Last night as I’m getting ready for bed, I crack open my iPad and hit Flipboard (always an error) just to see what’s up on Twitter, my favorite news source. There I found a tweet making the rounds from @scottwesterfield, a genuinely nice fellow and a good writer. He tweets:
ever notice how facts don’t care if you believe in them, and deities always do?
There was general celebration of this, as if a point had been scored for the idea that God is dead. Well, I like Scott, but he’s no Chris Hitchens. I responded, to much less applause:
ever notice how streetlamps don’t care if you get home safely, but your parents do?
I thought this an apt comparison. One can indeed use facts like streetlamps, to help you see clearly how best to go forward. But like streetlamps, facts are utterly indifferent to you personally. They can just as easily lead you astray.
Parents, on the other hand, a lot like any deity worth worshiping, will not only try to tell you how to best get where you want to go, they’ll also do things like taking the keys away from you if you drive like an idiot, and rescuing you from harm if you get in trouble out there on the road. I followed with:
Not to pick on street lamps. Any inanimate object will do. Deities, not being inanimate, behave differently.
Atheists are supposed to be smart people. Maybe it was just late. Or do they expect a real God to sit there and let His children make fools of themselves? What sort of god would that be, and who would worship him?