Proving that prayer is superstition|
By watching this short video, you will be able to prove to yourself that the belief in prayer is a superstition. Every answered prayer is a coincidence, nothing more. Let's start by understanding how superstitions work.
Imagine one day that your uncle gives you his lucky horseshoe. He says to you, "This horseshoe has never failed me. Just tell the horseshoe what you want, and it will bring it to you."
This sounds good, but you are a little skeptical. So you decide to try it out.
You take six dice in one hand and the lucky horseshoe in the other. You say, "Lucky horseshoe, give me six sixes!" And you roll the dice.
So think about it. What do you suppose is going to happen? If you are a normal, intelligent person, you know what will happen - chances are that you won't get six sixes because the odds are only one in 46,000 that you will get six sixes. It is not going to happen very often.
Does the lucky horseshoe have any effect on the dice? Does the horseshoe change the odds of getting six sixes? No. The horseshoe has absolutely no effect.
Can we prove it? Yes. We can test it scientifically. We roll the dice thousands of times, invoking the lucky horseshoe each time. We find that the horseshoe has no effect whatsoever on the dice.
Therefore we call the belief in lucky horseshoes a superstition. A superstition is defined as:
We can prove that the belief prayer is a superstition in exactly the same way. Let's look at several examples.
Imagine that your aunt says to you, "If you pray to God, he will answer your prayers." You ask her the obvious question, "How do you know that?" She says, "I have prayed to God hundreds of times. He always answers my prayers just like he says in the Bible." Then she quotes you two Bible verses.
In Mark 11 verse 24 Jesus says:
"Dear God, please help me to roll six sixes. I have faith that you will answer my prayer as you promise in the Bible. In Jesus' name I pray, amen."
And you roll the dice.
What do you suppose is going to happen? If you are a normal, intelligent person, you know what will happen. Nothing. You will not roll six sixes any more often than normal if you pray.
We can scientifically prove this. We can roll the dice thousands of times, praying to God each time. We find that prayer has no effect on the dice whatsoever.
Any intelligent person can see what is happening here. The prayer has exactly the same effect as the horseshoe. That's because the belief in prayer is a superstition, just like the belief in lucky horseshoes.
Understanding example 1
A superstitious person who believes in prayer cannot see that prayers and horseshoes are identical. Instead, a superstitious person clings to the superstition and creates excuses to explain why it does not work.
Instead of making excuses for the superstition, Here is the imporant thing to understand: Prayer has exactly the same effect as a horseshoe.
The perfect equivalence between prayer and horseshoes is undeniable.
What if we try this prayer instead:
Dear God, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you promise in the Bible. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
This is an important prayer. Millions of people die of cancer every year [http://www.cancure.org/statistics.htm]. There is lung cancer, brain cancer, Colon cancer, skin cancer and all the rest. We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.
What do you suppose is going to happen? Will God reach down and eliminate all the cancerous cells? If you are a normal, intelligent person, you know what will happen. Nothing. This prayer will have no effect whatsoever.
Here is the interesting thing. If you ask a lucky horseshoe to cure every case of cancer, the exact same happens.
Prayer has exactly the same effect as a horseshoe. The belief in prayer is a superstition.
If you a superstitious person who believes in the power of prayer, you are making excuses right now. You might be thinking "That prayer is too big." or "It would be too obvious for God to answer this prayer." or "God intends for us to suffer."
Instead of making excuses, what if we accept the reality of this situation? The perfect equivalence between prayer and horseshoes is undeniable.
If the prayer in example 2 was too big, let's try a smaller prayer. We find 1,000 deserving cancer patients. We split them into two groups of 500. We pray for the people in the first group, and we touch the people in the second group with a lucky horseshoe.
What do you suppose will happen? Will God reach down and cure all the people in the first group? Of course not. Statistically, the two groups will be identical. Praying for people has no effect on disease.
The reason is simple.
Prayer has exactly the same effect as a horseshoe.
You might be thinking "Now wait a minute, I know lots of people who have been cured by prayer."
Here's what is happening.
Let's say that there is a form of brain cancer that has a 10% survival rate. When people get this form of cancer, 1 person lives and 9 people die. They all pray. The one who survives shouts, "I prayed to God and he saved me!" But you never hear from the nine who died, because they are dead. So it sounds like prayer works, when it fact prayer has no effect.
The "answered prayer" is a coincidence, nothing more.
Let's find a deserving Christian who has had a leg amputated. Now let's assemble a million faithful believers in a prayer circle. In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says:
If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
Let's have one million faithful believers pray to God to spontaneously restore the amputated limb.
What do you suppose will happen? Will the hand of God reach down and restore the limb? If you are a normal, intelligent person, you know what will happen. Nothing. This prayer will have no effect whatsoever.
Do you see the pattern?
We have looked at 4 examples. In each case, the effect of prayer is exactly the same as the effect of a lucky horseshoe. We could look at a hundred more examples and see the same thing. Prayer has exactly the same effect as a horseshoe in every case.
There are not special laws of probability for people who pray. The laws of probability are always the same whether you pray or not.
There are not special laws of nature for people who pray. Otherwise, the laws of nature would behave differently when people pray, and none of our scientific equations would work.
The belief in prayer is pure superstition. Every answered prayer is a coincidence. We can prove it in hundreds of ways.
What does this mean?
Imagine that you are sick in the hospital. If your friend were to say, "Dear lucky horseshoe, please work your healing power on this disease," we would think she is an idiot for being so superstitious. We all know that horseshoes have no effect on disease. It is the same if she prays to cure the disease. Prayer has exactly the same effect as a horseshoe.
Imagine that you are a soldier and your platoon is going into battle. If your commander were to say, "Dear lucky horseshoe, please protect these soldiers from harm." we would think he is an idiot for being so superstitious. A horseshoe does not protect anyone. It is exactly the same to pray for protection. Prayer does not protect anyone either.
And think about this. What if a minister says, "God tells you to tithe money to the church. If you do, God will answer your prayers." This is fraud. The minister is lying to you in order to get your money. The belief in prayer is pure superstition.
It is time for us to state the truth: prayer is a superstition. It is time to point out that the superstition of prayer, like all superstitions, is silly. And it is time for us to end the fraud.
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