Prayer vs. Reality (Why praying to a "God" is not for everyone)
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31-01-2013, 05:42 PM
Prayer vs. Reality (Why praying to a "God" is not for everyone)
I'm considering Atheism because I get tired of having to have a "God " guide me through everything. Many problems are out of our control that have nothing to do with how hard we pray. Like for example I remember in Second Grade in this bible study club this guy was talking about how Disney wanted to buy his radio and how he knew "God" didn't want him to allow Disney to buy his Christian radio. That God is more powerful and stuff ! Guess what happened Disney bought it!
Look at shopping malls. Stores out buy each other all the time and it has nothing to do with a biblical force!
Also my church is telling me again a similiar story of how we should pray that God keeps the school district from buying the church, but yet again that's life! It's nothing changing us.
Many issue's are out of our control and it has nothing what so ever to do with prayer. If you feel praying helps you solve things you can't figure out on your own, but if it doesn't for people like myself don't stress about it.
Here's an example my English teacher had us pull up these "This I believe" essays and I started reading some on Atheism. I could relate to one of themes brought up on this one article about how one day in her Catholic Church she had to submit these sins to God yet she really didn't feel she had anything that needed forgiveness. So she lied about sins she commited just to fit in.
This is how I was beginning to feel in the back of my mind. I don't need "God" guiding me through every step! To me it has just put more pressure on me numerous times in church trying to think of something to add to the discussion of these youth group meetings. I really felt half of my problems just needed to work out on their own.
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31-01-2013, 09:28 PM
RE: Prayer vs. Reality (Why praying to a "God" is not for everyone)
Atheism is going back to your default natural state prior to being indoctrinated and told what to believe. You should at least cast off the man made cult called Christianity that you were infected with. You can then decide if you find that you have a belief in any deities. Once you have a clear head you can see the absurdities you were forced to believe in as a child.

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. – Thomas Paine
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31-01-2013, 10:42 PM
RE: Prayer vs. Reality (Why praying to a "God" is not for everyone)
The whole concept of praying highlights the absurdity of fundamentalist beliefs (not all religion involves prayer though). It is essentially an admission of helplessness when it comes to influencing the effects of an event. The kicker is that most fundamentalist believers are praying to a supposedly omnipotent deity that set the course of all events in motion from the beginning of the universe, and they are asking for him to potentially completely mess up his cosmic plan for the benefit of the petitioner.

For one thing, that comes across as extremely egotistical and selfish. For another, it is logically contradictory. If things are already predetermined, how is praying to the deity going to change anything? Either the result you desired was already included in the plan or it wasn't. They are also committing the fallacy of correlation≠causation and are exaggerating the hits and downplaying the misses. If the misses are severe enough, many will rationalize it by invoking the mysterious nature of God's plan. When analyzed in an honest manner, the whole conceptual foundation of prayer makes absolutely no sense.

The reason it happens though is because for many fundamentalists, the deity they believe in is actually little more than an extension of their ego, and they are unaware of this due to a series of ingrained psychological traps. So it becomes a placebo effect for them, which is understandable in situations where they have simply no others ways to cope (such as a loved one suffering from a terminal illness).

The problem is, it can just as easily led to codependency if the system is abused, which it often is, rather than encouraging self-sufficiency. Because of this, a fundamentalist might actually prematurely assume a situation to be out of their control since their first instinct will be to pray to god. Inversely, however, they might also delude themselves into believing they can influence the outcome of an event they truly have no way of actually manipulating. The latter is merely wishful thinking, the former can be extremely damaging.

So at its core, prayer is ALWAYS an admission of helplessness, regardless of whether the petitioner is aware that this is the case. Yet the individual who is praying can just as easily convince themselves of actually making a difference where they in reality have no input to give, or they do actually have input to give, but there is not GUARANTEE that it will go the way they want it to, and the likelihood that it will is solely related to their own efforts. The reason the concept is so contradictory is because it is not based upon principles of logic, but is instead entirely couched within psychological phenomena.

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01-02-2013, 08:02 PM
RE: Prayer vs. Reality (Why praying to a "God" is not for everyone)
You are intelligent and have figured out that there is generally a very human explanation for things, such as the school district deal.

I really love the 12-steppers surrendering to the higher power god as you understand him. Apparently you can't overcome addiction without it/him. I quit smoking over 24 years ago, no god necessary. Thoughts of future lung cancer or emphysema were motivation enough for me. Other motivators included the expense of smoking, peer pressure not to smoke, support of family and friends for the first month when I was not pleasant to be during nicotine withdrawal, and the sense of accomplishment when I passed that initial fun.

Godless in the Magnolia State
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02-02-2013, 06:26 PM
RE: Prayer vs. Reality (Why praying to a "God" is not for everyone)
Prayer is an interesting coping mechanism, isn't it?

It exists as self-reinforcement; Pray to god to reinforce the illusion that a god is there.

Funny thing is, you can achieve to exact same result as praying to a deity by praying to a jug of milk.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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02-02-2013, 06:38 PM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2013 06:41 PM by Logisch.)
RE: Prayer vs. Reality (Why praying to a "God" is not for everyone)
One does not simply "consider" atheism. Perhaps your understanding of what it means is perhaps misunderstood. It is a lack of belief in a god or gods. You either believe in a god or gods or you don't. You either know for certain or you don't or can't.

There are a few simple ways of breaking this down.

You're gnostic (you know)
You're agnostic (you don't know, or can't know)
You're a theist (believer)
You're an atheist (non-believer)

There is gnostic theism and gnostic atheism (you "know" there is a god or you "know" there isn't a god)...
There is agnosticm theism and agnostic atheism (You don't know there is a god or can't for certain know and believe in one, or you don't know there is a god and don't believe in one or can't know and don't believe in one).

It has everything to do with your level of knowledge. It can be broken down that simply.

So do you believe in a god or do you not believe in a god?
Do you know for certain or do you not know for certain?
Do you have justification for your belief or lack of belief?
Is it based on knowledge and things that are empirical? Or are they based on faith alone?

Then you have your stance on the subject. So when someone says "I'm considering atheism" it sounds weird because it is almost like saying, "I am considering a potential lack of believe in something I'm uncertain or can't know about" or "I'm considering not believing in something and I know for certain it doesn't exist."

I hope that makes sense Wink

Prayer thus far appears to be a placebo and nothing more nothing less. There's been studies that show that people who have placebo effects in many areas do marginally better than people with no placebo. That goes for medicine, mental state, etc etc... so is there a placebo advantage to people who think something is guiding them or helping them? Possibly. Does it mean there is? No reason to believe so, unless you have a justification or evidence for it. "It's all in your head"...
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