“Spackle” is an American genericized word like Kleenex (tissue) and Band-Aid (adhesive bandage). Spackle is a filler used to repair cracks, fissures, holes and other defects in walls. And in my model below, Spackle is the supernatural the stuff used to fill your mind where your knowledge is lacking. My “Spackle God” is the same as the classic term “God of the Gaps“. I prefer “Spackle God” because it sounds cool and focuses on the cheap stuff that fills the gaps, instead of the gaps themselves.
Since de-converting from Christianity I have tried to make sense of both my former believing-self and now of Christians who still believe. The Spackle god image to the right is one I have used to make sense of what believers call “God”. In this model, the red figure stands for the god created by the cluster of supernatural explanations believers use to fill holes in their knowledge. Being a true skeptic, I have left some white space inside the “God” hexagon to represent a possible actual god.
Over the last centuries, the Spackle god has shrunk significantly and consequently the white-space “possible god” which it supports has likewise diminished. As scientists have discovered the mechanisms of lightening, floods, earthquakes, famines, and disease once attributed to god(s), “God” has gotten radically tinier. Evolution, Physics, Cognitive Science (to mention a few) have continued to shrink the Spackle god and replaced it with much more substantial material. The strip below illustrates what I think should happen as science and reason inevitably whittle down the Spackle god even further. The remaining “God” will be pathetic in size and destitute of explanatory power. But my model has a problem.
Below I show three versions of how I see believers reacting to science’s whittling away of the Spackle god.
- The Disillusioned Believer: Almost no significant god left. This god may only appear at severe times of trouble, perhaps as a desperate prayer, and even then the ex-believer probably chuckles at themselves.
- The Science-Resistant Believer: The anti-evolutionist, flat-earthist, anti-geologist, anti-historian. You can imagine see-no-evil, hear-no-evil monkeys as another image. The arrows are their efforts to resist and obstruct knowledge.
- The Science-Friendly Believer: These believers incorporate well-reasoned insights and discoveries for the most part and their “God” only shrinks a little. Science and reason play a large role in their epistemology.
But I have been puzzled by these science-friendly believers who admittedly see their Spackle god shrink yet their “God” hexagon stays relatively inflated. In this model, their “God” should contract. I have been pondering and blogging about that phenomena over the last year. I have wondered why their “God” does not collapse more without the support of the Spackle god. Finally I think I have a visual model that helps explain why all that white space does not collapse further in the science-friendly believer’s model. I will share that new model in my next post. This post has been an introduction. But before I post, what are your ideas?