Religion is Harmful - Faith Healing Kills Kids

Introduction

There is a great deal of discussion on the internet about the validity and widespread effects of religious belief. Atheists, who make up a very small part of the global population, have become increasingly vocal and not just in their opposition to organized religion but also in the contentious idea that all of these superstitious beliefs carry consequences far more disruptive than the positive results they claim to offer. These atheists are sometimes called Anti-Theists, they not only disbelieve in gods but also believe that belief in god(s) is harmful.

So why is it that this vocal subset of atheists, myself included, can't seem to keep our mouths shut about why we disagree with religion? After all if someone wants to believe, or wants to be part of a church, what is the harm in that? Why bother trying to talk all these people out of their faith when it gives them some level of emotional comfort and community support?

An excerpt from a statement issued by a Pentecostal Faith Healing church
An excerpt from a statement issued by a Pentecostal Faith Healing church | Source

This hub is the first in a series that will explore the very real harm that religion does both to individuals and society at large in an attempt to explain why so many atheists are vocal and actively trying to debate people on the topic. This particular hub will deal with one of the most obvious and unfortunately recurrent ways in which religious thinking harms people, the death of children at the hands of parents who rely on faith instead of proven medical science.

No True Scotsman Disclaimer

Before we delve into the topic at hand I want to put a disclaimer here to nip in the bud an argument that I'm sure someone will bring. Namely someone will try to argue that “No true Christian who actually follows Christ would do X...”. This is a fallacy known as the No True Scotsman fallacy. Anyone who chooses to call themselves a Christian and who attempts to back their opinions up with, or hide their opinions behind, religion, is fair game.

It is not fair to say that simply because they disagree with your version of Christianity that means they are not actually Christian. Attempts to make the religion seem blameless by reducing the number of legitimate participants using only your own arbitrary personal interpretation will be ignored.

It does not matter whether you agree with, say, the people in Westboro Baptist Church. It also does not matter whether religion is being used a shield for crazy people or if religion is actually giving them the idea to begin with. For example homophobes might hide their hate behind Leviticus, the Catholic Church might hide their child molestation behind their religious authority. The point is that religion, whether directly or indirectly, is doing serious harm to society at large by presenting the false idea that its beliefs are true, sacred and not to be criticized, questioned or torn down.


The Basis of Belief in Miraculous Healing

In the case of the topic I want to discuss, faith healing, the basis in scripture is as firm, if not more firm, than any other religiously motivated harmful doctrine. Christ claimed that his followers would have the same sorts of miraculous abilities that he possessed while he was on Earth. Specifically believers are meant to be capable of casting out demons, healing the sick and even raising the dead. Yet we do not see too many zombies walking around do we?

It would seem on first glance that Christians have failed to produce the results their Savior claimed they would and that the fact that 69% of the world is non-Christian is at least in part a direct result of that. After all if Christians could do what the Bible says they should be able to no one would go to a hospital unless all the churches were full up, everyone would be lined up outside churches with injuries from missing limbs to Alzheimers fast becoming a thing of the past.

Those with a strong faith and a belief in Jesus' words about healing sometimes decide not to go to the doctor and instead pray for healing from God. This is perfectly legal in the case of adults who decide voluntarily to exempt themselves from medical treatment but in the case of exempting your own children the law is far fuzzier. Many states, unfortunately, allow some form of religious exemptions for parents who refuse their child medical care which has shown, time and time again, to have disastrous and often deadly results.

Bible verses about healing
Bible verses about healing

Faith can Kill

The failures of faith healing are well documented as are cases of faith healers being revealed to be frauds and snake oil salesmen. At the very least parents who attempt to heal their children are genuine believers, unlike the con-men who make a living selling such cures on TV and in revival tents around the world the parents, at least in most cases, seem to actually care about their children. It is not out of malice or the desire to see harm come to the child that these parents forgo medical care but out of misguided faith making that much more tragic when a child dies as a result.

Christians reading this might argue, “they simply didn't have ENOUGH faith” to heal their children. But what sort of cruel and hateful God would allow a child to die simply on the basis that his/her parents didn't BELIEVE hard enough. Can you imagine a God so petty as to allow a child to die based on the mental slip-up a couple who simply didn't exhibit enough faith?

Here in my own home state of Pennsylvania a Pentecostal couple, Herbert and Catherine Schaible allowed not one but TWO of their children to die preventable deaths because they believed in faith healing. They were led astray by their church, they were led astray by their beliefs and they and their children paid the price. The death of their second child, ironically, tragically, took place while they were STILL ON PROBATION for letting their first child die.

This case hits close to home because not only am I from PA, but I grew up going to a Pentecostal church, though not one that argued against using modern medicine. I did however see plenty of attempted healings in my time in the Church. Including at least half a dozen attempts by own Father to seek healing from God of the degenerative muscular disease that he suffered from (and still suffers from to this day). My Father would often sit me down as a child and tell me he was ripe for a miracle, and I would sit there and pray hard for my Father and hope that he was healed. There is a powerful emotional response to prayer and I can recall feeling like the power of God was coursing through me in hoping that my Father was healed.

There have been well over a hundred documented child deaths since the 70s by parents pursuing faith healing in the United States alone. This can include newborns and toddlers but has even included teenagers. In most of these cases administering medical care would have saved the lives of these children, at the very least it would have immensely increased their chances of survival, something that prayer failed entirely to do.

This is not even to mention the psychological trauma of mentally ill children and homosexual children who are sometimes forced by parents into exorcisms or “pray the gay away” style camps.

Source

Snake Handlers, Danger of Belief

I wanted to start this series out by talking about Faith Healing because it is something that disturbs me and absolutely disgusts me but not in the way of inspiring anger or vitriol toward the parents. Rather it is a clear example of the protection that even harmful religious ideas get backfiring. Because these ideas are seen as religious and sacred they are not questioned as much, they are protected under the umbrella of religion. Not all of these parents are horrible people and not all of them actually know any better (though I am sure that at least some of them do). But the Bible is clear, Jesus is clear, ask and you shall receive, with faith as small as a mustard seed, and miraculous results.

Faith healers are operating on the words of Jesus in much the same way that Snake Handlers of the south do. What they are doing is stupid and dangerous and against everything we know about safety and human well being. We see videos and hear these stories and think “WHY? Why would they do this?”. Religion, of course. Because when all of your ideas are based upon faith and not based upon actual facts, when your positions are not fact reliant positions or at the very least based on rational logical thought this is the sort of thing you inevitably get.

Conclusion

The issue is we allow religion a free pass, as we've seen we even allow religious exemptions from certain things that would seem obvious to the rest of us, like vaccines and giving medical care to our kids. Because religious faith has so embedded itself into the psyche of individuals and become part of their identities and attempted to cement itself in the fabric of society as a necessary institution it becomes difficult to separate out the good ideas from the bad and the bad ideas from the good.

It might be a good idea to love your neighbor but it seems an awful idea to withhold medical care from your kids. We can separate out these good ideas and reject the superstitious and harmful notions which have no basis in fact. Religion should not be considered exempt from public outrage or criticism because some people feel it is an important part of their personal identity.

People angry that religion is finally being criticized remind me of people angry about the NFL being criticized. Everyone has their own team, their own horse in the fight, their own tribe that is a part of their emotional identity and when football is criticized, in whole or in part, the fans rise up to defend even the most ridiculous OR claim that the ridiculous isn't being shielded by their religion at all.

Faith healing kills kids that proper medical care could have saved, it's a fact. If people are willing to accept faith based beliefs that have no basis in reality than they open themselves up to believing false and harmful beliefs. This is why its so important to formulate as many beliefs as we can on the evidence that fits reality the best and why we must criticize religion for shielding and promoting ideas that do harm without doing the slightest bit of good.

More by this Author


Comments 135 comments

Stargrrl 18 months ago

I was healed by prayer one time. I used to have really bad TMJ. I had braces growing up, and developed the TMJ. My jaw would crack and sometimes hurt. Sometime I could not open it all the way. I went to see a doctor who did tests and sent me to another doctor, who told me that I had possible rheumatoid arthritis, and that my jaw would dissolve or something. It was quite a few years ago, but I remember of the pictures he showed me of what I could possibly look like over time, and it was depressing. I went to my bible study, and we prayed. I continued to pray about it. The doctor said the test results weren't good. But you know what? I healed completely. It went away. I saw the doctor some time after and he checked me out and couldn't explain it. He implied that it was possibly God. To this day, I've had NO more problems with my jaw. I really believed that God intervened and healed me of that terrible sickness.

On another note:

Now, prayers are always answered, and sometimes the answer is NO. I do not know why God would allow a child to die, I cannot answer that. However, I do believe in medical treatment, and I believe that prayer and medicine go hand in hand. After all, God made doctors for a reason. That is why I do think it is sad when parents refuse treatment for a child. They should do so anyway and pray for God's provision. Had God decided to let me go through all the pain with my jaw, I definitely would have sought medical treatment and/or surgery.

And, for the record, as somebody pointed out to another hubber back on my hub--if you do not believe Jesus to be the Son of God, you cannot be a Christian. True, there are many different branches of Christianity, but one thing they've all got to have in common is that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.


William Hawley profile image

William Hawley 18 months ago from silverspring maryland U.S.

I believe that religion should not be flaunted in this way.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Coming from the medical field in general and Blood Transfusion Services as my specialty, you should add that Jehovah's Witnesses in particular have many deaths of children on their consciences. To this day, a child born with Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn is denied a life saving exchange blood transfusion.

Hypocritically enough, as the 'elders' of the Kingdom Halls have aged and needed certain blood components, they recanted their tenet about blood component therapy. Now, it is allowed for certain blood components to be transfused, but not the oxygen-carrying red blood cells for babies.

Christian Scientists, among other "Christian" sects flat out refuse any kind of medical care.

And once upon a time, I respected their rights and their faith. I thought that the child would go to heaven when it died or at least not go to hell. But after watching a few babies bleed to death for want of a blood transfusion, I began to see that this 'faith' was a ton of bull-shit. These parents are just brain-washed idiots that do not deserve to have children if all they are going to do is let them die for want of medical care.

Why have children in the first place?

Then one day it dawned on me that this "god" was just a delusion. People are just fooling themselves left and right.

And children pay the ultimate price for all this religious harm.

If you want to believe in old myths and legends as an adult, that's fine with me, but you are killing children and you should be held responsible for that.


Jane Err profile image

Jane Err 18 months ago from Texas

People used to throw virgins into volcanoes because they believed it would appease the gods. Come on....religion has its place but often times it is misguided, out-dated and just plain wrong. Love God but use some common sense please.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"I do not know why God would allow a child to die"

I submit three possibilities, either he's an evil God, a powerless God, or simply doesn't exist. If God's answer is no to the fervent requests of these people why doesn't God give them fair warning BEFORE the child's life is in genuine danger. If God was going to fail on a regular basis to provide even the most basic medical assistance through prayer why in the hell wouldn't he put "take thine children to the doctor" in the Bible next to all the relevant passages about prayer?

"Had God decided to let me go through all the pain with my jaw, I definitely would have sought medical treatment and/or surgery"

When I was a child I had asthma, when I was a child I would often pray to God including prayers to deal with my asthma. As an adult I have no asthma symptoms. And yet I do not attribute this to God, why? Because some health problems do resolve themselves. This sort of superstitious thinking makes no sense. When cancer is remission many claim prayer had something to do with it but when cancer returns with a vengeance the same people start praying yet again, they don't blame God and they don't lose faith. Why? Why would God f*ck with someone's emotions that way and send their cancer into remission only to let it creep back in? No good God would do such a thing.

"if you do not believe Jesus to be the Son of God, you cannot be a Christian"

I used to think this too, but there are actually Christian Atheists, that is folks who consider themselves Christians but who reject the supernatural aspects of it, preferring to focus on the fellowship, charity and the moral teachings of Christ. Belief is such a weird phenomenon that people always find ways to break the rules and branch off.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Some great points Austinstar, I had totally forgotten the Jehovah's Witness doctrine about blood transfusions. I also omitted some stuff about Scientology too mainly because its barely even a religion, pretty sure everyone outside of the cult of Scientology knows its bogus.

"People are just fooling themselves left and right."

Bingo. Often times when believers tell me that I should try to believe, try to seek God, just to escape Hell or whatever (Pascal's Wager) I often have to wonder "why are you asking me to deceive myself into believing something?". If Christianity and religion in general had a leg to stand out there would not be an outcry to have faith, there would simply be an honest presentation of the evidence and there certainly wouldn't be such horrific appeals to hell as emotional bullying.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

The placebo effect is another word hijacked by atheist science to replace the effective word "faith"

Unexplained healing takes place via sheer hopeful belief or faith in a lookalike pill: when this same faith is put in a spiritual philosophy the effects can be much greater.

This does not mean basic commonsense should be thrown out.

As science marvels at the placebo effect they forget about its relationship to good old faith. Why? Stubborn refusal to see any good in religion


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Unexplained healing takes place via sheer hopeful belief"

Than why is every study of prayer come out statistically negligible? And furthermore why does it only affect the sort of psychosomatic symptoms that we'd expect it to?

Science does not marvel at the placebo effect. You are WAY overestimating what the placebo effect is capable of and I would argue overestimating what faith and prayer do as well.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

The placebo effect is most noticeable in people who are considered to be gullible. If Titen or myself were given a placebo, it would probably have zero effect.

The placebo effect is directly related to people who can succumb to 'hypnosis' or frequently seek out "miracle" cures. These people would do better to go with Buddhist meditation techniques and it has been shown that people using these techniques can be trained to lower their blood pressure, change their brain wave patterns, and other unusual things regarding bodily functions.

But this comes from our own minds, not some supernatural "force".


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

Faith and the placebo effect are the same thing... basically. Both work on the basis that we believe it will work. Many natural or homeopathic remedies are placebos that only effect those that believe they have an ailment that is based on belief alone. Many people are hypochondriacs. Faith is no different.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

I advise you to keep up to date with placebo research as it shows miraculous results.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 18 months ago from Michigan, USA

Another good hub, Titen! Perhaps your next hub in this series should be on so-called 'exorcisms.' You touched on them very briefly in this hub, but there are a great many documented cases of religious parents having 'exorcisms' performed on their children, with catastrophic results.

It's frightening what religious delusion can do to the mind of an otherwise sane person (though I suppose it could be argued that those most enthusiastic about their delusion are more prone to such mental deviations in the first place. So if it weren't religion driving them over the edge, it would just be something else).

This is one of the reasons I absolutely despise religion, and why I'm happy to consider myself an anti-theist!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oz, you should go into the placebo manufacturing business. You'd make a ton of money! You could enclose complimentary prayer cloths.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Miraculous results eh? How many doctors are now prescribing only placebos and have abandoned real medicine in droves? How many amputees has the placebo effect restored? Or are you just being horribly hyperbolic?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks Paladin,

There are so many topics I could cover as part of this it may take me years.

This sort of delusion has been safe beneath the umbrella of religion for too long.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

I tell you my testimony and still you will not believe! Instead, you start talking about the placebo effect. When my I prayed for my jaw to be healed, I did not start training myself to think that it was going to heal. I did not expect it to. But it did. I did not think myself into making it heal on its own. God did that.

A hub on exorcisms would be interesting, though what would you say to many priests, pastors, and exorcists who have encountered these demons? What would you say to someone who was plagued with demons? You think you have an explanation for everything.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

To be fair Oz is the one who brought up placebos. I merely stated that sometimes, even when improbable, medical issues resolve themselves, invoking miracles is not a good explanation.

"though what would you say to many priests, pastors, and exorcists who have encountered these demons?"

That they are encountering a combination of mental illness, self-hypnosis and role-playing.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Role playing? I don't know why people would want to waste their time making up stuff and pretending to be demons. Don't think I could do that with a straight face for that long. They'd have to be pretty good actors. Acting is not as easy as it looks.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"I don't know why people would want to waste their time making up stuff and pretending to be demons."

Well there are two ways in which these people might be considered role-playing. The first and most obvious is as part of these traveling healer/evangelist stage shows such as Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, etc. They have something in the audience called a plant who is supposed to act a certain way to enhance the illusion. Faith healers and would-be exorcists get donations, big bucks, from credulous people in the audience who are duped by their con job.

The second instance is just based on psychology. Most people have seen possession movies, most people know how a possessed person is supposed to act. So if you come to an exorcist believing yourself the victim of demonic forces chances are when he starts playing his role and spouting exorcist mumbo jumbo you are going to perform your role and act possessed. Like I said there may also be mental illness, chemical imbalances and self-hypnosis (trance-like states are very common in religion ie getting slain in the spirit).

" Acting is not as easy as it looks."

No but playing pretend is easy, especially when your preconceived beliefs lead you to believe this stuff is real.

My father was a borderline schizophrenic who's meds just barely kept him n the fringe of semi-normal. I can remember times when he believed he was possessed by demons and would howl in tongues until his throat was raw. I can remember times when he stopped taking his meds and went off the deep-end, adopting the persona of "Hip Hop Hillbilly" a character he'd manufactured.

This sort of shit is not supernatural, its psychological, unless you have some evidence that its real.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

OMG, Titen. I am so sorry--has your father passed away? What a heartbreaking story!


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

Great article.

Along the lines with the topic, I love how Richard Dawkins pointed out that religious moderates are responsible for religious extremism because they are the ones that create the illusion that there is something good about religion:

“Once you teach people that that’s a legitimate reason for believing something then you as it were give a license to the extremists who say,

‘My belief is that I’m supposed to be a suicide bomber or I’m supposed to blow up buildings — it’s my faith and you can’t question that.’"


Stargrrl 18 months ago

That's ridiculous, Jenny! Absolute BS! Christians and Muslims do not think the same! In fact, I might do a comparison piece between the two religions.

I feel sorry for Richard Dawkins. If ANYONE needs to have some faith in God's provision, it's him!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

No, he's living out in Ohio somewhere on a buttload of back disability money. Haven't seen him in a while.

The only time he ever got close to death is when he fasted himself down to about 130 pounds and wouldn't eat. This is part of why religion is dangerous, as Jenny was saying, it not only obfuscates the difference between benign religious faith and extremism but also blurs the line between mentally ill and devoutly religious.

I don't agree with Richard Dawkins on everything but here he is absolutely right, the nature of faith is such that it can make any belief seem justified. And if you don't think some Christians think the same as fundamentalist Muslims look at people who bomb abortion clinics, look at the Westboro Baptist Church. Look at Uganda, which we discussed on your hub, where a Christian nation was going to make homosexuality punishable by death.

Christopher Hitchens once said that Religion Poisons Everything, that was almost the title for this series because he's absolutely hit the nail on the head. For all the good religion does in the end it always poisons everything it touches.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

I don't see how it's ridiculous. Religious moderates perpetuate the false idea that there is something fundamentally good about religion.

The moderate guy that considers himself a good Christian will inspire someone with a more fanatical religious impulse to want to be an even better Christian, then the fanatical Christian believes that he is justified in calling for the death of homosexuals, or the subjugation of women because everything he's doing is in the Bible.

There's no such thing as god, so I'm not sure what good it would do for Dawkins to have faith in an imaginary friend. That would be harmful more than anything.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Professor Richard Dawkins is a respected teacher and lecturer. He looks real happy to me. He has a cute little smile when he is destroying any argument for the existence of god.


Jane Err profile image

Jane Err 18 months ago from Texas

The religious center in the brain is located in the temporal lobe area....actually it lies in several areas but mostly in the lobe area.

The Roman writer, Seneca, said: “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.”


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

What Austin forgot to include is that bloodless medical science is the gold standard of medical care the world over: http://bit.ly/HOTQOb

And thankfully so since many regions don't even have blood to transfuse!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"I submit three possibilities, either he's an evil God, a powerless God, or simply doesn't exist."

In order for your conclusion to obtain you need to prove there is no good reason God might have for temporarily permitting suffering in the world. Can you?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"The religious center in the brain is located in the temporal lobe area....actually it lies in several areas but mostly in the lobe area."

There is some fascinating research being done to induce religious experience in people in the lab.

Also when their brains are scanned after asking them what God thinks about something the believing brain lights up with activity in the same portion of the brain that accesses personal opinions. A person creates their own God concept and externalizes it.

Thanks for the comment Jane Err!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"they are the ones that create the illusion that there is something good about religion:"

Except that it's anything but an illusion:

“They refuse any form of violence and without rebelling put up with the many trials inflicted on them because of their beliefs . . . How different the world would be if we all woke up one morning firmly decided not to take up arms again, whatever the cost or the reason, just like Jehovah’s Witnesses!” - “Andare Alle Genti”

“[Jehovah’s Witnesses are] well known as very nice, kind, and meek people who are very easy to deal with, never put any pressure on other people and always seek peace in their relationship with others . . . There are no bribe-takers, drunkards or drug addicts among them, and the reason is very simple: They just try to be guided by their Bible-based convictions in everything they do or say. If all the people in the world at least tried to live according to the Bible the way Jehovah’s Witnesses do, our cruel world would be absolutely different.” - The Moscow Times

“I am not a Witness. But I am a witness to the fact that the Witnesses witness to efficiency and proper behaviour. . . . If they were the only people in the world, we would not at night have to bolt our doors shut and put on the burglar alarm.” - Journal de Montréal in Canada

“If all the religious denominations were like Jehovah’s witnesses, we would have no murders, burglaries, delinquencies, prisoners and atomic bombs. Doors would not be locked day in and day out.” - Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Former Governor-General of Nigeria

“I have come to the conclusion that if Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only ones living on the earth, wars would cease to exist, and the only duties of the policemen would be to control traffic and to issue passports.” - “Gyűrű”

“Suffice it to say that if all the world lived by the creed of the Jehovah Witnesses there would be an end of bloodshed and hatred, and love would reign as king!”- “The Sacramento Union”

“The work of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the revival and re-establishment of the primitive Christianity practised by Jesus and his disciples . . . All are brothers.” - “The Encyclopedia Canadiana”


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Yes.

Because there is no god no apologist and no holy book in the history of religious thought that has given a good reason for suffering.

Of course this doesn't preclude gods we haven't thought of yet, but then the fact that this God has not attempted to prevent needless suffering or given us a good reason just leads us back into my trilemma.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Austin

When did you become Pro-Life?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I'm allowing this comment Joe, but please don't think its carte blanch to preach about your cult.

I don't care if religion sometimes makes people act nice. Mormons are often quite nice from my limited experience with them and stories I've heard, its has no correlation with whether their beliefs are true or not. It also doesn't stop religious thinking from inspiring more harm than it does good.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Bloodless surgery is becoming more common, this is quite true. Modern surgery techniques have rapidly advanced to include methods of reducing blood loss during surgery.

But there is still NO substitute for human blood in pernicious anemia, chronic anemia or for cancer patients and exchange transfusions for newborns. In fact, blood is in short supply today and still needed desperately for treating many conditions like blood clotting disorders, cancer, and many other conditions for which there is no other treatment available.

Do not even try to tell me about immonohematology, I am a specialist in it with licences and years of experience.

Also don't presume to know that I am pro life or not. That is my privelidge to believe what I want. You go be you and have a nice life.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"there is no god no apologist and no holy book in the history of religious thought that has given a good reason for suffering."

One common misperception needs to be cleared up first. Many people think of Almighty God as the ruler of this world, the one who is in direct control of everything. “Not one atom or molecule of the universe is outside his active rule,” said the president of one theological seminary. Does the Bible really teach that?

Not at all. Many are surprised to learn what the Bible actually says about who rules the world. For example, 1 John 5:19 states: “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil one.”(WNT) Who is this Evil one? Jesus Christ identified him as Satan the Devil, whom he called “the ruler of the world.” (John 14:30) Now, does that not make sense? Satan is cruel, deceptive, and hateful—traits that underlie much of the suffering that people experience. Why, though, does God allow Satan to rule?

Just how might an adoring and capable mother or father really feel if they were openly charged of being deceptive to their young children , abusing their authority over them , as well as withholding what they need from them ? Could they disprove those slanderous allegations by physically attacking their accuser ? Certainly not ! Without a doubt , by responding like this , they would give credibility to the charges .

This depiction really helps to clarify Jehovah God’s strategy for managing a challenge brought up against him at the dawn of man's historical past in a region identified as Eden . There God Almighty announced to the very first pair of human beings , Adam and Eve , a fantastic undertaking . These were to fill up the globe , take care of it , and thus transform it into a worldwide paradise . ( Genesis 1 :28 )

Truly being a big-hearted Father , Jehovah handed Adam and Eve an exquisite haven home with all of its succulent fruits . Just one tree was not in bounds for them—“the tree of the knowledge of good and bad .” By avoiding this tree , Adam and Eve would certainly display their absolute trust in their Father , accepting that he had the right to determine that which was right and wrong for his children .—Genesis 2 :16 , 17 .

Lamentably , one amongst God’s spirit sons , inspired by the want to be worshiped , led Eve to believe that when she consumed the outlawed fruit , she would never perish . ( Genesis 2 :17 ; 3 :1-5 ) And so , this wicked angel , Satan , flagrantly contradicted God , in effect calling him a liar ! To boot , Satan proceeded to criticize God of withholding critical facts from Adam and Eve . Mankind , Satan suggested , could determine on their own what is actually good and what is bad . Stated more forcefully , Satan charged God of being an unfit Sovereign and Father and additionally indicated that he , Satan , could perform a significantly better job himself .

Through the use of those astute and fatal mendacities , this angel fashioned himself into Satan the Devil . These particular names stand for “Resister” and “Slanderer .” What exactly did Adam and Eve do, then ? They sided with Satan , turning their backs on God .—Genesis 3 :6 .

Jehovah could have eradicated the rebels just then . But bear in mind , as mentioned above previously in our representation , these kinds of difficulties can never be worked out through violent retaliation . Take into account too that when Satan confronted God Almighty , innumerable angels were paying attention .

By enticing Adam and Eve into deciding on autonomy from their Maker , Satan established a family which was not in fact self-reliant but , as you see , under his command . Prompted , consciously or unwittingly , by their “father ,” the Devil , this family would pick and choose its own objectives as well as values . ( John 8 :44 ) Still , might this way of life bring them genuine liberty as well as enduring happiness and joy ? Jehovah understood full well that it would never . Even so , he left the rebels to go after their ill-fated ambition , for only by doing so could the problems brought up in Eden be completely resolved for all time .

For upwards of 6 ,000 years now , humankind has erected one society after another , attempting more and more varieties of rulership as well as rules of behavior . Do you happen to be overjoyed with the outcome ? Is the human family actually joyful , undisturbed , and united ? Undeniably , the answer is absolutely no ! In its place , wars , famines , catastrophes , disease , together with unspeakable loss of life has besieged humanity , inflicting “futility ,” “pain ,” and “groaning ,” much like the Holy Bible reported long ago .—Romans 8 :19-22 ; Ecclesiastes 8 :9 . Fundamentally , "People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD ." -Proverbs 19 :3 ( NLT )

Nonetheless , some might wonder , ‘Why has God not averted these disasters ?’ Honestly , that would certainly be an injustice , as it would undoubtedly blur the issue by creating the impression that rebelling against God is without deadly repercussions . Accordingly , Jehovah has not been in the background protecting against all the crimes and calamities that results , explicitly or in a roundabout way , from disobedience to him . Jehovah could never ever be party to the fatal myth that Satan’s approach could turn out well ! Notwithstanding , Jehovah has not been apathetic to what has transpired . Truth be told , he continues to be extremely active , as we shall subsequently appreciate .

Since the rebellion in Eden , he has long been very active . Case in point , he inspired Bible amanuensis to document his guarantee that a future “seed” would undoubtedly defeat Satan with everyone who allied with him . ( Genesis 3 :15 ) On top of that , via that Seed , God would constitute a governing administration , a heavenly Kingdom , which would bless obedient people , stop all causes of misery and even death itself .—Genesis 22 :18 ; Psalm 46 :9 ; 72 :16 ; Isaiah 25 :8 ; 33 :24 ; Daniel 7 :13 , 14 .

As a step towards the fulfillment of those wonderful promises, Jehovah sent to the earth the One who would become the primary Ruler of that Kingdom. This one was none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Galatians 3:16) In accord with God’s purpose for him, Jesus focused his teaching on God’s Kingdom. (Luke 4:43) In fact, Christ provided a living preview of what he will accomplish as King of that Kingdom. He fed hungry thousands, healed the sick, resurrected the dead, and even showed his power over the natural elements by calming a violent storm. (Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 4:37-39; John 11:43, 44) Concerning Jesus, the Bible states: “No matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him.”—2 Corinthians 1:20.

Those who listen to Jesus and come “out of the world”—the system of things that is estranged from God and ruled by Satan—are welcomed into Jehovah’s family. (John 15:19) This global family of true Christians is governed by love, committed to peace, and marked by determination to eradicate any trace of bigotry and racism in its midst.—Malachi 3:17, 18; John 13:34, 35.

Instead of upholding the present world, sedulous Christians support and proclaim God’s Kingdom in obedience to Jesus’ command recorded at Matthew 24:14. Think: Who preach the “good news of the kingdom” worldwide? Who have refused, as a worldwide spiritual family, to engage in warfare and divisive national and tribal disputes? And who let God’s Word guide their conduct, whether its lofty standards are popular or not? (1 John 5:3)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"But there is still NO substitute for human blood in pernicious anemia, chronic anemia [...] and exchange transfusions for newborns."

Which necessarily means you're Pro-Life. That or you're a flaming hypocrite ...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Its clear no one has bothered to update their knowledge re the new research into the placebo effect.

For the record : I group religious hypocrites who claim to be "the only way" in the same basket as atheists who likewise practice religious intolerance


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Titen, I will be reporting JOP for name-calling and inciting useless arguments on HP. (FYI)


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

My goodness, have we all really strayed so far from Thor and His almighty hammer?

My lord and savior Thor knows no Jehovah. Thor, and Thor alone shall save us from our fleshly iniquities that would manifest themselves as disease. Pray to the almighty Thor for mercy, that He might redeem your unworthy soul.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

It's funny the trollish type sociopaths some religious people are.... when you show them evidence that nature acts on it's own accord without the need of an intelligence or god or even creator of sorts, through the study of physics they turn their heads in total denial and say no. No matter how much evidence you show them....

As far as faith healing goes, many people who say "this could never happen without God" "I prayed to God and this is the only reason it happened" The story of the jaw was funny. I have broken many bones, this is while I have been an atheist, all have been healed, and no thanks to any sort of god or supernatural force but by shear will of that is how nature works. You see kids, your body is like a city, a community of cells that are organized to the task of making sure your body functions, it uses the food that you eat to repair itself, like building material. When viruses attack your body they have these little white cells that attack the foreign bodies, your own little army inside your body. They use vaccines and medicines as weapons to teach them how to deal with these foreign attackers. When cells in your body die as you use them or get older or heal they replace them by replicating and forming new walls and using clots to build temporary barriers while they do so.

This is also why, for scientists and myself, that irreducible complexity fails. Think of evolution in a larger sense of the word while still using the cells of your body as comparison. Thousands of years ago it was very possible that someone could go out into the world, into the wild, by themselves and survive very easily, they knew how, because they were not a "cog" in the machine of civilization. Over time we learned to work together until finally each human is specialized in a particular task and is unable to perform any other. Many people would die if they became lost in the wild because they have lived a specialized life. How many of you could make clothes, hunt food, start a fire or build a shelter in one day? That is what you have lost.... same with cells.... a good example is single cells live by themselves and survive without any outside help.... the Portuguese Man of War (look it up children) is not one animal it is a group of individual animals that live in a community but can still live separately if need be.... Same with the coral reef. A community of animals whose bone structures make up the city of coral.

Nature doesn't need a God to make things happen, it builds it up over time, it learns from it's surroundings and adapts. Overtime the new bodies learn from the old bodies but slowly over thousands of years and change to become more complex, but once they learn to become complex they can no longer live separately and simply.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Even bacteria have learned to communicate and defeat antibiotics, even antibiotics that they have never encountered. Bacteria communicate how to survive somehow against new enemies. They have evolved in a very short time to resist new lines of antibiotics. It's scary to think that single celled organisms can outthink us.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

What have I told you about your walls of text Joe?

You know that the Bible is never going to convince me that God has an excuse for suffering. We both know what my opinion of the God of the Bible is. Why waste your time copy and pasting this stuff?

The Devil is the ruler of this Earth excuse makes things WORSE for God, not only is he allowing suffering but he's allowing the most evil being in the Cosmos (other than him of course) to run amok? And this is supposed to make God's benevolence MORE obvious?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Let's also remember that Thor said he would get rid of Frost Giants, and of course there aren't any Frost Giants anymore. Checkmate atheists!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Peeps

why jettison the atheist platform of evolutionary principles when it comes to religions?


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Dawkins makes a living parasitically feeding off religion. He is just a zoologist. More people than not have no respect for him. He is mainly popular with a thin sliver of would be cafe amateur "ethicists".


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

@Oz - jealous much? Profesor Dawkins is a clear spoken educated man that points out all your faults, mental-wise. Much like Titen-Sxull :-)


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Dawkins ' God Delusion offers weak arguments against religion. Agnostic atheists have even admitted to that!


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

Dawkins is not a zoologist, he is an evolutionary biologist, so you should understand why it should bother him so much that religious zealots continue to deny evolution and insist that the universe began with a talking snake and a magic apple.

Dawkins' arguments are anything but weak. The God Delusion is spot on.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

The universe began with God's command. His command sparked the Big Bang. And Dawkins' arguments are not spot on. Spot on to whom? You?


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

There's no such thing as god. The Bible is a book of fairy tales written thousands of years ago by a bunch of misogynistic idiots that thought the sun revolved around the earth. When you die, you don't go to heaven, you become worm food. Human beings are insignificant specs on a spec in the universe.

This is true for everyone. I'm sorry that reality is too harsh for you to handle, but it's not my responsibility to hold your hand.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

I don't think so, Jenny. I didn't you ask you to, nor do I need you to hold my hand. One can only speak for oneself, so don't tell me what everyone knows. You can't prove to me there is no God.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

But you are asking me to hold your hand by insisting I respect and give credence to your delusions.

It reminds me of how I'm not supposed to tell my nephews that there's no Santa Clause.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

J- calling my beliefs delusions is you stating your opinion! That is, you're the one sounding very opinionated with "whatever I say is absolute truth" attitude.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

If you can't prove something exists, it is delusion. Like Santa Clause.

I'm sorry that you don't have a single compelling argument for your case. Maybe instead of getting mad, you should just accept that you're wrong.

Or do you think that the Christmas carol "Here Comes Santa Clause" is proof that Santa exists? Because if the Bible is proof that god exists...


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

No, the belief in a god IS delusional, because there is no evidence a God exists, there is no evidence God is necessary, and considering that there are over 100 different religions, not including Christianity with over a hundred different gods and the oldest living religion is not Christianity but hinduism, there is no evidence that your god is the correct god. God of the gaps is the fact that everything attributed to your god has been found to have natural causes over the centuries. The world is not flat, the world is not the center of the universe, the solar system is not even the center of the universe, the big bang did not have a central point (its actually an everywhere stretch) once we are able to investigate further you'll have to find something else to attribute to god. Science has shown that everything attributed to god is false. Science has proven that evolution is true.

We may not be able to prove god does not exist but you cannot prove that he does or is necessary to anything in the universe.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"No, the belief in a god IS delusional,"

I would also like to add that belief in God is done by either faith or personal revelation. Right now there are people who think that they are in contact with alien beings from another dimension. I know Star will probably say something ridiculous, like those people are in contact with demons, but the easier answer is that they are self-deceived (some might be lying). It is not hard to deceive oneself if you believe hard enough and wish your doubts away by sheer will of faith.

The nature of religious faith is gullibility and that is what makes it so easy to fall into delusion.

Jenny brought up Santa Claus, the rationalizations of these beliefs remind me of the movie The Santa Clause, where after being asked how Santa delivers presents to homes without chimneys the kid says a chimney 'just appears', by magic. Miracles break all rules, you can special plead anything into existence to fit your beliefs and yes that sort of thing is delusional.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Art

"the belief in a god IS delusional, because there is no evidence a God exists"

Argumentum ad ignorantiam. That's not how rational thought works. Arguments are proven false based on positive evidence of their falsehood not by rhetoric, tautologies, nor by the intelligentsia. Try again.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Jenny

"There's no such thing as god."

Prove it.

"The Bible is a book of fairy tales"

Prove it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Titen

Delusion you say? Based on what do you dare claim all of us theists are suffering from "a persistent false psychotic belief regarding persons outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary?" Where is your proof our Creator does not nor cannot exist?


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

@Joseph

1. I can't prove something doesn't exist, that's impossible.

The burden of proof is on the person making the claim.

I believe there is an invisible purple unicorn living on my roof -- PROVE THERE ISN'T!

You see, you can't prove there ISN'T one, so you should expect me to provide evidence for its existence if I am to go on expecting you to believe my claim.

2. And here's the definition of fairy tale for you:

fairy tale

noun

1.

a story, usually for children, about elves, hobgoblins, dragons, fairies, or other *magical creatures*.

2.

an incredible or misleading statement, account, or *belief*


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

"Argumentum ad ignorantiam. That's not how rational thought works. Arguments are proven false based on positive evidence of their falsehood not by rhetoric, tautologies, nor by the intelligentsia. Try again."

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may Zeus have mercy on your soul.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Jenny

"I can't prove something doesn't exist, that's impossible."

Then you lied when you claimed earlier that "There's no such thing as god."

"The Bible is a book of fairy tales"

Prove it.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Jenny, while I enjoy having discussions with Titen, I find you to be extremely rude and out of line. I feel I am now dumber for having read one of your hubs. From now on, do not respond to my posts. I do not wish to have discussions, or whatever it is you want to have, with you.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Jenny

You know I thought I’d put your reply to good use so I printed out a few copies. But the text was way too rough and kept making the toilet overflow. You should be more like Austinstar. Her text wipes softly and goes down the bowl swimmingly.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

Prove there isn't an invisible purple unicorn living on my roof.

I guess you're saying that you've printed out my comments onto paper in order to use them to wipe feces off your body? That sounds like a really expensive and wasteful substitute for toilet paper. But I'm so glad you're maintaining the high road and not resorting to hateful pettiness like I am.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

If you can't prove that there isn't an invisible purple unicorn living on my roof, I will have no choice but to take a victory lap as I have just proven there is, in fact, an invisible purple unicorn living on my roof.

No, praise Him! Praise the invisible purple unicorn!!!!


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Joseph, you know someone's age is showing when they've resorted to quoting Adam Sandler movies. No doubt the other quips originally came from someone else's mouth. Nothing else beneficial or intelligent to say.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Star

ROFLOL!! :D


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

Yeah. Good one.

So glad you guys still aren't resorting to petty insults or character attacks. It's just so great to see that you're able to argue my point using facts.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I never said all theists were delusional, I said it is very easy for faith to lead to delusion.

"Where is your proof our Creator does not nor cannot exist?"

Depends on which God we're talking about, you already know where my proofs about the Biblical God are (Deconstructing God's Characteristics, the Creation of God, In the Image of God, and other hubs). It's not even a coherent God concept and its defined in such a way that it can be disproved to a reasonably degree of certainty (the same way Zeus can).

Something tells me you would agree that someone who believes in Zeus IS delusional.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

No, I would just say that person is deceived by Satan.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

From here on out any personal attacks about others on this hub will be denied as comments, from both sides of the argument, if I deem them too personal or completely nonconstructive I will delete them without hesitation.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Titen, out of respect to YOU, I apologize. I love that you are so fair.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

"It's not even a coherent God concept and its defined in such a way that it can be disproved to a reasonably degree of certainty"

I don't follow. Please elaborate (or just point me to the hub specifically addressing this aspect of your argument).


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Deconstruc...

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Creati...

Takes downs of the Biblical God more from the Bible itself:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gods-Damne...

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/theimageof

And obviously you've read my hub about the Resurrection. It is not that there is a big knock-out argument to the Biblical concept of God, rather a cumulative effect whereby the concept disqualifies itself by being nonsensical, self-contradictory, etc.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

I would stop responding to Joseph, or even allowing his comments on your hub. He's nothing but a raving troll.

Look at his profile, he does not write hubs. He doesn't have a single hub. Now look at his activity.

All he does is relentlessly post nonsensical blatherings in people's comment sections.

Hubpages is a writing platform, not a message board for feeding trolls.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

Thanks I'll review them and respond accordingly :)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I have been close to refusing comments from Joe for multiple reasons, mainly his stances on certain aspects of Biblical morality (slavery) and his constant desire to post "walls o' text" from elsewhere on the internet.

I don't think he is a troll in the traditional sense of trying to merely piss people off and start a flame war though.

He has become a willing "punching bag" for these sorts of debates, not sure if he thinks he's winning and I certainly do tire of running in circles with him sometimes. I feel comfortable that I can decide when and where he crosses the line.

I also figure if he wants to keep posting comments that should help my hubs out in some way, in a generating buzz kind of way.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Maybe JOP should write "PROVE IT" on his headstone, he's not even going to believe it when he gets put in a casket and becomes worm food.

And as far as the other little name caller here, I won't even bother to acknowledge her at all.

So, Jenny, you just go right ahead and have your say. Titen is fair about it and rarely if ever deletes a comment. He's incredibly patient with trolls.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

Fair enough.

I have far less patience for people that demand for me to prove that imaginary beings DON'T exist (which, anyone with a 5th grade education knows is impossible) while feeling as though they're not obligated in the least to prove that they are.

And the walls of gobble-de-goo comments make me feel like I'm taking crazy pills -- that's another reference to a 90's movie btw, Zoolander, especially for Stargrrl. Go ahead and take another victory lap, sweetheart.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Actually Joe just cross the line in Stargrrl's hub about how atheism affects her life. He has repeatedly accused gay rights of being equivalent to pedophile rights and is trying to say that most people who molest kids are gay. A quote from him:

"...the overwhelmingly majority of cases of ped0philia are perpetrated by gays"

His comments on my hubs will no longer be approved. Call it the straw that broke the camel's back.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Thanks Titen, I was SO getting tired of his comments. He's been banned from my hubs for months now.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

It just occurred to me, I bet he thinks trolling people online counts towards his 10 hrs per week the Jehovah's Witness cult requires him to spend pestering people about their cult.

That's LAZY Joseph! You're supposed to be door-knocking, you cheater!!


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, thanks for justifying our atheism by showing how hateful and disgusting you are towards people you don't understand. Having many gay friends I would trust my kids in their care sooner than people such as yourself and I have no fear that they would ever be harmed. I have some friends who have also been raised by gay parents who turned out to be better more well adjusted and successful people.

Your comments will be erased from my hub as well. Get your own damn hub you christian fascist.... I have yet to see one from you.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Titen

In your hub series will you be hitting upon those who have had near death experiences? What would you make of those who have died, went to heaven, saw Jesus, and came back? What if they came back talking about people and pets they've never known about, been told about, or events they don't know about, or places they couldn't possible know? I am thinking particularly about the three year old who had such an experience, and wrote a book years later. If it were your child, how would you handle that? Would you dismiss what your child had to say, what would you tell him? Just curious.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

Startle, what about those like myself who have had near death experiences, died, had strange dreams that have nothing to do with heaven or hell, then came back? Oh, I think I just said it, dreams. When your body thinks its about to die it will most likely try to make the experience as pleasant as possible by making your dreams match that experience. .. you are unconscious after all, you'll be dreaming.

and if my child had that experience I would tell him the truth, it was a dream. How do I know? Personal experience.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Art, I too have had personal experience with dying. I was resusitated after a truly bizarre extra-corporeal shock wave treatment for a kidney stone. I didn't dream, but I did hallucinate due to the drugs they were giving me. And this was a personal experience.

Also, having worked in the e.r. and lab, and patient floors in hospitals for 38 years, I saw lots of people die, lots of people be resurrected (via the paddles) and never did I see someone come back and talk about seeing "heaven" or "the light they were supposed to walk into". Nope, they were all glad to be breathing again.

Also, all of the studies done about "dying on the operating table" and then coming back to life - not one of them could remember seeing specific objects around them. It was all just vague fantasy recollections of what they thought "heaven" was like.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"What would you make of those who have died, went to heaven, saw Jesus, and came back?"

We understand that during NDEs the brain is awash with chemicals that are the likely cause of these vivid experiences. My understanding is that they are similar to dreams and not all personal experiences, as Art and Austinstar have explained, are the same.

"What if they came back talking about people and pets they've never known about,"

I'm assuming you're talking about dead relatives they never got to meet or something to that effect. Because this experience is so subjective there is no way we can get into the brain and see what that person sees to know whether their NDE is actually accurate as to these people they never met, we're just asked to take their word for it.

See this sort of "evidence" used to look convincing to me especially when it has to do with reincarnation but the more you look into the psychology of it the less likely it is to be true.

When my child explained this to me I would probably tell them that it was an amazing dream. Of course I would not stifle my child's imagination, dreams, especially ones as vivid as an NDE might be, can be emotionally powerful and stay with us for the rest of our lives.

I won't be covering NDEs in this series because they are not part of the harm that religion does.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

A lot of those kids turn around and admit that they were lying about seeing heaven. Most famously the kid that was the subject of the book The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.

While there are chemical explanations for these "events", a lot of the time people will claim they've visited heaven just because they want to make money off the story.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

A good point Jenny, we are also culturally conditioned to think we will see these things when we die. In much the same vein as I mentioned with exorcisms before we have all heard stories like this, seen movies like this and many people expect to see this sort of thing when they die, so it is no surprise that their brains conjure a fantasy similar to what the dominant religion in their part of the world believes.

Here's a fascinating article on Hindu NDEs http://www.near-death.com/hindu.html


Stargrrl 18 months ago

"Because this experience is so subjective there is no way we can get into the brain and see what that person sees to know whether their NDE is actually accurate as to these people they never met, we're just asked to take their word for it."

What if they started talking about things that they couldn't possibly know of? They may start describing a tattoo the person had, or hair color, or talk about something the person said or did--and there's no way they could possible know that? Perhaps the person died before they were born? From where would they get that information, do you think?

And not everybody remembers it when they have a NDE. Sometimes they remember it later on, the way we remember dreams we initially forget. I think God does that for a reason.

I don't know that the brain is that powerful that it can conjure a fantasy after we die. I think when you're dead, you don't think. Your spirit leaves your body and goes to one of two places. I will check out the Hindu NDE.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

Again, several things come to mind. Human memory is a funny thing. We may glance at something and not realize what we saw and then later remember it and not know where we could possibly have seen it. The exception to these are people with photographic memories but most of us may only remember images in dreams. The other thing that comes to mind are again people who lie about what they say they have never seen or what they could not have ever known about.

If you die an actual brain death then your body cannot possibly come back, near death is hard to measure because many devices that measure brain activity can onky do so to a point and the smaller the signal becomes the less the equipment that measures brain activity is capable of detecting these very faint signals. Once the signals are gone though, if this person were to be brought back to life they would be brain dead, which happens often.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

God can bring anyone back to life! With God all things are possible.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 18 months ago

What if a shark bites my arm off -- can god make it grow back if I pray for it?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Okay second try since hubpages wanted to have an error the first time I typed this.

“Perhaps the person died before they were born?”

Because of the subjective nature of the experience there is no way to know how accurately what this person saw actually reflects reality except for taking their word for it. I'm not saying they're lying, though some of them might be, but I am saying that this sort of thing cannot convince other people because we can't know the content of their NDE except by their own word.

Here's an example using myself: I happen to be named after an Uncle who was hit and killed by a drunk driver before I was born. I don't know what my Uncle looks like, I don't even remember ever seeing a photo of him. Let's say I have a dream, a vision, whatever you want to call it, where I am in Heaven talking to my Uncle. After I wake up I go and talk to the members of my family who knew him while he was alive using the description from my dream and they agree that that's what he looked like. Have I actually been to visit my dead Uncle in Heaven?

Cold reading is something that psychics who pretend to talk to the dead do, it's a trick where they seem to get details correct and seem to be in contact with the dead and in possession of information they couldn't possibly know. The point I bring this up to illustrate is that the poor mourning people who fall prey to Mediums will take all the hits, all the details the reader gets right, and fill in the gaps for the psychic while ignoring all the misses and wrong details and questions from the psychic that went nowhere.

So in my example if I describe what my Uncle looked like in the dream the details I get right about his appearance, be it hair color, what have you, will be taken as proof and any details I get wrong will either be ignored or explained away (as part of the dream, a change that happened to him in Heaven, etc). Now I know what my family members look like, so it wouldn't be hard for my dreaming brain to conjure up someone who looks related to me even if I've never seen them before.

We have examples of people who claim to have been reincarnated who seem to possess details they couldn't possibly but when you look farther you see the same sort of confirmation bias that we see in NDEs and Spiritual Mediums. People add up the sum total of the hits, toss out the misses and declare something supernatural is going on.

Let's not also forget the possibility of false memory, people create false memories all the time and memories once crystal clear can become smudged quite easily. Let's say I dream of a beautiful woman later on I meet a woman and fall in love, it might be very easy to alter my memory of the dream to say that this woman I met was the one from my dream especially under the influence of love. Of course sometimes memories are also repressed due to trauma, pain or fear. So if all of those emotions by themselves can retroactively alter memory sure all the chemicals released in an event like death could create a powerful experience unlike any dream the person has ever experienced before.

Legendary additions to the experience would also be common, especially for those who write a book about the experience. If an NDE is described right after it occurred it might more accurately reflect the actual experience of the person, but if they get a literary agent and a publisher and a book deal what are the odds they didn't embellish the truth in some fashion?

“And not everybody remembers it when they have a NDE. Sometimes they remember it later on, the way we remember dreams we initially forget.”

The same can be said about alien abduction experiences but you don't believe in those do you? Neither do I, because even though they might be vivid and seem real to the person experiencing them there is no tangible physical evidence that anything external to the mind is actually happening.

“I don't know that the brain is that powerful that it can conjure a fantasy after we die.”

Not after we die, while we die, these are NEAR death experiences remember.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Right....probably most psychics are frauds. I do agree with you on that one. But there are others who are contacted by familiar spirits. Those spirits, which we can't see, are around us all the time and can give information to people. Thus, when those who have lost a loved one see a psychic, they actually believe that they are being contacted by their dead relative! Demons are habitual liars, which is why I think that psychics are sometimes given the wrong information.

And then of course, there are con men, who do what you said. It seems to me that you are skeptical about everything, and willing to believe that the supernatural cannot occur.

I do agree that people make false memories sometimes.

But you still didn't answer my question: From where would one get information about someone or something they couldn't possible know?

Regarding the dream of your uncle, I would say that sometimes God sends us messages while we sleep, and other times you are right. But say you were shown a picture of your uncle after you told your family about the dream, and you realized that that was in fact the very man you saw in the dream? You've never seen him before, but you dream of him one time, and it turns out that the guy in the picture is him. How would you explain that?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Those spirits, which we can't see, are around us all the time and can give information to people"

How do you know this? If these spirits manifest in reality than they should be detectable to science, yes? So why has science never detected them? If they do not have a demonstrable measurable effect on reality than they are indistinguishable from something that does not exist at all.

"It seems to me that you are skeptical about everything, and willing to believe that the supernatural cannot occur."

I am extremely skeptical, especially about things that are faith based or based upon severely subjective experiences like personal revelations, visions, etc. This is because they bypass any attempt to present evidence and often go right to emotional manipulation (like the conmen psychics and televangelists), indoctrination and social coercion. Like I said above if the supernatural manifests in a measurable way within reality than it should be detectable. James Randi is offer 1 million dollars and has been most of his adult life, to anyone who can give evidence of the supernatural under test conditions consistent with the scientific method. No one has collected the money.

"From where would one get information about someone or something they couldn't possible know?"

They don't actually possess this information, or if they do they got it from a mundane source or, as with my example about my dead Uncle it is a coincidence that the person I dreamed of had some details consistent with what my Uncle actually looked like.

Let's say I have an NDE on an operating table and rise above the bed and see that my Nurse has a tattoo of something on her neck, let's say a bird or some wings. And when I come to out of my NDE I describe this and lo and behold one of the nurses has a tattoo of a dove. Did I really leave my body? Did I catch this tattoo out of the corner of my eye at some point in a half-dead stupor? I might see this tattoo and immediately assume my vision is more accurate than it was. Maybe I didn't even see it and I made it up afterward. Maybe its a coincidence.

Our brains have the tendency to fill in the gaps and alter details especially for something like dreams.

"I would say that sometimes God sends us messages while we sleep"

And how do we know these are apart from our other dreams? What criteria would we use to tell the difference?

"and you realized that that was in fact the very man you saw in the dream?"

Even if I was convinced it was the same person it wouldn't be evidence of the supernatural. What are the odds, at that point, that I am remembering the dream correctly and not simply filling in the blanks? And if I tell others the story what are the odds that I am not embellishing in any way? What if my desire to convince myself of the realness of the experience allows me to deceive myself?

Again with something like a dream or NDE we can't ever know because of how subjective it is. We can only know if there is something manifesting in reality by demonstrating its effects. Until we can hook people up to some kind of Inception machine that gives us a vivid readout of the images of a dream exactly as they have it we can't draw any absolute conclusions here.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

Stargrrl, it has yet to happen anywhere except in the bible and you know we all believe that it's fictional and there is no evidence that such a thing has ever occurred, especially not in modern times where we know how things work and why.


jlpark profile image

jlpark 18 months ago from New Zealand

Titen - thank you for this hub. It was well thought out, and obviously conversation provoking - for atheists and theists alike. As a health professional, I know that we are willing (at least in my country) to have alternative medicine used alongside traditional medicine, as many things do seem to have a benefit when used this way - not so much on their own. Even as an atheist myself - I can see that prayer can work when used with traditional (or traditional/alternative combined) therapies - it gives a person hope, and a sense of calm when in a position of turmoil. But I think that maybe those who rely on 'faith healing' have missed something - that prayer may not be designed to work on its own - perhaps, if the God they believe in designed traditional therapies to be discovered to be used in conjunction with a belief in him, that prayer is helping this along the way. Rather than relying solely on prayer. I mean, if you believe that God created everything, then he created the stuff the scientists discovered to treat things, so why not use more than one of his creations? I'm not sure, as I'm an agnostic atheist, so I rely on traditional therapies, but figure if it helps them feel better - prayer can't hurt (if used in conjunction).

Stargrrl - I would like to cover something you said earlier in your comments - about your TMJ, and why was no one taking your story of healing as proof. Now, I would like to put out there that if you believe it to be faith healing, then that is fine with me - as you are an adult, and capable of making those decisions in your own best interest. However, I would be disturbed if you were to forgo medical treatment for a child in the hopes that a cure will come (hence, my only issue with your belief in faith healing is if it affects those who do not have a choice in the matter).

However, just for your information (and do with it what you will) - TMJ can in fact resolve itself - even completely - without medical intervention. It's the nature of the disease. Not everyone will completely recover, and some will not recover much at all - but many people do completely resolve with no lasting effects.

See http://www.massoralsurgery.com/oral-surgery-proced...

Titen - I've had the same issue with JOP and his p@edo related comments - I had a discussion with him on one hub, where he made a reasonable argument - but also put his own spin on the "gay-ness" of the whole thing - something about 90% of the victims being male, and the perpetrator being male meant that they are therefore gay (despite the information that that type of offending is about power, not gender, and many are straight in adult relationships). When I questioned him on why he seemed to ONLY have an issue with homosexual offending, but not offending against females....he didn't answer. Then he tried again to start the same on another hub - I have since advised him that he was deleted, and could comment should he have something pertaining to the hub. Some one is just slightly fixated I think.

Austin - I have issues with JWs when it comes to affecting children. If they wish to make decisions on their own lifes, that is fine, but when they are forcing someone who has no say in the matter - I have an issue. In my line of work, thankfully, the courts will sometimes take over if children are involved. However, I do believe that those who are JW do also make us think more about the science of things in relation to blood and it's substitutes - sure, nothing is better than actual blood - but, there have been developments we may never have made were it not being put between a rock and a hard place with surgery for JWs.

My, that was long winded.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Research clearly shows there is a placebo or "faith" effect involved in "real" medicine and even in "real" operations ie a patient can have a phoney operation (with scalpels etc) and still get better!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

@jlpark

Thank you for your comment. It may be that prayer has some effect in the realm of helping folks deal with the psychological side of their symptoms and it definitely gives people hope. I do think there are ways that non-religious people can achieve the same sort of mental states though. People too often categorize atheism as nihilistic and depressing and don't see us as very hopeful. The issue is that with folks who withhold medical care from their children their wishful thinking has clearly boiled over into full blow delusion.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

If it were the case for me that atheism was bad in the realm of hope and healing I probably would be dead. But atheists positive nature comes from their surety in that science works and knowledge of the human body. We know what causes many ailments now we know that the human body is resilient and it is trying to heal itself and that sometimes it needs help from medical science and that there are many new techniques that give it an advantage in this area. People who use faith and prayer do so out of ignorance of the human body and that brings more fear and depression from hoping they are in good favor with their god. If god doesn't heal me have I done something sinful? No, you arent taking care of your body in a way the body requires to be healthy. That is why they got sick to begin with.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

"faith" healing may help people, but why doesn't it work for severed limbs, leprosy, diabetes, heart attacks, epilepsy, and oh, a couple of thousand other conditions?

Sorry, the placebo effect is only a helpful adjunct to actual medical treatment. Gullible people just believe it works all by itself. It doesn't. That's why children die when their parents insist that "god" will heal them.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

I am referring to the placebo effect to shed light on Faith which is a much higher form of belief.

Once again I invite you and others to catch up with placebo research. For example it doesn't matter sometimes if a test subject even knows they are getting a placebo: it can still work. It's not about gullibility at all; something as yet unknown in people is able to miraculously heal even on a very mundane level of ordinary belief.

This doesn't mean people have the right to experiment on their sick kids. It is just food for thought. What if belief or deeper Faith might trigger the body's own stem cells? Research is showing stem cells are capable of growing back limbs.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

What research is showing that stem cells are capable of growing back limbs? It was tried and it failed.

The placebo effect is well documented, but it does not work in all cases. Some people do seem to have a natural ability to enhance their own immune system, but most do not. Some cancer patients and even yogis have learned to harness the bio-feedback benefits of meditation (prayer?). But many people cannot.

If prayer/meditation worked for everyone, I might be convinced that some immune system function is activated by prayer/meditation, but since it does not work for everyone, there is probably a specific genetic code for the lucky ones that do seem to be able to activate or intensify their own immune/defense systems.

Eventually, scientists may even discover this code as genetic research is currently investigating many genetic treatments and even nanotechnology that may substitute and/or enhance our body's ability to heal itself.

If you believe that 'faith' healing happens, then you would have to explain why faith healing only works for some people of faith and not every person of faith.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

"If you believe that 'faith' healing happens, then you would have to explain why faith healing only works for some people of faith and not every person of faith."

Because God wills it for some, but not for others. God has a different plan for each of us. Plus, not everybody asks.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"If you believe that 'faith' healing happens, then you would have to explain why faith healing only works for some people of faith and not every person of faith."

The explanation seems to be that it is just whims of a cruel God who decides to heal what are usually minor health issues for a select few but forces parents of children with cancer to have to bury their child by ignoring their prayers. No one has ever given a compelling answer for why a good God would allow such horrific suffering. The worst part is that God wouldn't even have to reveal himself to reveal the cure for cancer, he could easily plant the cure in the brain of a medical scientist or researcher and BAM.

And of course if God did go around healing people of cancer, regrowing limbs, etc, we would see more people converting to Christianity. So God could not only save people from suffering he could save more souls in the process. The answer is that if this God exists it is not in the business of saving as many souls as it can OR trying to alleviate suffering, rather his love is arbitrary and conditional.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

"And of course if God did go around healing people of cancer, regrowing limbs, etc, we would see more people converting to Christianity."

Right. But would they be converting because they trusted in God, or so that they could get something for themselves? We need to trust in God, that He knows what is best for us. Perhaps God planned to put the cure for cancer in the mind of an individual who was aborted before he or she could be born.

Perhaps God is not out to save every soul. Perhaps He knows ahead of time who will or won't choose to be saved, and does not push anyone to choose Him.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Right. But would they be converting because they trusted in God, or so that they could get something for themselves?"

People are already converting to Christianity only because they're getting something out of it. Think about the reasons why people are might be Christians, what makes the top 5 list?

1) Because their parents raised them that way

2) Because Jesus died for their sins (this is based on guilt and self-interest)

3) Because they can go to Heaven and live forever (its a very selfish thing to want to live FOREVER)

4) Because they get some emotional comfort and community out of it (again self-interest is motivating it)

5) Because they don't want to go to Hell (fear, guilt and self-interest)

People who convert or remain Christians already do so for their own gain. Why do people pray to begin with? Because the Bible says that even a small amount of faith can move mountains in their lives, can cure sickness, can do anything if they just believe. Of course they are going to use this to better their own lives, what other function does it possibly serve?

"that He knows what is best for us."

This simply doesn't hold up, either Biblically or as per observation of the reality around us. What did God think was best for the people of Soddom and Gomorrah? Did he attempt to redeem them or remove their sins? Nope, hellfire rained from the sky to engulf the city and kill everyone, men women and children. Outside the Bible it doesn't hold up either, I would argue that anyone who thinks that a child dying of cancer is what's best for the child is delusional.

"Perhaps God planned to put the cure for cancer in the mind of an individual who was aborted before he or she could be born"

Then God is a moron because there are scientists living right now working very hard to find a cure. God has had decades if not centuries to help save the world and yet it is we human beings who have done the most to actually move forward with science, find cures, and increase our own lifespans.

"Perhaps He knows ahead of time who will or won't choose to be saved, and does not push anyone to choose Him."

If God has already decided I am to be damned, and we are all born with a sin nature against our will, how can it possibly be just to punish me for something I had no control over?

The mental gymnastics required to make sense of this nonsensical incompetent and monstrous God are ones I gave up long ago, makes life that much more enjoyable (not to mention life now makes actual sense without twisting my brain into a pretzel of self-contradictory gobbledygook).


Stargrrl 18 months ago

"People are already converting to Christianity only because they're getting something out of it. Think about the reasons why people are might be Christians, what makes the top 5 list?"

And you would know this because? You've conducted a poll? God created humans to connect with Him. Actually, we are getting something out of it--but it is not selfish. By worshipping God, we're expressing an awareness of God's--and thus--our proper place in the order of things, and it also transforms us into what we were designed to be. In the end, God desires to be known as God--His calling for our worship isn't a manifestation of pride or overinflated views of Himself--He does not think highly of Himself--His views of Himself are quite accurate--He is God. When we truly show love for God--it's not because of a desire for rewards or to avoid punishment, it is supposed to be for the sheer enjoyment of God's presence and approval, which is reward enough.

It is not selfish to want to live forever because we WILL live forever, but we will either spend it in heaven or hell. Heaven will NOT be a prison, it will be God sharing His greatness with us. By creating us in His image, He is offering us a chance to partake in His glory! We are not going to bow down like servants, we are not going to make God feel better by worshipping Him, we are going to give praise to Him for allowing us to live and reign with Him forever. We will feel good! We will REIGN with Him. Whatever you decide, this is a whole lot better than being in some dark, hot place by yourself with only regret and sadness. God has not decided you are damned. YOU have decided you are damned. There is still time for you, it is not too late until you are dead. You might think you're happier now, but I don't believe you. I think you are kidding yourself. I really do. And even if you think you are happy, I bet that happiness is only temporary.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"And you would know this because?"

Because I was a believer and have had contact with believers my entire life. The only people who don't acknowledge some sort of self-interest in their belief are those who disingenuously claim that Christianity is about having a "relationship with Jesus" something found neither in the Bible or in most forms of Christianity.

"He does not think highly of Himself"

This is not Biblically correct at all. Have you ever read the speech God gives to Job after God has allowed Satan to murder Job's family, take away everything Job had and afflict Job with all manner of physical and emotional suffering? His speech amounts to "I'm God and because I made the Universe and you are a pathetic human I can do whatever I want and you have no right to question me!"

Not only is God's law meant to be followed but when the Israelites would fall away God would send down horrific calamities upon them, or have them get invaded and enslaved. And what is it that God has designed for us to be in the end? We are supposedly going to get eternal bodies so we can bow before his thrown for eternity and enjoy the rewards of our servitude.

"It is not selfish to want to live forever"

It's hard to imagine something more selfish than wanting to live forever. It is one thing to not want to die but another thing entirely to demand eternal life. This is what believers often say, that life is absolutely meaningless unless it stretches on eternally, this is, of course, nonsense. It is the fact that life does not last forever that gives it its value.

"we are not going to make God feel better by worshipping Him"

This is illogical. Why does a perfect being need mortals to make himself feel better? He is already perfect. Unless you are suggesting that God is incomplete without us and thus not perfect. An omnipotent and perfect God cannot be harmed in any permanent or meaningful way. And as I said, anyone who would praise a God who invented an eternal hell, is a sycophant who is betraying humanity. If you truly want to love a God you've never seen that you have no evidence even exists more than you love your fellow human beings that's your choice but in my estimation its not just irrational but morally questionable as well (given the nature of this God).

" YOU have decided you are damned"

You just got done admitting that God doesn't want to save everyone but might just want to save the people he knows he can save. Now you've taken that back. Either God knows that I am damned and has allowed me to be so or God wants me to be saved and if God wants to save everyone and God's will is unstoppable then why does everyone not believe? Especially when there are so many easy ways God could demonstrate his existence in a way that is detectable by science.

You can't blame humans for the design flaws God built into us. You can't blame the rational and skeptical for rejecting something for which there is no evidence. And you can't blame the damned if you're a god who isn't doing anything to help them understand that you even exist to begin with.

Trust me. I can remember times when I was a Christian when I thought the world might end any day now. I can remember dread, horror, coming over me when I realized, as a teenager, that Jesus would probably come back before I got to live a full life. The guilt of religion and false hope of religion are two sides of the same coin. The same superstition that wrapped me in warm fuzzy feelings when I prayed also fueled nightmares about back-sliding and being left behind in the tribulation.

I can assure you that living without superstition is much happier, not to mention the understanding of reality that comes from investigating things like evolution and science in general.

All the good that is in religion can be found without it but there is certain evil that can only be found within the irrational and superstitious beliefs of religion.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

And as an atheist it's ok to turn down that glass of kool aid whenever the comets fly by. But I suspect star is juat waiting to get that comet kool aid. She will be first in line! That Jesus juice is just the thing to calm down those evil thoughts.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

I have never in my life seen something that could be called a miracle or a gift from God or a healing that could be shown to have been done by or need to be done by God or any sort of supernatural thing. I have heard people try to say God did something but all of which have been done by natural or medical means.... or psychosomatic elements.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

One pair of eyeballs can't see everything in the universe.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

No they can't, but if one person makes a claim it can be investigated.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

And, I would add, it would be silly to assume the reality of a claim, especially an extraordinary one, without some sort of reason or evidence to back it up.

Yes the Universe could be filled with all kinds of wild weird and crazy shit, maybe even gods, but we understand that even if there is a god out there somewhere that the claims human beings have made, the gods we have constructed, the supernatural beliefs we profess fall or stand on their own merits.

So when someone comes up with a supernatural claim and has no evidence it is perfectly fair to dismiss that claim until such time that evidence is provided to back it up.

The fact that almost anything could be out there in this vast Universe is a reason to be more skeptical when someone comes up to you and says God is talking to them, not less skeptical.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Austinstar - All the while Noah was building the ark, everyone except his family laughed at him and made fun of him. But guess what? When it started raining and flooding, they all cried and begged him to let them into his ark. It was too late for them. So you can laugh at me and say I drink the Kool-Aid all you want.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Titen - God didn't build flaws into us! It is because of sin that we have flaws. Not God! God promises to fix our flaws and perfect us one day, but until then, we have to endure Satan's evil sin and turn to God. You can't do evil and then say to God that it is His fault, that you were born that way. "Born That Way" is an excuse and a stupid song by Lady Gaga telling people to do whatever they want and whatever makes them feel good. God has permitted Satan to rule over this world for a short time, but we must resist him and turn away towards God. We cannot always be the way we feel we must be and say it is God's doing.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Star, if you still believe the story of Noah was real, then it's too late for you. You have already drunk the kool aid. You believe in impossibilities. Noah's story is bizarre and impossible. Do you really think he was the only person in the world with a boat? Do you really think god killed everyone on the planet? and every animal that wasn't on the boat? What did the animals and plants do to piss off your god? What did babies and unborn babies do to piss off your god? How did all the plants grow back after being underwater deeper than Mount Everest? Do you even understand that there isn't that much water on the planet to cover the highest mountains in the world. Do you really believe that your god is that psychotic, stupid, and murderous?

There is no hope for you except your weird "faith" in a god/monster. Stop worrying and go enjoy your prayers. There's a micro possibility that you might make it in to heaven. Wait, no there isn't. But you just keep believing. Have a nice life.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

With God all things are possible. If God wants to create enough rain to drown the world, it WILL happen. If God wants to get rid of all the animals, they are His to do with as He pleases. And He knew what was in ALL the hearts of the people--even the babies--He knew ahead of time that they would be evil. So if He wants to destroy the world, He will do it. And the world will suffer His wrath once more--on the Day of the Lord. When Jesus comes back in the clouds, all will see Him and shudder in fear--those who are not saved. Someday you will bow down and confess Jesus is Lord! You will!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

Right back to the ole goddunit solution. :P


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Jesus juice! Now available in fermented grape flavor! If blessed by a holy man, it's just like drinking the blood of Christ himself. Drink your blessed Jesus juice today, and you too can believe! It's so canabalistic it's like you become a vampire and live forever.


Stargrrl 18 months ago

Really, really, NOT funny. That was bad.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"they all cried and begged him to let them into his ark. It was too late for them."

You do know that Noah's Flood never actually happened right?

So your "you'll see one day, I'll be vindicated" speech doesn't have anything to it, you're talking about a myth.

"God didn't build flaws into us! It is because of sin that we have flaws."

We've been through this over and over. You can't blame a car when its been designed to fail. According to Christian beliefs God gave man free will, meaning he wanted mankind to be capable of sin and capable of making their own decisions. "Sin" was a necessary and inevitable consequence of this obvious design flaw, yet Christians insist that free will is a feature not a bug. That's fine, but if its a feature then God accepts responsibility for designing us that way. You don't look at the Mona Lisa and say "this painting is shit, it must be the fault of the paints themselves" the artists deliberately painted what he wanted, deliberately chose the ingredients, and its obvious that God wanted people to be able to make mistakes, he wanted sin.

"You can't do evil and then say to God that it is His fault, that you were born that way."

According to your theology God is the one who refused to remove the sin nature from Adam and Eve opting to curse humanity and all of creation instead. So yeah, it would be God's fault that human beings do evil things. All power = All responsibility.

"God has permitted Satan to rule over this world for a short time"

So God is actively allowing people to be tempted into doing evil and is responsible for the sin nature being passed from Adam and Eve on which ushered in a system by which all people are pre-damned unless they accept Christ. And you DON'T think God has any responsibility to fix his own shitty decisions? You do understand that in your own worldview God is IN CHARGE of EVERYTHING right?

"With God all things are possible."

Except for all of the things he doesn't feel like doing, like curing child cancer or helping out the human race. Please Star, try to name even a handful of truly good things your God has done.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

What's really not funny is the mock cannibalism built into Christianity in the form of Communion, wait no, it actually is pretty funny.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

@Randy - yep, goddunnit unless god didn't do it, I which case, Satan did it, even though god did that one too.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

@Star - Proof that Noah's flood never happened: http://www.biblicalnonsense.com/chapter6.html

You only need to read the first paragraph, really!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

I seriously doubt any of the believers will go so far as to check out the link you provided, Lela. Ignorance is bliss.......


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Even when presented with actual facts and logic, they still do not comprehend. Only supernatural explanations sink in. I saw a study today about conspiracy theorists - they will readily believe the most outlandish thing that anyone comes up with. They will buy into it and spread made up fiction to everyone in their club. It's all Obama's fault.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Austin

we have to be scientific about it: the fact is that the so called "placebo effect" or "faith" (and other strange things about healing) DO happen and ARE being studied both scientifically and spiritually. Just as with any other scientific study, theories evolve and change as new data emerges. It is simplistic and very unscientific to say "because we don't have all the answers therefore its not true".

There is no evidence in any responses here of anyone actually taking the time to catch up with new "placebo" research (which in effect is the very very early beginnings of the scientific study of faith healing).


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

Placebos work well on hypochondriacs.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

Randy

are you aware that actual phoney surgery experiments (actual scalpels, incisions etc) have been performed to test this placebo/faith effect? Or that there is also a proven placebo/faith effect associated with real pills to?

Read the research.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

As I stated, hypochondriacs may be cured by placebos, whether they are medicines or other medical techniques.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

@Oz - "If you believe that 'faith' healing happens, then you would have to explain why faith healing only works for some people of faith and not every person of faith."

And Randy is right, placebos work very well on hypochondriacs, even atheistic hypochondriacs.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 18 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I think that this is the sort of thing Oz is talking about:

http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/the-placebo-phe...

Even the article states that the placebo effect targets psychosomatic symptoms, that it yields subjective results rather than providing any actual cure to something.

"The researchers had hoped to find improved lung function with both the real and sham treatments; what they found instead was that only the real treatment yielded results—the others showed no significant improvement. Yet when Kaptchuk’s team measured patients’ own assessments of improvement, the researchers found no difference reported between the real and sham treatments: the patients’subjective responses directly contradicted their own objective physical measures."

So people receiving the fake treatment, acupuncture in this case, did not have REAL improvement, but thought they did. Of course some form of placebo effect might be used to improve the bedside manner of Doctors but the research seems to agree that while it can do away with psychosomatic symptoms and make someone believe they are getting better then they actually are it isn't actually curing anyone of anything.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working