new photo blog

i started this blog in 2006, and it's shifted along with my interests through the years. it's been witness to a lot of learning for me...

still, i feel that i need a home for my photography -- so from now on, i'll be posting my pictures on the journal on my reworked website. if you like my photos, you might decide to follow me there!

my first post is here -- check it out!

as for this blog, i'm not sure what will happen. i don't think i'm willing to let it go, and certainly i'll keep it as an archive, but i need some time to figure it out.

for those of you that pop in from time to time, thanks for the visits and encouragement.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

christopher hitchens: unanswerable prayers

from vanity fair:

'the most comprehensive investigation of the subject ever conducted—the “study of the therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer,” of 2006—could find no correlation at all between the number and regularity of prayers offered and the likelihood that the person being prayed for would have improved chances. but it did find a small but interesting negativecorrelation, in that some patients suffered slight additional woe when they failed to manifest any improvement. they felt that they had disappointed their devoted supporters. and morale is another unquantifiable factor in survival. i now understand this better than i did when i first read it. an enormous number of secular and atheist friends have told me encouraging and flattering things like: “if anyone can beat this, you can”; “cancer has no chance against someone like you”; “we know you can vanquish this.” on bad days, and even on better ones, such exhortations can have a vaguely depressing effect. if i check out, i’ll be letting all these comrades down. a different secular problem also occurs to me: what if i pulled through and the pious faction contentedly claimed that their prayers had been answered? that would somehow be irritating.'

the entire piece here.

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