Prayers and God’s Will

© Arun Nm


“Doctor, how is my brother?”


“He is not at all doing well. Now it’s up to prayers and God.”


When dealing with near and dear ones of critically ill people, I have heard many health care professionals saying this. Even some doctors/nurses who do not believe in prayers or a personal God (the one who interferes for us hearing prayers) practice it. For doing such things they have an explanation.


“Why should we extinguish all their hopes?”


Is it ethical to tell some one that prayer, which is proven to be ineffective, or a mythical concept called God can possibly help them? Does such an approach help?


It’s true that some patients recover miraculously even though chances of recovery was considered almost nil. They recover because some factor that helped them was over looked or is unknown to science. Science and its practitioners very well know this fact, and that is why we never say there is no chance of recovery. We always convey that chance of recovery is very slim; so we never extinguish all hopes.


But by saying only prayers/God can help is like giving false hopes. There is zero proof that prayers are useful. Same stands for God.  So by saying prayers/God can help, you are misleading them.


After hearing those words, if they foolishly wanted to shift the patient from intensive care to a shrine of worship for prayers you can only blame yourself.


Hearing about another member of the family getting sick, and their decision that praying to God is enough, again you cannot absolve from your guilt.


When men of science give such prominence to irrational methods in every day life, ordinary people tend to become irrational to the core. They will start to believe in faith healing and sorcery.


Now another scenario. There is a sudden and unexpected death in a family; the reaction may be like this.


“Sorry to hear your parents and brother were killed in that accident.  It’s all fate. Pre determined. We can’t change it”.




“Sorry to hear your parents and brother were killed in that accident. God calls back those who are dearest to him early!”



Asiana Airlines Plane CrashImagine this is about that recent fatal accident of the Germanwings aircraft.


Is that accident pre-determined? Are all such accidental deaths pre-determined? Are all deaths pre-determined? Then there is no point in trying to prevent them.


Similarly if God has special fondness for some people, should we mourn their death? Why should we treat and prevent the re-union of a gravely injured person and God by treating them?


But we, as a society try to do everything to prevent such deaths. We fight against fate and God’s will.


Now take that case of that German wings incident; it was not an accident. It was cold blooded murder of all passengers by the suicidal co-pilot. If you consider it as fate, or God’s will, then we need not do anything. No need for strengthening of medical check ups on pilots. No need to provide special keys to pilots so one pilot cannot lock the other outside the cockpit.


Concepts like pre-determinism and God’s will are not good ideas. They give us easy, but wrongful explanations for questions. If you are satisfied with such fake explanations and stop your search for real ones, you will never find any reasons for the myriad of things happening all around us. If human society as a whole, throughout its existence, truly believed in pre-determinism, there would never have been any progress from the hunter gatherer era.


It’s rationalism and disbelief in lazy explanations of fate that fueled the flourishing of human society.  Now even in this 21st century, it’s the laziness of those who want to believe in God’s will that is retarding our progress.


See more from Arun Madhavan HERE

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