Conclave evidence March 16, 2013Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, Rants.
Tags: atheism, Catholic, challenge, evidence, pope, pope resigns, religion, Vatican
Religious people often accuse atheists of being “closed-minded”, claiming that we wouldn’t believe in their god even if they showed us evidence. I’d be perfectly willing to reconsider my position on the subject, if any solid evidence were ever provided. The problem is that they have an entirely different standard of what evidence is, and how much evidence is enough. Their god-claim is an extraordinary claim, and as such requires extraordinary evidence to support it. Their usual routine of “Look at how complicated the world is, I have a holy book, and I feel it in my heart” just doesn’t fly with me. But there are things that I would consider as good evidence pointing to a god, if they ever happened. But they don’t.
The recent conclave was a great opportunity for a god to give the whole world evidence that he actually existed. We had a bunch of powerful men running a corrupt institution, who were meeting to select a new leader who will protect and defend that institution from all outside threats. If there were no god, what we would expect is that these hard-liners will select a hard-liner from among their number who will continue running things just as they have always been. (Which is what always happens, and did again this time). But if these men actually had the kind of close link to a god that they claim they do, and if they were actually trying to listen to and obey the will of that god, then this would have been a great time for a god to produce an entirely unexpected result, and get the attention of the whole world.
Scenario One: Cardinals emerge from conclave: “We’ve had a clear message from God that none of us is qualified to be Pope. We’re all too involved in scandals and we’re totaly corrupt. The next pope is to be chosen by popuar election, and present clergy are ineligible to run.” This woud get my attention.
Scenario Two: Cardinals emerge from conclave: “God told us not to elect any more Popes. We’ve all been ordered by God to sell the Vatican, give all the money to the Red Cross and Planned Parenthood, disband the College of Cardinals, and then retire to a monastery.” This would really get my attention. I might start to think there actually wassomething to this god stuff if something like that happened.
White smoke from the chimney (because if the Cardinals were actually guided by god, there would never be a need for any other kind).
Cardinals emerge onto the balcony and one steps to the mike.
“Erm, hello. Yes…well…the thing is… Um…well, we were expecting that God would lead us to elect a Cardinal as our next pope. But we all had this vision first thing this morning. Every one of us. And then the jam in our breakfast oatmeal kept swirling around to form a name. There was a face on each of our pancakes too, and it was all the same face, a face we recognized. We thought, ‘This can’t be right! We’re supposed to select a Cardinal! We’re supposed to select a clergyman! We’re supposed to pick a Catholic! We’re supposed to pick a man!’
So we took our ballots, and we each wrote down the name of a Cardinal, and the ink actually moved on the page to spell a different name. Every ballot! Cardinal Dolan here even filmed it on his cellphone, just to be sure. We’l post it on YouTube later today.
Here’s your new Pope. Chosen by God, this was totally not our idea:
Catholics, if your Cardinals ever elect Poprah, I’ll be happy to get into a deep theological discussion with you, and take your god-claims seriously,