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Mary Baker Eddy vs. Mohammad (2); Twain advances

For yesterday, I hated to say no to one of the philosophical founders of the modern world, but the argument from Anonymous carries the day:

I go with Twain though. He had the common sense and common decency to write stories about America.

After being questioned on this, Anonymous followed up:

The Greeks had or could have made ships at least as seaworthy as the ones Leif Erikson used to sail to North America during the middle ages. Plato and his posse gets no points for laziness.

Good point. Plato was an Ed Wegman type of guy: happy to grab the awards and the credit, not so ready to do the work. Mark Twain, say what you want about him, was one of the hardest working men in showbiz.

Today we have two founders of religions battling it out. Faith healing vs. jihad. I’m guessing that Mo-mentum will carry the day, but, hey . . . surprise me!

P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules.


  1. zbicyclist says:

    I suspect the actual Mohammad would be regarded as a heretic by at least some branches is Islam

    This would definitely be true of Jesus as well, and perhaps Mary Baker Eddy. But in 2015 I’d rather be in an audience with a bunch of radical Christian Scientists than a bunch of radical Islamists.


  2. Gregor says:

    While Christian Science may never have become a true mainstream religion, what’s amazing to me is how well it caught on given the nearly complete absence of proselytization. In the end, this may make it a short-lived religion, but I respect and appreciate a Christian sect that doesn’t depend on the idea that everyone else in the world needs to be “saved” to promote recruitment. In my experience, Christian Scientists are welcoming and open to open discussions, and they’ve never been pushy about their faith.

    Also, Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor (partly) as a reaction against over-hyped and sensationalized media. Wikipedia says ‘The paper has been known for avoiding sensationalism, producing a “distinctive brand of nonhysterical journalism”.’

  3. Chris says:

    In my experience, a lot of late-career (since they’ve been dead for about 100 and 1,400 years, respectively), big-name speakers like to give talks on topics they’ve studied but for which they aren’t widely known. I could see Eddy giving a talk on the frequency and cost of unnecessary medical procedures in the modern American healthcare system, and Muhammad could presumably negotiate the biggest honorarium for a talk in the business school on trade in the Arabian Peninsula. While Eddy’s stance is pretty predictable (presumably she’d like to see the frequency of unnecessary–and necessary–medical procedures reduced to 0), it might be genuinely interesting to hear Muhammad’s predictions for the Arabian economy given the falling price of oil.

  4. I have to lobby (see, I read the rules and know I’m not voting) against Eddy for misappropriating the word “science,” not to mention leading the gullible to poor health or even death, a property she shares with null-hypothesis significance testing. At least we could expect a big anti-vax turnout.

    Of course you may want to discount my rant because I put my money on Mohammed in the pool, speaking of which I’m 1/1 so far.

    • A. Nony Mous says:

      Bob, I agree that the apparent misappropriation grates; however, the contemporaneous definition of science is not as we know it.

      Definition #1 for science in Webster’s 1828 dictionary (which is considered to be MBE’s reference) states:

      “In a general sense, knowledge, or certain knowledge; the comprehension or understanding of truth or facts by the mind. The science of God must be perfect.”

      In addition, the science of medicine in 1866 was somewhat less perfect than today; avoiding the ministrations of a doctor might well prove healthful…

  5. Jonathan (another one) says:

    The problem with Mohammad would be the posters for the seminar. You’d need a picture, or people would be led to expect the boxer, spelling differences notwithstanding.

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