Gymnastics.

Look at these people. Look at how absurd they are.

Every few hours they gather in a room and crouch, bowing their heads to nothing. Bowing to thin air- bowing to someone they cannot see. They call it prayer. Knocking their heads against the ground multiple times a day.

Gymnastics, that’s what I call it. Gymnastics.

Weird people.

Me, I’m not weird. I’m not weird at all.

When I pray, I do not knock my head against the ground. No, nothing like that.

I also pray to someone I cannot see however. Maybe that’s one thing I have in common with those weird people. Just that one thing.

Just that one.

But I don’t knock my head against the ground. I do not do gymnastics.

What other completely non-weird things do I do?

Every month I give out ten percent of my income to the person I pray to- to this person whom I cannot see. This is not weird. This is not weird at all. The leaders of the religious organisations to which I pay this money to, get richer by the day. Buying private jets and what not. But that’s none of my business. I’m just doing as commanded by my invisible God.

Sometimes I find myself speaking in a language I do not understand. It feels and sounds like gibberish, but no- I do not believe it’s gibberish. I believe it’s the spirit of my invisible God speaking through me- speaking through me in a language I do not comprehend.

All of that is normal.

All of that is very normal. Not a smidge of weirdness in all of that.

At least I do not knock my head against the ground when I pray.

At least I do not do gymnastics.

 

Image Credits: https://aboutislam.net/spirituality/whats-the-wisdom-behind-the-postures-and-phrases-of-prayer/

On Religious Testimonies and the Placebo Effect.

On Religious Testimonies.

Hello everyone. My name is Mr Seun. I came to this gathering this evening with an intense throbbing pain in my stomach. The pain was so intense that I could barely stand up strainght. I crouched as I walked into this our gathering today.

During our meeting, our religious leader instructed us all to place our hands on whatever part of our body was in need of divine healing. I did as he instructed and placed my hand over my stomach. And then I prayed as instructed by our leader.

And to the glory of God!! The intense pain in my stomach is gone! It is gone! I can now stand up straight without feeling any pain!! Praise the Lord everyone!! Praise the Lord!!

 

On the Placebo Effect.

Hello. My name is Mr Dayo. I came to the doctor’s office today with a sharp pain in my left leg. The pain was so intense that I could not walk properly. I limped into the doctor’s office this morning.

During the meeting with the doctor, I explained my predicament to him and requested that he give me some drugs for the pain. I explained to him that I needed drugs to deal with the severe pain that I was experiencing.

The doctor agreed with me and gave me a number of capsules to take. Unknown to me however, the capsules had no medicinal benefit whatsoever, as they they contained nothing but sugar. They were simply sugar pills- placebos, with no medicinal effect whatsoever.

However my belief that I needed drugs to rid me of the pain was so strong that despite the fact that all I was given was sugar, my psychological standpoint helped facilitate an obviation of the pain I was feeling. I believed I needed drugs, and my belief caused me to no longer feel any pain after ingesting what I believed to be medicine.

 

Conclusion:

Here I’m putting forward the perspective that a considerable fraction of religious testimonies involve instances of the placebo effect: People believe that prayers are going to relieve them of some sort of discomfort, and it ends up doing so- regardless of whether the prayers in themselves have any empirical effect. People are essentially attributing the beneficial implications of the placebo effect to some divine being.

 

On Religious Testimonies and the Placebo Effect.

 

PS: I’ve found myself in a situation where I am being coerced into participating in religious activities (and I will be in this situation for some time). This series of posts about religion are I believe, simply an attempt to clean myself of all of the religious balderdash I find myself constantly surrounded with.

Hopefully all of these annoyances go away soon.

 

Image Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306437.php

Ineffectuality Regardless.

Tending to my chickens is the principal thing in my morning routine.

See how they’re doing, refill their feed, change their water, and generally make sure everything is okay with them.

I do all I can to make sure they live in the best of conditions.

I do all I can.

And then I pray.

Prayer is important, very important – even more important than refilling feed and replacing the water in the drinking trough.

I pray for my chickens.

I pray that they stay alive, and I pray that they grow healthy and fat.

I pray that they live in good health, and that sickness be very far away from them.

And then I pray against antagonistic powers. Against powers oriented against the welfare of my chickens.

I pray that these powers fail. I pray that they falter. I pray that they die.

Yes. I pray that any metaphysical powers- any person in fact, that intends to stand in the way of my chickens’ wellbeing should die.

Prayer is important, prayer is very very important.

 


 

Two of my chickens died last week. I don’t know what caused it. I do not know.

I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I’m not praying enough. Maybe I’m not giving enough money to the church. Maybe. But I know it means I need to intensify my prayers. I need to pray more fervently.

Some of my neighbours do not believe in the power of prayer. Some of them do not even believe in God. Fools. Complete and utter fools. How will one not believe in God? How? I feel sorry for them. For them and their chickens.

There is actually not any empirical evidence that my prayers have any effect on the welfare of my chickens however. My chickens are not any fatter than those of my neighbours. They are not any more insulated from sudden deaths. My chickens die just as frequently and just as sporadically as others. There exists no evidence whatsoever of the efficacy of my prayers.

But all that does not matter. My prayers work, I know they do. I am sure they go somewhere and are answered by someone. I feel it. I know it. I am sure of it.

My non-praying neighbours are fools. Fools of the highest order. My staunch belief in the need for prayer is unimpeded by the absence of any empirical evidence to support it. How else am I to protect my chickens from antagonistic powers if not by prayer? In this dangerous world? Amidst all of the evil powers that exist?

Prayer is key.

I get up from bed.

First I go to feed my chickens. I replace the water in the drinking trough.

And then I pray.

I pray my heart out.

Time to feed the chickens.

I leave my bedroom.

 

 

 

Image Source: https://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2017-06-30/so-youre-thinking-of-keeping-chickens/