The One True Religion: The Church of Aircraft

November 15th, 2012

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Many people around the world seek a spiritual life that will be fulfilling and guide them through life.  Religion has filled this need for centuries, but today religion often conflicts with what we see around us.  As best we can tell, none of the traditional religions seem to be factually true and the beliefs are often in conflict with the world we see.

A few churches have attempted to base their theology on reason, but only one can claim to be factually true. That is why I am not a promoter of the one true religion. This the Church of Aircraft.

I cannot claim to be the first to come up with the idea of worshiping aircraft, as others have before, many in remote parts of the world. Indeed, aircraft worship seems to have developed independently on several Pacific islands and may be practiced by tribes in other parts of the world as well.

Now I hope to be the one to bring the good news of the aircraft mainstream!  I hope you will join me in worshiping at the Church of the Aircraft, where we value evidence and truth in a way that no other religion does.

What makes this religion better than others?   We claim only one thing: that our belief system is more objectively and factually correct than any other religion.

Please judge our claims for yourself.  They are listed as they correspond to others, with ours being on the right and the claims of other mainstream religions on the left.  When you are done, ask your self which one you find to be more believable and true.


This entry was posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2012 at 2:00 pm and is filed under Humor, media, religion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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14 Responses to “The One True Religion: The Church of Aircraft”

  1. 1
    DV82XL Says:

    Very funny.

    Just goes to prove than when you subscribe to a religion, you substitute group-think for independent thought. Instead of learning to discern truth on your own, you’re told what to believe. This doesn’t accelerate your spiritual growth; on the contrary it puts the brakes on your continued conscious development. Religion is the off-switch of the human mind.


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  2. 2
    Bill Says:

    Well, I suppose it is all literally true.

    I’m sold. What kind of things must I do to please the giant metal bird? Does he require ritual sacrifice?


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  3. 3
    Anon Says:

    Bill: Lots of kerosene should be a sufficient sacrifice.


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  4. 4
    Q Says:

    There are actually many people who dedicated their lives to aircraft or at least major portions of their lives. Howard Hughes (during his non-crazy times), Jack Northrup, Kelly Johnson, Barnes Wallace, Igor Sikorski. They built big monuments to aircraft, in the form of the companies and industries they started.

    I think that if you consider what those who dedicated their life to aircraft did for society, it makes the contributions of any major religious leader seem pretty pathetic.

    The same could be said for the pioneers of most any technology.


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  5. 5
    Engineering Edgar Says:

            Q said:

    Howard Hughes (during his non-crazy times), Jack Northrup, Kelly Johnson, Barnes Wallace, Igor Sikorski. They built big monuments to aircraft, in the form of the companies and industries they started.

    Agreed, although Barnes Wallace did not dedicate his life completely to aircraft. He also dedicated it to bombs.

    Not to get off topic though.

    This is very funny, but I also see some real truth in it. If you think about it, aircraft really are capable of a lot of things people have historically turned to god for. Aircraft can save people in peril. Aircraft can really bring supplies to those otherwise without. If you are experiencing a plague of locusts, you will be better off turning to a crop duster than to god.

    Aircraft are not the whole story, though. People prayed to god to save them from disease, but vaccines and antibiotics do that much better. People prayed to avoid disasters, but good weather prediction and well built structures work better. I could go on and on. The point being, science and technology are going to always win in the end, and we always win when we invest our money and effort in improving science and technology.

    Carl Sagan talked about that, and I don’t want to butcher his quote but basically he said that some day we should have a religious-like feeling for the great gifts and wonder born of our own ingenuity.


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  6. 6
    Geek Goddess Says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult


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  7. 7
    Old NFO Says:

    22 years of ‘worshiping’ those birds… And they brought me home every time!!! :-)


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  8. 8
    Julian Says:

    Both on- and off-topic: when anti-nuclear folks like to argue that the nuclear industry can never work because business like TEPCO cut corners to save costs I can only think of how successful the air travel industry has become with respects to safety, despite being for-profit. These days it’s safer to fly than to drive, and that’s not because flying is inherently a safer thing to do than driving. The opposite even, there’s a lot more that can go wrong when flying, it’s just that a lot of effort has gone into making it safe and reliable.

    Another parallel is that flying invites the same kind of irrational fear as nuclear power. Despite flying/nuclear being a lot safer than driving/fossil fuels it still makes us nervous while being perfectly comfortable with the far worse alternative.


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  9. 9
    This guy Says:

    The problem with the safety in the field of aviation v safety in the field of nuclear power is that the safety record for aviation has largely come about by being very open about it. Accidents are investigated and discussed openly. The results of investigations are only used to find what went wrong, not to assign blame. Where possible changes are made to insure the incident cannot occur again in the future.

    Whenever something went/goes wrong in the field of nuclear power/research the investigations and media attention seem to focus purely on who to blame. The reports coming out to the public sometimes seem sketchy or are hiding certain facts. While a lot of those hidden facts are purely out of safety or confidentiality concerns this taints the picture of the general public. In turn the general public starts using this assign the blame game too. This tactic can lead to a very closed off and secretive industry which is not good for public relations.

    PS: As an aviation geek, I’m now wondering what type that plane in the “take strange forms” picture is. I can’t find it anywhere. (Looks like a Soviet design to me. Possibly polish?)


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  10. 10
    Anon Says:

            This guy said:

    Whenever something went/goes wrong in the field of nuclear power/research the investigations and media attention seem to focus purely on who to blame.

    The nuclear industry tends to learn from its mistakes and not make the same serious mistakes twice.

            This guy said:

    The reports coming out to the public sometimes seem sketchy or are hiding certain facts. While a lot of those hidden facts are purely out of safety or confidentiality concerns this taints the picture of the general public. In turn the general public starts using this assign the blame game too. This tactic can lead to a very closed off and secretive industry which is not good for public relations.

    Not having any anti-nuclear movement would probably help there, though they tend to be a lot more open than most people think.

            This guy said:

    PS: As an aviation geek, I’m now wondering what type that plane in the “take strange forms” picture is. I can’t find it anywhere. (Looks like a Soviet design to me. Possibly polish?)

    It’s Polish, a jet powered crop duster (or at least I think it is).


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  11. 11
    George Carty Says:

            Anon said:

    It’s Polish, a jet powered crop duster (or at least I think it is).

    A PZL M-15 Belphegor to be exact.


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  12. 12
    I'mnotreallyhere Says:

            This guy said:

    The problem with the safety in the field of aviation v safety in the field of nuclear power is that the safety record for aviation has largely come about by being very open about it. Accidents are investigated and discussed openly. The results of investigations are only used to find what went wrong, not to assign blame. Where possible changes are made to insure the incident cannot occur again in the future.

    Whenever something went/goes wrong in the field of nuclear power/research the investigations and media attention seem to focus purely on who to blame. The reports coming out to the public sometimes seem sketchy or are hiding certain facts. While a lot of those hidden facts are purely out of safety or confidentiality concerns this taints the picture of the general public. In turn the general public starts using this assign the blame game too. This tactic can lead to a very closed off and secretive industry which is not good for public relations.

    There are probably a lot of factors in play here. Interesting thoughts though, I’m going to run with them and see where my slightly incoherent train of thought takes me.

    Declaration of interest to start : I work in nuclear power, doing probabilistic safety assessments and accident scenario analysis. It’s fun stuff.

    — The Public Relations angle —

    Firstly, it’s a PR thing. No-one is going to stop flying. There is no “anti-aircraft” movement, there is no deep rooted fear of air flight as a concept – there are people who are afraid of flying themselves, there are people who don’t want it in their local area, but to my knowledge no-one (except maybe the Chemtrail nuts) actually declare aeroplanes as outright bad and to be banned. The nuclear industry puts up barriers in part because they really don’t want the bad press that comes from misunderstood interpretations of nuclear technology.

    There’s a really interesting piece on The Straight Dope (linked from the sidebar on the DC homepage) entitled “Is nuclear power safe?” which puts the whole thing in a really different light.

    The short version is this : nuclear power has killed incredibly few people despite the downright stupid things done to allow accidents like Chernobyl to happen. The cataclysmic idiocy required to kill even a relatively small number of people is actually a ringing endorsement of the safety of nuclear energy.

    — Learning from mistakes —

    I don’t really think that the aviation industry is really any better than the nuclear industry when it comes to learning from mistakes. Which isn’t to say that the aviation industry is bad, rather that the nuclear industry is pretty good at it. Procedures, equipment, automated control systems; they’re all getting modified and updated all the time. Much like in an aeroplane, the weak link in a nuclear reactor is the human pushing the buttons, which is why such importance is placed on operator training, ergonomic design and automated shutdown and safety systems. My view of the nuclear industry (and I’m in it) is that it’s pretty good at this stuff.

    The industry was starting to pull apart the Fukushima Daiichi scenario within days of the tsunami, trying to clearly break down how and why it all went wrong, whether something similar could occur at other sites or on other reactor designs. Operational procedures are being altered, new backup systems are being installed, crisis management is being optimised.

    The nuclear industry doesn’t exist in isolation either. Lessons are constantly being shared across industries or learned from experiences in other areas. As a really basic example of this, take the French EPR design which, because the design process continued well past 11th Sept 2001, includes a reinforced outer shell on the reactor building designed to stop a mid-sized aeroplane.

    Are there still improvements to be made? Almost certainly. Are there issues with reactor safety because corners are being cut? Probably, if you want to be that cruel about your choice of words. Is this any different in aviation where constant competition is driving prices down and forcing airlines to over-work their pilots, minimise maintenance time and costs and keep planes flying for longer than the original design life? Nope, you’ll find equivalents to that stuff in any industry. If anything, nuclear power is more closely regulated and checked than almost any other industry and things like operator working hours are monitored with ruthless effiency by the safety authorities.

    — Information and transparency —

    Quite a lot of the information is available. It’s often surprisingly public and open. There are a lot of little low level incidents and problems which could very easily be swept under the carpet but you’ll usually find that every minor problem on site is publicised, official statements are issued and no-one pays much attention.

    In many ways, the issue is one of understanding. Aviation is much more publicly visible, much more integrated into the media, films, books, TV. There is no nuclear power Top Gun, not even a nuclear power Snakes On A Plane (actually, that might not be true, but if there is it doesn’t have Samuel L Jackson).

    That might all sound irrelevant, but it really isn’t. It means that almost everyone knows what a stall is. They understand basic flight controls and their effects. Hell, quite a lot of my generation have probably flown some form of “aircraft” (probably fictional) in a computer game. There’s a lot less understanding of borication, of sub- and super-critical reactors, of residual heat evacuation.

    And in turn that makes reporting and discussing nuclear incidents much harder. Like your average person, your average journalist has a much better vocabulary and a clearer image of aviation than of nuclear power. Arguably, because most journalists are drawn from the kids at school who were better with words than numbers, the “average” person might even be better at science than the “average” journalist.

    — The Blame Game —

    Touching on your point about assigning blame, this is also a “litigation culture” situation. Air travel carries inherent risks, people are aware of them, their travel insurance might well pay out in the incident of an accident and deaths. Honestly I’ll admit I have no idea how the system works, who pays who, but the direct financial implications of an aviation accident rarely appear to be significant.

    AirFrance will definitely have cared how and why AF447 went down, behind the scenes there may well be litigation between the airline, the aircraft manufacturer (Airbus) and whichever company desgned/made the pitot static tubes to decide who picks up the tab. But realistically, it’s probably not worth the fight – compensation to victims’ families runs to less than four million euros. Add the loss of an aircraft and trained flightcrew, the loss of earnings, the search and salvage efforts, whatever else, the figure is still not likely to top 10M€.

    In May 2012, the Guardian newspaper in the UK gave a figure of around $100 billion as being projected for the total cost of Fukushima. It’s staggering.

    People tend to ask lots of questions about who’s going to pick up the tab for this stuff. Certainly because so much of it risks coming directly from the Japanese tax payer and/or from Japanese electricity bills. This will probably be the case in the end, but there may be calls to seek some amount from the companies who supplied any and all components which can be found to have failed at their role. This may degenerate into a scrap between Component Supplier A, versus Installation Subcontractor B, versus Maintenance Subcontractor C versus Plant Operator D (Tepco). And ultimately will be about the various insurance policies of the companies involved.

    Of course, it doesn’t really matter. Ultimately the Japanese people will end up picking up the tab because Tepco can’t be allowed to fail, utility companies can’t just board up the windows, padlock the gates one last time and close down.

    Maybe it’s also a “taste” thing. I think some people would find it a bit crass to drag an aviation accident through the mud of messy, bickering legal procedings to find out who’s responsible. But a major disaster? Fine, why not? No-one even died due to the nuclear accident at Fukushima, so there’s nothing but righteous indignation, no real tragedy to make the money grabbing lawyers look bad.

    That’s all for now folks…


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  13. 13
    Dixibehr Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Very funny.

    Just goes to prove than when you subscribe to a religion, you substitute group-think for independent thought. Instead of learning to discern truth on your own, you’re told what to believe. This doesn’t accelerate your spiritual growth; on the contrary it puts the brakes on your continued conscious development. Religion is the off-switch of the human mind.

    Of course, this is totally untrue of atheists and free-thinkers, who are always open-minded and accepting of alternative ideas and those who disagree with them.


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  14. 14
    Anon Says:

            Dixibehr said:

    Of course, this is totally untrue of atheists and free-thinkers, who are always open-minded and accepting of alternative ideas and those who disagree with them.

    Actually not, we’re not so open-minded our brains fall out and we don’t accept alternative ideas that are wrong.


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