Friday, 12 June 2015

Belief in god - the Q Challenge

In the Star Trek universe there is a society of beings with almost omnipotent powers, called the Q Continuum.  Each of these beings (all confusingly called 'Q') can perform what appears to be miracles.  They play with time and space at the click of their fingers.  There is nothing supernatural about the Q - in spite of their seemingly limitless powers, they are not gods.  They are certainly not worshipped or considered sources of moral absolutes, even though they occasionally be rather friendly (although they can be deeply irritating).

The Q are conceivably true.   There are no known principles of physics that could rule them out.  And because of this, I consider that believers face the 'Q Challenge':

Come up with a single example of an observable act of a god that cannot be an act of Q.

The thing is, if there is no experience that can't differentiate between a god and a Q, then parsimony insists that the explanation be a Q.  A non-supernatural Q, a flawed, capricious being utterly undeserving of worship.

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