Monday, November 12, 2007

2 Kislew 5768: Take a Model Train to Work Day

Greetings.

Divine misconception of the day: “Snakebite victim's family sues: BLAMES HOSPITAL, NURSE AND DOCTOR”. (Hat tip to henderob at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.) Summary: A woman handles a rattlesnake at a church service, gets bitten, gets taken to a hospital, and dies; the woman's family is screaming malpractice and claims the hospital staff “snickered and made derogatory comments” about the patient’s religion and how she managed to be injured. I do not know enough about snakebites to even guess whether the hospital staff was negligent. And I really hope the snickering and derogation never happened, because making fun of a patient, no matter why that person is a patient, is unprofessional behavior for health personnel. That said, the core complaint, other that the alleged malpractice, seems to be that the hospital staff did not respect the patient’s religion, and it is here that we hit the religious fallacy. Freedom of religion only applies to one’s own beliefs and practice; it does not mean forcing anything on anyone else, for that would mean curtailing the freedom of religion of others. In particular, there is no right, whether natural or legal, to respect or validity. For when we have the right to make our own determination what is correct, we also have the right to determine what is incorrect. This includes determination why beliefs and practices are right or wrong. As such, the hospital staff (and anyone else) are perfectly within their rights to think that people who take up snakes are acting stupidly and in a manner deserving ridicule.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “CD-Sextant - Build your own sextant”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron
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