Atheists believe there is no God. Believers know there is one. Or more perhaps. I will start from an agnostic perspective. Which means, I don’t know.
But I will start from a point for which a lot of religious people won’t agree with me, although I am taking the concept from their books only.
The idea is: God is what resides outside the material world.
Which means, God does not interefere in the physical world. The physical world is governed by the laws of physics. If you drop an apple, it will always fall because of gravity, unless you apply an external force. If someone cuts your head, you will die, no matter how much you pray. Similarly, your prayers, though well intended, cannot cure a patient. One has to acknowledge this important point.
Some people might be sceptical of the claim that prayers don’t work. Yes, that’s the point. They are meant to give you strength and not some divine intervention to change your fate. Consider this experiment.
Take two aeroplanes. In one aeroplane, you are allowed to take all the believers whom you think are closest to God. But there is no pilot. In the other, you can put the worst people on Earth; murderers, rapists, thugs; people you think God would hate the most. But this plane has a well trained pilot.
Now, here is what you do. You ask the believers in first plane to pray and you ask the sinners in second plane to curse God. The pilot gets ready in the second plane; in the first, there is none, but they are praying to fly.
What will happen? Which plane will fly?
I think, we know the answer. The world works with physical laws and not under divine intervention.
What if we had trained pilots on both the planes, but in the first plane (that of believers’) the pilot jumps off mid air. Will God save them? Will God hear their prayers and save the kindest souls?
Whichever way you look at it, the magic is not going to happen. But humans are likely to fall for magic. We hear one news from somewhere how someone survived an illness just because they were praying to God and believe it. How gullible we are when it comes to superstitions.
We don’t pray to God when a train is coming towards us on the track. We step aside. If we take precaution, we survive. If we only pray, we die. But when it comes to situations where we cannot see the threat or understand it well, say a virus, we might fall into same superstition. We feel helpless, so we turn to God. But God will protect you from the virus in the same way as he will protect you in case you were falling off the sky or standing on the rail-track.
Some people suggest that it is the combination of two. Your efforts combined with God’s will. And you need to pray along with your efforts. This case I have described with the aeroplane example. Sinners are only as likely to die as believers in an air crash. You can try this experiment yourself.
(The discussion is ongoing and will be updated on regular basis)
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