Oh The Irony Of Atheists’ Threatening To Pray

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PrayerThis is just funny. And I’m going to preface that it’s funny in one of those “offensive” ways that really isn’t offensive. It’s only offensive if you take things seriously. Then again, it specifically targets people who take these things seriously, so it’s bound to be received as offensive. It’s fun being an outspoken atheist sometimes:

On Sunday, November 8, atheists will launch a coordinated prayer attack against God. Nonbelievers around the world will hurl a bevy of meaningless prayers at God, coordinated by Facebookin an effort to inundate God’s prayer receptors and force them offline. The offensive is based on the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that have been staged against IranGeorgia, and the Global Atheist Convention website.

That’s right! We’re hijacking the Prayer Request Line! You messed with our way of communicating, now we’re going to mess with yours!

From the Facebook event:

This is a call to all non-believers and advocates for freedom of speech to join us in a global co-ordinated minute of prayer with the aim of inundating God (in this context, the Christian god, God, as distinct from the Greek god, Zeus, the Egyptian god, Ra etc etc) with so many useless prayers that it causes his divineness to go offline as as result of our own DDOS (‘Divine’ Denial of Service).

This is wonderful. I think I might participate if I remember. It’ll be worth a good laugh.

Here’s what is best about it: it’s a win-win for atheists.

First, we don’t actually have to do it. We just have to say we’re going to do it. I doubt anybody actually is going to do it. It’d be silly, since we don’t believe in prayer or in God and it would just be pretend.

If believers are upset we’re doing it, then it’s either funny because they believe a DDOS could happen or because they don’t like to be reminded their prayers don’t work. Either way, atheists are making the point that prayer doesn’t accomplish anything. And the icing on the cake is that we’re doing something by praying!

This is satire at its very best. Hopefully we can have some critical dialogue with believers about it while we’re at it instead of just pointing out the huge flaws in their beliefs. It seems like this is already happening on the Facebook event.

Bianca Pollock was not happy:

I’m sorry, but I am a Christian. I don’t support any attacks on anyone’s belief systems. Someone or somebodies attacking a website because they disagree is disgraceful. But I am sad that you feel the need to make this move against a God you don’t even believe in. Please don’t lump all Christians in with what is obviously a small and very embarrassing minority. Rise above it.

What constitutes an “attack” on a person’s belief system? That’s a question that too often goes unanswered. Frankly, it’s probably because it means pointing out that a person’s beliefs are wrong, and that’s just not nice. Unfortunately, it happens to be true. I hope I never get to a point in my life where I prefer complete ignorance and foolhardiness over truth and understanding (“cold” and “hard” as it may be).

But folks have been responding to Bianca in constructive ways. Here are a few of the responses:

Dan Kerr wrote:

@Bianca – its not an attack on anyones beliefs. This event is a lot of things but its not that. And given most of us dont believe in any of the gods it is a victimless action from our perspectives.

And Huw Patton wrote:

@Bianca, some people have been trying to “rise above” for a long time now, hundreds of years, and have been met with attacks, persecution, and ironically the “you’ve offended me” card.
Surely you recognise this “event” as entirely pointless and harmless.
The convention is a peaceful example of trying to “rise above”, as is this “event”: people making a harmless joke with each other.

I appreciate your moderate and tolerant response, and criticism of the DDOS attacks.
Please take some comfort in the fact that we heathens aren’t responding with any actual form of retaliation.

Others are just trying to figure it out. This is definitely a unique example of Poe’s Law! Here’s Mendel (who asked me to remove his last name because this post was coming up on Google searches):

I’m also confused. If as atheists, you do not believe in God. Wouldn’t this act be in recognition that there is a God? For if you really believe God does not exist then you should already know that your praying won’t do anything. Just something to think about 😛
Btw I hope you guys still pray and I hope He answers.

I wonder if Mendel actually thought this was sound advice that participants might heed.

Well done atheists! We’re making believers think and try to understand us.

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There are 1 Comments to "Oh The Irony Of Atheists’ Threatening To Pray"

  • Dan Kerr says:

    Thanks man, it was a true Monty Python moment for me. I was in tears when i thought up the Divine Denial of Service bit. Im glad the Atheist Society decided to take it on and promote the group. It was even on Pharyngula, i had no idea it would take off. Thats the wonder of the internet for you. Most importantly it has promoted the Convention very nicely.

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