Kris an’ Murphy: Faith

Nazi "Gott mit uns" stickerKris: “I tell you, Murphy, in this situation, faith is the problem!”

Murphy: “Sorry to hear that, Kris. When’s the baby due?”

Kris: “Not that Faith! She knows better than that!”

Murphy: “So should you.”

Kris: “Huh? Everybody’s got a relationship with one of their grad students these days. Even Laila! I was referring to the shutdown situation!”

Murphy: “Oh. That. And you can shut down the shutdown?”

Kris: “Haven’t you heard? The person who believes something, has faith in something, has shut off all debate and is inaccessible to contrary facts. That person’s even likely to understand contrary facts as supporting his position. Which is what is going on in Congress right now! They have belief in their ideology, in their flavor of God, and as a result, all hell’s breaking loose. The scientists are all over this, and have been for awhile now.”

Murphy: “Since when do you know anything about science? You study classical Greek drama.”

Kris: “Who better to tell you what to do about this modern drama then, huh? And yes, before you get started, I know all about Euripides and Imendides. Look. I get scientists tapping me forever on Facebook asking questions about all these Greek and Latin words in their texts and papers and they’ve forgotten what they mean. Never mind how to decline them correctly. I tell you, Murphy, the next time I hear about “stadiums” instead of the correct plural “stadia”, I swear I’m going to scream. So I have to tell these peeps about their words, and in the process I pick up stuff, OK? And this stuff about faith is important!

Murphy: “So you’d do away with faith.”

Kris:Yes! If it’s getting in the way of objectivity, it’s got to go. Worse. The logical outcome of two faiths yelling at each other is that one’s got to win, ’cause they’ve lost the ability to see anything right about the other side! That means a compromise is a loss for both sides, and they won’t stand for it. So they fight. And if the two sides are equally matched, the fight’s going to be long and messy, and sooner or later somebody’s going to start shooting. So with faith, you either get tyranny or war. And usually tyranny after the war, if anybody’s left to enforce it. Bad, bad, bad. Faith has got to go. People have to employ their reason to work out any situation, and be free to do so.”

Murphy: “Understood, and there’s a lot of folk who would agree with you. Ten million zombies just landed in San Diego. What are you going to do?”

Kris: “What?”

Murphy: “You heard me. Ten million zombies just landed in San Diego. What are you going to do?”

Kris:Fight them, of course!”

Murphy: “Why?”

Kris: “So they don’t get out of San Diego. So we can get San Diego back from them! Do I have to trot out Wiley Miller’s superhero for you?”

Murphy: “What’s so obvious? Don’t the people in your world have to think about this first? Find out what the zombies want, and how they plan to get it? Maybe some of your folk will decide that they’re better off with the zombies, huh? And while they’re thinking, the zombies have devoured LA and Tijuana, and are advancing on Vegas.

“Don’t you get it? As a classical scholar, surely you remember that Jerusalem and Judea fell to Nebuchadnezzar’s armies because the Judean people lost faith in their leaders, and those leaders were too busy with their stock options and their harems to care? Without a faith system, no way are you going to get a society mobilized in time, and with sufficient coherence, to confront a major emergency. There’s a reason how come, throughout antiquity, your God and your State were one and the same, and the penalties for blasphemy were the same as those for treason.”

Kris: “Fine. We’ll establish a faith system and keep it in a drawer for when we need it.”

Murphy: “Not good enough. Your scientists don’t know how to define or decline those Greek words, not because they aren’t smart enough or don’t know enough, but because they don’t get any practice at it. They don’t need to, because even their journals will accept grammatical garbage these days. If folk have a faith system but don’t practice it, it won’t be ready for them when they need it. You might as well not bother.”

Kris: “And get eaten by the zombies.”

Murphy: “Yes.”

Kris: “Or believe in some cockamamy mythology that will help my community in case zombies show up, and submit to its mindless tyranny when there are no zombies around.”

Murphy: “Yes. Until your mythology collides with somebody else’s, and then you have war. Or a government shutdown.”

Kris: “So, according to you, whatever we do, we’re screwed. Thanks a bunch. I may just as well go home and have my Faith. Jeez Louise!”

Murphy: “I’ll thank you to leave Louise out of this.”

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