Daily Twitter: worshiping doctors

My office-mate, Sarah Moglia, tweets.  She tweets a lot.  I follow her during the day because it’s hilarious and because, occasionally, she gets something like this from @BarefootPeace.

@Mowgli3 nothing worse than atheists who worship doctors instead of priests #irony

He was, of course, chastising Sarah for placing too much trust in the opinions of doctors on the subject of medicine. 

The accusation of worship is strange.  I don’t have to think doctors are infallible to reach the fairly elementary conclusion that they’re less fallible than me on the subject of medicine, what with a dozen years of training/research and all that.  And personally, I’d rather not worship myself to such a degree that I, with zero medical training, think I know better than the experts.

No, I “worship” doctors the same way I worship airplane pilots and physicists when I’m on a plane.  Yes, the pilots and the physicists and the engineers might be wrong, but who will be the one to catch their errors, other experts or me armed with wikipedia?

To imply or to claim that I have a better grasp on medicine or aeronautics than the experts without first taking my evidence to the experts would be the apogee of arrogance.  Frankly, I have a pretty powerful imagination, but even I can’t imagine I’ve stumbled onto some argument all the world’s experts somehow never encountered while spending the equivalent of half my lifetime studying their particular subject.

If @BarefootPeace knows better, one can only wonder why he’s not the one wearing the labcoat and saving lives rather than sniping at others from the sidelines.  Other non-doctors, that is.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.