Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yes, Andrew, there is a God.

There is a debate that's been going on between atheist Sam Harris and pro-religion blogger Andrew Sullivan over at beliefnet.com, here:

And now, with apologies to the most reprinted newspaper editorial ever; Francis Pharcellus Church's Sept. 21, 1897 response to Virginia O'Hanlon's letter to the editor of New York's Sun.

here is my letter to Andrew:


Yes, Andrew, there is a God.

Andrew, your little friend Sam is wrong. He has been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see and reason. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Andrew, whether they be men's or children's or Nobel laureates like Steven Weinberg, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. In this great ignorance of ours man sees the boundless possibilities of the world about him, and the more ignorant the more possibilities there are and if you are ignorant enough, then all things seem possible you just won't be able to imagine any of them without knowledge. And that is why men believe in things they can't imagine.

Yes, Andrew, there is a God. He exists as certainly as fear and gullibility and lies told to children exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no God. It would be as dreary as if there were no Andrew. There would be no childlike faith then, no obfuscation, no comforting delusion to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight and art and love and other things like that. The eternal gullibility with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. No longer could you conquer your death in the same way that Pastor Ted Haggard has conquered his homosexuality and so became a heterosexual in just three weeks.

Not believe in God! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might as well not believe in Santa Claus! You might hire scientists to examine your stomach after communion for signs of the transubstantiation of the wine and wafer, but even if they did not see evidence of your cannibalism, what would that prove? Nobody sees God, but that is no sign that there is no God. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fear of death, gullibility and delusions can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Andrew, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No God! Thank Santa Claus! He lives, nay a million, billion Gods live forever. A thousand years from now, Andrew, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, they will continue to make terrified the heart of childhood and bring violence and misery into the world.

2 comments:

Russell Blackford said...

Wow, this is snarky and cynical. Well done!

MTran said...

Got here a bit late but I'm glad I followed the link from the Harvey discussion.

Great work! I'm saving this one.