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Feb 11 2014

Did You Ever Consider The Possibility That Maybe God Is A Parasitic Worm?

There’s a little kid, infested with a parasitic worm
His extremities are swollen and in pain
But this doesn’t pose a problem, or disprove a loving God
As philosopher Plantinga will explain:

See, God created Eden, which his favorite—Man—beheld,
But of course, the fruit of knowledge, He forbids
It was absolutely perfect, but humanity rebelled
As a consequence, there’s parasites in kids

You can treat the kid for parasites, and have the worms removed
And observe their squirming bodies, tightly curled…
Rejoicing in the agony that must be God-approved,
Knowing this is His created perfect world

From the horrible interview at the NY Times Opinionator Blog:

A.P.: I suppose your thinking is that it is suffering and sin that make this world less than perfect. But then your question makes sense only if the best possible worlds contain no sin or suffering. And is that true? Maybe the best worlds contain free creatures some of whom sometimes do what is wrong. Indeed, maybe the best worlds contain a scenario very like the Christian story.

Think about it: The first being of the universe, perfect in goodness, power and knowledge, creates free creatures. These free creatures turn their backs on him, rebel against him and get involved in sin and evil. Rather than treat them as some ancient potentate might — e.g., having them boiled in oil — God responds by sending his son into the world to suffer and die so that human beings might once more be in a right relationship to God. God himself undergoes the enormous suffering involved in seeing his son mocked, ridiculed, beaten and crucified. And all this for the sake of these sinful creatures.

I’d say a world in which this story is true would be a truly magnificent possible world. It would be so good that no world could be appreciably better. But then the best worlds contain sin and suffering.

I would *not* say that such a world would be truly magnificent. Far more people are suffering than in a world I would create if I could. But then, I care about people; I am a person, myself, when I’m not a cuttlefish.

Maybe it is a perfect world, for parasitic worms.

15 comments

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  1. 1
    Al Dente

    So a long time ago a couple of people were naughty and that means everyone and everything else in the world has to suffer. Plantinga’s god is a real asshole.

  2. 2
    rq

    Talk about vindictiveness.
    I’d probably enjoy your world far better, Cuttlefish. Full of poetry!

  3. 3
    kagekiri

    “Rather than treat them as some ancient potentate might — e.g., having them boiled in oil”

    Right, Plantinga, see, this would be a defense….. except that “boiling them in oil” is in fact less bad than the everlasting fate of all people who miss out on this “wonderful” deal of God’s, e.g., Hell.

  4. 4
    Stacy

    Hell, even accepting all his ridiculous premises, any reasonably imaginative and empathic human being could design a better world:

    Mete suffering out to evildoers in proportion to their wicked deeds. Innocents are spared. Animals and small children never suffer.

    (P.S. Plantinga thinks a being “perfect in goodness, knowledge and power” deserve cookies for refraining from boiling anyone in oil? Really?)

  5. 5
    brucecoppola

    Is he sure his name isn’t Pangloss?

  6. 6
    thebookofdave

    The Good News is not that Jesus died for us, but modern medicine’s increasing ability to cleanse our bodies of the stain of sin.

  7. 7
    timgueguen

    And here \I thought this was going to be a reference to Stargate: SG1. You can just imagine the howling if they’d gotten anywhere near having a Christian etc. figure being a Goa’uld.

    The freewill argument doesn’t cut it for me. If God designed us then he put all sorts of limits on our freewill, like making the Universe so big it’s apparently impossible to travel from one solar system to another in any practical length of time.

  8. 8
    Michael Brew
    “Rather than treat them as some ancient potentate might — e.g., having them boiled in oil”

    Right, Plantinga, see, this would be a defense….. except that “boiling them in oil” is in fact less bad than the everlasting fate of all people who miss out on this “wonderful” deal of God’s, e.g., Hell.

    Not only that, but in the same book that the “free creatures turn their backs on him,” God treats them exactly as some ancient potentate might. I would say drowning all but a single family is about on the same level of punishment as boiling in oil. Then there’s the plagues of Exodus, and especially that final plague involving explicitly parents’ firstborn sons. Somehow Herod got all kinds of crap for that, but this doesn’t raise an eyebrow. Why, it’s like these people don’t even read their holy book.

  9. 9
    Randomfactor

    I’ve read speculation that the universe is indeed finely tuned so as to produce…black holes. Which spawn more daughter universes so-tuned.

    Evolutionary cosmology.

  10. 10
    hexidecima

    it seems that this rather stupid god cannot prevent collateral damage. Indeed, why harm everything if only one part of your “creation” didn’t quite work? That is the action of a brat not some omnipotent, omniscient omnibenevolent being that so many theists pretend exists.

  11. 11
    grumpyoldfart

    Maybe it is a perfect world, for parasitic worms.

    My standard answer to the question, “What is the purpose of your life?”

    Answer: “To provide a safe haven for tapeworms.”

  12. 12
    busterggi

    “Rather than treat them as some ancient potentate might — e.g., having them boiled in oil ”

    Or droning them all in a global flood or showering fire & brimstone on them or sending 10 plagues or…which god are we talking about again?

  13. 13
    scoobie

    God responds by sending his son into the world to suffer and die so that human beings might once more be in a right relationship to God.

    That’s just a non-sequitur. You truly need to be so open minded that your brain has fallen out, to think that that makes any kind of sense.

  14. 14
    Blanche Quizno

    When people state that “Jesus” “lives in their hearts” or that I should “invite Jesus into my heart”, I sometimes ask if this “Jesus” is a species of heartworm.

  15. 15
    Blanche Quizno

    If a REAL god wanted to forgive people, why not just forgive them? Simple, right?

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