From Richard Dawkin’s new book, ‘The God Delusion‘.
‘Remember Ambrose Bierce’s witty definition of the verb ‘to pray’: ‘to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.’
There are athletes who believe that God helps them win – against opponents who would seem, on the face of it, no less worthy of his favoritism. There are motorists who believe God saves them a parking space – thereby presumably depriving someone else. This style of theism is embarrassingly popular…’
I see that kind of thing all the time. I know someone who gambles and thinks god helps them win, at the expense of the others I can assume. It’s an accepted mode of thinking, even though if you think about it, it’s utterly absurd. This clip from The Daily Show portrays how this kind of superstition has become part of the mainstream.
On the idea of ‘miracles’. Terry Pratchett (humor/fantasy author):
Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been Fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that’s a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events : the oil just spilled there, the safety fence just broke there : that must also be a miracle. Just because its not nice doesn’t mean it’s not miraculous.