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Prayer

Leif RømckeApr 28, 2020, 12:12:05 PM
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Attempted communication with supernatural beings (SBs).


Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

Usually prayer means asking dear SB for a favor. There are people who believe that prayers are effective in treating diseases, avoiding coronaviruses, overcoming enemies, and winning football games.

Some religions require parents to pray to a SB for their sick children rather than using health care. Fortunately, not so common nowadays. Such parents do not pray pretty please, but show total submission to an almighty SB.

If a SB intercedes, the supernatural world interferes with what happens in the natural world. This, at first glance, seems like a good thing. Who would not like be able to break the laws of nature in tricky situations? However, there are at least two reasons to believe that a SB to intervene in the natural course of events is absurd.

An omnipotent SB would not allow a primitive man to bring Him joy or sorrow. Epicurus claimed that humans created god(s) in their image, not that god(s) created humans in their image. A SB would not be perfect if our prayers and appeals could affect its mood and balance of mind.

More serious is the fact that, if a SB could suddenly change the course of nature, human experience and science would become impossible. Immanuel Kant argued that only if we experienced events as causal, can we gain experience at all.

There are thus logical, scientific, and metaphysical reasons for not researching whether prayers can cure the sick. The idea is logically contradictory, scientifically absurd, and metaphysically degrading.

Once you introduce the possibility of SBs being the cause of events, there is no justification for assuming that only the Judeo-Christian God interferes; or that SBs only interfere when prayers are involved.