Advice when it come to 'praying'
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05-09-2012, 09:39 AM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
I don't know about your situation, but for me I just started saying prayers, over time, more and more softly until I was just muttering with my head bowed. Then I stopped muttering. Then I stopped clasping my hands. That sort of broke it to them gently. It worked for me, but I don't know if it would work for you.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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05-09-2012, 10:12 AM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
(05-09-2012 05:52 AM)frankiej Wrote:  I think you have to perform some kind of rain dance, no?

no... never ever.. just no

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

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05-09-2012, 10:27 AM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
I think the OP has only a couple real options here.

1. Just out himself and say something like "No thanks, I'm not going to pray to a non-existent god to thank him for a meal he didn't provide because he doesn't exist." But I totally get it if he's not ready to do this yet.
2. Go along with it. He knows, inside his own head, that he's just verbalizing platitudes that nobody will hear outside of the room he's in, and certainly no god is going to hear them. So, since he's not ready to tell everyone about his skeptical viewpoint, then he might as well conceal it by vocalizing what they want him to say.

In other words, be who you are, or keep hiding yourself by appearing to be what your family expects you to be. There isn't much middle ground (or actually, what appears to be middle ground is just fooling yourself and causing you enough anguish to come here and post about it, looking for answers). So skip the internal anguish and come out and share your true beliefs, or keep hiding them. The best part is, you don't have to worry about god judging you for pretending to go along with the prayer...

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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05-09-2012, 10:56 AM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
I agree with Aseptic Skeptic. I think you need to hide yourself or be yourself. Half hiding doesn't really work.

On another note, I wonder how this would go over:

"Dear Lord,
Thank you for this food we are about to eat. Thank you also for not making me one of your countless victims of debilitating disease, disability, or other extreme misfortune. Thank you for afflicting all those innocent, helpless babies instead of me. Thank you for allowing evil to roam rampantly throughout the world so that we might have free will. Thank you for not showing yourself to us so that we may delight in having to guess whether you really exist and accept on pure faith that you do even when it defies all logic. Thank you for all the imperfections that this planet contains so that we may behold the spectacles of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, mud slides, tsunamis, and all the resulting deaths and ruined lives. Such a treat that really is Lord. Thank you for planting the seeds of so many different religions so we might be thoroughly confused. Most of all, thank you for creating hell so that we may have something strong enough to fear to keep us in line and so we may be comforted in knowing that the real sinners will get their just desserts. And thank you for putting many really good people in hell just for not believing in you. I mean, how dare they...? Finally, thank you for being so egocentric. Amen."

Angel

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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05-09-2012, 11:03 AM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
(05-09-2012 10:56 AM)Impulse Wrote:  "Dear Lord,
Thank you for this food we are about to eat. Thank you also for not making me one of your countless victims of debilitating disease, disability, or other extreme misfortune. Thank you for afflicting all those innocent, helpless babies instead of me. Thank you for allowing evil to roam rampantly throughout the world so that we might have free will. Thank you for not showing yourself to us so that we may delight in having to guess whether you really exist and accept on pure faith that you do even when it defies all logic. Thank you for all the imperfections that this planet contains so that we may behold the spectacles of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, mud slides, tsunamis, and all the resulting deaths and ruined lives. Such a treat that really is Lord. Thank you for planting the seeds of so many different religions so we might be thoroughly confused. Most of all, thank you for creating hell so that we may have something strong enough to fear to keep us in line and so we may be comforted in knowing that the real sinners will get their just desserts. And thank you for putting many really good people in hell just for not believing in you. I mean, how dare they...? Finally, thank you for being so egocentric. Amen."

Nice prayer. I may just have to use that one this coming Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll add in a bit about "Thank you for creating deceptive false evidence like DNA, ancient fossils, and trillions of stars to further hide yourself that we may delight even more in guessing whether you really exist."

One thing's for sure, nobody at that table will ever ask you to say the blessing again...

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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05-09-2012, 11:18 AM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
(04-09-2012 08:22 PM)Near Wrote:  "I'm glad that everyone was able to spend some time together this past weekend, and that the weather was nice. I hope that the rest of the week goes well."

I didn't say 'amen', which did raise some eyebrows, but they figured out that the 'prayer' was over and went ahead and started eating.

I think that was very diplomatic and well done. Thumbsup
If you find yourself questioned about it privately by anyone in your family, it might be a good opening for you to give a wink and say, "Well, I am grateful that I am an atheist." Wink

One by one, it could help to ease them all into it - just knowing that you currently are leaning in that direction will be easier. That way, it won't hit them like a ton of bricks when you come back from college. It will seem less of a "sudden crisis" and more of just you following your own path. Shy

***
I have no family experience of the "saying grace" ritual. I knew about it mostly from reading about it and seeing it in movies, but personal experience did come from babysitters' houses as a child. In fact, my only personal, intimate, religious experiences came from a few bouts of Summer daycare. Luckily, I was "debriefed" every evening at our own family supper time.

I had an aunt who was Catholic and when she came to our house for Christmas or Thanksgiving, we did her "grace" thing. When we were very little, I remember it was explained to me and my brother right in front of the aunt, that it was a quaint custom that we are happy to try out for any guest or family member. It was made clear that though we might not do this, some people do and it was mannerly to acknowledge them being in our house.

I will tell you who I am grateful to: my parents. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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05-09-2012, 11:53 AM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
It's interesting. We never pray at home, though it is a rare occasion when we have our kids home and eat a family dinner any more.

There are times we get together with relatives - they know my wife and I are atheists, but they like to hold hands around the table and say a prayer and we participate. What makes this weird is that their prayers are not necessarily what I would consider "Christian" in nature - in fact, probably closer to a pagan-like prayer ritual. Hard to explain...Anyway, when we're the guest, we tend to honor our hosts by participating in their rituals - as long as they don't ask me to lead the prayer! Wink

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05-09-2012, 12:41 PM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
(05-09-2012 11:53 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  It's interesting. We never pray at home, though it is a rare occasion when we have our kids home and eat a family dinner any more.

There are times we get together with relatives - they know my wife and I are atheists, but they like to hold hands around the table and say a prayer and we participate. What makes this weird is that their prayers are not necessarily what I would consider "Christian" in nature - in fact, probably closer to a pagan-like prayer ritual. Hard to explain...Anyway, when we're the guest, we tend to honor our hosts by participating in their rituals - as long as they don't ask me to lead the prayer! Wink

Yup. That's called good manners.

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05-09-2012, 01:21 PM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
Another response from the Unhelpful Answers Department (lyrics below)





First you get down on your knees,
Fiddle with your rosaries,
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!

Do whatever steps you want, if
You have cleared them with the Pontiff.
Everybody say his own
Kyrie eleison,
Doin' the Vatican Rag.

Get in line in that processional,
Step into that small confessional,
There, the guy who's got religion'll
Tell you if your sin's original.
If it is, try playin' it safer,
Drink the wine and chew the wafer,
Two, four, six, eight,
Time to transubstantiate!

So get down upon your knees,
Fiddle with your rosaries,
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!

Make a cross on your abdomen,
When in Rome do like a Roman,
Ave Maria,
Gee it's good to see ya,
Gettin' ecstatic an'
Sorta dramatic an'
Doin' the Vatican Rag!
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05-09-2012, 10:17 PM
RE: Advice when it come to 'praying'
(05-09-2012 10:56 AM)Impulse Wrote:  I agree with Aseptic Skeptic. I think you need to hide yourself or be yourself. Half hiding doesn't really work.

On another note, I wonder how this would go over:

"Dear Lord,
Thank you for this food we are about to eat. Thank you also for not making me one of your countless victims of debilitating disease, disability, or other extreme misfortune. Thank you for afflicting all those innocent, helpless babies instead of me. Thank you for allowing evil to roam rampantly throughout the world so that we might have free will. Thank you for not showing yourself to us so that we may delight in having to guess whether you really exist and accept on pure faith that you do even when it defies all logic. Thank you for all the imperfections that this planet contains so that we may behold the spectacles of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, mud slides, tsunamis, and all the resulting deaths and ruined lives. Such a treat that really is Lord. Thank you for planting the seeds of so many different religions so we might be thoroughly confused. Most of all, thank you for creating hell so that we may have something strong enough to fear to keep us in line and so we may be comforted in knowing that the real sinners will get their just desserts. And thank you for putting many really good people in hell just for not believing in you. I mean, how dare they...? Finally, thank you for being so egocentric. Amen."

Angel

I LOVE it! That may be how I end up doing it, while throwing in some Ricky-Bobby "lord sweet baby infant Jesus". I definitely understand how some people urge those of us who are in the closet to come out. I am right there with you, but at the same time, can I really afford to take the chance of being kicked out of the house (Not saying that it would happen, but it wouldn't surprise me) So I mainly keep my head down and keep to myself while at home. Luckily there's another guy in my department at work who is an Atheist, so we have interesting conversations, and a LOT of fun mocking religion. (Basically the whole company is made up of religious people, and whenever they send out a company wide email, it always has a bible verse. :blinkSmile

I really appreciate all of the responses, even the 'unhelpful' ones. Tongue I should just remember all of the terrible things that are actually tragic in this world, and just put up with it for one more year.

If they were Catholic, it would be funny to do something like Tim Minchin's Pope Song.




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