My belief that there is a beer in the fridge

Dr. Alvin Plantinga was recently interviewed in the New York Times, and I included my favorite section below:

I’m interested in the fact that beliefs cause (or at least partly cause) actions. For example, my belief that there is a beer in the fridge (together with my desire to have a beer) can cause me to heave myself out of my comfortable armchair and lumber over to the fridge. 

But here’s the important point: It’s by virtue of its material, neurophysiological properties that a belief causes the action. It’s in virtue of those electrical signals sent via efferent nerves to the relevant muscles, that the belief about the beer in the fridge causes me to go to the fridge. It is not by virtue of the content (there is a beer in the fridge) the belief has.

– Dr. Alvin Plantinga; Is Atheism Irrational? 

Slightly more principled than veganism

In a very Dawkins-esque manner, singer and perennial bummer Morrissey recently compared the eating of animal products (meat) to pedophilia.


After doing a minuscule amount of internet research on doubtfully trustworthy websites, I’ve been able to determine that Moz is not an atheist, but likely an agnostic — somewhat of a pope to his pompadoured faithful.

I can’t speak for his views on evolution; but supposing, like many of his fans, he believes in unguided evolution and all that, the rebuttal is not hard to provide: 

IF life came from non life, and
IF all atoms evolved from the same origin of life-from-non-life, and
IF therefore all atoms are created (evolved?) as equals, without distinction, but purely the result of an unguided, amoral, evolutionary process ,
THEN it’s awfully hard to see why one would restrict oneself to only celery when venison is available, as there is no moral difference between the atoms in vegetables and meat.

While at it, you’d be hard pressed to say why pedophilia is objectively bad, given the above.

As it stands, one could feasibly argue it’s MORE defensible to eat an animal, on account of animals at least being able to run away and/or defend themselves.  

Plants, on the other hand, are unable to defend themselves. Firmly rooted they stand, just slightly more principled than veganism.  They are at the mercy of the judge, jury, and gardener.