Saturday, February 16, 2008

Seasons in the Abyss

Just wanted to take a break from the hell of graduate school to point out the list of philosophical questions in response to which religion, and Christianity in particular, gives facile and simple-minded answers.

1. Do you have a 'self'? Of course, you have a soul!
1a. What preserves your identity over time? Again, your soul!
1b. What about free will? Soul!
1c. So our consciousness is just our immaterial soul inhering in our bodies? Yup!

2. Does morality exist? Yes, because God says so.
2a. Ok, but what makes an action moral? It is prescribed by God, of course.

3. What are the bounds of our knowledge? Well, our knowledge is mostly bound by the limits of our reason and sense. For all other questions, consult this book. Keep in mind that whenever you learn something that seems to contradict the book, you are probably misinterpreting the book. Otherwise, just take the book at its word and stop asking so many questions!

4. What is the meaning of life? And what constitutes the good life? You haven't been paying attention! The meaning of life is not to eat certain foods, not to have sex with certain people and outside certain divinely ordained customs, not to murder (there are exceptions to this rule), and above all, not to say anything bad about the magic book and its contents. As for the good life, just stick to the book and you'll be fine.

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