Sickness and death

Sickness and death

Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

December 9th, 2011, 4:04 am #1

When sickness and death first came, they came for the communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a communist;  Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist;  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist;  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew;  Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 17th, 2004, 5:17 am

December 11th, 2011, 2:45 pm #2

Very clever.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

December 13th, 2011, 2:26 am #3

This came about as a secondary result and point of frustration in debating with my family that God does not answer prayers.  I'm not an Atheist, nor do I subscribed to any religious belief, but I offered a $10,000 wager that I could prove God does not answer prayers.  The end consequence is we are on our own and we should not look to God to resolve issues we are too lazy to solve on our own.  This does not say the universe was not created, but as a species, we need to learn to grow up and work together to make the world a better place for humanity
Last edited by MathewSullivan on December 13th, 2011, 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

December 14th, 2011, 4:53 am #4

Very clever.
I have offered to lower the $10,000 wager to make the bet more affordable, but I cannot find anyone to take the bet.  My prayer(s) will not include anything in the extreme beyond what is taught in the bible.  I won't ask to win the lotto or even ask for world peace.  Heck, I'm even willing to negotiate the terms of the prayer(s).
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 17th, 2004, 5:17 am

December 16th, 2011, 3:55 am #5

I personally believe that group prayer can have some positive impact in matters of health. There have been studies, though inconsistant, that have shown some positive effects in the healing of hospital patients through prayer. Here is a good article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer

I don't know if it's God answering the prayers, or just positive energy. I'm sure that some of it is due to the power of suggestion. I can't know the mind of God, but I tend to agree with you that he's not in the business of answering a lot of personal prayers, i.e. I doubt if God is making the Bronkos win games because Tebow is asking for it. :/
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

December 17th, 2011, 8:23 am #6

Tibetan monks are able to do amazing things through meditation without a belief in God as western society understands, but if by chance God does exist, he does not appear to play an active role in resolving issues many of us Homo sapiens are unwilling to resolve on our own.

Classical burnt offerings and modern-day prayer reminds me of this great clip:

http://youtu.be/sM90zBhg0DQ
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 4th, 2012, 12:23 am

January 4th, 2012, 12:29 am #7

When sickness and death first came, they came for the communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a communist;  Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist;  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist;  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew;  Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Sullivan should have given credit for the passage he quoted to the author, German Pastor Martin Niemöller.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

March 30th, 2012, 7:22 am #8

My apology to the extent this should have been credited on the part of me assuming this was common knowledge.

Technically, I'm agnostic, but I'm very much open to the prospect that the universe was created and there could very well be an afterlife. In my personal view, not only could the universe have been created, but there is ample room for evolution at the same time.

My principle point is that we as a species should take collective responsibility for our own well-being to build a better future and not ask a higher deity to work on our behalf because we are simply too lazy to care for each other. Pray if you feel necessary, but don't let it stop you from taking constructive action. Simply saying I will pray for you and do nothing more lacks true conviction.

Don't ask God to work on your behalf if you are unwilling to help in the process where you are capable of making a difference.
Last edited by MathewSullivan on March 30th, 2012, 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 16th, 2010, 2:14 pm

March 30th, 2012, 1:50 pm #9

I have never heard an attribution for the original quote; I agree with you that the quote is common knowledge and see no need to attribute it at this point other than just to fulfill interest.

I like the thought behind your modification of the quote and I think it is good thinking even for those of us who do believe God answers (some) prayer!

<i>Don't ask God to work on your behalf if you are unwilling to help in the process where you are capable of making a difference.</i>

My grandfather was a preacher for decades, and I heard him preach this exact thought, often! I have met only a very small number of Christians who are willing to confront other Christians for using prayer as an excuse for moral laziness.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

April 1st, 2012, 7:28 am #10

Not that I'm biased, but your grandfather seems like a wise man;) I would be honored to spend time with him and have friendly exchanges over ethics.

The details behind the thought for the modification relates to personal frustration and concern for my extended family, all of whom are non-cryonicists.

(Names have been fictionalized below.)

Tara is struggling with having to deal with lots of death of those she cares about, and she is not sure how much more of it she can deal with. Her friends offer her prayers and nothing more.

I'm frustrated, because I see aging, disease, and death as technical challenges; not magical ones. In my mind, there is ample opportunities for us to work together no matter our faith or expectations on what may be possible in the future to help resolve these technical challenges. Being facetious, I suggested we offer prayers to Zues and toss small children into volcanoes to exemplify how primitive this mindset is in today's society. This society of ours seems so advanced in many ways, but we still act as though we are primitive and barbaric in others.

David noted out of this discussion that he thinks cryonics is crazy and he puts his faith in the Lord.

He is also of the opinion that this will somehow upset or anger me, but it does not. My belief is there is still ample room for us to resolve these technical challenges without putting cryonics into the mix at all. Cryonics is the ultimate insurance policy which I expect to need in my lifetime, but this isn't necessarily true of those who will follow. Cryonics isn't even a guarantee at this point in history, and if there were any other options, I'll consider it.

Susan is open to signing up for cryonics, but there is a lack of evidence on her part that it will work. Within the last year, a friend of hers was checked into the hospital where there was reasonable expectation she would die. The hospital planned to do exploratory surgery with the best expected outcome of the patient in having to live with a colostomy bag for the rest of her life. Susan got onto the Internet to research the subject out of fear of loosing her friend, and provided a potential diagnoses, method of testing, and treatment to the hospital. The hospital was impressed and followed the advice, and the patient made a full recovery. One should also note here that Susan has absolutely no training in medicine. Susan may or may not have offered a prayer in her quiet moments, but her actions made a difference.

The ultimate lesson here should be is that we can all make a difference if we choose to make a difference, and one way to make a difference is to be silent no longer.

Do not go quietly into the darkness, and let your voice be known while you have one.
Last edited by MathewSullivan on April 1st, 2012, 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share