Kapanalig Sa Wala - Literally, one who also have faith in nothing, is a play on words and wasn't really intended to mean something. It was made in jest to call the atheist camp when I was still actively debating god in one of the demised public forums out there. I think walang pananalig (faithless) would have proven to be more precise but I think the intended humor will be lost.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Power of Prayer

Everytime I leave the office, I say my goodbyes to the people who are still working. In IT, you know a lot of developers do it as programming is a creative process. I have a few colleagues who are Pinoys and I always make it a point that I'd drop by their cubicles before I leave. My favorite expression to them is Magpakabait ka (be good). This evening, it's my turn to be left behind and W, my Pinay colleague who sits next to me, said the same thing. "Yes, I will," I replied. Then put my hands together as if in the act of praying. She said, being good is doing good not in praying to be good. Now, this is what I also believe. Being good has got nothing to do with praying. She said, it's like praying to be rich. You can pray all you want but no amount of praying, if praying is all you do, can make you rich. You have to work (hard) for it. That is obvious of course. What is not obvious for the believers though is this: you need not pray at all in order to accomplish anything, including getting rich. Prayer has got nothing to do with work. I asked her if she's heard about Occam's Razor. She said she haven't so I proceeded to explain it to her. What you have just told me is practical Occam's Razor. I will give you another example. I have this paper cup on my table. I placed it in front of me and pretended I was praying. I told her, I can pray all I want but the paper cup wont move, no Divine Intervention coming my way. I know it and she knows it and you know it but if you are a fanatic, you wont be able to accept it, but it's true nonetheless. What I can do is use my hand to move the cup, which I did. Normally, one would not see anything unusual in this simplistic exercise. It's not an issue as moving the cup is a straightforward undertaking where there are not much unknowns involved. But as more unknowns are added into the situation, as more ignorance is involved, bigger and bigger portion of the exercise are attributed by the religious that a Cosmic Force is out there helping us thus, "sa awa ng diyos, nailipat ko yung tasa." Such is the supposed power of prayer. To me, it's nothing but a function of the believer's ignorance and misguided belief.

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