#130 The Chalk Proof

#130 The Chalk Proof

This one is a slightly exaggerated version of a silly urban myth that’s been around for several decades in various forms. You can read a current version here (as well as see it neatly debunked). My inspiration for this one came from a video version of the story on Facebook, and the massive number of folks commenting on the video who apparently believe the story… agh!


Discussion (20)¬

  1. Canuovea says:

    Wow. Though I haven’t read any of the major god debunkers I have yet to come across a logical argument that actually proves God doesn’t exist. To my satisfaction and with reasonable premises. At the same time I have yet to come across a logical argument that proves God does exist. The way I see it is that the whole idea of God is so divorced from the concept of logic, that it is almost impossible (if not actually impossible) to prove either way with logic. No matter what there is always some kind of counter.

    I realize I may have just opened up an ugly can of worms here.

    Comic is great as usual. Those two really are hilarious.

  2. Tom says:

    Even if the counter is devoid of logic?

  3. chaospet says:

    Canuovea: I agree that God’s existence cannot be proven, and I think I agree that it cannot be disproven either – for much the some reason that the existence of leprechauns, unicorns, and Zeus cannot be disproven. Nonetheless I think pretty compelling arguments can be given that we should not believe in the existence of a God, just as good arguments can be given that we shouldn’t believe in leprechauns, unicorns, or Zeus.

  4. Canuovea says:

    What! n-n-no unicorns? Whaaaaah!

    But seriously, logic just doesn’t always get the job done. Especially when dealing with things that have nothing to do with logic in the first place. Someone could counter any logical argument or paradox (can god make something so heavy even he can’t life it, etc) with the claim that god isn’t logical etc. God doesn’t need logic. So yes, even if the counter is devoid of logic. Thinking about it makes my head hurt sometimes.

    I would require some pretty substantial proof for me to believe in God, I demand logic. Even if it makes my head spin. That is my whole problem with the God/unicorn question. I’m willing to listen, but good luck convincing me.

    I also agree that there are compelling arguments/reasons to not believe in God. I have also heard some interesting arguments/reasons to believe in God, though they haven’t compelled me. Neither prove anything, but appeal more to what I would like to believe or what is practical, or what I can see etc. I’m on the fence and thats where I’m staying for now, I think. But I do operate as if God doesn’t exist, I don’t do any kind of religious things etc.

    Thanks.

  5. Wm Tanksley says:

    “for much the some reason that the existence of leprechauns, unicorns, and Zeus cannot be disproven”

    This is kinda offtopic, but there is a difference here… An entity that allegedly exists in a limited number of places, none of which are ever “right here”, is impossible to disprove (the proverbial teakettle in orbit about Jupiter, IIRC). An entity which allegedly caused everything and exists everywhere should be more accessible to proof or disproof — although the fact that said being is allegedly non-physical will have to alter the methods of proof, of course.

    I’m not really disagreeing with the substance of your message, just the fine details, I think. That is: the reasons aren’t the same for God as they are for leprechauns.

    P.S. REALLY offtopic, but speaking of proof, Does anyone aside from me get angry thinking about the ending of The Sword of Shannara?

  6. Canuovea says:

    I always wanted to take a helicopter to the top of Mt. Olympus to see if I should invest in a Bull sacrificing kit but I never got the time (or the helicopter or the money or…).

    I think that chaospet never said that they were the same arguments though, just similar in a sense. And we can probably draw parallels between God and leprechuans if we wanted to. But I agree it is somewhat different.

    “The Sword of Shannara?” Yeah the ending was a bit, off. Aside from the whole thing almost totally copying major plot points from Tolkien. What a nifty little ‘magical’ item that thing was. I found it a bit anti-climactic. Sorry for going more off topic.

  7. Abeo says:

    The first example of this I saw was quite a bit different but in many ways very similar. The courageous student was Albert Einstein and there was no object being dropped but there was the same “over-lording atheist professor” vs “brave enough to stand up for what one believes student” dynamic.

  8. Chaos872 says:

    God is a hybrid Leprechaun-Unicorn that throws lightninig bolts. It all makes sence now

  9. Emil says:

    Which God? Some of them are disprovable, some are not. So many.

    http://www.godchecker.com/

    Even if we agree to talk about “the xian” God. Which one are we talking about? The God is love one? He’s definitely different from the angry one in the old testament. And then there is the God is Jesus thing. Too many xian gods…

    Oh, and by the way about the stone paradox. It’s not a real “paradox”, and it’s not a good argument. See my analysis, which I wrote before reading a similar analysis of a philosophy professor. Warning modal logic required. :D

    http://deleet.dk/2009/07/07/stone-paradox-%e2%80%93-revised-and-explained/
    http://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/swartz/modal_fallacy.htm

  10. Canuovea says:

    Interesting. So just because God can create something that negates his/hers/its omnipotence doesn’t mean that God is therefore not omnipotent. Makes sense. But if God does create said object then God is no longer omnipotent?

    So if we were to insert the premise that God must be omnipotent, then, let us say that God does create the anti-omnipotence object which renders God no longer omnipotent. It seems to then follow that God is no longer God. Which then leads to the question of what exactly is the definition of God (Pick one?)? Or the other question that what if God creates a giant forklift that can lift the stone…

  11. Emil says:

    If God is essentially omnipotent, and creates such a rock, then the being is no longer omnipotent, and thus no longer God.

    I think talk of God like this is waste of time. I only do it for the lulz.

  12. ElZilcho says:

    For all your talk about logical fallacies, Nester sure is a straw man.

  13. chaospet says:

    No no, he’s a stick man. Close though

  14. [...] 27, 2009 in pedagogy, stand-up philosophy | by dana A great illustration of an urban legend I’ve heard in various forms since, oh, sometime in high school.   This [...]

  15. Emil says:

    Who cares. It’s a comic about an urban myth.

  16. I love the cartoon! The version of this story that deserves a separate cartoon of its own is a really disgusting one in which the professor’s closing challenge to God is to strike him down if he is real. And the student at the end is a MARINE JUST BACK from IRAQ and he walks up to the professor and knocks his lights out and says, “God was busy so he sent me.” (capitalization as it appears in the e-mail)

    A perfect distillation of contemporary American right wing irrationalism, authoritarianism, and theocratic fantasies.

    Finally, what’s your policy on reprinting? I would like to post the cartoon as a hyperlink which when clicked on would send them back to you or as an image with a nearby text link. If you don’t allow either of those things, I’ll just put a text link on my site and hope people actually click (they rarely seem to actually want to click on links though). Please let me (and others) know your policy, I don’t want you to post the image and have you think I’m trying to steal your traffic.

  17. chaospet says:

    Sorry for the late response! But yes, do feel free to post the comic so long as you include a link back to this site.

  18. great! Thanks, man! And keep up the great philosophy comics and I’ll do my best to help promote them!

  19. [...] to Chaospet for permission to reproduce their cartoon.  Hat tip to The Philosophy Smoker for the find and for [...]

  20. DiogenesdelaPhyrron says:

    a Neitzschian thought: False belief in God=God is Dead=God couldn’t stop the chalk from breaking. True belief in God=God is Alive=God stopped the chalk from breaking. If you believe in God, then he exists for you, If you don’t believe in God, He doesn’t exist for you.