Theranos: Another Word for Thanatos

Wherever religion is dead, fundamentalism is alive and well. Wherever faith is indubitable, and the faithful attack the doubtful, disaster is inevitable. Look, then, not in the ravines and the valleys for fools. Forget the desolate wastes and the deserted cities, too, and look to the one valley—Silicon Valley—where Thanatos is (or was) Theranos. Look at how easy it is for confidence to conquer common sense, given the criminal charges against Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, who dressed like a priestess; who, if the allegations are true, preached the virtues of science and practiced the vices of scientism; who, in spite of the evidence against her, evinced a box—with a slot, a screen, and no buttons—as proof of salvation. Listen to “The Dropout,” the podcast about Holmes’s rise and fall, so you may hear how she allegedly falsified so much, including the sound of her own voice.

Listen; because the religion that asks the least of us is often the one that takes the most from us—not in deeds, but in dollars. By the time believers learn the truth, that their religion is intellectually bankrupt, most will have gone bankrupt. And yet, most do not want to hear the truth. Not when the improbable is still possible. Not when the faithful believe that false prophets are the price of achieving profitability.

This much is certain. Wherever the Cult of Reason flourishes, rationality fails. What the rationalist believes God cannot know, because he does not believe in God, he nonetheless believes he already knows—which may be what Elizabeth Holmes believes she knows, too, without knowing good and evil; that, with their eyes opened and their minds closed, they shall be as gods.

They know not what they do.

Photo credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

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