Oh my God!

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Gary Wassner, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    "God can revive the dying."

    This was in one of NYC's morning papers:

    "When it comes to saving lives, God trumps doctors for many Americans. An eye-opening survey reveals widespread belief that divine intervention can revive dying patients. And, researchers said, doctors 'need to be prepared to deal with families who are waiting for a miracle.'"

    "More than half of the randomly surveyed adults -57 percent- said God's intervention could save a family member even if physicians declared treatment would be futile..."

    Oh my God!!
     
  2. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    This from a guy who writes fantasy novels.:D

    Do you suppose the same 57% would accept that God is responsible for the fact the patient is dying?
     
  3. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Sin is responsible for that HE. You know that guy, right?
     
  4. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    Yep. As A.C.C. would point out, it's one of the nine billion names.

    Consider this further problem: the guy dies. Was it because god was pissed at (1) the patient, (2) at the petitioners, (3) at the quality of the prayers or was it because she considered the dying a learning experience for (1) the patient and/or (2) the petitioners?
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    How does this apply to the theory that we all, in each of us, has a part of God?

    God is simply what we call those collective powers we can't describe, isn't it?
     
  6. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Pantheism isn't really the same now, is it? We don't mean God when we say we each have a part of Him in us, do we? I think that's more of a generic way of saying we're all a part of the whole, or the hole, depending upon whether you're an existentialist or not. ;)
     
  7. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    The topic is Religion... hmmm, where should I begin? Better yet.. once I begin.. where can I end?

    In the end the conversations always comes down to ... "to each his own" or "live and let live".
     
  8. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    I just never cease to be amazed at how easily we accept fantasy scenarios in our real lives. Miracles, healers, people who can walk on water! And then we read fantasy novels and understand that everything's all made up?
     
  9. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    If you give people a cure (in this example faith), with no solid reason to believe in it, they will choose that over even the most tried and true solutions.

    Why?

    Basic human psychology. We take what we do not have reason to believe.. and put our own personal feelings and faith into it, giving it as much or as little value as WE have for it in our minds. Thus making it as powerful as we want to, and as legitimate a cure as any.
     
  10. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    The same applies to the comparison between religious texts and fantasy fiction. There are a lot of similarities, yet one is taken literally by many people and used as the basis for how they live their life and what they believe in and the other form is ridiculed and considered childish imagination.
     
  11. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    I wonder who all of these people blame if an ill family member dies.

    I'm sure it's not god.

    lol. The irony amongst religion is bewildering.
     
  12. Obtuse

    Obtuse ‪Ominous, I'm In Us

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    Perhaps "all these people" don't blame anyone and realize that death is just part of life.

    Personally, I find generalizations bewildering. :)
     
  13. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    You're right Godmage. 'All these people' are just lots of individuals. But this thread did begin with a consolidation of that into a statistic - 57% of polled Americans...etc etc.

    So we have limited ability to discuss this without referring to 'them'. :)
     
  14. Obtuse

    Obtuse ‪Ominous, I'm In Us

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    There is no mention of that 57% blaming anyone, however. So how can Bengoshi-San's statement about blame be attributed to that group? We would have to make the assumption that just because someone believes in miracles, they would also need to blame someone or something for the death of a loved one. That just doesn't track, so his statement doesn't get the benefit of the context defined by the original post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  15. Hereford Eye

    Hereford Eye Just Another Philistine

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    Seems to me that to assign blame is to hold someone or something responsible. Inherent in the act of prayer is belief in the responsibility of the person to whom the prayer is addressed.
    To say that death is a part of life infers that life is an entity in and of itself. The familiar relationship between life and god is that the latter is responsible for the former. In other words, life is god's fault. Ergo, so, too, is death.
     
  16. Obtuse

    Obtuse ‪Ominous, I'm In Us

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    I'm following you HE, but I don't think blame and responsibility are perfectly synonymous. Blame has a rather negative connotation to it and infers that something was done wrong by negligence, malice or something of that sort. So while I think you could say that because God is responsible for life, he is responsible for death, I don't think you could say he is to blame for either.

    By the way, let me go ahead a put in my two cents on the original topic. While I do believe in miracles and that they can do what science cannot, I do not believe that one should pin one's hopes on divine intervention. That 57% of people who would be "waiting for a miracle" will almost certainly be waiting in vain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  17. BrianC

    BrianC bmalone.blogspot.com

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    Let's remove a little of the hyperbole here:

    I'm surprised that the cited percentage is not higher, given the prevalence of belief in an onmipotent god in this country. If one believes that god can do anything, then one should believe as well that god can do anything that human doctors cannot. Note that the survey revealed a "widespread belief that divine intervention can revive dying patients", not that god necessarily will do so if the quality of the prayer is high enough. Although some people probably do believe just that, I imagine instead that most of that 57% would say that it is god's will whether the patient lives or dies, and that the doctors are only the instruments through which god either chooses to act, or not.

    Frankly, I don't see what's so eye-opening about the survey.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  18. Obtuse

    Obtuse ‪Ominous, I'm In Us

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    On a related topic...I think things that many people call miracles, simply are not. Take this story for instance:

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A stillborn Israeli baby who was pronounced dead by doctors "came back to life" on Monday after spending hours in a hospital refrigerator.

    The baby, weighing only 600 grams at birth, spent at least five hours inside one of the hospital's refrigerated storage units, before her parents, who had taken her to be buried, began noticing some movement.

    "We unwrapped her and felt she was moving. We didn't believe it at first. Then she began holding my mother's hand, and then we saw her open her mouth," said 26-year-old Faiza Magdoub, the baby's mother.

    The baby was pronounced dead several hours earlier, after doctors at Western Galilee hospital in northern Israel were forced to abort her mother's pregnancy because of internal bleeding. Magdoub was 23 weeks into her pregnancy.

    "We don't know how to explain this, so when we don't know how to explain things in the medical world we call it a miracle, and this is probably what happened," hospital deputy director Moshe Daniel said.

    The baby was then taken to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit for further treatment, but doctors were not sure how long she will live.

    Motti Ravid, a professor of internal medicine, told Israel's Channel 10 that the low temperature inside the cooler had slowed down the baby's metabolism and likely helped her survive.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080819/od_nm/israel_baby_odd_dc_1

    Even the deputy director of the hospital called it a miracle, but I think the theory put forth in the last paragraph is closer to the truth.

    The word "miracle" gets tossed around rather lightly these days.
     
  19. Dawnstorm

    Dawnstorm Master Obfuscator

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    I'd think, it wouldn't be a miracle if it was common. Anyway, answering that God can save lives that doctors cannot is not the same as counting on a miracle; especially if you're Christian, the alternative might involve stating that God cannot do that, which would be a type of blasphemy, I think.

    From an article I found:

    I bet they were pre-fabricated multiple choice questions. Without the context, the result is meaningless. Plus the political context of "end-of-life medical care" is pretty telling, too. If it's about when to switch off and how to regulate that, it's quite all right to "put your faith in god" - which is, to this atheist/agnostic/whatever, just another form of hope. (In my case this would involve a lack of faith in doctoral infallibility. ;) Of course, if I was the one lying there, I'm all for switching off and not wasting good resources against all odds. If the diagnosis was faulty, well, bad luck. But it's always easier to decide for yourself, isn't it?)

    I do understand that "divine intervention" is somewhat better for a hospital's reputation than human error. You may procede to call me cynical, now. ;)
     
  20. Bengoshi-San

    Bengoshi-San Celestial Dragon

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    My original comment was meant to be a bit of sarcasm, maybe a little bit cynical, but not a generalization.

    From your response it seems I have offended you, if that's the case then I apologize.

    And when I referred to "these" people, I meant the subject, the 57%.