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Posted by on Mar 31, 2013 in In the news, Religion | 0 comments

Jacques Rousseau on the Church of England’s lying for Jesus

My colleague Jacques Rousseau has a post on how the Church of England has engaged in meretricious propaganda relating to a recent survey that it commissioned. The survey asks, among other things, what you would pray for if you believed prayer worked (irrespective of whether or not you actually do pray!). The question was: “Irrespective of whether you currently pray or not, if you were to pray for something at the moment, What would it be for?”

I don’t pray, and I don’t believe that prayer works, but I might still have given some sort of answer. Why not? It is assuming a situation in which I would pray, which I’d only do if I thought prayer worked. In such a situation, there might be many things that I’d pray for. But nothing is entailed about whether I actually think prayer does work.

And yet, the fact that people gave answers to this question is used to “demonstrate” that 4 out of 5 people believe in the power of prayer. This is unashamed intellectual dishonesty in presenting the results. Whether or not this trickery was intended even when the question was developed is more difficult to tell. Either way, it’s not a good look for the dear old C of E.