Sunday, May 29, 2011
The Power of Prayer (Chapter III) ; Paging Dr. Jesus and Dr. Vishnu.
Christians are atheists with the respect of beliefs of Hindus. Hindus are atheists concerning Jesus and the God of the Holy Bible. Both religions have a completely independent view of the functionality and reality of the world. It is therefore safe to assume that these two religions both make incompatible claims concerning the realism of the world. It is taboo to notice this. Christians scoff at the notion that Shiva and Vishnu are just as capable of answering prayers.Just as Hindus scoff at the unrealistic view that Jesus and God Almighty are answering prayers as well. This is an extremely inconvenient dilemma when trying to defend the power of prayer. Let's examine:
Somewhere in the United States today a doctor is telling his patient some grim news. Cancer! The patient learns he has about a 40% chance of surviving this. With friends and family in total support it's time to get down to business to battling this cancer through state of the art technology and well educated professional doctors. As an added help to the fight the patient has recruited many prayer warriors through his facebook world and his church friends. Many prayers will be said on his behalf to their Christian God.
On the other side of the world in India another patient is being told the same thing. Cancer! And a 40% chance to beat it. Again, the patient will rely heavily on his doctor's expertise to give this guy the best possible chance for survival. As an added gesture,of course, the patient and his family and friends will pray to Vishnu and Shiva. Or perhaps Vishnu's avatars: Krishna and Rama.
It is the claim of religious believers that prayer works. Prayer heals. But the healing power of prayer is grossly exaggerated in our society. One should look no further than these two competing religions and their respective gods. Ever hear a Christian give praise and glory to Krishna for healing his/her cancer or brain tumor? Why not!? Krishna has been around a lot longer than Jesus. You have to assume Krishna and Vishnu have been responsible for healing the sick centuries before the great healer Jesus came into being. Hindu prayer warriors have the seniority here (For all my union buddies).
It seems to me that Christians have a lot more explaining to do concerning the incompatibilities of the worlds prayer logic and limbo. How can so many faiths in the world's religions get so many prayers answered without calling on the name of Jesus? Does God transfer prayer power to the Hindu gods? No. Of course not. The Christian is an atheist to the belief of Dr. Vishnu. Yet so many Hindu prayers are answered and unanswered in the same format as the Christian prayers. Isn't the moral of this story blindingly obvious? Prayer power is at a rate equal to chance regardless of the god you call upon in your hour of need.
The "Christian"cancer patient and the "Hindu" cancer patient have the same percentage of survival in our example. Their body will either be able to fight this cancer or it will not. No prayer is going to change that.( NOTE: One might claim that the patient in India might have an even higher chance than 40% if you consider that Indians,statistically speaking, make better doctors than Americans). Studies show ( google prayer studies) that prayer has no effect on recovering patients from surgeries. Studies also suggest,as mentioned above, that prayer is at a rate equal to chance.
Sam Harris,author of "Letter to a Christian Nation" offers a great insight from his book:
"While many people of faith seem convinced that prayer can heal a wide variety of illnesses (despite what the best scientific research indicates), it is curious that prayer is only ever believed to work for illnesses and injuries that can be self-limiting. No one,for instance, ever seriously expects that prayer will cause an amputee to regrow a missing limb. Why not? Salamanders manage this routinely,presumably without prayer. If God answers prayers---ever---why wouldn't He occasionally heal a deserving amputee?"
Thousands of gods have come and gone. All of which were in the prayer answering business. No one calls upon Zeus to heal the sick. Those prayers were answered in ancient Greece. Thor is dead. So are all the prayer answering gods in ancient Egypt. What happen? Those gods became extinct....Why would those gods ever die? They answered prayer. Right?! The God of the Bible;The God of Abraham, is the latest to bestow the honor. Unless of course you are Hindu,Buddhist,Muslim,or some folk religion in Africa. Therefore, you the believer are hard pressed to come to terms with the fact that A) There are multiple prayer answering gods in this universe,or B) Your God is no more likely to exist than all the other "living" and dead gods that are "answering prayers".
Matt Dillahunty host of the "Atheist Experience" local cable show in Austin,TX issues a challenge:
"I'm vaccinated against small pox. So all of you out there who'd like God to demonstrate his powers can simply pray for Him to hit me with small pox."
We live our lives at a rate equal to chance. Sheer luck and natural selection is the driving force behind the circumstances in which the way our lives play out. And no amount of prayer will ever change that. How can I be so sure? Consider the first 21 years of my life as a believer in prayer. I prayed in church...I prayed in home...I prayed when I thought I needed positive life results. For the last 15 years I have not uttered a single prayer. And the results of the circumstances in which my life has played out in this prayer to non-prayer ratio....They are exactly the same.