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Discussion 1 to Meditation 739
That non-miracle in the Mediterranean

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In contrast to the Miracle on the Hudson:, this week it was reported that:

An Italian court has jailed a Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of taking emergency measures before ditching his plane, killing 16 people.

Thanks to his (in)action, he has been sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter. It was contended by the prosecution that if he had followed standard emergency procedures, he would have been able to safely land at a nearby airport. Instead, in the crisis, he handed the controls over to his co-pilot, and prayed. The plane crashed in the sea.

The conviction was not because of praying, but because he failed to do what pilots are trained to do in an emergency.

If he had prayed while flying the plane as he was suppposed to do in an emergency, I would not be surprised if he had claimed divine intervention for contributing to a safe landing. However, as event actually unfolded, we can consider this as an example of the ineffectiveness of prayer.