child “shut the fuck up and enjoy the horror”.

  5. Cthu
    September 30th, 2006 @ 10:21 pm

    Silly rabbit. The universe is not a gift, the universe simply is.

    Honestly, Chesterton? Your ego has grown far too large for its britches.

  6. Crosius
    October 1st, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

    Even more convoluted – The Universe in this hypothetical is both gift (implying some invisible and higher-order “giver”) and some sort of rational creature that can delete/edit its own contents (and enter into conversation with said contents) implying omnipotence – at least as far as being able to break the rules of it’s own cosmos is concerned.

    Recursion of superbeings. Apparantly, it’s “Turtles all the way UP,” too.

  7. SEM
    October 5th, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

    Appealing to emotion, making atheists feel guilty about being atheists, is a dishonest attack. Unfortunately, humans being emotional creatures, it’s probably also a successful strategy for converting them. No one wants to be associated with selfish, or bitter, or unfriendly people, and painting atheists as these things will probably get more people in church. It works both ways, as I’m sure there are lots of so-called atheists who are only atheists because they don’t want to be associated with crusades, witch-burnings, homophobia, etc.

    But emotional arguments like this aren’t logical and provide no evidence. It’s the argument of someone who knows his beliefs are poorly founded, but desperate to get more people to join his gang, his tribe.

  8. Cthu
    October 6th, 2006 @ 10:33 pm

    The story is that of God and Job in the Bible. It’s just couched in more mealy-mouthed cowardly terms.

    The ‘moral’ is also the same. Don’t look a gift universe, or god, in the mouth. Just smile and be a happy part of the machinery. Be grateful that you get to be a cog in some part of the cosmic wheel, the divine plan… whatever. Don’t question, just turn blindly and passively like the grateful little gear you ought to be.

  9. Tom
    October 9th, 2006 @ 11:53 pm

    Translation: God, one day being rebuked by an atheist, replied, “How can you who revile me consent to speak by my design? Permit me to reduce you to nothingness and then we will discuss the matter.”

    Moral. You should not deny God.

    Does all Christian criticism of atheism basically come down to a curlicue version of Pascal’s Wager?

  10. atheist
    October 13th, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

    “Moral. You should not look a gift universe in the mouth.”

    Why not? Why should it even be considered a ‘gift’ universe? I’ll be reduced to nothingness whether I look it in the mouth or not, so why not take a peek?

    The quote suggests a consciousness inherent to the universe, an ability to ‘reduce’ and ‘discuss’ the matter. It’s poetic I suppose, but it doesn’t reflect that absolute blind, unconscious reality we see around us.

    Chesterton anthropomorphosizes the cosmos and expects people to buy into this humanization out of fear and trembling. Yet there is absolutely nothing about the cosmos to suggest a human–or even conscious–nature. It’s a pathetic appeal to primitive human fears, but the universe doesn’t appear to regard our fears at all. The universe, in fact–as far as our best understanding of it can reveal–is totally blind and unaware of our existence, our questioning, or our fate.

    We one-up the cosmos by virtue of our consciousness, but make no mistake: there is no consciousness inherent to or transcendent of the cosmos–at least, as far as we can tell to the best of our abilities–to carry out this bad bit of poetic Chesterton dialogue with.

  11. Drusilla
    October 17th, 2006 @ 10:18 am

    The story is that of God and Job in the Bible.

    What a “mealy-mouthed cowardly” exegesis of the book of Job. “Don’t question, just turn blindly and passively like the grateful little gear you ought to be” is not at all what Job is about. Neither is that the relationship Christians (I can speak about Catholics in particular) are called to have with God.

    The negative obsession with God continues.

  12. atheist
    October 18th, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

    This I do find curious. Please explain, Drusilla, how Cthu’s interpretation of this quote is errant as a view of the book of Job. Explain how the Catholics you can speak for view the message of this book. While you’re at it, please explain how Cthu’s comments constitute a negative obsession with God.

  13. Mark
    October 27th, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

    Ask no questions and you will be told no lies. Mark.

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