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Prayer & Bomb Argument

SovereignDream
Posts: 1,119
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4/29/2013 5:14:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Consider the following two arguments.

The first argument relates to a scenario in which a father prays for his son not to have drowned in the sinking of a ship he was on.

Retrospective Prayer Argument:

P1. Either your son has drowned or he has not.

P2. If your son has drowned, then your prayer was not (cannot be) answered.

P3. If your son has not drowned, then your prayer was superfluous and so pointless.

C:Therefore, your prayer was pointless.

The second relates to an individual living in, say, England during the Blitz in WWII who hears the bomb raid sirens.

Bomb Argument:

P1. Either you will be killed or you won't.

P2. If you will, then taking precautions won't work and so is pointless.

P3.If you will not, then taking precaution is superfluous and so is pointless.

C:Therefore, taking precautions is pointless.

These arguments appear to be unsound, for they both lead to counter-intuitive conclusions. Any thoughts on the matter?
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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4/29/2013 5:23:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Neither argument talks about the mechanist presupposition regarding the determining factors behind what does or what doesn't happen. Therefore I'd say both are unsound right off the bat.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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4/29/2013 6:02:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
P1. Either you will be killed or you won't.

P2. If you will, then taking precautions won't work and so is pointless.

P3. If you will not, then taking precaution is superfluous and so is pointless.

C:Therefore, taking precautions is pointless.

You don't know whether you will die or not. The precautions you take could very well be the deciding factor. You cannot say, before the bombing, that you will in fact be killed, and so shouldn't take precautions because they won't help. You also cannot say that you will in fact not be killed, and so shouldn't take precautions. As it goes, the more precautions you take, the less likely it is you will die. If you take no precautions, and take a stroll down the road while the bombing is occurring, you will almost certainly die.

When it comes to prayer, however, I'd have to say that the amount of praying you do will not and cannot affect the chances of the past being altered.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Sui_Generis
Posts: 493
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4/30/2013 6:21:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/29/2013 5:14:21 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
Consider the following two arguments.

The first argument relates to a scenario in which a father prays for his son not to have drowned in the sinking of a ship he was on.

Retrospective Prayer Argument:

P1. Either your son has drowned or he has not.

P2. If your son has drowned, then your prayer was not (cannot be) answered.

Assuming that answers always come in the form of the answer we want.

P3. If your son has not drowned, then your prayer was superfluous and so pointless.

C:Therefore, your prayer was pointless.


The second relates to an individual living in, say, England during the Blitz in WWII who hears the bomb raid sirens.

Bomb Argument:

P1. Either you will be killed or you won't.

P2. If you will, then taking precautions won't work and so is pointless.

This should be "If you are killed, then taking precautions didn't work and so was pointless."

P3.If you will not, then taking precaution is superfluous and so is pointless.

Same change here.

C:Therefore, taking precautions is pointless.


These arguments appear to be unsound, for they both lead to counter-intuitive conclusions. Any thoughts on the matter?

it's already been said. whether or not the actions you took (prayer or precautions) influenced the outcome is not known.
"Mundus vult decipi--the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire."
-Martin Buber, I and Thou
medv4380
Posts: 200
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5/1/2013 8:51:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Argument 1 is sound only if the prayer is about the past. There is no point in praying for someones safety after they have died. Argument 2 is flawed because it's about taking action in the present. Precautions can affect the result of the outcome. If wearing a bomb vest makes the survival from the bomb 50% from 25% then the precaution is worth doing, and similar for the prayer, if prayer is effective, and done prior to the event.