Academic Writing
Creative Commons License photo credit: Max Choong

I know that there are many readers of this blog who are “of faith”.  Some, I respect for their willingness to enter into open discussion about their religion, and I accept that for some people, religion is a necessary part of their lives.  There are other people, however, who can’t see past blind faith.  And these people really need educating.  So let’s take a look at the most recent example, a group of people, based in Washington D.C believe that fuel prices have fallen because they hold regular prayer sessions at gas stations.

So let’s teach these people a basic rule of the universe.  Causation does not equal correlation.  It’s quite simple, and best illustrated by the Simpsons.  The crux is that if I do a rain dance, rain falling does not prove that my rain dance has worked.  It’s a classic mistake made for those looking for proof of religion.  If they pray for something to happen, and then it does, religious people will assume causation.  That their prayers caused the change to happen.  The problem with this is that, if you believe your prayers have been answered and there is causation there, you also have to accept that every time you pray and it isn’t answered, it’s one mark in the column that’s headed “There is no God”.  And there’s no way I’ll accept any response to this that  says “God moves in mysterious ways”, contains the words “grand plan/scheme” or makes any reference to free will.  Because if there was a God, these would surely be the most inane, selfish, prayers to answer.