"Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
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02-09-2015, 10:25 PM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
No. My family is all atheist.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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02-09-2015, 10:35 PM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
For as much as atheists espouse the triviality of prayer, if the act of doing so in that moment would provide comfort to a loved one in their final, most fearful time as a conscience being, the one and only that we know they have, it is the only humane thing to do. It's an act of love that in context transcends our petty arguments. In that moment it's not about god, it's about them. In the interest of someone I love, at that moment I'll gladly shove my ego up my own ass for a minute and be who they need me to be.

However, on my own deathbed I'd like those loved ones wishing for me to pray with them to return the sentiment and fuck off with their empty pleas for whatever. Just saying...

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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02-09-2015, 11:17 PM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
Praying has the exact same effect as the Pledge of Allegiance, which I also don't say because it's equally stupid.

But likewise, I don't think either one's a snake that'll bite me, or that the "gods of atheism" will be displeased, so if it's something that makes my dying friend/mother/anyone feel better, then what's the harm? I'll sing "God Save the Queen" if it'll make someone even recover from a regular illness, let alone be comforted in their dying moments.

That said, I agree 100% with Momsurroundedbyboys; if they're not dying and I know they would likely use the occasion to say to everyone that I was "saved", and cause me a bunch of grief because of their own religious hangups, then no, I would refuse to pray, and I would say why I refused.

I think this thread is just another one of those stupid Christian "Jesus is Magic!" ideas, like where they tried to get Madalyn O'Hare to touch a Bible, as though she was a vampire or something, or the ones who will come up and say "JAYZUS!!" at you (I've had this happen while protesting at the state capital with one of my atheist groups, during the National Day of Prayer ceremonies) like they're invoking a spell that will banish the demons in you back to Hell. The premise here is that we would be somehow refusing to pray because we're afraid of its power.

So to the OP (or whoever inspired the OP with the source info), I just want to make myself clear: It's stupid. Praying is stupid and meaningless. And if you think prayer has actual magical power, YOU'RE stupid. Thank you, drive through.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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02-09-2015, 11:45 PM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
(02-09-2015 10:25 PM)Banjo Wrote:  No. My family is all atheist.

Most of mine are too.

I actually don't know any prayers.

If someone asked me to say a prayer I'd be dumbstruck.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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02-09-2015, 11:56 PM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
I was right there when my mom was dying and she didn't ask.
If she had asked, I would have prayed with her. It wouldn't have bothered me one bit.
I would not feel like a hypocrite because I still wouldn't be a believer.
I wouldn't be excommunicated by atheism, and the god of atheism wouldn't smite me, because those things don't exist.
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02-09-2015, 11:58 PM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
I read that and went, "yay! An invitation for self-righteous pontification!" Followed the links and sure enough, "here's three of my buddies weighing in." Well, if there's anything a blogger loves, it is the sight of his own typing. Why is it that atheists resort to theists' tactics? I want to ask you a question, but first I want you to imaging your mother dying; I want you to imagine being beside her deathbed, with the tubes and the smell, the low electric hum of futility. I want you to consider the moral weight of your integrity against providing a final moment of comfort.

"See!" The theist jumps out of the bushes, "there are no atheists at the final frontier! You're all just mad at God!"

I mean, who is this OP? I'm not a fan of emotional blackmail. I'm not a fan of imagining loved ones dying merely to moralize. Besides...
I'd just pray to my Gwynnies! Big Grin

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03-09-2015, 12:10 AM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
It's sad that they think we refuse to pray out of some sense of "atheistic integrity", like we have doctrines and catechisms.

We don't pray because it's stupid. Same reason we don't talk to walls or plants.

Actually, come to think of it, it's dumber than that, because walls and plants are real.

It's the same reason we don't talk to Gandalf on our mother's behalf.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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03-09-2015, 12:20 AM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
What, there's no integrity in your atheism? Tongue

Quote:And here I present to you my decidedly less nuanced approach, the “fuck no and fuck you” approach.
Big Grin

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03-09-2015, 01:56 AM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
HoC - Damn, I just got done reading that article, and I take back what I said. No, I won't pray with anyone. Had not considered it from that angle, before.

"So. How would prayer harm me, you ask?

Prayer is a symbolic act. It’s not meaningless. It’s an act by which you recognize people’s identity. If you see someone praying by headbanging before a wall, rather than a metal concert, you recognize them as Jewish. If someone prays by placing their forehead on the ground and raising their ass to the air, they’re Muslim. If someone prays by meditation they’re either a Buddhist or the most annoying version of middle class asshole.

Praying with a religious person would mean that I’m signalling the world that I’m one of them. And this has been my experience as an atheist my entire life: be one of us, if not, be like us. We’re all Muslims. No atheists in Iran. This has been what I’ve been combating my entire life.

Prayer is a complete denial of my identity. It’s adapting the symbolism of a system of thought which among its dogmas hold that I must be killed, that I’m on the same value as piss and shit (this is not an exaggeration, the list of unclean things in Islam really does include all three), and has marginalized me my entire life.

Prayer is an act I have refused to do and as a result I have been abused and lived a traumatized life. Prayer has always been the litmus test for Muslims to root out their enemies. When they take you to question your religiosity at work to decide whether you deserve employment or not they ask you about praying most of all.

So how would it harm me? By erasing me. By perpetuating my oppression. That’s how."


Fuckin' A, as we say here in the 'States.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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03-09-2015, 02:18 AM
RE: "Should you push aside your atheism for a few moments?"
How closely one aligns with atheism would determine the level of compromise, I'm thinking. "I'm an atheist" is a fundamental identity function for this clown, which is a lot different from somebody who is a whole list of things. So for most, I don't think atheistic integrity need apply.

Then I get kinda peeve-y with the whole "let's start a convo beginning with death" angle.

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