Monday, March 15, 2010

God is a Hyperconstinated Transonome

When I was in graduate school, our nuclear physics class was held in a classroom in which the previous class was meteorology. This was nice for our nuclear physics professor, whose hobby was meteorology. When he entered the room he'd always take a minute to read the blackboard before erasing it.

One day the meteorology class ended a bit early, so several of us students observed that the blackboard had some sort of weather chart consisting mainly of three wavy lines, so we erased the labels and re-labeled the wavy lines "Hyperconstinated Transonome", "Mesoconstinated Transonome", and "Infraconstinated Transonome". Then we filled the rest of the blackboard with a lengthy description of what these fabulous new mathematical discoveries were supposed to be, all in terms of equally ludicrous and utterly meaningless made-up words. At no point did we ever tie the description to anything observable, logically derivable, or otherwise meaningful.

So when our professor entered the room, he took his usual minute or so to read the blackboard, and immediately realized that we were jerking him around.

Now, let's compare this bit of jocularity with the definition of God, who is supposed to be omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, perfectly benevolent, and eternal, the Five Traditional Attributes of medieval theology. These attributes are totally make-believe, not based on anything observable, logically derivable, or otherwise meaningful.

When religious people come to church, they hear all about this make-believe God, but they've suspended their powers of rational thought, so, unlike our professor, they don't realize they're being jerked around.

As a college undergraduate, I attended a religious college and had to take a required religion class. I think one of the very few meaningful things the professor said was, "The God with these Five Traditional Attributes was just a God that was simply cooked up out of thin air." Unfortunately, from that point on, he proceeded to totally obfuscate the character of God until it made no more sense than our make-believe Hyperconstinated Transonome.

Theology still makes absolutely no sense to me. I'm now realizing the truth of the only other intelligent thing our religion professor ever said, and that was, "The primary reason most of us go to church is to indulge our egotistical delusions that we can boss God around by reciting mystic incantations at our own belly buttons." Unfortunately, he was unable to provide us with any better reason to believe in any religious doctrine.

Oh by the way, I actually somehow got a passing grade in Religion. My A-plus on my term paper (on the book of Job) raised my total grade for the semester to a C-minus.