Department of Silly Inquiries
John Horgan has a question – does religion do more harm than good?
Leaving aside the impossibility of quantifying the benefits and downsides of faith in any systematic fashion – what metric, one wonders, does Horgan think we should use? – I’m struck by the fact that no one thinks to ask this sort of question about anything but organized religion.
Instead of ritually bashing the church, why isn’t Horgan interested in, say, questioning the benefits of modern science? After enduring two world wars and a half-century on the brink of nuclear annihilation, are we all confident that modern technology and innovation are unambiguously beneficial? Obviously, this question is equally absurd – The green revolution versus Hiroshima? Napalm versus modern medicine? – but it’s striking that Horgan and his ilk are only interested in lobbing dumb hypotheticals at religious believers.