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Why Doesn’t God fix Bad Teeth?

Posted by on 07/09/2009

Why doesn’t god fix bad teeth? Why, if their god likes believers, and favours them, as believers seem to think is the case, do they get just as many bad teeth as the rest of us? Doesn’t their god listen to the prayers of people who want to look better, or want their toothache to end? There seems to be no good reason why good people with bad teeth should be discriminated against in this way if there really is a god who answers prayers.

Now someone might argue that teeth are a relatively trivial matter, but they are not trivial to sufferers. You can have your one holiday of the year ruined by a bad case of toothache. And to what purpose? Do that to a psychotic, and he’s going to take revenge on somebody – perhaps an innocent person. And like a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa causing a storm in  the USA, there’s going to be a storm of violence somewhere because of that toothache. Is that the purpose of the god? If so, is that a god worth believing in?

If some kind of aware deity made this vast universe is all its endless detail, fixing teeth should be effortless. And yet, dentists have never recorded a tooth spontaneously healing as they approached it with a drill, or of a broken tooth miraculously becoming whole. Even people who sing praise to their god a lot, don’t get their teeth fixed by that god.

The question has to be asked – what do the gods-people-worship have against people with bad teeth? Is it a personal vendetta? Do they use bad teeth to punish people? Surely not everyone with bad teeth deserves to be punished? Surely there are some really deserving cases? We can easily think of people we ourselves would help, given the chance. Could a god do less?

An Afghan woman, devout and devoted, smashed in the face with a rifle butt for accidentally showing an ankle, now with a mouthful of broken teeth. A young child born with genetic defects, to suffer a short lifetime of pain with teeth that go rotten and cause her agony by the time she is three. A mother of five, living in an island with no dental or medical facilities, whose calcium deficiency causes her teeth to rot, and who is destined to die from multiple abscesses that could be cured in a flash by any capable deity. Do such people enter the mind of their god, only for the god to decide they should be left to suffer? Does the worshipped god really hate people with bad teeth, or just not care about them? Or is all prayer futile beyond some self-delusional consolation, and there are no gods – no deities of the teeth or of anything else?

The honest person must come to the latter conclusion. And the fact that religions try to obscure the truth, and ignore the Evidence from Teeth argument, is a bad thing about religion.

PS: Toothache sufferers are not the only people ignored by the gods. For a particulary detailed study of this type of argument, see http://whywontgodhealamputees.com