Quote of the Day: Anthrotheist on Black Cats and Theology

Quote of the Day: Anthrotheist on Black Cats and Theology February 6, 2019

There was an amusing thread of suggestions to add to the anonymous quote I posted the other day:

“Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.

Metaphysics is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there.

Theology is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there, and shouting “I found it!”

Science is like being in a dark room looking for a black cat while using a flashlight.”
― Anonymous

Anthrotheist added:

I know I enjoy overthinking things, so here I go again. My interpretation of the analogy:

“Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.”
So philosophy is the practice of learning to utilize as many of your faculties as you can to solve a problem (e.g., using touch, hearing, and scent to find the cat).

“Metaphysics is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there.”
Which may just be pointless wool-gathering, but can also produce thought experiments that are at least a bit of fun, and at its best can sharpen one’s abilities and quite possibly uncover something that nobody knew was there and never thought to look for. It is only a waste of time for your mind in the way that going to the gym is a waste of time for your body.

“Theology is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there, and shouting “I found it!””
I.E.: What happens when people disparage metaphysics but aren’t satisfied with not having even the thought experiments that it produces (also, I might amend this one slightly: “Theology is like making up lots of reasons why hundreds of people should spend much of their time searching a dark room for a black cat that isn’t there, all so that you can be comfortable and tell them how and when to do it.”).

“Science is like being in a dark room looking for a black cat while using a flashlight.”
While there can be no doubt that this is by far the most effective way to find the cat, the fact can’t be ignored that it maximizes one sense/method without any regard for all others. It will never help someone find an odor, or a noise behind the wall, especially when the visible causes for those things are either gone forever or are actively avoiding the observer. Incredibly powerful in effect, extremely limited in scope.

Nice.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment