0836: "Sickness"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Magistrates, Prelates, Moderators General

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby JustDoug » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:05 am UTC

SerialTroll wrote:Just remember that science also says that you are nothing more than a vat of chemicals and that there is no ultimate purpose to your life. Also remember that science says that there is no such thing as free will that your actions are a combination of your environment and your genetic programming.

While science has been wonderfully beneficial to us as a species, I think a world run by scientists would be as scary as the (Western) world when it was run by the Catholic church.


No it doesn't. I just strongly suggests that as an interpretation of the data collected thus far.

And it still works, bitches.
JustDoug
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:35 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby kasmeneo » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:13 am UTC

ZephyrDark wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:IMO this is a textbook example of a comic that's exactly one word too long.


I don't know if you get it, but its a reference to this: http://xkcd.com/54/


Maybe it's my cultural background or just personal dumbness, but I never got that one either.
Or more precise: the "bitches" part of it. Who does that refer to? Who doubts that science works?
kasmeneo
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:07 am UTC
Location: 50° 6′ 26″ N, 8° 39′ 52″ E

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby gangle » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:27 am UTC

kasmeneo wrote:
ZephyrDark wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:IMO this is a textbook example of a comic that's exactly one word too long.


I don't know if you get it, but its a reference to this: http://xkcd.com/54/


Maybe it's my cultural background or just personal dumbness, but I never got that one either.
Or more precise: the "bitches" part of it. Who does that refer to? Who doubts that science works?

Far, far too many people. That's about all I can say.
gangle
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:18 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby _bla_ » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:59 am UTC

DakkonA wrote:I'm not sure what's so scary about a world run by scientists, especially compared to a world run by politicians?

I think in this context "run by" implies some sort of totalitarian regime. Which is scary, no matter who runs it. Note that he said "a world run by scientists" not "a world run by science". Being a scientist doesn't automatically turn whatever you are doing into science.
Also note that to "run the world" you need to decide on a huge number of things, where science doesn't really provide answers. Science describes the world, but it doesn't provide values. It can predict the results of actions, but can't tell you if these results are good or bad.
_bla_
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:34 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:05 am UTC

kasmeneo wrote:Maybe it's my cultural background or just personal dumbness, but I never got that one either.
Or more precise: the "bitches" part of it. Who does that refer to? Who doubts that science works?

This is for emphasis, bitches! (Warning: TVTropes will eat your soul).
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)
User avatar
Pfhorrest
 
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Age of Fable » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:12 am UTC

ZephyrDark wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:IMO this is a textbook example of a comic that's exactly one word too long.


I don't know if you get it, but its a reference to this: http://xkcd.com/54/



I didn't, but you can't justify one part of the Bible by referring to another, so... :lol:

Anyway, if the comic refers to a real person being sick, hope they're OK.
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city and the islands around.
Age of Fable
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:30 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby gangle » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:18 am UTC

Age of Fable wrote:
ZephyrDark wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:IMO this is a textbook example of a comic that's exactly one word too long.


I don't know if you get it, but its a reference to this: http://xkcd.com/54/



I didn't, but you can't justify one part of the Bible by referring to another, so... :lol:

Anyway, if the comic refers to a real person being sick, hope they're OK.

Do people justify bible passages? Most of the time it seems they're treated as their own justification... When I ask any of my religious officials about passages that don't make sense I just get the "God works in mysterious ways" shtick.
gangle
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:18 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby kasmeneo » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:32 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
kasmeneo wrote:Maybe it's my cultural background or just personal dumbness, but I never got that one either.
Or more precise: the "bitches" part of it. Who does that refer to? Who doubts that science works?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThisIsForEmphasisBitch

Thanks a bundle, bitch. 8)
It's cooler up here.
kasmeneo
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:07 am UTC
Location: 50° 6′ 26″ N, 8° 39′ 52″ E

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby nyth » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:48 am UTC

Amazing "comic".

Just amazing. The world is a better place now that someone has synthesized all those religion vs science discussions into one all-enveloping comic.
nyth
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:00 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Age of Fable » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:52 am UTC

gangle wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:
ZephyrDark wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:IMO this is a textbook example of a comic that's exactly one word too long.


I don't know if you get it, but its a reference to this: http://xkcd.com/54/



I didn't, but you can't justify one part of the Bible by referring to another, so... :lol:

Anyway, if the comic refers to a real person being sick, hope they're OK.

Do people justify bible passages? Most of the time it seems they're treated as their own justification... When I ask any of my religious officials about passages that don't make sense I just get the "God works in mysterious ways" shtick.


There is a tradition of justifying the Bible on the grounds that the prophecies in the Old Testament came true in the New Testament.
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city and the islands around.
Age of Fable
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:30 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby gangle » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:40 am UTC

Age of Fable wrote:
gangle wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:
ZephyrDark wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:IMO this is a textbook example of a comic that's exactly one word too long.


I don't know if you get it, but its a reference to this: http://xkcd.com/54/



I didn't, but you can't justify one part of the Bible by referring to another, so... :lol:

Anyway, if the comic refers to a real person being sick, hope they're OK.

Do people justify bible passages? Most of the time it seems they're treated as their own justification... When I ask any of my religious officials about passages that don't make sense I just get the "God works in mysterious ways" shtick.


There is a tradition of justifying the Bible on the grounds that the prophecies in the Old Testament came true in the New Testament.

Lol. Totally didn't catch the joke. Thanks for helping me out there.
gangle
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:18 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Softfoot » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:50 am UTC

gangle wrote:Do people justify bible passages? Most of the time it seems they're treated as their own justification... When I ask any of my religious officials about passages that don't make sense I just get the "God works in mysterious ways" shtick.

You're asking the wrong officials. It's way more fun to ask actual theologians. They don't have the automatic expectation that you're asking because of doubt, but assume you actually want an answer based on study.
Softfoot
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:11 am UTC
Location: Regional South Australia

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Nyerguds » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:10 pm UTC

SerialTroll wrote:Just remember that science also says that you are nothing more than a vat of chemicals and that there is no ultimate purpose to your life. Also remember that science says that there is no such thing as free will that your actions are a combination of your environment and your genetic programming.

I dunno. Technically our ultimate purpose is to propagate our genes, and as for free will, the amazing random number generator that is our brain MAKES it more. It's pretty obvious we react to our environment, but the choices are still our own. Otherwise you'd be excusing away all crimes in the world as "combination of environment and genetic programming". That's nonsense.

Short version... yes, we DO have a choice. Even if on some insane nonexistent level it could be calculated in advance. Because just gathering the data for that calculation would change it :P
User avatar
Nyerguds
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:43 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby philip1201 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:15 pm UTC

SerialTroll wrote:Just remember that science also says that you are nothing more than a vat of chemicals and that there is no ultimate purpose to your life.


Remember that we experience all things relative to ourselves. Therefore, if we people, we people who are so valuable and so awesome, are "nothing more than a vat of chemicals", then that simply means "vats of chemicals" are capable of being awesome. It doesn't reduce us, it just shows that humanity isn't by default special. You wrongly attribute human awesomeness to souls, and therefore come to the conclusion that life without souls is not awesome. But the fact is, humanity is awesome - whether we have souls or not. Therefore the fact that we do not have souls does not reduce our awesomeness, for that is a given, proven by our actions.

SerialTroll wrote:Also remember that science says that there is no such thing as free will that your actions are a combination of your environment and your genetic programming.

It says no such thing. All it says is that free will is something caused by the physical brain, which in turn is effected by these things. But like before, we know how we experience things. We experience our free will just as much as we experience our awesomeness. Therefore, free will exists. No matter what caused it. I also fail to understand how "souls" would grant free will, since those are simple Tabulae Rasae, formed just as much by their interaction of reality as the brain itself (or, if you believe that, formed by a higher power - but most certainly not by themselves).

SerialTroll wrote:While science has been wonderfully beneficial to us as a species, I think a world run by scientists would be as scary as the (Western) world when it was run by the Catholic church.

As scary to you, maybe, but I don't think you can rationally justify that statement. (A world where the leaders are avid seekers of the actual truth (it works, bitches), who will change their beliefs whenever they are show to be unlikely, versus a world where the leaders have a rigid dogma, for which the punishment for disobeying or showing the inconsistencies in it is death. Which sounds more scary to you? (hint: it's the one that has the death penalty on disagreeing))
philip1201
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Nyerguds » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:18 pm UTC

You know, maybe it's not worth our time to reply to someone who registered here as "SerialTroll" just to post that.

Ah well. He generated some interesting responses though.
User avatar
Nyerguds
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:43 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby wiserd911 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:26 pm UTC

Science is a wonderful, powerful tool for understanding material causation. But try conducting an experiment in the middle of the Rwandan genocide or North Korea. It's worth remembering the social harmony that makes scientific endeavors possible and which ultimately makes life worth living.

Love; it works, brothers.
wiserd911
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby MrCode » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:05 pm UTC

I hate to "feed the troll" but I get so fscking depressed over the whole free will thing...I even started a thread in Dear SB about it. :(

As for free will, all science says is that a will that is somehow separable from the universe doesn't exist. But is that a great loss?

For me, yes. Keep reading...

How many times would you ever do something that wasn't informed by your past experiences in some way?

Apparently never.

And if you did do something out of character, there was probably something that caused you to make that decision.

There is no escape! Mwahahaha!

We have "free will" in the sense that we can't be forced to do something we don't want to do by another person's mind alone, and that the decision making process is so complex in any given person that a random person couldn't fully predict what you would decide before you decide it.

Not good enough; just the fact that my actions are theoretically predictable is enough to scare the ever-loving sh*t out of me. Not only that it renders all my actions completely meaningless (see below).

It's pretty obvious we react to our environment, but the choices are still our own. Otherwise you'd be excusing away all crimes in the world as "combination of environment and genetic programming".

Exactly this. And not only would you be excusing away all crimes, you'd be dismissing all successes, too.

Anyways, that's all I really wanted to say here (oh wait, I didn't "want" it, it was predetermined! :roll:). I rarely ever post here, but that little snicker about the whole free will problem was enough to piss me off...
MrCode
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:05 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby wright2john » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

Well, first let me say that religion and science are not incompatible; at work (medical) I work primarily with science. Yes it works (although I am not a bitch, thank you) however for most at a level much less than .05! That said, over the years I, and many others, have come to see things from multiple perspectives. Neither science nor 'religion' captures all of 'that which is.

Yes, science works. It has given us powerful weapons. I hope that we can all agree that, while in this case the weapon was a valuable tool for humanity that the same cannot be said for all of the tools/weapons we have developed. Nerve gas with the sole purpose of killing may be a case in point.

We must reflect upon what we fund and what we do with what we know. Science cannot answer these questions.

If scientists dismiss the 'spiritual' and visa versa only further suffering will result.

I am so happy that your relative is not sick. Happy is not science.

Peace

John
wright2john
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:22 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Mapar » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

(oh wait, I didn't "want" it, it was predetermined! :roll:)


Not really. Its probability was predetermined.

EDIT:
By the way, 'X is scary and counter-intuitive' is not the same as 'X is false'.
Hi.
Mapar
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:26 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby SadinaSaphrite » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

Oh dear. No one has quite turned to arguing over a possibly (or not) controversial strip, but the Pot of Contention is being stirred by two or three of the posts I've read, and I would hate to see this turn into a heated argument. I really don't think Randall was taking a bash at religion here so much as he was stating his trust in science.

And I'd like to take this moment to remind people that, despite stereotypes, it is perfectly acceptable to be both religious and scientific.



Also, it's Christmas. Be kind to each other.
I put the fun back in dysfunctional and the romance back in necromancer!
User avatar
SadinaSaphrite
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:34 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Tass » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:55 pm UTC

Max2009 wrote:I'm just glad that Randall's relative is doing better.
Also, "answers beyond science" could mean magic. It doesn't have to be religion.


There's a difference?
User avatar
Tass
 
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:21 pm UTC
Location: Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen.

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby marsman57 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:12 pm UTC

Anyone who thinks this isn't about religion is deluding themselves. I could see the faith healing/alternative medicine interpretation if not for the whole "begrudge nobody their sources of solace" portion. I also feel that that very same sentence is just inserted to help stave off the flood of hate mail, but is really just instead saying "I'll smile and pat you on the head and maybe you won't realize I'm just saying that I think your entire worldview is nothing more than a primitive comfort object". To rephrase, even if he tries to skirt a direct attack on those who are believers, he still dismisses religion as nothing but something for comfort.

Disregarding all that, the comic is not really cohesive. White hat guy asks if being sick has opened the main-stick-guy to looking for answer besides science. His initial answer is "umm, no". The second panel starts by saying that he does not begrudge those who believe... this still makes sense in the context of the question asked, but then it takes a turn for the weird. "But Science provides tools... and arrows of our own" makes it sound like Randy thinks that Faith and Science are mutually exclusive. That is completely silly. Also, he continues ranting about how awesome science is because 'it works'. How is that answering the initial question that was asked? White hat guy never seemed to doubt it. Also, the last line is obviously pandering to the base, but beyond that it is just a silly breaking of the fourth wall. He is only talking to one guy who never doubted science before, so he must be talking to us, or well... I suppose main-stick-guy could be an xkcd-reader who "sperged out" and quoted an old xkcd strip to clinch his argument. I could definitely see a lot of you forum posters clenching your fist and shouting that out as your voice cracks just a little.

I also don't think Randall knows what ineffable means. I think he is trying to say that scientists did/do not accept reality as mysterious and unexplainable, but ineffability specifically concerns things that be expressed in WORDS ('words' being the most important word here). I think "people who refused to think of reality as inexplicable" would be more on target. Feel free to call me out on this one and describe how ineffable works though.
marsman57
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:40 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Vehemence » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

Tass wrote:
Max2009 wrote:I'm just glad that Randall's relative is doing better.
Also, "answers beyond science" could mean magic. It doesn't have to be religion.


There's a difference?

Beat me to it.
Vehemence
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:54 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby pyat77 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:23 pm UTC

squareroot wrote:
nash1429 wrote:
LordDragonfang wrote:Also, is that supposed to be the black hat guy's counterfoil, "white hat guy", or just some generic religious dude?


Interesting... Have we seen white hat guy before?


He appeared in http://xkcd.com/796/

Cite_note-1: Google for "xkcd white hat guy".


The first thing I thought when I read this comic was, "Whoa! White hat guy?!?!?"
But using this and the previous comic, he doesn't really seem to have any correlation to black hat guy. In fact, I can't see any real personality in him, apart from being a generally thoughtful person (and in a lot of these comics, who isn't?) So, right now I think he's just a generic...
I really think it would be cool for there to be a character foil to black hat guy.
pyat77
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:13 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:24 pm UTC

My mother suffered a domestic accident two weeks ago. It could have been way, way worse, since she didn't hit her head or break any bones, but it left an haematoma right between her ribs and her lung. After going to the hospital and been prescribed some medications, she got home and spent one of the most terrible evenings of her life. She is a strong and very resistant woman, yet she couldn't bear the pain. While we were waiting for the medicine to take place, she struggled to find a position on the bed; and without anything left to do, she asked my sister to hand her the Bible, and he grasped it against her chest.

It wasn't really the moment to try to rationalise the situation, but what else can a person do when all else fails? My mother is strongly religious, and even though I received a religious education in my youth, I ended up an agnostic. But if her faith and her believe have an effect on her, why should anyone deny it? Could there be an "answer beyond science" in her desperate act? Or maybe could science explain it? All I know is that, in moments like that, it's stupid to deny any kind of help. My father, when he was in the hospital, received a lot of comfort from religious people who visited hospitals, and he was much less religious than my mother. Yet, it had a positive effect on him. Who knows? Maybe the person who is actually experiencing such hardships develops a different view on it, while the people who are watching from a safe distance find it easier to keep a stubborn attitude and grasp to their pride and their concepts.

Therefore, Randall, fuck you. Fuck your metaphorical, "scientific" ass. You think now is the appropriate time to rehash one of your first and best comics ever with that idiotic "context" of a family illness, and you don't realise that all that wordiness and that ATROCIOUS writing replaces the masterful simplicity of the original comic? And do you seriously think that adding "bitches" to anything adds actual effect? You are an idiot, Randall. You are (at least technically) an artist, yet you fill your lungs to boast your lack of belief in "answers beyond science", without realising that art itself is a form of "answer beyond science"? You ignore the fact that human beings are extremely complex and it's almost impossible for them to follow one exclusive line of thought without branching off into other possibilities, and the fact that MANY SCIENTISTS ACTUALLY HAVE RELIGIOUS, SPIRITUAL OR ESOTERIC BELIEFS? Do you REALLY think that, in this perfect fairy-tale world we live in, all scientists are 100% grounded and follow their Science like their only divinity? Do you seriously believe that ANYTHING that is not "pure science" has never done any good and all benefit you take comes exclusively from science alone?

Only your rabid fans can swallow that shit, really. You are such a disgrace that now you made me want to be religious, only to reject that self-righteous, obnoxious arrogance of yours. Next time you're writing your Gary Stu fanfic you call a "comic", consider this answer beyond science: you are such a terrible writer that YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT "INEFFABILITY" MEANS.
User avatar
SirMustapha
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Cool Username » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:36 pm UTC

Tis is by far the most infuriatingly awful xkcd of all. It's stupid preachy shit, basically boiled down to the childishly arrogant declaration that "SCIENCE > ALL, YOU GUYZ" with a 'punchline' that consists of a curse word and a reference to an earlier, not-so-awful comic. Yes, the punchline is a swear word - this coming from the purportedly smartest webcomic on the net. High-class humor here folks!

And the saddest part? This comic is nothing more than a poorly-articulated, preachy stroke job with a reference attached, and the mindless fanboys are still slurping it up.

Also, plus one to everything SirMustapha said in his last paragraph.
User avatar
Cool Username
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:36 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby ladycygnus » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:36 pm UTC

Only problem is that science only answers questions of how things work, not why they are working or for what purpose. Metaphysical questions simply cannot be answered by science, although science can inform them.

Even the concept that "science explains everything" is not within the realm of science. It cannot explain "why" it would explain everything or even how long it will. Who's to say the laws of physics won't change tomorrow? That statement is based off a metaphysical concept that the universe is a stable system with observable laws combined with stating that "everything can be observed with science" while using, yet not acknowledging, all the things that can't be.

I suppose my point is that you HAVE to look for answers outside of science...because you already have.
ladycygnus
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:02 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby kensey » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:50 pm UTC

Softfoot wrote:
gangle wrote:Do people justify bible passages? Most of the time it seems they're treated as their own justification... When I ask any of my religious officials about passages that don't make sense I just get the "God works in mysterious ways" shtick.

You're asking the wrong officials. It's way more fun to ask actual theologians. They don't have the automatic expectation that you're asking because of doubt, but assume you actually want an answer based on study.


So much "this". I've had conversations with religious folks and gotten the pat answers, and with people "of the cloth" (of various faiths) and gotten answers based on long study, but by far the most entertaining, productive and thought-provoking discussions I've had (as an agnostic) are with people who've done Ph.D.-level work on biblical (and non-biblical but contemporary) texts. It's a fascinating synthesis of linguistics, archaeology, sociology, and psychology (and a bit of faith :) ).

Interestingly, as you go up the scale, the answers get a lot less certain and pat, and you are much more likely to hear things like "Doctrinally, for reasons X, Y, and Z, the Church decided in the Nth century that this text signifies [whatever], but there's also a scholarly tradition around the opposing view that's been gaining influence." Whereas your lay-person's answer to any question is very likely to be "[whatever], -- because the Bible says so, of course!"
kensey
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:17 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby chernevik » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:54 pm UTC

I'm reminded of "Girls suck at math" -- http://xkcd.com/385/.
chernevik
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:00 pm UTC

I think you're all really, really, REALLY missing the point of this comic.
He clearly, CLEARLY states that HE TAKES HIS COURAGE WHERE HE CAN. Meaning, if you have religious beliefs, use 'em! But don't supplant prayer for medicine.

In short, he's saying don't be a fucking idiot and deny reality, but he's making zero comment on peoples faiths. Everyone in this thread whose gotten uppity and offended (I'm looking at SerialTroll and SirMustapha here) need to think long and hard about why exactly someone sneezing in your proximity makes you leap to the defense of your spiritual practices, or, why a comic about stick figures having nerdy conversations challenges your ethos.
How many are the enemy, but where are they? Within, without, never ceases the fight.
User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
 
Posts: 15722
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:01 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote: All I know is that, in moments like that, it's stupid to deny any kind of help. ... Do you seriously believe that ANYTHING that is not "pure science" has never done any good

XKCD #836 wrote:I begrudge nobody their sources of solace.
.
Lost Greatest Silent Baby X Y Z. "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."
User avatar
Red Hal
Magically Delicious
 
Posts: 1389
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby shashwat986 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:02 pm UTC

Cool Username wrote:Tis is by far the most infuriatingly awful xkcd of all. It's stupid preachy shit, basically boiled down to the childishly arrogant declaration that "SCIENCE > ALL, YOU GUYZ" with a 'punchline' that consists of a curse word and a reference to an earlier, not-so-awful comic. Yes, the punchline is a swear word - this coming from the purportedly smartest webcomic on the net. High-class humor here folks!

And the saddest part? This comic is nothing more than a poorly-articulated, preachy stroke job with a reference attached, and the mindless fanboys are still slurping it up.

Also, plus one to everything SirMustapha said in his last paragraph.


On the contrary, the thing I like about this comic isn't the reference to the earlier punchline, which I didn't remember till I read the forum; but the wonderful argument he's given.

Also, it's a clear reference to Randall's sick relative, and I respect him for his opinion on religion/alternative-healing. He's not asking anyone to follow it.

And yes, I also feel ineffability fits incorrectly, and Randall wanted to use a word like "ephemerality"

EDIT: My bad; ineffable can also mean sacred; so it does fit fine....
Last edited by shashwat986 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mum or my dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Chan-Chu. But I think it's Colin -- Tim Vine
User avatar
shashwat986
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:15 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:05 pm UTC

"Ineffability" fits just fine. Really.
Lost Greatest Silent Baby X Y Z. "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."
User avatar
Red Hal
Magically Delicious
 
Posts: 1389
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby kensey » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:10 pm UTC

(Yes, I know it's SirMustapha, but I'm feeling like grasping nettles today... :) )

SirMustapha wrote:All I know is that, in moments like that, it's stupid to deny any kind of help. My father, when he was in the hospital, received a lot of comfort from religious people who visited hospitals, and he was much less religious than my mother.


And that's fine. But as an agnostic, if I'm ever suffering, the well-meaning "assistance" of religion is exactly what I don't want. (Which will be difficult, as my entire family except for some of the most recent generation is devoutly Catholic or Baptist.) My grandfather, who was never particularly religious, had a stroke and his local minister visited him often in the hospital, which helped him a lot -- but so did the anti-depressants he was prescribed. Neither one was "better" than the other; they served different needs -- and some people have the one need but not the other.

Would you deny me the right to indulge my lack of belief in my hour of need?

You ignore the fact that human beings are extremely complex and it's almost impossible for them to follow one exclusive line of thought without branching off into other possibilities, and the fact that MANY SCIENTISTS ACTUALLY HAVE RELIGIOUS, SPIRITUAL OR ESOTERIC BELIEFS?


So complexity cannot arise from anything but a supernatural source? The fact that a scientist believes something makes that belief correct?

Do you read what you write, or just let the stream of vague consciousness flow?

Do you seriously believe that ANYTHING that is not "pure science" has never done any good and all benefit you take comes exclusively from science alone?


Clearly he doesn't, since that is part of the point of the comic.

...you are such a terrible writer that YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT "INEFFABILITY" MEANS.


Actually "ineffability" is used exactly correctly. There were people who refused to accept that some things arise from a supernatural source whose motives and actions cannot be described or understood. Science is the process of correctly describing and understanding the world around us.
kensey
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:17 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:10 pm UTC

wright2john wrote:If scientists dismiss the 'spiritual' and visa versa only further suffering will result.


How?

counter example :the field of microbiology(or at least it's precursors in biochemistry) suffered for decades in the 1800's because too many people were willing to just accept that some things that living cells did was due to the "vital force" and leave it there.
Taking spiritual or magical explanations for things rather than trying to understand the reality costs real lives and leads to real suffering as people wait for cures and treatments which could have come sooner if people had rejected mysticism.

I've never seen an example of the opposite.

So if you want to prevent suffering never accept a magical answer, never just assume that anything meaningful is "beyond science", always look the the real physical answer because your answer might just point the way to real physical tools which can help real physical people to avoid real physical suffering.

I also don't think Randall knows what ineffable means.

— adj
1. too great or intense to be expressed in words; unutterable
2. too sacred to be uttered
3. indescribable; indefinable

if something is too sacred to be talked about, or too complex to communicate or explain then there's no point trying to understand it.
Many people will assign anything they don't understand the lable of impossible to understand, sacred or indescribable/indefinable and the greatest advances come only when people reject that foolish way of thinking and actually try to understand the world, even the hard to understand parts or things which are considered sacred.

Therefore, Randall, fuck you. Fuck your metaphorical, "scientific" ass.

so I take it you didn't actually read the "I begrudge nobody their source of solace"



YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT "INEFFABILITY" MEANS.

Apparently you don't either.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.
HungryHobo
 
Posts: 1415
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Age of Fable » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

Those who describe the universe as beyond understanding, are the most likely to act like they do understand it and everyone else has it wrong.
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city and the islands around.
Age of Fable
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:30 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Blackjack » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

From the Wikipedia article on ineffability:

Ineffability is concerned with ideas that cannot or should not be expressed in spoken words (or language in general), often being in the form of a taboo or incomprehensible term. This property is commonly associated with philosophy, aspects of existence, and similar concepts that are inherently "too great", complex, or abstract to be adequately communicated.


"Ineffability of reality": it works, bitches.

*I'm aware that Wikipedia isn't the best reference, but the definition given works fairly well, I think.
User avatar
Blackjack
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:42 am UTC
Location: Connecticut

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby OtherRob » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

But science provides tools.


...has bought us some pretty damn powerful slings and arrows of our own.


I've been reading XKCD for a long time, but I registered just now to say how fantastic this is. It's what I love most about science -- and what drives me nuts about all these "alternative" therapies that rave about how they're based on ancient secrets. You know what, we've learned a few things in the last 5,000 years and we're still learning now. That's what science does.
OtherRob
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:52 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby Ephemeron » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:25 pm UTC

I... I agree with the haters on this one. Totally unrealistic for a conversation between two friends. The white hat guy exists only to give the a setup to the author avatar's speech. Annoyingly preachy, even though I happen to agree with what he's saying. And It's not funny.

This strip would be much better if it's superimposed with this one, which I am planning to do have done for the xkcdsw thread.

PS: I hope "answers beyond science" refers to homeopathy/alternative medicine, rather than religious beliefs.
Last edited by Ephemeron on Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:43 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Ephemeron
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:39 pm UTC

Re: 0836: "Sickness"

Postby domesticat » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:27 pm UTC

My husband (an engineer) is in the ICU right now after an accident, and has been for two weeks. I'll be taping this comic up to his bed, posthaste. I never thought I'd see a comic more relevant than the one about how to deal with librarians (Jeff's an EE and I do programming work for a library) but this ... this brought tears to my eyes.

http://domesticat.net/jeff for the bare details, or #teamjeffie on twitter. Basically a great, sweet guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
domesticat
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:20 pm UTC

PreviousNext

Return to Individual XKCD Comic Threads

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jpk, orthogon and 24 guests