Cold is not cold, cold is heat. Hence god.

Consti sent me this video some time ago of (NOT) Albert Einstein arguing with his professor about the existence of god. This story isn’t novel at all; people here have known the same argument attributed to Abdul Kalam. And while I wouldn’t be too surprised if Abdul Kalam came up with inanity like this, I’m tempted to think Einstein was more intelligent than this, even at ten.

Let’s forget for the moment, then, that Einstein repeatedly denounced people who called him religious, and repeatedly avowed his non-belief. Let’s also forget that this stupidity is so common that it’s been catalogued, and that the argument is lame enough for there to be a Jack Chick tract that tells the story of the calm student who takes apart the evil professor’s arguments. Here’s the video, and a summary:

Prof: If god exists, he is evil because he created evil

Student: God didn’t create evil, evil is the absence of love for god.

There. I’ve done the argument more justice than it deserves. Here, first, is a fairly respectful rebuttal (from Camels with Hammers):


My reply won’t be nearly as respectful. The distillation of stupidity that is attributed to Abdul Kalam has this gem of an argument in this:

Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed. Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it […] Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? […] The link between man & god is faith. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.

i) The ‘science cannot explain everything’ refrain is idiotic. And that’s without even mentioning that ‘God did it’ is not an explanation. To quote Asimov, ‘if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.’ So yes, we understand electricity and magnetism, can explain both quite well, and can even explain thought, even if only at a rudimentary level. Also the understanding of death modern medicine has is vastly better than the rubbish that’s been attributed to Kalam.

ii) Evolution by natural selection is about as solid as science gets. Saying ‘I can’t see monkeys evolving into human beings’ is, apart from being technically wrong – monkeys and humans evolved from common ancestors, and monkeys today are evolving into monkeys, not humans, also silly. One might as well say ‘I’ve been looking at this baby all day, and it hasn’t grown into a forty year old man. I refuse to accept that babies can grow into adults.’ (This bit of wisdom is from Stephen Colbert, not surprisingly!). The only explanation for this argument being made at all is that the dumbass making it knows nothing about logic, to say nothing of evolution.

Now, there’s also the crap about ‘god cannot be measured’, and what not. Except, this genius somehow knows all this. How? Divine inspiration? I’m supposed to believe that this god that can’t be seen or felt somehow revealed its identity to the idiot who made up this argument? Yeah, right.

And if you’re still wondering whether the fact that cold and darkness are just the absence of heat and light should make any difference to an argument for a divine being, consider this: there are pleasant odours, and there is no odour at all, and I just farted.



Update: Nair said it seemed as though I was pulling my punches. I’ve made some changes to the body of the post. It’s hopefully better, now!


12 thoughts on “Cold is not cold, cold is heat. Hence god.”

  1. another way of looking at it ….
    absence is good cannot exactly be called evil. In order to define evil you need to say what is good and then do the opposite and then say that that is evil, when you say the absence of good you are saying that it is something that really doesn’t care about good and evil. If there is evil it is not the absence of good, it is just plain evil. So it also has to be created just as god created all the good things hence…god created evil things and is evil

  2. Nicely explained. Thank you, Fiddles.

    I maintain that my (pleasant odour – no odour – stench) delineation is a terse way of saying what you’ve said in four lines!

  3. Continental drift also had a fierce opposition in the start as you don’t see any plate motion. Now the analogy given is that the rate of drift is equivalent to the rate at which your nails grow.

    Questioning our current scientific understanding is a good thing. In fact that is what progress relies on. What I find wrong is that their intentions are always misplaced. If science has no explanation then God. It is merely replacing one mystery with another on top of being a false dichotomy. The underdog rising up against Goliath was a nice touch but is so merely because you don’t ever see that happening in reality.

  4. That’s a nice example, except for that continental drift was the revolutionary theory. Continental drift was kinda a David against the Goliath of current geological theory. The people questioning continental drift were scientists with, like you say, presumably no axes to grind.

  5. Bro s, here I can give few references from Bible which can give you some answer

    “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe”
    1 corinthians 1:21

    Regarding David & Goliath,

    “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength”
    1 corinthians 1:25

    But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him

    1 corinthians 1:27-29

  6. @ Fiddler: GOD never created evil. Its the fallen one existing in this world since ages deceiving mankind ryt from the beginning. Our science, understandings & wisdom is nowhere compared to wisdom & Love of “THE MIGHTY ETERNAL ONE” who created all this universe & showered abundant Love & grace on mankind from the beginning.

  7. Praneeth, why?! Why would you volunteer to get skewered? If you want to be taken seriously, just about the last thing you want to do is to start with ‘bible says’.

    The bible says it’s the true word of god, and the true word of god is that the bible is true. Brilliant logic.

    But then the stunning lapse in reasoning doesn’t matter because god chooses the stupid, the ignorant, the nitwits, the loons, the morons – the foolish, before the wise. I guess.

  8. Its OK croor ! I just wanted to say those things i know from the Bible. I did n mean to raise a debate or counter your argument.

    I think im not wise enough to get myself involved or debate about these kind of issues. I had Faith & i thought i could share something i know where the argument typically seemed to be one-sided. I neither want to volunteer to get criticized nor challenge your post

  9. Croor, you are ruffling the feathers of Gods, eh? God of gaps is what we have reduced the concept to be. The elements which we can control are already our science. Again, science as we know it today. There could be additions, subtractions. BTW, another statistic is that atheists/agnostics know more about religion than theists. So, belief in a way ends your search. It is a wild card entry of God, eh?

  10. Aye! Ruffling feathers, and all that.

    I think I read about this survey that shows atheists know more religion than believers. FAIL that was, for god-worshippers!

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