Monday, April 5, 2010

A quick note on Religion

While reading Melissa Harris-Lacewell's "A Right for the Life of the Living" in the April 5th edition of The Nation, I couldn't help but puzzle once again people's strange invocations of "God's will" or "God's plan" in horrible situations. Suppose for a moment that you believed that God was this all-powerful, all-knowing being, and that whatever happened on Earth was part of his divine plan, then you would think that whatever happened was a) meant to happen, and b) God's will, and finally c) an inevitable part of God's plan. Believing that, from a religious standpoint, it makes absolutely no sense to punish criminals (they were just carrying out God's will), treat disease (interfering with God's will), or work to undue any damage done in the world since it all happened for a reason.

I realize that some people, mourning the loss of a loved one, or trying to make sense of a tragedy too awful to comprehend feel the need to turn to some superstitious nonsense and say things like "at least they're with God now" but it saddens me to think of how many seemingly rational people can think like this and make decisions about important things while believing this fairytale lunacy. No offense to religious doctors, but if you think your patient's cancer was given to them by God how can you effectively work against it?

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