Friday, November 21, 2008

Quote of the Week

"[John Stuart] Mill had an allergy to dogma, including his own -- which makes him an occasional friend to the dogmatist. When someone says that proof of God's existence can be found in Nature, he doesn't say it's bosh. He asks what this would actually entail if it were true, and infers that such a creator would have to be limited, inept, well-meaning, forgetful, and in a daily contest with another power: 'A Being of great but limited power ... who desires, and pays some regard to, the happiness of his creatures, but who seems to have some other motives of action which he cares more for, and who can hardly be supposed to have created the universe for that purpose alone.' What natural theology, taken seriously, shows is not the great Watchmaker or the All-Seeing Jove but the absent-minded Landlord, a sort of eternal Lord Emsworth, who, though he helps the young lovers, cares mainly about his pig."
- Adam Gopnik, "Right Again," p.88 in the 10/6/08 New Yorker

1 comment:

graywave said...

Excellent quote. I've always liked JS Mill, now it seems I'll have to start reading Adam Gopnik too.

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