This came into our mailbox here at SIN. It is a medical miracle anecdote, in the same strain as a post from the other day:
I have just returned from a surgical mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Although I am an atheist my schedule was such that it was most convenient for me to travel and work with XXX Ministry XXX, a frankly Christian evangelical organization operating out of Texas. I was able to ignore and tolerate all the blather, because my purpose was not to spread any gospel but to help the people of Dominican Republic physical infirmities… (doing free hernia surgery for example)
So I have this amusing anecdote to relate. Last year when this same group had been there, they encountered a woman with breast cancer and their surgeon performed a mastectomy. None-the-less the surgeon at the time is said to have told his fellow True Believers that despite the surgery this woman was sure to die. How he knew this, sans any sort of lab tests that would have demonstrated spread of the cancer, was not related.
This year she returned alive and apparently well. It was pronounced a miracle. But they have no basis for assuming she was doomed, any more than they have evidence that she is really well (i.e. no metastases today) This is all anecdotal, none of it based on any sort of hard evidence.
I dismissed this as foolishness, but was struck by one of the nurses who’d been on last year’s mission as well as this year’s. She took credit for the miraculous recovery because she prayed every day to her god for the woman’s recovery. I muttered, under my breath, wondering if the god she is praying to is absent minded and needs daily reminders of what he is supposed to do? My wife, good naturedly kicked me under the table so as not to cause our tricky social situation to get worse. I mean who needs other health care workers to be angry towards you, or perhaps even worse to pray for your salvation. Leave me alone to do my charity.
Sort of an amusing anecdote, but aptly illustrates the quality of their ” miracles”.
My story also illustrates the fact that we atheists can be “good without god” (they disbelieve this) or worse… when an atheist does something good or moral, he is quite possibly superior to those good Christians, for you never know just why they do something. Is it they are looking for a heavenly reward, or are they in fear of a non-existent hell? We atheists do charity for no other reason than is the right thing to do.