Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reasons God isn't real- #1- Prayer

This will be a new ongoing series that concerns itself with deconstructing the various central claims to religions around the world.  None of them individually could, or even should, be considered proof of the nonexistence of a god, but the cumulative effect should result in doubt of the claims of any divine artificer.

This month, we will talk about prayer.

I am constantly asked "What is my proof that God isn't real?" and normally I give the only answers that I should have to give.

I'm kidding! (I'm totally not kidding)

I answer either that the burden of proof is not on the one responding to a claim, it is on the claimant.  Or I answer that I have seen no evidence to support the god claim.  (The middle finger comes in only when Theists don't understand the "burden of proof" argument.  Logic isn't really hard, but reading is even easier...)

But I have decided to start putting forward positive reasons why God isn't real.  Or at least deconstructing claims to truth that are intrinsic in the god claim.

Like, I am pretty sure this is how Jesus did it.

So in tackling this subject I thought I would go big first.


This was one of the things that stuck out to me even when I was a Christian.

Prayer is nonsense, and it is a nonsense that is completely inconsistent with all the other teachings of religion.

                         God works in mysterious ways.

God is omniscient.                          
                        God only helps those who help themselves.                      

                                               God favours the meek.

When God doesn't answer my prayers, he "Works in Mysterious ways" so why bother praying at all if he is just going to do as he wants anyway?

God knows ahead of time everything that will ever happen, in fact he designed us to do exactly as we will do.

So prayer isn't really going to change anything is it?

If I was able to help myself, then I wouldn't need the prayer would I?

It isn't exactly meek to ask for supernatural help to just GIVE you what you want instead of humbly working for it yourself.  Praying seems more like enacting your sense of entitlement.  So again, it contradicts what the preachers tell me.

So I just never prayed.

Well sometimes I did....

Now of course this isn't the only reason that I think that prayer is a reasonable indicator that God isn't real.  There are many others....

Like the fact that it has been studied in double blind tests over and over again and shown to be ineffective every single time. (and please don't say that God didn't fulfill their prayers just because he was being watched.  That would make him a total jackass)

Or how about that prayer is morally reprehensible?

For someone to sit in his room, and speak to someone (or no one) that he HOPES might effect change (IF he feels like it, and IF it is in his plan), is lazy, self aggrandizing, and socially irresponsible.   It is lazy because instead of spending the time being productive or actually trying to effect a solution to the problem, he is pretending that he (or she) is calling in a favour from the supreme creator of the universe (pretty self important) instead of doing something for the person or persons in need.

Who does that help?

Ok, it MIGHT help him. (or so he says)

It only helps the person who is praying to feel better about what is going on without actually having to DO anything, you know....hard.  It makes that person feel righteous, and humane, and socially responsible, without ever having to do the things that social animals have to do in order to be seen in that light.

I have said it many times, PLEASE don't pray for me.  DO something to help.

Bake me a cake.  It is FAR more helpful than talking to yourself.

Ok, maybe it isn't always helpful. (Someone please take my fork from me!)

If you think that my being an Atheist is wrong, then try to convince me.  You are morally obligated to do so if you feel that I am in danger because of my choice.  But to wash your hands of it after you've prayed, thinking that you have done everything that you can is disgusting.

In your mind, I am going to the worst place imaginable, and all you are required to do is "pray" and hope that God hadn't noticed the predicament that I was in (or, in fact created me to be as I am if he were actually real).

Prayer only helps YOU and even then it only helps superficially.

No one else will see how "good" you are.

No one else will feel the effects of  your "Good works".

And most importantly, you are leaving it to chance that what you are so concerned about will resolve itself but yet get to walk away feeling as though you have done your part as a moral human being.


Now let me say, the inefficiency of prayer does not prove nor disprove the existence of a God.  But it certainly doesn't provide evidence or support to the idea that God IS real.

Ever notice how nothing that was ever "achieved" by prayer was anything that couldn't have happened on it's own, no matter how unlikely?

Unlikely things happen all the time.

I know that I have noticed it.

It's time that you do too.

Get off your knees,
                              and get those hands dirty to help someone in need!



  1. I won a bucket-load of cash at the casino. My father-in-law questioned how it is that we still don't believe in god. Based on the circumstance, logic states that I should believe in the OLG instead, so we're going back to worship it tonight.

  2. lol, OLG has at least manifested in a positive way. I always find it funny that people take events that MUST end in someone being fortunate (like gambling or a lottery) as signs of the divine. Each time someone has to win, why not me?

    Have fun at church!

  3. Any Christian that genuinely believes winning at a casino is some God given luck is just blind stupid, and I am a Christian.

    1. lol, no kidding. You certainly don't have to be an atheist to recognize this.

  4. gotta love how much hate is here. You'd think intelligence woudln't be so angry.

    1. I think that it is hilariously funny that your sense of entitlement and immunity from critique is so intense that you interpret any opposition to your viewpoint as hatred. There is no hatred, no rudeness, no incivility, and no discrimination.

      Your ninja comment (a comment that serves no purpose but to insult and run) is ironic, because it reveals your own hatred for anyone who doesn't believe as you do.

      Intelligence might defend your viewpoint.

      Intelligence might counter argue the points made in this post.

      Intelligence might recognize that religion is NOT immune to critique and step up to the plate and set people "straight" on whatever you think that I've gotten wrong.

      Intelligence might even recognize any valid points made and offer an alternate perspective.

      You however, did none of those things. You chose the low road and posted a defensive and unsupported ad-hominem attack in an attempt to undermine and distract from the point being made.

      If you would like to join the conversation, you will need a little less hatred, and a lot more considered answers.


  5. I believe (no pun intended) that it is proven that people who belief in a God live longer and happier lives. I am an atheist myself. Yet cannot stop wondering if it would be better to teach my kids that there is a God. It is a like making them believe in Santa. It benefits them. Yet I do not like lying.

    1. That simply isn't true. There is no link to secularism and depression nor religiousity and long life. Theists love to try and claim these things but with very little to no support. Teach your kids how to think, instead of about god or no god. That will serve them better in all walks.

    2. I would like to say when people say, what would you rather have? money or jesus's love, many respond with the love. Now if you were to think about this, if someone is homeless or in need of money to get back up on their feet, the money would help them, not jesus's love. As much you may THINK it will help you, what would the love really do? I know some people who think every little miracle is gods doing, so every time a fall and don't hurt myself, is that "gods doing?" did he "save" me? No, i also find that when people have something good happen in their life, they think "oh, cool, god helped us" How did he help you? What did he do? Its just the way of the world and luck that something good will happen to some people, what makes you people think that god did it, and its all his doing? If he really was this great, he would help us now. God in my opinion is just a way to answer questions back then that we couldn't answer. just like how in some cultures, like the greek, they said the sun was pulled by a god, and the moon rose by another god, they didn't know this to be true, so they just came up with an easy answer and it expanded, we now know this to not be true, and that it is the cause of gravity. What makes you think god did all this? And when i ask people "what makes you think god is real" they reply with "he has helped me through tough times, and he will help you too" well thats fantastic, why not consider that it was YOU who got through the times, not gods help, how is he special? How did he help you? You say hes holy and that he is the best and helps all, how does he do this? I know money would help some people over some fake guys "love" how does his love TRULY help you? It boggles my mind that people think he exists, and he did almost everything. And how does a book and folk tale make him real? People don't believe tribes when they speak of fire gods and that stuff, its all fake told down from stories, just like this, and don't tell me i haven't opened my eyes and embraced him, i was a christian at one point, but then i realized "wheres the proof? He hasn't helped me through anything." Some people say praying is the answer your prayers will be answered, im sure homeless people pray, but their still out there, if god was real, he wouldn't be that cruel.

    3. I couldn't agree more! I think it is a debilitating crutch that some people lean on when they give away their power and successes to imagined people like Jesus. They devalue their own ability to escape terrible situations and life choices and they give away their power to do so again without the help of outside agencies. More people need to think like you.

  6. What I don't understand, is that when something good happens, the religious attribute it to god, but when something bad happens, it's their fault. This makes no logical sense to me. Religion is detrimental to the health if everyone and it needs to be eradicated. I believe it's a disease, and logic is the cure.

  7. That is their confirmation bias at work. Good things are there because god did it, bad things are either becuase we deserved it, or because it is part of his plan (immoral). I agree that dogmatic and limiting thinking like this is detrimental to our society and to our health as a population as a whole. Logic is a weapon against it, but conversation is the cure. Let's keep having it!