Retired particle physicist and outspoken atheist Victor Stenger developed a rhetorically powerful aphorism against religion: “Science flies men to the moon, religion flies men into buildings.”

I think Stenger is being a bit too selective in what he chooses to highlight about science and religion, though.  Science has also been responsible for great moral atrocities, and religion has also been responsible for great moral goods.  To demonstrate how worthless this rhetoric is, I could just as easily develop an aphorism modeled on Stenger’s to make the opposite point: “Science builds atomic bombs to kill millions of people, religion builds hospitals to save billions of people.”

Advertisements