Cherry Picking God’s Gifts

Who knew Stephen Fry was so smart?

Well, I guess we all did…

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Cherry Picking God’s Gifts

  1. Funny — I’m currently about halfway through Terry Pratchett’s "Small Gods," which I only picked up because the Practhett/Neil Gaiman collaboration "Good Omens" was much better than Gaiman’s solo "American Gods" . . . and, years of academic training aside which tells me it’s a sin to mention any idea I had independently if I know that someone else has developed it too (academics love castrating each other for this) the basic notion is one I think a lot of us have come up on our own, even if good writers put it far more brilliantly.

    Pratchett’s conceit is that gods survive on worship. I believe Mencken did an essay on this, citing all the dead gods, for whom innumerable lives were sacrificed. Gaiman plays with the same. Pratchett supposes a universe of ethereal beings that are not Supreme (obviously, our cosmos has quite a few flaws in it, so any Creator must have been delegating at best), just more powerful than mortal mammals, and needing their emotional worshipping energy for power.

    I’m convinced that either every religion is utterly false or every one of them contains a smidgen of barely-glimpsed truth (not hidden as a test to the faithful, just incomprehensible to us, like the monoliths in "2001.") What I can say, with absolute certainty, is that each’s claim about the others all being wrong is utter balderdash. Pascal’s wager may have made sense in a time where few other ways of examining the world were known. Now it’s nonsense, like a horse-race gambler imagining he has an ideal system too perfect to share.

    Your earlier post on prayer being a subtler and more effective means of control than magic was outstanding. Again, something I like about baseball; the players may be mostly good Christians, yet they believe in magic socks and totemic rituals.

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