The Cancer Prayer
This is from the so called "Thinking Atheist" blog
Jan 9, 2016 at 9:15 AM
6 Days Ago
I was sent a Facebook meme from a page called, "Stop Cancer. Start Praying." The page is filled with hopeful (yet sadly vacuous) platitudes like, "Sorry cancer, GOD is bigger than you!" "Dear God, Heal all those fighting cancer. Amen!" And this one:
Holding up a hand of doubt or challenge in these difficult scenarios is front-loaded to make the challenger sound like an asshole. After all, who could ever say an untoward thing about prayer when so many desperate and grieving people are leaning upon it in their darkest hours? What kind of heartless, wicked person would trod upon the pleas of the heartbroken?
He talks like they designed their pagevwith him in mind. Of course the only thin he has in place in place of hope is the cold comfort that they are not suckers for a religious curse that's not coming so they can die with whatever what passes for dignity in the atheist mind.
But these prayers happen in desperate, difficult times. Must we only explore the validity of our words and actions in the best of days? Does struggle and desperation license us to ignore the hard questions and isolate ourselves inside potential falsehoods for comfort's sake? Are we only concerned about truth when we're conflict-free?
In my mind, I've determined that I'd rather know a hard truth than a happy fantasy, and we've all heard the stories of those who have eschewed real-world solutions for supernatural ones and often paid with their lives. They cancel the chemo and claim divine favor. They toss their medications at the church altar. They embrace the promises of charlatans with an offering plate. And, at times, tragically, they're so busy looking at the empty sky that they miss opportunities right in front of them.
I am so happy that he has this settled in his mind because he knows best. Who are they to seek healing when the all knowing one is there to tell them to stop? This is what we call "rationalization." In this case it means my whims are more important than yours and here's my excuse to justify it.
Even those pursuing science-based solutions are often huddled in the prayer circles between doctor consultations, and exploring the sense and effectiveness of those prayers has merit.
Of course he thinks science an God are enemies. That shows no understanding of either science or God.
I responded to the post, and I'm sure I'll be the target of indignation by those who consider "God is bigger than cancer!" a suitable treatment program. But perhaps it will provide a rallying point for productive discussion on the merits of asking for our physical ailments to be healed by a divine and magic wand....
What a martyr.
I take no joy in this conversation amidst the prayers and pain experienced by so many good people, but we should...we must...look at these prayers honestly to determine what they really mean.
It couldn't be that they don't want to die could it? No that's too easy. I know it must mean they are fools and suckers and they need him to tell them how to behave properly when they dying so they they don't burden him with guilt for betraying God.
* God holds the global cure for cancer. He does not use it.
* God holds the individual cure for cancer. He does not use it. Or if he does, he cleverly disguises it as a human construct.
* Even if healing prayers worked, it would mean that God was holding the cure hostage until he felt the adequate number of petitions had been offered up. He's content to watch a baby suffer with cancer, because it's more important that he hear the parents beg.
Of course it's God's fault and so he has cart blanch to mock their sickness all he wants because he's just highlighting for them what a bastard God is not to heal them and not to exist! It would never occur to him to read some philosophers or theologians to get answers to theodicy. So I'll have to provide the link to my article: 
* God's Will is unmovable, unchangeable, a foregone conclusion, which means that he must wish that the boy have cancer, and that all petitions and prayers are being heard by someone who has already made up his mind about what his will shall be. Essentially, humans are asking God to alter his predetermined plan.
Of course he's such an expert on God's Will.
God, in this context, isn't a hero. If he exists in the all-powerful, truly god-like sense, and if he sits silently while a precious, innocent child suffers in an arena where suffering is declared self-imposed ("We're all born sinners." "It's a fallen world." "Pain in this life, bliss in the next." Etc), this isn't a "loving Father" I'd want anything to do with. I disagree with the nonsensical notion that, the less we see and hear, the more God is doing.
I wonder if he would admit God was the ?hero" if God healed him. Of course he's taking the father metaphor literally and he's treating God like the big guy in sky. He hasn't read my theodicy yet so he has no argument. If he does read it he can't answer it.
Prayer. It's understandable why so many reach out (and up) in times of desperation. And if some wish to pray as they navigate through their treatments, I certainly wouldn't begrudge them that. But if we are to look at the scenario with an objective eye, we have to ask some uncomfortable yet important questions about prayer.The point is what? makes no one has faith so you want have to feel guilty. Now we move to the enlightened comment section.
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