As predicted, I’ve missed a few blogging days. That means this and the next couple of posts will probably be pretty short. Meh. Oh well. This is how we roll.
Plus, honestly, my brain’s kinda preoccupied with our world-wide question of “is it Captain Trips or isn’t it?” So my attention span for philosophy isn’t exactly at its greatest.
Oh! And I’ve been working on Return of the Pelegrin Draft 1 A LOT. Yesterday alone was nearly 5,000 words. So that has been feeling really good. I love this story. 😀
Anywhich, on to AfL DAY ELEVEN.
The material before us is the 1950 essay “Theology and Falsification” by analytic philosopher Anthony Flew. It’s largely seen as the most widely read philosophical publication of the 20th century — and I am annoyed that I was not required to read it in any of my philosophy or philosophically-bent classes in college.
In the essay, Flew tells the story “The Invisible Gardener,” which is based on a parable by John Wisdom. In the story, two people stumble onto a garden and see that some plants are flourishing. One person insists that the evidence points toward a gardener who comes to the garden unobserved and cares for the plants. The other person refuses to believe there is a gardener.
The debate leads the reader to the conclusion that: either there’s an unobserved, invisible, intangible person taking care of some plants but not others, and even some entire gardens but not others–
–or there is no gardener at all.
Obviously, the parallel reads like this: either there’s a God we can’t see or touch who takes care of some of us when we don’t realize it, and he ignores others of us completely–
–or there’s no God in the first place.
Flew makes the point that there’s not much difference between an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive “gardener” and a gardener who doesn’t exist at all. The result for most of us “plants” is pretty much the same. “God loves you!” means nothing. If we never have a tangible, non-elusive experience of that love, it’s the same as saying “God doesn’t love you!” or “God doesn’t exist!”
I can relate to this conclusion. If my husband says he loves me, and he does one big thing to demonstrate that love…
…but day by day, decade by decade, he does nothing else to show me that love…
…then every time he says “I love you,” it’s meaningless.
If he or anyone else insisted that it had meaning, the relationship would be abusive.
“God loves you! God gave God’s Son to die for you!” Yay, great. That’s nice. But that was a long time ago. If I haven’t had a tangible experience of that love since then, why tell me that God loves me? What’s the point? Besides being abusive?
There’s more to this, and we can hash it out in the comments if you like. But for now, I’m tired, my brain is blurf, and I need to go eat something so I can sweat out all the blargh at the gym. Laterz.