Personally, I think this argument against petitionary prayer appears more convincing to me, so this paper would mainly about some responses to the objections to the petitionary prayer arguments. Specifically, the objection I am focusing on is called the institutional challenge. I would show this objection after listing the detailed original arguments against petitionary prayer. First, I would present the exact petitionary prayer arguments as demonstrated in Howard-Snyder’s paper(Howard-Snyder, Daniel; Howard-Snyder, Frances 2010) , which is as follows:
1. Either doing something is the best God can do or it is not.
2. If it is the best God can do, then your asking won’t make any difference to whether he does it.
3. If it is not the best God can do, then your asking won’t make any difference to whether he does it.
4. So, your asking won’t make any difference to whether God does it.
This argument needs some assumptions to work. First, we need to assume that God must do the best he can. Second, we need to assume the crucial assumption(CA) It is that “God’s bringing about a state of affairs in response to a petition cannot be better than the alternatives, and asking God to do something cannot change the moral status of his doing it, all by itself, independently o...
... middle of paper ...
.... Regardless, relation is a complicated idea and we cannot be assertive that any kind of behavior would strengthen it or weaken it. Maybe the action of prayer is only promoting some people’s relations to God, and it is just too little to make God decree the institution of petitionary prayer.
Back to the institution of petitionary prayer, I think it is not valuable, because first, it doesn’t promote the relation between God and human. Second, even if it promotes the responsibility, the responsibility may not make people better off. Accordingly, the institution of petitionary prayer, even if it exists, would not be decreed by God.
In summery, I think the petitionary prayer argument is a solid argument. Even though I am not a theist, given a theist assumption, the argument itself still seems to be the most convincing one compared to all the other objections towards it.
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