Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pet Peeve - 93% Won't Repost It

Ha, the joys and torments of social networking.  I seem to be on a pet peeve roll this week.  This one is a two-fer.  Let's look at the following Facebook status example of what I am talking about:
If your family has been touched and tormented by cancer.  Today is World Cancer Day - I'd appreciate it if you would post this request. 93% won't repost it. A small request. Just one line. Dear God, I pray for a cure for cancer. Amen.
I've seen several different varieties of this post.  This just happens to be the first one I could easily find on my news feed.

So, my first pet peeve is the "93%" won't repost it."  How do they know this?  Is this a scientific poll?  What is margin of error?  +/- 3%?  Is this meant as a guilt trip?  Is it even necessary for conveying the cause you are trying to support?  My family has been touched by cancer and I support this cause by donating money to the appropriate charities.  Posting this on Facebook does not add one penny to the cause.  OK, that was pet peeve #1.

Pet peeve #2 is "I pray for a cure for cancer."  Cancer has been known to societies for several thousand years when the Egyptians identified breast cancer.  Knowledge of cancer has been much more prevalent going back to the 18th Century.  It was certainly recognized as a disease with no cure.  As a result of this, I would venture to say that in the last 250 years, one of the most common, if not the most common prayer offered to God has been to cure loved ones of this dreaded disease.  Given the exponential rise in populations and therefore, Christianity, I would venture to say that there have been billions of prayers spoken or thought that have asked for a cure for cancer.  I venture to say that many Jews and Muslims have also requested this in prayer as well.  Well, last I checked, cancer has not been cured, which means, not a single one of those prayers has been answered.  God is 0 for Billions on that request.

Unfortunately, there are purveyors of pseudoscience that take advantage of many suspecting people and offer "alternative" cures for cancer.  So far, not a single one has been the least bit successful, but everyone of those hacks has been 100% successful in separating money from a desperate person.

Cancer is not a single disease, it is a family of diseases.  A cure found for one type of cancer more than likely will not be applicable to all forms of cancer.  The only real hope for a cure is to rely on science-based medicine and the researchers pursuing cures in the numerous types of cancers.  Your donation will do infinitely more good than a prayer.

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