Science vs Religion

Everybody’s a Christian
Editing Memories
Forbidden Knowledge
All Cycles Come to an End
  • PastorJCPulgarin

    People say christians call everythin they dont understand “the devil”. Truth is the devil wants you to think so you dont notice him operating in your life. BE FREE!!!!

    • Paul

      Because vegetables are better at knowing what’s going on in their lives?

    • UrsaMinor

      Unfortunately, that’s a hypothesis with absolutely no power to distinguish between the case where the devil exists and the case where the devil doesn’t exist.

    • Elemenope

      If Satan’s dread polio can be overcome with a simple vaccine, it still seems like the better bet to go with the vaccine, rather than the prayer. Or is the vaccine Satan’s work, too? I’m so confused. I guess I’m not free. But I am free of Polio! So, that’s something.

      • FO

        I’d say God has been clear.
        Stop fucking praying and use the vaccine.

        Unless you think that Satan made your children survive.
        Then you are batshit insane.

      • JohnMWhite

        The oral polio vaccine has been associated with a rise in polio in some areas, theoretically because it passes into the water supply through stool and winds up spreading through a community with poor sanitation and poor nutrition equating to poor immune systems in the first place. So even if it, on rare occasion, fails to do its job, at least it does something. It reacts and interacts with the physical world in some way. Unlike prayer, or this strange being that supposedly tries to temp people all the time. What exactly does he ever offer that isn’t already there, naturally, presumably created by god?

        “Truth is the devil wants you to think” – many a true word said in jest, though not so many true words spoken by what I am guessing is a typo. Still, it fits with the good guy Lucifer meme. Be free indeed.

    • trj

      The devil wants us to think? What does that say about Christians, then?

    • Bill

      How come the devil never shows up and offers people awesome stuff in exchange for their soul anymore?

      I’ll make you the greatest guitarest ever for your soul!

      You will be able to make the best Baked Alaska ever and all it will cost is your soul!

      You can be President for the price of one soul!

      • Elemenope

        I like how in Screwtape Prepares a Toast, C.S. Lewis tries a not half-bad attempt to rationalize this sudden modern absence. Basically, he makes the positively Nietzschean argument that souls which have suffered under the inanities of modernity are rendered so puny and trite that they are not worth, nor would they really respond, to individual attention.

        • UrsaMinor

          That sounds like an argument that Lewis would make. He made it abundantly clear in his Narnia series and Space trilogy just how much disdain he held for 20th-century civilization.

          • JohnMWhite

            He would have loved the 21st. Imagine him on twitter.

            Anyway, I understand you’re just summarising very briefly, Elemenope, but not being familiar with the story (isn’t it ‘Proposes a Toast’ though?[/pedantry]), all I have to go by is that summary and it strikes me as still remarkably weak yet also quite modern. It sounds absurd to say that somebody would not react to the individual attention of Satan offering them their heart’s desire for the cost of their soul, yet so often I hear Christians say of atheists, agnostics and those not really into their brand of belief “God is calling you, you’re just not listening!!”. Somehow they firmly believe that such people are not listening on purpose, ignoring the elephant in the room that is an infinite celestial deity screaming for their attention.

            • Elemenope

              You’re quite right about prepares/proposes. :)

              …all I have to go by is that summary…

              (PDF warning) The original publication. It’s quite short.

              …and it strikes me as still remarkably weak yet also quite modern.

              His point was less that people wouldn’t want their hearts’ desires filled, but rather that peoples’ deepest desires, generally, have become so petty that they are useless for turning people towards true and effective evil (or good). My Nietzsche comment is directed at the fact that his account of how people became, on the whole, more petty mirrors almost exactly Nietzsche’s similar argument (about contemporary German people, to be specific) in Twilight of the Idols.

              More effective, he argues, is perverting the ideas upon which petty people unreflectively base their lives (such as equality, freedom, democracy, and so forth), so as to cumulatively do more ill than any army of individual tempters could do. The conceit is that if you had limited resources, it would be far more worth it to control the ideas everyone is thinking in a subtle way than to manipulate individuals in a gross way. This is also of a kind with Lewis’s argument about bureaucracy being the true modern foundation of evil because it is dehumanizing in ways that even great individual evils couldn’t compare.

        • vasaroti

          I never got that. Wouldn’t spending your life walking behind a plowhorse or spinning be just as inane?

          • Elemenope

            I agree that his analysis generally fails comparatively (that is, there were always conditions that conspired to keep the great mass of people docile and their lives picayune). Where I think it succeeds is as a critique of the present conditions that arguably lead to the effects he identified.

            Bureaucracies more efficiently and more coldly destroy lives than the most rabid raubritter or feudal lord, and allow the petty to act with the terror of the great without holding any countervailing quality; naive democratic notions destroy not only actual democracy, but also the veneration of greatness itself that allows truly great people to thrive; pretending that people are equal in ability, and equating this equality with equality of worth, degrades notions of expertise and experience and replaces them with gut-feelings and airy pronouncements…and so on.

            I’m a modernist; I think that in most relevant ways the modern experiment was an improvement over prior systems. In point of fact, some of these areas of distinction are almost incalculably vast. I do think, though, that modernist thinking is basically blind to these sorts of critiques (and seeks to dismiss them out of hand) by resting on these laurels, rather than facing them. There have always been Hitlers, but it was the bureaucracy and “democracy” of modernity that permitted a singular insanity to beget genocide.

            • The Other Weirdo

              You make it sound like there were no genocides before Hitler. Hell, even the Bible recounts a few. You don’t need bureaucracy and democracy of modernity to engender genocide. You just need unaccountability, unreasoning hatred and a belief that those who oppose you are beneath you, that they are animals or worms or animals. Anything but human. I wonder if it was bureaucracy and democracy that caused Rwanda and Bosnia, other than in the sense that it failed to act in the case of one or failed to act soon enough in the case of the other.

            • Elemenope

              Bureaucracy is not a necessary element of genocide, of course, and that’s not what he or I am arguing. What I would argue (which is slightly different than Lewis’ argument, which rests on social effects) is that in order for a singular malevolence to become a genocide, there needs to be an amplifier of some sort. Something that provides the means and willing manpower to carry out the evil deeds.

              Technology is certainly capable of multiplying the capacities of a person. As is government or social or religious authority. I think that Lewis was substantially correct in pointing out that methods for managing the business of large organizations of people, namely bureaucracy, had the effect of depersonalizing the business of that government so much that even if the object of the business itself was horrific everyone involved would reject responsibility for the result, since their part was relatively insignificant.

              In the examples that generally exist of genocide prior to the modern age, almost universally they grew directly out of the prosecution of a total war or other conquest. Genocide as an extension of war, to my mind, is an entirely different phenomenon than genocide that arises endogenously in a society. In *those* cases, where in order to succeed, in essence, the genocidal maniac must convince people to participate in the execution of their own neighbors, the numbing effect that bureaucracy provides to the conscience is invaluable.

        • Bill

          That’s a new argument to me. Seems a bit double edged though. If souls are not worth individual attention, doesn’t the argument apply equally to god and satan?

          If so, why a need to be “saved?” There’s nothing to save.

          • Elemenope

            In the somewhat tongue-in-cheek metaphysics of Lewis’ story, the attitude of the two sides towards humans in general indicates the difference. To the devils, human souls are purely functional (and in fact, useful finally only for food), whereas to the other side, which professes love for them, humans have value beyond their utility. The devils stop individual temptations because the humans stopped being tasty enough to be worth the effort, but it doesn’t follow that the other side agrees with their valuation, and therefore the worthiness of effort.

    • Melody

      Are you a poe? If not, I’d advise some spelling and punctuation classes if you want anyone who’s intelligent to take you even remotely seriously.

      • kholdom0790

        Shoddy expression, shoddy thinking. Coincidence?

        • Elemenope

          Strongly but certainly not indissolubly correlated. I often think that many great minds lurk behind the curtain of ineffective communication.

          • Kodie


          • kholdom0790

            How true. My friend’s father comes to mind – a literal genius who can barely hold a conversation. Still, in this case I’d say the stereotype applies.

    • Baconsbud

      This is really an odd statement. If I think for myself it is the devil but if I allow others to do my thinking it is god? Do the people who are doing the thinking for me actually thinking? If they are doesn’t that mean they are of the devil? I have to say this seems like a no brainer to me. Only those who don’t think for themselves are the ones who do or allow evil to happen.

      • Elemenope

        Only those who don’t think for themselves are the ones who do or allow evil to happen.

        Nah. Evil can definitely be self-actualized, and a product of free-thinking. Some people do evil things just because they want to, and not because they were (mis)led to.

  • Chris Hately

    Feel I should point out here that Luke, an author of one of the gospels, was a medical doctor. Satan doesn’t create vaccines, or tell people to use them. The opposite’s true. People who wait for God to heal their kid, rather than use medicine, have no biblical basis for their thought. It’s idiotic, wishful thinking. If God created medicine, why would he not want us to use it in this fallen world? Just my two cents.

    • Elemenope

      Luke, the alleged medical doctor, was one at a time when being a doctor was not terribly threatening to the religious order because their success rate at treating illness was about that same as the guy who prayed.

      Notably, only medicine’s batting average got better.

    • Nox

      James 5:14-15
      14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
      15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

      It would appear that christians who wait for god to heal their kid, rather than use medicine are doing exactly what the bible tells them.

    • JK

      If God created medicine…

      Yet again someone attributing something ‘invented’ by human beings to a deity. Why do you have to have a god to be told what to do all the time?

    • Len

      If God created medicine, why would he not want us to use it in this fallen world?

      I think that a better question is: If God created medicine, then why did he wait so long?

      Why did he not create the cures we know today (and those that will come tomorrow) hundreds of years ago? Didn’t he know how things worked?

      Same questions for everything else that is attributed to God.

  • joe

    We are confronted with every point of view possible discovered and undescovered. Nature is here to sort them out generally and find agreement we can call reality. Nature has left it up to us to refine the process through theology, philosophy, science, art, and religion. Arguing about who started the ball rolling is a waste of time in a self perfecting ever expanding universe. Those who rely on religion only will fall behind, die early and die stupid. Combining as many perspectives as possible in our march through time is probrably the way to go. It makes it more interesting anyway.

  • James G

    The 3rd science picture is from “The Boy With the Striped Pyjamas” and all the children in the picture are the kids of senior ranking members of the Nazi party. So what the picture is really saying is that if you use science to try and heal people, you are as bad as Hitler.

    • Bill

      If you’re trying to somehow imply that those kids are homicidal maniacs, think again. Doesn’t matter where the picture is from or who their parents are. That picture is trying to genuinely depict the joy of a healthy youth. Just because someone’s parents are Nazis doesn’t make them evil. Especially not kids too young to know to contradict their parents ideology.

      • James G

        I knew I should have used the wink emoticon.

        • Noelle

          It’s too bad there’s no eye-roll emoticon.

          Sarcasm, Bill. Sarcasm.

          • James G

            Admittedly, the main character in the picture befriends a Jewish boy, showing that children can escape from the ideology of their parents, but I couldn’t make a Reductio ad Hitlerum joke out of that.

  • jordan

    If I’m interpreting the snarky graphic correctly, we should shift our naive idealism concerning religion to a naive idealism concerning science, correct?

    • Custador

      You’re not interpreting that (extremely simple) graphic correctly. Ask yourself who that reflects badly on before you continue to comment, there’s a good lad.

      • jordan

        magic science may have cooler parlor tricks than magic jesus but ur devotion to the former is just as fanatical and ill-founded as devotion to the latter <333

        • Bill

          I assume we won’t be hearing from you again, since it takes science to post ignorant shit on the internet.

        • Custador

          Sorry, just to clarify: Do you think that argument is in any way original? I mean, do you actually think I haven’t made at least a dozen ignorant theist leave this sit in humiliated defeat after I’ve dismantled that specific accusation with no effort on my part whatsoever? Because, just a hint: I have. You’re wrong. If you really want me to deconstruct your flawed thought process and show you how patently absurd your every word on this site has been so far, then I will. Or Jabster can say what I’d actually like to say, probably in far fewer words.

          But I’ll offer you a chance for redemption, because I’m only mostly a gaping asshole: Take the good fucking time and effort to find out what it is you’re arguing against, and stop arguing against your own personal version of what you think you’re arguing against (about which, if you hadn’t realised by now, you are laughably wrong).

        • Sunny Day

          magic science may have cooler parlor tricks than magic jesus but ur devotion to the former is just as fanatical and ill-founded as devotion to the latter <333

          This just goes to show you how stupid theists are.
          Magic Jesus is always cooler than Science.

          You’ve got parting of the Sea with just a few muttered words, turning people into pillars of salt, covering the entire earth with water in 40 days and nights, and squeezing the entire animal population of the world into a tiny Ark.

          Magic Jesus will always be cooler than pathetic science simply because its unfettered by the constraints of reality. So go ahead and hide in your magical fantasyland of make-believe, the real world will be here for you when your done playing.

        • Nox

          Some people can only view the world in terms of naive fanaticism.

    • Noelle

      insert yet-to-be-created eye-roll emoticon

      • James G

        In Japan, it’s (e_e). Admittedly, it’s not one of the better ones.

    • Brandon

      Care to explain what’s naive about a picture that essentially communicates the idea, “science improves people’s lives”? I’m guessing not, since your ideas seem to be predicated on vaguely postmodern bullshit.

      • Custador

        Yeah, using a computer connected to the internet in order to try to demean science to a medical professional – This is not the action of a person with above average cognitive capacities.

  • Galileo Unchained

    Nice! It’s hard to understand why Christianity still has such a hold on people when it doesn’t deliver on its promises.

    “Ask and ye shall receive,” the good book says…