Friday, February 15, 2008

Please Explain

I live in a land of incoherent bumper stickers, but this one (seen in a parking lot this evening) takes the cake. It said:

America Bless God
It's time for all He's done

Anyone care to take a shot as what this means?


Dr. Mo said...

Despite the incoherence, I'll take a shot.

America Bless God
It's time for all he's done

What I believe is meant is that given all that god has done to build this great nation of ours, it is our turn to express our gratitude to him.

However, the implied meaning, going by the language, is that, now that we have been built into an entity even greater and more powerful than god, now have the opportunity to treat god to a blessing from us.

Alternatively, it could mean that given the crappy job "god" has done, it's time to wish him the best and hope for some improvement in his hither-to-fore dismal performance.

If the bumper sticker was on the back of a pick-up truck or the equivalent, the first meaning was what was intended. If it was on the back of a Toyota hybrid and accompanied by a Darwin fish sticker, the one of second meanings might have been intended.

Spiros said...

That's about as best one can do with this: the incompetent Christian reading or the ironic atheist reading. I think the incompetent Christian reading is the right way to go here. Interesting that Christians never seem to have read the *Euthyphro*.

Dr. Mo said...

Oh...but they *have*. They have. P. T. Geach (Plato's Euthyphro: An Analysis and Commentary) is probably the most crucial reading. His tortured reading of the passive periphrastic in Greek as a means to undermine the Euthyphro Dilemma argument is painful. Most apologists follow in this direction, usually with an ambiguity line. The amazing thing, to me, is the amount of energy directed at undermining the meanings of terms in Greek, as though there is no way to reformulate the argument in clearer terms (in any language). Steve wrote a really nice piece on the steps of this argument, by the way.

Spiros said...

This is the apologist's "rebuffing" strategy (as opposed to the "refuting" strategy)-- keep the opposition at bay by propping up diversionary issues.