Friday, May 20, 2011

God's Parasites

Assuming for a moment that evolution, or macro-evolution, is not responsible for the diversity of life then explain where these little devils came from.

You probably recognize the tick, flea and mosquito. The parasitic wasp of the Ichneumonidae family may be less familiar. Malaria might be hard to recognize. As for the cymothoa exigua, do not research this creature on a full stomach.

I could have added snakes and spiders with necrotic venom, lampreys, anthrax, chiggers (OMG the chiggers!), tapeworms... the list goes on. For that matter, why would a god make a world for humans and include ANY plants that are toxic or even irritating to humans? "Mysterious ways" or fallacious mythology? Would you call this "un-intelligent design" or "malicious design?" Does anyone want to blame this on scrumping? If we owe this world to a creator, it was either cruel, indifferent or incompetent.


  1. My take on all this is that God used evolution to create the universe. I'm not a subscriber to "creationism" per se. And yes, it took millions of years to do it. I've always believed the the ultimate cause of the universe was God and the technique/tool was evolution/science.

  2. If we assume there is a nonchalant deist deity then this makes perfect sense.

    The very real and demonstrable existence of these creatures, and myriad other blights, calls into question the existence of a benevolent, all-powerful, all-knowing (or divinely intelligent) theistic god. Would such a god be directly or indirectly responsible for the creation of these lifeforms? Either way, a sarcastic "Thanks," would be in order. For fundamentalists/literalists this should object even more vigorously.

    The thesis remains that YHWH, as loosely defined by the greater christian collective, does not exist. I reference exhibit: parasite.

  3. I assert that the reason for evil in the world (including malevolent intentions but also things like earthquakes, tornados, floods, etc.) is to allow this dirty little planet to produce something that Heaven, in all its flawless splendor, is incapable of producing -- heroes. Because only through the imperfection of adversity can a hero be born. If heroism is indeed the purpose of life, then God must hold it awfully dear -- because its price is literally 100% of the misery that has ever been suffered in all of history by any conscious being (and all that awaits in the future).

    Of what use is heroism, though? Of what value, for example, is courage, to a God fully capable of creating a cosmos with absolutely nothing in it to fear? Clearly, there is no ultimate need for such a thing as courage. But hey, there's no real need for the Grand Canyon or the Himalaya mountains either -- but they sure are beautiful. I think of God as an artist at heart, not a scientist.

  4. Young hereos...

  5. "Sorry for putting you through this Hell of a world. But heroism is a choice, and even I can't force someone to make a free choice."

  6. This is the parasite post. I'm baffled as to how heroism might justify parasites.

    Even if it did apply it would be bald anthropic ad hoc rationalization. It is equally explanatory as:

    I assert that the reason for evil in the world (including malevolent intentions but also things like earthquakes, tornados, floods, etc.) is because it amuses God and reifies his infinite superiority... as do prayers and worship.

    My assertion is as well founded (or unfounded) as yours. If it seems less so it if because of your presuppositions about God... you know: doctrinal ideology, personal ideology and general bias. Your assertion is completely unfounded. As is mine. We are both just making excuses for observable phenomena and crediting/blaming an alleged super-ghost. No wonder no one takes us seriously.

    This also seems like a good time to mention the narrative fallacy (links below). Anytime we add a "because" to a claim it seems more believable. Here's an example from Nassim Nicholas Taleb's 'The Black Swan): "Joey seemed happily married. He killed his wife." How believable is that? How about: "Joey seemed happily married. He killed his wife to get her inheritance." More believable, right? When we construct a untestable hypothesis we're really just talking ourselves into something. Probably something that's hard to swallow.

    There is a cognitive dissonance between a benevolent interceding omni-god and the prolific suffering that is life on Earth. If such a god is assumed to exist then the paradox of loving god and suffering worshipers begs for some explanation. If no such god is assumed suffering doesn't require an explanation beyond evolution. So when you make up an excuse for suffering (including malevolent intentions but also things like earthquakes, tornados, floods, etc.) and parasites you should be honest with yourself and recognize what you're doing: Making stuff up.

    And even if the hero assertion were absolutely true who can be a hero in Heaven? The Bible is kind of inconsistent about the homogeneity of man in the eyes of the lord. God definitely plays favorites but also claims the meek are blessed. Anyway, let's assume the day of judgement comes and goes and all the forgiven are with god in an existence without suffering. Is everybody equal or are there heroes. Is everybody a hero? lol. And just as you've written, there can't be new heroes, especially if there is no suffering. So heroes and suffering don't make any sense in Heaven but they are desirable on Earth? I don't think God has thought this out.

    And God didn't create the Grand Canyon or the Himalayas. My friend Steve did because he needed a project for his Geology dissertation. Or maybe I'm just making a ridiculous unfounded assertion.

    Anyway, parasites. God. Go with that.

    narrative fallacy links: