Monday, 20 December 2010

Eclipse and Solstice

We couldn't see the lunar eclipse last night, because of cloud cover, so I've had to borrow a picture, oh alright, steal, this is from earlier in the year.

I learnt, from watching Merlin, that a dragon's heart is on the right. Now don't you think that would have been a useful thing to learn in the Brownies? I mean, being able to use your Brownie tie to make a sling is not a skill to be sneezed at, but compared with knowledge of dragon physiology, there's simply no contest.

My friend Gail posted a link via someone else she knows on Facebook, to a monologue by Ricky Gervais on why he doesn't believe in God, and it's good Gervais. I liked the stuff about science too, many people don't think about Science philosophically. I taught A-Level Philosophy to adults for twelve years, and so I taught both Philosophy of Science and of God. Thus, I know my theoretical God.

I had recently read elsewhere that we are all atheists, because there are always other gods we don't believe in. I certainly don't believe in the god that Gervais describes, the male god who therefore presumably has either XY chromosomes or the male characteristics generated by that Y chromosome, presumably physical ones, since science, albeit social science, has repeatedly shown us that 'femininity' and 'masculinity' are culturally created phenomena.

Of course, God cannot have physical characteristics, since God is not corporeal substance as we are.
Then there is the peculiar problem of the Y chromosome.
Germaine Greer, in 'The Female Eunuch', shows us that the extra little arm of DNA that is missing from the Y chromosome, is the one that saves us from a whole slew of little problems, it would seem to be an imperfection - God being the sum of all perfections cannot lack one. One of the arguments for God's existence claims that existence itself is a perfection and therefore God must exist. *

But then there is also the oddity that the sex chromosomes have become more dissimilar over time.
From the Gale Genetic Encyclopaedia,

"Present-day sex chromosomes look very different from each other: The X chromosome comprises about 5 percent of the human genome, and contains about 2,000 genes, while the Y chromosome is quite small and contains only about 50 genes (Figure 1). This striking difference in size and gene content between the sex chromosomes makes it hard to believe that they are actually ancient partners in a pair of chromosomes that originally were very similar."

But this, of course, is about humans, not God and my central point is that the theoretical male God is actually theoretically impossible.

Today, however, is the Winter Solstice, the Celtic rebirth not of the son, but of the sun at 23.38 tonight.

And one more Christmassy thought.
My friend sent me an e-card, and in my bungling, trying to send one back, and it remains unclear whether I succeeded or not, I was able to see a list of e-cards that had been created that day, my favourite was,
'I'm sorry my dog fucked your Jesus lawn ornament.'

*There are a number of problems with this argument, one of which is that there is no particular reason why existence should be seen as a perfection, nor what the nature of existence may be.
Another is that if existence is a perfection and God lacks it, then clearly God cannot exist on either a theoretical or an actual level. The attempt here is to make God's existence a Necessary Truth, (something that is true by definition, such as mathematics or a tautology) whereas it seems to be a Contingent Truth (one that requires some information that is not contained in the statement itself).

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