The black cat analogy

The black cat analogy


26 thoughts on “The black cat analogy

  1. Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths. Instead of “Theology” it should be “Religion”…

    • I agree, and on a word and meaning level the whole thing should be rewritten, but I also think that the format suits the fun intended, and it’s underlying suggestion comes across just fine.

  2. religious truths: that made me giggle like a little girl, not that there’s anything wrong with that

  3. Theology and religion are both appropriate here because they share the defining characteristic which is that they both agree on the existence of “religious truths.”
    That’s where the nonsense comes in.

  4. Theology is generally apologetics, trying to make religion sound intelligent and rational. Philosophy of religion, sociology of religion, psychology of religion, etc. are trying to understand the nature of religion and its impact on people. A theologian says “let us explain how god is three people in one” a philosopher of religion says “does the idea of god as three people in one make sense” the sociologists says “how does the idea of god as three people in one affect the way the religion is built” the psychologists says “how does one come to believe that god is three people in one and how does this affect their actions”.
    Theologians accept the idea that religious truths are true, and hence why they are not philosophers (who question everything).

  5. Unfortunately, sometimes science is like looking for a black cat under a lamppost at night – because this is the only place you can see – while knowing that the cat is, in fact, elsewhere:-)

    • Hey yeah! The lamppost analogy works great here. The lamppost would represent the purview of scientific knowledge–we could only seek to discover something that fell within that light, but with each thing we discover, that light expands, until eventually we find that goddamn black cat and unite quantum physics with relative physics and everyone can sleep soundly!

  6. The flashlight part sort of over-does it a little. Perhaps a candle that grows stronger?

  7. Religion is finding the bones of a dog and proclaiming loudly that it is a cat and then crying and attacking anyone who questions your judgement.

  8. Thank you – interesting to know (despite the different conclusion). For those wondering, this is Mencken’s original: “A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there. A theologian is the man who finds it.” ~ H. L. Mencken

  9. I own two black cats and it’s not that difficult to find them in a dark room as they will do their best to trip you over.

  10. Philosophy is like wondering why you’re in a dark room looking for a black cat

  11. this is a very poor analogy…it assumes that philosophers, metaphysician, theologians, and scientists are all in the same situation looking for the same thing. this is not the case

    • Thank you! I was thinking the same thing, despite the fact that the religious/theologian example is still applicable because they are always claiming they are finding truth and answers when, in fact, they’re as in the dark as the rest of us.

  12. i think the problem really lies in the fact that everyone is looking for something and no one ever takes the time to just marvel in the wonder of what has already been found… black cat or not the world is amazing. it really doesnt matter who is right. no one really wins this argeument. 2000 years ago there wouldnt be a dark room everyone would have came together, despite the differences in what they believe or are looking for, and found a way to light that goddamned room for the sake of the people within it.

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