8/31/2006

THE COINCIDENTAL NATURE OF WHY WON'T GOD HEAL AMPUTEES

I guess I'm felling my oats tonight. Over at Why Won't God Heel (mispelled word purposely) Amputees, you can read about all sorts of "reasons" why God isn't real. You can read about why prayer is worthless, and why answered prayers are nothing more than "coincidence".

It is with great hilarity that I take issue with the authors of that website, should they ever have enough balls to name themselves.

I am Tom Reindl. I believe in God, and in Jesus Christ. I will give you all sorts of reasons in the future (and have done so in the past) why I believe. What I will never give you is bad logic followed up by bad english...and then not give you my name. I will remain known, never anonymous, because I, like most people, realized long ago that the "power" in anonymity is merely an illusion.

You will never catch me ripping someone else's beliefs, and not giving my name. You'll never watch as I state "facts", and hide behind my anonymity. If I say something is fact, right or wrong, I'll admit to it.

However, I could say, anonymously, that the other day, I was run over by a unicorn, therefore, unicorns must exist. Such is the tripe you will read at Why Won't God Heal Amputees.

Obviously, my first problem with the website (have you guessed it yet?) is its anonymity. But it doesn't end there.

We live in a completely cause and effect universe, yet Why Won't God Heel Amputees "scientifically" tries to prove that "answers to prayer are nothing more than a coincidence".

Who here sees a problem with that logic?

For every cause, there is an effect. For every effect, there was a cause. There are no coincidences, unless you actually use the definition of the word "coincidence" correctly. Coincidence equals two separate incidents seemingly having something to do with one another, but not necessarily. Or, to get "old english" on this, merely, more than one incident, usually two, happening simultaneously.

In those definitions, there is nothing about cause and effect, nothing about "coincidences" meaning more than a term used to describe several incidents, neither benevolent nor malevolent. A Coincident cannot be the cause of an effect. It, therefore, cannot used to describe or define the reason behind an event, nor can it be used scientifically to prove that God does not answer prayer, as if by the mere use of the word "coincidence", God has been replaced by a perfectly "logical" reason. Reason dictates that for every effect, there was a cause, and reason also dictates that "coincidence" had nothing to do with the effects witnessed.

Two incidents. Several times, (actually more than several) the website mentioned above uses phrases such as "It's just a coincidence" as citing some well known "fact".. Not only is that phrase not provable, it's just plain bad English. But if it is provable beyond the shadow of a doubt, then I ask the wonderful authors of that website to display their unquestionable proof, which is what evidence beyond the shadow of a doubt is all about. And while you are at it, why not display your names? My name is Tom Reindl...what's yours?

Did I say "just plain bad English"? Of course I did. You never say "It's just a coincidence" and walk away unharmed. Okay, maybe I am exagerrating a little bit. But you certainly don't say "It's just a coincidence" and walk away believing you have solved the mystery of prayer, much less used good English. If you really wanted to use the word "coincidence" in a sentence, you'd have to pluralize it, and say something like "They were just coincidences", because a coincidence can never, ever, ever, be singular. By rule, a "coincidence" requires at least two separate incidents, and thus, is always plural.

English books away, please. Now take out your science books. In a cause and effect world, "coincidences" can never cause something. Nor can they be used to explain the cause of something, as Why Won't God Heal Amputees is well in the habit of doing. It would be like me saying, the light turned green just as you ran through the intersection by coincidence. On the surface, that sounds intelligent, but it's not. You ran through the intersection when it was green because the intersection before didn't hold you up long enough for you to have to stop on red, or you weren't side swiped while passing through two previous intersections. Both of these might be reasons, or causes, why you ran through an intersection just as it passed into green, but "coincidences" would never explain why you did what you did, or why something happened the way it did.

Let me state this simply: "Coincidence" is just another word for an excuse or an attempt to try and explain away something you haven't researched enough, or do not have enough scientific information to "explain" in any other way. Sadly, "coincidence", as stated above, can never be used as an explanation or a definition. It can't really even be used to philosophically explain why you do or don't believe something, such as the authors of Why Won't God Heel Amputees seem to be doing.

But, if you insist, we can at least allow for your bad English, and grant that "it's just a coincidence" that you think you have offered a scientific explanation for why God won't heal amputees when all you've really done is both misuse an overused word, and used it improperly in a sentence. Now those are coincidences, (Note the proper English), and as such, they are irrelevant, and have nothing to do with God or prayer at all, or any other form of scientific endeavor toward "disproving" the existence of God and answered prayer.

I am Tom Reindl, and I state, for the record, that IT is merely a coincidence that I wrote this post several days after reading Why Won't God Heal Amputees, or at least, several days after reading as much as my stomach could handle before vomiting voluminously. Two separate incidents, but do they really have anything to do with each other?

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. It is, after all, only done in good fun.

24 comments:

Phil said...

What a dildo.
From Phil Ogilvie (NOT Anonymous)

Daniel Seamster said...

I will phrase it differently then,

under your logic that

Let me state this simply: "Coincidence" is just another word for an excuse or an attempt to try and explain away something you haven't researched enough, or do not have enough scientific information to "explain" in any other way. Sadly, "coincidence", as stated above, can never be used as an explanation or a definition. It can't really even be used to philosophically explain why you do or don't believe something, such as the authors of Why Won't God Heel Amputees seem to be doing.


Then if I pray to a glass of milk and i am "healed" the next day, is that a "Coincidence"?

Tom Reindl said...

Daniel,

Well said

Anonymous said...

Ad hominem attacks on the author's spelling and grammar do nothing to confront the article's accusations, so why bother?

Bing said...

Did not have a thing to do with the topic. A big dodge.

And to Daniel: That's only a miracle if you happen to be lactose intolerant.

Ted said...

Coincidence (n):

- "A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged." (American Heritage Dictionary)

- "A striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance." (Dictionary.com)

- "An event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental." (WordNet)

These definitions all fit the author's use of the word "coincidence". The author has correctly used the word "coincidence" and not the word "coincidences" because the author is either referring to the occurrence of two or more chance events at one time, or to a sequence of accidental events, or to an event that may appear to be arranged but is in fact accidental...

– as per definition, all these uses of the word require it to be in the singular form.

The validity of an argument is not based on where or who the argument comes from. If the argument is presented as a hypothesis, and if the hypothesis is tested, and if the results of the tests consistently support the hypothesis, the rational conclusion can be drawn that the hypothesis is true. The author follows the scientific method correctly in supporting his argument. Thus, the name of the author is irrelevant to the case.

The author's tests and the results of these tests are also reproducible by anyone. In fact the author encourages it so that people do not just take his word for it. This gives the authors argument much authority because his argument is testable by everyone.

There is truth to what the author presents... please take the time to read/listen/watch what he has to say. Go to http://www.godisimaginary.com and to http://whywontgodhealamputees.com

Reign of Christ Ministries said...

the amputee guy (aka stubbie) has been completely demolished:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=BPwBpjoxwCI

Ray Minge (Atheist) said...

A:

Anybody with a sense of logic would see how pointless that movie is. You got your argument from a little girl? There's a sign there.

Also.

He went through a lengthy hypothetical before he even asserted that god didn't exist. He put both situations at an equal light until he exhausted any wiggle room for religion.

Really. I have no problem with people being religious, but when they start making stupid arguments, my common sense is offended.

John said...

Tom, you poor misguided sheep - pointing out someone's (alleged) grammatically incorrect written arguments of how the christian god is merely a myth among many, is a sad and pathetic placebo excuse for a debate of fact. Once again, it just goes to show that when a person can't argue with facts and science, they have to wimp-out and go directly to an _easy_ target, such as a false implication of grammatical errors... You'd think that lemmings like Tom would actually have a real argument and argue real facts, instead of making the entire debate focus on grammatical errors... I'd love to see Tom have real reasoning to back up his self-righteous ignorance of having blind faith in an imaginary god. Fear and lack of self-confidence are indeed two of religion's greatest allies....

Damian said...

Wake up.

Pappa said...

There really isn't much point trying to put a logical argument to Tom, he's clearly retarded.

Bill said...

Tom - it's the internet- you can tell me you're Thomas Jefferson if you like - your name is maeiningless to me and is no substitute for a well reasoned argument. Which we're still waiting for

Anonymous said...

The author of the site is Marshall Brain, the author of other websites such as howstuffworks.com

He was proud of the site at first and openly associated himself with the site, but since the first year he's removed any traces of his name. He's been trying to to go more mainstream in the last couple of years. Being tied to a site like that would be financial suicide and I'm happy to see that common sense has won out.

For those who don't want to torture themselves by reading the entire site, I'll summarize it for you: "You can't prove the existence of a spiritual being by scientific experiment, therefore God does not exist." Wow. How profound.

Here's a humorous parody of the site:

http://www.tektoonics.com/etc/parody/gawd.html

Anonymous said...

This was a pretty weak counter argument focused on names and grammar. I'd love to hear a real response to his video from you based on actual content, but I have a feeling that doing so may make you feel uncomfortable.

voodoowoman said...

oh no tom you made a fool of yourself when you posted this comment. why have you obsessively ranted and raved about the word coincidence? do you have an ASD whereby you latch on to the trivia and cannot see the bigger picture? or perhaps you simply wanted to post a silly inflammatory comment to see how many people would indignantly respond...? you wouldn't be the first! how come you ignored the whole content of the website and refused to address even its' basic premise? what we all want to know is...do you pray to your god and do you really believe they are answered??? i NEVER pray to any "god" and i lead a very happy and healthy life. paradoxically i know a lot of really miserable and unhappy religious people! and they pray all the god-damned time!

Anthony said...

God is imaginary. There is no evidence to support the God hypothesis.

Anonymous said...

I too would like to know the author of Why Won't God Heal Amputees so I could congratulate him on his good rational work. He probably hasn't identified himself because of the crazies out there that feel the need to protect their god and would do him harm in a heartbeat and feel that they were doing god's work.

Anonymous said...

like the word "sequence" or "Group," "coicidence" is a word that contains multiple things. "coincidences" would refer to multiple GROUPS of events.

ps, why WOULDNT god heal those amputees?

Anonymous said...

. . . but how could one ever possibly "prove" that all praying participants did in fact have the necessary amount of faith in order to cause a human limb to regrow? The statement, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
," can never be disproven. It is a brilliant statement really. How do we know? Has anyone ever gathered every "true believer" in the world and prayed for an amputee to be healed? Not that I know of. And how do we measure the amount of faith contained in each and every prayer? How much doubt does it take to dispel a successful prayer? John Lennon said all war would be over when we wanted it more than a new television set. Is this a true or false statement? And surely the price of gas would go down if all Americans joined together and made it happen. Is that possible or not?

W. E. Messamore said...

Wow... what a discussion.

May I offer these additional answers to the question?

Rick said...

Wow. You're mind is so warped.

It sounds like you have more issues with the semantics of sentences used to debunk your crazy religion.

Anonymous said...

Well you did a fine job of insulting word usage, grammar and identity (or lack thereof). But you haven't explained in the least why god won't heal amputees.

As for not leaving my name, my identity has nothing to do with the validity of the comment.

Scrabulous Guildenstern Byrne said...

You seemed to focus more on the website's semantics than on the actual question that the website poses. I don't know how you missed this, but ... the creators of that website weren't ACTUALLY trying to find a reason behind God's neglect of amputees' prayers. It's a religious skeptic's argument.

Fact: Amputees are never miraculously healed.
Question: Does God actually exist?

They were trying to get you to think critically about your belief, not about God's intentions.

Anonymous said...

I am an amputee. I lost my right leg above the knee to recurring infections. I had to make the decision to do it and I do not regret it for a minute. I, for one, as an amputee have NEVER prayed to God to "heal" me or regrow my leg. There is nothng to heal. There is nothing wrong with being an amputee. I'm proud of what I've accomplished since the amputation and proud of the person that I have become. It has taught me so many things and I've come to terms with my new normal. Amputees do amazing things everyday. I know several paralympic athletes who have never prayed that God would regrow their limbs or heal them because once again... there is nothing to heal. Saying that God won't heal amputees is ridiculous.

Is the author an amputee? That's something I would love to know.

I also have Multiple Sclerosis - a chronic debilitating disease of the central nervous system. I could just as easily write a paper on how God picks and chooses which MS patients he'll heal. However, the thing about it is that people go into remission for very long periods of time. Some people only have one or two attacks in their lifetime. I could pray to God tonight to heal my MS or put me in remission and I could wake up in the morning with my disease in remission. That's not God's work though. That's coincidence. MS remissions come and go without warning.

To use amputees to make a point about how God hates amputees is offensive to me as an amputee. It's offensive to a lot of amputees actually and frankly it doesn't help anyone, all it does it hurt amputees - the ones who are already struggling to come to terms with their new life, their new normal. They DO NOT need to be reading about how God hates us. Whoever the author is... he's an ass.