Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
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07-02-2015, 02:34 AM
Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
Any prayer, for whatever fancied "selfless" desire, or flat-out selfish desire, is a communication to a diety which by its very act presumes the deity needs to be told, that the deity would not give the matter the attention it needs unless told about it.

That's an astonishing conceit. It presumes, first, that a diety is ignorant in some area until YOU tell it what's up, second, and arrogantly presumptuous, that YOU know better than the deity the best outcome, and finally, third, and obscenely arrogantly presumptuous to the point of blasphemy, that fulfilling YOUR desire warrants suspension of the laws of nature and eclipse of whatever the deity's original plans might have been.

I've heard some justify prayer as letting "god" know that the matter at hand is important to you; that your taking the initiative to tell god what's up "tells" god it matters. But that's bollocks: omniscient deities are eavesdropping your thoughts 24/7; giving some thought voice only raises the decibel level, not the information level.

The worst conceit of prayer is that it makes the supplicant feel noble, as if they'd done something material toward achieving the sought after outcome, when it is in fact a cheap and easy avoidance of doing something useful. Any course of action other than prayer that could be useful would require time, expense and some degree of self-sacrifice.

Prayer is declaring "That ain't my job; god has to fix it". And feeling self-satisfied about passing the word up.
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07-02-2015, 03:28 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
And THEN -- when the prayer doesn't get answered, you hear "I guess it's not in God's will"....

Ok -- fine... Just skip to that part and knock off all the pious kneeling.....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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07-02-2015, 03:52 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
You know what? I honestly don't care whether prayer is conceited or not.

.... okay, I do kinda care, but that's not what really matters to me.

What really matters to me is whether or not it WORKS, and to establish that I ask not whether it's got the right attitude, but whether it's got the right evidence.

Not anecdote-evidence, but independently corroborated, double-blind, placebo-controlled-as-needed documentation evidence.

And it doesn't. Just the opposite. There's strong evidence saying it doesn't work.

Prayer is the act of desperate people desperately reaching for some way to control the world around them with wishful thinking. (Rather than, you know, doing the hard work to invent and implement real solutions.) I don't think it's conceited. I think it's pathetic and pitiable.
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07-02-2015, 04:58 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(07-02-2015 02:34 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  Any prayer, for whatever fancied "selfless" desire, or flat-out selfish desire, is a communication to a diety which by its very act presumes the deity needs to be told, that the deity would not give the matter the attention it needs unless told about it.

That's an astonishing conceit. It presumes, first, that a diety is ignorant in some area until YOU tell it what's up, second, and arrogantly presumptuous, that YOU know better than the deity the best outcome, and finally, third, and obscenely arrogantly presumptuous to the point of blasphemy, that fulfilling YOUR desire warrants suspension of the laws of nature and eclipse of whatever the deity's original plans might have been.

I've heard some justify prayer as letting "god" know that the matter at hand is important to you; that your taking the initiative to tell god what's up "tells" god it matters. But that's bollocks: omniscient deities are eavesdropping your thoughts 24/7; giving some thought voice only raises the decibel level, not the information level.

The worst conceit of prayer is that it makes the supplicant feel noble, as if they'd done something material toward achieving the sought after outcome, when it is in fact a cheap and easy avoidance of doing something useful. Any course of action other than prayer that could be useful would require time, expense and some degree of self-sacrifice.

Prayer is declaring "That ain't my job; god has to fix it". And feeling self-satisfied about passing the word up.

Well said...in fact beautifully said
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07-02-2015, 05:05 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
When the world is cruel, if someone loses their friends or family, there is always one last person to turn to who might, in a second rate way, make you feel loved; Jesus.

Skim through a book, repeat a few prayers and accept a friend request from the invisible man. He does not hear your problems, or answer back, because he is dead, but the hope he might somehow still be listening may be better than nothing. Average Joe might tell himself he is special, a shining light, but that is only in his own imaginary world, and deep down he is still lonely. His new best friend, Jesus, is a statue in a church, and a character in a book, not someone that can give the tiniest piece of real help.It is not surprising that Joe never feels quite like the winner he is supposed to be.

Joe gets to pray, which may be a half useful type of meditation; a conscious effort to take time out. Yet prayer is just talking to oneself. Joe admits his sins, which is just crystallizing what is bothering him, and he half clears a guilty conscience by confessing what he regretted doing, yet he rarely addresses the reasons he did what he did. He asks forgiveness from an imaginary magician, thereby side-stepping the path to self-improvement, and he does nothing to repair the relationship with the person he sinned against.
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07-02-2015, 07:41 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
You are so wrong. Prayer is an incantation to the most powerful thing in the cosmos. It is carefully considered by this being personally because he loves YOU and wants a personal relationship with YOU so he listens to YOU and then if this incantation doesn't fit into his overall plan for YOU he lets it go because he looks out for YOU. If it does fit, he answers it because he is looking out for YOU. If you weren't such an arrogant non-believer you would know that. It is far, far more humble to know that your incantations are heard than to not believe.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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07-02-2015, 08:28 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
Unanswered Prayers: Common Reasons Why

Guess what? It's all your fault!

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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07-02-2015, 08:35 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
“You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Two reasons: First of all, I think he's a good actor, okay? To me, that counts. Second, he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn't fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with.” - George Carlin

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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07-02-2015, 09:17 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me."
-- Emo Philips

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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07-02-2015, 01:11 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2015 01:18 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(07-02-2015 07:41 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  You are so wrong. Prayer is an incantation to the most powerful thing in the cosmos. It is carefully considered by this being personally because he loves YOU and wants a personal relationship with YOU so he listens to YOU and then if this incantation doesn't fit into his overall plan for YOU he lets it go because he looks out for YOU. If it does fit, he answers it because he is looking out for YOU. If you weren't such an arrogant non-believer you would know that. It is far, far more humble to know that your incantations are heard than to not believe.

[Image: ohyou.jpg]

#sigh
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