Thursday, May 01, 2008

The argument from banana

I can't remember how I came across this, but it's a hilarious example of Stacking the Deck, a False Analogy, and just outright stupidity.

[If the video is working try this link.]

If you can't wait to watch the video, and for those still on dial-up, I'll give a quick run down (caricature) of Kiwi reborn Christian Ray Comfort's "Atheists' Nightmare Banana":
Bananas are just like cans of soda. They fit in your hand, are packaged for your convenience, have a "tab" at the top to release the contents and are shaped perfectly to fit in your mouth. But they're even better than soda cans because god, in his infinite wisdom, made the skin biodegradable...

Now, it might seem a little over the top to bother analysing such an inane "argument"; it might seem I'm picking on an easy target. Well, yes, that's why I'm doing it.

An obvious point here, which has been made by countless others, why choose just bananas as evidence of god's benevolence? Oh yeah, you need to Stack the Deck. Hard to see how the analogy would work with coconuts or pineapples? And that's just fruit. If god is nice enough to design bananas for us, why not make a hot dog tree? It seems to me that we have to go to a lot of effort to make hot dogs. That is, grow wheat, mill it to get flour, process and bake it to get the bun, slaughter a variety of animals, harvest their lips and ..... other bits, grind the lips and other bits and stuff inside intestines, cook it, then put it in a bun with various condiments (which again, aren't just squeezed straight out of a plant).

I might be inclined to believe the argument from hot dog tree, but not banana. You'd have to prove such a tree exists though.

[If the video isn't working try this link.]

Well, if that proves god exists, it also certainly proves he is far from benevolent. Fancy growing hot dogs without ketchup.

Of course, the analogy with the Coke isn't entirely false. Modern bananas were designed by an intelligence - they were selectively bred by humans. Also, given Ray's a Christian, why isn't he disturbed by the fact god gave bananas to Muslims before Christians? Following his reasoning, doesn't that mean Muslims are favoured by god, compared to Christians?