Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pat Robertson Meet Karl Popper

As if one could not have predicted this, Pat Robertson is declaring that the legalization of gay marriage in New will lead to the destruction of American culture:

“I think we need to remember the term sodomy came from a town known as Sodom and Sodom was destroyed by God Almighty and the thing that they practiced was homosexual activity and even they tried to rape angels who came down there, so that’s the kind of people they were,” Robertson said. God “sent an angel down there and He said to Lot and his family, ‘get out now because I’m gonna destroy this whole area.’”

“We’re heading that way as a nation. In history there’s never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived. There isn’t one single civilization that has survived that openly embraced homosexuality. So you say, ‘what’s going to happen to America?” Well if history is any guide, the same thing’s going to happen to us,’” he predicted.
Never mind true or false, is this meaningful? Karl Popper points out that for a sentence to be menaingful it needs to be falsifiable, that is, you need to be able to specify what observable states of affairs would count as falsifying instances. What would be Robertson's falsifiers? Suppose we're still here in 10 years, 25 years, 100 years, would that just mean that God hasn't gotten around to us yet?

And then there's the other direction -- no culture has survived that embraced homosexuality. Of course, no culture has survived that hasn't. All cultures change, fade away, and new ones take their place. Is 18th century American culture the same as our current culture?

I'm used to disagreeing with virtually everything Pat Robertson says, but this time I'm not sure if there is actually content there to disagree with.