Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why God Hates Amputees

The most important question we can ask about God, says a certain website, is this: Why won't God heal amputees? The website is titled, appropriately, whydoesgodhateamputees.com. The front page says this:
If God is real and if God inspired the Bible, then we should worship God as the Bible demands. We should certainly post the Ten Commandments in our courthouses and shopping centers, put "In God We Trust" on the money, pray in our schools and eliminate the theory of evolution from every curriculum. We should focus our society on God and his infallible Word because our everlasting souls hang in the balance.

On the other hand, if God is imaginary, then religion is a complete illusion. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are pointless. We should eliminate God from our society because God is meaningless. Belief in God is nothing but a silly superstition, and this superstition leads a significant portion of the population to be completely delusional.
What follows is a quasi-theological argument based on the notion that if God answers prayers, as some believers assure us He does, and those who have lost limbs pray to get them back, then why hasn't God ever given an apmutee his or her lost limb back? The answer is that either God's a jerk or God simply doesn't exist.

There's more to the website than that -- much more. It's quite elaborate. There's a video that begins, "by watching this short video, you will be able to prove to yourself that the Bible is repulsive." It all sounds funny till you actually look into it. The narrator points out that the Bible says we oughtn't work on the sabbath. Then we see the signs of all the national retailers that are open on Sundays, including Christian bookstores. After this, the narrator recites the Bible passage (Exodus 31:15) that says those who don't observe the sabbath should be killed.

The point of this website is to prove how absurd Christianity is. I remember wondering in high school how Catholics could justify their cannabalism -- eating the body of Christ and all. I wasn't raised a Christian, so it's always been ridiculous to me. But we make allowances for the centuries. Anyone who takes the Bible literally is a zealot, a fool, or both. But I'm not sure I buy the over-simplified arguments of whydoesgodhateamputees.com, either.

The logical fallacy known as the straw man comes to mind. Here's the definition from the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy:
A made-up version of an opponent's argument that can easily be defeated. To accuse people of attacking a straw man is to suggest that they are avoiding worthier opponents and more valid criticisms of their own position: "His speech had emotional appeal, but it wasn’t really convincing because he attacked a straw man rather than addressing the real issues."
This website isn't going to tear down centuries of faith. It would have been more successful as a satire, but it just takes itself too seriously. It's a waste of a great URL.

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