Monday, October 15, 2007

Sane People Do Not Believe In Imaginary Beings

Alan Sokel, that great physicist and brilliant exposer of humbugs, charlatans and frauds, once famously wrote in the journal Lingua Franca:
"...facts and evidence do matter. What sane person would contend otherwise?"
Whilst Sokel was mainly concerned with exposing the trendy post-modern gibberish spouters who infest the 'social sciences'/'humanities/'cultural studies' departments of academe for the frauds that they are, he could just as well have included theologians, clerics, (ad)ministers of religion, theists in general and all who pay lip-service to some so-called 'god' or other. For what credible evidence is there that there are any 'gods' at all, or even that the Abrahamic 'god' is the one above all the others?

Despite the fact that some leading Muslim clerics wrote a letter recently to their counterparts in the main Xtian denominations claiming that upward of 50% of the world's population believe in this common 'god' of theirs, no-one over the millennia has been able to produce a single scintilla of evidence supporting the existence of this fabled and fabulous creature. According to Alan Sokel's test, therefore, these people are not sane - but then anyone who is familiar with what Charles Mackay called 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' in his seminal book of that name, would be left in no doubt that was the case.

The laugh is, Mackay was himself a Reverend, but failed to appreciate that his so-called 'vocation' and religious beliefs were actually indistinguishable from the psychopathology of his other case-histories.

Or, to paraphrase Sokel: Sane people do not believe in imaginary beings, therefore all religionists are nutters.

But then we already knew that, didn't we.

PS. Anyone who is interested in Sokel's original paper, 'Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity' , that exposed these charlatans for what they are, can find it here; believe me, it's worth the effort.


Revenant said...

The problem is that most don't even think about it. They take it as rote that there is a god, because everyone else says so. And in societies where you don't have a choice, such as most islamic countries, it would never occur to you to question whether all this bullshit you do every day is really worthwhile.

Of course it isn't, neither is what I do every day, nor is what anyone does, it's just passing the time till you die. In the end, none of it matters, even if you believe in fictitious deities, ultimately your life is wasted worshipping something that doesnt' give a rat's ass about you, even if it did exist.

papalazarou said...

nice link OldGit - thanx

The Merchant of Menace said...

The comment re the link reminded me that forgot to add a link to Mackay's work, which can be found in 3 volumes on Project Gutenberg under its original 1841 title of 'Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions'. The link is here and the download links are approximately one-eighth of the way down the page under Charles Mackay's name.