Monday, March 2, 2009

Gotta love the Jehovah's witnesses.

So they stopped by again. This time they dropped off some literature of the awe inspiring and life-changing variety.

Buahahah. No it's all just propaganda but it includes some pretty pictures.

Check it out.

I know I know my scanner was built circa 2001 and it's impossible to square up anything thicker than an envelope. Anyway I did some flipping and found all the usual gibberish. One segment did catch my eye though.

Take a gander.

Now this is a spurious argument at any rate, any book written by the creator of the universe would stand out so far from human endeavors that there could be no possible confusion. That's pretty standard from the files of 'Blatantly Obvious' but allow me to illustrate nonetheless.

Let's say you've got a class full of kindergarten age kids. There are 50 kids total. You ask every one of the 50 kids to draw a picture of a mountain using only a pencil. Keep in mind all of these kids are aged 4 and 5 years old. Now we add a complication. The 51st painting will be done by a master artist who has done nothing but draw mountains with pencils for the last 20 years. The Artist's skill is unparalleled throughout the entire world and no one doubts this.

Would it be hard to distinguish the work of the Artist from the 5 year olds? Would a practiced expert be able to set his or her work apart from a bunch of semi-conscious children still working up the motor skills to properly brush their own teeth?

You betcha. Now let's consider an alternative scenario including the same bunch of kids and the Artist.

This time instead of actually drawing the mountain the task becomes this: Describe the proper way to draw a mountain so that another person will be able to draw it for themselves. Duration, depth and length are all up to the discretion of the person writing the instructions.

Again, would it be difficult to distinguish between the kids and the Artist? Of course not, it would be trivial. But how could we tell? Well without trying to sound patronizing or mean you could look at vocabulary, sentence structure, knowledge of the drawing technique itself could all be employed.

Now if you take the Artist out of the picture then things can get a little more muddled. Disagreements between just the kids would be common place. Some would no doubt be easily distinguished as better than others but there would probably be a few that stood out. Unless there was an art prodigy or some fluke there would be the possibility for debate for at least a few of the paintings or a few of the instructions.

There would be also little doubt, based on the work of other 5 year olds, that the work was written by someone about 4-5 years of age. No matter how hard you try to rationalize or play favorites there is just no way that a 5 year old could produce expert quality art.

So that's why the bible doesn't do it for me. Because it wasn't written by the Artist, if there is an Artist he or she or it sure as hell hasn't left any instructions for all us 5 year olds.

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