I don’t ask questions, don’t promote demonstrations,
don’t look for new consensus, don’t stray from constitution
if I pierce the complexity I won’t find salvation
just the bald and over truth
of the evil and deception
there is an inner logic,
and we’re taught to stay far from it
it is simple and elegant,
but it’s cruel and antithetic
and there’s no effort to reveal it
I figured out what I love most about Isaac Asimov’s writing: he has an extremely entertaining and gratifying method of reasoning.
Today I read his short story “Reason” in which a robot comes to the conclusion that it was created by god rather than man. “god” is a huge Energy Converter on a space station. The robot, “Cutie,” convinces himself humans could not have created him because humans are lesser creatures (need sleep, inferior strength, etc) and it is impossible that lesser creatures could create a greater one
These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.
Ah, a self-evident fact. Cutie considers his reasoning abilities to be far more advanced that his human creators, so why should he bend to what they tell him?
Cutie is also under the belief that there are no other planets, there are no stars, and there is no space. There is only life inside the station. His creators have him observe space and planets through a telescope to prove their existence, but even with evidence flat in front of his face he denies it.
Do you think I’m going to waste my time trying to pin physical interpretations upon every optical illusion of our instruments? Since when is the evidence of our senses any match for the clear light of rigid reason?
Then the creators have Cutie read scientific books full of evidence, facts, and statistics that make it very clear that stars and planets exist.
I certainly don’t consider them a valid source of information. They, too, were created by the Master- and were meant for you, not for me… Because I, a reasoning being, am capable of deducing Truth from a priori causes. You, being intelligent, but unreasoning, need an explanation of existence supplied to you, and this the Master did.
In a last ditch effort to force Cutie to come to terms with the truth of his existence, his creators build another robot in front of him.
You have merely put together parts already made… but you didn’t really create the robot. The parts were created by the Master.
Exasperated, the creators give up on trying to make Cutie realize the truth and come to this conclusion:
You can prove anything you want by coldly logical reason- if you pick the proper postulates. We have ours and Cutie has his… Postulates are based on assumption and adhered to by faith. Nothing in the Universe can shake them.
This is basically a more eloquent version of my statement a few posts ago that arguing religion is just a battle of make believe.
Here is your explanation for how certain stubborn people can have undeniable facts put in front of them and still deny what they see.
I will not spoil the story for you by telling you how Cutie came to this conclusion or how it ends. I will say the climax does not involve a robot revolution. Asimov is far, far too brilliant a writer for anything trite as that, despite what that god awful movie would have you believe…
Often I come across blogs, books, and twitter posts where an individual claims that he has proven creationism true.
Well, Sir, let me shake your hand. You are the man who cracked the case. You, the man who has a majority of posts declaring to the world that Obama is an Islamic terrorist, are the world’s most brilliant researcher. Why isn’t everyone in world on their knees praising you? I’m sure your low readership is due to the scientific conspiracy to keep god down. I don’t know why the pope hasn’t canonized you yet, perhaps he’s part of the conspiracy. Damn it, people, stand up in your chairs and shout, this one man has proven creationism true and thus proved god true! He’s the most brilliant man the universe will ever know!
I love how these people always say I have proof, I wrote the book, I figured it out. Right dude, I’m sure in between beers and screaming at Obama on the TV you found time to prove that which thousands of theologians have been trying to prove for hundreds of years.
Meanwhile those books on evolution that are peer reviewed, meticulously studied, and detailing observations and experiments that have been tested dozens of times over are all bullshit. Nothing but tawdry lies attempting to separate society from the good and almighty god.
These people are Cuties. They have very clear and well put together evidence that explains how the universe works and they deny it, postulating alternatives from their own twisted sense of “reasoning.”
As always I must point out accepting new discoveries is not abandoning god. I promise you a majority of scientists don’t care if people believe in god. The goal is to explain the universe in ways that replace the myths. Those answers are outdated, they don’t apply anymore, but that doesn’t mean a god couldn’t exist. It just means there were never two people in a magic garden with a talking snake!
Don’t be a Cutie. Embrace an ever changing understanding of the universe.