I may get to make some new friends

I’m at my gate waiting to fly off to Reasonfest.

There is an elderly man and a young woman across from me talking about working at their respective churches.  I hope I sit next to one of them.

I’m wearing my Friendly Neighborhood Atheist hoodie and reading The End of Christianity.  It’ll be a great opportunity for the to save me.

Crommunist suggested telling them you’ll join their church, they just have to do a better job than the other at establishing that theirs is the true church.

I’ve been watching these plane crash documentaries lately and I’ve learned a few things about airplanes.  I was telling my dad earlier about some of the newer systems, such as one that can automatically land the plane without using any of the standard steering controls (flaps, ailerons, rudder, etc.).  It only adjusts the thrust in the engines.  I also described the genius behind several of the redundant backups for various systems in a plane so that a single failure can never cripple the airplane.

It occurred to me that if prayer worked at all we would have no need for those systems.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Tara

    Can’t wait to see you Sunday and enjoy that book (I’ve been reading it myself and it is a good one :) )

  • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com Aoife

    People who think that prayer ‘works’ admit themselves that an awful lot of the time the answer to a given prayer is ‘no’.
    It’s pretty darn lucky that the answer most people (including airplane engineers!) have is rather different.

  • cag

    The outcome for a person who prays and one who does not is what is commonly called statistically insignificant. However the one who prays usually has less disposable income. Prayer does nothing except scuff up the knees.

  • mazyloron

    I got a little excited for a second there, until I remembered you’re *from* Arkansas, but you don’t live there anymore. I’m sitting in LIT waiting on a flight, guess I’ll just catch up on some of your old posts instead. :)

  • Ray

    I live in Canada and it’s interesting to me to note the difference in how often there is a chance to confront the religious in public. I can’t imagine hearing the conversation you heard today at the airport. I don’t know if I’m relieved that I don’t have to witness that or jealous that I don’t get the chance to confront it.

  • Jen

    I am scared to fall through the space between the plane and the jetway so I naturally reach for the plane to steady my step. Then I give the outside of the plane a nice ‘thank you’ pat for helping me not fall.
    I have never been in a plane crash; my patting the outside of the plane MUST be the reason. No one can prove otherwise ;)

  • Jim Baerg

    Googling _The End of Christianity_ finds two books on Amazon by that title. One is the book edited by John Loftus debunking Chrisianity, the other is by William Dembski defending Christianity. Which one were you reading? I could see you reading the 2nd due to a ‘know your enemy’ motivation.


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