I’ve read about the healing power of Jesus Christ in various areas of the New Testament. In some cases, according to legend, he laid his hand upon the sick person. In some cases he waved his hand over the sick person and in some cases he just spoke some words to the sick person, and they were ostensibly healed.
Now, if you are disposed to believe that these occurrences are true, then I would like you to ponder a few things. Keep in mind that I don’t doubt whether Jesus lived, or whether he had followers or whether he was truly considered by many to be the son of God. I have no information to dispute any of those things and, although the burden of proof is always with the declarer of a supposed fact and not the denier, I’ll leave that debate for another time.
What I want to discuss is the premise that a person, or spirit if you prefer, could have been imbued with the ability to remove a disease from a human being and, if so imbued, why he or it would have been so selective in doing so, especially for that person or spirit who has been labeled the “son of God” and a man of peace, forgiveness and love of all creatures. Why would that person, that spirit, that god, forgo all of the presumably thousands or possibly millions (I’m not sure how many people supposedly lived on earth during so-called “biblical times”) of others who were sick or injured. Since medical science was much less advanced than it is today, I would imagine that a much greater percentage of the population was in need of such healing. But it was only bestowed on those who were fortunate enough and actually came into contact with Jesus and were humble enough to beg for this healing. Why not the rest of humanity who was in such dire need?
Many will answer this question using platitudes and hair-trigger responses which have been concocted and stored in the arsenal used by believers to counter arguments of logic. They will stretch credulity and suspend disbelief in an effort to avoid any doubt or logical dissonance associated with the story of Jesus.
The question at hand is why, given the powers that the new testament assigns to Jesus, would anyone with these powers, whose motivation was presumably as pure as the driven snow, not simply decree that all sickness on earth, now and forever, be stricken and cast into hell? If Jesus truly had the power to heal, why did he limit the use of those powers to the few people who were fortunate to have heard of him and be in his presence?
Isn’t it much the same as the answer for so many of these questions? Doesn’t it make perfect sense that this thoroughly logical and reasonable question will go unanswered for eternity because if Jesus could, in fact heal the sick then it would be logical that he would heal all who were? But then there would be actual evidence, would there not? If every human on earth had suddenly become devoid of illness now and forever there would be a historical record of that occurrence, would there not? Something as profound as the eradication of all disease from humankind is something that theists could point to and say, “see, there’s your proof that Jesus was the son of God”.
And that’s why the story, as told, is so far from being even remotely believable. Yet it is also why, once again, in order to believe it, we must, in that small window in our minds, forgo logic and reason, and just accept that something which can’t possibly be true, is.
The other day I heard one more in a series of diatribes from someone who had gleefully concluded that she had figured out the proof, the proof I tells ya, that creationism is the only true answer to questions regarding how we arrived here, and that evolution is simply illogical. I won’t spend too much time on the juxtaposition of creationism and the root word “logic”. It’s just too easy and snarky so I’ll leave that alone for the time being.
This woman’s evidence to back her theory? That the Earth is so perfectly designed for human habitation that it could not possibly have become that way through evolution. After all, how could something so perfect for us become that way in the slow manner that evolution would require? That would mean, in her severely restricted interpretation of nature, that there would have had to be a time when the Earth was not suitable for human habitation, and so could not have supported life as we know it.
This woman’s poor grasp of her surroundings has somehow led her to believe that our home, the Earth, is the most perfect place to live for human beings, and that only a loving and benevolent god could have made it that way. Let’s look at that, shall we?
Here in Florida, the summertime temperatures usually peak at around 95 degrees. Not too severe if you think about it, unless you’re naked and have no knowledge of how to build a structure to shade yourself from the sun. In the winter, temperatures get down to freezing in many areas, rendering our little planet uninhabitable for any animal which does not have a natural fur coat. And I’m just talking about Florida! How much hotter does it get in Equador, or the desert regions of the planet? How much colder does it get in New York, or Canada, or Alaska? This planet that offers us so much is completely uninhabitable by humans over most of its surface, until we learned how to build shelter and make clothing, initially by killing the animals who were better adapted to Earth’s environment and using their skins for protection.
What about the oceans? 70% of this wonderful place is covered in a substance that will kill us if we try to inhabit it. By that I mean sea water. The oceans of the world are effectively off limits to human beings for drinking, living or gaining nourishment, until we learned to swim, build boats and to fish. What a shitty way to make a planet for human inhabitants!
All of this says nothing about predators who would kill us for food if we hadn’t made tools with which to defend ourselves. We are some of the weakest animals on the planet. We have little or no resistance to poisonous insects and attacking animals or a myriad of other predictors and diseases.
And what about a natural environment in which to live? Lions and tigers survive quite well in their natural habits. Birds live and nest in trees. Snakes live under vegetation and rocks. Bears hibernate in caves. Where is our natural habitat, other than a three bedroom ranch with central AC and an attached garage? What part of Earth was designed by god for us to naturally inhabit?
The point is that our natural environment, as it was presumably designed for us by god, is a horrible place in its natural form. If we hadn’t learned to create artificial methods and tools to protect ourselves from it, we would have never survived as a species. Hell, even the lowly rat can survive in warmer and colder temperatures than we can without the addition of clothing. This god was apparently more concerned with the comfort of rats than of us.
We, my friends, are an anomaly. We developed through centuries of evolution for only one reason-our ability to modify the environment to suit our needs. We are only alive today because we can reason. If god were designing a place for us to live, wouldn’t he have given us more moderate temperatures, or a natural way to cope with temperature fluctuations, as he did with dogs, cats and rats? Wouldn’t he have given us a ready source of nourishment and shelter, and fewer enemies? Would he have made so much of the Earth covered in an uninhabitable ocean instead of providing fresh drinking water in abundance?
The only two things with which the earth provides us without any effort on our part are air and water. How can anyone, when he looks beyond the tip of his nose, think for one second that Earth was made specifically for us?