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God and Medicine

Yesterday, I took my 3-month-old son Orion to the doctor. While we were there, the doctor asked us the standard questions about his medical history and then she asked if there were any religious beliefs, which would prevent him from taking certain medicines or treatments. My wife just laughed.

Personally, I can’t imagine anyone letting their worship of their divine imaginary friend get in the way of helping their child medically. Yet, obviously enough people must put their children’s life in the faithful hands of ancient mythologies instead of in the skilled hands of modern medical science. While it is certainly true that doctors aren’t perfect and modern medicine has many gaps in their knowledge, I still think it is trustworthier than a perfect deity. And whether most Americans are willing to admit it or not, they think so too.

Now what if someone did refuse medical treatment for their infant child based on religion and the child died? Is religion responsible for that death? The parents are probably good people who have just put their faith in a perfect God over their trust imperfect human doctors. From a theological standpoint that is a no-brainer. How could society hold them responsible simply because they believe ridiculous mythologies which compelled them to reject science in order to secure their child’s eternal future? We can’t ask those parents to present evidence for their beliefs, because then we would have to ask all religious people to present evidence. And as we all know if there was evidence, than there would be no need for faith. God is testing us, lol.

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