A believer comments: God doesn’t want organ donation

April 13, 2018 • 10:30 am

Here’s a comment I got on my post “Social Justice Warrior would rather let someone die than donate her organs, because they might go to rich or “overeducated” people“. That post, which was one of the most ridiculous manifestations of Authoritarian Leftism I’ve ever seen, recounted the views of one Kristel Clayville, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Eureka College and a fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. My university! (She’s also a minister of the Disciples of Christ).

Because Clayville believes there are social inequities in the system of distributing harvested organs for transplantation, she took the “Screw it: I’m taking my liver and going home” attitude, saying that she was keeping her damn organs until the system is fixed to her liking. Well, plenty of poor people do get organs, and her attitude is selfish, stupid, and reprehensible.

Here’s one almost as reprehensible; a comment from a reader who says that God doesn’t like organ donation either:

I’ve approved that comment, which you can find here if you want to have a discussion. I am very curious why God doesn’t want organ transplantation since it saves lives. Does he want souls in Heaven with all their organs intact? (But He could have the power to regenerate them–except in dogs; just ask Edward Feser.) And what about the souls that will wind up in Hell; can’t they give their organs to one who is Heaven bound? Even Jehovah’s witnesses, who don’t allow blood transfusions, aren’t opposed to organ transplantation so long as the blood is removed from the organ.

This ability to know the Will of God fascinates me, but I can’t pursue it as I’ll soon board my plane.

106 thoughts on “A believer comments: God doesn’t want organ donation

      1. There were no “chosen people” at the time. Adam and Eve were alone in the world. And they had no religion. Jews came much later.
        As Richard Dawkins says, babies are not born into a religion. Neither were Adam and Eve.

      1. Sort of depends, in Genesis one god makes man and woman in his own image on the sixth day. But in Genesis two he makes Adam from dust after the seventh day and then subsequently does the rib cloning deal for eve. Go figure.

        Best thing to do with a rib is to rub it and smoke it.

        1. in Genesis one […] But in Genesis two he [..]. Go figure.

          Thereby explaining the metaphorical consistency of human’s decision making. See, for example, the rock solid certainty with which

          Nope, sorry. Straight- face failure again. I can’t propagate this crap with a straight face.

    1. id not God take a rib from Adam and transplant that to Eve?

      Not if my memory works. D*g “formed” Adam from Eve’s rib. No, other way round. Something like that, anyway.
      Eve is much closer to something grown from Adam’s stem cells. Or … well a whole organ transplant would still come from Adam being XY, and double up one of the X’s while rejecting D*g’s bounteous provision of a “Y”. Ohh right – that rejection is “original sin” and I CAN’T KEEP A STRAIGHT FACE – PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS CRAP?? AND KILL OTHER PEOPLE FOR NOT BELIEVING IT ???
      I’ll just find a rock to beat myself senseless against. I may be gone some time.

  1. If you have your body cremated, does that keep it from burning in hell? And if your body is cremated, would that mean that it won’t have any intact organs?

    1. Reading Aquinas on bodily resurrection is hysterical.

      (Also the bit about how we don’t need clothing in heaven but we’ll have “glorious rainment” or something like that to hide our bits.)

      1. “glorious rainment”

        Sounds like a line of waterproof clothing. More “Western Isles” than “Lofoten Isles”, but “meh!”

  2. When I read wacky thinking like this I always ask myself, ‘Are these people simple internet trolls or are they truly that religiously deluded?’
    Either is a plausible answer which makes it hard to differentiate between the two.
    And when you can’t tell the difference between internet trolls and the religiously deluded, that all by itself indicates an additional level of incredulity for religious claims imho. 😉

    1. This doesn’t seem to be too much of a stretch from ‘no blood transfusions’ or ‘only prayer for healing.’ So I’m guessing it’s sincere.

      1. I agree Eric. The Jehovah’s Witnesses made it clear that blood transfusions were tantamount to worshipping the devil Satan.

  3. I’m guessing god doesn’t want organ donations because he has purposefully given the victim whatever malady they have for some divine reason so to provide an new organ is twarting his will. Anyone who has had a loved one die and been told that god must have had a reason to kill them that we just can’t fathom knows this crazy and offensive thinking well.

      1. To be fair, they consider.. heck you would not care what they consider. I am all for criticism but when it is like this I really wonder if the person objecting knows what they are objecting to.

    1. One of my colleagues tells the following joke, in his typical wry, laconic manner:

      A turkey vulture, with an armadillo carcass tucked under one wing, is in line to board a flight at the Lubbock Airport.

      Gate Agent, indicating the armadillo carcass: Sir, would you like to check that?
      Turkey Vulture: No, ma’am, it’s carrion.

  4. After you are dead, the pictures are not ones you would keep on the shelf. What purpose would g*d want with any of it? Just because he is no longer performing the miracles, why should he stop others.

  5. In the song “God Shuffled His Feet,” the Crash Test Dummies asked a related question:

    If your eye got poked out in this life, would it be waiting up in heaven with your wife?

        1. I remember when I first saw it (in theatres, as a kid – I was about 10) I didn’t realize until the end that the conceit was that the main characters were really dead. (I guess I was rationalistic to the core even then. :))

  6. I am not sure why this person thinks they know god’s will, but I once dated a Ukrainian woman who was in an orthodox church and she didn’t believe in organ donation either. She said in her faith that essentially they don’t want to go around looking for their body parts when they are resurrected. That’s one reason why it is so traumatic for survivors in this faith if their loved ones’ remains are missing. I’m serious. This was her family’s belief.

    She was a very nice, lovely person and I did not want to argue. Besides, this was ages ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and organ transplantation was in its infancy.

    1. I wonder what sort of Orthodox rite she belonged to, because I read that the Greek Orthodox position is pro-organ donation; but there are other rites, and Roman Catholicism supports supports organ donation.

      Her reason doesn’t even make sense to me because what then about those who have lost body parts and died later, or someone blown to bits. Must they go around trying to find their missing body parts? (How in heck would a dead person go around looking for anything?)

      1. And what about people who are eaten by bears and other animals? When they rise do they have to spend eternity looking for the right scat, or the insects that ate the scat?

        Yes, it not only makes no sense, it’s the opposite of what a just God would do. It sounds like an eternal torment for dying wrong.

        1. Yes it makes no sense. I didn’t pursue her thinking on it because…well….I sincerely doubt there was much at all. Besides, I liked her even with the silly ideas. We all have them.

          As to her Orthodox denomination, I don’t recall. It wasn’t Greek (she was Ukrainian) but I am not knowledgeable enough about the various Xtian cults to narrow it down further.

          1. Guessing it could be due to their firm line in the sand about cremation. The finality of it, and the fact that there were some people many years ago who chose to be cremated as a testament to their personal objection to the resurrection.

        2. it’s the opposite of what a just God would do

          How could you figure out what a “just god” would do? Isn’t that the whole point of the whole “just Dog” trick?

          1. I would have to take the religious stand of course, a just God is one that would do what I would do. 😉

  7. Ah, but He works in mysterious ways. He tells us that we cannot know the mind of God and tolerates all kinds of people telling us what the mind of God is. Aren’t those people supposed to be struck down by lightning or something or other, you know, for blasphemy.

    Would claiming to know the mind of god fall as blasphemy under anti-blasphemy laws? That would sure clear up a lot and drive a stake through many a religious career.

  8. Orthodox Judaism rejects both cremation and organ donation since the body (dead – though impure at that point – or alive) is considered sacred and should not be tampered with.

  9. This isn’t the same bunch that recoils from blood transfusions, is it? Or maybe I’m thinking of a different death-crazed cult, there are so many to keep track of.

    1. As I said in the post, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who oppose blood donations, don’t oppose organ donations so long as the donated organs are purged of WICKED BLOOD before they’re put in the recipient.

      1. Wasn’t the difficulty of such a procedure how Portia convinced Shylock not to collect his pound of flesh from Antonio?

      2. The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not CURRENTLY oppose organ donations Jerry. But, in my lifetime they DID.

      3. Sorry, I am going to ask you to fact check your comment that JW’s have always had this position.

    1. I can’t resist adding an old Jewish joke here (source here):

      After sixty years, a mohel decides to retire. Taking the box of foreskins he has collected over the years of doing circumcisions, he goes to a leather goods manufacturer and says to the man, “Can you do anything with these?”

      The man says, “No problem, come back in two weeks.”

      After two weeks the rabbi returns to the shop, and is presented with a wallet. In total dismay, he says to the craftsman, “After sixty years, the best you can do is a wallet?”

      The man replies, “Don’t worry, just rub it a few times and it will grow into a suitcase.”

  10. Here’s a Christian who is enthusiastically FOR organ donation.


    The Catholic church officially allows it: “Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.”

    However, the abuses in the organ trade were condemned by Pope Benedict (who was apparently less concerned with the abuse of children)

    Here’s a Christian who thinks it is a matter of individual choice

    My conclusion: IF there is a God, Her will is that we should learn to think for ourselves.

      1. IF there is a God, I would expect she/he to not be anthropomorphic, and at most to be androgynous in character.

        However, I wish to annoy traditional religionists and thus use feminine pronouns.

        1. Thomas Huxley famously pointed out that God must have a soft spot for order Coleoptera, which includes the largest number of species. He did not go on, as he should have done, to postulate that God must BE a beetle.

  11. Some of still believe in utter nonsense that wholly and completely and entirely and completely makes us look like loons.

  12. Religion Dispatches has a new article by Ms Clayville wherein she both conducts an ad hominem attack against Jerry and tries (rather unsuccessfully)to defend her original position.

        1. “I’m not sure why any religion scholar would take JC seriously.” Same here. Oh, she meant Jerry Coyne, not Jesus Christ.

          “He knows nothing theoretical or practical about religion, yet he continues to write about it…” This is a common misconception among believers. And if a degree in divinity is needed to make sense of it, it doesn’t make sense.

          1. I don’t really know much about fairies, leprechauns and centaurs, but I’m very sure they don’t exist! Apparently when it comes to “god” different rules of evidence apply (and you get to leave your brain at the door)!

            1. Indeed. On that note:

              1. I don’t need to know anything about the practical habits of fairy-worshippers or their theories of fairies to make a good argument against the existence of fairies.

              2. I disagree with her statement on the factual claims. Having been a believer for over 20 years, I think Jerry has a very good grasp on many of the key theoretical and key practical aspects of Christianity. And the caveat ‘many’ is in there really only because there are so many sects, it’s pretty much impossible to make any sort of blanket claim about Christianity that would apply well to all of them. Not even ‘they believe in God’, if one counts Unitarianism. 🙂

              1. Modern UUs are not Christians qua being UU. Some would claim (like my mother) to something like “both”. My father, however, also a member in good standing, would not.

            2. I think those different rules are what distinguish religion from mythology. Applying the same rules to both makes you an atheist.

  13. God gives Shubel free will, therefore Shubel’s will is the will of God.

    Oh… I am so proud of my argument. 🙂

  14. I am fascinated by the religious who absolutely *must* show for the gazillion’th time that religion is fundamentally immoral. (But less so over time as it is forced to adapt to the secular society.)

    What are they thinking!?

  15. Basic theology really. As a matter of principle, just because He/She can, God is a huge jerk about pretty much everything. Biggest jerk ever. (Omni-jerk-potence.)

  16. It’s just that ‘god’ doesn’t want it’s organs donated – probably a good idea as the said entity died some time ago.


  17. I’ve just read the original piece. It’s hilarious that a Sophisticated Theologian ™ can label someone else over-educated. They spend decades filling their brains with tortured arguments and nonsense made up by their predecessors. Of course they also hone skills in rhetoric and obfuscation – well if your arguments are crap, you better learn how to confuse people.

    Theologians’ contributions must be the least worthwhile in the whole of academia. Approaching this as a software engineer, I think it works something like this:

    Make stuff up;
    Do until sufficiently incomprehensible

    Run through this a few times and in no time at all you will have the utter nonsense that’s required.

    Regarding this current post, I find it remarkable that the commentator is able to convey such a strong message of mean spirited selfishness in so few words. It’s quite a talent, and one that seems to be present in many God botherers.

  18. Last Sunday I attended a memorial service for a good friend…Chinese, atheist, witty, intelligent. I’ll miss her greatly! BUT–at the service, I learned how deeply held the prejudice against organ donation is in the Chinese culture. Quite a surprise.

    1. Organ donations may be abused under a tyrannical, non-transparent government. There are persistent rumors that legal and illegal executions in China are partly aimed to supply organs for donation. This may be all untrue, but I understand why the Chinese are wary.

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