Asking for prayers?
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06-10-2014, 06:13 AM
RE: Asking for prayers?
(23-09-2014 06:39 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  
(23-09-2014 05:00 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  If you press a theist on this, they will either give you a non-answer, or they'll say the real purpose of prayer is to show thanks/submission.

Oh, wow. That's...that's messed up. In so many ways. Especially the "submission" part. I mean...what about all those parents praying their babies don't die from cancer? God's killing their kids because they didn't constantly remind themselves they suck compared to Mr. AllLoving according to this defense?

I guess you'd have to ask any given theist what their personal spin on it is. Still, logically speaking if you have a parent of a kid with cancer asking for God to heal the kid, you have to realize there are only three possibilities:

1) God is already planning on healing the kid. God caused/allowed the kid to get cancer, and he's planning to fix it on his own. Who knows why (mysterious ways, and all), but regardless, prayer is useless in this case.

2) God is not planning on healing the kid. God caused/allowed the kid to get cancer, and he plans on having the kid die from it. Prayer is useless in this case.

3) God will heal the kid, but only if someone prays for help. God caused/allowed the kid to get cancer, and is waiting for prayers to fix the problem. Prayer is successful in this case, but only in so much that you're asking God to fix a problem he caused/allowed in the first place. What's more is, if God is even somewhat close to being all-knowing, he knew this problem was going to happen, so he caused/allowed it for the sole purpose of eliciting a prayer. Now, that's where it gets really fucked up.

And that's it. There's no magical forth option that doesn't make God look like he doesn't have the worst self esteem issues in the history of the planet. I had a roommate in college like that. He would always cause problems so he could fix them. Everyone fucking hated that guy.
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06-10-2014, 09:03 AM
RE: Asking for prayers?
I can only speak for myself, but as a believer, it was more to do with the sensation of knowing others cared enough to pray for me. It's a sign that the group cares about you, and that helps to make you feel better.

After all, when you pray to God, everything is quiet on his end of the receiver. Even if you truly believe he's out there listening, the silence gives the impression that you're merely talking to yourself (imagine that) and so it doesn't satisfy the psychological need for comfort. That's when you instinctively reach out for others to also pray, so you can see and confirm that someone cares about your problems.


Of course, perhaps others simply do it because they figure flooding God's inbox with prayers is more likely to get the problem solved. God's already swamped with billions of prayers each day, and he's got little african kids to watch die. Odds are, your prayer is gonna be pushed to the bottom of the list. Maybe they figure a petition will grab his attention.

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07-10-2014, 02:12 PM
RE: Asking for prayers?
(05-10-2014 05:09 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(05-10-2014 05:01 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Chas, you believe in free will, then?

Thanks.

More bad logic. That is not a valid conclusion.

You really suck at this. Drinking Beverage

Just asking a question:

1. You believe in free will

2. You do not

3. You have a mix of both for different applications

Does that help? Sorry if I was unclear.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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07-10-2014, 02:21 PM
RE: Asking for prayers?
(07-10-2014 02:12 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(05-10-2014 05:09 PM)Chas Wrote:  More bad logic. That is not a valid conclusion.

You really suck at this. Drinking Beverage

Just asking a question:

1. You believe in free will

2. You do not

3. You have a mix of both for different applications

Does that help? Sorry if I was unclear.

Define what you mean by free will.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-10-2014, 01:17 PM
RE: Asking for prayers?
(07-10-2014 02:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-10-2014 02:12 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Just asking a question:

1. You believe in free will

2. You do not

3. You have a mix of both for different applications

Does that help? Sorry if I was unclear.

Define what you mean by free will.

We're off topic and I apologize for that. Do you believe you choose your actions or do you believe that the notion of choice is an illusion?

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08-10-2014, 01:44 PM
RE: Asking for prayers?
(08-10-2014 01:17 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(07-10-2014 02:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  Define what you mean by free will.

We're off topic and I apologize for that. Do you believe you choose your actions or do you believe that the notion of choice is an illusion?

Neither.

I know that I do not consciously choose some of my actions, but it definitely seems to me that I deliberately, consciously choose others.

A simple example is when I swing a golf club. I feel that I consciously choose to start the movement of the back swing and am in conscious control of that motion. But very shortly after starting the the downswing, my movement is out of my conscious control. As I finish the swing, conscious control seems to return.

My conscious mind may, in fact, merely be rationalizing actions that are never actually under my control, but it doesn't seem like that. I feel that I have some measure of choice.

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08-10-2014, 05:35 PM
RE: Asking for prayers?
I've seen a lot of this on FB lately. My cousin's BF was in a car accident, and another friend had a kid that needed lots of emergency heart surgery after he was born. And I never quite know what to write about that, I mean, I don't want to be a dick, and I do want positive things to happen for these people, but I guess it just shocks me into realizing that a lot of the people I know are theists. Sometimes I forget that. I usually write something about hoping the person gets better, or hoping the surgery goes well, or [*hugs*] or something.

I've often thought that the people writing that don't think about it much, either, or don't really expect people to actually pray, that it's just a thing they say automatically to call attention to something bad or stressful or dangerous and to express their anxiety about it. I dunno. Something that might roughly translate to "I am anxious about this shitty thing and could use some support."
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09-10-2014, 05:45 AM
RE: Asking for prayers?
(08-10-2014 05:35 PM)amyb Wrote:  I've seen a lot of this on FB lately. My cousin's BF was in a car accident, and another friend had a kid that needed lots of emergency heart surgery after he was born. And I never quite know what to write about that, I mean, I don't want to be a dick, and I do want positive things to happen for these people, but I guess it just shocks me into realizing that a lot of the people I know are theists. Sometimes I forget that. I usually write something about hoping the person gets better, or hoping the surgery goes well, or [*hugs*] or something.

I've often thought that the people writing that don't think about it much, either, or don't really expect people to actually pray, that it's just a thing they say automatically to call attention to something bad or stressful or dangerous and to express their anxiety about it. I dunno. Something that might roughly translate to "I am anxious about this shitty thing and could use some support."

Hiya. Where ya been?

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09-10-2014, 10:33 AM
RE: Asking for prayers?
Too busy working to be on forums lately. =(
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09-10-2014, 12:09 PM
RE: Asking for prayers?
(08-10-2014 05:35 PM)amyb Wrote:  I've often thought that the people writing that don't think about it much, either, or don't really expect people to actually pray, that it's just a thing they say automatically to call attention to something bad or stressful or dangerous and to express their anxiety about it.

A lot of people don't put much thought into it. My wife is Christian and believes free will justifies the evil in the world. Still, that didn't stop my wife and her mother from talking about it being part of God's plan when she found a new job. Sure, she found it on extremely short notice and through an amazing coincidence, but literally every part of this process was human-decided. God cannot be acting on this without infringing on the super-important free will.

Basically, different parts of theistic beliefs exist in separate compartments, and they are very seldom taken out of their compartments at the same time.
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