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.