Corporate Sponsored Proofs for the Existence of God

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1. The Argument from Design

Imagine that you are walking in the woods when you trip over a rock. You kick the rock aside, thinking nothing of it.

Now suppose you are walking through the woods and you slip on a finely crafted timepiece. It is not damaged by your clumsiness. In fact, despite being exposed to the elements, to the attacks of animals, and the general effects of the passing of time, it is as reliable as ever. You pick it up and notice the elegant composition, the attractive features, and its aura of prestige. You open your mouth and sing the praises of the watch.

Ordinarily, you are self-conscious of your tone deafness, but right now it doesn’t matter. Only one thing matters: figuring out where this watch came from.

You look at it carefully. It is a Rolex. Precision. Craftsmanship. Timelessness. Reliability.

Now when you look at the universe what do you compare it with? A common rock or the timepiece worn by Eric Clapton? When the Rolex Corporation looks at the universe the answer is clear: just as elegant timepieces require Rolex, so the universe requires a Maker, who is most likely Swiss.

2. The Ontological Argument: A Proof from the Nature of Existence

Everyone has the idea of God. The idea of God is that of the greatest conceivable being.

In order to make progress on the question of God’s existence we have to ask a question often heard in the halls of Apple’s development labs. That question can be stated as, “Which is greater: What exists only in the mind or what exists in the mind and also outside of the mind?” Let’s take the

example of an operating system.

Let’s suppose a visionary named Steve has the idea of an operating system that is user-friendly and reliable. Is this the greatest conceivable operating system?

Philosophers have generally said no. The greatest conceivable operating system is the one that exists as an idea, and actually exists in the world, perhaps installed on an aesthetically pleasing PowerBook (even though it becomes much easier for competitors to steal your ideas).

Philosophers agree that we have the idea of God. The question philosophers debate is whether the being than which no greater can be conceived is a being which exists only as an idea in the mind (similar to our competitor’s best products), or as an idea which exists in our minds and the world (like Steve’s ideas and how they are actually manufactured and lining the walls of our Apple stores)?

That there could be any disagreement amongst philosophers on this point shocks us in the development lab, who take it as an obvious truth that something that is in the world is better than some fleeting idea that pops into your head after a few too many. Which is greater, we ask you: the company who thinks that MP3s are the future of personal music, or the company which thinks MP3s are the wave of the future and builds it and gets U2 to endorse it and offers the best warranty on the market for any personal MP3 player?

We answer, the company that builds — and did we mention sells — a sleek, affordable MP3 player.

Similarly, once we have the idea of God, we can ask which is greater: The God that exists in the minds of our visionary board members or the God who exists in the minds of our board members and exists in the world?

Answer correctly and you will be entered into a contest to win a free iPod shuffle!

3. The Argument from Morality

If God exists then not all things are permissible. As we examine our conscience we find that certain things are not permissible. For example, downloading illegal movies. You wouldn’t steal a heart from a little boy who needs a transplant. So why would you steal a movie? Besides you are not stealing from big corporations but the little guys. Guys like Tom who is crippled by Carpal Tunnel because he has to hand-carve the little tabs that hold your DVD inside the DVD case.

Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that you would watch an illegal copy.

Imagine yourself trying to enjoy that pirated copy of a movie knowing that the DVD case factory has shut down because no one is purchasing the movie.

You can see that it is only a matter of time before this once-vibrant metropolis becomes a ghost town.

Naturally, once the DVD case factory has shut down Tom’s employment as a subcontractor for DVD tab holders is eliminated. When you imagine unemployed Tom sitting in a pile of his DVD tab holders, do you think you have ruined his life? Maybe not. Perhaps Tom Jr. will comfort him. Assuming Tom Jr. feels up to it, which seems unlikely, as he knows that you were thinking of stealing the heart he so desperately needs.

This image of you as a career thief and murderer is offered just for the sake of argument. Of course you wouldn’t enjoy your murderous pirated movie, because you know some things are really wrong, even if you don’t get caught.

Yes, you have toed the edge of the rules that make civilization possible, but you can’t follow through. If you wouldn’t steal a movie from us or an organ from a kid, then not all things are permissible. If not all things are permissible then there must be a being even greater than the Anti-Piracy Trust that has given us these guidelines. This Being is the one referred to in any quality, copyrighted and copy-protected edition of the Ten Commandments as “God.”

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Appendix To My Curriculum Vitae

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Dear Committee on The Life Time Achievement Award:

Thank you for your recent rejection letter in response to my application for The Life Time Achievement Award. I sympathize with your feeling that I’m inadequate for the award. I, myself, have often had that feeling before recalling my various potentials. In order to initiate a reconsideration of my application, I have attached an appendix to my Curriculum Vitae, which you may place before or after the references as you see fit.

I look forward to meeting each of you at the award ceremony.

Sincerely,

Justin Kahn

Appendix One: Great Moments in History I Could Have Done

The Invention of the Wheel

When I look at a car I don’t think, “Hey, maybe that thing would go faster with square tires,” or “Sure that race car is fast, but what if it had triangular tires? Can I ask you that?” That is the kind of technical ingenuity that history expects from its greatest inventors. Plus, I have such a bad back that there is little surprise I would have been the one to invent something that would aid in the transporting of heavy loads.

According to archaeologists the first wheels were used over ten thousand years ago. Had I been born much earlier, I think there is good reason to believe that I could have come up with the idea for a wheel.

The Start of the Renaissance

Most people, they like boxes. Square, practical, clean, what have you. They use them. They store them. And they think inside them. Not me, though. I’m totally out of the box. I love getting people together and making something happen.

Further, I love the arts and am not really superstitious. If I had money, lived in Italy, and lived 600 years ago, I could have played a major role, if not the majorest role, in starting the renaissance.

The Discovery of America by the Vikings

A great discovery requires a combination of sweat, planning, and luck. Firstly, I am among the sweatiest guys you have ever seen. I’m the one with the messy brush of armpit hair on the basketball court, getting everybody else wet on the rebounds. I also get that atypical back sweat stain, just by walking down the street on a humid day.

Planning-wise, I can plan. I have a daybook and I’ve gone through it for the rest of the year, ticking off all my paydays. And, lastly, luck. Well, yesterday I found a crisp ten under my seat on the subway.

I’m clearly the kind of guy on whom such elements converge. Land ho!

The Discovery of America by Columbus

In 1492 Justin could have sailed the Ocean Blue. Had I done so, I think history would have found the outcome not unlike the one told about Columbus.

For example, I recently took a road trip to San Diego. Except I ended up in Little Rock. That is fairly typical of how I handle myself. The discovery of America could have been mine.

Photo Opportunity with Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt

I have frequently had my picture taken. To my mind, standing next to, or even between, these three gentlemen is completely in the realm of my capabilities. I would have combined excellent posture with a pleasant smile and twinkling eyes.

Being the First Man to Walk on the Moon

Admittedly, I couldn’t have been an astronaut, being near-sighted, asthmatic, and afraid of flying. No matter. I could have taken the first step. And I probably would have said something really memorable like, “While I as an individual am moving forward only very slowly and a rather small space when you look at the vastness of the universe, this represents a much greater movement forward for all of humanity.”

The Moonwalk

I could have been the one to unveil this to the world in a 1983 television special. As things stand, at the time I was only five. But use a little imagination. I could have been a couple of years older. Having executed the Moonwalk, just as my fans were going crazy, I would turn to the camera and say, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. He, heeeeee.”

Coining Nike’s Slogan, “Just Do It”

My own temperament is such that I tend to try and reduce the number of words to an absolute minimum so that what I have to say is to the point, memorable, and yet still forceful and, where possible, majestic. If I was born before Nike came up with their current motto, I almost certainly would have been the one to come up with this slogan.

Also, I could have easily designed Nike Trademark symbol, The Swoosh (although I would have called it the “Super Thick Checkmark”).

Composing “Crazy Frog”

Sometimes a song rises up out of your heart. In a maniac fit, you record it and share it with the world. All of posterity hails you as an innovator. That could have been my story. I could have written the ring tone “Crazy Frog Axel F” This is just a variation of the theme song to Beverley Hills Cop which is the first and only song I learned to play on the piano. For that reason it seems natural that this would have been the one I had written. Indeed, that is just another of the many impressive things I could have done.

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