I am agnostic, my parents are Christians. We debate about it every now and then but they have kind of given up debating with me because they can't disprove any of my points, they just say to keep reading the bible and quote verses that say that say that non Christians are willfully ignorant. About 2 or 3 weeks ago my mom lost her wallet, and has been complaining to everyone about it ever since. 2 days ago she had us all go in the living room and had my younger sister pray that God would help us find the wallet. About 1 or 2 hours later someone called from Wal Mart and said that a wallet in lost and found belonged to her. My mom has been using this against me ever since. I've already told her about studies that showed prayer has no effect on the health of hospital patients but she just says she doesn't know, and it's God's will. How do I show her that things like this aren't sufficient evidence for a personal god?

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Comment by Yahweh on January 29, 2013 at 11:19pm

You tell her that god didn't put that wallet in the lost and found. I'm sure there will be a clerk there at walmart that will tell you that there was an actual person handing the wallet over to the lost and found. I'm certain there are security cameras that can verify that god wasn't there to pick up the wallet. 

On another note, why did god make her lose her wallet anyway? Did she need to be taught a lesson?

Comment by James Cox on January 30, 2013 at 6:50am

I might have been helpful to know how long the wallet had been in lost & found, and when they schedule the calls for the returns.They might have had the wallet for a few weeks, and this is one thing that they get alot of. There might be some poor smuck, that is stuck with the calls for the returns, and they only have one day a week for the calls, just the day that your mother was called! I bet that if your mother had actually used her mind, by trying to remember back to a point in time, where she was when she lost the wallet, she might have gotten it back sooner!

I have lost my wallet a few times over the years. Most times just replaying the day I lost it was enough to find it again!

My wife thinks she has ESP, and has successfully found gold rings, tools, and stuff over the years. I can't seem to convince her either, but let her entertain herself for a few minutes looking for things that are misplaced in our messy house.....LOL 

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on January 30, 2013 at 9:31am

George Carlin has some interesting thoughts about the effectiveness of prayer.

Comment by Emperor Milos on January 30, 2013 at 10:25am

As I told you in chat yesterday, Ryan.

Here is another great explanation of prayer.

http://grooveshark.com/s/Thank+You+God/3IBFRX?src=5

Comment by Meg Fields on January 30, 2013 at 11:23am

The best prayer explanation

I watched that while still a Christian and I'm like f*ck they're right.

Comment by Freek on January 30, 2013 at 1:05pm

You could also go with the flow and let them have their little victory. Then, when something happens that merits praying, see if the prayer is answered this time (assuming it's not again something that can and will solve itself anyway). If it does happen (the more unlikely case) it may be a good idea to be scientific about it and start building a database of answered prayers (I know I'd be interested to witness answered prayer first-hand).

But when it does't get answered, start questioning why it doesn't get answered. And now you can easily smash down every excuse by retorting that God did bother to bring back a wallet, but not help out with the (worse) thing that is being prayed for now.

Now your family has the choice to admit that the wallet thing may have been a fluke, or that their god can only be bothered with the small and insignificant (and often self-solving) stuff. They may not want to admit either way, but you can draw the conclusion for them. In any case, it will stop them trying to rub in the wallet thing as evidence.

Comment by Mabel on January 30, 2013 at 2:28pm

One word "coincidence".

Comment by Gregg R Thomas on January 30, 2013 at 9:26pm

Show her a card trick.

But just before the "reveal" say a prayer to Satan.

That should do it. :D

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