It’s arrogant and reckless to think that prayer will cure cancer…or anything else for that matter

I received another one of those deceptively cute e-mails today from someone who I don’t think is a Christian. The contents are what you’d expect from a fundie.

However, I know this person and she’s definitely no fundie; maybe just another innocent believer who is a tad lazy to employ some reasoning skills. And also becoming an unwitting spammer.

So here’s the contents of the mail:

Friday is world cancer day – I’d appreciate it if you will forward this request 

 93% won’t forward 

A small request.. Just one line. 

Dear God, I pray for a cure for cancer.  Amen

[Image of candle removed]

All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it’s only to one more person. 
In memory of anyone you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.

A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle.. 

Please Keep This Candle Going

Okay, the first obvious problem with this mail is that World Cancer Day is on the 4th of February 2011, more than two weeks away; not this coming Friday as the impression is being created. I however don’t have any problem with that; it’s actually laudable to create awareness about this important day. What I do have a problem with is the call to prayer and the conceited suggestion that you will be only one of the mere 7% of people who are “good” and “give a shit about cancer.”

My second problem with this mail has to do with reasoning. Let’s assume that there is a god. Cancer has been around since the dawn of man. It’s just that its only been relatively recently diagnosed, not through divine revelation mind you, but through the hard work of scientists. Let’s also assume that god is responsible for creating everything and he [or she] has a divine plan, just like scripture [or the priesthood] tells us. Now wouldn’t it then also be logical to conclude that cancer was created by god and it’s part of his divine plan?

Wouldn’t it also then be arrogant, not to mention futile of man to pray for its eradication, seeing as it is a constituent of a bigger divine plan? Isn’t it reasonable to make these conclusions? And isn’t a divine plan supposed to be incontestable? As the late great George Carlin so eloquently reminded us:

What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan?

Coming back to reality, the plain and honest truth is that prayer is not going to do any good in curing cancer; there is no evidence whatsoever that it does anything apart from making you feel like you can sit on your ass and magically command things to happen. Cancer is treatable when detected early and the chances are good that cancerous cells can be treated into remission. Ongoing research, however may one day lead scientists to discover how to switch cancerous cells off, so that they don’t divide and replicate.

This e-mail is dangerous in that it encourages both fundies and the ignorant to pray rather than seek medical help. Let’s be part of that 93% that employs our reasoning faculties.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “It’s arrogant and reckless to think that prayer will cure cancer…or anything else for that matter

  1. “Wouldn’t it also then be arrogant, not to mention futile of man to pray for its eradication, seeing as it is a constituent of a bigger divine plan? Isn’t it reasonable to make these conclusions? And isn’t a divine plan supposed to be incontestable? As the late great George Carlin so eloquently reminded us:

    What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan?”

    I asked the same question as a Christian, and one of the responses I got was that God gives Christians the opportunity to do good of their own free will – and ‘prayers sway the decision of God’ – so basically He is waiting for Christians to do their bit as ‘prayer warriors’.
    I’m sure I don’t need to list the questions *this* idea prompts!

    I keep hearing the ‘God answers prayers in 3 ways’ spiel – He says Yes, No or Maybe. So that begs the question, when a starving child in Africa prays to God for food, and the answer he gets is ‘No’, what then?

  2. You know what lennymaysay, you are an idiot as far as I am concerned, It's people like you that cause (ALL) the problems in the world. If you don't agree with an email you get just delete it and shut your stupid mouth!!!! All I'm saying is I think you are on said:

    You know what lennymaysay, you are an idio,t as far as I am concerned, It’s people like you that cause (ALL) the problems in the world. If you don’t agree with an email you get, just delete it and shut your stupid mouth!!!! All I’m saying is I think you are a stupid idiot.

    • Oh boy!

      If you come across a blog you don’t agree with, shut your stupid mouth if you don’t have what it takes to criticize intelligently. All I’m saying is….

  3. Let me start with the things on which I agree with you. I am definetely one of the 93%. I don’t like this mailings. Their purpose is quite simply spam. The other thing where I can also agree is that in your own words “Cancer has been around since the dawn of man.” But what happened to those cancer victims of old. Where are they now? Do you remember anyone from a thousand years ago who died of cancer? God does. And maybe he chose not so save them from cancer but from other things. Have you thought of that? If you were God, would you save someone from cancer just to have them be forgoten in a mere thousand years? From your reference to the good book and the divine plan, I can tell that you don’t know God, you’ve never met him or seen him. I have. And I hope that some day before you die you meet him too. God Bless!

    • Hi BAC,

      I don’t remember anyone from a thousand years ago who died of cancer, but that has nothing to do with anything. And what other things did god supposedly save them from? Whether someone is remembered or not in one year or a million years should never be the criteria for “saving” them. The proposal sounds absurd, not to mention mean and despicable. What a god you have there?

      From your reference to the good book and the divine plan, I can tell that you don’t know God, you’ve never met him or seen him. I have
      Hmmm….off course I don’t and from the way he’s described in the Old Testament, I wish NEVER to meet this vile character. Perhaps you’d like to tell us when and where you “met” this god. You are the ONLY person who has seen a god, so you must be quite famous, right?

  4. Nessie, that sounds like a good question at first. That about a starving Afircan child. But is it real? Have you ever seen an african child pray for food and get an answer of no? Because “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

    • Hi BAC,

      Wow! You have seen god but not anyone who is starving? I’m also perturbed at the insinuation that starving African children are not RIGHTEOUS or “off his seed.” That’s real Christian of you.

  5. I agree with you completely Lenny. For all the people who are upset about what was posted. I pose this question for you…

    You want to pray for John Doe to be cured of cancer. You believe that your God will hear your prayers and help the suffering? Answer me this, whom was it exactly that implemented this cancer you are praying is removed? It is very convenient for the ignorant to blame someone or some evil thing when things go bad, and to praise their God or Jesus when things go good.

    “A nuclear bomb went off and killed hundreds of thousands of people… That is horrible and the devil is involved… A blind person can see again… Oh praise Jesus!!!”

    How about…

    “A nuclear bomb went off and killed hundreds of thousands of people… The person who commanded the missile be fired off should be brought to justice for their genocide… A blind person can see again… The doctor and research teams that made this possible should be praised.”

    I am sorry, no one almighty all knowing being is watching down upon you and raining blessings or curses upon you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s