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Author Topic:   The Atheist Prayer Argument Is A Dull Generalisation Predicated On INEXPERIENCE
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 4755
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003

Message 1 of 3 (912156)
08-18-2023 3:17 PM

Black swans are found in south Australia and Tasmania.
Atheists; "I don't know anyone that has seen a black swan in New York, none of my friends do. Indeed if I ask many people from all over the world who I know online they also don't know of any and don't know anyone that does, therefore they don't exist."
This is the atheists general argument for prayer.
The usual argument goes something like this with many of the popular atheist speakers; "children get bad illnesses, parents are praying all over the world, if prayer is real show some scientific proof of it. The truth is prayer doesn't work." (or something like this as an argument)
What is the problem with the argument? Well it depends on the silent-assumption that God is a being made in the image of human reason, that should and would do everything a human being says God should and would do. (not a person filled with biases please note, like if you argue for answered prayer as a believer.)
So yes, if your beliefs are a sort of general theism where God is just a nice guy then you are right, generally prayers are landing on deaf ears.
However, if God is the Lord God of the bible, then we are made in God's image and we are told it's a sinful, fallen world and we have a sinful, fallen nature. Under this scenario, like with the black swan, you only really get pockets of true died-in-the-wool believers that truly have God's spirit being born again spiritually as Jesus mentioned, and these are the people that do get their prayers answered, I can testify to.
However they are not answered under the assumptions of a general theism. Jesus said for example, "in this world you will have trouble, but do not fear I have overcome the world."
So when an atheist says to us, "God hasn't cured cancer, God hasn't fixed the world", they are labouring under the delusion that God wants to fix the world. In fact it says in the New Testament that this, "world and it's desires are passing away but he that does the will of God will abide forever." (see how assumptions change if we don't just go with atheists that don't open the bible?)
So under Christianity at least, God isn't going to employ large-scale fixes, because Jesus didn't come and die on the cross to save the earth but the eternal soul, hence the person will abide forever but the world will, "pass away".
Is the atheist general prayer argument one of the most annoying? Yes, because of their inconsistent behaviour. Because if we get an answered prayer then according to atheists we are fallible fools that commit post hoc reasoning and confirmation bias and are riddled with all sorts of foibles. But when it comes to prayer not getting answered we are supposed to believe humans are all of a sudden NOT these fallible, bias-ridden creatures but are all of a sudden making perfect judgements about what God would or should do if God exists.
You can't win.
Conclusion; so we are basically uselessly inept fallible apes if our prayers are answered but if we say they're not we're perfect morally-pure all-knowing Einstiens that know how God should exactly behave.
If you instead want to be an informed atheist that is consistent, you have to look into what you preach. You preach humans are fallible and make all sorts of mistakes and can't be trusted, which means this would not place you in a good position to judge an all-knowing God. Nor would your subjective moral-commands be regarded logically as anything more than favourite flavour of icecream. (arbitrary and baseless, as evolved apes)
Get over yourself. Inexperience doesn't count as experience, if a witness sees Jack the ripper it doesn't matter if most people didn't, so no, we don't have to conclude that the majority of people are correct in saying that the ripper doesn't look like what the witness reported them to have looked like.
Disclaimer; I am not trying to provide a persuasive argument for prayer being real. As far as I am concerned the correct people already know God answers prayer being of a noble conscience and honestly seeking the true answers according to God's will, in a position of integrity. I am not covering the philosophical, "problem of evil and suffering" as it is known.
I am also NOT invalidating atheist concerns when it comes to genuinely being puzzled as to why God would allow the suffering of innocent children for example. I am NOT saying that this is not a legitimate concern. ALL PEOPLE struggle with the negatives that exist, and the questions are honestly asked. That isn't the issue.
The issue is this; does it make rational sense to argue limited humans could ever compete with understanding these matters on an omniscient level? Does it make logical sense to see human atheists as the standard? Well if you are really rational would would say, "no, because an all-knowing God can have reasons only they can fully understand rather that what just seems like truisms to us, which may in fact only represent simplified concepts on our own inferior level."
After all we can't really compete in any other areas can we? For example do you know any atheists have have invented any contraflow lungs or a brain or metamorphosis? But these would all be attributable to God's level of understanding under the biblical worldview.
Conclusion; It doesn't matter how wide and far ignorance extends, it cannot be counted as experience and knowledge. Black swans simply exist.

mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 4755
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003

Message 2 of 3 (912157)
08-18-2023 3:36 PM

Imagine we have a theory that in one billion bags in a warehouse there are only red balls.
If you find 500 million red balls, it will not matter if the following ball is blue, the theory is false.
In the same way logically speaking if one true miracle occurs on earth beyond question, this would negate the absence of forty two million billion zillion miracles.
If prayers are not answered generally, this is NOT an impressive argument that God does not exist.
Even Darwin knew and employed this logical thinking when he said that if there were to be just one anatomy that could not be explained by evolution his theory could be counted as false.
So what atheists may believe is a good reason to dismiss God, may for others just lead them to another question, that question being; then why the rarity?
It makes consistent sense that if the bible is true and we do have a sinful nature, that you don't get the gift without the giver.
God is not a friend with benefits, or a Santa claus you can take gifts from then on boxing day say, "now phuck off, we just want the gifts".
No being likes to be used. Can you name one intelligent person that wants to be treated with disrespect and have people be mean to them?
Look at J.K.Rowling. They want her creation but they want to divorce her from it. "give us the Harry Potter, but cut J.K out of Harry Potter!"

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Message 3 of 3 (912160)
08-18-2023 4:13 PM

Thread Copied to Faith and Belief Forum
Thread copied to the The Atheist Prayer Argument Is A Dull Generalisation Predicated On INEXPERIENCE thread in the Faith and Belief forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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