Author Topic: What Gives you Hope?  (Read 3439 times)

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Offline riley2112

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2011, 01:53:01 PM »
Am I mistaken here or does it seem that when A Christian ( believer of any faith) try to tell people of their God or belief they are just using the same things that was used in the past? I find myself doing that from time to time.
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Offline wright

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2011, 03:09:41 PM »
Traveler said it well: I get hope from my experience. As my life has progressed, despite struggling with chronic depression and periods of bad luck, things have gotten much better on the whole. It's my experience that bad things and times pass fairly quickly; they usually only seem horrible and overwhelming when one is in the midst of them.

I also get hope from the greater perspective of history: though with its share of tragedy and cruelty, this present era is unprecedented for its degree of peacefulness, prosperity and intellectual / scientific achievement. Frankly, I attribute that in part to the decline of organized monotheistic religion, which has so often been reactionary to social and material progress.

I was a Christian for 15+ years; there was undeniably solace to be found in that. Realizing that there was no ultimately just, kind god, no eternal life was saddening. It was like coming to the ending of a book I had really enjoyed and wanted to go on indefinitely. But all stories do come to an end, and the best of them (even the tragedies) contain an element of hope.

At the end of my religious faith, what I found was the freedom to embrace my failure and success without the shadow of a judge and puppeteer looming over both.

Am I mistaken here or does it seem that when A Christian ( believer of any faith) try to tell people of their God or belief they are just using the same things that was used in the past? I find myself doing that from time to time.

They pretty much are, riley. People have been talking about these things for a very long time, after all  ;). Don't let that bother you too much. If your arguments are lacking, or even just unclear, someone here will point it out pretty fast (as you've already found out).

I'm very self-conscious about making my writing clear and interesting, so I try not to repeat myself in my phrasing, my word choice, and so on. It's an ongoing struggle. One of the best things you can do to help yourself in that respect is to read a lot.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2011, 03:38:27 PM »
I NOW get my hope from how totally awesome mankind, specifically man's mind is. We have been making the impossible possible for generations and as we keep doing these things and making new discoveries, we may find out that the possibilities for our future are indeed limitless. That is a real tangible hope that frankly yields the same (perhaps even better) end result that believing in the scriptural promise of being raised to everlasting life does.

Offline dloubet

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2011, 03:53:08 PM »
What gives me hope? Depends what you mean.

Hope for humanity? The fact that we're still here gives me great hope. History shows us that we always somehow muddle through. And not just muddle through, but actually get better. We are currently living in the most peaceful time in history. I don't see why this trend should suddenly stop.

Personal hope? I want to see what happens next. I want to see what new discoveries we make. I want to see my friends healthy and happy. I want my art to make people happy.

What I can't see is what Christianity offers. This life is just a freakin' test? That devalues everything! Besides, both heaven and hell -- as described -- are the death of hope. There's nothing left to hope for in heaven, and all hope is abandoned in hell. Why would I seek a static existence in either realm? If hope is such a virtue, why is it extinguished in the afterlife? If I lived my life for a god, and did all it asked without question, then I am a robot without a purpose of my own. I would have squandered the opportunity to live this life for eternal stagnation in the next.

No thanks.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2011, 03:57:42 PM »
I'm a Bible believing protestant Christian.

I protest xianity as well.

As an aside, I am not convinced protestants really are xians.  They broke away from actual xianity (ie, the Roman Catholic Church), afterall.

What gives you hope?

Hope for what?  The fact that the solstice is near gives me hope that I will enjoy an ice cream cone in the summer with my wife.  Medical science gives me hope that one day cancer will be cured.  Some of the atheist members here occasionally give me hope that the human animal is not just a dressed up baboon with a cell phone and that we might not one day make all life on this planet extinct.

From my perspective atheism has a dismal tinge in that death is the ultimate consequence of every action.  Your mother, father, children, friends, pets, and eventually you will all pass a way in what is a relatively short period of time. 

Your perspective is not well thought out.  This is no different for xianity or any other religion.  Everyone dies.  Everyone loses people they care about. Last I checked, xians die too.

When something catastrophic occurs in your life, where do you find peace and hope?  I, as a Christian, can take solice in my belief that an all powerful being is well in control and that He's designed an eventual positive conclusion to the story that is my life.

It is funny - you think your story has a happy ending.  Where does it say your story ends happily?  Why would you even suspect that?  In your story, all the suffering that befalls you and the people you care about was engineered by your puppet-master god, who, being omnipotent, could have made it otherwise, but inexplicably, did not.  In my story, it was just "the breaks".  At least in mine, I know it's nothing personal. 

I do not see how your story gives you peace or hope.  You trust that a capricious god known for going back on his word[1] and a taste for violence[2] is going to do what he said he would do - offer grace.  Yet, this god has changed the rules numerous times.  You cannot be sure that next week he isn't sending a new prophet to announce the changes.  Or that he would even announce the changes.  And heck, this doesn't even get into the idea of whether you believe the right rev level of The Rules.  Maybe the jews were right?  Or *gasp* the muslims.  I mean, holy macaroni!  What if mohammed really was the final prophet sent?  Then where is your happy ending?  Up shit creek, that's where.

And most xians agree that it owes us nothing.  Thus, even if there were such a being, you could find yourself at the Pearly Gates and have jesus H tell you "sorry, chap.  We've changed our mind. We prefer to see your lot roast.  Toodles."  I think you've not thought this through very well.
 1. Job
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Offline Tykster

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2011, 04:17:58 PM »
I am merely trying to ascertain where atheists derive hope from in comparison with where Christians find hope.

As a group, atheists only share one thing, a disbelief in deities, so one cannot generalise as to what gives each of them hope. An atheist moniker says nothing about what gets the individuals sharing that moniker; excited, bored, happy or whatever, including what would give them hope.

Christians ( I'm a former believer due to childhood indoctrination) are given hope, albeit demonstrably false, of, well, pretty much anything their little hearts desire, just pray and it's yours as the bible instructs.

OP, to answer your own question, just pose it to yourself, but exclude any religious connections in your honest answer...what's left might be examples of what give nonreligious people hope.
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Online 12 Monkeys

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2011, 05:27:18 PM »
Sorry.  Lucifer.

Clearly I've offended you in some manner from your bluntness.
I find it rather incredible that you have not heard of the many people who were martyred based on their beliefs.  It's historical, factual, even secular knowledge.  Go look it up in a textbook.

Everything after "rather than" still pertains to Christians so I'm unsure what your on about.
every religion in history has people who have killed themselves for the cause....why would you specify Christianity?
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Offline riley2112

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2011, 09:40:47 PM »
My kids give me hope. Hope that they don't put me in a rest home. :-\
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Offline Death over Life

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2011, 09:57:42 PM »
The best expression of hope for me is from a Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War quote:

Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000:_Dawn_of_War

Imo, Warhammer 40k's quotes beat the shit out of religion for actual thought-provoking, intelligent philosophy and ideology.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2011, 10:02:11 PM »
^^ An open mind is like a fortress, with its gates unbarred and unguarded!
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Offline blue

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2011, 10:16:22 PM »
Hobbes thank you for the question.

What gives me hope? There's the everyday things, friends, work, family, hobbies, etc... In a larger scheme of looking at things, I'm the descendent of Celts, who were from out of Mongolia, who were probably from one of the latter waves of human expansion out of Africa. My culture is the end result of a fascinating story that has given us tyrants a plenty, but (and this is probably a tad idealistic) seems to be trending faster and faster to greater equality and freedom. Look what we've done in the 4000+ years since we built the great pyramid of Giza. I am a small, infitesimal part of the great human journey, but I am lucky enough to be conscious of this.

There's a quote from Neil Bohrs, "A physicist is just an atoms way of looking at itself". How awesome is that? How wonderous existence itself is.

Makes me hopeful for better things, anyway.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2011, 10:31:00 PM »
...Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment...

LOL, this is SO true!!! I do tend to be too hopeful, too optimistic much of the time. Santa is never as giving as I hope he'll be!!! LOL
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Offline rev45

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2011, 10:56:34 PM »
My kids give me hope. Hope that they don't put me in a rest home. :-\
As the old saying goes "be nice to your kids as they will be the ones to choose your nursing home."
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Offline Emily

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2011, 11:04:23 PM »
Christians find hope in god; atheists don't find hope in god. It's that simple. When christians find the need to pray to god to find hope atheists find it in other places. I for one find hope in my youngest sister and my husband. I have faith[1] that they will be there to comfort me, help me, (whatever), whenever I need it. I know this because they have done so before. They don't require me to praise them once they do something for me; and they also don't require me to worship them, give them money, or anything.

Death comes to all of us. It's called reality. Whether or not you believe in god, it's reality. Christians die - and their loved ones mourn. Atheists die -and their loved ones mourn. Death happen to me, you, and everyone on this forum and everyone on this planet. It may seem grim but there is no escape from it, and there's no reason to hide from it because hiding from it is pointless.

The only thing you talk solstice in, hobbes, is simple believing that you will make it to heaven. And you are free to think this. I don't believe you are right but you can think it if you want too. But just like you when you turn to god for hope non-believers turn to other (more natural things) for hope.

 If you want to claim your god is in control then he's doing a bad job. To quote George Carlin on the Mad TV Sketch of Touched by an Atheist[2]

Why did god give you tumors in the first place.



A god that's in control wouldn't need you to seek out hope in him after the fact. If so he's only egotistical. If you need to turn to a god in times of hope he's not loving because he wouldn't put you in that position in that first place.

When something bad happens in my life I just don't have time to even think about turning towards a god for help. I need to be proactive. I have a lot of people on speed dial that I can call who I know will help me with whatever I need. But christians tend to call on god, and while they think god will answer, they are also talking their own steps towards finding hope.

Like if a christian loses his or her job. They feel hopeless, right? But they pray to god hoping for a god and when they get a job they thank god when in reality they either applied for the job to begin with, they knew someone who gave them a good recommendation to the HR team to call them offering a job, or their resume was posted on monster.com and some hiring manager liked what they saw and gave them a call.

We all find hope in our own things. Christians just enjoy attributing their founded hope to the god they blindly worship to the point that they don't realize that they could've found that same hope without it.

EDIT:

And another thing that gives me hope is siting in my back yard looking up at the sky on a dark night with the stars shining beautifully knowing that all of what we see is not the cause of some god but by science. Nature is truly beautiful and in times of hopelessness its easy to find comfort in knowing that what I see is the cause of something that doesn't require constant praise.
 1. yeah, I used that word
 2. A parody of touched by an angel, with a cancer patient looking for hope
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 11:17:27 PM by Emily »
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Offline Poseidon

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2011, 11:05:42 PM »
Dear Hobbes:

What gives me hope?  Well I hope that I wake up alive in the morning.I hope that my beloved dog will love me as much tommorrow as he did today. I hope that I have been worthy of his devotion to me.  Yes, I have hopes. I hope that I can be of service to my fellow man tommorrow as I have been today. I hope that my daily volunteer services have been sufficiently helpful to the recipients. I hope that I have given my aquaintences a reason to smile, that they know that I care for them even if I do not tell them so. There are a lot more hopes too. If they are not fulfilled it will not make any difference in the grand scheme of things. I do have hope, but it is earthly hope and never a spiritual hope.

I do not hope that I will be delivered to the gates of heaven nor am I afraid that I might be condemned to hell. When I die I will be returned to dust, Just a collection of carbon particles mixed with some of earths other natural elements. I am confortable with that knowledge because that is the way that it works and I can not change reality.

I do feel some compassion,even sorrow, that so many good people are torturing themselves about their ultimate destiny in heaven or hell. Unfortuneately for those good people, the streets of heaven, that are said to be paved with gold, are a cruel myth. On the positive side, the rings of hell are not only a myth but a juvenile one at that.

Offline Herenow

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2011, 12:15:55 AM »
I think of hope as a transient feeling. When I watch a nature program and see how animals have survived despite many obstacles (drought, abuse, illness, injury, etc.) I have hope for their future. The feeling of hope comes up when I witness an act of kindness or learn of obstacles being overcome despite dismal odds. The quote, "hope springs eternal" means to me that despite all of the stupid things humans do to mess things up, wrongs can be righted and things can be made better, fixed, repaired, loved.... that there are humans who care about other humans and the earth and all living creatures and focus their time *here on earth* to make the world a better place. They give me hope.

Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2011, 01:05:08 AM »
Nick:

A legitimate response.  However, I am not interested in proving God or religion.  I am merely trying to ascertain where atheists derive hope from in comparison with where Christians find hope.

OK.  I do harbor hope, and it is based on human progress.  We have come quite far as a species, and even though we have been taking two steps forward and one step back for most of that time, the human condition is markedly better for many more folks than even the recent past.  We have a long way to go, but our past progress gives me hope

Here's an example on a personal level:  I have an eye condition that results in blindness.  When it first appeared, I was so frightened that I contemplated suicide.  I was never more desperate, and to my personal shame, I allowed myself to pray.  I was so afraid of the treatments and the eventual blindness, that I had to give god one last chance.  Of course nothing happened.  I was not cured. Whether it was because god rejected my prayer for some reason or because there is no god, it doesn't matter;  no miraculous cure.  However, the treatments, which had only become available about three years before I was diagnosed, have preserved my vision thus far.  There are other treatments which may be more effective just over the horizon.  Progress has saved my vision, while minimizing the discomfort of the treatments.  I look forward to the treatments because I see their value.  If anything gives me hope, whether on a personal level, or on a grander scale, it is progress.

Offline velkyn

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2011, 10:26:24 AM »
BoF, your post struck me when you said how frightened you were.   Now, if there was a supposedly benevolent god, the idea that it wouldn't help someone who was scared is curious.  I, even as the cynical person that I am, would help anyone who was frightened by doing all I could to help them. 

I'll guess that the theist response to this would be that their god is using the fear to teach people a lesson. In some cases, this *might* be less than a revolting answer, but in the case of a disease that harms, it's not. It's simply sadistic. 
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Offline Iamrational

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2011, 11:46:56 AM »
Just to add to the last post. If you want to know the true faith of a xtian, you need to look no further than a serious illness or injury.

What do you think a xtian does when they get a serious illness or injury? Pray? It is possible. No sooner than finishing that amen, they are on a beeline to the nearest hospital. They don't go to the hospital to pray either. They go to see scientific, medical doctors.

Do they refuse the innovative, new cancer drug that may save their life, because they feel that prayer is strong enough to heal them? Go find out.

What does that say about the true faith of xtians? Please answer xtians. I need to know this. Why do xtians participate in medicine when the Jesus guy says ask him and it is done?

I just wish xtians would be honest with themselves and look at their own actions. When it comes down to the most crucial moment of a xtians life, they will never choose faith over medicine.

Is this not the most damning evidence against immovable, xtian faith? It is certainly enough for me to be certain which decision I would side with.

Offline Traveler

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2011, 11:52:23 AM »
...refuse the innovative, new cancer drug that may save their life, because they feel that prayer is strong enough to heal them? Go find out....

I don't know percentages as compared to christians, but I know of some "new age" types who think that herbs and cleanses and such can cure cancer. Unfortunately, by the time they realize it isn't working, it's usually too late for medicine to save them. It makes me sad that people are so gullible.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2011, 12:20:54 PM »
...refuse the innovative, new cancer drug that may save their life, because they feel that prayer is strong enough to heal them? Go find out....

I don't know percentages as compared to christians, but I know of some "new age" types who think that herbs and cleanses and such can cure cancer. Unfortunately, by the time they realize it isn't working, it's usually too late for medicine to save them. It makes me sad that people are so gullible.

Are you referring to groups like these: http://hsionline.com/2011/03/01/proven-cancer-treatment/ and https://web-purchases.com/640SHTOMC/WHSILAA8/landing.html?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 12:24:20 PM by Truth OT »

Offline Azdgari

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2011, 12:26:58 PM »
My dad was given 2 years to live if he took chemo.  He decided that wasn't worth it, and went for every unlikely 'natural' cancer-treatment available that wasn't evidently harmful.

Most of those treatments were probably useless (for the cancer, anyway).  But he ended up living for 5 more productive years, rather than 2, and in far more comfort than he'd have been in if he'd taken chemotherapy.  So it's not unreasonable to suggest that something in there helped.  Plus he preserved his quality of life right up to a few days prior to his death.
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Offline Iamrational

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2011, 12:36:58 PM »
I would never have an issue with alternative (must be material) sources of treatment. That is, after all, how the success of science works. It is trial and error.

My point is ANY medicine compared to simply praying for a cure. That is the difference. Seeking out the latest and greatest herb is still seeking and using science to heal your sickness.

I will make the claim that at least 8 out of every 10 xtians would choose medicine over faith. To prove my claim I ask a question that I would hope at least 10 xtians could answer for me.

If you were to be diagnosed with HIV, would you take the medicine to treat the disease, or would you rely on your faith and simply pray for longevity or complete recovery (either/or)? (Note: keep in mind to say both means you are choosing the first option in my opinion and I think most would agree, correct me please if I am wrong.)

Offline Traveler

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2011, 12:44:31 PM »
My dad was given 2 years to live if he took chemo.  He decided that wasn't worth it, and went for every unlikely 'natural' cancer-treatment available that wasn't evidently harmful.

Most of those treatments were probably useless (for the cancer, anyway).  But he ended up living for 5 more productive years, rather than 2, and in far more comfort than he'd have been in if he'd taken chemotherapy.  So it's not unreasonable to suggest that something in there helped.  Plus he preserved his quality of life right up to a few days prior to his death.

That's awesome. :)

There are also spontaneous cures that last for the natural span of a person's life. But as far as I can figure out, the average patient is better off in terms of long term survival if they take traditional medical treatment. Of course I'll be really pissed if I'm wrong. I'm actually in a scare right now. Yesterday my oncologist and radiation oncologist referred me to have a biopsy taken. There is a small chance that I've got a type of cancer caused by radiation treatments. That would well and truly suck.  >:(

I'll give you an example of magical thinking, not necessarily for a cure, but still. When I was in the throes of initial diagnosis of my breast cancer, I was riding somewhere with a pagan friend. I think she's druid. She did some energy thingy and told me where the anomaly on the scan would be, and told me in no uncertain terms that it was benign. It was in the other breast, and was a malignant tumor. I was already at stage 2. Now, it wasn't that big a deal, becuase I didn't believe her. But I was irritated that she'd be so certain of things when she couldn't know. What if I'd been gullible enough to trust her statement? What if I'd trusted her enough to not follow up with my diagnostics? What if she and her pagan friends had done some magic healing ceremony and I'd trusted that instead of having surgery to remove the tumor?

As to herbs, I know some of them are probably useful. I don't have enough information about them to comment, really.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2011, 12:53:37 PM »
Hey, I'd be hesitant to trust that stuff my dad did, too, considering that I don't know what it was that helped him.

But the current state of medical science re: cancer is what led to the prognosis of 2 years with chemo.  It seems to have been wrong about that.

Now, I know that statistical outliers exist in everything.  My dad was probably one of those.  I wouldn't expect a repeat of those results in general.  But, statistical outliers do have real reasons for why they're outliers, and those reasons deserve scrutiny.  Was he an outlier because of something in his own biology, or something to do with the stuff he was taking, or was it some combination of those?  Alternately, was he an outlier because his doctor happened to make a mistake?

It would be useful to know the truth.  The science would interest me.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2011, 01:08:15 PM »
...It would be useful to know the truth.  The science would interest me.

Yes.

I'm also a bit worried about some of the things I hear about the CDC and how and when drugs get approved. We don't always know that what we're doing is safe. And chemo? Nasty stuff. Basically, they poison our bodies as much as possible without killing us off. I was sick for the better part of a year, and even two years after treatment I wouldn't say I'm back to 100%. I was in the hospital three times with side affects, for a total of 12 nights. My white counts would plummet so low that I'd have to be isolated. Nasty, nasty stuff. And the body can't really fully recover from that kind of stress, probably. I hope that we find another way to deal with cancer. I wouldn't wish chemo on anyone.

ETA: I should add that there are many, many chemo drugs, and many, many types of cancer, so my experience may not be typical.
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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #55 on: December 20, 2011, 02:39:32 PM »
What gives you hope?
Hope for what?

A more pertinant question, I think. "Hope" is meaningless without a goal... what do you hope for? Peace on Earth? An end to world hunger? A new iPod?

To me, more important questions are: "Am I enjoying life?", "Are those I care about enjoying life?", "Can I help make the world a better place?", "Where can I get a new iPod?"... I don't "Hope" for some eternal afterlife, I instead look to make this one the best it can be.
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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2011, 03:15:32 PM »
that is really good for your dad, Az.  My MIL was diagnosed with colon cancer and given at least a few more years with chemo.  She refused and died within 6 months.  I always wonder what my husband thinks of that.  I know he's said that it was totally up to her, but I would think that it would be very hard to not think "why aren't they trying to stay with me?" 

I don't know what I'd do in that situation, chemo or not.  I do know that I'd shave my head in a heartbeat and get some funky tatoos on it  ;)
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What Gives you Hope?
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2011, 03:29:17 PM »
that is really good for your dad, Az.

...and yet I hear a "but" in there...

My MIL was diagnosed with colon cancer and given at least a few more years with chemo.  She refused and died within 6 months.

Unsurprising, on the face of it.  What did she do in lieu of chemo?

I always wonder what my husband thinks of that.  I know he's said that it was totally up to her, but I would think that it would be very hard to not think "why aren't they trying to stay with me?"

Indeed.  If she gave up on treating the cancer, then that would be hard conclusion to avoid.

I don't know what I'd do in that situation, chemo or not.  I do know that I'd shave my head in a heartbeat and get some funky tatoos on it  ;)

Would your decision be the same if you were given the choice between 2 years to live on chemo, and 1 year to live without it?  I suppose it would...but it becomes less of a light matter, doesn't it?  Quality of life has to be taken into account.
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