Americans are overwhelmingly sure there’s a God who answers prayers.
Overwhelmingly! 83%! Sad isn’t it?
Despite the fact that with just a little honest thought, each and every one of the 83% of Americans that believe god answers prayers would have to admit that they’ve prayed for something and didn’t get an answer (Except those really ingenuous ones who say that “no” is an answer, thereby rationalizing a lack of response into a response. As I said. More delusion.)
Despite the studies that have found that their prayers are decidedly not answered, and in fact, may do more harm than good to those that are aware they are being prayed for.
Despite the millions of people that show up at abortion clinics and pray and pray and pray for their god to end abortion, the scourge of the earth in their opinion, and something god simply cannot and will not tolerate, yet – nothing happens! Abortions continue unabated despite the silly antics of religious groups, politicians and even legislatures.
Despite the enormous amount of human suffering caused by natural circumstances such as weather and disease, two things those 83% pray to their god to alleviate on a daily basis. To which he apparently says “Fuck you! Live with it. Life’s a bitch and then you die!” Sure everyone’s got a story about how they prayed for Aunt Tillie’s cancer to remit, and – Halleluia! – it did!, even though it would have even without the prayer, statistically speaking. Funny how if you pray for a human limb to regenerate (something statistically impossible) god ignores you. But for 83% of all Americans, that’s an inconvenient fact, easily ignored.
What’s really sad is that we live in a world of instant communication and knowledge. We know so much more about the natural world we live in than we ever have as a species. We have the ability to learn the truth about almost everything, but the majority of us go on through our lives blissfully ignorant, indeed willfully ignorant of this knowledge, instead choosing to place their reliance on an unseen, unknowable and non-existent entity that repeatedly pushes our face in reality and laughs at us.
C’mon people, wake up!
Prayer might make you feel good at the moment, but it does jack shit. At best it’s simply wishful thinking. At worst it’s willful delusion. It’s a delusion that allows you to rationalize away the realities of life, and when you can convince yourself that prayer works, you can convince yourself of almost anything, from faith healing, to homeopathy, to astrology, to ghosts, to video games flying across the room on their own invisible skateboards.
There is no empirical, repeatable evidence that prayer does anything but lull its believers into a false sense of security, only to dash their hopes and dreams to the ground when the inexorable advance of reality crushes into their lives.
And that’s just sad.