Friday, October 16, 2009

Should Children Die Because of Religious Fanaticism? (Old Writing),2933,368863,00.html

I have sourced the website (story) from whence my anger and confusion is coming, but will still relay a concise version of the events that have led to the untimely and unnecessary death of another child.

Neil Beagley, 16, is dead as a result of an easily treatable "urinary tract blockage". This ailment could have been easily resolved had he gone through a minor procedure involving doctors with medical knowledge and a catheter. Sounds easy enough, but nay; God was going to take care of it. He would do so in quite the same way he took care of Neil's cousin's illness. Oh, that's right. He DIDN'T. Neil's death has occurred just months after his 15 month old cousin Ava died of a blood infection and pneumonia, neither of which are fatal if doctors are informed within a relatively normal period of time.

I will avoid one issue that the article comments on, that of his age and the legality of his own decision-making capabilities. That is for another time and another note. However, on what planet does a 16 year old and/or his parents need be informed of the usefulness and the efficiency of medical care? I would say "in what country", but even in countries where there is little outside influence or the government is religiously led the citizens are well aware of the necessity for and efficiency of medical treatment. How sheltered and brainwashed must one be to live in a world where illnesses are a plague of God's wrath and cures are a blessing of God's mercy?

It's almost enough to make one speechless, to draw breath out of the mouths of those who are as confused and taken aback as I by acts of such a deluded nature. Who convinces these people that life is merely a gift from God, something that is his to grant and his to revoke? Who warps the mind of the young and convinces them to play along with a game so dangerous and potentially disastrous? This all taking place in the 21st century makes one even more befuddled.

Are the thousands of vanquished illness and the hundreds of millions of cured individuals not enough proof that science (specifically medicine) has brought us farther than any God could have even been imagined to? Are we so wrapped up in the hope for an afterlife and the orgasmic feelings produced by our brains that we confuse physical processes for supernatural ones? How far must we come before we can abandon superstition and welcome intellectual progress? How many deaths must the human race endure before we come together to put an end to unnecessary calamity and unneeded demise?

Or perhaps I'm crazy. Perhaps God just didn't want to help Neil, or his cousin Ava, or the billions of dead people who prayed their hearts out without ever being miraculously cured by the loving embrace of God. Maybe God didn't actually cure people until we realized how to do it ourselves. Somehow, God always seems a step behind us, or maybe he's riding along on our shoulder (or hanging onto our coattails, as that may be more properly expressed). Wherever he is, it's not ahead of the curve. He isn't curing ailments that aren't medically treatable. He isn't growing back limbs for the handicapped. He isn't putting an end to torture, disease, decay, death, illness, insanity, etc. We've done all of that on our own; and hopefully, the future will bring more cures, and more love, and more quick-fixes for our ailing brethren. But whatever the future brings, it will be our doing. It will be the product of mounds of evidence, work, and years of labor by humans fighting to make the world a less painful, and consequently, more enjoyable place.

I care not whether this comes off as a rant or an intellectual attack on troublesome nonsense. All I care is that others recognize as well that this plague upon our society needs to come to an end.

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