While militants following a “religion of peace” were busy decapitating a journalist, scientists were working on a cure for the Ebola virus. While they haven’t come up with a cure, they are making progress – progress which has resulted in the release of the two infected Americans from the hospital:
Brantly and Writebol’s releases are historic, says CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. They were the first humans with Ebola to ever arrive in the United States. And they were the first humans to receive an experimental Ebola drug called ZMapp, whichmay have saved their lives.
These treatments are also resulting in more survivors outside the United States:
There is no known cure for Ebola, no proven treatment and no vaccine. Treatment consists of giving fluids, monitoring vital signs and responding to acute medical crises. Symptoms include fever, aches, diarrhea and bleeding.
Left untreated, infections can be deadly in up to 90% of cases. But around half the patients receiving medical care in the current outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea are surviving.
This is wonderful news! And I’m sure the two released Americans are extremely grateful to the scientists who devised this new treatment and the doctors who deployed it.
“Today is a miraculous day,” Brantly said at a news conference Thursday. “I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family.”
Miraculous? I mean, it’s damn awesome, I’ll give you that. Is that what you mean by miraculous?
As she walked out of her isolation room Tuesday, Brantly recalls Writebol saying, “To God be the glory.”
Look, I’m glad you’re alive, but let’s talk about who ought to be getting the glory here. If this cure were “miraculous,” human beings wouldn’t have had to invent it. God would’ve hand delivered it or we would’ve pulled it out of a magic stone or something. But it wasn’t miraculous: we identified a problem that was not of our making (which, if you believe god created the universe, that pretty much makes him responsible for Ebola), and we applied our mortal minds to trying to fix it. It was the brilliance of some very committed people that saved those lives, not god.
In fact, who gets the blame for making them sick in the first place? Why credit god for something people obviously did if you’re not going to blame god for something people absolutely didn’t do? If god didn’t want people to die from Ebola, he wouldn’t have made Ebola in the first place. He wouldn’t have waited for shitloads of people to die and then given us a cure that would reach some of the infected (and it should be noted he didn’t even give us a cure, scientists did). It’s such a double standard. If god doesn’t get the blame for Ebola killing thousands of people, he definitely shouldn’t get the credit for a group of scientists saving some of them.
If you need to be stealing the credit for great accomplishments from humans to give to god, there’s clearly a shortage of god doing awesome things on his own. That should tell you something about who you’re worshiping. Why worship a thief of gratitude when the wonders of human intellect are tangible and there for your admiration?
And what’s more, god must really love your pious ass. All those other people who died and god didn’t bother lifting an omnipotent finger to help them. But you, who just so happened to be American and wind up in a hospital with top tier doctors and medical scientists, god just couldn’t imagine the world continuing to spin without oh-so-special you still traipsing around – so you get saved. The zenith of arrogance can so often be reached by scaling the believer’s pretensions to humility. Do you imagine that the mothers and fathers of children who died of Ebola in Liberia weren’t beseeching god night and day on their offspring’s behalf?
Here’s a little experiment you can try: the next time you get Ebola, just let god do his thing. Take away the hospitals, the new experimental treatments, and all the labor of mortals. That way we can be sure god is isolated to demonstrate his power over Ebola. Of course, these people would never do that, because they know that left to his own devices god’s love is indistinguishable from neglect. Humans save lives, god does not, even if some confused people rush to give god the credit.
Praying while somebody receives help from terrestrial innovation and then claiming god shares (or entirely deserves) the credit is like singing in the shower and claiming your illustrious voice made you clean. Take away the efforts of humankind and both these people would be dead. There’s no glory for god there, and unless people start telling the damn truth over these expressions of piety, there won’t be a whole lot for human intelligence either.
If you want to dispense glory, put it where it belongs.