Monday, 22 March 2010

Spring has sprung

English translation follows the German text.

Hallo. Regelmäßige Leser des Massive Blogs werden schon wissen, dass ein Montag der Anfang einer Woche ist. Und wenn sie in letzter Zeit aufmerksam gewesen sind, werden sie auch bemerkt haben, dass heute genau ein solcher Montag ist. Was ihnen aber vorbeigegangen sein wird, wenn sie ihr Wissen ausschließlich aus dem Massive Blog genommen haben, ist die Tatsache, dass heute nicht nur Montag ist, sondern auch der erste Frühlingstag. Ich habe neulich etwas recherchiert und herausgefunden, dass der 21.03. nicht immer der eigentliche, also der astronomische erste Frühlingstag ist. Manchmal fällt dieser am zwei- oder dreiundzwanzigsten. Die Kirche aber, wenn sie ausrechnen möchte, wann Ostern kommt, (was für Kirchenleute schon ganz wichtig ist, denn sie dürfen ja am Ostersonntag wieder Pfannkuchen essen) nimmt immer den 21.03. als quasi Frühlingsanfang und dann sucht den ersten Vollmond danach und dann den ersten Sonntag danach. Oder sowas. Obowhl die auch angeblich nicht den ersten richtigen vollen Vollmond nehmen, sondern den quasi Vollmond, der auch nach einem Kalender und nicht nach dem Mond gerechnet wird. Das ist alles ja sehr gut, finde ich. Der christlichen Kirche wird manchmal vorgeworfen, dass sie den Sohn Gottes feiert an dem Tag, wenn traditionell die Heiden die Sonne feirten (Sohn/ Und dass sie hier Ostern feiert, wenn die guten Heiden sowieso den ersten Vollmond nach dem Frühlingsanfang feierten. (Ostern/Frü sicher was dran, oder?) Aber nein - das tun die nicht - die Kirche hat sich dem Zyklus der Planeten (und der Sonne und des Monds) entzogen und feiert seine Feiertage an völlig (najut ein bisschen) anderen Tagen. Unabhängigkeit! Selbstbestimmung! Ist es nicht schön? Also wenn es einen Jupiter und einen Mars (also nicht die Schokoriegel oder die Planeten jetzt - ich meine die Götter) tatsächlich gegeben hätte, hätten die sich bestimmt richtig angepöbelt gefühlt, wenn sie zusehen gemüsst hätten, wie die Erdmenschen den Feiertag manchmal um einen Tag oder sogar zwei verschoben. Um Teutates' Willen! Und das Blöde ist: man muss die doofen Menschen einfach tolerieren - man kann nix dagegen machen. Als nicht existierender Gott ist man ja total omniimpotent.

Hello. Regular readers of the Massive Blog will already know that a Monday is the start of a week. And if they have been attentive in recent weeks thatn they will also have noticed that today is just such a Monday. What will have passed them by however, if they have taken their knowledge exclusively from the Massive Blog, is the fact that today is not only a Monday, but also the first day of Spring. I recently did a bit of research and found out that the 21st March isn't always the actual, I mean the astronomical first day of Spring. Sometimes this falls on the twenty second or third. The church however, when it wants to work out when Easter is, (which is pretty important for church people, because on Easter Sunday they're allowed to eat pancakes again) always takes the 21.03. as the basic first day of Spring and then looks for the first full moon afterwards and then the first Sunday after that. Or something. Although they apparently don't actually take the first proper full moon either, but rather the pseudo full moon, which is worked out according to a calendar rather than according to the moon. This is all very good, I think. The Christian Church is sometimes accused of celebrating the Son of God on the day when traditionally the pagans would celebrate the sun (son/sun..see?). And that they celebrate Easter when the good old pagans would be celebrating the first full moon after the first day of Spring anyway. (Easter/first day of definitely something in this, ain't there?) But no - they don't do that - the church has managed to remove itself from the cycle of the planets (and the sun and the moon) and celebrates its special days on completely (well a bit) different days. Independence! Self-determination! Is that not a beautiful thing? So if there had actually been a Jupiter and a Mars (I don't mean the choclate bars or the planets here - I mean the gods), then they would have certainly felt pretty provoked if they would have had to sit and watch how the earth people sometimes moved their holiday by one or two days. By Toutatis! And the absurd thing is: you have to just tolerate the silly people - you can't do anything about it. As a non-existent god one is of course totally omniimpotent.

1 comment:

  1. I have to take issue with your claim that a non-existent God would be omniimpotent. The matter remains one of live debate. It has long been an argument for the existence of God that if he didn't exist then being all-powerful he would create himself. This appears to be defended by Rene Descartes in the correspondence following his Meditations, and arguments along similar lines are either explicit or implicit in the work of various authors well into the 20th century at least.

    The orthodoxy in Anglo-Saxon philosophy is currently that the idea of a non-existent thing is incoherent, so omniimpotence could not be ascribed to one, but nor could omnipotence. However, a group of mavericks who tend to get referred to as Neo-Meinongians (after the Austrian maverick Alexius Meinong) think that the idea of a non-existent thing is coherent, and they are divided over whether non-existence entails omniimpotence. A Humean priciple of no-necessary-connections suggests that the burden of proof is on those who would say that potence or anything else was reserved to the existent, however, this liberality raises difficulties due to the apparent soundness of the "he'd create himself" argument, and also the potential failure of Descartes's "I think therefore I am", since he needs to eliminate the possibility that he is a non-existent thinking thing.

    These last two points were raised by Anthony Kenny in his 1969 study of Descartes, though my understanding is that in those days Meinong was something of a figure of fun and the worry was meant to be moot. The implication for the Cogito at least is nevertheless taken up seriously by Terence Parsons in his 1980 defence of Neo-Meinongianism.