Sunday, August 17, 2008

Butt Cancer

Here's one on science and religion. Or, you might say, religion ignoring science.

Audrey Toguchi of Aiea is miraculously cured of cancer after praying to Father Damien at Kalaupapa. The Vatican is now going to canonize Damien, making him a saint.

I'm fascinated this may prompt throngs of pilgrims to visit Hawaii in hopes of having their cancer cured. And that the Hawaii, Maui, and Molokai visitor bureaus are all gearing up to exploit this.

But aside from that, it's amazing how the Vatican sends a team to study this woman's medical files and then concludes, yes, Damien helped cure this lady because there is no other explanation! The Vatican folks just have a different way of using the brain.

(As promised, I titled this "Butt Cancer," but technically she had liposarcoma, a tumor in deep fat tissue. The tumor happened to be in her butt but presumably it could have shown up in deep fat tissue elsewhere.)


Mr. Pony said...

Not be belabor the point that prayer is a very weird thing to do, but I've always thought that if prayer actually does work, it means some very disturbing things about the universe.

If I was an all-mighty god, and someone asked me to cure their illness, I'd probably say no, because then I'd have to do it for everyone. Because, presumably, it's an expensive thing to do. Because otherwise, I'd make everyone not sick, not just the people who asked. So now I've proven that I'm not infinitely powerful, or at least I don't have infinite access to power. That, or I'm a stingy jerk. Or an insecure, passive-aggressive jerk. Or an aloof jerk who doesn't care that his own creations are suffering.

So which is it, Christians? Is He not as powerful as you think He is? Are you just worshipping the universe's middle management? Or is He the kind of self-centered, uninvolved jerk that you and I both kind of dislike?

Fugu said...

Indeed, Mr. Pony. She "still prays often to Damien, asking him to help others." So of course, the best of luck with that, but what if He can't/doesn't pull through? If you're a god, people, and don't want to come across as a complete dick, you've either got to follow a full hands-off policy or micro-manage everything. None of this picking and choosing at random a very, very select few who get saved over the equally qualified millions who die of something like cancer. What kind of shithead does a thing like that?

And I just don't understand why people will now flock to Hawaii to witness this wonderful event that happened by God's hand—since everything happens by God's hand, including traffic lights, diarrhea, bacon—so what's the point? Is there some nexus of power here that they don't want to miss? Is that the same nexus that causes the image of Jesus to appear on toast, or OTHER NATURAL OBJECTS? It's just fascinating to me that an image of Al Roker on toast is a random occurance, but if it's Jesus, it's 'cause God made it happen. Or maybe these guys.

But of course, there's also this. ^_^

odori said...

Rewarding those who pray by curing their illnesses is a good way to ensure loyalty. But the god who thinks like that would be like a mafia boss. Or a megalomaniac.

Which may be a major reason I've long had trouble with Christainity. But I do understand the need people have to believe, feel, and think there is something greater than us. Especially at times of loss and tragedy. Yet I'm not sure how people go from there to seeing Jesus on their morning toast...

And Fugu, I LOVE all the links you included above... Brilliant!

Mr. Pony said...

I guess at this point, I'd like to ask our Christian readers to offer a little counterpoint: What kind of man is your god? And how are you able to so completely ignore your supposed moral standards in order to continue to unconditionally love your deity, who is clearly the sort of self-interested mid-level bureaucrat that your Jesus would have dismissed with a sad shake of his head? And congratulations, for compartmentalizing your brain so?

Mr. Pony said...

Christian readers?

Demon said...

All I know is that I'm praying for that whale calf that thinks a yacht is its mom. Why God, why..?

Demon said...

oh, and this.

Galspanic said...

OMG wallhax FTW