Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
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30-01-2013, 06:32 PM
Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
Hi I'm Lizzie and I'm beginning to think about Atheism. I'm just coming to point in my life where I don't believe it's necessary to have "God" guiding you through every step. I believe now I've been in denial of it for awhile, but I just think life just happens and you don't always need a "god " guiding you through every step. Here's an example.
I haven't been officially diagnosed with this Disability but I believe I have Dyscalculia Math Dyslexia. It basically means you have trouble reading and understanding Math problems, and something that makes sense one day is gone the next. That's why I really didn't like it when my dad said "Well why don't you just pray that God helps you do your best in Math?" Sorry Dad I don't think God is going to change that.
What I'm noticing at my youth group a-lot is although the lesson or idea changes from week to week one common things remains. You have to ask God for guidance with a personal problem. There's sopposedly this exercise where you nail a problem on the cross and hand it over to God. The most common problem I've nailed on the cross numerous times is Math.
It's not as easy as just handing it over to God.
One it's a rare disorder that affects about only 4-6% of people. I have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and A.D.D. but because Dyscalculia is so hard to diagnose. My Psychiatrist knew nothing, the Neurologist I went to knew nothing, I tried to get an appointment with a Psychologist I researched on the internet and from her description she said she works with numerous types of Dyslexic's which made me think she might help with Dyscalculia. But then she had a family emergency, and then a lady called in and the appointment was on the wrong date. So now we're going to a Neurophysicologist and he seems to be giving me the answer.
I did reach an agreement with my math teacher recently that I would only do evens on the chapter worksheets, and then on the 9 page review worksheets handed out at the end of each chapter along with the chapter worksheets, but I think it was just life.
I also don't like the way one of my youth groups leaders has reacted to me. I feel pressure to have a prayer request because if I don't have one she will be dissapointed. I think the real reason looking at it now was just because I really believed not everything has to be guided with "God." I'd rather figure out some things on my own.
I also was sitting in church one day and a guy announced to the Church praying about keeping the church building because the school district around there wanted to buy the church. But in my head I was like" That's kind of selfish" I don't think praying changes that . What happens will happen. That's life!
I'm also in a bit of a dilemma because I have a boyfriend but he's a pretty strong Christian. I think he's really sweet, and I really don't want to break his heart, but this is how I've been feeling the last few days.
I can see how praying helps some people. They don't know how to do things on their own so they turn to God. Dyscalculia is what led also to a period of Agnosticism this year. I just don't know why but I guess it's maturity.
Now I'm 18 and just think it's best to let some things just happen on their own. If praying helps do it but if it stresses you out don't push religion on yourself. Is this a type of Atheism? Please let me know.
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31-01-2013, 05:28 PM
RE: Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
Welcome to TTA, Lizzie Smile

Speaking for myself, I don't pray as I don't believe in a god (being a good little atheist an' all).

I suggest you do yourself a bit of reading. This site provides a wealth of information in relation to your unanswered questions.

Enjoy your stay Thumbsup

Humankind Dodgy (a total misnomer)
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31-01-2013, 05:56 PM
RE: Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
Welcome!
One of the forum sections has a collection of videos by "the thinking atheist".
You may really enjoy watching these.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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31-01-2013, 06:02 PM
RE: Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
Hi, and welcome to the forums. Now I'm going to scare you off with a giant wall of text...

You may not be in the right place if you want support for praying, or even giving it a fair shot (vs. not praying). So I'll try to play devil's advocate (hmmm, that sounds more menacing in a theological discussion than in a secular one).

I think you've already made it clear that you don't think praying will help. I agree. Consider this: most Christians I know say that god answers every prayer, but the answer might not be what you want. It's always "yes", "no", or "wait".

So let's say you want it to rain, so you pray for rain. I also want it to rain but I don't believe in prayer. Three things might happen:

1. It rains today. You think god said "yes". I think I got lucky that it rained.
2. It doesn't rain. Day after day after day of no rain. You think god said "no". I think I got unlucky.
3. It doesn't rain today, but it rains in two days. You think god said "wait". I think it's better late than never.

How can we tell the difference? It's identical. Pray or don't pray, we still might get rain, today, in a couple days, or not at all. To me and to you it's exactly the same. It rains all the time, even when nobody prays for rain. Rain happens. You might say that's god's will. I might say that's a natural occurrence. How can we tell the difference?

Why does god ever say "no"? It's his plan. He works in mysterious ways. Etc. In other words, every time we pray and we don't get the answer we want, we let him off the hook. "Oh well, I guess he's being mysterious again." But when good things happen that we didn't even pray for, we give him full credit. He gets credit for all the good stuff and no blame for any of the bad stuff.

But if we honestly stop letting him off the hook, if we honestly examine our lives and the world around us, if we honestly track the times good things happen and the times bad things happen and compare that to the times we prayed for one of those outcomes and got what we prayed for, I think we'll find that the honest results show that it seems very, very random. And if we stop praying and keep tracking, I think we'll find that the honest results are exactly as random as they were before (with prayer).

Also consider that god always answers everyone's prayers with things that could have happened on their own, naturally, without god. Your friend gets sick so you pray for her to get better and she does. Was that god, or did her immune system just overcome the illness? How can we tell the difference? You pray to win the lottery and you do. Was that god or did you just get lucky (some lucky person had to win)? When was the last time you (or anyone else) prayed for something that could never happen naturally, such as praying for an amputee to grow back his lost limb, or praying for it to rain chocolate donuts with candy sprinkles, and such a prayer actually worked? Never. Not once in all of history has an impossible prayer been answered.

So, you might pray, and something might happen or nothing might happen, and even if something happens it will always be something that could have happened naturally, even without the prayer.

What's the point then?

The very best thing I can say about prayer is it might be a bit of a placebo effect for someone that has no other relief from a problem, but even that is a double-edged sword because this often leads those people to choose prayer instead of trying to find a more meaningful solution.

I think your post shows that you're already coming to the same conclusion.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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31-01-2013, 06:10 PM
RE: Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
(31-01-2013 06:02 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Hi, and welcome to the forums. Now I'm going to scare you off with a giant wall of text...

You may not be in the right place if you want support for praying, or even giving it a fair shot (vs. not praying). So I'll try to play devil's advocate (hmmm, that sounds more menacing in a theological discussion than in a secular one).

I think you've already made it clear that you don't think praying will help. I agree. Consider this: most Christians I know say that god answers every prayer, but the answer might not be what you want. It's always "yes", "no", or "wait".

So let's say you want it to rain, so you pray for rain. I also want it to rain but I don't believe in prayer. Three things might happen:

1. It rains today. You think god said "yes". I think I got lucky that it rained.
2. It doesn't rain. Day after day after day of no rain. You think god said "no". I think I got unlucky.
3. It doesn't rain today, but it rains in two days. You think god said "wait". I think it's better late than never.

How can we tell the difference? It's identical. Pray or don't pray, we still might get rain, today, in a couple days, or not at all. To me and to you it's exactly the same. It rains all the time, even when nobody prays for rain. Rain happens. You might say that's god's will. I might say that's a natural occurrence. How can we tell the difference?

Why does god ever say "no"? It's his plan. He works in mysterious ways. Etc. In other words, every time we pray and we don't get the answer we want, we let him off the hook. "Oh well, I guess he's being mysterious again." But when good things happen that we didn't even pray for, we give him full credit. He gets credit for all the good stuff and no blame for any of the bad stuff.

But if we honestly stop letting him off the hook, if we honestly examine our lives and the world around us, if we honestly track the times good things happen and the times bad things happen and compare that to the times we prayed for one of those outcomes and got what we prayed for, I think we'll find that the honest results show that it seems very, very random. And if we stop praying and keep tracking, I think we'll find that the honest results are exactly as random as they were before (with prayer).

Also consider that god always answers everyone's prayers with things that could have happened on their own, naturally, without god. Your friend gets sick so you pray for her to get better and she does. Was that god, or did her immune system just overcome the illness? How can we tell the difference? You pray to win the lottery and you do. Was that god or did you just get lucky (some lucky person had to win)? When was the last time you (or anyone else) prayed for something that could never happen naturally, such as praying for an amputee to grow back his lost limb, or praying for it to rain chocolate donuts with candy sprinkles, and such a prayer actually worked? Never. Not once in all of history has an impossible prayer been answered.

So, you might pray, and something might happen or nothing might happen, and even if something happens it will always be something that could have happened naturally, even without the prayer.

What's the point then?

The very best thing I can say about prayer is it might be a bit of a placebo effect for someone that has no other relief from a problem, but even that is a double-edged sword because this often leads those people to choose prayer instead of trying to find a more meaningful solution.

I think your post shows that you're already coming to the same conclusion.
Yes thank you. You read my mind perfectly. Many things happens without God. I can see how prayer helps some people, but honestly I'm at a point in my life where I just think I need to learn things on my own.
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02-02-2013, 10:17 PM
RE: Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
(31-01-2013 06:10 PM)lizzielee Wrote:  Yes thank you. You read my mind perfectly. Many things happens without God. I can see how prayer helps some people, but honestly I'm at a point in my life where I just think I need to learn things on my own.

It's an important place to be.

Some fun questions to ask yourself:

- If things can be explained without prayer, can you see how the likelihood that the thing prayed for had a chance of coming true regardless of prayer?
- Is what sounds good important? Or is what is true important? Is one more important than the other? In other words, is what is true more important to you than what simply sounds good?
- How do we discern what is true and what isn't?
- Do things have a purely intrinsic value? Or do we give things value because we hold or see personal value in them? Why?

I was a Christian for most of my life. I've been an atheist for a few years now. Lots of questions popped up in my head and I think a lot of us have been in similar places. There was a time when all I knew was a strict set of beliefs and there was just simply no other way of thinking. I do not owe my way of thinking to being an atheist, I owe and value free thinking because I care more about what is true than what just sounds good to me. It came with a difficult reconciliation that sometimes reality and the world around us isn't what we expect sometimes perhaps not what we want, or maybe don't want to accept. With time my views about that even changed.

I would call them "stages" if you will... I went through doubt, curiosity, exploration, confusion, more curiosity and exploration and started searching out for answers.

Things do indeed just sometimes happen Smile Shit for shit, good for good and life is life.

Welcome to the forums either way, and don't be afraid to chat it up and ask questions. It's a wonderful community with wonderful people. Civil and in depth discussions are rewarded with civil and in depth discussions.
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03-02-2013, 12:43 PM
RE: Things just happen! It's not always spiritual!
Hi Lizzielee and welcome. You are courageous in dealing with your issues, and you are learning how to work with them and around them.

You are correct that prayer does not appear to change anything since results are no different if you pray or not. Prayer can make people feel better, but I suspect that the effect is similar to what meditation does for you, such as relaxation, calming and destressing, release of endorphins, and whatever else happens to the body and brain when slowing down racing minds in our crazy-fast world. That's my theory on it anyhow.

You are smart to realize that you have to figure things out for yourself. This shows that you are a smart young woman who is growing into a wise and well adjusted adult. Glad to have you here.

Godless in the Magnolia State
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