9 Replies to “Why won’t God heal amputees?”

  1. Marshall asks a great question, though I have a sneaking suspicion that if he saw an amputee healed before his very eyes, he would still doubt the existence of God. And maybe that’s the real answer here. Just the same, I do have a couple of thoughts to share.

    As I thought about this, I realized that amputees aren’t the only ones who God completely ignores! God also completely ignores Chevy drivers. There has never been a single documented case of God changing a Chevy into a BMW, despite the sincere prayers of deserving believers.

    God also completely ignores McDonald’s patrons. Yup, there has never been a single documented case of God changing a Big Mac into a Filet Mignon, despite the sincere prayers of deserving believers. Not even a small-to-super-sized upgrade.

    He also ignores the prayers of guillotine victims. Wait a minute. That one doesn’t work. OK, He ignores the prayers of their family and friends.

    I once replaced my car’s thermostat and I really could have used three hands to do the job — one to hold the thermostat in place, one to position the bolt in place, and the other to position and hold the socket. At that moment, I considered myself an amputee. But God did not then, nor would he ever, answer my prayers for a third hand, even though I sincerely considered the lack of a third hand a disability and an illness that needed healing. Restoring an amputated limb vs. adding a limb that was never there. There’s not much difference there.

    God seems to heal only certain types of illnesses and disabilities. He seems not to heal the obvious ones nor the ones that can be scientifically proven to be a miracle. Every healing seems to be shrouded in a sort of plausible deniability, as if to give people like Marshall Brain the ability to say, “It didn’t have to be God. It was a coincidence.” And there is some precedence for that in Scripture. There are several instances recorded where Jesus refused to perform miracles when doing so would have satisfied some skeptic’s demand.

    By the way, Marshall…..awesome name ;-)

  2. Just because God doesn’t heal amputees doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. It could also be that he chooses to not be involved in the lives of the organisms on Earth. Trying to prove that God doesn’t exist is a futile task. Using God to explain the unexplainable, in my opinion is just as fruitless. How did the Universe begin? God created it. You might as well say a mysterious invisible being created it. Or, It just appeared out of nowhere. Or, I have no idea how it began. All of these statements provide exactly the same amount of information.

  3. Using anything to explain the unexplainable is fruitless, since the unexplainable is by definition unexplainable. But, if there is something that can only be explained by the existence of God, then it is quite logical to draw that conclusion. Short of that, looking at evidences that point to God’s existence in the same way that a CSI investigator will look for evidence that distinguishes between a natural death and murder, is a legitimate pursuit.

  4. Then we agree that using God as an explaination is fruitless. When I see a fingerprint on a doorknob I conclude that a person probably touched it. When I look up at the stars I think, “Wow! I wonder how they got there.” It seems to me that people only use God as an explaination when they’ve exhausted all other explainations.

  5. Just because a phenomena is unexplainable to us now doesn’t mean that in the future, smarter human beings won’t be able to come up with explanations.

    It is the height of hubris to suggest that there is anything that is unexplainable or that we could ever exhaust all other explanations.

  6. Incidentally, I would continue to doubt the existence of the supernatural if I saw an amputees limb regrow.

    In science, repeatability is a critical element of any learning.

    If I saw 2 people’s limbs grow back, that would be a different story

  7. No, we don’t agree that using God as an explanation is fruitless. But using God an an explanation for the *unexplainable* is fruitless, since, by definition the unexplainable can’t be explained.

    But I believe that it is legitimate to look for evidences that point to God’s existence in the same way that, as I said, a CSI investigator will look for evidence that distinguishes between natural causes and intelligent causes.

    Investigators search for signs for intelligence all the time (e.g. SETI). I believe other scientists can do the same.

    There are things that we know that only result from intelligence (William Dembski’s CSI (Complex Specified Information), for instance), yet some scientists are like the investigator looking at the fingerprint and saying, ““Wow! I wonder how they got there.” I think there are fingerprints of God all around us.

  8. I can think of nothing that is inherently unexplainable. Perhaps it’s unexplainable based on the information we have now, but to say that no human at no time will ever be able to explain it is the height of arrogance. Humans continue to get smarter and have less and less need for God as an explanation of anything.

    What are these things that are only known to result from intelligence but weren’t created by humans?

  9. That which is only known to result from intelligence is information.

    Dembski defines two necessary components of information as complexity and specificity. He coined the term Complex Specified Information (CSI).

    “JKFJKDCJGVLHMFLNKHGVDFGKJLJDFJ” is complex (highly improbable), but not specified (it has no meaning). Therefore, it contains no CSI

    “Four score and seven years ago…” is complex and specified, therefore it contains CSI.

    If scientists received Complex Specified Information from SETI, they would immediately conclude its source was intelligent.

    But, according to Dr. Werner Gitt, a professor and expert in information theory, “there is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.”

    By the way, I find it odd that a person who admits that he may never be able to explain something could be called arrogant. That sounds kind of humble to me. But, in any case, we were using the term unexplainable in a theoretical sense.

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