Page 2 of 18 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 256

Thread: Oh my God!

  1. #16
    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 by Obtuse; August 19th, 2008 at 03:58 PM.

  2. #17
    bmalone.blogspot.com BrianC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    suburban hell
    Posts
    727
    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...
    Let's remove a little of the hyperbole here:

    ... 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...
    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 by BrianC; August 19th, 2008 at 04:17 PM.

  3. #18
    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/..._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.

  4. #19
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Sinking in the quicksand of my thought
    Posts
    2,382
    Quote Originally Posted by Godmage View Post
    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.
    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:

    It involved 1,000 U.S. adults randomly selected to answer questions by telephone about their views on end-of-life medical care. They were surveyed in 2005, along with 774 doctors, nurses and other medical workers who responded to mailed questions.
    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.

  5. #20
    Celestial Dragon Bengoshi-San's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    140
    Quote Originally Posted by Godmage View Post
    Perhaps "all these people" don't blame anyone and realize that death is just part of life.

    Personally, I find generalizations bewildering.
    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%.

  6. #21
    Celestial Dragon Bengoshi-San's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    140
    Quote Originally Posted by Godmage View Post
    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.
    I think some clarification is in order.

    When I said "I wonder how many of these people blame god", what I meant was that most of the 57% would probably NOT think it an act of god if the family member/hospitalized person/sick person in question were to die.

    From my personal experiences with religion in so far as it deals with miracles and healing, seems to me a subject filled mainly with irony. Among many religious individuals, god is credited when an individual is healed or saved, yet he is not held accountable in any terms if that individual were to die.

    The default is this (in my eyes)... if god is responsible for the overall health and well-being of humankind, then he is to deserve:
    credit for keeping individuals alive
    responsibility for allowing someone to die.

    However, what I am saying is that in some religious circles, there are many individuals who would even go as far as to say that: "Maybe this was gods way of punishing him for such-and-such a sin." or "He should have taken better care of his health." or I've even heard.. "The world is a cold place and god probably wanted to take her to a better place."

    What I am saying in essence is that the argument of god being responsible in any way for the savior/health or failure/death of a human being is filled, in my humble opinion with irony.

    Even if you assume some of the values that many religious individuals hold in terms of divine intervention as it relates to life/death.. there are loop-holes that "they" (mentioned religious individuals), are never able to defend.

    If a child dies of cancer but an alcoholic child-abuser lives, why is god never mentioned? I'm not concerned with the ethics of it.. but very rarely do the above mentioned 57% decide to bring god into these debates. What I here am saying is that there is a reason why... and the reason in my eyes is because there isn't a logical explanation.

    Faith is faith for one reason, it lives within us with or without reason or evidence.

  7. #22
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Posts
    4,682
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianC
    ...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.
    God's will, eh? Since the survey addressed the time when the doctors had ceased activity, your assertion sounds like a circumstance where the act of dying has an agent permitted or not permitted to act. God wills the act. That avoids any necessity for saying god killed the patient. She didn't kill him; she just willed it so. There is a neat distinction in there somewhere but it is an elusive bugger.

    Say that a toddler has escaped supervision and is about to cross a high traffic street. You, my friend, are watching this tragedy play itself out. You can opt to take action or to not take action, merely observe. If you take no action, that toddler is about to buy the farm and you will it to be so. If you take action, then you will the child to live. Either way, are you not the agent of death/life? Are you not responsible for what happens? Are you not to blame for what happens?

  8. #23
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    new york, ny usa
    Posts
    4,633
    Responsibility and blame! Hmmmm. We can't know all the contingencies so we can't ever be totally responsible for unforseen results. Some choices come from the right place and have disasterous affects. But God? He can't make those mistakes, so everything that happens is God's will. Or worse even, he's aware of it all but doesn't act to prevent the horrible things that occur. Then he's truly repsonsible. Awareness coupled with failure to act!

    Leaving things to God's will is a difficult path to take. It's nothing more than a rationalization in the face of circumstances we can't control. It's a way of reconciling our mortality I suppose. But to truly believe it? I'm not sure that many TRULY believe. It's the easy way out of despair sometimes, but it's such a false way out.

  9. #24
    bmalone.blogspot.com BrianC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    suburban hell
    Posts
    727
    Hereford Eye, Gadfly Extraordinaire. Everybody dies, and for a believer in the judeo-christian-islamic tradition, everybody dies according to god's plan laid out in advance. For such a believer, all life and all death is god's will. To try to affix blame or responsibility on such a scale is impossible. Within such a theology death is but a transition to a higher (or lower) plane of existence according to god's plan. To say that god is responsible for a death is a nullity. Theologically, god is responsible for everything, nothing is omitted, including the very fact of life and death. (Yet there is the question of human free will and a very long struggle to reconcile those two aspects, but that doesn't seem to be what we're talking about here). Comparing one human's responsibility to his or her fellow humans to the unfolding of god's plan is, to a believer, absurd.

    Gary, for a believer faith provides all answers. The existence of god, and more importantly for the purposes of this discussion, the nature of god cannot be proved or disproved. It is a matter of faith. Faith needs no proof and no rationale so I would disagree that belief in an omnipotent god with an all-emncompassing 'plan' is a rationalization. What a lot of agnostics/atheists/non-theists don't want to admit is that disbelief in such a god is also a matter of faith. I fall into that latter category, and I don't think that my belief, my faith that there is no such god, is a rationalization in the sense of self-deception. (I am, however, sufficiently self-aware to recognize that my faith may be wrong). Faith is something that you either have or you don't, but perhaps you meant that one who professes faith but who does not truly possess it is rationalizing?
    Last edited by BrianC; August 21st, 2008 at 08:26 AM.

  10. #25
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Posts
    4,682
    Leaving things to God's will is a difficult path to take.
    Not a whole lot different from accepting that's just the way things are. When you take god out of the equation, then isn't what you have left is a universe running minus anyone in charge? If that's the way it 'really' is, then that's the way we believe it really is. It's a belief system the same as putting god in the equation. Neither has more validity than the other. It winds up being what you can be more comfortable with.
    I don't have a problem with any belief system. My problems begin when the belief systems take on the trappings of a formal religion. Like today's religion of science: evolution is a fact, no ifs, ands, or buts allowed. So, if you ask questions like just what am I and how did I get to be this way: a thinking, questioning human being - that question is not allowed. You won't find a discussion of that topic in any textbook in our primary school systems. We are not comfortable diiscussing the topic without the necessary props and we can't all agree on what the necessary props look like so we decide it's too difficult for our children to attempt to grasp. Ergo, we don't allow the question. It's a basic issue in evolutionary studies but we don't talk about it until college when we can study philosophy.
    It seems to me that science-as-a-religion is what Kunz was writing about with paradigm shifts. Those happen in formal religions, too. See Martin Luther, Maimonides; Abd al-Wahhab, et al. They are just as unsettling when they happen no matter the frame of reference.
    Last edited by Hereford Eye; August 21st, 2008 at 08:37 AM.

  11. #26
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    new york, ny usa
    Posts
    4,633
    So faith, Brian, is bullshit? In all other situations, when we can't explain ourselves or prove our arguments or even discuss the situation beyond, 'I believe it, so it's true for me' (and in most religions, if for me, for everyone), we don't take the claims very seriously. But when it comes to religious claims, our standards drop to the lowest common denominator. We revert to ignorance and to support structures for our beliefs that we wouldn't even allow our young children to propose if God weren't the issue.

    HE, I have hard time equating most things that science postulates with faith based claims. The religion of science has more to do with those who live by the beliefs than by the beliefs themselves.

  12. #27
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Posts
    4,682
    Quote Originally Posted by GW
    We revert to ignorance and to support structures for our beliefs that we wouldn't even allow our young children to propose...
    Quote Originally Posted by GW
    HE, I have hard time equating most things that science postulates with faith based claims.
    Is not the second statement exposition of the first statement? Again, using Thomas Kuhn's terminology, a paradigm shift is a major correction to an existing belief system. Kuhn adequately demonstrated the fact of a science paradigm shift in the 20th century. The previous paradigm had all the "proofs" required to allow it to stand but not all the proofs possible, only thoswe that made it work. All anomalies were ignored as unimportant or untestable or un-something-or-other. I submit the case pertains in this day and age.

  13. #28
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    new york, ny usa
    Posts
    4,633
    Yes, to a degree. But there's a fundamental difference between a particular scientific claim and a particular scientific proof. They are mutable. They adapt and change over time, and none of us feel a sense of loss or profound meaninglessness whenwe discard one scientific paradigm for another. But the concept of God, this one claim about one type of existence, is not open to amendments or changes, only vague variations on a theme.

  14. #29
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Posts
    4,682
    But...
    doesn't it bother you just a bit that the very science that supports your rationale against the existence of god and props your understanding of who you are and your place in this world stands on such a fallible, malleable, living, evolving kind of base?

    For example, I recently had a very fine doctor - based on my liking and trust for the man - perform a heart catheterization on myself. During the procedure, some anomalies rose. When I asked what caused them, he looked at me with obvious embarassment and replied that he did not know. Should I take that statement as evidence of his incompetency or evidence that he is a man doing the best he can with what he knows and what he knows is not everything there is to know? Should I relinquish my trust in the man or accept that there remains a hell of a lot we humans don't know? If I retain my trust in the man, is that obstinacy in the face of the facts? Belief without any basis? Faith?
    Sort of like driving through a green light, isn't it?

  15. #30
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    new york, ny usa
    Posts
    4,633
    NO, it's a calculated decision based upon prior experiences.

    It doesn't bother me at all that the base of my knowledge is evolving. I expect it to. In fact, if something seems reasonable to me, and i've exhausted the available means of making it seem reasonable, I'm comfortable supporting it. And if I subsequently come to a different or opposite belief based upon new evidence or new suppositions that seem reasonable, I'll support it. Nothing is so earth shattering for me that I can't change my opinion. Certainly we've seen such scenarios in a multitude of post-apocolyptic novels and fantasy novels. But if my sense of meaning depended upon a belief, it might be more difficult to see it wrecked upon the rocks of anyone's criticism.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •