(Washington Examiner) A CNN report on a recent study about the perceived values of "thoughts and prayers" in the wake of a disaster questions the moral value and efficacy of praying for suffering strangers.
The study, published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, surveyed both religious and non-religious people who had been personally affected by Hurricane Florence in 2018. The methodology used in the study, led by Linda Thunström and Shiri Noy, included assigning monetary value to thoughts and prayers from religious officials and "Christian strangers."
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The approximately 400 study participants in North Carolina were also compensated for their time, according to the report. The study found that Christian participants assigned high values to thoughts and prayers from priests and strangers but that atheists did not. Some participants even suggested they would pay money for strangers not to send them thoughts and prayers in the wake of a disaster.