Can an agnostic pray?
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25-04-2017, 01:47 AM
Can an agnostic pray?
Hi,

I’m not a Christian or believer in any theism. But, sometimes I feel the need to go into a quiet church and pray, either for others or myself. This happens at difficult times, now and then.

There is some logic, possibly irrelevant.

1. A believer can pray because they believe there is a listener.

2. An atheist cannot pray because they do not believe there is a listener.

3. An agnostic can pray because they believe there may (or may not) be a listener.

But what does logic count for? OK, an agnostic can pray because there may be a listener or there may be something therapeutic just in the act of prayer itself. I don’t know, but I do feel something happening.

Any thoughts?

D.
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25-04-2017, 02:32 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
Are you seriously looking for permission from atheists to pray? 'Cause that's just fucked off, meng.

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25-04-2017, 02:53 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
You can, but if you get caught doing it it means 650,000,000,000 years of hard labor breaking planets into asteroids with a ball peen hammer as atonement to the god you petitioned while claiming to not be sure that god was around to take your call, with some variance in the sentencing depending on whose parish you happened to be occupying while committing the offense.
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25-04-2017, 03:10 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
I've not prayed once in my adult life—even after surviving two life-threatening medical emergencies. It's a total waste of an atheist's time "praying" as the prayer, obviously by default, has to be directed at some pre-supposed supernatural entity that can intervene in order to change one's circumstances for the positive.

The notion about prayer enabling some sort of psychological well-being is only wishful thinking, and pushed by some theists in order to further support their absurd beliefs in the paranormal.

I do agree though that it's possible for agnostics to pray, as they still have some sort of belief in the possibility of the supernatural and paranormal. But an agnostic is not some sort of "weak" atheist—they're more like a weak theist. You'll sometimes find a theist converting to a position of agnosticism as a first step in their deconversion, but you'll seldom, if ever, find an atheist converting to agnosticism.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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25-04-2017, 03:17 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
All I would say is, if you want to pray, pray.

Personally I would suggest meditation, but if it makes you feel better about something, pray away.

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25-04-2017, 04:47 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
(25-04-2017 03:10 AM)SYZ Wrote:  I've not prayed once in my adult life—even after surviving two life-threatening medical emergencies. It's a total waste of an atheist's time "praying" as the prayer, obviously by default, has to be directed at some pre-supposed supernatural entity that can intervene in order to change one's circumstances for the positive.

The notion about prayer enabling some sort of psychological well-being is only wishful thinking, and pushed by some theists in order to further support their absurd beliefs in the paranormal.

I do agree though that it's possible for agnostics to pray, as they still have some sort of belief in the possibility of the supernatural and paranormal. But an agnostic is not some sort of "weak" atheist—they're more like a weak theist. You'll sometimes find a theist converting to a position of agnosticism as a first step in their deconversion, but you'll seldom, if ever, find an atheist converting to agnosticism.

SYZ,

Good post.

Your point about "weak theist" is pertinent I think. I have always believed that agnosticism is not a 'weak' anything else, but a case in its own right. Given the stark choice of Christian theism or atheism being right I would want neither. I do know that.

However, my feet went to a church and I followed. That is indeed suspicious. OTOH it is a quiet place where one would not look out of place lighting a candle and saying a private prayer. There is convenience. I would be fine with a Buddhist centre or a Mosque, but around here there are just churches, open and empty.

"..converting to agnosticism"? That is an interesting idea. The conversions that I have seen and known about are often called 'existential crisis' in the schools of philosophy, which is my academic subject (unsurprisingly) Cool

Much to do for the Thinking Agnostic.

D.

PS - I do agree with you about the likely directions of conversion. Atheism does seem to be a very fixed world view. I have known only two atheists converting directly to theism, which of course is another very fixed world view. There is similarity in that respect.
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25-04-2017, 04:53 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
(25-04-2017 04:47 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Given the stark choice of Christian theism or atheism being right I would want neither. I do know that.

My issue was in the wording of the question - my feelings on agnostics are that they cannot do anything, being all wishy-washy and shit. Tongue

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25-04-2017, 04:54 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
Being Agnostic isn't a bad thing.

For me what an Atheist is, is saying "it's more likely there isn't a god(s), but prove me wrong and I'll accept it", where as Agnostic is, "I don't know either way, but I may lean more towards the idea of a god".

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25-04-2017, 04:57 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
I would say that the less you believe anyone is listening, the less of a placebo effect you will receive from prayer. I can still do it, but it would be a waste of time. I prefer to actually talk to myself rather than pretending I'm talking to some bizarre caretaker who has nodded off and needs me to prod them. I find it helps me to think objectively to hear my thoughts out loud, and it can help me motivate and steel myself.

There is no atheist code of conduct. As far as I'm concerned, do whatever helps you as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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25-04-2017, 05:02 AM
RE: Can an agnostic pray?
(25-04-2017 04:57 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  ...do whatever helps you as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
100% this. Thumbsup

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