Friday, March 23, 2007

One stupidity more

'Stultorum infinitus est numero'

When he wrote that sentence, Mr. Spirit was probably counting on the street-preachers’ interpretation of the Bible. Their readings seem like a collection of stupid claims. The most common ones include a homophobic god that, nonetheless, loves all his creatures, an all controlling god that kills, and rapes at will, and, nonetheless, loves all his creatures, and (as I was told a few weeks ago) a god that can assassinate your whole family because he knows what he is doing and why he is doing it, and still loves you.

Today I recognized a new item in that infinite list of human stupidity. As I was walking back to Angell Hall, with a delicious scoop of Stuchi’s Mackinack Island in a Waffle Cone, a preacher stopped me. After a few minutes of (I don’t know how to call it. It was not a monologue because I did say something. It was not a dialogue because we did not share any common relevant beliefs; and it was not an argument because, well, he didn’t argue. Umh! I guess I can, following Pereda, call it an “Argumentative Vertigo”) he realized I would not buy his cheap products, and left. But not without pointing out that, given my reluctance to believe in God’s existence (and perhaps also owed to the stunningly red color of my jacket, as it reproduced itself in his eye-jelly) he would start believing that I (yes, me) am the devil!

Now, before asking any particular, outstanding, violence-making, genocide-producing, devil-like favor from me, please ask yourselves, as I do, the following question: if there is such a thing as Lucifer, would she (I suppose that, since this character is a lot more interesting than God, and since God is a male, Lucifer must be a female) would she, beautiful Lucifer, believe or not that God exists?

Here are a few possible answers:

1 Yes (obviously! How can Lucifer, one of God’s most entrenched enemies, not believe that God exists? After all, Lucifer herself is defined relative to God.)

2 No (perhaps Lucifer is amnesiac, so she forgot who she is allegedly opposing to).

3 No (perhaps Lucifer is Meinongian, so she knows she’s God’s opponent, but she thinks God merely subsists, right next to the round square, and the wig-bearing king of France).

4 No (perhaps Lucifer is a spiritualist, so she thinks God is an intentional object. Oh my God!)

5 No (perhaps Lucifer is just an idiot, so she thinks she can oppose God without thereby being anything she opposes to)

Of all these, and all the other infinitely many possible negative answers, I think (1) is the only one close to not being stupid. (2) is just a bad answer, since it does not explain why refusing to believe that God exists turns you into Lucifer. (3) is wrong because, as Lucifer knows, subsisting objects cannot be the origin of existing ones (unless, of course, Lucifer is stupid). (4) is wrong because, as Lucifer well knows, intentional objects do not cause any physiological change, and Lucifer is a material object (unless, of course, Lucifer is stupid). (5) is wrong because, well, God’s must beloved and powerful creation can’t just be stupid (so (3) and (4) are fully cancelled), unless, of course, God is stupid.

But, if (1) is the only non-obviously-mistaken answer, doesn’t this make a theist out of Lucifer? And if so, aren’t all preachers asking us to become like her? But then, why make such a fuss about agnosticism, when the enemy is at home, among the theists? As far as this goes, agnostics seem to be better put aside, way beyond God and Devil (all puns intended).