Sunday, May 29, 2011


ACP: Gottfried, my friend, why is this the best of all possible worlds?

GL: Because G*d is good and because G*d is omnipotent and because G*d chose exactly this world out of all possible worlds. So this world must be good—in fact, it must be the best of all possible worlds.

ACP: Gottfried, dear, what if I can think of a better world?

GL: You cannot: You must be mistaken, by necessity mistaken, when you think you can think such a thing.

ACP: But what if I really can? Must then not, by similar necessity, one of your premises be wrong?

GL: But you cannot, my friend – this is the best of all possible worlds, I just showed it to you, with irrevocable logic.

ACP: What of a world with one more righteous person in it, one true worshiper? Maybe one former heathen, suddenly convinced of his errors by your flawless calculation?

GL: Aw shucks, you demon reasoner. I cannot grant you that.

ACP: Because a world with one more more righteous person in it, one more believing soul, would be different from ours, and quite arguably better, and thus negate the existence of the very G*d this righteous person would now claim to believe in?

GL: For sure, my dear friend ACP, you are not that righteous fellow.

[Both off stage left, to merry laughter.]

Saturday, May 28, 2011


To the creationist eye, the tree is a mere device to make the wind visible.

But if direction of utility is the criterion, the man-eating lion surely is who the Creator had in mind to be the pinnacle, and among humans, the petty uncaught thief rules the roost.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Buddhists are so ruthless because they have nothing** to lose.*

*My first version of this aphorism was: "Atheists win over faithers anytime, because they have nothing to lose." But then "Buddhists" was cuter; but then Buddhists don't "win", or don't care about winning, or aren't supposed to. (To win is to cling.) But then not including this footnote would have meant to give up on the word "faither", which I like and am too chicken right now to look up, for fear I didn't coin it. (Thus signifying my clinging.)
**or: Nothing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The first commandment of sheep: Thou shalt not stray.