February 22, 2018

Don't Thank God -- Thank Your Doctor.

doctor atheism healing

This is something I'll never understand: the people who make a big deal out of thanking God for their doctor's help, or who think it's really important to pray for well-being. I'm an atheist and have thus far read nothing to indicate the efficacy of prayer. When people say, "I'll pray for you," in my head what I hear is, "I'll masturbate for you." It's like saying, "I'll do this thing that makes me feel better but has literally no impact on your life." That's what it sounds like to an atheist who doesn't believe in an imaginary friend when somebody says "I'll pray for you." 

Or, "Thank God for my neurosurgeon!," that's like somebody saying, "Thank Casper the Ghost for my neurosurgeon!" Why not just thank your neurosurgeon and leave imaginary friends out of it? When I went for an MRI over six months ago and the technician found an intramedullary cystic expanding lesion from C7 to T1, I bought that guy a $40 gift card to the Tim Horton's in the hospital cafeteria. A $40 gift card costs more than praying on my knees for a few minutes, but prayers aren't going to put food in that guy's mouth. I mean, if prayers did put food in people's mouths, then I guess the estimated 25,000 people who die every day from hunger are just doing it wrong. 

If you believe in imaginary friends, then by all means pray to God and thank him, her, it, or them for the gift of your invisible soul, eternal salvation, or whatever else it is that your imaginary friend does for you. But if your doctor spends decades of his or her life -- or your medical team's possibly combined hundreds of years of experience? -- thank your doctor or your medical team. Those are people right here, right now, who've demonstrably contributed to your well-being, versus an invisible friend whose contributions to your well-being are unable to be quantified.

Or if you're a particularly devout sort of person who truly believes that your imaginary friend is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and has a plan for every single particle of reality that has ever existed, exists, and will ever exist, then have you stopped to consider that it was God's plan to make you sick or injured, and that by seeking treatment you're going against the decision of the supreme creator of the entire known universe? Don't thank God for healing you, because according to your religious paradigm he's the one who made you sick or injured in the first place.

Doctors, nurses, hospital technicians, and related specialists and therapists are real people who really exist. Thank them -- not God.


  1. Amen to that! ;-)
    I agree as well. My medical team stopped and cured my cancer, not an imaginary person.

  2. "When people say, 'I'll pray for you,' in my head what I hear is, 'I'll masturbate for you.'" That's awesome. Makes me want to go around telling people "I'll masturbate for you" in the same way (and with the same frequency and ubiquity) as Xtians declare "I'll pray for you." Maybe even just randomly go up to people in coffee shops who look conservative and Xtian and ask "Is it ok if I masturbate for you?" just like Xtians sometimes approach gothic-looking folk or people with Satanic symbols on tees and ask "Can I just say a pray over you?" and the like. On second thought, I'd probably get arrested asking in public if I could masturbate for someone. :-)

    1. Yes... the police would probably get called, but not before a silent by-stander with a hidden camera caught all the reactions on video and edited them into a montage set to the "Benny Hill" theme song.


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