This is the final part in a five-part series. Please see the Master Post if you haven’t already read the previous parts, because this part relies heavily on definitions and arguments that have been set down in those previous sections.
so why pray?
The conclusion to this series is, admittedly, the most difficult to write, as it entails tying together the disparate threads I’ve left in the previous posts in such a way that the tapestry can be viewed from high altitude to get a sense for how well thought-out each argument is, and how the overarching thesis is correct. This is, arguably, the goal of all persuasive writing on abstract concepts, however I feel that simply reiterating or retreading the ground we’ve already covered is insufficient for these purposes.
Therefore, I will employ a visual instead. Below is a matrix of all the types of deity-properties, and the complications presented for each type of prayer. I have touched on many of these contradictions and issues already in the previous parts, so it is important that you are at least passingly familiar with the specific terms and definitions I’ve used.
I will be including a very important property at the very bottom of this list that I have not discussed as of yet, and it will be hidden below the fold so as to avoid spoiling the surprise. To read this graph in reference to a particular deity, select all the properties that you ascribe to that deity and look at the type of prayer you want to examine, then look to see if any property of your deity happens to directly conflict or present significant obstacles for that type of prayer.
As I’ve stated in part 2, many of these properties conflict with one another for some pretty overwhelming reasons. However, even assuming that you can reconcile certain properties with one another, you should assume that a “no” in any category is a dealbreaker for that type of prayer for the reasons previously discussed.
- – This type of prayer will almost certainly have an effect (whether good, or neutral, to the person that prays) in the presence of a deity with this particular property
- – It’s possible that this prayer may be answered, but may also be ignored. Will depend mostly on other properties of this deity. If no other properties contradict, there’s insufficient information as to whether a prayer would be worthwhile — it could depend on this deity’s mood.
- – This type of prayer either directly conflicts with, or significant obstacles are posed by, this deity’s property. A prayer of this sort is either worthless and will be ignored, or could get you smote (an obviously detrimental effect).
|Larger than the universe|
|Being pure good|
|Has a plan|
|Requires active praise|
|Alpha and omega|
|Reveals self unequivocally|