There is a pervasive and somewhat lopsided tendency in our society to separate fellow humans into the categories of being either “believers” or “non-believers”. The not-so-subtle implication is usually that there is something wrong with you if you are a “non-believer”.
Let’s play a little game; I’ll take the position that there really is something wrong with non-believers. But first, let’s swap the traditional idea of who is a believer and who is a non-believer.
For example, if I have a ball in my hand and I hold my arm straight out from my body and I drop the ball, I believe that the ball will always fall “down” – towards the ground. In our game, non-believers are the people who will say that god can make the ball go up, or sideways, or turn into a flying cheeseburger and flap its wings at the moon.
If we get all the non-believers on Earth to PRAY really hard, and ask god to make the ball go “up” when I let go of it, I still believe it will go down.
If you ask a believer why the ball will go down instead of up, the typical explanation you will get is that “gravity is a force that attracts two objects proportional to their mass”. In general, the answers that believers give you will have something to do with gravity, and the answers will be relatively consistent on average. Without some external physical force (a blast of air, or someone swatting it with a tennis racket for example), believers will say that the ball will drop “down” even if you conduct the experiment hundreds of billions of times, as long as the Earth and the ball have mass.
However, if you ask all the non-believers why praying to god doesn’t ever change the fact that the ball goes down when dropped, you will get a bunch of different, inconsistent, and largely contradictory answers.
One of the answers you might get is that ‘god doesn’t work that way’. I love that answer, I hear it all the time. I keep asking all the non-believers how god does work, and no one really seems to know. ... [More]