Americans have seen the news story about the governor of Georgia hosting a prayer vigilto ask God for rain to help the drought stricken state.
They prayed yesterday and they are expecting showers tonight. Not exactly a speedy response on the part of the almighty.
Ignoring the whole “separation of church and state” bit here, I would like an answer to this one:
Suppose they held the prayer vigil on a warm cloudless day, just like they had yesterday, with the satellite images and radar and meteorologists all saying there was no chance of rain coming for the next 5 days. Right as they finished clouds rolled in and the rain started coming down. I don’t mean a little mist but a real downpour. Would that be considered proof that there is a God or would it still be chalked up to a coincidence and fluke weather pattern creating an unprecedented meteorological event?
Of course it would be considered a proof of God. America is filled to the brim with believers desperate for “proof”.
As for me, no I wouldn’t consider it proof. I’d consider it to be almost certainly an “unprecedented meteorological event”; that’s by far the most plausible explanation. There are so many other more plausible explanations than God; I’d believe fairies did it before I’d believe God did, because at least they make more logical sense and ignore fewer laws of physics. Or aliens with weather control machines, or Men in Black from the One World Order doing so as part of it’s Secular Zionist Communist Agenda.
God is at the bottom of the explanations to be considered.
The instruments were miscalibrated? The forecasters misinterpreted the data? Mass hysteria? LSD in the water supply?
It just seems like a tremendous leap to postulate “God.” Which god? How do you define god? Do you mean the Creater, He Who is All Things to All Men, Bigger Than the Universe deity? If you are going to assume a supernatural creature, why not a rain sprite? Why go all the way to god when a simpler imaginary creature fills the bill?
The cynic in me can’t help noticing that Sonny Perdue has twice called for prayer by the citizens of Georgia, and that each time he called for prayer, rain was already in the 10-day forecast.
In between those two calls for prayer, there were looong stretches with no rain at all in the 10-day forecast. I never saw Sonny tearfully praying for rain on the statehouse steps during those stretches.
I should have been clearer, sorry. What if the weather was clear and there was no chance of precipitation in the forecast? I didn’t mean yesterdays prayer vigil per se, I meant a day like that (warm, no clouds, etc.).
I wouldn’t accept it as “proof” of God but it would definitely make me look at what was considered a natural weather phenomenon.
Now see, I’d have to wonder why the “I love you, man!” god put them into a drought situation to begin with. I mean, if he could make it rain, why not just make it rain instead of causing trouble just for the hell of it? Is he unaware there’s a drought?
As for the situation in the OP proving the existence of a supernatural entity which created the entire universe and is subject to the whims and wishes of humanity…yes. It would. Also, if I get in a horrible car accident and I have my lucky penny in my shoe and I walk away without a bruise…yes. That penny is lucky. If I didn’t have that penny, who knows what would’ve happened? I might be dead.
It is almost never rational to revise a well-established theory in light of a single observation. If you have a well-supported theory, you shouldn’t discard it every time you come upon a stubborn piece of counter-evidence. Rather, you try to explain the counterevidence within the context of the theory. Eventually, enough such troublesome and unexplainable pieces of counterevidence may build up that the theory ends up being overthrown by another. But it is a misrepresentation of science (and indeed of rationality) that falsification takes only one observation. That’s not how science works, and that’s not how it ought to work. Thomas Kuhn talks quite a bit about this whole process in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Oh, so I guess the point is if you are an atheist, this one observation, though suggestive, shouldn’t necessarily force you to instantly convert to theism.