Religion tends to see God's promise as action first and foremost.  It is essentially action.  Thus in a sense if the sun rises every day that amounts to God promising to send the sun up every day.  Thus prayer is asking God to change his promise or at least start a new one.

So when you pray your prayer has this underneath it.  "Baby Joey will not get better so God is promising not to cure him.  I wish God could break his promise not to intervene.  I want him to do something help the little baby." This is hypothetical but refuses to accept God as God or his promise as good. In the real world you agree with God but no agreement is complete. The hypothetical is real too in its way and it shows what is inside you for ifs matter. It is reluctant tolerance you engage in rather than acceptance of God not curing the baby.

The intention is different for an atheist: “I just wish this baby was not suffering.” There is no direct insult to God in this.  But the atheist would be of the mind that if there is a God then he would pray as you would.  Atheism is clearly more honest.  Religion does not respect God as much as it wants you to think.  Small wonder then that if its God is about peace, the religion won’t be!

If you are happy inside you seem to many good things in. If you are bad inside you seem to make more misery for yourself and others.  How does the idea that you attract what you are relate to prayer? That idea is usually and basically about: “You have to love yourself to attract love and to receive it. You have to understand love.” The idea behind prayer is that God lets us sin and do evil when he has set it up to backfire and result in good after all. One thing that attracts people to that belief is that it highlights how stupid and futile evil is. But surely we should be more worried about the harm done than in the doers of evil or the evils themselves being made fools? It is hypocritical to act as if the act does not matter just the consequences. It is bad in itself! We cannot pick on people just because of what happens after they do something. And evil does not look stupid ever. We would not be doing it if we thought it was totally useless and unintelligent. It is never like that and at least a significant portion of it looks wise.  So the warning cannot really relate to many people.

What if hypothetically the risk of the evil working out was worth it?  Then we are saying that the problem with evil is not that it is bad but that it is useless.  People keep going around in circles with evil.  They cannot really get it out.  They can only keep it small or less obvious.

Attempts to show why God can endure and even wield evil and remain good, are referred to as theodicy. The gist of theodicy is that God is intolerant of evil and only lets it happen if it will backfire and if he can get enough good out of it. 

Naturally you only justify an evil if you see immediate and clear and undeniable reasons why it was needed. It is the way human nature is and the way it has needs.  Evolution has caused us to fear things that show no direct benefit.  Commonsense does too for we know we risk being taken for fools by those who do harm and fake justification for it.

Theodicy opposes that straightforwardness. Does it say, “It is not clear so we have to find the answer,” or, “It should not be clear so we have to think of an answer”?  It does not matter.   But theodicy leans to the latter for it assumes that even if it falls apart, we should maintain faith in the goodness and power of God. It usually says both.

To challenge or do away with the need for straightforwardness maligns human nature which needs and is entitled to an answer. It is evil itself. To even say that evil and God may fit, is to insult human nature.

There is an assumption that God is all-powerful and evil is not for it self-destructs.  That the foundation of the argument that both can co-exist. The almighty and the hardly-mighty can co-exist. It turns it into a discussion about power.

It is hard to see the need for God if you perceive that evil will turn on itself and evaporate and good will have to rush in.  Surely faith in evil being that inept anyway is enough?  There is no need for the stress put on the value of God.  There is if you want a sense of power by getting people to honour your deity.

One reason why we fall for the divine purpose for evil stuff so readily and so handily is because when something terrible happens we start the, “At least that didn’t happen or this.” Ad hoc after serious evils or serious matters is evil and is more about us than the suffering. It says something about us. And what it says is not good. We make somebody’s pain more about protecting ourselves from seeing and feeling how bad it is.

Freud said that we have a sense of being helpless in life and that is why we need a father God to look after us. We need the feeling that we are going to be okay. So we can only think this has to involve God and faith if we are brainwashed to. 

Christians say that if Freud is right that God is really a pretend subject while the real subject is the believer then this theory does not show that God is merely something that is not real but is just in our heads. God could be misused by all and still be real.  But it does show we are abusing God. We only want him for us not for himself. This God is abused. If so that explains why believers can be so vicious and hate atheists. Those who exploit God will soon start using everybody else too!

Christianity says you know from your relationship with God that it is a real relationship and prayers bring results.  This is an implicit attack on the pagan gods.  But worshippers of such gods would point to things they considered to be divine responses to prayers and sacrifices.  Also, pagans did not always expect the gods to help in the way they asked exactly.  They argued that no deity was supreme and gods disagree so there were more considerations than your prayer.  But they said you could be sure she or he was going to do their best and that is not always that easy to see.  This is exactly the "mysterious purpose" and the "help has been given but you just need to see it" patronising preaching that we are used to in Christianity.  Belief in God is founded on a lie about pagan gods being clearly useless.   If they are then God is as bad.  Do you want to call pagan worshippers liars?  Is that fair and neighbourly?  Belief in God cannot then be a foundation for morality.  Or prayer.  Prayer is really about seeking an outcome whether it is good or just or moral or not.


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