Daily GUIDE-ance:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I've been rereading The Salmon of Doubt, a collection of Douglas Adams's writings published after he died. (BTW, I recently tried watching the television version of The Guide. I felt I owed it to Douglas Adams to try. I made it through two episodes. When it's that low, can your really still call it a budget?)

One of the last segments in this book is a lament for Douglas Adams by his friend, the biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins. In it he shares a parable Douglas once made up about a man who believes that his television is inhabited by tiny people, living tiny sitcomish lives, competing in miniature sporting events, and bitsy reality or talk shows, all for his viewing pleasure. And engineer explains to the man about electricity and cathode ray tubes, transmission and receivers, etc. The man listens carefully to the engineer, agreeing with each step of the argument, and in the end the man says that now he is satisfied, and that he finaly understands how television really works.

Then Adams's punchline: "But I expect there really are just a few little men in there."

An equally valid punchline could have been: "Well, that proves it: Oprah is imaginary!"

2 comments:

Renae said...

I "read" quite a bit of that book once, but I just couldn't take it any more, and had to quit. I don't enjoy it when people tell me I must be a complete moron for believing in God.

I love science, and I'm positive that religion has no need to fear it. God is the ultimate scientist, he just hasn't told us how he does all that he does. Somewhere hidden from view, the two sides meet up.

Eyepoke said...

I have come to like it when my assumptions are challenged by people with different assumptions. It forces you to think, and this is always good. There is blind belief and also blind unbelief. Both are pretty much equally bad.

J