Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Afflicted by a demonic power"

Ii am back from my anniversary.

Unfortunately, I do not have much time to write this evening. Just as unfortunately, I read something in the news today that does not require many words.

According to a story on MSNBC.com, Hyang In Cho, the mother of the Virginia Tech shootist Seung Hui Cho, knew that her son was in trouble and sought help for him.

The help she sought was from a Presbyterian pastor Rev. Dong Cheol Lee, who diagnosed the son as being afflicted by a ’demonic power’.

"His problem needed to be solved by spiritual power," said Lee, whose church members met with Cho and his mother. "That's why she came to our church -- because we were helping several people like him." Those churchgoers told Hyang In Cho that her son was afflicted by demonic power and needed deliverance, Lee said.

If you want to keep people from killing other people, try seeking out real-world cures and treatments. In this case, religious belief did real-world harm by looking for magical and, to be honest, insanely stupid solutions to a real-world problem that ended up costing 32 lives.

One is supposed to respect the religious views of others. But, what respect is due to views that put innocent lives at risk?

The obligation to respect somebody else’s stupid views ends where those stupid views puts the life, health, and well-being of innocent people at risk.

3 comments:

Atheist Observer said...

Alonzo,

I fear you just fell prey to a fallacy you recently criticized. You say, "In this case, religious belief did real-world harm by looking for magical and, to be honest, insanely stupid solutions to a real-world problem that ended up costing 32 lives."
Actually the only way you can say religion did harm is to know that without religious involvement he would not have committed the murders, or that with medical intervention we can be sure he would not have done it. Since he did have some contact with medical professionals, neither of these propositions can be shown to be true. We can really only say religion clearly did not help.

Luis Felipe said...

I tried to get the original story on MSNBC.com, but I couldn't.

Maybe they changed the story to another address or they preferred to take it away.

If you know where they put it, maybe you could let me know (tumytak-deloscorredores@yahoo.com.mx).

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Actually Alonzo, I don't believe he did commit a fallacy. The facts are that Cho's family knew that he was disturbed and were desperate for help, which is why they sought out supernatural solutions from the church. Now Atheist Ethicist's contention is that in a world without supernatural beliefs, or in a world where Cho's parents were raised to not believe in the supernatural, then the Cho family would not have seen religion as their first port of all for serious issues. I don't think it is at all a stretch to say that in a world where the Cho's didn't believe in the supernatural, that their first port of call would have been a psychiatrist or medical doctor, and the entire massacre could have been avoided.