Remember Sigfried Gold, the atheist who found solace in prayer even though he didn’t believe in God?
Now, he’s back to respond to his critics. And I don’t think he’s converting many people to his ways in the process…
… My fellow atheists have suggested, not always politely, that I’m not an atheist, that I’m not really praying, and that praying is not acceptable behavior for atheists. As politely as I can manage, I would like to defend myself on all three counts.
Now, I can’t claim to speak for all non-reality-based people, but I don’t need imaginary friends, either. I lived for 45 years without them. I just happened to find that when I started talking to an imaginary friend, certain struggles began to evaporate. It became easier to act according to my conscience.
Whatever works, I guess.
It’s easy to mock Gold, but let’s give him some credit. He admits he’s talking to an imaginary friend. He acknowledges that he’s just succumbing to a powerful placebo effect (while knowing it’s a placebo). That’s more than any religious person has ever done.
I don’t see a need to give it a try myself because I’d feel like an idiot praying to someone I know isn’t listening. But I suppose, as Gold says, it’s just more evidence in the power of belief in belief.