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if your mother was on her deathbed and she begged you to pray with her.
would you do it, would you accept Christ as your personal savior so that she could be comforted in her last moments of life?

By m165667
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104 comments

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2

This really happened in James Joyce's situation and he carried guilt with him over it all his life. It wasn't about actually accepting Christ in her presence, it was about whether he should pretend to or not. I think the question is really 'should you hold to your principles no matter what' or are principles general guidelines that are not appropriate, or helpful, in some circumstances.

brentan Level 8 May 19, 2019

in all ethical dilemmas, I think we should always seek to do the least harm.
for myself if I had to be baptized to accept Jesus to keep a job I wouldn't.
if I had hungry children that I was responsible for I might.

Gosh yes, having a family can really change how we think. I guess we're just not thinking for one person anymore.

10

Yep! I’ve been there when I was in the medical field. Families ask you to pray with them frequently. You just do it because you’re human and they are hurting and that’s their comfort. What do I care? I know praying or accepting Jesus means nothing, but the people dying, and their families hurting, well who am I to cause them anymore hurt?

saying Good-bye to your mother is a sacred time.......there is a Divinity that is running the show.....it's not the "god" in the Bible.......but there is a superior intelligence running the universe. If you are a good person, you will be okay.......love in important. Don't be a murderer, and/or rapist. love don't hate.......

7

I look at this question the same way I view funerals. Giving comfort to someone in their last moments by going through the motions is no different than sitting in a religious funeral service. It's not for my comfort but the comfort of others who desperately need it.

7

I could say the words but they would have no meaning, to me at least, so if it gave someone solace why not

ipdg77 Level 8 May 19, 2019
7

My mother remained her abusive, histrionic, narcissistic self on her deathbed. Her actual last words were abuse, hurled at me.
But I would not have prayed etc. Had she asked, I’d have found someone to pray with her while I went out of the room.

You deserved a better Mum

Precisely why reply was "No chance," because I suffered for years under an abusive, nasty, cruel vicious thing that called itself my 'mother.'

6

Sure , who cares . Dying parent or anyone worthing . I don't care at all if I pretend to pray to make them happy . If I have to lie that " oh yes I accept Jesus just for u " insert name ", who cares ! What's gonna happen man , Jesus gonna come next day and ask for my promise or something ? I give a rats ass about such details . If a favorite human is about to expire and asking me for comfort , no problem . Let the human go peacefully . It does not matter in the big picture ! 😂My integrity will not be damaged at least to my face on the mirror .
I have patients that ask me to pray w them b4 surgery . Or family members who ask me to pray w them while patient at OR . I have never refused . This is not the time to say " morons ". This is the time to say " I understand , I am here for u ". In ways that THEY feel is important .
Man , I have stood there w my head low thinking what's next on my list to do or what do I have to do when I get home , and yes , it made the patient feel good and made the families feel support . That's all I care . Rest are not important on a time of crisis .

Pralina1 Level 8 May 19, 2019
6

I have done that for loved ones who were dying. I also kept my non-theist beliefs from my father, because I knew it would have hurt him greatly.

Pretending to pray, to comfort someone who is dying, feels weird, but it is no sacrifice.

6

My Mother a strong willed and beautiful woman in every sense would never try to manipulate me in that fashion, or anyone else for that matter.

Tooreen Level 7 May 18, 2019
5

Absolutely. I would pay homage to Satan if that's what she wanted. Then, after her passing, i'd resume my regularly scheduled program.

Storm1752 Level 7 May 19, 2019
5

I would have gone through the motions to comfort her had she asked. She wasn't religious though and didn't.

I am nursing assistant in facilities so I have prayed with many people nearing death and just on regular days. It isn't really about me and it helps them feel better.

MsAl Level 7 May 19, 2019
5

Countless people do it every Sunday in church. Some people go for family and friends. Others desperately WANT to believe...but don't.

5

Yes of course. My mother has always been a kind, generous, loving human being. Allowing her pass in peace is the very least I could do for her.

darthfaja Level 7 May 19, 2019
5

I would pretend. I had to bow my head many times to give thanks to the sky Daddy. Can't hurt anything to play with somebody's imaginary friend for a little while.

Kojaksmom Level 8 May 19, 2019
5

No of course not. How controlling of her. What a lousy relationship she had with her child.

Theresa_N Level 6 May 19, 2019
5

In that moment, why the fuck not? I know it's just talking to the wind, but it would make her happy.

Kynlei Level 8 May 19, 2019
5

Being an actor, I could probably pull it off just for her sake. Afterward, I would probably repent by washing my mouth out with soap.

Thanks for the Sunday morning laugh.

5

My mother was on her death bed 4 months ago. I was with her at the end. She was not conscious, so your hypothetical didn't quite apply. But I was asked to be involved in a Catholic family ritual before the end. I said no, due to my convictions. My mother knew my views on religion and that appalling church. She respected that. No need to pretend otherwise at the end. Was it easy to say no? No, but I did not waver. Keeping your convictions in tough times is when it truly matters.

David1955 Level 8 May 18, 2019
4

I close friend's mother was on her deathbed and a priest came in to administer the last rites. He did so for the mother but then turned to my friend and told her she was being excommunicated (she was 17 and living with her boyfriend - who she later married and they are still together after some 45 years). The dumbass priest had no idea of what effect that would have on her mother but it was the final straw for my friend to become a staunch atheist.

4

No of course not. She's an atheist too

Flettie Level 7 May 19, 2019
4

I'm certainly open to prayer to make the transition for them easier. Hell, maybe even the conversion thing if it comes to that.

It's not like it matters lol.

Mb_Man Level 7 May 19, 2019
4

I'd tell her I had done it, I would close my eyes while she prayed, etc.
It is too late for her to see sense, and she is terminally ill, so at this point what is the harm in indulging her fantasy.
I sang along at my mothers funeral to avoid upsetting my father and causing a scene.
If the inquisition came back and it was renounce atheism or be tortured I would say so, it would mean nothing and leave me alive and well to undermine from the inside.
It's a bloody stupid thought experiment, but that is my answer.

4

No.

wordywalt Level 8 May 19, 2019
4

Of course, send her off in peace. It's a rare thing now a days that used to be called common sense

IamNobody Level 8 May 19, 2019
4

Of course! What's life? Put a smile on her face and let her heart rest in peace .

Nader Level 6 May 19, 2019
4

Sounds to me like a deal made under duress. Aren't these kinds of agreements - between your mother's God and you - unenforceable; like, null and void?

How sad that mom would rather have you lie to her to feel better than to have you be honest with her.

RussRAB Level 7 May 19, 2019
4

Absolutely. As long as she believes I'm sincere about it is all that matters. I would make out a list to Santa Claus if it gave her peace on her death bed.

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