I climb me down the well

I climb me down the well

down and down

down and down

the underground lakes

the underground lakes

the dripping echoes

the dripping echoes

I wander in the gloom

I wander in the gloom

until the flashlight dies

until the flashlight dies

I'll never find the exit

I'll never find the



I’ve been pondering the idea of prayer. Maybe I’ve written about this idea before.


Supplicatory prayer as practiced by some Christians strikes me as being logically inconsistent with those same Christians’ professed beliefs. (Prayer to give thanks or fulfill ritual obligation is a different issue.)


  1. 全知で
  2. 全能で
  3. 無限に賢明で
  4. 無限に善意のある存在


Many Christians seem to believe that God is

  1. all-knowing
  2. all-powerful
  3. infinitely wise
  4. infinitely benevolent


  1. それを知っているはず
  2. それを解決できるはず
  3. 解決するべきかどうか判るはず
  4. 解決するべきであれば、必ず解決するはず

Which means, if something is wrong in the world, God

  1. knows about it
  2. can fix it
  3. knows if He should fix it, and
  4. will do so, if that’s the right thing to do


Which would seem to make supplicatory prayer—asking God to do things—not only wholly unnecessary but potentially blasphemous.


  1. 神は彼女の病気に気づいていないこと
  2. 彼女を救うのが正しいことだと神に説得する必要があること
  3. 正しいことをすればよいと神に説得する必要があること


Take the example of a terminally ill child. Her family and community decide to pray for her recovery. They must be assuming at least one of the following:

  1. God hasn’t heard about her illness
  2. God may need to be persuaded that curing her is the right thing to do, or
  3. God needs to be talked into doing the right thing in this case


These reasons would make sense if people were pleading with another human to help them. Humans can be selfish and slow to help each other without entreaty. But an omniscient, omnipotent, infinitely wise and perfectly benevolent deity should not require persuasion.


  1. 末期症状の子どもは孤児院に住んでおり、そこの無慈悲な運営者は彼女のために祈る気はない。神は祈りの数が少ないせいで彼女をそのまま死なせるのか?もし第三者の祈りが何一つ届いていないに関わらず、それでも神は彼女を救うのなら、孤児院の運営者が彼女のために祈るという時間の無駄遣いをしなかったのはむしろもっともだ。
  2. 子ども自身は生きるのが苦し過ぎて神に一刻も早く死なせるように要求していても、20人の家族たちは苦しくとも彼女が生き延びることを祈るなら、多数決になるのか。神は誰の祈りの方に比重を置く?
  3. 周りの人々は、10人は彼女がもっと長く生きるように祈り、あとの10人が苦しい人生から解放されるように祈る。引き分け?もし引き分けの場合には神が何かの規準によって決着をつけるのなら、そもそも人間の祈りの云々と関係なくその規準によって決断しているのじゃないか?


Imagine these scenarios:

  1. The sick child lives in an orphanage run by callous people who won’t bother to pray for her. Will God let her go ahead and die due to a lack of prayers in her favor? If he will not, but will save her anyway despite the lack of prayers from third parties, then the people in the orphanage are perfectly right not to waste time petitioning God to do something he’s certain to do anyway.
  2. The sick child herself is tired of suffering and prays to God for a merciful death. But twenty members of her family and community pray for her to carry on living, even if in agony. Is she outnumbered? Whose prayers sway God more?
  3. Ten people in the community pray for longer life for her; the other ten pray for a swift end. Is it a tie? If God’s role is to decide the tie, won’t he decide based on criteria that cannot be affected by whether or how fervently humans pray to him?


Can humans influence God? Can they induce him to change his mind? This seems a bit impertinent. It seems, in fact, like people are imagining that God is a human: flawed, confused, operating on insufficient information, looking for help in coming to a decision.


I’m reminded of how, in older times and other cultures, the gods were seen as unpredictable and sometimes malevolent to humans. Shamans and medicine men would claim the ability to tame, influence, or even manipulate the gods. Such beliefs appear primitive, but supplicatory prayer as practiced by many Christians seems just as archaic.