A person or perhaps people pray to a Deity(s) to help a severely ill or injured person for whom the Doctors claim have no hope of recovery. And or perhaps the ill or injured person prays. “Miraculously” the person recovers. Or perhaps there is a drought and people pray for rain. “Miraculously” rain comes. There are people who then claim this as evidence for supernatural intervention.
This sort of proof may be refuted as follows.
1) Doctors can be wrong, and sometimes are.
2) Modern medicine can sometimes work “miracles”.
3) An animal or human’s will to survive together its biological capabilities can sometimes overcome tremendous obstacles. This is especially true if the being has a support network.
4) It is an example of confirmation bias. All the people that have died despite prayers are ignored, while a few unexpected recoveries are touted as miracles. Same for the rain prayer. When it fails people forget about it, but remember the times it has succeeded. Moreover, if there is a drought, eventually rain will come. It can not be claimed because a Deity(s) played a role.
5) I find it pompous for the individual(s) to think a Deity(s) has intervened on his/her/their behalf, while that same Deity(s) has ignored the suffering and death of millions of others.
6) A person who may believe that supernatural being(s) can intervene on their behalf with prayer has hope. This hope can reduce stress and help the immune system. Similar to the placebo effect of a sugar pill.
7) There have been statistical studies proving prayer does not work. For example - create two groups of ill people. One group has people praying for them and the other does not. A given person does not know to which group he/she belongs or perhaps the people don’t even know they are part of the experiment. Results of such studies demonstrate prayer has no beneficial effect.
8) No doubt people from ancient to modern times from each of the numerous faiths have prayed to their Deity(s) for intercession. And no doubt sometimes it appears that the Deity(s) have intervened. Should we conclude all these different Deity(s) have merit ?
9) Prayer like meditation can be beneficial for psychological and or psychosomatic reasons. These benefits have nothing to do with supernatural beings.
- Alter Cocker Jewish Atheist
- A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.