Re: "No Health Benefit From Prayer"
I don’t want to address the major thesis of the article today. I turn your attention to the following:
“Many theologians say that, even if you believe in the power of intercessory prayer, such a trial is doomed to failure because it "puts God to the test" - and there are clear instructions in the Bible not to do this.
The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Tom Wright, said:
“Prayer is not a penny in the slot machine. You can't just put in a coin and get out a chocolate bar. This is like setting an exam for God to see if God will pass it or not.”
This is a pretty common excuse made for the failure of such experiments. It is basically predicated on many instances of religious failure, covered up by ready-made excuse scripture. This is damage-control scripture banning testing (read “questioning”) the whims of the super-being as to the dispensation of magic intervention. My question is, do people who mouth this excuse really hear what they are saying? Or, are they so steeped in their own delusions, rationalizations, and denials that they are incapable of accepting the ramifications of this statement?
If the “don’t test god” assertion is true, then the alleged god would rather punish the innocent than reveal itself through direct and measurable action. The people being prayed over had no complicity in this experiment. The alleged god is essentially made to say, “Screw the worthy, these other guys over here are testing me and that pisses me off!” To borrow a phrase, either god is a dick, or god does not exist. Such a god would not be worthy of worship in any case.