PZ Myers Shits On Belief In Miracles

August 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm (Uncategorized)

It is wholly unconscionable to him that 63% of eastern Iowa respondants to a poll think that God has intervened to revive patients that doctors ruled were hopeless cases.

Face it, douchebag – when all logic fails to explain a miraculous recovery, there’s a legitimate excuse to have faith.  It’s not like doctors came in the night to perform a super-experimental wonder cure unbeknownst to the afflicted and their family, at least as long as Dr. House isn’t on the hospital staff.

As an agnostic (more or less) it’s difficult for me to say this, but it’s true – the will to believe is a very potent force.  It defies comprehension but works anyway.  More than one would imagine, a patient can choose whether to live or die, how hard to fight, how to feel about the situation, and this approach can have a significant effect on the prognosis.

Is it God, or depressed levels of stess having a positive effect on the immune system?  Does it matter? These people got better in spite of what their doctors thought, and PZ thinks it’s okay to shit on their belief in whatever was more effective than medicine in saving their lives.

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3 Comments

  1. Dave said,

    People (generally children) die because some people put their faith in God to heal instead of medical science. People who support belief in miracles are part of the problem. If positive thinking and having a good attitude can help a patient then that is what should be encouraged and not a misguided faith in a supreme being who, when you look at it objectively, doesn’t really seem to care a whole lot about us.

    The fact that so many people believe that God somehow cares more for them than the millions of starving children left to die in third-world countries shows their self-centered arrogance. Just as bad, it shows that these people cannot or will not think rationally.

    With all that medical science has done to cure diseases, save us from physical trauma and extend our lives, it is insulting to me that so many people will still give God credit when it is modern medicine and gifted doctors who perform miracles. It is even more insulting to me that so many people distrust science but will take advantage of that science if it will save their lives.

    If a doctor thinks that someone’s medical case is hopeless yet they survive anyway, is it more likely that God intervened and saved them or that the doctor was simply mistaken?

    This happens all the time. Doctors will often give a prognosis that turns out to be wrong. Nobody blames supernatural acts if a doctor says that someone will live for 2 years and they instead die in 2 months. However, if the reverse happens, it’s a miracle from God.

  2. dietcoupon said,

    The point isn’t that western medicine is useless (it’s not) or that faith-based healing is legitimate and effective (it’s not). The point is that when reason has been defied and somebody gets better lacking ANY rational explanation, the notion that maybe this is divine is somewhat justified.

    Having to put words in my mouth to make yourself look correct is foolish and a waste of your time.

  3. Dave said,

    “Having to put words in my mouth to make yourself look correct is foolish and a waste of your time”

    If making general statements or addressing issues that are outside of the context of your post (but not outside the context of the topic) is putting words in your mouth than you’re perhaps just a little more than paranoid.

    If you want to talk about looking foolish, well, perhaps you should read your own blog sometime.

    “The point is that when reason has been defied and somebody gets better lacking ANY rational explanation, the notion that maybe this is divine is somewhat justified.”

    Lacking *any* rational explanation is quite a big hurdle to leap before claiming that divine intervention is justified even a little. Just because we may not be able to find a rational explanation does not mean that one exists. It may mean that the evidence for a rational explanation no longer exists due to the body’s metabolism. Or, perhaps the original diagnosis was incorrect.

    Extending the God of the gaps to someone’s medical recovery is even more absurd than applying it to physics or any other field.

    By the way, the only reason I haven’t bothered spanking any of your posts back to the stone age is because I think that PZ’s cracker stunt crossed the lines of good taste and that having someone call him out for it is perhaps a little deserved.

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