Mailvox: an agnostic’s perspective

Ted’s given the matter some thought:

I don’t believe you’d get an affirmative answer, since those who disdain religion are generally not much interested in any sort of reasoning they would simply consider rationalization

However. I, a former Catholic turned agnostic would accept your explanation even if I cannot possibly agree with you.

God may very well exist, but in my opinion, if he does, he is either incompetent, disinterested, or a gamesman, with the latter quite likely making him the Devil himself. However, I personally am not only not hostile to Christianity, I believe it represents man’s only chance for long-term survival. It’s just that if you link Christian principles to God, you have the problem of God not practicing what he preaches.

Not wanting to categorically state that God is evil, I attribute his work to three possible scenarios (I admit there may be others):

1) God as Tabitha where he’s not fully in control of his powers, as with the young lady on Bewitched, and this we see around us is the result

B) God as scientist where he’s created any number of worlds and we’re his lab rats in a rather elaborate experiment to see what works.

3) God as frat president with life on earth being “hell week” before we gain full membership in his fraternity.

As you may notice, any of the above is a contrived situation. There is no need for us to have been created, and it’s an exercise in self-indulgence on God’s part that we are – a totally selfish act, for aren’t we better off if we’d never existed at all? The attendant anxiety alone makes that clear, I think.

Then there’s that whole business about the universe not being as orderly as some geniuses think, and the fact that seemingly random occurrences bring (often unexpected) devastation and accompanying misery. To what end? For what purpose? Is it good enough for you to say that we can’t know Big G’s thinking processes?

Actually, I tend to lean towards option (B) myself. That seems fairly obvious to me, given the constant mentions of separating wheat and chaff, sheep and goats, etc. But I don’t see anything inherently negative in that, indeed, it would tend to indicate that we are, indeed, created in his image.

Is it good enough for me to say that we can’t know God’s thinking processes? Yes, for me. I regularly encounter people who are simply incapable of grasping my thought processes and after many years I’ve finally learned to accept that they’re not intentionally being difficult, that they just can’t do it for whatever reason. I therefore have no problem believing that I have a similar inability to understand the way in which a Divine mind operates.

Mailvox: truth and translated truth

Res Ispa inquires further:

“I do not subscribe to the literal 100 percent Word of God theory of the Bible. Nor do I understand how anyone who has read more than one English translation of the Bible can hold to it.”

Please explain what you mean/believe more fully.

I had a feeling this might come up. Basically, I’m simply looking at the process with which the Bible was written and applying my knowledge of how translations, even those informed by the writer, tend to depart slightly from the author’s precise text.

I do not doubt that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and I am a Biblical literalist in terms of following its guidelines. That being said, if a man cannot accurately translate a book from English into Italian without some degree of alteration creeping in, how can a man, even one guided by the Holy Spirit, perfectly translate a divine revelation into a human tongue? And then, of course, there’s the obvious fact that one translation will differ from another, even translations into the same language.

But this does not mean that we can pick and choose between what we believe to be error and truth, because this would be tantamount to setting ourselves up as an arbiter of God’s Word. Since we are told that we are incapable of understanding the ways of God, we are likewise incapable of proper discernment in these matters and we should not be surprised if things occasionally do not make sense to our lesser, human logic.

Saving Minnesota

Whilst preparing for tonight’s big game against the Cheeseheads, the Original Cyberpunk concocts a scheme to revive the Purple:

The big news in Minnesota this week, of course, comes in two parts. The first is that the Vikings have launched an aggressive campaign to deal with their chronic image problems by unveiling a new 77-page “code of conduct” handbook for their players, as if this lot of remedial English students can be expected to actually read and understand the thing. Secondly, in a related story, the owners of Al and Alma’s Supper Club have won an injunction against Metropolitan Collectibles to prevent further sales of their famous Vikings Cruise souvenir t-shirt.

I, in the meantime, have just had one of my intermittent and wholly undependable flashes of pure brilliance, and have figured out how to solve all of the Vikings’ personnel, money, and public relations problems in one bold stroke. The beauty of my idea is, it can be expressed in a single phrase: Play to your strengths.

And just what are the Minnesota Vikings’ well-proven strengths?

First, spend whatever it takes to get Randy Moss back. Then, sign Terrell Owens, Osi Umenyiora, and Rod “He Hate Me” Smart, if he’s still around. In fact, try to get every player in or recently kicked out of the NFL who’s been penalized lately for showboating, taunting, unnecessary roughness, late hits, or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Next, change the name of the team. “The Minnesota Vikings” is so boring, old-school, and to be blunt, white. We need a new team name; one that truly reflects the energetic spirit of this dynamic new 21st century urban football organization.

I’m not entirely sure that “Skol Thugz” has the same ring to it, however.

Discuss amongst yourselves

Me So Angry

Michelle Malkin wants you to leave her husband alone:

If you have a problem with my work and what I stand for, go ahead and take me on.

Whatever. I know nothing about Malkin’s husband – I didn’t even know his name, much less what he did, until Instapundit called attention to this post – and I care even less. But perhaps if Me-So actually dared to defend her work and what she stands for once in a while rather than running, hiding and hoping it will blow over while she frantically talks about everything but her work, peoople would be content to focus on that. But she doesn’t; she’d rather lie than actually risk being held accountable, which therefore leaves everyone perfectly justified in mocking her however they like.

As for me, I’m content to continue pointing out that she’s an abysmal historian and a cowardly charlatan.