About Prayer
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18-04-2014, 02:20 AM
About Prayer
Prayer has always confused me.

Let's say a hospital blows up or something. And then people start praying that the victims are still alive... This throws up an interesting scenario.

By praying to god they are basically asking him to save those people, which inherently means that they believe god wouldn't do anything about it if people didn't ask him to. Cos if they did believe he would do something about it then there is no need to pray.

So the only likely scenario is god allowed the hospital to explode and would have sat back and left them die if people didn't beg him to do something about it.

There cannot be any other scenario. God obviously knew it would happen as he knows everything. So they ain't praying just to bring it to his attention.

Why can't Christians see this?
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18-04-2014, 02:50 AM
RE: About Prayer
(18-04-2014 02:20 AM)TheStraightener Wrote:  Why can't Christians see this?

A lifetimes worth of being indoctrinated into believing your thoughts can magically influence the big magic man in the sky.

I asked a Christian once why she prayed and she said because it works. I asked if it worked every time she said sometimes you have to accept god knows better and may answer in a different way and it will seem as though he hasn't answered but he always has. She couldn't see how nonsensical that was. When they believe they believe strong and no logic will pierce their bubble.

"The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species." - Christopher Hitchens

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18-04-2014, 03:11 AM
RE: About Prayer
Because they don't want to see it. Stress comes from a lack of control. Prayer is a way for them to convince themselves that they have control.

In the same way they want to believe in life after death because they have a naturally evolved instinct to avoid death.

One thing I have learnt in life is never to underestimate the ability of people to fool themselves, even the ones who carefully try to be objective.
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18-04-2014, 04:04 AM
RE: About Prayer
(18-04-2014 02:20 AM)TheStraightener Wrote:  Why can't Christians see this?
I guess it is easier to ask for things to be magically done by someone else rather than actually doing things.

A friend I have already mentioned elsewhere used to ask the god thing for a lot of stuff. Sometimes he was lucky enough to get what he wanted, but one day the god thing, who knew better, answered in a different way: he/she/it stepped on my friend's car's accelerator and also put a truck further ahead, but he/she/it hid it behind a blind hill for extra fun. Apparently, the god thing knew that my friend's young boy had seen his father for long enough. At the burial, the boy didn't seem to share his/her/its view, but who cares? He's just an ignorant child, not the all-knowing all-loving all-mighty creator of the universe.

Shame, unlucky boy. My friend was very religious but he wasn't a bad person. He took interest in other people's lives and he was often helpful. Funnily enough, many of those corrupt politicians I find around me get to see their grandchildren grow. Ain't the god thing great?
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18-04-2014, 05:37 AM
RE: About Prayer
Prayer has lots of logical inconsistencies. One of my favorite sayings or cliches is "2 hands working accomplish more than 2,000 hands folded in prayer". Apparently I've used this enough that I rarely get "pray for x" on my facebook feed any longer.

I once asked an evangelical who believed it was her prayer that cured her son's cancer if she believed god created everything, and obviously she answered yes. When I asked if that included her son's cancer, she said of course not! When pressed she finally came around to okay, god created the cancer but he also created the doctors with the ability to save him. Then I asked if she believed god knew her son would nearly die of something he created, and she again answered yes. Apparently it was to teach her something. She quit talking to me when I asked what lesson was so important for her to know that it would be okay for god to use an innocent child to impart? Before anyone thinks I'm a complete ass, this was in a form titled Religious Discussion on a military spouse board where conversations of this type are common and everyone partakes of their own free will, she came into the forum to convert people.

I once had a friend who claims to be buddhist ask her christian friends to pray that the family that was ahead of her in renting the house that she really liked woudn't be able to take the house so she could have it. It was perfect for her and her family. Most of the xstians agreed, but one girl piped up and asked what if something tragic happens to this family, you know praying for hurricane Katrina to move 500 miles in either direction means someone still gets hit with a killer storm? Girl asking for prayers comes on a few days later and says they got the house, because some member of the other family was in a car accident and they weren't able to leave where they were until that person was discharged from the hospital. Cricket silence from the good xstians who prayed for girl A to get the house.
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18-04-2014, 07:30 AM
RE: About Prayer
I frequently drive by a Planned Parenthood. Oftentimes there is a small crowd outside with signs that read "Pray to end abortion."
I can't help but facepalm every time. On one hand, sky daddy let it happen in the first place, so it must be inherent to the grand plan, despite their opinions. On the other hand lies the question: how many frickin' prayers are required for him to bother to intervene? They are nearly always out there, you know they're continually praying and encouraging their friends and congregation to do likewise. So they must believe that he won't do shit until he gets a minimum amount of prayers, like some dumbass FaceBook meme.
Facepalm

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18-04-2014, 08:01 AM
RE: About Prayer
Prayer reminds me of Schrödinger's Cat a bit...

The idea that until you know for sure what's factually true, you can manipulate reality by praying.

People pray that their loved ones are alive and well after a disaster... But those prayers are meaningless. If they're dead, they're dead... Praying that they're alive won't undo what's already happened to them.

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18-04-2014, 08:33 AM
RE: About Prayer
Prayer fills two actual needs:

The need for company in bad times - when something bad happens you want to have at least one friend who will allow you to not hide any of your feelings and will listen to anything you need to get off your chest. God fills that void. People consider him to be their personal friend.

The need for relief from stress - prayer is said to release endorphins and allow people to decompress. There are lots of other ways to achieve this, but praying is a pretty simple one.

That's why people pray, but they don't know it.

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18-04-2014, 08:59 AM
RE: About Prayer
Seems to me that prayer loses any meaning or benefit (other than the ones Dom mentioned) when you think about the fact that people pray about EVERYTHING.

When you are praying over your food, praying for god to keep you alive while you sleep, pray for the recovery from illness or injury, pray for certain weather, and just for good measure - pray for your favorite sports team to win - how can you really expect a god to keep up with all that. Millions of people multiplied by endless prayers, even an all powerful god would have trouble prioritizing the requests and keeping up.

A confusing concept for me too.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude.
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18-04-2014, 09:00 AM
RE: About Prayer
(18-04-2014 08:33 AM)Dom Wrote:  Prayer fills two actual needs:

The need for company in bad times - when something bad happens you want to have at least one friend who will allow you to not hide any of your feelings and will listen to anything you need to get off your chest. God fills that void. People consider him to be their personal friend.

The need for relief from stress - prayer is said to release endorphins and allow people to decompress. There are lots of other ways to achieve this, but praying is a pretty simple one.

That's why people pray, but they don't know it.

Booze is much more effective...

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