Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Lawn Mower Proof for the Existence of God

St. Thomas would be glad to know someone’s finally added a sixth classical proof for the existence of God. Apologists who strike out using the ontological, cosmological, moral, teleological and contingency arguments can now argue unbelievers into faith using the Ariens, Snapper, Lawn Boy and Honda proof for the existence of God. Here’s how.

1. After months of backbreaking work of removing rocks, leveling dirt, planting seed, watering and weeding, lawns grow like crazy. But then people undo their work by cutting down the grass that took months to cultivate. It serves no evolutionary advantage for Homo sapiens to find pleasure in this bizarre practice. Such folly can only be explained by our fallen nature. If there’s a fallen nature there’s got to be a God whose nature we’ve fallen short of.

2. Some lawn mowing persons (me for example) rarely mow the lawn in the same pattern. The joy of making creative mowing patterns is evidence of the aesthetic in us. Where did such a bent come from? Why do moose or llamas not graze in oddball patterns? Because, not being created in the image of a creative God, they take no pleasure in art.

3. I’ve heard stories of some (not me) who mow others’ lawns for free. Such altruism can only be explained by a divine desire in us to serve others without reward. Where does this selfless concern for others come from--the selfish gene? We think not.

4. If we found an abandoned lawn mower in a grassy field it’s unlikely we’d conclude that the fossil fuels and carbon pistons spontaneously materialized out of thin air. We’d conclude some irresponsible teenager simply got lazy and quit mowing. Further proof of our fallen nature.

5. Some lawn mowers come equipped with a mulching plate to be installed when not bagging. Failure to install this device results in jamming the self propel mechanism. Persons who fail to put that plate in place (I’m not naming any names) recognize they lack intelligent design. By negation we know what is by knowing what is not. Some (still unnamed) lawn mowing persons know intelligence exists because they know they lack it. Ergo, intelligent design does exist (just not in my back yard).

6. People see differences between pre-cut and post-cut lawns (especially around our place). The cognitive ability to recognize newly shorn lawns requires image retrieval, memory comparison, and conclusion making. If this is mere neurology, a function of random synaptic connections and electronic impulses—like telemarketing or laugh tracks--why trust it? Every time an atheist appreciates a newly mown lawn they’re demonstrating their God given ability to trust their senses.

7. Tracking grass into a recently swept kitchen triggers strong emotions in some (I am again naming no names). The hard work of sprucing up the yard is for naught all because of a couple of measly blades of grass? Okay, it was a couple of handfuls. Picky, picky. So how does the Swept Floor VS. Mown Lawn controversy prove the existence of God? If unaided natural selection dictated the survival of the fittest, we’d take grass on the kitchen floor in stride. But because the lawn mower wants to get along with the kitchen sweeper, intelligent adjustments must be made. Now please excuse me, I’ve got some sweeping up to do.

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