@ktcat False. I am part of the universe. I and my forebears have been working within it for at least 100,000 years. And we're doing great.
— Trent Max (@MaximumTrent) December 9, 2014
- The Universe is benevolent
- Man is more than the sum of his parts
- Religion attacks self-esteem
He seemed unfamiliar with basic science outside of the common, public-school understanding of evolution. Chemistry and physics arguments went right over his head. For example, the concept that biological organisms are made up of chemical components and therefore inherit their rules and limitations was unacceptable to him. In his rebuttal, the usual hand-waving ensued, something on the order of this:
In the process of chatting with him, the thought struck me that atheists believe in more miracles on a daily basis than the most mystical evangelicals I've ever met.
Getting back to the original concept of the post, the mechanics of his philosophy were quite simple. He had replaced God with himself. He needed someone to play some of God's roles - giver of meaning, arbiter of morality, source of self-worth and so forth, but he didn't want anyone to impose rules on him. When he became God in his own mind, he found meaning and value while maintaining the illusion that no matter what he did, he was a "good" person.
That he had become God to himself (is there a term for this?) was evident in that tweet above. "The Universe is benevolent because it created me." I came back with how grateful the rest of us should be as we owed our benevolent Universe to the fact that he was not born and raised in the slums of Rio. Not being much of a philosopher, he missed that one, too. The exchange put me in mind of a modification of one of the Eucharistic prayers,
and all creation rightly gives @MaximumTrent praise.In the end, he learned nothing. His devotion to rational thought and evidence were superficial, cloaks for his real belief system - worship of himself. It's not easy to convince a god that he is not divine.