Except it's not. This is really simple. Religion makes grandiose claims about the nature of morality, the origin of the universe and so-and-so-forth. It is often used as the final say in all study of cosmology and ethics. If your religion was the leastwise true in the least of its convictions, it should be easy to prove. It wouldn't even be revolutionary or controversial unless God were a totally obscurantist dick. It is not. And so here we are. The problem isn't that atheists have 100% conviction that they are right. And few atheists would ever make that philosophical claim. And frankly, it's the religious man that has this weird fixation with absolutist epistemological certainty. They think ignorance is the same as a complete lack of any credibility. You think my inability to prove my claim in its fully totality is the same as you having equal credibility. Here is the thing. Even if we both agreed upon a definition of a god and you furnished proof that this god exists to my satisfaction, you run the risk of just having convinced me to go from being an atheist to a dystheist or maltheist. Much less a Christian. You are making a claim of knowledge. You are demanding that everybody act upon that claim. You're the one putting down something that requires YOU to establish credibility. Until that burden is met, everybody is in fully justified in not expending any energy restructuring their lives in accordance to your non-information. If what you claim directly contradicts experience, then it is on you to rectify those contradictions or explain them. I didn't bring up vampires and fairies just to debate the difficulty of proving a negative, I brought it up because I am saying that people have acted on baseless speculation before. I seriously am not joking. People have blocked logging in forest on account of pixies living there or staked corpses because they really did think that would stop the vampire from preying on them. And that is what all religion ever has amounted to: Superstition. The only difference in the smaller superstitions and this one larger one is in the stakes involved. Yeah well, there are/were Greeks perfectly willing to shift goal posts like Christians do. Either they'd say it was just a metaphor or you don't have the sixth sense. Something along those lines. Honestly, I don't really care for how Christians like to pretend they're better than any other religion just because they've had the collective imagination to make their God increasingly more nebulous and impossible to define. Sure I can. I know ghosts are about the most common superstition of them all. I considered its possibility, and decided that it could not be believed. There is no evidence of it. There is no reason to act upon any belief that they could exist. Otherwise exorcism would long ago have been monetized and dealing with ghosts would be a matter of technology. We'd have common agreement on what ghosts could do and would've built an industry on extracting information from them or otherwise somehow getting rid of them like pests. We don't do those things because they don't exist. If they do, they cannot be anything like popular imagination would have them be. They'd be so rare or locally conditional or so pathetically weak and hard to detect as to be just about the next best thing as non-existent. As in: Barely worth calling "ghosts" at all. Quite frankly, I think we want ghosts to exist. And yet for all the wanting, there is no solid proof of them anywhere. Oh maybe the planets just aren't in alignment in the 21st century. In which case, we'd suddenly have a problem that our culture and politics would need to adapt to, but those changes would be dramatic. But that is no better than speculation. Are we to stake our resources as a society that this might occur? Get an actuarian to weigh that against the Christian eschatology or the Nordic one and tell us what the best hedge. === As to the rest of the post. You cite Orthodox church's definition of what prayer is supposed to do and then blanket claim all Christians act that way, where you just don't dismiss them out of hand as heretical. It has always been common practice to pray for things for personal gain. People do it all the time. And it makes logical sense to do so if you really think you've got a beneficent patron backing your team. Almost the entire point of miracles is that humanity is to benefit from it in some way and if it were true, it should be possible to do so almost as a matter of simple technology. That has always been the project of many alchemists and natural philosophers. Faith healers today expect the same. The entire Jesus story was about him dispensing miracles just to prove what a cool guy he was and why you should be batting for his God. That is besides the point. Since the original claim was that prayer does nothing. So even if we both agreed that prayer is just generically about communion with God and being made a better person, with any expectation of material benefit (nevermind that this is the aim of theurgy), the original guy you were responding to literally said that prayer does nothing at all. Giving us your narrow-minded canon on the matter doesn't impress us.