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 Battlegrounds

TPM Online’s Battleground God seems to have become the entertaining philosophical equivalent to tricking out one’s Honda Civic with fat chrome tailpipes and neon underlights, then revving the engine at a stop light:

“I am most logically consistent!”

“Yes, but look at my subtle detailing!”

Then, inevitably, somebody in a ‘53 Chevy pickup truck pulls up nearby and says, “I disagree with the entire premise!”

Truly, this is the Promise of The Internet.

For what it’s worth, I suffered one direct hit and bit zero bullets on the battleground. Here’s what BG told me:

Earlier you said that it is not justifiable to base one’s beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, paying no regard to the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity of this conviction, but now you say it’s justifiable to believe in God on just these grounds. That’s a flagrant contradiction!

This is tricky, I think, and the trick lies in the “external world” language, which implies a world that is observable and material. I’m perfectly content with peoples’ belief in God predicated on faith in things unobservable or immaterial. But when it comes to the “external world”—where the decisions that people make affect more than just their own lives—I want evidence of the sort that reasonable people can debate and review. It’s a sort of “you trust in God but I’ll lock the car anyway” kind of approach.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to buy some chrome polish and Honda Racing Team stickers.