It is common to hear spokespersons and other officials send thoughts and prayers to victims and victims families in the wake of natural or human-caused disasters. While this sentiment is often appreciated as an expression of condolence, it has also been criticized as slacktivism (slacker + activism)a minimal act that is performed in place of other available concrete actions that could help those directly affected by the situation.
In this essay, first describe an example of a natural or human-caused disaster occurring in the current calendar year (2021) that has received attention in the news. (Upon introducing the example, provide a footnote with a link to an online summary of the event). Describe how this example is an illustration of what philosophers of religion call the problem of evil. Quote and give page citations from Daniel Howard-Snyders text in RPR in describing this problem. (250-500 words)
Next, describe the role that petitionary prayer could play as a response to this disaster. Quote and give page citations from Eleonore Stumps text in RPR (You should draw on the Friendship and Prayer and/or Summary, Review and Conclusion sections of her essay. The argument presented earlier in her essay for the conclusion, Petitionary prayer is pointless is not applicable.) (250-500 words)
Finally, give your own conclusions about this matter. Does your chosen example demonstrate the implausibility of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God? What role do you think petitionary prayer (or any sort of prayer) should play as a response to this disaster? What, if anything else, should be done by those aware of the disaster? (250-500 words)