The Circumpunct is bound by the parallel lines of the Saints John, with John the Baptist on the left symbolizing Judgement, and John the Evangelist on the right symbolizing Lovingkindness. That’s a direct parallel with the Pillar of Severity and the Pillar of Mercy on the Tree Of Life.
For those all who’ve regularly been reading this blog for the past couple years (all zero of you), you’ll know a few things about me. For those who haven’t been following along, well, let me fill you in. And then, once I get that background out of the way, we’re off to the races. (Here we go)
Axiom 1: The metrics by which an epistemic system is to be judged, are its explanatory power and its ability to make testable, repeatable predictions that reliably allow reality to be influenced in conformity with will.
When I was a very young child, 8 years old, I remember going to services at our local Reform temple one evening. It was a very cold day, and I was running ahead of my family when my mother called out for me to be careful. I told her, secure and confident in the way that only a child can be, that I had nothing to fear since a temple is “God’s house” and of course I couldn’t get hurt there. She reiterated that I had to be careful, and that I could break a bone if I slipped and fell on the ice. That was the first time I truly began to realize that theism didn’t quite add up.
So, I’ve written here, at great length, about the importance of negation, of the null hypothesis, as a fundamental hypothesis that can only be overturned by carrying the burden of proof. And the null hypothesis’ relationship to belief in deities. (or God, or G-d, or יהוה, or what-have-you). But tonight I was discussing Spinoza and Einstein with someone, and it helped me to crystallize a way that I might share my mind with you… and thereby give you insight into where I’m coming from.
Professional Christian apologists like Frank Turek love to shift the burden of proof via a tactic so intellectually dishonest, that I’m sometimes surprised that they manage to keep a straight face. While it comes in various flavors and often uses various versions of the Murder One fallacy, generally dovetailed with a full on Gish Gallop, the argument boils down to the claim that unless someone knows the deepest mysteries of physics below the Planck scale, and the entire chain of chemical reactions and evolutionary events that took us from proto-replicators to today, that theistic claims must be the default hypothesis.
Imagine my eyes rolling so hard that they might violate conservation of angular momentum, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of my reaction to this moist nugget of fractal wrongness.
“I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.” – The Book of Lies