Unreasonable Faith uses a recent comment in which the central question is framed for a nurse:
Now I’d like to ask you a question… why did you go through all the necessary medical training if you believe that prayer can heal people?I have certainly blogged about this many times before, as has nearly every other atheist blogger with whom I am familiar. Still, I continue to find it a fascinating question. May that is because I have yet to hear a religious person answer sufficiently. (None of the following are sufficient answers: "God works in mysterious ways," "God helps those who help themselves," or "I don't claim to know the mind of god." Meaningless cliches? Yes. Sufficient responses? No).
The question can be phrased a variety of ways:
- If you believe in prayer, why do you have insurance?
- If you believe in prayer, why do you invest?
- If you believe in prayer, why do you have a burglar alarm?
- If you believe in prayer, why do you see a doctor?
If "prayer works" means nothing other than the act of praying makes me feel better, I do not disagree. But if it means anything more than that, then those advocating the wonders of prayer should have no need for the reality-based alternatives to which they cling. And if it does not always work, work completely, or only works on the small matters, then what does this say about your god?
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