Thursday, March 19, 2009

Divine Intervention and Spider Bites

The faithful have a phrase that has always bugged me: "Everything happens for a reason." I don't agree with this at all, as I am not a fatalist. Pre-determination is not an idea to which I subscribe. I think everything that happens has a cause, but not a "reason."

Reason would imply some sort of planned, designed, or even desired outcome. While some things do indeed happen for a reason, it is not a universal. While my initial goal of this post was to delve into free will, I would rather analyze a situation I found while browsing some online news stories.

In the past, ideologists would posit hypothetical, though plausible, scenarios in order to illustrate a point. Today, we have the internet to allow us access to countless real situations (in theory). The case of David Blancarte is one of great interest.

In 1988, at the age of 27, David was a boxer and dancer. Then, he had a motorcycle accident. He became paralyzed from the waist down. This was a tragedy of youth wasted, and the young man was confined to a wheelchair. The thoughts running through his mind must have been unthinkably bleak, as the situation seemed hopeless.

After 21 years, David had another bit of bad luck. He was bitten by a brown recluse spider. Though not deadly, the bite is painful and can lead to necrotic ulceration (epidermal damage resulting in dead tissue around the site). What could he have possibly done in a past life to deserve this?

But David's story doesn't end here. Instead, David's nurse attempts a treatment that has never been proven effective in clinical trials: electric shock to the affected area. David felt the shock as it was administered, even though the injury was to his leg.

After months of rehabilitation, David walked out of the hospital having been admitted paralyzed with a spider bite. His case is being hailed as a medical marvel(or "miracle," to those so inclined). Surely the gods must have some great plan for David, and he can't wait for the day when he will walk his 14-year-old twin daughters down the aisle of their respective weddings.

However, it would seem David is not interested in any of these plans, as he was arrested this month on an outstanding warrant stemming from a contempt of court charge that occurred during a domestic abuse case. Perhaps the gods wanted David to be able to walk himself into prison.

This case is a strange ride through destiny.

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