So tonight I got a bit of inspiration while watching “The Atheist Experience.” If you haven’t checked out that show I recommend you do so as soon as possible. Anyway, onto tonight’s article about the fact that only the survivors live.
Let’s say a plane crash occurs and half the people in the plane die while the other half survive. The odds of being someone who lived is an even 50%, so not great odds. However if you are giving an interview after the crash, then the odds are 100% that you survived. So the survivors tale is going to spread much more quickly than if you were one of the 50% of people who didn’t make it. Surviving a traumatic event can seem otherworldly but it’s important to remember that in any situation others were not nearly as fortunate.
To bring this to a new perspective, let’s talk about cancer. I understand it’s not a fun topic but it is something that will affect nearly everyone who reads this at some point or another. I’m sure we have all heard of people who get cancer, they get prayed for, and then they are cured of their cancer, however, many times the cure involves surgery, chemotherapy, and other medicinal routines. Sadly though the medicinal side of this is often times negated and the cure is claimed as a miracle.
Now I’m not saying that spontaneous remissions do not occur, they do but the thing to remember is that we don’t know why spontaneous remission occurs. The other thing to remember here is that spontaneous remission occurs both inside and outside of any ideology. Sometimes the body fights back and until we have a better understanding of why this is we will just have to say we don’t know.
My problem lies in those who claim that all of the medical treatment they went through was secondary to the miracle that god performed on their body. My grandfather is a great example of this fact. About 10 years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He went through radiation and eventually had his prostate removed. Yet today, he will claim to have been healed by god of his prostate cancer…which only took having his prostate completely removed. Can’t have prostate cancer if you no longer have a prostate….right?
So the problem here is actually that he survived cancer and so his story continues to move forward. The belief in miracles is built up and many people are given false hope in regards to this problem. The story of him having his prostate removed and the year he went through radiation treatment which did nothing to stop the cancer is almost never mentioned.
So let’s say you are another person going through prostate cancer and you hear the story that my grandfather promotes. You aren’t going to hear the story of the thousands of believers who have died over the years from the disease but only those who survived. So you put all of your faith into the idea that god is going to cure you of prostate cancer. You forego cancer treatment and scoff when the doctor tells you that you need to have your prostate removed. You know in your heart of hearts that god is going to cure you because you’ve earnestly sought him and you know that the “fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much.” (-James 5:16) Then you die and no one ever hears of your story, yet my grandfathers false story of a miracle healing from god continues on down the line.
Only the survivors live and if you are alive today it is because you have survived. Think about it…if you hadn’t survived you would be dead. It’s simple logic and yet it leads people to believe numerous fallacies about their own life. You of course remember all of the times that you could have died and yet didn’t, you begin to build feelings around the idea that something outside of you was protecting you from harm and yet the truth of the matter is simply that you survived and are not dead.
My own life for example:
- I stopped breathing as a child.
- I’ve been in numerous car accidents.
- I fell out of a tree as a child and landed on my head.
- I’ve had several bad infections throughout my life.
- I drowned and had to be resuscitated by my father at around 5 years old.
- A car hit my bicycle while I was riding it and I survived unscathed.
- I’ve fallen off of ladders.
- I’ve fallen off of a roof…twice on the same day.
- I’ve survived a fire.
- I gotten a bad electrical shock a couple of times.
This doesn’t even touch on all of the things that has happened in my life. I’m actually pretty accident prone which is a big reason why I try my best to steer clear of any type of power tool or firearm. However all of the things that I have gone through could have and do result in death numerous times per year. Now, some might say that it’s a miracle that I am still alive, yet in reality it’s just that I seem to be pretty hard to kill. I’m alive today because I didn’t die during any of those situations or the numerous others that I didn’t mention here.
So hopefully after you’ve read this article you’ll see that miracles are promoted as miracles because the people who “experience” them promote them as miracles. Then word of mouth goes around and at times the miracle can get even larger. Information is often times left out in order to make the healing appear to be more miraculous and this can lead many to have false hope for their own miraculous healing and could lead them to forgo necessary medical procedures out of that hope.
If you are here today it is simply due to the fact that you haven’t died yet. Everyone that isn’t here today is dead or they haven’t been born yet. One day you too will die. Life is far too short to put your hope in the illogical notion of a miracle.
If you haven’t checked out my journey from Pentecostal Minister to Atheist, check it out here. My Journey Away From Faith: Part 1