Why does God hate amputees?

Marshall Brain has released an online book called "Why Does God Hate Amputees?" He also wrote a scary vision of the future in Robot Nation and is the founder of How Stuff Works.
His books is 32 pages and the title comes from this idea, we hear about miracles where tumor or some disease is cured, but...:
No matter how many people pray. No matter how sincere those people are. No matter how much they believe. No matter how devout and deserving the recipient. Nothing will happen. The legs will not regenerate. Prayer does not restore the severed limbs of amputees. You can read all the medical journals ever written -- there is no documented case of an amputated leg being restored spontaneously. And we know that God ignores the prayers of amputees through our own observations of the world around us. If God were answering the prayers of amputees to regenerate their lost limbs, we would be seeing amputated legs growing back every day.
I haven't finished reading but what I have read so far is very well written and brings forth very logical arguments. It's also likely to bring a lot of flaming from the religious right, good luck to him.

Comments

GetAGrip said…
Hi Scott.

I'm a friend of Sandy's (actually, I'm the boyfriend of Koreen, Karen's [Sandy's wife] sister).

I found that quote interesting too and it sounds like the book is very interesting. I don't believe in miracle cures or faith healing. My mother, though, is a born again Christian who believes that God does heal, etc.

She has a website (which I designed) where people can ask questions and she will answer them. It would be interesting if you could ask a question about this on my mom's website. I would be very interested to see her answer. I am a skeptic. I could ask myself, but I think she would know it was from me.

Anyway, don't feel any pressure to do this, but if you are interested, go to www.psalm40ministries.com and go to the "Question and Answer" section.

Nice "meeting" you.
Mike M
GetAGrip said…
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GetAGrip said…
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Scott Kirkwood said…
Here's a snippet:

As a matter of fact Scott, I have a friend, Carole Miller McCleery, who lost her leg through amputation because of a car accident many years ago and God is GROWING A NEW LEG on her body. She is speaking all over the United States and showing the x-rays and how even the heal is forming. It is happening slowly but the progress is incredible.

So I was wrong, God does help amputees?
GetAGrip said…
Well, I Goggled "Carole Miller McCleery" and found her website - http://www.healingsandmiracles.org/ . It has photos and X-Rays, but it still looks like a stump and it has taken 13 years to grow whatever leg it is they are talking about.

So, your question, does "God help Amputees?". I don't know. It has taken this woman 13 years to grow an extremely small amout (if you could even call it growth). This woman looks like she is in her 70s. Does God expect her to live to be 200? Or will she just die before anything that can be considered a leg appears? That would be kind of cruel, I think.
Chloe said…
I didn't read past the first page, because I found a serious flaw in logic right on the first page...

"If God is real, then we should certainly post the Ten Commandments in our courthouses and shopping centers, pray in our schools and eliminate the theory of evolution from every curriculum. We should focus our society on God."...

If God is real, how does any person know for a fact, definitively, that he advocated the 10 Commandments, that he approves of the Bible & everything in it, that he disapproves of people learning about evolution, or that he's so egotistical & needy that he wants everyone to ignore every other facet of life in order to devote everything in adulation of Him?
Scott Kirkwood said…
Chloe,
you bring up an interesting point.
I saw the paragraph as an olive branch (pun intended) to the Christian fundamentalists who believe in all 10 commandments, and that the universe was built in 6 days some 4 thousand years ago,etc. I think your problem with the paragraph is that he's putting the belief in the 10 commandments at the same level as the believe in God. You can believe in one and not the other. Yet they both have no proof that they are correct.
Chloe said…
I think your problem with the paragraph is that he's putting the belief in the 10 commandments at the same level as the believe in God.
You can believe in one and not the other. Yet they both have no proof that they are correct.
...

Just because there's no proof in favour, does not automatically make the opposite true.

But, yes that is my problem with the whole seeming premise of this thing.

The (only) arguments he sets forth seems to argue against the existence of god based on certain particular conceptions of god.
So his arguments have no substance in regards to the non-existence of god, only perhaps against certain perceptions of god as put forth by certain Christian Bible Literalists or whatnot.

This would seem to me to be an example of the use of a straw man, which is terribly illogical.

However, the very nature of a supreme being, a universal force, makes arguing agianst its existence dodgy at best.

I think he would've done better to make the point specifically to one particular sect's conception of god, the myths surrounding it, and the rules (morals) derived from such.

Attacking belief in GOD, in general, is bloody foolish.

Just because there's no proof in favour, does not automatically make the opposite true.
Chloe said…
On a somewhat related note, today my mother told me what she thought about watching, with her (christian) church group, a movie based on the "Left Behind" novel.
I warned her that it was popular among evangelicals and fundamentalists, but she was determined to keep an open mind.

After seeing it, she described it as a "bad science fiction movie" which distorted (I think she said "fractured") the Bible into its own twisted meaning for the movie...

My mother is a Christian. Yet basically she thought that was a load of bullocks.

Therefore, I think it's highly dodgy to even use SOME Christian beliefs from certain sects as a straw man to even refute "The Christian God" perception as a whole. Never mind the conception of a universal force anyone chooses to call "God" that has no actual connection to Christianity.

If you see where I'm going w/ the flaw of this amputees thing. ?
Scott Kirkwood said…
Chloe,
I think a great deal of people believe in some things in the bible, but not all things (think of Noah's Ark). Marshall Brain is not just arguing against particular aspects of the Bible, but against most of the fundamental beliefs held by Christians.
A little while later
Brain lists his "Standard Model of God" which he thinks that most Christians would believe. I wouldn't say these are straw-men to be knocked down, but fundamentaly held beliefs that he is arguing against.
On the other hand, I think that Marshall is going to have a difficult time converting anyone since what he writes would be inflamatory and too hard to read for any true believer.
Chloe said…
Worse, I think he's making some things that are generally a metaphor, as if they're literal beliefs.
And only Bible literalists and fundies & the such believe those things literally.

Also, there's a BIG difference between what Methodists believe and Catholics believe...
So I'm not sure there IS any one "standard model of god" even within Christianity, never mind across the board with everyone who believes in God.

And yeah,, if he's arguing against the existence of god, by using the Bible, then that's not only a straw man, it's incredibly narrow minded.

Furthermore, I know MANY people who are NOT atheists, but who are NOT part of any type of religious organization, nor do they believe in any of the type of things described by this guy.

As for the inflammatory issue...
I think it's counter-productive arguing to attack people's spiritual beliefs, no matter what they are.
Personally, if someone is causing a problem, I attack their behaviour as harmful or irrational. Because that's all that matters really.
Pardon the pun, but "THe road to hell is paved with good intentions..." In other words, it doesn't matter to me why someone does something awful to another person (even if they think it's "for someone's own good")... I just care about the actions & the results of those actions.

If someone believes that Jesus was supernatural and walked on water, or whatever... what difference does that make to my life?
As long as they don't tell me I have to believe that or face some kind of consequences, or impose their rules onto other people...

I guess I think it makes more sense to attack that behaviour, rather than whatever beliefs people have that spur that behaviour... Especially since I believe (and most run of the mill moderate Christians believe), that Christian extremists who want to impose their rules on other people are merely using religion as an EXCUSE to behave that way anyway.
Anonymous said…
One reason that God gave the 10 commandments was to show the people that they could not follow the 10 commandments.

Emphasis is on salvation via grace and not works (Ephesians 2:8-9)

There is no one good (Psalms 14:3) and all have fallen short (Romans 3:23) of the glory of God. You can't do good things to get into heaven. It's only by grace. So to say we should only attack the behaviour is only half the solution. People's belief's determine their action.

As a Christian, you have to believe that the bible is the word of God, therefore, God approves it. For people to write something that God dissaproves of is heresy, and what kind of God would let that happen? The bible is our basis of truth. If it is not, then you're like any other atheist that thinks they know what is right and wrong.

Anyway, some of your questions can be answered via the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd1NDvqnnZ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de7kisfQ1vY

They are in response to Brain's video.

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