This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Elisabeth Cornwell's Profile

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Joined almost 5 years ago
Gender: Female

Latest Discussions Started by Elisabeth Cornwell

Public pressure to end intolerance fostered by religion - last commented 24 September 2010 12:26 PM

More Discussions by Elisabeth Cornwell

Latest Comments by Elisabeth Cornwell

Go to: Evolution of Birds Is Result of a Drastic Change in How Dinosaurs Developed

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Elisabeth Cornwell

This is why science is so much fun. Honestly, this is just infinitely better than some guy on an ark.

Thu, 31 May 2012 22:01:41 UTC | #944857

Go to: Jury gives "faith healing" mother prison time in son's death

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Elisabeth Cornwell

Response to Sean W.

There has been research in this area, and again I suggest visiting the website Children's Healthcare is a Legal Duty. Religion has always been dealt with soft glove within psychology, but that is changing I am happy to say. As I said, I am conflicted about prosecuting the parents - not necessarily opposed. Personal responsibility is an important aspect in these sorts of tragedies. However, when the parents are prosecuted then the religious cult is relieved of all culpability. Prosecuting the parents might drive some individuals out of the cult; however, it might have the other effect of driving members to hide these deaths. There is a great deal of mystery regarding deaths among Christian Scientists when it comes to children. Parents are told NOT to publicly announce the death of a child, and there is some suspicion that deaths can be hidden. The cemeteries of some cults are private property, the life and death of a child can be easily concealed within such religious denominations.

When a parent breaks the covenants by taking a child to the hospital he or she is at best ostracized, and at worst causing the child's death because of a loss of faith. All too often, a child is brought in too late - medical science is powerless to cure something that a week earlier could have been taken care of with modern treatment. So, the parents are bullied and punished by their society - they are outcasts at a time they need consolation from family and friends.

This is a complex issue, and requires a great deal more study from both a psychological and legal perspective. Our initial reaction is of course outrage over such an unnecessary death of a helpless child, and our natural inclination is to want 'justice' for society and ourselves.

On your note about psychological research in lieu of a prison sentence, that is an entirely different can of worms. But do remember, treatment programs within the prison system are taken into account for probation. Research on prison inmates was very common at one time, but because of abuses and the concept that offering research to reduce sentence is coercive - it is extremely difficult to set up such research. Additionally, in this case the population is rather small and conclusions would be difficult to apply to the population at large.

Wed, 30 May 2012 14:33:55 UTC | #944513

Go to: Jury gives "faith healing" mother prison time in son's death

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Elisabeth Cornwell

Yes but the 'moderate' theists tend to side step on matters of 'faith' near home probably! I have yet to hear any mainline church to condemn any such consequence of fundy lunacy with any coherency let alone passion.

I agree. That's why we need to keep up the pressure on the Mainline religious sects. Unfortunately, we are witnessing religious institutions fighting tooth and nail to resist any government oversight of children's and patients' rights to medical care and cutting edge research. It is a new game when we see that The Catholic Church is suing the Obama Administation. It is all part of the same issue and we need to work to turn the tide against the power and seemingly unlimited funds. The snake needs to be cut off at the head, and it needs to be done through education and legal means. There is a lot of work in front of us, but the stakes are so high we cannot afford to neglect this issue.

Wed, 30 May 2012 14:09:15 UTC | #944503

Go to: Jury gives "faith healing" mother prison time in son's death

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Elisabeth Cornwell

The State should have prosecuted the religious organization for practicing medicine without a license. There is an excellent book on this topic, The Last Strawberry written by Rita Swan. There is also a watchdog group Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty that looks into these cases. I have mixed views on prosecuting the parents, as it seems that the truly guilty are those preachers who teach this sort of neglect as being proof of one's faith.

In deaths like this, we should be taking a closer look at all the mechanisms that set it into motion: special privileges for religious institutions and the community attitude of 'when it comes to religion, we can't make a moral judgment.'

Wed, 30 May 2012 11:58:47 UTC | #944466

Go to: Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally to Discuss Risks of Internet

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Elisabeth Cornwell

RDF-US is doing all we can to increase the dangers and bring this sort of madness to an end.

It is worthy to note that only men are involved in this protest. Orthodox Judaism is an extraordinarily oppressive institution, and its contempt for women is appalling and glaring ( We focus so much on Islam, we neglect the issues surrounding the ultra-orthodox version of Judaism.

Tue, 22 May 2012 22:52:09 UTC | #942984

More Comments by Elisabeth Cornwell