Monday, August 15, 2005

CD Labels and the non-existence of god

One of the classic arguments for why there can't be a god is that he lets all these terrible things happen in the world and doesn't stop them. And the equally classic response is that to stop them would remove free will for mankind, which would, in the end, be an even crueller fate.

Which is actually fair enough, as far as it goes, but it entirely fails to take into account the inconsequential annoyance factor. Even if god cannot stop people doing truly horrible things to each other because they need to choose to stop of their own free will, any omnipotent being would still be confronted with day-to-day experiences like this (differing from my own only in the happy ending...):

Enter god, chillin in his lair, with that abstracted look and humming the same 6 bars over and over indicating that he has a song stuck in his head (hey, not even omnipotence is a match for a catchy tune.)

God: Thats it! Its Stairway to Heaven! MUST listen to the whole song and get it out of my head!

God lunges to bookshelf, whips out Led Zeppelin IV (its on the top shelf) opens it and grabs the cd, jabbing the eject button on the stereo with the other hand. There is, of course, already a cd in the player. He picks it up, eyeing the boxes next to the stereo... Oh no! The disk has no label on it! Which box does it go in? He sighs, puts the cd back in the player and fumbles a series of boxes open one-handedly (Zeppelin IV still reverently protected in the other) looking for the right one, but unfortunately they're /all/ empty... his eyes track to the side at the pile of scratched case-less cds sitting on the shelf because they too have no writing on the disk...


...his eyes narrow, and shift to either side. Is it important to the free will of mankind that they be able to frustrate themselves - probably not even on purpose - with cds with no label? A wicked smile creeps across the supreme being's face, and there is a small "pop" coinciding with the cds acquiring labels, and a marketing exec landing in the fire in the hearth. God kicks off his ugg boots and warms his toes to the building strains of Black Dog...

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