neither the inclination nor the time


“Isn’t it amazing?”

The topic of divine intervention has been brought to my attention. The kind of thing where someone was ill and because of lots of praying their god decided to cure them. But it’s not just big things like that, there are also the everyday ‘miracles’. Stuff like, ‘I was feeling down and my friend arrived out of the blue’ I have noticed is frequently attributed by the religiously inclined to the intervention of their god.

Two little words, even for me with my lack of mathematical prowess, immediately spring to mind: probability and coincidence. The chances of something happening can be small, or even¬†minuscule, but that means that they can still happen, by chance. Indeed, they also happen, by chance and as frequently, to people who don’t pray and who have no religious belief at all.

The other thing that baffles me about the people who waffle on about all the great things their god has had the inclination and time to bestow on them, is how they view their god’s apparent lack of motivation to intervene in the lives of people for whom things don’t go quite so well. You were saved from a serious illness, but the other 99% of people who die from that same illness were what, just not praying correctly?

It’s old-fashioned superstition at its worst to imagine that an invisible being is tinkering around to do the occasional ‘nice’ thing or magic cure for select individuals who perform the correct ritual (be that praying, sacrificing chickens or reciting a poem made up in the Middle Ages), while doing nothing about the serious, miserable and painful plight of millions of other human beings around the world. If I thought for a minute such a deity existed, I would be rather displeased with her.