459: Holy Ghost

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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{{comic
 
{{comic
 
| number    = 459
 
| number    = 459
| date      =  
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| date      = August 6, 2008
 
| title    = Holy Ghost
 
| title    = Holy Ghost
 
| image    = holy_ghost.png
 
| image    = holy_ghost.png
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==Explanation==
 
==Explanation==
Mainstream Christian denomination hold the belief that God exists, and exists as a threefold presence within which there are three distinct 'persons' who interact with one another and the world, yet sharing one common nature. (If this sounds counter-intuitive or downright weird, please ask a quantum physicist to explain how three quarks can be bound together in such a way that they have distinct 'colour' identities yet cannot be separated from one another.) The three 'persons' sharing the property of being God are conventionally called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - but in more archaic English usage, the third person was referred to as the Holy Ghost.
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Many {{w|Christian}} denominations hold the belief (of which {{w|Catholicism}} is one) that God exists, and exists as a threefold presence within which there are three distinct 'persons' who interact with one another and the world, yet sharing one common nature. The three 'persons' sharing the property of being God are conventionally called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—but in more archaic English usage, the third person was referred to as the Holy Ghost.
  
The 1984 movie 'Ghostbusters' was based on the premise that ghosts (non-corporeal creatures) exist and that four unemployed men had access to technology that could trap such ghosts. These men formed a business as 'Ghostbusters' and an important tool in their arsenal was a so-called 'proton beam' powered by a wearable backpack. These beams would prod or stun ghosts, allowing them to be manouevered into traps. Throughout the movie the Ghostbusters reminded each other 'not to cross the beams' as this was supposed to cause a disasterous reaction, until the climax of the movie where crossing the beams was required to subdue the main antagonist.
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The 1984 movie ''{{w|Ghostbusters}}'' was based on the premise that ghosts exist and that four unemployed men had access to technology that could trap such ghosts. These men formed a business as Ghostbusters and an important tool in their arsenal was a so-called "proton beam" powered by a wearable backpack. These beams would prod or stun ghosts, allowing them to be maneuvered into traps. Throughout the movie, the Ghostbusters reminded each other 'not to cross the beams' as this was supposed to cause a disastrous reaction, until the climax of the movie where crossing the beams was required to subdue the main antagonist.
  
The premise of xkcd cartoon 459 is that the Ghostbusters have just encountered and eliminated the divine entity of Christian theology sometimes called the Holy Ghost, and are being taken to task by a Christian bishop. The bishop points out that Christian theology requires a Trinity and is unwilling to accept the Gostbusters' apology; their identity becomes clear in the final panel where we see a group of four persons wearing backpacks identified as proton packs.
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Here we see that the Ghostbusters have just encountered and eliminated the Holy Ghost, and are being taken to task by the {{w|Pope}}. The bishop points out that Christian theology requires a Trinity and is unwilling to accept the Ghostbusters' apology.
  
The tooltip text is a play on the fact that Christians may make the sign of the cross (by touching the forehead, chest and shoulders), colloquially called 'crossing oneself', and on the Ghostbusters concept of (not) 'crossing the beams'.
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The title text is a play on the fact that Catholics may make the sign of the cross (by touching the forehead, chest and shoulders), colloquially called 'crossing oneself', and on the Ghostbusters' concept of (not) 'crossing the beams'.
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==
<!-- The transcript can be found in a hidden <div> element on the xkcd comic's html source, with id "transcript".
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:Pope: This is a disaster.
  -- Tip: Use colons (:) in the beginning of lines to preserve the original line breaks.
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:out-of-frame voice: Is it really that bad?
  -- Any actions or descriptive lines in [[double brackets]] should be reduced to [single brackets] to avoid wikilinking
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:Pope: Do you know how much scripture we'll have to revise?
  -- Do not include the title text again here -->
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:out-of-frame voice: Look, we've apologized&mdash;
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:Pope: I mean, we can't have a trinity with just a father and a son!
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:out-of-frame voice: Again, we're sorry.
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:Pope: Sorry's not enough. Guards, take their proton packs.
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:Ghostbusters: Hey, we were just doing our jobs!
  
{{comic discussion}}  
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{{comic discussion}}
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Revision as of 01:43, 6 December 2012

Holy Ghost
Okay, everyone, cross yourselves, then cross the streams.
Title text: Okay, everyone, cross yourselves, then cross the streams.

Explanation

Many Christian denominations hold the belief (of which Catholicism is one) that God exists, and exists as a threefold presence within which there are three distinct 'persons' who interact with one another and the world, yet sharing one common nature. The three 'persons' sharing the property of being God are conventionally called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—but in more archaic English usage, the third person was referred to as the Holy Ghost.

The 1984 movie Ghostbusters was based on the premise that ghosts exist and that four unemployed men had access to technology that could trap such ghosts. These men formed a business as Ghostbusters and an important tool in their arsenal was a so-called "proton beam" powered by a wearable backpack. These beams would prod or stun ghosts, allowing them to be maneuvered into traps. Throughout the movie, the Ghostbusters reminded each other 'not to cross the beams' as this was supposed to cause a disastrous reaction, until the climax of the movie where crossing the beams was required to subdue the main antagonist.

Here we see that the Ghostbusters have just encountered and eliminated the Holy Ghost, and are being taken to task by the Pope. The bishop points out that Christian theology requires a Trinity and is unwilling to accept the Ghostbusters' apology.

The title text is a play on the fact that Catholics may make the sign of the cross (by touching the forehead, chest and shoulders), colloquially called 'crossing oneself', and on the Ghostbusters' concept of (not) 'crossing the beams'.

Transcript

Pope: This is a disaster.
out-of-frame voice: Is it really that bad?
Pope: Do you know how much scripture we'll have to revise?
out-of-frame voice: Look, we've apologized—
Pope: I mean, we can't have a trinity with just a father and a son!
out-of-frame voice: Again, we're sorry.
Pope: Sorry's not enough. Guards, take their proton packs.
Ghostbusters: Hey, we were just doing our jobs!
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