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Monday, June 7, 2010

To stop thinking

I watch "the atheist experience" very much. It is a show about atheism sponsered by the ACA (Atheist Community of Austin). In that show I heard about the "700 club" a few times now so I just had to check it out.

Now, I am not starting to rant on the program. I am going to tell you about two stories aired on the 700 club.

1st story:
A man had a bad car accident. He crashed frontal with a truck. And it seems he might have been brain dead for some time, or he fell into a short coma, or whatever caused his brain to shut his body down for 90 Minutes.
That man reports how his dead family members, friends and teachers, waited in heaven. How he was welcomed. He reports about a constant singing he heard. He also reports about heavens gate, what it looked like.
His report clearly shows that he thought he was in heaven for those 90 minutes.

Thinking part:
That man was clearly a christian. And his whole life people around him and the church where talking about how you go to heaven or hell. And also he had some picture in mind how it would be on both places. He obviously was convinced that he is a good man and has to go to heaven. So when his mind was stressed out like that, it created exactly the picture he painted for a long time. For him it was like a proof, that heaven exists. He obviously never thought about the fact that he wasn't travelling anywhere while he was unconcious but his brain created the pictures.
I am pretty sure that the same man would have wondered if he maybe is getting insane, would he have seen a barking unicorn, floating trees and purple clouds in that moment.

2nd story:
A woman, her boyfriend, and her two children went hiking. The boyfriend fell down a rock and broke many bones, got brain damage and was at the hospital for a long time.
The woman reports that she prayed a lot, that she even started a blog and asked other people to pray for her boyfriends recovery.
He had to learn everything new (walking, talking, eating, etc), he had many surgeries.
After 4 months he left the hospital.

Thinking part:
The recovery simply had nothing to do with the fact that the woman was praying. He recovered thanks to the helicopter that brought him to the hospital. He recovered because of the good doctors and therapists and because of his own will to survive and learn everything new. Maybe he was a bit more relaxed then others in his situation, because he knew how many people are hoping he is getting well. But it is not the prayer or god who answers a prayer.
He would have gotten just as well, would everyone who had prayed just have called him or drawn a picture or light up a candle or knock on wood three times.

Example of a reaction that might be much more helpful then just stop thinking:
I forget to turn off the candle and fall asleep. At some point I turn around at night and with my blanket I knock the candle down. The carpet and curtains catch fire and I wake up when the room is full of dark smoke and the smell of fire.
My reaction: I am awake at once. I wake up my partner. I call the fire fighter while I grab a blanket try and extinguish the fire. I tell the firefighter what happened and where we are. If I see it is too much fire, I can't extinguish alone, I will turn the light on, try close the window, on my way out close the door, and get out of the house with all my pets. I will wait for the firefighters at the street.
I will hope they do a good job.
If they can extinguish it, I know it is not because I hoped so but because it is there job and they are well trained.
I will not perform any weird ritual believing that this will help...

Ok, something happens to someone and suddenly the person and/or people involved stop thinking rationally.
They just do not use there common sense, their ability to think logically anymore.
What does people make to just stop thinking logically in such situations?
Shock? -> Even in a shocksituation it is possible to react!
The feeling that they can't help? -> You can always try to do something. And if it is only talking to a hurt person.

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