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From: loren@sunlight.llnl.gov (Loren Petrich) Subject: Isaac Asimov on Christian Science Date: 14 Feb 90 04:11:34 GMT This is something that some of you people may find amusing -- Isaac Asimov's encounter with some Christian Science. In _Of Matters Great and Small_, Chapter 6, "Dance of the Luminaries", the intro, Asimov states that one thing that makes his job as professional explainer a bit easier is the fact that his audience at least _tries_ to understand him. He states that he would be hopelessly at sea if he had to face a hostile audience. And he launches into the following discussion of Christian Science, which I quote word for word: For instance, I will not conceal from you my lack of sympathy for the tenets of Christian Science. I'm sure that Christian Scientists are fine people and I would not for worlds interfere with their happiness, but I cannot make myself accept their denial of the phenomenal or material world. I don't believe that disease, to take an example, is not real and that it can be removed by faith or prayer [Yes, I know cures have been reported. Cures have been reported for every conceivable kind of treatment. But what's the over-all batting average?]. Consider then, that immediately across the street from the apartment house in which I live is a Christian Science church. And consider further that on Sunday mornings in the summer there is a steady menacing roar that I can hear even through closed windows. When I first became aware of this, I asked questions in alarm and was told that it was the fan of the large air conditioner used by the said church. Naturally, I laughed long and loud at the thought that the congregation should incorporate into the architectural structure of their house of worship a device that so thoroughly refuted everything they had. If the material world is not real and if the faithful Christian Scientist can by prayer eliminate disease, cannot a whole churchful of them pray away the sensation of heat? Do they need to bow to the material by installing an air conditioner? But I laughed also out of relief that I felt no impulse to go into the church and lecture them on this. Let it go! I would but get myself smashed into kindling if I tried. He continues with the rest of the essay, an explanation of eclipses. ^ Loren Petrich, the Master Blaster \ ^ / loren@moonzappa.llnl.gov \ ^ / One may need to route through any of: \^/ sunlight.llnl.gov <<<<<<<<+>>>>>>>> lll-lcc.llnl.gov /v\ lll-crg.llnl.gov / v \ star.stanford.edu / v \ v "Crucifixes are sexy because there's a naked man on them" -- Madonna

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