Pastor Corey L. Kennard is the Manager of Spiritual Care for the St. John Hospital and Medical Center. So he works in a hospital, but his degree is a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Ashland Theological Seminary. In short, he’s not a doctor. But he has a blog in the New York Times in which he tried to tell doctors how to relate to patients – no, not by using established principles in psychology, silly, but by invoking Kennard’s faith.
Anyway, I endured the article and extracted the very best line, just for you guys:
Unfortunately, too many doctors turn their noses up at the idea of miracles. This is largely because they are systematically trained to believe only in verifiable facts and clinical data.
Unfortunately? Yes, because relying on verifiable facts and clinical data, in Kennard’s world, is a failure of the position. Tell that to all the people medicine cures. I reached out to Jeremiah Beene, one of the hosts of the Game Theory/God Theory podcasts who is an expert in the psychology of violence in video games for a quote. He said:
“If you begin your pitch with a critique of your opponent’s preference for demonstrable results and observable evidence, you should probably take a look at your epistemology.”
It turns out you can comfort patients without tall tales of gods who will send them to hell if the patient finds claims of rising from the dead and walking on water unbelievable. Who knew?
And as for miracles, if god intervened to cure people we never would’ve invented medicine. As it stands, if god exists, one of the few things we can know is that he created all the diseases these doctors are treating with their verifiable facts and clinical data while god doesn’t lift so much as a finger to help (as evidenced by all the people who died of these diseases before we discovered treatments).
If you want to worship that god, go ahead. Personally, I think whoever created cancer is an asshole.