God’s will, my arse

Martin Kelly isn’t impressed by my previous post on eugenics:

What gets me about all such discussion is the lack of humility of those who put forward such absurd suggestions. They do not realise that they are where they are in life, or that they have what they have, only through the operation of a power greater than their own. To take upon oneself the power to decide who shall have children and who shall not is to take upon oneself the power of God; it is swimming into very deep waters, from which the only escape may be repentance.

If it is God’s will that there will be an adult underclass, there will be an adult underclass. If it God’s will that those who govern are godless, and seek human rather than divine solutions, it will be so. These choices are His to make, not ours; and by inserting ourselves into His processes by interfering in the processes by which life comes into the world, we mock him and invite His vengeance.

And I suppose that if it’s God’s will that people die of horrible diseases, then that’s just God’s will and we shouldn’t do anything about it — no hospitals, no medicines, no medical research, etc. The sick people will just have to suffer, because hey that’s God’s will, and God’s in a bad mood today and wants to watch people suffer, ain’t that right Martin?

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6 Responses to God’s will, my arse

  1. Martin says:

    No, not quite. He gives us sufferings for His reasons; and He also inspires people to seek remedies for diseases. Thought of that? That maybe the healers aren’t all working on their own inspiration? That diseases will be cured according to His timescale, not ours? That people (like me) suffer from incurable neurological disorders that impede speech, movement and employability (as I do) does not mean that God does not exist – in my book, quite the opposite. It took me 15 years to come to terms with this, but I believe my condition is something He’s given me to get on with – an opportunity to show greatness of spirit. That His will is done and that we have difficulty discerning it does not mean He gives us licence to deny life to anyone, or dictate who shall and shall not have children. As I said in my original post, that’s His job.

  2. vision25 says:

    “”That people (like me) suffer from incurable neurological disorders that impede speech, movement and employability (as I do) does not mean that God does not exist – in my book, quite the opposite. It took me 15 years to come to terms with this, but I believe my condition is something He’s given me to get on with””

    Hello Martin, just two questions. 1. Does your neurological disorder affect your ability to think? 2. If god wants you to suffer, does that mean he’s a nasty git?

  3. Martin says:

    1. Not so far as I’m aware.

    2. Not in my experience.

  4. cabalamat says:

    No, not quite. He gives us sufferings for His reasons; and He also inspires people to seek remedies for diseases. Thought of that? That maybe the healers aren’t all working on their own inspiration?

    Maybe God is mucking about inside people’s heads. However, if that’s true we’d have no way of knowing it (unless He was doing it incompetently). So that theory is unfalsifiable.

    Here’s another unfalsifiable theory (I call it “last Tuesdayism”, btw): the universe was created, with apparent age, by my cat last Tuesday. Now I suspect you don’t take this theory seriously. But why not? After all it’s unfalsifiable, that is, there’s no way even in principle to prove it’s wrong. So it might be right.

    (Actually, I recommend you ought to read up on falsifiability — doing so would probably fill in what appears to be a gap in your understanding.)

    but I believe my condition is something He’s given me to get on with – an opportunity to show greatness of spirit

    What evidence is there for this theory? If there is none, or if the theory is not even testable, doesn’t that mean you are just believing it because you want it to be true?

    I daresay that for some people, believing that there’s a big parent figure in the sky that loves them and has sent them a disability for some purpose, like to make them grow mentally stronger, might be more emotionally satisfying than the truth that there’s nothing out there, that people are just machines that sometimes malfunction, and gradually beak down and die, that nature is cruel and amoral, that infectious diseases are caused by tiny invisible replicators maximising their inclusive fitness by Darwinian logic, in ways that sometimes cause harm to their host.

    Anyway, getting back to eugenics. You say:

    These choices are His to make, not ours; and by inserting ourselves into His processes by interfering in the processes by which life comes into the world, we mock him and invite His vengeance.

    How do you know God doesn’t want the UK government to bring in a policy of eugenics? What decision-procedure are you using to determine the will of God? Early on in your post you say people should have more humility, but you seem to think you have a direct line to the thoughts of the Creator Of The Universe; that’s not very humble, is it?

    (BTW, these are all genuine questions, and I’d really like you to have a good stab at thinking about the issues behind them and answering them.)

  5. Martin says:

    “Here’s another unfalsifiable theory (I call it “last Tuesdayism”, btw): the universe was created, with apparent age, by my cat last Tuesday. Now I suspect you don’t take this theory seriously. But why not? After all it’s unfalsifiable, that is, there’s no way even in principle to prove it’s wrong. So it might be right.”

    Yes it is falsifiable – I’ll bet your cat didn’t write the Book of Genesis.

    Aha! Gotcha!

    Let me summarise where we seem to have got to this far. I believe in falsifiability in science, and faith in religion; you seem to believe in falsifiability, full stop.

    “I daresay that for some people, believing that there’s a big parent figure in the sky that loves them and has sent them a disability for some purpose, like to make them grow mentally stronger, might be more emotionally satisfying than the truth that there’s nothing out there, that people are just machines that sometimes malfunction, and gradually beak down and die, that nature is cruel and amoral, that infectious diseases are caused by tiny invisible replicators maximising their inclusive fitness by Darwinian logic, in ways that sometimes cause harm to their host.”

    The critical question, of course, in a world governed by such a cruel and amoral nature, is why it should be satisfying to believe in a higher entity. There can’t be an economic motive – no incentive in it. There can’t be a scientific motive – as you say, religion is unfalsifiable. So why do so many people, many of whom are neither stupid nor gullible, believe in Christianity? Perhaps because it’s true, and they have the humility to submit themselves to His will.

    “How do you know God doesn’t want the UK government to bring in a policy of eugenics? What decision-procedure are you using to determine the will of God?”

    Because the Popes, His Vicars on Earth, have said that such processes are immoral, contrary to God’s law and are to be avoided. If you want more detail, you’ll need to go to them.

    “Early on in your post you say people should have more humility, but you seem to think you have a direct line to the thoughts of the Creator Of The Universe; that’s not very humble, is it?”

    I don’t think I’ve ever claimed that.

  6. cabalamat says:

    Yes it is falsifiable – I’ll bet your cat didn’t write the Book of Genesis.

    According to the doctrines of Last Tuesdayism, the world was created with apparent age so my cat did indeed write Genesis, indeed he wrote all books except those that are very recently written.

    Let me summarise where we seem to have got to this far. I believe in falsifiability in science, and faith in religion; you seem to believe in falsifiability, full stop.

    That seems to be a fair summary of my viewpoint.

    The critical question, of course, in a world governed by such a cruel and amoral nature, is why it should be satisfying to believe in a higher entity. There can’t be an economic motive – no incentive in it.

    I disagree. For example, many people in the USA go to church not for relgious reasons, but for social and economic ones — they make friends and business contacts there.

    There can’t be a scientific motive – as you say, religion is unfalsifiable. So why do so many people, many of whom are neither stupid nor gullible, believe in Christianity? Perhaps because it’s true, and they have the humility to submit themselves to His will.

    You seem to be saying that the fact that many people believe in Christianity is evidence that it is true. Yes, there are many Christians. However, there are also many Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. So are these relgiouns true too? They cannot all be true, because they say different, incompatible, things to each other. The situation we have is that:

    1. there are lots of beligions, with incompatible beliefs

    2. all societies have religion in some form or other (though not all people are relgious believers)

    3. there is no religion whose adherents are greater than half of all the world’s religious believers

    4. From (1) and (3) we can infer that most religious believers believe things that are false.

    5. From (2) we can infer that religion is satisfying to people in some way — they evidently get something out of it.

    6. From (4) and (5) we can infer that people who believer false religions (i.e. most religious believers) find their religion satisfying in some way

    It therefore follows that people can find a religion satisfying without it being true.

    “How do you know God doesn’t want the UK government to bring in a policy of eugenics? What decision-procedure are you using to determine the will of God?” Because the Popes, His Vicars on Earth, have said that such processes are immoral, contrary to God’s law and are to be avoided. If you want more detail, you’ll need to go to them.

    Who says the pope is right? He’s just a guy in a fancy frock and he’s no more infallible than I am. indeed the pope has only declared himself to be infallible since 1870.

    “Early on in your post you say people should have more humility, but you seem to think you have a direct line to the thoughts of the Creator Of The Universe; that’s not very humble, is it?” I don’t think I’ve ever claimed that.

    You certainly claim to know God’s position on eugenics (albeit via the catholic Church).

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