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Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Why Won't God Heal Amputees? (video)

One objection to God's existence that has become popular in atheist circles is the fact that God won't heal amputees. A web site of that name argues, "The Bible clearly promises that God answers prayers... So what should happen if we pray to God to restore amputated limbs? Clearly, if God is real, limbs should regenerate through prayer. In reality, they do not."

In this short video, Lenny answers the charge that God is not real because he won't heal amputees and shows why the objection fails.


  1. I admire your courage in addressing this question. No surprise, I'm sure, that I find your answer lacking. There are a couple of points I want to make here.

    You point out that there's no proof that God hasn't regenerated limbs in the 2000 years since Jesus walked the earth (3:50). Or that maybe God chooses not to heal amputees (at 3:35). This is ridiculous. You could, with equal validity, that is "none", say that there's no proof that God isn't creating dinosaurs in uninhabited parts of the world then erasing all evidence when humans encroach on their territory. It's Antony Flew's gardener or Sagan's dragon in the garage all over again.

    I don't approach the amputee issue as proof that God doesn't exist. I view it as a thought experiment. So here's the question for you: "Has God ever healed an amputee?" If no, why not? If yes, show me. Yes, I'm putting the burden on you. Yes, I'm starting from a naturalistic viewpoint. Why shouldn't I? Spontaneous regeneration of limbs in humans is not a natural occurrence. We would have no natural explanation for something like that. I mean, we ARE talking about supernatural healing, are we not?

    Saying it could've happened sometime in last 2000 years because I can't prove it didn't is not valid. Did it happen or not? If so, prove it. You don't even have to prove other types of healings happen. I'll stipulate that for the moment. But if you can't show me one case of spontaneous regeneration of a human limb, then I request an explanation of why other healings happen but this type doesn't.

    And you must be kidding with trying to excuse a lack of healing with the idea that "Oh, they wouldn't believe anyway so why should he heal them?" Then why did Jesus heal anyone during his ministry? Didn't many believe because of his miracles? So, do a few more here. There are many doubting Thomases willing to believe but just waiting for proof.

    I think your last line sums it up perfectly: "People will believe whatever they wish to believe."

    1. Just out of curiosity, Ken, why does it have to be this particular miracle? You write, "Spontaneous regeneration of limbs is not a natural occurrence." That's true. But neither is reanimating a corpse that has been dead for four days. in fact, I would argue the latter has less chance of happening than the former. So, why must it be this specific miracle that carries all the water?

  2. As a thought experiment, it doesn't have to carry all the water. It's just something to think about. Maybe raise more questions. Like this...

    I'm not the one who decided that regeneration is off limits. Apparently, God did. I agree that reanimation is more difficult from a naturalistic point of view. So the question is why this limitation. What is the point? What conceivable reason could God have for not performing this one type of action?

    Your response so far seems to be 1) maybe God has regenerated limbs but we haven't seen it and 2) that's what God decided thereby begging the question. Without pushing for further answers, what does this say about God? About what we know of God? About his motivations? About healing? What would be the purpose behind regenerating limbs in secret? If God has truly decided to withhold this miracle, is it capriciousness or is there purpose in it? If purpose, what is it? What does it mean if the reason for the purpose is hidden from us? Is it beyond our ability to understand? Why couldn't God at least tell us that instead of making us flail around searching for answers?

    Lenny, you've been reasonable at defending other positions but this one... I don't know. Seems pretty ridiculous to try and justify this. As I said before, If regeneration happened, show me. If not, why not? You're already in some pretty vague territory here. You'd be better off just saying you don't know.

    P.S. Not "Ken". "FriendOfKen". A.k.a., Chip. Remember?


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