The current COVID-19 pandemic has led many, whether believers or not, to consider how widespread suffering can be reconciled with a belief in a loving God. In this article, Shaw considers the arguments advanced by people of faith to square this circle, such as the idea that the novel coronavirus has been sent by God as a punishment.
Many claims for miraculous cures concern recovery from cancer. These are highly impressive and dramatic, and to many people they seem to provide incontrovertible evidence for a miracle. But how often does cancer remit spontaneously outside a religious context? And how do such spontaneous remissions come about? While medical events that could not be accommodated within the realm of the natural can easily be imagined, such as the regrowth of an amputated limb or the restoration of sight lost through glaucoma, in this article Anthony Campbell divulges that he is unaware of the documentation of any such case.
"Let me be succinct and clear: prayer is a useless exercise, undertaken by those who, in a fit of childish delusion, believe they can effect change in the real world by falling to their knees and murmuring to themselves. These people, oftentimes adults who have been properly educated and who can function in day-to-day society quite serviceably, are under the distinctly infantile impression that muttering under their breath can affect the outcome of some circumstance in which they have a stake, emotional or otherwise."