I’m sure you all remember that plane crash in the Hudson a while back, in which all the passengers survived thanks to the commendable competence of the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, and the crew. What impressed the atheist community, too, was that this was not a case where the crew credited some fickle deity for keeping them alive — it was good old skill, training, and keeping a cool head in times of danger.
What if, instead, the pilot had trusted in a god? We’ve got an example of that, too.
A plane made a similar emergency water landing off the coast of Sicily in 2005. In this case, the Tunisian pilot panicked, and instead of taking emergency measures or even trying to reach a nearby airport, he instead chose to pray loudly. I’m sure that was reassuring to the passengers.
Sixteen people died.
Reason gets some revenge, though. The pilot has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for his neglect of his responsibilities. I like that; resorting to prayer represents an abdication of responsibility.