When others ask you to pray...
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25-02-2012, 03:39 AM (This post was last modified: 25-02-2012 03:42 AM by Smooshmonster.)
When others ask you to pray...
(Apologies if this has been brought up before, I searched the other threads but I didn't do it in great detail.)

I've been thinking about this recently. My immediate family does not pray and neither do I, but my extended family and some friends do, and they generally do not think twice about including me in emails about "So-and-so is struggling with cancer, please pray for him" or facebook messages of "There was an earthquake in X, our prayers are with the victims".

And being catholics, they pray about everything, to just about everyone. They even pray to pass their exams, and light candles for people who are travelling.

And while all they have to do is clasp their hands together, recite a few words, and they'll feel like they've helped, I can't do that. I don't believe in it. I am not helping.

Recently my uncle died of cancer and my grandmother asked me to pray for his soul. Not believing in souls or prayers, I instead made a donation to the Cancer Society. It made me feel better, probably the same feeling theists get when they pray.
So I've decided, every time someone asks me to pray, I will make a donation to the relevant charity instead,

So, when others pray, what do you do?
Ok, adding in a disclaimer because after I reread this, it sounds horrible condescending to any theists. That is not my intention. This is about what you do to feel better, to feel like you've done something.

"But the point is, find somebody to love. Everything else is overrated." - HouseofCantor
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25-02-2012, 03:49 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
(25-02-2012 03:39 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  So, when others pray, what do you do?

I like the advice. Granted, if I gave every time someone prayed, I'd owe a lot of money to someone.

Generic emails with prayer (and other spam chain letters), I use that as an opportunity to teach them how people can get emails from chain letters and how to use the BCC option to mask the buttload of people they sent it too. Sometimes end up having to fix their computer or get them to have it fixed because of what they downloaded (and ran) from the email. Those give me a laugh at times (because of how willing they are to open random stuff from strangers).

Defy gravity... stand up. Drinking Beverage
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25-02-2012, 05:11 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
Check out this thread... question 2.
http://thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thre...conundrums
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25-02-2012, 07:51 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
I think that is the double edged sword of religion......yes most of it is bullshit but it can bring out good intentions from people.

If you feel you want to do something then thats all good......no matter what it is as long as you feel it is positive then Im with you.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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25-02-2012, 09:18 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
My wife's family is pretty big on prayer at the dinner table, so when we on the rare occasion have dinner with them, everyone lowers their heads and prays.... Except us.
We just become quiet. The hardest part is that we look at each other and tend to incite giggles.
Doesn't help that my daughter usually decides that prayer time is the best time to make stupid sounds to try and get a laugh or two either.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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25-02-2012, 09:16 PM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
Once asked by some distant family member while at a reception “Do you pray?”
“On who? The weak? They offer little challenge but its helps to pass the time.”
Seething glare “Oh, your one of those”
“Yep, anything else?”
She just stalked off to gossip to one of the other wrinkly ones there while my daughter harassed yet another one that dressed like a priest.
He deserved it too, the born-again fruit-loop.

Putting the fun back into funerals

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. Friedrich Nietzsche
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26-02-2012, 09:49 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
(25-02-2012 09:16 PM)Karl Wrote:  Once asked by some distant family member while at a reception “Do you pray?”
“On who? The weak? They offer little challenge but its helps to pass the time.”
Seething glare “Oh, your one of those”
“Yep, anything else?”
She just stalked off to gossip to one of the other wrinkly ones there while my daughter harassed yet another one that dressed like a priest.
He deserved it too, the born-again fruit-loop.

Putting the fun back into funerals

I'm not sure what I laughed at more...your response or the fact that you've trained your daughter so well.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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26-02-2012, 09:58 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
I'm repectful of them praying but politely decline to join when asked. If pushed I'll usually offer up a slavo that leaves nothing to the imagination and usually disparages thier faith, intelligence and ancserty.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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26-02-2012, 10:40 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
I was threatened with my job once for not attending a 'prayer breakfast'. I refused to attend because the occasion was liken to asking me to go Easter Egg hunting in a mine field - wrong reason and wrong place. If I have to pray for some deity to get me through a task, then someone really screwed up in the planning stage.

When in the presence of someone that says "Let's bow our heads and pray..." I usually spend the time looking around at everyone else in the room - mainly to see who's looking at me; my views are controversial when it comes to general beliefs.

"I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders...
Thanks for getting off my back!"
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Arcticspear Idea
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26-02-2012, 11:00 AM
RE: When others ask you to pray...
(25-02-2012 03:39 AM)Smooshmonster Wrote:  This is about what you do to feel better, to feel like you've done something.

You hit the nail on the head. People naturally feel something for others whether its guilt, hope, sadness, etc. It's a natural reaction that most humans have. Praying helps with that for the "believers" and many of them are convinced it helps.

If you feel the need to give money, than do that. And sometimes that may be the best and appropriate thing to do.

But personally, 99 times out of 100 when some asks me to pray for someone else, I let them know that I have them in my thoughts, which is really what I think people asking for prayers are subconsciously after/need anyways.

Peace.

And yet another interesting topic I am not interested in.
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