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The Parable of the Cancer Patient

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by The Reverend Bob, May 20, 2019.

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  1. The Doctor

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  2. The Priest

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  3. Neither

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  4. Other (Please elaborate)

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  1. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Well-Known Member

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    There was once a young boy who develop stage IV terminal cancer, her doctor worked so hard in helping him beat it and was passionate about seeing that her patient would beat this terrible disease. She tried everything to see that he would recover. She tried chemotherapy, experimental drugs and therapies and anything her discipline could offer her but all of those things failed but she persisted on and would not give up, she wasn't going to let the cancer beat her or the boy. She persisted in giving him and his parents hope that someday they would beat it.

    The boys uncle was a very religious, in fact he was a Catholic priest and he too thought they could beat the cancer but with the help of God rather than mere medicine. So he tried prayer, laying on of the hands and anointing with oil, he held around the clock vigils with the faithful. He persisted in believing their faith could somehow provide them with the healing the boy needed. He persisted in telling them that there was still hope but the cancer just kept consuming the boy and one day to the dismay of the doctor and the priest the boy died, they both failed. So who really helped the boy? Was it the doctor? The priest? Or some other answer?
     
    #1 The Reverend Bob, May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  2. Woberts

    Woberts The Perfumed Seneschal

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    He's dead, so I don't think either of them helped that much.
     
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  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Helped in what way? The boy died. There is nothing in your parable to suggest that either the doctor or the priest helped, at least to keep his body an mind alive, if that's what you're suggesting 'help' is in this parable. They did what they thought they should to save the boy from death, but death came anyway.

    Is there a moral or point to this parable?
     
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  4. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Both gave hope. Sometimes that is all you can do.

    Hope is generally beneficial in keeping one's morale up.
     
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  5. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Well-Known Member

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    Well they tried to help didn't they?
     
  6. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Help do what? Make the boy comfortable during the time he had left? Keep him alive?

    Terminal is terminal. Death will come. Once the boy had accepted that, is it helpful for either to continue to attempt to cure him? Or is it pure selfishness on the part of the doctor or the priest at that point?

    What are you considering to be helpful in this parable?
     
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  7. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...

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    Who was busy trying to help him live the best he could, while he still was alive? If this was a very young boy, as the OP says, then death was probably not a great and imminent fear. Thus, there was opportunity for this boy to enjoy what life he could, which I rather suspect did not happen, while all of these supposed treatments and fervent prayers for intervention undoubtedly did very little to give him the emotional (call it spiritual, if you want) comfort that may have done him much more good...

    I cannot help but also think to myself that, since we know, as humans, that death is absolutely inevitable, that those who claim a religious (salvational) belief struggle so very, very hard against it. Is it really so much better for a child so young to undergo continuous, futile, invasive, likely painful and nauseating, therapies, rather than to placidly life what time he has while waiting to meet his Maker? (Obviously, that last is not my personal belief, but I reference the boy's claimed uncle, the priest.)
     
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  8. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    My mother in law had melanoma and went to Sloan Kettering Cancer hospital in NYC and we also prayed for her to improve and she did. She was the best melanoma recovery in Sloan Kettering history up to that point.

    She later got thyroid cancer and also went to Sloan and we also prayed. the more we prayed the faster the cancer progressed and she died.

    I think both helped, God answers prayer and God uses doctors and both situations may have been answers to prayer, one lengthening her life and one shortening it to reduce suffering, but that I will leave in the hands of God.
     
  9. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Well-Known Member

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    Is hope always beneficial?
     
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