Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wrong Angle

I'm always amused by the intellectual laziness of arguments like this:
A devout Southern Baptist, (Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron) Angle has said she felt a "calling from God" to run for the Senate, a comment opponents mocked. She also took heat for saying she doesn't believe in abortion in any case, including rape and incest, because "God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives."
I had a wonderful argument in college with a believer who espoused this same line, and my thought experiment in response came down to, "what if God's plan for this 'person' were for the proto-he or -she to be aborted?"

Did she have an answer? No. Was I being harsh? Yeah. But it's good practice to follow the snaking paths of one's beliefs to their possible implications. Not that believers are generally skilled at such an exercise--or else they wouldn't be believers.

I only ever occasionally find the energy to engage in the debate about God's plan, which is essentially the age-old attempt to reconcile free will with the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful deity. Such a reconciliation is impossible since the latter half of the equation is false. You can spend a lifetime worrying the thing over--millions and millions of people, in fact, have--and it would be nothing more than a life spent swimming in circles in a very small mental fishbowl.

Anyway, you have fun with Ms. Angle, Nevada. Stay classy!

No comments: