Who needs doctors?

Sick children are no laughing matter. I really feel for the child, who can’t experience many elements of a healthy childhood, and the parents, whose lives are consumed with worry and financial burden. And while I personally believe that the United States’ healthcare system has its shortcomings, I do believe that we have some of the best doctors, nurses, and caregivers in the world. I believe they do a great job based on their training and experience.

However, there are those out there that do not believe so. These professionals are missing something.


I came across a support group on Facebook for a sick child that urged others to “please keep this beautiful prayer in mind”.

Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care this child. Relieve her pain, guard her from all danger, restore to her your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise this child up to a life of service to you. Hear us, we pray, for you dear Name’s sake. Amen.

I don’t think that prayer is beautiful. I think it is ridiculous. I mean, strictly speaking, I think all prayer is ridiculous, but this one is absolutely absurd. It contains every cliche prayer word and phrase imaginable: “lambs”, “commend”, “raise up”. I mean what does “gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom” even mean? Does it mean “embrace the children with your love”? Then why not say that? Just because the Bible is written in stuffy, archaic language doesn’t mean you have to carefully construct your prayers to match in style.

“We commend to your loving care this child. Relieve her pain, guard her from all danger, restore to her your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise this child up to a life of service to you.” Why are you in a hospital? Do you not trust God to relieve the pain, guard from danger, and restore strength? Is it just possible that your words to God fall upon deaf (read: nonexistant) ears and the real miracles are being performed by trained medical professionals?

Stop praying for sick people. Studies show that it doesn’t help. In fact, it can even hurt.

9 thoughts on “Who needs doctors?

  1. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Opting for prayer in lieu of modern medical treatment will thin the population of Christian fundamentalists. Since forcible sterilization is unlawful as well as unethical, I say let nature run its course.

  2. Careful with that thinking, Religion obviously conveys a survival advantage else it would have bred out long ago.

    They breed like deranged roaches in heat, far faster then the occasional negligence related death.

    After all, these people survived through small pox, the black plague, and consumption.

    We do NOT want nature to take its course in the strict Darwinian sense.

    The only viable answer is augmentation, and it has already begun. Clearly greed and ambition survive in spite of this parasitic meme. Take advantage of that.

  3. Ironic that you would call it an evolutionary advantage when fundamentalists oppose evolution so strongly.

    The one advantage I can see it having is it kept people alive (because anyone saying otherwise was put to death in rather creative fashions). And while it may have served a purpose in the past, it is now a useless, even detrimental evolutionary product (if it has evolutionary roots at all – to be honest I’ve never thought of it that way).

    Nowadays I use religion to help pick out the gullible people.

  4. I agree with Dubs.

    At one time it did serve a purpose, and arose because of the evolutionary trait of imagination. It helped humans band together.

    It is no longer necessary.

  5. Yeah, prayer is dumb.

    But I can’t say I agree with those saying that it’s no longer necessary for our evolution. Once you take that path, you sort of anthropomorphize a mechanism. Evolution doesn’t have a path. It doesn’t choose anything. It’s just a flowing process of small, sometimes useful changes. With that in mind, you can hardly claim that anything is, in fact, unnecessary. To say so is to say you know where evolution is going, and you don’t. It would be impossible to know. Something insignificant today could mean survival for the next generation.

    Still, prayer is silly. Don’t do it; it’s a waste of time.

  6. To Bradnon – Great point! I never really considered the evolutionary impact of religion, but you are absolutely right! Or flip it around, less educated = higher birth rate AND less educated = higher birthrate that sets us in the old DEevolution, wherein the world will only get dumer and more religious. Great. All this won’t matter at all when the machines take over though. Just stumbled on a machine that can replicate itself. We are doomed. Everyone pick a religion and embrace it in this, our final hour!

  7. to correct myself the seccond should read less educated = more religious. I try to get all mathmatical and see what happens?

  8. Religion was an evolutionary advantage in many ways.
    it gave society law
    it allowed for ritual… that would have reduced the variables in a given task making them repeatable even not knowing the reason. It is why we have a strong tendency toward superstition. It is in our genes. We only test the various when we can afford to.
    It is easy for us to turn to science now, a test the small details of a process. To say even though we didn’t do a rain dance it still rained. Our livelihoods don’t depend on it.
    We still use that instinct just in a different way
    science is our God — the one to give us answers
    scientific method our ritual
    hypothesis our prayer
    I defiantly agree the less educated have higher birth rate. Or the less willing to be educated in developed nations. It really makes you wonder

  9. The way I see it, religion was a basic form of law, way back in man’s starting centuries, when early humans could not afford to rehabilitate criminals. It’s “Don’t do this or you burn in a fire for the rest of eternity”. Most religious beliefs do have a seed of truth or reason behind them. For example, crustaceans are typically high in cholesterol, which isn’t healthy in large amounts, and they are forbidden according to the Torah. However, religion is not written into the human genome directly. It’s more of an indirect solution. Humans are some of the few creatures that pass down huge amounts of information through memory, in addition of genes. This allows humans to advance at a rapid pace, but is also fairly risky if humans are solitary, since amazing new technology can be lost if everyone who knew it died. Therefore, it is written into our genes to be very social. In order to be social, you need a society, but to found a society, you need order. The first form of this order came from religion, which made order, and grouped people together. It also helped speed things along when humans couldn’t bother with unnecessary research, such as how the sun shines. When humans began to ask “Why is the sky blue?” you could just say “God made it that way, now get back to work”. It didn’t answer the question, but it got the job done. Now that we have the resources, time, and organized law to do all that, we don’t need religion. However, since we have been relying on religion since our foundations, some people have trouble letting go, since that is what their ancestors many generations up believed. Now, as opposed to saving time, it’s wasting time, and we should shed religion soon, even if it’s just for efficiency.

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