The Divinity of Rohit (enter Karl Popper)

Jim Whitehead (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 10:38:46 -0700

On Friday, September 26, 1997 9:07 AM, Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar
[SMTP:ernest@pundit] wrote:

> That could be why Jesus didn't bother doing that. Instead, he did
> something very different, and I thought quite clever and subtle.
> Instead of merely stating he was God - which anyone can do - he did
> the far more complicated task of demonstrating he was God by claiming
> God's attributes and perogatives.

"The problem which troubled me at the time was neither 'When is a theory
true?' nor 'When is a theory acceptable?' My problem was different. I
wanted to distinguish between science and pseudo-science, knowing very well
that science often errs, and that pseudo-science may happen to stumble upon
the truth.

"... I should perhaps briefly describe the atmosphere in which my problems
arose and the examples by which it was stimulated. After the collapse of
the Austrian Empire there had been a revolution in Austria: The air was
full of revolutionary slogans and ideas, and new and often wild theories.
Among the theories which interested me Eintein's theory of relativity was
no doubt by far the most important. Three others were Marx's theory of
history, Freud's psychoanalysis, and Alfred Adler's so-called 'individual

"I found that those of my friends who were admirers of Marx, Freud, and
Adler were impressed by a number of points common to these theories and
especially by their apparent explanatory power. These theories appeared to
be able to explain practically everything that happened within the field to
which they referred. The study of any of them seemed to have the effect of
an intellectual conversion or revelation, opening your eyes to a new truth
hidden from those not yet initiated. Once your eyes were thus opened you
saw confirming instances everywhere: The world was full of verifications of
the theory. Whatever happened always confirmed it. Thus its truth appeared
manifest; and unbelievers were clearly people who did not want to see the
manifest truth, who refused to see it, either because it was against their
class interest, or because of the repressions which were still 'unanalysed'
and crying aloud for treatment.

"The most characteristic element in this situation seemed to me the
incessant stream of confirmations, of observations which 'verified' the
theories in question; and this point was constantly emphasized by their
adherents. A Marxist could not open a newspaper without finding on every
page confirming evidence for his interpretation of history, not only in the
news, but also in its presentation -- which revealed the class bias of the
paper -- and especially of course in what the paper did not say.

"These considerations led me in the winter of 1919-20 to conclusions which
I may now reformulate as follows.

"1. It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every
theory -- if we look for confirmations.

2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky
predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question,
we should have expected an event which was incompatibile with the theory --
and event which would have refuted the theory.

3. Every 'good' scientific theory is a prohibition: It forbids certain
things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.

4. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is
non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people
often think) but a vice.

5. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute
it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability:
Some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others;
they take, as it were, greater risks.

6. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a
genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a
serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory.

7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are stil
upheld by their admirers -- for example by introducing ad hoc some
auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way
that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it
rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at
least lowering, its scientific status. (I later described such a rescuing
operation as a conventionalist twist or a conventionalist strategem.)"

Exerpted from: Karl Popper, "Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of
Scientific Knowledge," 1963.

I find that the arguments Ernie has made in favor of the divinity of Jesus
are inherently unfalsifiable, and, furthermore, that Ernie is falling into
the trap of finding confirming evidence everywhere.

To demonstrate this, let me show how the exact same arguments can be used
to test an alternative hypothesis, namely, that Rohit is divine (blessed be
the holy Rohit).

> 1. He accepted worship
> In Jewish theology, no man or angel was ever to be worshipped. This
> frequently god them in trouble with foreign kings seeking grandeur.
> the Bible is full of people and angels turning down worship. Yet
> Jesus consistently accepted it - but conversely, he never demanded it,
> and for the first few years kept telling people to be quiet about his
> good deeds.
> Another odd feature along these lines is that he was extremely
> self-glorifying. All other religious role models - even in other
> traditions - point towards a message and downplay themselves. But
> Jesus consistently said, "I am what's important. Pay attention to me,
> not some external Way I am revealing. I am the Way."

Well, I just talked to Rohit this morning, and he quite easily accepted my
worship. I bowed to him a couple of times, said the mantra, "Rohit is the
almighty." Rohit replied, "You can know not me, I am the fork hiding in
the spoon, one must not look for the fork, but for the fork nature. I am
the fork, I am all forks, I am no forks."

> 2. He claimed pre-existence
> This probably the closest to a direct claim, because he also invokes
> the name of God. Jesus compares himself - favorably - to Abraham,
> and the crowds respond by saying, "Are you greater than our father
> Abraham?" Jesus responds with the classic, "Before Abraham was, I
> am." He wasn't being ungrammatical here. Those of you who've
> watched The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston know that God on Mt.
> Sinai said "I am who I am." (later copied by Popeye). From that "I
> am" we get the Jewish name for God, "YaHWeH," or "Jehovah" in Latin.
> By using the "I am" - especially in that context - he was definitely
> invoking their concept of God.

Rohit also makes the claim, "Before Adam was, I am. Above Adam, as now, as

> 3. He forgave sins
> Think about it. Basically, you can not forgive someone for
> something done to a third party. Jesus is basically saying that any
> sins you have committed - any wrong you've ever done - has been done
> against me, and therefore I have the authority to release you from
> punishment for them. As the leaders said, "Who can forgive sins but
> God alone?"

Well, Rohit's greatest act of forgiveness occurred when he forgave the
support drone who cycled a server, causing Rohit to lose an early magnum
opus on the future of the Web. What greater act of forgiveness is there?

> 4. He claimed equivalence with God
> This is part of the oft misunderstood phrase "God is my father."
> While the term means many things in different cultures (including our
> own), it was unambiguous to Jesus' contemporaries, "When they heard
> this, they prepared to stone him, for by claiming God as his father he
> was setting himself up as equal to God." Jesus did not respond by
> clarifying he meant something different, he escaped!

Actually, Rohit claims superiority to God.

"Nay, God is a figment of my imagination, for I have invented God, not the
other way around."

> ---
> The consistent acount of the records we have of Jesus are not that he
> was this humble man whose followers kept trying to push him as being
> more than he was (though they did try to make him more political).
> Rather, it was someone who arrogated a great deal of authority which
> was seen as blasphemous to religious people.

Rohit is certainly not a humble man.

> My claims is that Jesus presented himself as God in the most
> effective way he could. He could not take the direct route, for
> reasons Rob amply demonstrates. This left a certain amount of
> ambiguity which took a while to resolve, but the debate was
> essentially whether Jesus was fully God or some third category, not
> about him possibly being a normal man. The record leaves no room for
> that option.

I hereby assert that Rohit is not a normal man.

> I am not (here) trying to claim that Jesus was God. Rather, there
> are only four interpretations that are literarily possible. These are
> popularly known as "Legend, Liar, Lunatic, Lord."
> a) Legend - the whole thing is made up out of whole cloth

a) This entire post is based upon enhancements of the existing legendary
nature of Rohit

> b) Liar - Jesus was a big scam artist and faked people out

b) This post is a complete fraud

> c) Lunatic - Jesus invented the Messiah complex as psychoses

c) Rohit is completely mad

> d) Lord - He really was God
> (or at least some equivalent pre-existent being with authority
> over the human race)

d) Rohit really is God (or better than God)

> You can decide as you like, but I personally find the story of Jesus
> - and the person of Jesus - far too wise and compelling to be
> explained by "a-c". "When you have eliminated the impossible,
> whatever remains - however improbable - must be the truth."

You can decide as you like, but I personally find the story of Rohit -- and
the person of Rohit -- far too wise and compelling to be explained by
"a-c". "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains -
however improbable - must be the truth."

- Jim