Vee had posted this forward about God. A friend of mine read it and has something to say. This is his reaction. When I asked him permission to post it, this is what he had to say, “Yeah, if you like to. I said forwards like this are an insult to atheists. We are not dumb you know. We have reasons not to believe in god.”
According to him, this forward should be read in the light of the following:
· The current Bush government in the US has approved studies of Creationism along with Evolution in some states. There is strong propaganda in US now against Evolution.
· Bush has claimed that God acts through him.
· Bush wants to keep his right wing political supporters (churches etc), all whom believe in creationism, happy.
· Creationism is taught in Dover area and Kansas state is propagating against teaching evolution in schools.
This is what he had to say:
Well lads and ladies, sorry to be the spoilsport here. After reading Nothings Aplenty’s little “Note”, I couldn’t stop myself from saying this. Two things provoked me to do this,
1) The article itself: It was cleverly structured and highly manipulative and wants to look mighty intelligent. Though disguised as something happened, it is clearly a work of fiction.
2) The way you guys reacted to this manipulative junk. It is like watching bunch of people snorting chalk powder just because it looked like cocaine.
This is my counter point: The characterization of the story is flawless (If you think Adrian Lyne’s movies have flawless characters, that is). The Student is level headed, a believer and a courageous guy (and Muslim in some versions and Christian in some other, sometimes it is Einstein himself). The Professor is arrogant, and an idiot.
The story kickstarts by establishing the professor first. He asks a string of questions in a rude manner. The Student on the other hand stays silent almost respectful. Before the student utters a word, I am sure we all have started hating professor for his arrogance. Then when student answers back writer uses phrases like, “The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events” and “There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre” to emphasise David’s feat over Goliath. Then when he emerges victorious we have sentences like “The class is in uproar” and “The class breaks out into laughter” to decorate it. All is well if we are reading, “Who moved my faith?” in paperback. If the arguments are good I would have been impressed with the narration here, but here is where argument fails.
Argument: “Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?…..No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain.”
This shows how ignorant the student is about science. Science doesn’t confirm absence of something if you can’t feel, touch or smell it… Science goes by inferences, the Professor can walk, talk, and read. This infers that professor does have brain. And if you still don’t buy that, we can scan professor’s head anytime. Can’t we?
Argument: “Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?”
Same again, Evolution need not be seen to be proven, there are thousands of inferences – Fossil records and such. Evolution is by no means an opinion. There are thousands of scientific papers written on Evolution. And anyone is welcome to prove Evolution is wrong with logical scientific arguments. That’s the beauty of science. Anyone can contribute, and can come up and say, “Hey, this is wrong“. Every year new things are found and science is under constant change. It always will be a work in progress. Need I have to talk about about religions in this context?
Argument: “Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.”
Science doesn’t use electricity and magnetism, we use it in science and in every day life (Clearly writer wants to alienate the reader from science). Science explains electricity and magnetism, it gives mathematical formulae to help us understand them and use them.
Argument: “Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.””Sir. Darkness is the absence of something.” (light)”Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it.”
Did any one, even the professor in the story stated otherwise? This is a sermon like speech typical of religious preachers and proves nothing. To top it all, statements are all scientific.
Argument: “Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good god and a bad god. You are viewing the concept of god as something finite, something we can measure.”
Well argument is – who created Evil if god is good and if he created everything? The Student clearly does not answer that. If he says working on “the premise of duality” does not explain god then what is the premise to explain god?
I don’t have anything against faith. There are far more sensible arguments supporting faith out there. Electricity, computers, super-conductors, satellites – these are products of Science. Science is direct product of knowledge. Classical faith in religion and God are byproducts of lack of this scientific knowledge. No religion proposes convincing manifestation of god in the light of knowledge we possess about the universe today. Agnostics are in urgent need of redefining god (anyways Theists don’t). Forwards like this are more anti-science than pro-faith. It disturbs me when people take in all that they read. Of all that we eat, we only digest a bit and the rest is thrown out of the body. We are intelligent species. Why can’t we do the same with what we read?