On Some Conditions of the Moral Acceptability of Certain Prayers

  • Dariusz Łukasiewicz Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Department of Logic and Ontology
Keywords: God; counterfactual proposition; moral evaluation; prayer


In my paper, I present the view that moral evaluation of praying persons in existentially extreme situations (danger of death) should be based on knowledge concerning the truth value of some counterfactual propositions. I have in mind the counterfactual propositions describing situations in which praying people might choose, according to their will, other means of salvation for themselves or for their loved ones—other than petitionary prayer (also called “impetratory prayer”). However, since we do not know the truth value of such counterfactual propositions, we do not have sufficient means to issue any moral evaluation of such persons. In the second part of the paper I consider some general assumptions of rationality of petitionary and intercessory prayers in the context of various forms of theism. I suggest there that the concept of the divine answer to such prayers may have a literal meaning provided that we accept open or probabilistic theism, and a merely metaphoric or figurative meaning if we accept classical theism.


Davison, Scott A. „Petitionary Prayer”. W: The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, red. Thomas P. Flint i Michael C. Rea, 293. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Harris, Harriet. „Prayer”. W: The Cambridge Companion to Christian Philosophical Theology, red. Charles Taliaferro, Chad Meister, 216–237. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Łukasiewicz, Dariusz. Opatrzność Boża, wolność, przypadek. Studium z analitycznej filozofii religii. Kraków–Poznań: Wydawnictwo Fundacja Dominikańskie Studium Filozofii i Teologii, Wydawnictwo Polskiej Prowincji Dominikanów „W drodze”, Kolegium Filozoficzno- Teologiczne Polskiej Prowincji Dominikanów, 2014.

Smilansky, Saul. „O wątpliwej wartości moralnej pewnych rozpowszechnionych form modlitwy”, przeł. Marcin Iwanicki. Roczniki Filozoficzne 63 (2016), 1: 7–16. DOI: 10.18290/ rf.2016.64.1-1.

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre. W: Jean Kammer. 100 modlitw w chorobie i cierpieniu, tłum. Magdalena Foss-Kita, 142. Kraków: Wydawnictwo „esprit”, 2008.