Atheism is, in the broadest sense, an absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
The etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning “without god(s)”. In antiquity, it had multiple uses as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society, those who were forsaken by the gods, or those who had no commitment to belief in the gods.The term denoted a social category created by orthodox religionists into which those who did not share their religious beliefs were placed.
Of course, despite the lack of scientific evidence to support the efficacy of prayer, many people continue to insist that prayer has affected their own lives. These claims are difficult to refute because they rely on anecdotal evidence.
Anecdotal evidence is basically any claim that says, “This is true because it happened to me or someone I know.” While it may be true that the event occurred, anecdotal evidence does nothing to explain why or how it happened, which is why anecdotal evidence is of little use in science. In any case where a person claims the healing power of prayer, it’s important to look at all other possible explanations.
If you have a headache, you might take an aspirin and pray for it to go away. When the headache clears, how can you know which actions, if any, were responsible? You would need to study the effects of one without the other to know the effect of each
If you have a headache, you might take an aspirin and pray for it to go away. When the headache clears, how can you know which actions, if any, were responsible? You would need to study the effects of one without the other to know the effect of each. One would also need
to study these effects across a wide sample size to ensure that enough data is collected and the same effect occurs every time.