The Mean Philosophy Professor and the Clever Christian
Critique by Punkerslut
Image: From "Religion" Gallery from RadicalGraphics.org
June 8, 2002
June 8, 2002
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." - Voltaire [Letter to M. Damiliville, May 16, 1767.]
This story was found somewhere on the internet. Where, exactly, I am not sure. It had no author's name attached to it, so it may be dubbed, "Anonymous." Its original title only had "Christian" capitalized. It looks like precisely what it is: hate literature. If Christian Apologists could produce a work that argued for Christianity without bashing Atheism, such as referring to them as the "mean philosophy professor," if they could do that, then I would be shocked. Now, onto the critique...
The mean philosophy professor and the clever Christian
The philosophy professor, an atheist, pauses before his freshman class and asks one of his new students to stand. "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"
"So you believe in God?"
"Is God good?"
"Sure! God is good."
"Is God all powerful? Can God do anything?"
"Are you good or evil?"
"The Bible says I'm evil."
The professor grins knowingly. "Ahh! THE BIBLE!" He considers for a moment.
"Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?"
"Yes sir, I would."
"So you're good...!"
"I wouldn't say that."
"Why not say that? You would help a sick and maimed person if you could...in fact most of us would if we could... but God doesn't."
"He doesn't does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer,even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"
The professor seems almost sympathetic. "No, you can't answer that,can you?" He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. In philosophy, you have to go easy with the new ones."Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"
"Is Satan good?"
"Where does Satan come from?"
The student falters. "From...God..."
"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he?" The elderly man runs his bony fingers through his thinning hair and turns to the smirking student audience. "I think we're going to have a good semester, ladies and gentlemen."He turns back to the Christian "Tell me, son. Is there any evil in this world?"
"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? Did God make everything?"
"Who created evil?"
"Is there sickness in this world? Ugliness, immorality, hatred? All the terrible things-do they exist in this world?"
The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."
"Who created them?"
The professor suddenly shouts at his student. "WHO CREATED THEM? TELL ME, PLEASE!"
The professor closes in for the kill and climbs into the Christian's face. Almost inaudibly: "God created them, didn't he?"
"The professor closes in for the kill and climbs into the Christian's face," -- oh, what wondrous things may be conjured in the minds of those infected with religion. It is only typical, though, that the most persecutive of all will make claims that they themselves are persecuted. In this previous sentence, the Atheist professor is displayed as a heartless, brutal man, who enjoys his endeavors to cause suffering. Of course, the historian knows that the church has played that exact role, as have its followers. Yet, still, the Christian author of this seems content to write of Atheists as though we are joyless individuals, made happy from desires to cause needless pain. To quote Thomas Paine, "Those who preach this doctrine of loving their enemies, are in general the greatest persecutors, and they act consistently by so doing; for the doctrine is hypocritical, and it is natural that hypocrisy should act the reverse of what it preaches." [The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine, Part II, Chapter III.]
The student tries to hold the steady, experienced gaze and fails.
Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace the front of the classroom like a caged tiger. The class is mesmerized.
Again, the professor is displayed as a sort of monster.
"Tell me," he continues, "how is it that this God is good if He created all evil throughout all time?"
The professor swishes his arms around to encompass the wickedness of the world. "All the hatred, the brutality, all the pain, all the torture,all the death and ugliness and suffering created by this good God is all over the world, isn't it, young man?"
"Don't you see it all over the place? Huh?" Pause. "Don't you?" The professor leans into the student's face again and whispers, "Is God good?"
"Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"
The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, Professor, I do."
The old man shakes his head sarcastically.
"Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you seen Jesus?"
"No, sir, I've never seen Him."
"Then tell us, have you ever heard your Jesus?"
"No, sir, I have not."
"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelled your Jesus...in fact, do you have any sensory perception of your God whatsoever?"
"Answer me, please."
"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."
"Yet you still believe in Him?"
"That takes FAITH!" The professor smiles sagely at the underling.
"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God does not exist. What do you say to that, son? Where is your God now?"
False statement. According to the rules of "empricial, testable, demonstrable protocol," (although I agree with the term, it seems to be farcically put) all that we can determine is that there is no proof of god. It says absolutely nothing about god "not existing." It only says that there is no proof of god. To those of us who are reasonably minded, that means there is also no reason to believe in god, and consequently no belief in god.
The student does not answer.
"Sit down, please." The Christian sits...defeated...deflated.
Another student raises his hand.
"Professor, may I address the class?"
The professor turns and smiles. "Ah, another Christian in the vanguard! Come, come, young man. Speak some proper wisdom to the gathering."
The Christian looks around the room "Some interesting points you are making, sir. Now I've got a question for you. Is there such thing as heat?"
"Yes," the professor replies, "there's heat."
"Is there such a thing as cold?"
"Yes, son, there's cold too."
"No, sir, there isn't."
The professor's grin freezes. The room suddenly gets very quiet.
The second Christian continues. "You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat, or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit 458 F degrees below zero,which is no heat, but we can't go any further than that. There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than negative 458F -you see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat, we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, it's just the absence of it."
When you define cold as being the absence of heat, and say that cold does not exist, you are claiming that there is no such thing as the absence of heat, and that the Universe is in an ever-present state of heat. This is, simply put, rather absurd. It is a play on words by the Christian in the story to try and make the professor look unintelligent -- a rather poor play on words. For example...
Christian: "Do you believe in pleasure?"
Christian: "There is no such thing as pleasure. There is only the absence of pain. That's what pleasure is."
Punkerslut: "But you just said that pleasure was not real."
Christian: "Pleasure is the absence of pain."
Punkerslut: "If pleasure is the absence of pain, then pleasure exists and your original statement was incorrect."
Silence. A pin drops somewhere in the classroom.
"Is there such a thing as darkness, professor?"
"That's a dumb question, son. What is night if it isn't darkness?What are you getting at?"
"So you 'believe' in darkness?"
"I'm sorry, but science says you're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something, it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly, you have nothing, and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker and give it to me in a jar. But you can't give me a jar of darker darkness, can you Professor?"
This falls victim to the same error as the analogy of heat and cold. It's a mere play on words that produces nothing but awe in the minds of those who believe in the unseen.
Despite himself, the professor smiles at the young effrontery before him.
This would indeed be a good semester. "Would you mind telling us what your point is, young man?"
"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must be in error..."
The professor goes toxic. "Flawed...? How dare you...!"
The professor is displayed here as an angry, indignant Atheist -- how typical of this brand of hate literature.
"Sir, may I explain what I mean?"
The class is all ears.
"Explain...oh, explain." The professor makes an admirable effort to regain control. Suddenly he is affability itself. He waves his hand to silence the class, for the student to continue.
"You are working on the premise of duality," the Christian explains,"that, for example, there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing God as a concept, as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science cannot even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood them. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, merely the absence of it."
Again, more useless points. (To the reader, I apologize that you've read this far.)
The young man holds up a newspaper he takes from the desk of a neighbor who has been reading it."Here is one of the most disgusting tabloids this country hosts, Professor. Is there such a thing as immorality?"
"Of course, there is, now look..."
"Again, I'm sorry sir, but you are wrong. You see, immorality is merely the absence of morality. Is there such a thing as injustice? No, injustice is the absence of justice. Is there such a thing as evil?"
The Christian pauses. He speaks very slowly. Each word rings with clarity. "ISN'T EVIL THE ABSENCE OF GOOD?"
False analogy. The Christian is claiming that the two previous scientific proofs have demonstrated something that can be seen in the realm of ethics. If it is true that there is an analogy, how do we know that evil is the absence of good and not that good is the absence of evil? No proof, but that's no surprise when reading religious writings. They fester with growth when there is no evidence!
The professor's face has turned an alarming shade of red. He is so angry, he is temporarily speechless.
It figures that the Atheist professor would be stumped -- at least in Christian literature.
The Christian continues. "If there is evil in the world, Professor,and we all agree there is, then God, if He exists, must be accomplishing a work through the agency of evil. What is that work God is accomplishing? The Bible tells us that it is to see if each one of us will, of our own free will, choose good (the result of the love of God) over evil (the result of independence or the absence of the love of God).
"There is nothing greater than love. God is love and God is good. If He is good, then the innate act of his goodness would be to give man the opportunity to experience the greatest thing that exists-love. But love cannot be forced on someone or else it is not love.There must be a choice involved. God loved us enough to allow us to make the choice. Evil is the result of the choice of independence from God."
The ignorance and folly of this story can be amplified with this single statement: a man can rape a 12 year old child because god has been thinking about love lately. The reason why god has imposed no authority on this planet is because he wants humanity to make a choice -- the choice to love someone. The author of this wretched story fails to draw any line correspondence between immorality and love. God can enforce good behavior (i.e. disallowing rape) without forcing people to love him. Somehow, not harming anyone is identical to "loving god." This is an absurd reduction. Even if this was true, does that mean we should actually be consistent and ameliorate all authority, allowing everyone to do as they wish without any restriction or any regulation? (That is to say, the disollution of the government, as well as any authority what so ever?)
The professor idles. "As a philosophical scientist, I don't view this matter as having anything to do with choice; as a realist, I absolutely do not recognize the concept of God or any other theological factor as being part of the world equation because God is not observable."
"I would have thought that the absence of God's moral code in this world is probably one of the most observable phenomena going," the Christian replies, "Newspapers make billions of dollars reporting it every week! Tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from the same ancestor as a monkey?"
God's moral code entails the following: Amos 3:6 "Does evil befall a city unless the Lord has done it." Lamentations 3:38 "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come?" Isaiah 45:6-7 "And God said 'I am the lord, there is no other.... I make weal and create woe, I am the lord who do all these things." In Joshua 6:21, God utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword. In Chapter 31 of Numbers, Mosses was displeased that his army took prisoners from a village instead of brutally killing them all and gave the following order: "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves!" 2 Samuel 24:1, God killed 70,000 people because David took a census of them. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, God sent 2 bears to rip apart 42 children for making fun of a prophet. God killed the first-born of every Egyptian family in Exodus 12:29. God sanctioned slavery (Exodus 21:2-6, 20-21; Leviticus 25:44-46), sanctioned the selling of one's daughter (Exodus 21:7), commanded killing of witches (Exodus 22:18), killing heretics (Exodus 22:20), killing violators of the sabbath (Exodus 31:14-15 and Exodus 35:2), killing those who curse their parents (Leviticus 20:9), killing adulterers (Leviticus 20:10), killing blasphemers (Leviticus 24:16), he demanded and sanctioned human sacrifices (Leviticus 27:28-29, Judges 11:29-40, 2 Samuel 21:1-19), he allows the eating of flesh (Genesis 9:2-3), he endorses marriage (Mark 10:7-9), and God commanded that a raped woman must marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).
So, it can be quite clearly seen, that if brutal and heartless murderers follow any code, it may very well be the prevalent Christian doctrine. Furthermore, the absence of people following a code does not prove that the code is truthful or that the supposed creator of the code is real. After all, if people fail to follow the Buddhist doctrine, does that mean that Buddhism is the correct religion? (This may be said of any religion.) And look out, but I think I can see some Evolution bashing coming up. Whoopee!
"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do."
"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir, or are you placing your 'faith' in the unobservable?"
Evolution has been observed numerous times. It's called DNA, mutations, vestigial organs, and natural adaptations. A mutation is an alteration of DNA, thus causing a change in the organism. This will allow for an advantageous change in the organism to adapt to their current environment.
The professor makes a sucking noise with his teeth and gives the student a silent, stony stare.
"Professor, since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an ongoing endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a priest?"
Again, more lies. "Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution," -- the evidences of evolution can quite clearly be seen. Although the entire chain of Evolution and its history cannot entirely be known, we are basing what Evolution was on evidence. It certainly does not make the professor a priest.
"I'll overlook your impudence in the light of our philosophical discussion. Now have you quite finished?" the professor hisses.
The student replies: "May I follow up on the point you were making earlier to the other student?"
The professor wisely keeps silent. "I believe you have a great mind, Professor, but with all respect let me ask the class a question regarding it. Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's mind...felt the professor's mind, touched or smelled the professor's mind?"
The class remains silent.
"No one appears to have done so. No one here has had any sensory perception of the professor's mind whatsoever. While I would not dare to imply it myself, but wouldn't the limitations of what you 'believe in' (the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable, protocol, science) say that you have no mind? Wouldn't the same apply to your emotions and your will? I believe your great mind is hidden within your brain although I cannot observe it within the small box, or within the limited parameters which you want to place God within. If I want to know your mind or better yet the real you (your mind, emotions, will and even your spirit), all I have to do, if you are willing to be known, is be willing to seek to know you and to spend time with you. You can know that God exists, ...if you are willing. ...Are you willing Professor?"
That was the most pathetic paragraph of apologetics I have ever seen. In fact, most scientifically educated people are likely to believe that mind and brain are synonymous. However, the author makes it quite clear here that they believe that there is a difference between the mind and the brain! Furthermore, the "rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable, protocol, science" are not absolute belief in something or absolute disbelief in something. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Atheism is not the declaration that god does not exist or cannot exist, but rather the lack of belief in god. It can quite clearly be seen here that the author, who claims to criticize reason and Atheism, has a very, very inadequate knowledge of both reason and Atheism.
The bell rings.
"Class dismissed," replies the professor. "Time is up!"
[Note : There is a variation on this story where the Christian humiliates the professor by "proving" that the professor has no brain, as nobody has seen, smelt or touched it.]
It is true that this is a rather trashy, uneducated piece of filth: it criticizes reason without understanding reason and it creates a stereotype surrounding Atheists as being cruel and vindictive. There is little more that I can say about this other than the fact that it was poorly written and based on a completel lack of information.