November 4th, 2008, 12:32 PM
I'd say it returns the same confidence that God is not listening and not doing what you ask, depending on decision you made before you ever asked the question.
"Live v. Die" as a prayer operates amongst the widest of terms. Contextually, if you allow that God "works in mysterious ways" and/or "has a plan" as part of the parameters of the question (assumed definition of God), then the end result of the "Live v. Die" outcome remains arbitrary. The answer is prescribed by the question -- God will do as God will do.
You asking for the Live-outcome is immaterial to the equation. The fact that you're asking and the answer would appear to be in the affirmative is only added weight to the assumption that God might do as You will ask. The certainty about God, though, has nothing to do with the "evidence." Belief in God carries with it the implication that God's choice about your mortality overrides your own, so the outcome is meaningless in determining certainty. It only has anything to do with the underlying drive to receive affirmation in the first place. So certainty here is a question of state arrived at before one asks the question.
And a question that predicts the answer still isn't really a question at all. It's a certainty.
If we assume that the question "please allow me to live today, and wake up tomorrow so that I may live the next day" is a common concern amongst the entirety of the living population, the actual odds of this coming true or not hold to many other variables, but, the chance of the answer returning in the affirmative -- across the entire population -- probably averages out to 50/50... So, we're back at Chance.
Life itself is then a flux state, with two outcomes at polar extremes, and the entire centre is a grey area. Another superposition, where both outcome remains possible at all times. However, there is a decision that has been made that one state is true, while the other is false. Yet the false outcome still remains as a possibility.
The certainty comes from the underlying decision, not from the evidence that informs the questions.