Rana on Covid and mRNA vaccines

Rana made some remarks that I find pretty darn disgusting and just absurd. Just gonna forget about all the pandemics in the past I guess.

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Absurdity is the correct word.

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Rana says:

As a Christian, I see a divine hand in the rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccines, reflecting God’s providential care for humanity.

So from the first moments when this virus infected humans, God was a) powerless to stop the global pandemic, b) willing and able to stop the pandemic but chose to do nothing for humanity, or c) God doesn’t exist. Take your pick, but for Rana to say that God parachuted in to help mostly atheist scientists and health care workers to develop and distribute vaccine is just inserting the Christian God into reality where no evidence of God’s providential care for humanity exists.

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This is too typical as apologetic nonsense. Observe an apparent conjunction of events, declare it a miracle and therefore God.

Here is one reaction that I saw.

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Yes, I love this response to Rana:

Ah yes, very excellent integration of science and faith. What a kind and careful and scientifically alert god it is, to wait to inflict a new virus on us until…um…there were plenty of ICUs to handle the cases? No. There were enough hospitals everywhere in the world to handle the cases? No. There were responsible governments everywhere in the world that knew how to protect their people from a new virus? No. People had become reasonable? No. No, apparently this god waited until it knew a vaccine would take a year to develop and many more months to distribute. REASON TO BELIEVE.

Unless of course you then ask yourself why unleash a new virus at all. Unless you wonder what the point is, when there are already plenty of causes of death and they operate quite well, with especially brutal efficiency in the poorer countries, and when death does the job 100% of the time anyway.

And unless you wonder how the nice man knows that this is how the timing and motivation went. I, for one, wonder how he knows the god didn’t time this for when the US and UK and Brazil have reckless clueless fools in charge, and for when the poorer countries can’t afford the infrastructure to provide hospitals and doctors and ventilators and medicines, and an infinite number of other specifics of that kind.

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We need more scientists like Dr. Collins and Dr. Fauci who are both outstanding scientists and Christians. You don’t see them inserting God claims into public health policy. They do God’s work the right way - following the science and MNism.

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Dr. Fauci is not a Christian IIRC. He’s said he doesn’t believe in God but in the basic goodness of humanity from what I remember from an interview.

Also he hasn’t followed the science on masking and herd immunity for political reasons (or what he’s considered the greater good) and it’s undermined the science each time. Otherwise I think he’s done a great job.

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This is the question of the book of Job. There’s also another option you didn’t list: it happened for reasons we don’t understand because we’re not God. And we can be thankful the technology existed for a vaccine to be created extremely swiftly.

As I mentioned before on the forum, a similar thing happened to my sister-in-law. She had lymphoma for 4 years and was weeks away from death when she became eligible for a clinical trial that happened to be going on close to where she lived. The drug was in development for decades to reach her at exactly the right time. She has now been in remission for 8 years. I don’t know why she got cancer and went through terrible suffering but I can still be thankful for the drug that providentially saved her life.

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Thanks for sharing Fuz Rana’s article. Its great to see Christians celebrating scientific achievements. I’ve been fielding questions from people in my Christian network about these mRNA vaccines lately. There is clearly a lot of misinformation circulating about this new vaccine technology, so this would be a good article to share, because it carries a Christian perspective that could help build trust.

I wholeheartedly, agree, Patrick. We need more Christians doing great science, who can help communicate the discoveries of science back to the Christian community and help break down cultural barriers that have led to mistrust.

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Yes, the Bible is clear: Christianity does not make any promises that our current life will be easy or free of pain. Rather, the Bible tells us that God came down to earth and lived with us, experiencing all the pain that we experienced. God is our Healer who suffers with us and promises us an eternal future with Him, where there will be no more pain or suffering and where all those tears will be wiped away.

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Any amount of death and suffering can be explained away with that. If your idea is compatible with any imaginable observation then it actually explains nothing, because in effect it doesn’t actually say what things should be like if true. It could all be part of a plan is a rationalization for which no evidence exists.

Yes. To the doctors and scientists and everyone who contributed to the development of these vaccines, and to the healthcare providers and everyone involved in facilitating vaccinations. To all these people who clearly exist and have demonstrable real-world effects I am thankful.

To the concept of an omnipotent being with no actual demonstrable real-world effect, not so much.

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I am glad to hear that your sister-in-law responded so well to that clinical trial. Do you know what treatment she received? (I’m interested because I currently work in the field of cancer immunotherapy, so I wonder if it was one of those types of treatments).

Where I currently work, among secular scientists, we have had a few patients visit us to tell their stories about their cancer diagnoses and how clinical trials they entered saved their lives. It was emotional and inspiring to hear their stories. A couple of them also openly praised God for His help in providing the new science and bringing them to the clinical trials. It is possible to thank both science and God at the same time. Such gratitude is a healthy attitude to have.

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Yes, this is her attitude! She has been able to talk with medical staff who treated her regularly as she’s had to go back to Seattle Cancer Care and their networks for follow-ups. She volunteered at the local hospital for a while as well. They also featured her story in an advertising campaign.

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I expected someone would object that what I said applies to all suffering. Because it does.

Providentially, I turned on my church’s livestream after I first responded to this post, and the sermon was closely related. In part of it, the pastor was relating providence to our modern scientific worldview - we can do science because there is order but we still fail to see God’s providence. The passage he was considering was about Jesus being judged for healing on the sabbath. But Jesus said he was always working:

John 5

17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

And they wanted to judge him too, but he said no, actually I am the judge:

For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

The evidence that exists is Jesus’ resurrection.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2020-05-28/for-top-us-virus-experts-faith-and-science-work-together

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins founded a nonprofit focused on “the harmony between science and biblical faith.” Anthony Fauci, NIH’s senior infectious disease specialist, has said he isn’t active in organized religion but credited his Jesuit schooling with burnishing the values that drive his public service.

Even God isn’t God.

That’s a fundamental problem with Christianity -suffering. Who wants to suffer? Who wants other people to suffer? What I see from Science and Secular Humanism is a quest to end suffering. God sent his begotten Son to SUFFER and die. How terrible. A wrathful God sends his offspring to be a human sacrifice and suffer and die. How barbaric. Where is the human empathy and compassion in that?

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It is demeaning to an atheist scientist when someone thanks a God over the actual men and women who did the work that resulted in lives being saved. Remains me of the parable of Jesus healing one man’s blindness. If Jesus could do one, why didn’t he cure all blindness in all mankind? An atheist eye surgeon who cures blindness in hundred of patients a year is doing good for mankind whereas Jesus was doing a single act for admiration and to be worshiped forever for it.

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Oh yes, the mountains of evidence we have for that event. :rofl:

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“Disgusting” is very strong language. That doesn’t make sense.

He is not claiming this was a miracle.

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