Worry not; I am still working on MARDEK. Progress could be going quicker than it is - I've been putting off things for weeks or months for various reasons, and now that I finally have to do those tasks, it's difficult to just get right into them for those same reasons that I've been putting them off, so I'm making progress with them, but slowly - but, uh, a week or two still seems like a likely finish/release date.
I'm writing this post about something different though... Yet again, it relates to religion, and yet again it's something that I've wondered several times before and don't really know many peoples' opinions on. Rather than just blatantly criticising religious beliefs, I want to ask some questions to see how Believers rationalise things to themselves...
As always, I focus on Christianity since it's the only religion I'm culturally familiar with.
Some denominations of Christianity apparently practice faith healing, and use its success as a clear sign that they're the chosen few, the right denomination, that God and/or Jesus has blessed and so on. Fair enough; if you're seeing what is essentially magic happen miraculously before your eyes because of faith, over and over again, to people close to you rather than stooges, or even to yourself, then I can imagine that'd be very convincing.
Being a sceptic as I am, I can't help but assume it's just some psychological process (probably involving some deep placebo effect), but not actually being in any of these churches or present during any of the actual healing - which is performed by the members themselves rather than some charismatic charlatan using mind tricks - I can't just incredulously dismiss it without being closed-minded... Yet if it IS so amazingly potent and successful basically all the time, with far more 'hits' than 'misses', then it makes me wonder why it's not more documented; it's difficult finding anything about it on the internet, it seems.
(Of course, even when it works, God does not seem to heal amputees... Hmm.)
I'm not specifically intending to talk and ask about faith healing here though...
Mainly, I'm curious why *other* denominations *don't* practice faith healing.
The ones that do rightly say that in the Bible, Jesus said that whatever you pray for, you will receive, if you have faith... or something to that effect. Something about moving mountains from faith alone, and there's probably something specific about prayer healing wounds or maladies, too. (Though I bet it speaks as if the diseases are demons being exorcised... o_O)
Another big thing that comes up in most denominations is God's Plan; how every misfortune is explained away as being part of some grand Plan that God apparently has for your little life since He cares so much.
So, what I wonder is why most Believers go to doctors.
If you have faith and believe in the power of prayer, then if you or a loved one is ill, you should pray and God will intervene and save them, yes? And if He doesn't, then it's part of His Plan that that person stays ill and potentially even dies.
By seeing a doctor, you're defying God, essentially, by saying no, you don't like His Plan, His judgement, His illness, and you're relying on the human-made power of science to save that person's life. If God wanted the person to live, He'd have healed them through prayer, I'd have thought.
Now, I can imagine people saying that disease is caused by sin - either personal or Original - but even then, shouldn't faith cleanse the sin away or something like that? I don't clearly understand the mechanics of all this faith and sin stuff; it seems rather arbitrary to me. (Does, uh, sin drive the micro-organisms and viruses to infect people and animals? Or did it magically cause them to appear after the Original Sin? And if so, that's a bit cruel if they affect people who had nothing to do with that Original Sin and God does nothing about it...)
And if you are going to die from this sin-caused disease, what's the problem if you're going to go to Heaven anyway? Don't you want to go to exist with your loving Heavenly Father? It could be said you're actively declining his invitation by curing the ailment that'd deliver you to Death's door. Hmm.
I'm just curious about how Believers rationalise these things in their mind. Obviously I'm sceptical about it, but what I don't understand is how a mind can adapt to *not* be, to explain these things away in a satisfying manner and keep Faithful. It just doesn't make any sense to me.
And yes, yes, I know that some people don't care about me talking about religion and find it annoying, but you don't HAVE to read this if you don't want to (though, uh, if you got this far, maybe you already did... hmm).
And to repeat myself: I am still working on MARDEK, just not every waking moment of every day (because it's just not possible)...