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View Diary: BREAKING: Dr. Kent Brantly & Nancy Writebol Have Been Cured Of Ebola (77 comments)

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    •  Some believe God created science. :-) (4+ / 0-)

      No, I don't want to argue. Just sayin'.

      People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

      by WFBMM on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 10:42:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is always my argument, based on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WFBMM

        Twain's comment that man -- being a gentleman -- returned the favor for having God create man in his image.

        Look. Christian Scientists and everybody else who thinks that you have to credit / try superstition first and foremost:

        Really? A God who'd give people brains and abilities would be upset when people use them to save lives instead of following whatever ultimate-loser cult YOU bought into??

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 10:55:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Some believe" a lot of nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

        Who gives a fuck?

        Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

        by Bob Love on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 11:18:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was that called for? No, it wasn't. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell

          Now to answer your question.

          Who gives a fuck?
          Obviously, you do, since you made a comment about it.

          You believe one way, and I another. I accept that. But don't come at me like that. There was no reason for it. Nothing in my response to you called for a response like that.

          People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

          by WFBMM on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 11:27:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was openly mocking your use of "some believe". (0+ / 0-)

            which is a notoriously bullshit expression.

            "Some believe" Jesus visited Mars. Who gives a fuck?

            Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

            by Bob Love on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:29:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, Bob, the mocking part was quite apparent. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

              by WFBMM on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:36:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good. Next time you'll thing twice (0+ / 0-)

                before using that "some believe" euphemism and actually be so courageous as to state what you think.

                This isn't about your belief, it's about you the weasely way you use language.

                Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

                by Bob Love on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:42:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hmmmm….. (0+ / 0-)
                  Good. Next time you'll thing twice before using that "some believe" euphemism and actually be so courageous as to state what you think.
                  Did that make you feel better, Bob?

                  People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

                  by WFBMM on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 01:08:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't call out bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                    to make myself feel better. I do it to call out bullshit.

                    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

                    by Bob Love on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 01:13:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Are you sure? Because you appear to have (0+ / 0-)

                      a lot of…um…I was going to use the word anger, but I'll use "passion" instead.

                      BTW, what do you do to make you feel better, Bob?

                      People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

                      by WFBMM on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 01:33:57 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  some believe God created humankind (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WFBMM

        is God therefore responsible for all the sins of humanity? Should we give God all the credit for whatever we do that is good, while shouldering all the blame for whatever we do that is bad? Seems awfully unfair.

        I mean, if anyone's in a position to shrug off criticism and do as he pleases, surely the Author of the entire universe is.

        Just saying.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 12:05:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I dunno. To me that's like saying... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, bobtmn, G2geek

          I'm morally responsible for my 12 year old son practically burning the house down after I explicitly told him not to play with fire.

          First and foremost, let me say I don't have all the answers. However, I do understand where you're coming from, limpidglass. Seriously, I do. But in terms of what I believe (I can't speak for every believer) however, to me the opposite of sin is faith. So to say God is responsible for mankind's every "sin" or act of "faithlessness" doesn't really get to the heart of the issue.

          God allows good, He allows bad, He gives knowledge, He withholds it. In Christianity, the same God that allows plagues, hurricanes and earthquakes, also heals. Does it make sense? Not to us. No. But faith calls believers to trust that all things work according to His plan….whatever that is. :-)

          I remember there was a time when a loved one got sick and I prayed fervently for them to get well. After all, I had faith. I had belief. So my loved one should have lived. But they didn't. They died. And I was devastated. Years went by, and I was still bitter and angry. I'm talking major pissed off. But the answer to my bitterness came from a surprising source. A Jewish rabbi who gave a simplistic, but straight to the heart answer. His name was David.

          David knew I was a Christian (well, that I was making the effort anyway lol) and we started talking about faith, Judaism, Christianity, and God in general. I told him about my bitterness and about my loved one and how I begged God to save them. The rabbi said, and I'll never forget it, "Dear heart, sometimes God says no."

          Why He says no sometimes, I don't know. 'Cause lately, He seems to be saying no to me a lot. LOL

          Anyway, I think the issue many Christians find hard to either comprehend or accept, is that God is in control of all things, both good and bad. So when the good happens, He's praised. And when the bad happens, He's vilified (or explained away), to the point where some of us lose our faith.

          In bad times, we're supposed to have faith that whatever has happened, He has a higher purpose for it. Seems dumb, irrational, and stupid to me most of the time, but then that's where faith kicks in. Faith isn't rational, limpidglass. Faith isn't reasonable. It just is what it is.

          And this has been one of the hardest issues for me to deal with. But in all things, I'm reminded that my thoughts aren't His, and my ways aren't His.

          In short, I cannot provide proof of His existence. I cannot provide an explanation for what He does and why He does it, or what He allows and why He allows it.

          Honestly, all I have is my faith. That's it. I respect your view, I really do, and completely understand it.  I sincerely hope you can respect mine, even though it seems completely batshit, nonsensical and irrational. :-)

          BTW, I also appreciate how you coined your response. It was thoughtful and respectful. So thank you for that.

          People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

          by WFBMM on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 01:21:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Complete fantasy, but well told! (0+ / 0-)

            I recc'ed your comment because you told it so well!  

            I have always felt fortunate that as an ignostic I don't have to wonder why God chose to impose suffering on one group and relieve it from another.   It must truly be painful to believe that god chose your loved ones to die or suffer.   I never wonder "why" my loved ones, or I myself, am suffering.   It just IS, that's all.  

            We are " the brief elaboration of a tube", and nothing more.

            I am with you on not arguing about God.  Since no one can define the concept, then it cannot be argued about.

            Be well and Do well!

            •  It isn't a fantasy TO ME. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              To you, yes. But not to me. Please respect that.

              I am with you on not arguing about God.  Since no one can define the concept, then it cannot be argued about.
              On this, we are in agreement.

              People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

              by WFBMM on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 03:42:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  the theological problem of the existence of... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WFBMM

            ... evil and suffering:

            I posted the following in another diary in another context but it seems appropriate here:

            ---

            If a deity exists and has an attitude of compassion toward living things, then why would any such deity allow for suffering and evil to exist?

            Because if any such deity went about removing the worst suffering and evil from the world, then whatever suffering and evil remained would be felt by humans to be "the worst," and the cycle would repeat indefinitely.  Finally humanity would be reduced to whimpering outrage at the supreme evil of stubbed toes, skinned knees, and colds.  Humanity would be reduced to the condition of infants, unable to cope and unable to survive.  

            Alternately, consider the possibility that any such deity already routinely intervenes in such a manner as to at least prevent the extinction of life, so that species can continue to exist and evolve, and intelligent species can continue to make progress in their understanding of the universe.  

            We haven't had a nuclear war, or a major asteroid strike in historic time.  Individuals who are of strong faith in a deity could attribute those and similar fortunate outcomes to the intervention of the deity in the minds of humans and the events of nature.

            ---

            To which I'd add, in light of your experience:

            If a deity began to intervene to prevent individual deaths, there would also be a logical spiral with the expectation by humans that all worthy people would be similarly rescued.  This would lead to the assumption that death other than in older age was the sign of divine disfavor, and thereby deny people the solace of natural mourning of the deaths of their loved ones.  In the long run that outcome would be a greater tragedy.

            ---

            BTW my position on deities is that the issue of the existence or nonexistence of the deity cannot be addressed by empirical science or by logical inference.  Individuals vary in their nature as to belief and disbelief, thus the necessity for mutual respect and recognition of the inherent diversity of human beliefs.  Those of us who are engaged with the scientific worldview need to exercise humility in recognizing the limitations of our methods.

            GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

            by G2geek on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 03:31:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Consider the possibility (0+ / 0-)

              Please consider the possibility that an Ultimate Creator does exist, and his single desire is to have humans leave him alone, and not conjecture about him or appeal to him.

              In fact, this being is so intent on preserving his solitude that he has created a special place with eternal fire where he can hurl the souls of the people who looked for, found and praised him!

              This seems much more likely than a loving omnipotent being who cares what a collection of mucus and calcium thinks about him...

            •  That was one of the best explanations (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              I have read. Thank you for this. :-)

              But this especially touched me.

              If a deity began to intervene to prevent individual deaths, there would also be a logical spiral with the expectation by humans that all worthy people would be similarly rescued.  This would lead to the assumption that death other than in older age was the sign of divine disfavor, and thereby deny people the solace of natural mourning of the deaths of their loved ones.  In the long run that outcome would be a greater tragedy.

              People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

              by WFBMM on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 03:57:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  thanks; we stand on common ground. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WFBMM

                Somehow there has to be a place of peace where people of good faith and good reason can stand together.

                The very existence of evil and suffering is almost incomprehensible in any system of thought, and it's natural to feel anger and question one's foundations.  But a strong foundation can weather a strong storm, and it takes a strong person to cry strong tears or express strong anger at forces beyond any person's control.  

                The fact that you've been able to write about your feelings as you did, is a sign of courage and also a sign of conviction.  Sometimes a person's growth of strength is difficult for themselves to perceive, but it can be seen by others.

                As for those who attack you for what you believe, apparently their own foundations aren't so strong, or they wouldn't do so.  One way or another, they deserve as much compassion as anyone else, plus or minus being called out for instances of intolerance.

                We'll cross paths again.  Be well.  -G2G.

                GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

                by G2geek on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 09:04:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I was going to say the exact same thing. (8+ / 0-)

      If they had just put their trust in their faith and only that - they would very likely be dead now.  Don't get me wrong - I'm glad they have recovered, but a spiritual power had little to do with their recovery.

      •  If they put their trust in faith and only that - (5+ / 0-)

        they would very likely not be doing medical missionary work.

        Dr. Brantly isn't a faith healer. He's a medical doctor who has faith.

        •  That's all fine and good. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Love

          God didn't save him in this instance though. An experimental drug did.

          •  No, you have NO proof that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            limpidglass, Catte Nappe

            an experimental drug saved him, and no responsible medical person is saying that it did. Read or watch the Emory doctor's statements.

            I'm not arguing for God, I'm arguing for science as real science, not science in the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" version reflected by your comment and many others here. That's no more logical than "God did it."

            •  Are controlled experiments... (0+ / 0-)

              going to have to go forward and show that the drug is truly effective? Sure. And they will likely do that. But I read that article and everything that both patients said shows that they are putting their recovery down to a miraculous recovery via divine intervention.

              The doctors who treated these two patients on the other hand point out that they were going to die so why not try this experimental treatment. After receiving the drug, not only did they recover, but they are now considered cured of Ebola. Is it 100% certain that this was because of the drug.? No, but it's MUCH more likely that the drug is what saved their lives rather than divine intervention. As far as I'm concerned, these two patients should be considered a pilot study that's going to lead to larger scale controlled experiments.

            •  We have a little proof (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Love, Villanova Rhodes

              So far 6 doses of ZMAPP have been administered. Brantly was reportedly near death and the 3 West African doctors dosed last Thursday reportedly were also in pretty bad shape. The condition of the 75-year old Spanish priest hasn't been widely reported. And Nancy Writebol was dosed after Brantly and transported to the US a couple days later reportedly wasn't as bad off as Brantly, It should be noted that Brantly also received a blood transfusion from a young survivor to go along with his experimental doses.

              So far 6 people have received ZMAPP and 2 have beaten the virus, 1 has succumbed to it (the Spanish Priest) and the Liberian Government issued a statement indicating that the recent 3 ZMAPP recipients have showed remarkable improvement since their doses last Tuesday.

              The current outbreak's fatality rate is about 55%, and that percentage will climb a little here unfortunately as some of the currently infected living will not make it. It will be interesting to see how the infected Liberian  ZMAPP recipients fare going forward since their care will continued to be administered in country. There is a very real chance that the recoveries of Brantly and Whitebol would not have happened if they hadn't also received the sophisticated, excellent care they got at Emory including nutrient replacement.

              I would not call ZMAPP a wonder treatment. I would call it somewhat promising.

              I would note that if you (not you, but in general) assume that Brantly's and Whitebol's recovery was a result of their faith, you necessarily have to conclude that the faith of those who have perished must somehow be lesser or insufficient. This bothers me to no end.  

              •  Definitely not me in particular, so thanks! (0+ / 0-)

                Although I don't think "lesser or insufficient" is the only conclusion one might reach if one does believe in divine intervention -- e.g., lots of people think their lives are saved "for a reason" that's a calling, not proof of their superior faith or favor in the eyes of their God, and that becomes operationalized in very selfless future lives -- I don't argue for an interventionist God at all. To the extent that optimism and other psychological factors play a role in some recoveries -- and I don't know the data on that but I sure know doctors who believe it to be true -- faith can create those psychological conditions, but no deity's existence, let alone its intevention, is required for that to happen.

                I would say "two data points" rather than "some proof" at this point, but I concede it is not worthless information and that may be quibbling. And I dearly hope it turns out to be a useful treatment.

          •  as an engineer engaged with the... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WFBMM, Villanova Rhodes

            ... scientific worldview, I would suggest that this is not a good time to debate theism vs. atheism.  

            One could, in all good faith and with all good reason, also assert, with solid basis in history, that the capacity for scientific thinking arose from the belief in a lawful universe, which in turn arose from the belief in a universe that was divinely created.

            These things are seldom quite so black and white as they are often asserted to be.

            The fact remains that two people who were inspired by faith to practice scientific medicine, maintained their steadfast faith and made use of cutting-edge scientific medicine, and are now cured of a horrific disease.  

            All the knowledge of photons, the eye, and the visual cortex in the brain, does not translate to understanding another person's experience of seeing the color blue.  One can't assume that each of us has the identical experience when we see the color blue.

            GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

            by G2geek on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 03:37:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  God saved their lives but not all the Africans. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder, Bob Love

      Nah, the blame for that falls on God's intern, Capitalism.

      reality based, not really biased

      by NE2 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 11:03:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If god is society (0+ / 0-)

      and this society with science , saved him ...

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 11:03:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's not clear what exactly saved him (6+ / 0-)

      the drug was not given under controlled circumstances as in  a clinical trial, so there is no way to know whether it was the drug or not.

      It could just have been the very high level of medical care afforded him (much higher than that available to the vast majority of African Ebola victims), or any number of other factors.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 11:08:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ZMAPP & TKM-Ebola (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, deepeco

      But in particular ZMAPP. Brantly was reportedly only hours from death when they gave him ZMAPP a couple weeks ago. They followed up ZMAPP with TKM-Ebola to finish the treatment. Three more infected doctors in bad shape were given ZMAPP yesterday and they showed what is being called by the BBC remarkable improvement.

      It would be nice to have the amount of ZMAPP necessary to treat everybody but apparently there were only a couple doses in existence when Brantly got his. If there is a very limited supply then I think that they are doing right by giving it to infected doctors and care givers. These people are stepping into harm's way knowing the danger; they are doing honor to their Hippocratic Oaths.

      So while the newly survived should thank God, they should also probably thank the US and Canadian governments for providing the research grants over a decade ago that led to the creation of the drug that saved their lives. Seems like the researchers might be pretty smart so they should probably thank them and the public school system that instilled intellectual curiosity in the researchers.  

      Science and Government are the real heroes in this little tiny, but important, victory. Now let's get as many doses of ZMAPP produced as we can and help those infected in Africa as best we can. Don't get bogged down in the business aspect of this drug - let's help some unfortunate people and make some friends in the process.

    •  Perhaps it was the supermoon? (0+ / 0-)

      I hate to rule anything out, no matter how ridiculous. I don't expect all of us to agree on one thing. If we did, this would be redstate.

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