First of all, it's a logical fallacy. It's an appeal to emotion. It asks you to suspend the thinking part of your brain and just focus on an emotion (anger or sorrow over 9/11) rather than an actual idea. Then it ties the scapegoat, religion, to that emotion.
Second, it's too simplistic. It equates "science" with space travel, and "religion" with 9/11. It completely ignores all the terrible things science has done (Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Napalm, Chem Warfare, the invention of firearms.) Even the automobile kills more than what this graphic calls "religion". In the United States alone, 35,000 to 40,000 people are killed by automotive accidents every year. That means that since 9/11, cars have killed about 385,000 people. Thank you, Science.
In addition, it ignores the good done by religion. The LDS church alone, in 2008, provided aid to 3.3 million people in 122 countries, and since 1985 help has been given to 23 million people in 163 nations. From 1985 - 2009, $327.6 million in cash and $884.6 million in commodities of aid was given throughout 178 countries. These services include, Emergency response, wheelchair distribution, The Clean Water Service, the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, and the Vision Treatment Training program.
2011 was also a big year for LDS disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
In addition to these efforts, the LDS Church also has over 300 job development and placement centers around the world. In 2001, the LDS Church began the Perpetual Education Fund which provides money to cover tuition and other school expenses to people in developing nations. As of 2007, tens of thousands of individuals had been given assistance. So far this program has operated primarily in South America and Oceana. The LDS Church has also begun producing a nutrition-rich porridge named Atmit to help during acute famines. The LDS Church Welfare program owns farms, ranches, canneries, and other food producing facilities to provide temporary food relief for families and individuals. LDS Humanitarian Services frequently works with other charities and NGOs such as the Red Cross, Catholic charities and even various Islamic charities for which the LDS Church has produced halaal food.
Clearly, there's more to consider than aviation.
Third, even if we were to equate "science" with spaceflight and "religion" with commercial airline disasters, then Science's record still wouldn't be too good compared to Religion.
For example, there about 15 million commercial flights annually, worldwide. That means that since 9/11, there have been about 165,000,000 flights. How many of these has religion flown into buildings? Four. Two into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and I'm counting the failed attempt that ended up in a Pennsylvania field.
That means that your odds of having "religion" fly your plane into a building is 0.000000024%.
"Science" has flown 291 manned spaceflights since 1961. As of November 2004, 439 individuals had flown on spaceflights, and 22 astronauts had died.
That means that your odds of having "science" kill you and your entire crew is about 5%.
That means that "science" is 208,333,333.33 times more likely to blow you up in the air than "religion."
|"One of these days, Alice! One of these days!|
BANG! Straight to the moon!!"
- Ralph Kramden on Space Travel
And that's not counting non-astronaut fatalities during spaceflights. 305 civilians have been killed as the result of spaceflight accidents, including up to 100 dead in Xichang, China, where the Intelsat 708 Satellite, a Long March rocket, veered off course immediately after launch, crashing into a nearby village only 22 seconds later, destroying 80 houses.
So even if religion flies you into buildings, science flies you into whole villages.
We've killed 327 people to get 439 into space. That means that every time a shuttle launches, there's a 74% chance that someone will die for each crew member on board.
Some may be thinking, that's only true because you're looking at percentages, not death tolls. 9/11 killed more than 3,000 people, spaceflight has only killed 327.
That may be true, but I still don't think you want to take that route, because as pointed out earlier, science is responsible for a lot more than our few trips to the moon. But even if we were confined to aviation, we could also say that shoddy engineering, maintenance and design (Mechanical Failure) has killed more in commercial airliners than religion.
According to ACRO, between 1999 and 2010, there were about 2,000 airplane accidents, resulting in around 15,000 deaths.
|But look on the bright side, |
at least they're making money off you.