- Published on Monday, 20 July 2009 01:07
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 3148
Why do people imagine that another being (god) can hear silent prayers? Bowing one's head and praying silently assumes that a god can not only read your mind but decipher 6 billion minds simultaneously. Psychics and others claim to read minds but it has been proven to not be possible.
There are three questions to answer here:
- Is a mind accessible to any being, god or otherwise, other than the person with the thoughts?
- If it is accessible, can a god distinguish between all the thoughts generated?
- If god can distinguish, why would god listen and why would god care?
I am going to try and follow the theists argument here - the answer given by theists to the first two questions is that god by definition is omnipotent so of course minds can be heard and separated. But minds are patterns of electricity or chemicals in brain cells and have no external effect so are not detectable by anything physical. So god must invent a new law of the universe that applies only to minds and not to the rest of the physical world. If you are omnipotent, I suppose anything is possible - at first glance. But god supposedly created this world including all the laws that define it - so he must have created a set of mystical laws too but we have not yet found them. This is getting to be a real stretch to believe - a set of laws that the millions of theologians over the millennia have not yet found? No theologian has begun to explain anything about reading minds or how minds work or how god reads them. It's a "given". Sorry, doesn't work. So I don't believe that minds can be read - many interrogators would love to figure out how to do this but never have. That's because it's not possible.
But, putting this aside for the minute, why would god listen to all the world's minds and why would god care? Supposedly god listens because god cares! Huh? Why? If you create a whole lot of people, why do you care what they think? I would only care what they do. The original teachings (e.g. from the old testament) show that early gods looked for worshipping, sacrifices, killing of non-worshippers etc - all actions. Praying was a public thing - just like Muslims do today - bowing down and such. The idea that god cares what we think just does not pass any common sense test.
So whenever I am in a public group and we are asked to bow our heads and pray (e.g. saying grace or praying for dead people), I just use the time to think about something useful - like what I'm going to write in my next article!
P.S. There is a whole web site dedicated to the subject of god not listening to prayer. It's called "Why won't God heal amputees". Worth a visit.