On Quora, the website where questions are answered by people with some sort of unique insight into the matter, someone asked a simple question: “Do many atheists pray to God, just in case?”
Many of you, I’m sure, would answer no because Pascal’s Wager (which is all this is) isn’t a good reason to pray to God. It could be the wrong God, we could be doing better things with our time, etc.
Joe McCracken answered that question by telling one of the most incredible stories you’ll ever hear. It’s about the worst moment of his life, and how he knew praying to God wasn’t going to help him at all.
He was out windsurfing with friends when the weather got really bad. He was too far out to be seen by the rescue boat that came for everyone else. He was stuck. He was alone. And that’s when he began to take action.
The details are worth reading in full, but let me cut to the moral of his story:
… I now know that being religious and keeping all my faith in others could have resulted in my death. Being an atheist saved my life. I knew that the only person who could save me was me. Praying would have done nothing. Waiting for more rescue services would have done nothing. Taking the bull by the horns and assuming control of my own destiny was what was needed. When I was in my foxhole, being an atheist saved my life.
It’s an incredible story, and any atheist who has ever been in a perilous situation could probably share a similar one. Actions, not words, are what make a difference. Prayer may bring some people comfort, but that’s all it’s ever going to do. If you want things to change, sending a message to someone who’s not listening isn’t going to help.
(Image via Shutterstock)