If you’re an atheist, religion very much seems like a placebo pill, where just asserting that something works at least superficially becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for some folks.
In fact, as with actual placebo pills, a fair number of pain and anguish sufferers (those most susceptible to authority suggestion) actually do feel better— the “placebo effect” — even when the pills have zero medicinal ingredients.
To be sure, physicians and privately doubting clergy (whom I have learned are legion) “prescribe” the placebos of bogus medicine and unsubstantiated faith knowing full well they are misrepresenting their alleged curative or palliative realities.
Necessarily fact-free notions of religious dogma, as medicine-free placebo tablets, are self-delusory. That both tactics seem to work fine in reassuring and revitalizing a lot of people does nothing to confirm the truth, or not, in their fundamental assumptions.
So, when a friend of mine shared with me this charming cartoon, it carried the ring of truth, with the added benefit of illustrating that atheist humor is not necessarily mean-spirited. Constructive criticism need not be harsh, after all.Also, the cartoon appeals to my bias that puns are among the highest, not lowest, forms of humor.
(Cartoon/Courtesy Doug Curran/Facebook)