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Holy Water Ethics

holy water for sierra leoneA Nigerian preacher named Temitope Joshua has sent thousands of bottles of holy water to Sierra Leone as cures for the deadly ebola virus sweeping through that country.

Is this donation:

1. A great idea, as the holy water can’t do any harm

2. A terrible idea, given that holy water has never been shown to benefit people infected with ebola, and may interfere with legitimate humanitarian efforts

3. Not worthy of attention, given that it’s just a gimmick from the preacher to get attention for himself

4… something else

?

4 comments to Holy Water Ethics

  • Jack McCully

    This is a stupid irresponsible idea. Ebola sufferers who believe this magic water will cure them will spurn medical treatment and 1t`s not difficult to deduce what the result of that will be. This sort of thing only works in the fairy stories that surround religion.

  • I think Mother Theresa had a good statement that applies here. She used it when people asked if they could work with her. She said, “Grow where you were planted.” If Temitope Joshua thinks this water can produce any positive results, he should try it out with his own congregation. If he thinks it does work, he should have some scientists help him do a rigorous trial. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. If the trial goes well, he should contact James Randy and collect the $1M award Randy has offered for 10 years to anyone who can demonstrate, under controlled conditions, a paranormal result. If that test is positive, reverend Joshua will have $1M to launch a major world effort to use his water to help billions of people. So far, with thousands of similar trials, including the water from Lourdes in France, blessed by the Pope using relics from the saints, no effect has been observed. On the other hand, if the labeling on the bottle is changed so it only states it can help with salvation of a soul, then answers to the questions on this post would be quite different.

  • Bill

    I can’t vote because you left out the important choice #5: Disgusting

  • J Clifford

    Update: T.B. Joshua’s supposed holy water completely failed to cure people’s Ebola, and encouraged faith-based transmission.

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