“Happy Atheists” and “Stupid Tourists” Prank

Mehran Banaei

In the last couple of decades the entertainment industry and the public have developed an appealing taste for prank comedy. As the nature of this type of show dictates, someone is always set up to perceive a situation that is not what it seems and then acts upon his/her false perception. Viewers are then expected to laugh at the subject’s reaction to the given stimuli.

Prank comedies often remind me of Stanley Milgram’s famous social psychology experiment on obedience to authority figures; however, unlike prank comedy there was nothing amusing in Milgram’s case to make anyone laugh at how the subjects reacted. We learned valuable lessons on the dark side of human psychology from Milgram experimental study. Although in Milgram study most subjects continued to apply what appeared to be real lethal electric shocks to a person who seemed hurt and in pain, some stood firm and refused to carry on with the faked torture experiment. The latter was a promising sign on the bright side of human nature, that not everyone is a passive mindless comatose following directions given from scientists. Similar extrapolations can be made on prank comedies with controlled variables. Leaving the humor part aside, prank comedies can always be viewed as a mini experiment on human psychology. They often demonstrate something about the subject as well as those who put the idea together to produce the show, and even the social norms and values.

Subsequently, this leads me to ponder, if our surrounding environment tells “A” while our own senses and experiences tells us the situation at hand ought to be “B”, how should we react? Do we react that reality is “A” or “B”? Can anyone doubt the information collected by all senses and processed by the brain and then avoid an obvious conclusion? At last, whom can we trust for assistance, should we follow a clueless “expert”? For instance, view the following prank:

This prank is an example of a wilful blindness. Wilful blindness would be much more humorous when it is spotted in real life when some people constantly ignore what is right underneath their nose. Who are such a silly people? I submit that the atheists are one prime example of people engaging in the act of self-deception. To demonstrate this, let’s change the question from where is the Olympic Stadium to a more crucial enquiring issue, i.e. the creation of the universe. The question posed could be the most basic and fundamental question for Mankind the sense-making species: Is creation of the universe result of a blind chance or is there intelligence behind it? Let’s expand the site from Montreal Olympic Park to the entire planet full of multifarious signs pointing to the correct answer, let’s even go beyond our planet into the vastness of the universe. Seriously, is it really not funny and ridicules to see those who exercise wilful blindness to avoid the immeasurable ever-present signs of intelligence in Nature? For example, viewing Chris Packham’s fascinating documentary on the annual miracle of the temperate forest would mesmerize any thinking individual, and one would rightly be amazed to see those who deny the wisdom behind the astounding variety and complex interconnectivity involved in the forest.

Secrets of our Living Planet: The Magical Forest

Unlike the above prank, we are not just standing in front of the evidence, we are the evidence, we are the living sign, we are the living the proof that it is intelligence. There are infinite signs within ourselves and within the furthest horizon categorically telling us that the universe is created by an Intelligent Power. So how is it that materialists choose to claim that “No”, the universe is a sheer product of blind chance? Indeed, when everything in the universe points to one inevitable conclusion that is there is a God, not seeing the evidence for design is a mere fact of psychology and not of logic.

If one works so hard not to see the obvious, then no evidence can be convincing. Therefore, there is no point to have a discourse or debate with such a people. What is the point of shouting when ears are deft, eyes are deliberately closed and minds are shut down? Hence one never sees what one does not wish to see. There is so much efforts being made to avoid all these ubiquitous signs; nevertheless it is still hard for them to maintain a wilful blindness of ignoring what is right in front of their eyes.

Indeed, many atheists only see what they want to see. Take the example of PZ Myers lecture below, a biologist and the author of Happy Atheist. For likes of PZ Myers, life is an accidental prank, no amount of invariable complexity and precision means anything to them, the least of which is intelligent design:

For sake of argument, let’s pretend that the evidences pointing to an Intelligent Creator are not there; let’s pretend that we cannot see them. Let’s pretend that those atheists who come out of nowhere claiming it is all due to chance should be listened to, let’s pretend that science proves that the signs are inconclusive. Let’s pretend and justify our denials that all those who recognise the evidence for intelligence are religious freaks, but we cannot pretend that life is a prank.

Atheists need to be reminded to avoid the avoidance of the obvious fact of Intelligent creation, to look around and see the grand universal stadium where we are all a player in an ongoing match. Those cosmic tourists, who wilfully want to deny the signs pointing to an Intelligent Constructor of this stadium, will, no doubt, face a loss of Olympic proportions.


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Filed under Philosophy of Science and Religion

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