Christian Science vs. Atheist Science: which has contributed most to the "greater good" of society?

I think this question pretty much explains itself.
 
I ask it though because of a conversation I had some weeks ago with a young lady coworker who was defending Christian Science as being one of the “greatest contributors to the social ‘good’ of society”. It has brought about a clearly more moral understanding of the world and has made our country “the lighthouse of elevated society”. I pointed out that had it not been for the scientific advances made in medicine, physics, sociology and countless other scientific disciplines that weren’t typically “Christian” endeavors, we probably wouldn’t be faring any better than your typical Taliban extremist currently living in war torn Afghanistan. I mentioned the contributions of Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman and Alan Turing, none of which were in any way “God-fearing or even believers in any faith. She said that Einstein Did in fact believe in God and that she didn’t know who the rest of them were except that their contributions couldn’t have been all that great and she doubted any of them made our society any more morally sound. “After all, what was the greatest thing they ever did, make the nuclear bomb?”

This opened up another discussion later on that same day in which I pointed out that the Bible doesn’t have all that great a track record on matters of morality and I proceeded to point out chapter and verse portions of the bible in which it describes it’s method of appropriate handling in matters such as: unruly children, people who wish to turn themselves away from god, treatment of slaves, punishments women should face for tempting Adam into eating the Apple. It was in a digital copy of the bible I had on my tablet and she promptly said it was all a fabrication. Later that week I brought in an actual bible but she didn’t want to see it.

In any case that conversation made me wonder just how well society would stack up if Christian society was left to rely on it’s own Christian Sciences, as opposed to Atheist and it’s Sciences. Would one side truly enjoy a better standard of living? Would one side have a better sense of social Morality, as well as a better sense of personal well-being? I've read Sam Harris’s book The Moral Landscape shortly after it’s publication and have little doubt that science can easily match and surpass that of any Christian Scientific understanding of the world. He doesn’t however get into too much detail on methods of implementation. But I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

PS. I'd also be interested in finding out which side you might think would be more eco-friendly to the Earth as a whole.

Tags: Ethics, Living, Morality, Science, Standards, Well-Being, of

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Atheist science without a doubt. As for eco-friendly I'd bet on atheist too.

Blunt Fact: Christian Science is NOT science.  It is a presumption, based on assertions in the bible which have neither evidence nor studies to support it and does not bear out in fact.  Medical science at least has a chance of getting the job done.  It may be a long distance from perfect, but it at least has a basis in test, verification, and replication.  Application of Christian Science will, virtually 100% of the time, result in the death of the patient.

Prayer is useless, worse than useless, because it lends the impression of doing something of value when it does NOTHING OF VALUE when that time could have been spent in substantive activity, like giving blood.  Christian Science is time WASTED.

Christian science vs. Atheist science? Which one of these has contributed more to the greater good of society? I'm dumbfounded. I'm trying to follow your blog but it seems you believe we have 2 systems of science in the world. How so? We have science and then we have christians thinking they have science, like in "creationism science." This last one is a complete fallacy. There is no science in creationism. Some minor scientists might be theists but generally astro-physicists and others who study our cosmos are not. It would be impossible for them to hold to a literal young earth view according to the bible and still be a scientist. Carl Sagan, Neal deGrass Tyson, Albert Einstein, etc. are not theists.

Next your friend claims that Einstein was a christian, (his Jewish ancestors might be shocked) and she goes right into "atheist science" and the makers of the atomic bomb without realizing that such bomb could never have been made without the mathematics of Einstein. I'm getting confused here again. What sort of christian science do we have that is opposing science? What exactly is "atheist science?" Why would anyone think we have 2 systems of science in our world and that one of them was religious?

I think there is more than a little confusion here.

Hello Michael,
No, I’m not saying “I” believe there are two systems of science, the person I was having the conversation with does. As you might very well know, Christianity loves to make endless divisions on all matters of minutia or inventing divisions where none previously existed. As for the ‘Einstein was a christian’, that’s not what she said, (nor was it what I wrote. sorry). And yes, I think Einstein’s ancestors indeed would be surprised at his posthumous conversion. lol

In any case, she was paraphrasing some of the references to “God not playing dice with the universe” and “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. I had to point out that in neither statement was he speaking of a “Christian” version of God but of a “Pantheistic” variety. I also had to point out that she was cherry-picking portions of something much larger and therefore wasn’t getting the entire context of what he was saying.

As for being confused about the differences in the “2 systems of science”, I think she's referring to  branches of science that were either developed or majorly investigated by people of science that happened to be christian or at least “of the faith” (like an Isaac Newton) as opposed to an atheist person of science (Richard Dawkins, Edward Witten, Ray Kurzweil, etc...)

And as for why ‘anyone would think there were 2 systems of science’, well, as I said, Christians do love to make endless divisions. Hairsplitting is a high art form with them. I’m pretty sure she was referring to “creationism science”, which I personally think ranks right up there with “flat earthers” and Scientology’s “E-meter”. I doubt creationism science could come up with a vaccine against tuberculosis, no less come up with vaccines for the more virulent strains of the disease that have evolved since the vaccine first came out. Heck, I don’t think creationism science could even come up with an explanation for how to brew a cup of coffee.

LMAO. Thanks for explaining that David. I came on the way I did with your posting because we have had a number of "theists in atheist clothing" around here, and I wasn't sure. Now it appears that you have set my mind at ease again.

I know you are not giving a complete list, however I am curious. Who are some of the great scientists who are/were also atheist? Some great scientists who are not theists: Brian CoxJerry CoyneJared DiamondSylvia A. EarleAlbert EllisSandra FaberRichard FeynmanSir Julian HuxleyIrène Joliot-CurieLawrence KraussDesmond MorrisPZ MyersJohn Forbes Nash, Jr.Paul Nurse, John Allen PaulosSteven PinkerCarolyn PorcoLisa RandallOliver SacksRobert SapolskyErwin SchrödingerAmartya Kumar SenVictor J. StengerAlan TuringJ. Craig VenterSteven WeinbergDavid Sloan Wilson.

This is but a tiny fraction of famous scientists who are atheists and these are the ones I read and have on Google Alert. These people have stories that will curl one's toenails and send shivers up and down one's spine. There are incidents every bit as enchanting as fairy tales and scriptures. 

Hmm... That’s a good one. I’m sure that if there was a complete list of non-theistic scientists it wouldn’t be “totally” complete, after all being branded an “atheist” in some universities isn’t exactly a lightweight title. I think wikipedia might even have most of the names you’ve put up there that are of the “scientific” variety. Here’s the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_science_and_techno...

I also find their stories to be quite fascinating.

Reading the old and new testament is like reading a training manual for creating dysfunctional individuals, families and societies. Sure, I could give chapter and verse; however, just about any page contains controlling, domineering, cruel, genocidal, self-righteous balderdash that maintains and perpetuates unhealthy relationships.

All of the Abrahamic faiths, judaism, christianity, and islam possess the key to dysfunction. If they were left to their own devices without interference from non-believers, our families, societies, nation and world would be far more ravaged than it is today.

Abrahamic faiths, based on commerce and the ancient tribal traders, empowered their people to plunder others who were different than themselves. Just read the old testament and see how the tribes that stood in the way of their occupation were destroyed, leaving only the virgin maidens to use as sex slaves. Read in the new testament how the christ instructed followers to follow him, abandoning families and responsibilities to the communities. He destroyed things that didn't belong to him, killing pigs, plants that didn't provide fruit when he wanted them, even though fruits were out of season. Read the quran and how they could exploit and manipulate others for their own benefit. The fact of the ways they treat women exists as a deplorable evidence of their irrationality.

If we had not had the Golden Age of Islam, with their emphasis on science and people of all stripes, jews, christian, muslim and non-believers sharing knowledge, all Europe would have sunk into the sewage of the Dark Ages. The destruction of the Golden Age of Islam was by Islamic factions destroying the islamic   progressive principles.

It was not religion or faith that brought us sanitation. Nor did it bring us medical advances. It did not discover the role of germs in conquering vast numbers of people who had no immunity from European diseases. Religions developed swords, used guns and bombs to reach their ends. Religion does not have clean hands when it comes to colonialism, especially the destruction of African peoples.  

Atheists cannot claim a superior moral code. Non-believers can be just as corrupt as believers. The only thing atheism stands for is the lack of belief in supernatural powers and energies. There is no god to create nor destroy. There is no heaven and hell. There are no prayers answered by god or miracles performed by people with superhuman powers. 

The claims of morality, principles, love, sacrifice, compassion, and love are merely words of gibberish claims.

How can people who believe god agreed there should be slaves have morals?

How can people who believe males should dominate women have principles?

How can people who believe the poor will always be with us when people who have power use it to exploit and manipulate others until the gap between rich and poor widens, claim they sacrifice?

How can people who take away the safety net from those they have impoverished claim they have compassion? 

How can people who claim GLBT somehow don't stand up to the equal of heterosexual have love?

There cannot be science where people have taboo areas in their lives. Science investigates everything, and xtians always want to keep religious subjects apart, so they have no science.

I read a book by a xtian writing about a xtian sect where everything went wrong; extortion, rape, cruelty, etc.  Author wanted to make a show of a thorough scientific investigation, but he couldn't cover up the fact that churches always make the believers into sheep ready to be fleeced. So he pointed the finger at the preacher instead of exposing the source of the systemic problem: religion. A very funny read! 

What is Christian science?  Do they come up with hypothesis based on experimental observations, do they develop a theory that has massive prediction powers?  Do they actually do any experiment with the backing of Jesus?  

There is only one type of science......that is, SCIENCE.  

SCIENCE: green revolution, eradication of diseases, medical revolution, technological revolution, increasing lifespan and improving general health, etc.

CHRISTIANITY: Dark ages (30 million slaughtered), some superficial charity work here and there, build more churches, spend billions on calling other faiths evil and converting others, creating divisions in families  and society, illtreating women, opposing science on so many levels, interfering with education, interfering with politics, encouraging wars on others etc.

 

There is some background to Christian Science you ought to know. Mary Baker Eddy suffered nervous illness and was treated by Phineas Quimby, a hypnotist who taught that all illness is the result of mental states. Mrs. Eddy took this to heart and searched the scriptures for verification, writing Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, starting a new church.

The theory on which she operated was that because of the sinful nature of humanity, we see evil and illness where none exists. The real world is inhabited only by people in perfect health. Faith is required to see through the veil of evil to the real world. There is no scientific content to her views other than the long acknowledged fact that some illness is psychosomatic.

There is not much theology either since in Christian Science God is not a person, but a principle—life, truth, and love. "All is Mind, there is no matter" is what Mrs. Eddy taught. Sin, sickness, and death exist only as erroneous beliefs with no reality. "Pain or pleasure in matter is an error of statement."

One of my high school friends was the son of a Christian Science practitioner. His father died of a debilitating disease that was never diagnosed but was likely muscular dystrophy. The father slowly lost all muscle control and finally died a miserable death without medical help. The son himself died a similar death leaving a wife and child in poverty. Christian Science is a cruel and stupid religion, it's not too much to say it's criminal.

Christian Science leads parents to neglect their children by not providing medical attention when it is needed. David and Ginger Twitchell allowed their two year old son to die painfully from a bowel obstruction that could have been relieved by surgery. They were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1990. Their defense of course was "religious freedom." Religious freedom does not allow you to commit crimes.

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/06/us/in-child-deaths-a-test-for-chr...

http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/twitchell.htm

My answer questioned David on this issue and he didn't mean christian science as in the religion "christian scientist." Your reply is good, but what he was refurring to was a friend who is a theist who believes we have "christian science and atheist science." Apparently his friend thinks that a "true scientist" is a believer.

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