I’ve heard a lot of terrible quotes by Calvinist preachers, but this one I saw recently is one of the worst. Coming from the twisted mind of Paul Washer: “There is no such thing as a great man of God, only weak, pitiful, faithless men of a great and merciful God.”
I’m not sure I even need to write an article about why this quote and the religion behind it are bad, but I’m going to anyway.
When we last checked in on my vehicular adventures, I’d sold the BMW, acquired a beautiful VW Golf, and also got a crappy little hatchback with dubious origins for my brother. Believe it or not, after just three months I’ve owned another two vehicles. I’m beginning to think my strong desire to constantly trade my cars for other cars is a sign of deep-seated psychological issues stemming from an unstable childhood, during which my toy cars were occasionally confiscated and given away because I had too many of them. But probably not.
In March we said farewell to the small mechanical lagomorph, a convertible Rabbit that I acquired by trading, and then traded for a Porsche. In fact, those were part of a long string of trades stretching back to late 2013, when I bought my first truck for $900.
“Let’s screw up all of humanity by doing something that’s only wrong because a god who knows our future thought it would be a good idea to arbitrarily deem it bad and threaten horrible consequences for no reason except that he says so.”
New information has come to light about the shady life of Josh Duggar. I wish I could say I was surprised…but one thing I learned from my time as a Christian is that most versions of the religion lend themselves readily to justifying, excusing, or minimizing sexual “sins” (only heterosexual ones, though).
When we first learned of Josh’s child molesting past, I thought he probably had something similar in his adult life that he was still hiding. I didn’t mention it because I don’t like to speculate about people’s personal lives, or get involved in gossip. But as we can all see, I was sadly right. Why the suspicion, though? He expressed remorse over the molestation and claimed that he had changed, so why should I doubt his sincerity?
I came across this quote, shared as if it’s something clever: “Atheism is a deaf man insisting he finds no evidence for music.” Perhaps, then, Christianity is blind men arguing about what an elephant looks like.
The metaphor falls flat because music can be explained and detected without hearing, so while a deaf man may not fully understand it, he at least knows of its provable existence. Since god isn’t a repeatable phenomenon that produces consistently measurable evidence, he has very little in common with music. You cannot say “a deaf man is to music what an atheist is to god”, particularly since being deaf is not defined as disbelieving in the existence of music. The deaf man’s relationship to music is much different than an atheist’s relationship to god.
A more accurate metaphor would be something like “atheism is a geologist insisting he finds no evidence for a flat earth”, although I have a feeling the author of the initial quote wouldn’t like that one. The people who believe in a flat earth probably would, at least.
If there’s one thing we can know for sure, it’s that we cannot know for sure. No matter what belief system or piece of information is in question, in order to think rationally about it we must start with an assumption. We assume that our perception of reality is generally true and we’re not just brains floating around in a big jar and hallucinating everything.
It’s a reasonable assumption; truth matters to us only as it pertains to what we experience. If it were true that everything we experience is imaginary, then absolute truth would be irrelevant in our current lives. What we are concerned with is the truth that affects us…the truth of the world we experience.