Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

One Of My Favorite Quotes

(A Marvel trading card that I owned at one point)

This is one of my all time favorite quotes, and it’s by Eliezer Yudkowsky:

Mystery exists in the mind, not in reality. If I am ignorant about a phenomenon, that is a fact about my state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself. All the more so, if it seems like no possible answer can exist: Confusion exists in the map, not in the territory. Unanswerable questions do not mark places where magic enters the universe. They mark places where your mind runs skew to reality.

When I read the ruminations of the sophisticated theologians, they seem to have a love affair with “mystery”. Which is all the more damning, since they are in love with not something that exists out there, but their own state of mind. It is a narcissism of sorts. This brings up a related point. Is theology about the study of a god, or the study of ourselves? When theologians say that their god is mysterious, they are, as Yudkowsky writes above, actually describing themselves and their own state of mind.

Nothing is inherently mysterious, not even god. Mystery is one of those self-reflecting words, sort of like the Ultimate Nullifier, where when we use it, no matter what we point it at, will always more strongly point at ourselves.

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in apologetics

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