Monday, March 31, 2008

Non-question unanswered

You know it's going to be a stupid article when it begins:

Suddenly, atheism is the new religion.
And Nigel Hawkes, Health Editor of The Times does not disappoint:
While science answers the “how” questions, it leaves the “why” questions hanging in the air.
This is so hackneyed it's surprising to see in print, yet again. I suppose there's a limited quiver available to the religious apologist.

Sequences of words of the form "Why are we here?" are not questions, they are fallacies. They beg the question, in this case "Is there any reason why we are here?", or perhaps more succinctly, "Does life have a purpose?" If so, you can ask what it might be, but you can't ask that otherwise.

If this question is meant to be profound, to mean more than "Do you, personally, have a purpose?" then it presupposes the existence of the divine, because there's no other perspective from which such purpose could operate. The last quote above could be rephrased:
While science looks at the world and reality, religions consider questions that presuppose the existence of a God.
True enough.

This type of argument is inanity slipped between the covers of profundity; a sheep in wolf's clothing.



dearieme said...

Even then, there's an unbridgeable gap between supposing "the existence of a God" and subscribing to the implausible folklore of desert's edge vagabonds.

marvin said...

Silly twats.