1/24/2010                                                                                       View Comments

Bionic Marvel

By Ayhwh

Faith healing, divine wonders, and miracles are a significant part of religion’s shtick. A miracle supposedly subverts nature causing unexplainable supernatural things to happen. Pastors and evangelists use the idea and promise of miracles to swindle the masses into giving them cash and obedience. Miracles do not exist, but science brings amazing cures!

The Bible abounds with miraculous events, from the beginning to the end. The myth makers who desperately wanted to add authority to their stories put them there. What better way to add authority, than by having the hero heal the paralyzed, cause the blind see, and the deaf hear? If we could pray and have limbs grow back, then there would be no better way to prove god’s existence. There would also never be an ex-Christian because no one would walk away from something so obviously true and powerful.

This leads us to a problem. The fundamentalist Pentecostal tradition I was raised in, the Assemblies of God, holds divine healing as one of its “16 Fundamental Truths.” The statement says, “Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.” Many denominations have similar statements of faith. All pointing to the same belief, healing was not just for bible times and it supposedly happens today. Okay . . . but it doesn’t!

It is nothing more than doublethink when modern Christians believe miracles continue to occur, even though overwhelming evidence to the contrary exists. The only assertions faith healing supporters can make are anecdotal or observational. “A friend of a friend was supernaturally healed of cancer.” When in reality, the person may have been undergoing chemo, but they attributed the remission to god. As the story makes its way down the telephone chain the faithful tend to minimize the natural and exaggerate the supernatural, until you have an amazing, but fabricated, proof story.

These beliefs are made worse by charlatans like Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff who prey on the sick and needy. They ask for money to support their ministries, which in turn fund lavish lifestyles. If they have enough faith and send enough cash, then they are promised healing. Just load any video on Youtube by James Randi to find out exactly how horrible these conmen are!

Thomas Paine said it best, “All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for imposters to preach and fools to believe.” Supernatural miracles are a hoax, but amazingly, the blind see, deaf hear, and amputees are receiving new limbs.

January’s National Geographic cover popped out at me last night as I walked through the supermarket. The headline read, “Merging Man and Machine” and the cover had a bionic hand on it. The prosthetic hand looked more like something from a Star Wars movie than real life. With my curiosity piqued I flipped open to the article. What I read on the next few pages amazed me. The story started with information about cochlear implants being put into deaf infants who then are able to hear and learn language. The deaf hear.

It also mentioned some ground breaking science being done with restoring vision to the blind. Video signals from a small camera are converted into an electrical pattern the cells in the eye can understand. 60 electrodes attached to the retina receive this information and converted it to vision. The blind see.

The majority of the story was about Amanda Kitts. She tragically lost her arm in an automobile accident. The good news to the story, Kitts has been fitted with a revolutionary bionic arm. Kitts controls this electronic/mechanical arm by thinking, exactly the same way you would use a natural arm, but she does this without having anything implanted in her brain. They did this by stimulating nerve cells that would have connected down the arm and to the hand to grow in the muscles of the stump of her arm. As these nerves grew their signals were strong enough to be read by electrodes that touch the skin. As her brain tells the hand to open and close it responds to the signal by reading the nerves in the muscles. Amputees are receiving new limbs!

The natural wonders of today far outweigh the mythical gods and prophets of the past. The stories about Jesus healing the blind, deaf, and crippled are impossible to verify. And miracle claims above all other assertions require exceptional proof. Those who cling to the Christian myth dumbfound me. I do not understand why people would pray for divine healing when it never comes.

The popular question among skeptics is “why won’t god heal amputees?” There is a great website devoted to this question. It is an important question because if god did heal an amputee after the limb was prayed for, then we would have conclusive proof a supernatural miracle of healing occurred. We would also know modern medicine had nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, for the religious, this has never happened.

So when I asked myself this question, I came to the ultimate conclusion that divine healing is nothing more than mere religious mumbo jumbo. The good news is humanity has a lot of amazing solutions to the problems that cause suffering in our world. Science is overcoming superstitious quackery bit by bit everyday. We are getting closer and closer to a real cure for amputees and a better world for all those in need. I hope we get there!



37 comments:

webmdave said...

Interesting. However, the cochlear implants do not work for nerve deafness. My grandmother checked into it several years before she died and found it would not work. Even today, 20 or so years later, cochlear implants are worthless for nerve deafness. One has to have (a) certain kind(s) of deafness for it to be beneficial. Personally though, I know how those cochlear implants are done and I would not want to go through that, for fear the surgeon could accidentally damage something, like part of my brain. Thus, IF either of my sons were born with the congenital nerve deafness in my family and it was so severe they could not hear, I wouldn't have it done until they were old enough to make the choice for themselves. Deafness really isn't that big of a deal anyway.

webmdave said...

True. These technologies are still kind of primative . . . Compared to where they could be someday in the future. Model T vs. A mazeratti.

But still, they have done more good then prayer ever will.

webmdave said...

From personal experience, I can say that deafness IS a big deal.I shun conversation with strangers, in stores, etc. My kids & a few close friends know enough about my disability to speak rather loudly, distinctly, & rather slowly close to my one ear that hears at all. I have to live with this all day, every day. My computer is my main means of remaining in communication with the world. At my advanced age, I would decline a cochlear implant. If I was 50 years younger, I'd jump at the chance.

webmdave said...

Yes. It's a start. I stand in amazement in considering what has taken place in my lifetime. The next century will be the same, if there is no third world war. A fourth world war, if there is one,would be conducted with stones.

webmdave said...

Your post peaked my interest. I've never seen a "miracle", and I never will.
What christians like to call a miracle, is just plain good fortune, happening once in a while. Even Charlie Manson has good fortune, the mere fact that he's still alive ! What really cracks me up, is when I've been in a hospital and over heard groups of families giving praise TO "GOD" and thanks for the miracle that healed their loved one. To heck with the technology ( by humans ) the know-how of the Doctors, Nurses, and Medical Technicians, etc. ( all humans ) who were the ones who brought it all about.--------religion so stinks.

webmdave said...

"What better way to add authority, than by having the hero heal the paralyzed, cause the blind see, and the deaf hear? "

While the Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox do make room for healing miracle most liberal Christians would toss them. I always found it funny that many fundamentalists in the Baptist and Presbyterian traditions say that miracles were indeed for the time of Moses and Christ but were merely meant to be a demonstration of the "truth" that God had anointed them for their roles. Since that has already been done there is now no need for miracles today. We have the Bible now instead.

Sheesh, these fundamentalist Baptists and Presbyterians with this hybrid understanding of miracle under special circumstance try to have it both ways. They know, as moderns, that miracles are impossible but they want to agree with the church authority in Scripture so they say there WERE miracles in the past.

Miracles, according to these guys, were just a way as you say above "to add authority ... by having the hero heal..." That done just let the old words of the hero now recorded in Scripture be the new authority. With Bible as authority they can now toss the belief in miracle. If that position is not a compromise with modernity I do not know what could be considered one.

Gosh, does anyone see the contradiction here that the Scripture they tout itself says that miracles were done by all kinds of Christians throughout the New Testament. There simply is no statement that says anything about this supposed stopping of miracles once they had authenticated Moses, Jesus and the Apostles. That idea is just plain smoke pulled out of a theologian’s ass! It is an “out” from having to perform or even express a fith that miracles are for today. What is left? Nothing, just preach and pass the plate which certainly can be done without God being real in anyway.

Liberal Christians just go on and totally embrace modernity and in doing so toss the miracles in Scripture along with most of its bloody dogma. Why liberal Christians keep the "faith" of that same Scripture is illogical and unreasonable to the max.

Can anyone say Bishop Spong?

Perhaps it is best to flat out reject the authority of the “miracle”, the authority of the hero and the authority of the holy writ and just embrace reason, fact, experience and the fruit of the scientific method. However if someone did THAT they might become an Ex-Christian atheist. Such a new radical scientific worldview would be the death of religion; would it not? Spong (and other liberals less radical) along with the fundamentalist Baptists and Presbyterians live in the no-man's-land of Bothwaysville. “Lukewarm”, comes to mind.
Benny Hinn and James Randi might be flat-out idiots living in a delusional fantasy combined with mushy squash for brains, but hey, at least they are singing one consistent song when it comes to the stupid miracles stuff. It is authority and faith vs. reason and fact. The guys in the middle try to please everyone crowd need to get in the game. The miracle head Benny Hinn kind of guys who are fighting for authority and faith and rejecting reason and science are not in the middle but they are still in the middle ages.

webmdave said...

Can anyone say Bishop Spong?

I do all the time. You should know that by now, DealDoctor. I was also one who left because it was illogical to "keep the faith".

webmdave said...

I don't see deafness as a big deal at all. You can do everything a hearing person can do, except hear. The only problem I see is the hearing who don't know anything about deafness.

Everyone in my family is hard of hearing, except my sons. I use an amp on my phone, so does my mother, so does my aunt. I refuse hearing aids and my dr isn't going to put them on me until I can't hear one on one. Personally, I don't want a cochlear and sometimes I wish I were profoundly deaf because I can't stand those who have no clue. The computer is far better than ignorant hearing people who have no hearing loss what so ever.

I'm rather glad I don't hear everything.

webmdave said...

That arm is amazing. But, seriously, god (Yes, I'm talking to you!), give the girl a break and grow her a new one.

webmdave said...

That would be nice. Unfortunately god just really hates her . . . I guess.

webmdave said...

Agreed! Religions does stink.

THey keep counting the hits. And when the miracle does not happen, then it is not gods will or it is time for him to take them home. or some other garbage cliché.

webmdave said...

The entire spectrum of Xianity is lacking in any logical sense. You just have to brainwash yourself and everyone else. The fact that no christians agree on these types of basic questions serves as a big ass billboard for the fallacy of faith.

webmdave said...

Religions does stink.

Like rotten eggs.

webmdave said...

Hearing aids don't work for me. I haven't been able to listen to music for
YEARS. I miss it terribly. I have to go with the terrible text when I watch
TV. Sometimes it's funny. Mostly you must try to 'translate' what it says,&
this detracts from enjoyment as you must watch the text. This also detracts
from enjoyment of a good movie. A phone is a deadly enemy to me. The sound
resonates & understanding the speaker is extremely difficult. Mostly I ask
the caller to mail to me whatever he/she wanted to say. I have a blinking
light on my phone & an amplifyer, but both are deficient for my situation.
Shit like this makes death look like a pretty good deal.

webmdave said...

I haven't had any trouble with Closed Captioning on our TV. Music? Just turn it up loud so I can hear it better and I'm fine, but um, none of that heavy metal or other noisy stuff. There is no getting it loud enough to understand most of the words.

My mother and aunt have worse hearing than I do and they seem to do alright with the amps on their phone, combined with their hearing aids. Hearing loss really doesn't bother my family that much. Like I said, it is a part of life and IMO, pretty nice when you don't want to hear what someone is saying. Just turn you back from them and walk away. IMO, losing one's hearing is better than death and knowing sign language just makes it better. I'd rather be completely deaf, instead of hard of hearing, than dead.

webmdave said...

I couldn't help but think of the old teevee show "I Believe In Miracles" starring evangelist/faith healer Kathryn Kulman. It was a fluffy, rainbows and daisies sort of religious mumbo-jumbo affair. Plenty of testimonial based flim-flam. She died of complications from an enlarged heart. I don't need to comment any further.

webmdave said...

Mriana, I feel so lucky in having NO fear of death or dying. My 'good days', I am enjoying life, my 'bad days' I look FORWARD to my departure to return to the stardust from which we all emanate.It's a great way to live. A native American expression 'today is a good day to die' is very profound & says it all for me. I'll be 84 in Feb. if I make it. No big deal either way.

webmdave said...

Hi Mriana, Re reading the text on TV, saw Jackie Gleasons The honeymooners
marathon o0ver the holidays. Incredibly bad text. I think the person who did
it was a foreigner (?) whose command of English left much to be
desired.Thankfully, I saw all of them before & knew the words. With music,
I hear the SOUND, but it's like a normal person listening to a tone deaf
idiot banging a pianos keys with a mallet. Funny thing, sometimes when I'm
sleeping, in my dream, I'm hearing music, & it's beautiful !

webmdave said...

Which form of CC are you using? I don't have that issue and I know I have 4 different choices of format for the CC.

I hear the sound, but I don't always get the words. For example names with the -airy sound, like Harry, Mary, Larry, Terry, Carry, etc, all sound alike to me and I either have to read it or read the person's lips to differentiate between them. The same goes for other words that sound alike.

webmdave said...

Funny thing, I sometimes dream in sign language.

webmdave said...

A native American expression 'today is a good day to die' is very profound

I thought that was a Klingon expression, Godfree, but other than that, I can't say I disagree with you.

84, 44 meh... what's the difference? I'll be 44 in May. You either make it another year or you don't. I have come to not really care either way- within reason of course. I'm not going to do anything stupid or painful, personally.

webmdave said...

I have a personal interest in the advancement of bionic technology, and man is doing more than God ever did in helping people with limb deficiencies.

Unfortunately, Christians always have an out. They can say God gave man the ingenuity to come up with this technology.

But remember, this argument only applies to scientific advances which put god in a good light. Even though this technology is only possible because of advances stemming from the study of biology through evolution, they'll still say evolution is still wrong or the earth is only 6,000 years old or whatever.

webmdave said...

Hi Ayhwh,

Would you please tell me from where this excerpt was taken?

“All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for imposters to preach and fools to believe.”

Tks

webmdave said...

Yeah, well don't forget things like stemcell research either. I saw a news article where this little girl suffered from cerebral pulsy. The parents and doctors saved the girl's umbilical cord and when she was 3 they treated her with stemcells from the cord. At age 6 most of the affects of her brain injury disappeared. Yet it's most of these outrageously fundy people who rail against medical research like stemcells.

Sad.

webmdave said...

You know, there's a doctor who figured out how to treat that . . .

oh. Wait.

webmdave said...

Ayhwh,

Please specify the source for this excerpt:

“All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for imposters to preach and fools to believe.”

tks

webmdave said...

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webmdave said...

Hey Mriana,

You recently changed your Facebook password. As a security precaution, this notification has been sent to all email addresses associated with your account.

If you did not change your password, your account may have been the victim of a phishing scam. Please learn more about this, and how to regain access to your account at http://www.facebook.com/help/?topic=security

Thanks,
The Facebook Team

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Hi Disqus,

I set up a Facebook profile where I can post my pictures, videos and events and I want to add you as a friend so you can see it. First, you need to join Facebook! Once you join, you can also create your own profile.

Thanks,
William

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webmdave said...

You know, there's a doctor who figured out how to treat that . . .

oh. Wait.

webmdave said...

Yeah, well don't forget things like stemcell research either. I saw a news article where this little girl suffered from cerebral pulsy. The parents and doctors saved the girl's umbilical cord and when she was 3 they treated her with stemcells from the cord. At age 6 most of the affects of her brain injury disappeared. Yet it's most of these outrageously fundy people who rail against medical research like stemcells.

Sad.

webmdave said...

Ayhwh,

Please specify the source for this excerpt:

“All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for imposters to preach and fools to believe.”

tks

webmdave said...

Yes. It's a start. I stand in amazement in considering what has taken place in my lifetime. The next century will be the same, if there is no third world war. A fourth world war, if there is one,would be conducted with stones.

webmdave said...

From personal experience, I can say that deafness IS a big deal.I shun conversation with strangers, in stores, etc. My kids & a few close friends know enough about my disability to speak rather loudly, distinctly, & rather slowly close to my one ear that hears at all. I have to live with this all day, every day. My computer is my main means of remaining in communication with the world. At my advanced age, I would decline a cochlear implant. If I was 50 years younger, I'd jump at the chance.

webmdave said...

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webmdave said...

True. These technologies are still kind of primative--and because of that can be dangerous--compared to where they could be someday in the future. Model T vs. A mazeratti.

But still, they have done more good then prayer ever will.

webmdave said...

Interesting. However, the cochlear implants do not work for nerve deafness. My grandmother checked into it several years before she died and found it would not work. Even today, 20 or so years later, cochlear implants are worthless for nerve deafness. One has to have (a) certain kind(s) of deafness for it to be beneficial. Personally though, I know how those cochlear implants are done and I would not want to go through that, for fear the surgeon could accidentally damage something, like part of my brain. Thus, IF either of my sons were born with the congenital nerve deafness in my family and it was so severe they could not hear, I wouldn't have it done until they were old enough to make the choice for themselves. Deafness really isn't that big of a deal anyway.