Why won’t god heal amputees?
This is an interesting question that it is easy to dismiss. Along with 9 other often overlooked questions regarding faith, a blog asking this question made ‘most interesting blog’ on Myspace today, attracting over 30,000 views.
The questions are as follows:
- Why won’t god heal amputees? There are cases where people claim to have been healed by miracles. One can’t help but to notice that these are in almost every case things that might just have got better anyway.
- Why are there so many starving people in our world? If you propound that God listens to you and answers your prayers, how can you believe that he answered your prayers for a raise and yet allows millions to die from starvation and disease?
- Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the bible? There are probably more than you realize – the demands listed in the post (to kill anyone who works on the sabbath day, homosexuals, girls that are not virgins when they marry etc.) just scratch the surface. And ‘the bible corrects itself elsewhere’ isn’t a defence; how can you full heartedly trust something that contradicts itself?
- Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense? Such as the idea that the universe is only a couple of thousand years old, that Jonah lived inside a whale for 3 days etc.
- Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible? The post includes examples of how ‘slaves should obey their masters as they would obey Christ’, amongst others. Personally I would substitute this one for something else. Perhaps ‘why is God so jealous and unforgiving in the old testament?’
- Why do bad things happen to good people? Such as their deaths in painful ways. If they are going to meet God anyway, why deprive them of their lives?
- Why didn’t any of Jesus’ miracles in the bible leave behind any evidence? It’s quite strange. All we really have is a book compiled 200 years after his death, written mostly by people who never met him.
- How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? If he’s all-powerful and timeless, why wait for a second-coming?
- Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood? If you actually consider this for a second, it sounds more Satanic than Christian. And no, if you are Catholic as opposed to a derivative such as an Anglican, you believe that you are really consuming Jesus’ flesh and blood.
- Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians? “What God has put together, let no man put asunder”. But it happens regardless.
This is by no means a perfect list. The questions can be deflected by clumsy rationalization; for example ‘bad things happen because it gives us a chance to do good’. That doesn’t answer a question, however – why would a loving god allow such injustice? Even with suggestions such as the Irenaean Theodicy, such suffering directly contradicts the idea of the Christian God as omnibenevolent.
Another seemingly good argument that could be used here is the idea that ‘badness’ is merely a lack of ‘goodness’, and as God is ‘goodness’, ‘badness’ can be assumed to be the lack of God. However, I feel inclined to quote Steven Weinberg: “With or without religion you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Feel free to substitute ‘bad’ for ‘evil’.
What’s more interesting than this imperfect list, however, is the responses of many of the Christian commenters. There is more reasoning and intelligent conversation happening lately, but some of the older ones really are quite pathetic. Like suggesting that the argument isn’t valid beacuse of grammatical errors and incorrect word usage. And attacking the author, an ad hominem argument. Excluding unfounded outbursts of zealous blind faith, of course.