Does prayer work? Not just a snowball’s chance in Heck – not too there is indeed a Heck of course. The proof the pudding is needless to say, if prayer really worked, there would have been a miracle because we’d all be lotto winners or at the least pretty rich and famous! We’d be total successes at our jobs, in our relationships, have perfect partners and perfect children. And our cars wouldn’t break up! Further, sunlight would shine down on us each and every day of our lives.
Even if all of us just prayed for nutrients in general, not personal things specifically, and if our benevolent prayers really worked, then there will be no disease or suffering or crime or wars, etc. We’d all reside in a utopian Camelot. But we don’t! I mean, come every Christmas and Easter, the Pope publicly prays for world peace. That’s noble of him. But, come next Christmas and Easter, he’s to complete it yet again! Now if the Pope can’t get results, what hope for the truly amazing unwashed?
Since an outcome, that’s, world peace (as one of numerous possible examples), hasn’t happened; it’s obviously incorrect, then either God doesn’t exist, or doesn’t answer prayers. If the latter, then God doesn’t give a tinkers damn about us, so why should we give a tinkers damn about Him (again, being traditional and assuming the masculine)? If we don’t give a darn, then Gods existence, or lack of existence, is basically irrelevant.
Think of dozens of trillions of man-hours (sorry, person-hours) wasted on the centuries by those in quest for an illusion – that praying brought results. Do you really think our world today is just a better area for all that point, effort and energy? No? Then I say again – what a waste. Further, no scholarly studies ever done on the beneficial outcomes of praying have ever shown that praying works.
If prayer does appear to work at times on a personal level, it’s probably more a case of mind-over-matter, the ability of positive thinking, and comparable to the placebo pill in medicine. Every now and again, the improbable happens. Because you prayed for an improbable event doesn’t mean the prayer worked, and therefore that there’s a God who answered it.
Further, as in case of supposed miracles, prayer validation is also a highly selective bookkeeping exercise in a hit is documented and displayed for your world to see; a miss is never mentioned or discussed.
Quasi related will be the buzz words’faith’and’ritual ‘. As far as I could tell, all the faith on the planet in a supernatural being isn’t likely to heal up a broken leg any faster, or anything in an identical type of basket. You would be hard pressed to supply evidence that having faith yields extra very good results in accordance with those not having faith. In an identical vein, religions thrive on ritual. Do this at such-and-such a time; don’t accomplish that on such-a-such day of the week; observe this; cross yourself thus, eat (or don’t eat) that currently; adopt this posture in this case, etc. Even the military isn’t quite as strict in its rules and regulations (rituals)! Anyway, observing all the rituals part and parcel of a certain religion, acim lesson 1 when it comes to effectiveness, a pathway to the great life doesn’t really seem to obtain you any extra brownie points. It strikes me as another sociological exemplory case of ass-kissing because you’re told to kiss ass by authority figures who, I gather, in cases like this derive said authority from the supernatural being for which there’s no evidence. Sorry sheep; it’s all a case of the blind leading the blind.
Having dispatched the ability of prayer, here’s my undertake the related notion of miracles.
I’d better define just what I mean by a miracle, because it buzz word has been so overused, especially in marketing, that it has lost all real meaning. I mean you can find miracle detergents, miracle drugs, miracle discoveries, miracle anything and everything. I’ve actually read scientists, who should know better, who use the word’miracle’if they really mean unexpected or against all odds. If you receive dealt a royal flush, you’d say it’s a miracle. But it isn’t. You can find items that are plausible, possible, probable, and improbable. Then you can find items that are downright impossible. If something considered impossible happens, then it’s a bona fide miracle. A very improbable event, like being dealt a royal flush, isn’t a miracle. A bona fide miracle will be for an amputated limb to regenerate. No doubt amputees have prayed for this kind of miracle – alas, it ain’t ever happened.
So my definition of a miracle is definitely an occurrence that goes totally from the grain of any sort of possibility of this kind of happening, happening. A miracle is a miracle if the event defies the impossible, not just improbable odds. So, winning the lottery isn’t a miracle because it’s a plausible event. However, there’s no medical science that can explain the regeneration of an amputated limb. If this event happened; absolutely documented, that would have been a miracle and considerable evidence for the existence of a supernatural God. A miracle pizza (and I’ve seen them so advertised) isn’t, since it’s possible to create a great tasting pizza!
Take the sum total of all so-called miracles and subtract those events which can be unlikely but possible, from the ones that are absolutely impossible according to modern science. What’s the bona fide residue – zero, zip, zilch.
So, one of many alleged, albeit in a mysterious way, where God works, is always to answer prayers, and create or oversee miracles. Has there ever been any miracle, anywhere, undisputed and totally accepted by science as factual and unexplainable? If so, science would have bowed to the fact of God long ago. No, I declare that miracles are either misinterpretations, fabrications, wishful thinking/delusions, sleight-of-hand (magic) or proof advanced technology! Dump someone living 4000 years ago to the 21st Century and undoubtedly this kind of person would find nearly all of our civilization a completely miraculous one. Dump us to the 31st Century and we’d believe in miracles too!
There’s another issue in that when God were all powerful, He wouldn’t need to execute certain miracles. Some miracles seem to become a band-aid solution to an issue that shouldn’t have existed in the initial place, if an all powerful, all knowing God have been on His toes because it were. Like, say you head to a doctor Monday morning, and he informs you that you’ve incurable cancer. Monday night you pray to God to rid you of the affliction. Tuesday morning you discover that your cancer went! That is a miracle – well not really since now and a rare again, cancer switches into remission. That aside, wouldn’t it have been easier if God had ensured that your incurable cancer had never are suffering from in the initial place? Regarding loaves and fishes, it would have been simpler to have ensured an adequate way to obtain food in the initial place! Miracles in such cases It is suggested are God’s correction fluid or whiteout! An all knowing, all powerful God wouldn’t need correction or whiteout fluid!
The reason you just get medical miracles that defy the improbable odds, rather than beating impossible odds? Like, have any of those unfortunate thalidomide victims ever all of an immediate, overnight say, awakened to get they will have fully functioning limbs rather than stumps? Surely this kind of miracle is God’s power – but it ain’t ever happened.
Then you can find the show-off (‘wow, look at me, ain’t I something!’ ) type of miracles that serve no real purpose or don’t imply any’oops, I goofed’scenario – like walking on water. Although some miracles totally shatter the laws of physics, like creating something out of nothing, parting bodies of water just like the Red Sea, or simply plain walking on water (and therefore are relegated to those impossible things one tends to simply accept before breakfast when you breakfast in fairy-dairy land), many so-called miracles are simply improbable happenings that do happen now and again due to pure statistical probabilities. You’ll hear about the miracle where someone was cured of a supposedly incurable illness due to prayer, or someone was found alive in an earthquake induced collapsed creating a fortnight after-the-fact or survived that horrific car crash. That you do not hear about the other 9,999 exactly similar cases when the individual snuffed it in the natural, probable means of things. IMHO, miracles are a typical example of highly selective bookkeeping, like only counting the deposits and never the withdrawals, only in case of miracles, you tick and publicize the hits and ignore and sweep underneath the carpet the misses.