Saturday, November 6, 2010
Are you an atheist, a superatheist, or not an atheist? A superatheist (I made up the term 15 seconds ago) is someone who wouldn't be budged from atheism by any type of empirical evidence. Nothing you could observe would move a superatheist in the direction of agnosticism, let alone theism.* (see poll, top right)
Suppose this morning you found out that every token of "Woody Allen" in every book and magazine, worldwide, had turned green. This pattern of events is physically inexplicable (too spread out, too fast, to be physically explained), but coherent, meaning-wise. In other words, it's the sort of thing a Someone might wish for (if they happened to have a thing about Woody Allen).
If that actually happened, it would be reasonable to think a Mind must have willed it, thereby making it so. An immaterial mind that makes things happen through sheer willing is...maybe God.
Of course, I'd have to be on standby to find out more about the Mind behind the greening. Good, bad, obsessed with Woody Allen? What's the deal? Losing confidence in atheism is not the same thing as becoming a full throttle theist. But a Divine Will would start to seem like a real possibility, given the greening of "Woody Allen".
What else could I think? That the whole thing was just a big accident--like a cloud that looks like a dog--fully explained by physical law, only odd in our eyes because of our power to see squiggly lines as meaningful? I don't think the Super Accident story would be any more reasonable than the Divine Will explanation.
* I edited this post after reading comments (see here).