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  • Darwins +1130/-27


I'm going to take some time to respond to you in the hopes that you'll consider something.

There's a serious problem with saying, "God heals", or "Jesus heals".  It's that there's no real way to support those contentions.  All you have to support them are stories from the Bible.  There isn't one single account outside of the Biblical text that supports God or Jesus actually doing, well, anything, though there are lots (and lots and lots and lots) of claims to that effect.  That makes those stories apocryphal at best, dubious, but believed true because most people don't know any better.

But that isn't even the most serious problem.  So you have God and Jesus who can do this magical, miraculous healing.  So why don't they ever do so in ways that can be clearly attributed to them, instead of in ways which are effectively indistinguishable from chance?  Take prayer, for instance.  Lost of people pray for their loved ones to heal, and occasionally, they do get better.  But more often nothing happens.  Sometimes they get worse.  But neither getting worse nor getting better happen very often - most often, nothing seems to happen.  This is exactly as we would expect from a random distribution (a bell curve), but not from an agent acting to heal those people.

Now, take a doctor.  Doctors work to heal a lot of people.  So you end up with some people getting worse, some people staying the same, but most people getting better.  It represents more of a hockey stick than a bell curve.  Not only that, but you can even tell the difference between a good doctor and a mediocre doctor - or a quack - by how those probabilities work out.  A quack's results are going to be closer to a bell curve, whereas a mediocre doctor may have a fairly flat distribution or perhaps a rise in the number of people getting better compared to the number who stay the same or get worse.  And a good doctor is going to have a higher proportion of people who get better compared to the numbers who stay the same or get worse.

So why is it that doctors have a higher success rate than God and Jesus in the modern day?  One would think it would be the exact opposite - as you say later on, it should be trivial for God or Jesus to replace a lost limb.  Yet, nobody has ever regrown a severed limb.  Instead, we have people (doctors nowadays) replacing the lost limb with an artificial prosthetic; a peg leg or a hook hundreds of years ago, compared to an artificial hand or foot nowadays.

Not only that, but there are actually animals in the real world which are capable of regenerating a lost limb.  Starfish can lose their arms and grow them back without a problem; salamanders can lose their tails and limbs and grow them back no problem.  Yet chop off a human's hand or foot, and it's gone (unless you're extremely lucky and someone saves it so it can be reattached).  For that matter, chop off a single finger or toe, and it's gone too.  The difference is in the biology - starfish and salamanders have biological mechanisms which take care of limb regeneration for them.  No prayer or divine intervention needed, it happens in every single one unless you actually damage the tissues that actually perform the regeneration.

With humans, it never happens on its own - the healing process simply covers the wound with tissue.  If you lose a finger or an arm, it'll eventually cover itself with skin (after scabbing/scarring over), but that's all that ever happens on its own.  We've finally progressed to the point where we can reattach severed limbs, provided the limbs were kept cold so that they didn't die, and provided you have a doctor on hand quickly enough to actually do the surgery.  And we've been able to perform extremely limited regeneration through medical treatments.  Think regenerating a fingertip, and even that's questionable.

Not only that, but it doesn't happen with prayer or faith healing either.  No matter how long you pray for someone who's lost a limb, no matter how much faith healing you get, that limb will stay gone.  Even you have acknowledged that you haven't managed to make an amputee regrow a missing limb (which is honest, and I respect that).

You say it's a matter of having enough faith.  So why is it that nobody has enough faith to perform feats of healing which would be truly miraculous - regrowing completely severed limbs, bringing someone back to life, curing cancer, etc?  Why is it that faith healing can only recover ailments which can heal naturally?

What I'm trying to get at is that we should see the same kind of statistical distribution for people who pray to be healed, and people who use faith healing, as we do with doctors.  Indeed, it should even be better, since they're calling upon a god with superhuman powers.    But we don't see that.  We see a statistical distribution that more resembles the bell curve you get from nature, than the hockey stick you get from doctors.
Changed Change Reason Date
Jag hockey stick vs bell curve - great explanation! November 06, 2013, 10:58:18 AM
RubyLeo REALLY good post November 06, 2013, 11:30:26 AM
lotanddaughters Well put. November 06, 2013, 07:45:11 PM