I don't get the concept of prayer. Either your god is to dumb to know what to do without you telling it..OR... It knows what to do but wants you to beg it to do the right thing. childish either way.
I'm always baffled by prayer. Christians say God has a perfect plan for everyone, but then they pray or ask for prayer when things arise. If God has a perfect plan, why are we asking him to bend to what we want? Is he perfect or not?!
There is no accounting for the stupidity that is inherent in the religious way of thinking.
My version of prayer is when you bow your head and start talking to yourself. It is also when you want your god to make changes just for you, or to change his devine plan just for you. God is too stupid to know what is best. You have to ask him for things and he keeps on opening or closing doors. This is the Christian way of life and it's like a game show. You do not know what is behind door number 3.
Paraphrasing the xtians i've interacted with on this topic:
Prayer is basically submission, and you don't ask god to change the course of action, but to ask for strength to endure whatever god decides (good or bad).
Circling back to being submissive and god being the "dom" in your personal relationship with "sky-daddy"; translation = Sadomasochism
Trying to "make sense" of religion is an exercise in futility. It's all make-believe. However, I've learned that for some people, praying has certain benefits. It's a sorta kinda cousin to meditation, which can indeed have a calming effect on the human mind. I have told more than a few people, yeah, if you believe there's a god up there somewhere, go ahead and pray to it. While I'm personally very sure there's no such thing as a god, some believers get some benefit from it. So yeah, go ahead. BUT, in addition to praying, DO something about the situation, and help yourself.
Prayer, that's some funny shit or sad shit depending on how you look at it. What it is for most folks is nothing more than wishful thinking. I'm praying means thinking wishfully towards someone or something.
So someone is thinking wishfully. That person also has an imaginary friend they think grants wishes. That makes them superior to everyone else as they have a direct line of communication open to an imaginary friend that grants wishes. For the life of me I can't understand why adults don't treat god the same as Santa. Have someone dress up as god and sit on his lap and tell him what you wish for. Write him a letter and send it off to his address. Oops, the PO doesn't deliver to god as he has no forwarding address that is reachable. No problem though, just write it down and he'll get the message loud and clear. Probably louder and clearer than mumbling under one's breath. Maybe send him an email? Not sure if he's on any instant messenger or social media sites but I'd suggest maybe giving that a try as well.
Isn't it hilarious how as children we have our imaginary friends and then people become adults and get a new adult imaginary friend. Personally I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I hear about or see a rational adult making wishes to their imaginary friend. Heck they might even pay to be able to speak to their imaginary friend and be around others who talk to the same friend.
Using just a small amount of common sense and rationality one can easily see how utterly insane having and talking to an imaginary friend is.
apparently, some gods are so insecure that they want their believers to beg for help. If god knows what a person needs, the only reason why the fulfillment of the need is not automatic seems to be because of the ego trip. I have heard some Xtians say that god fulfilled their need even before the person knew a need existed--what's with that? Why do some have to ask and others are not even aware of a problem?
In my opinion, religion has claimed and altered a form of meditation that uses a mantra to clear the mind and relax the body so whatever problem you have can be seen objectively and potential paths to solutions or redress are allowed to formulate. Religion has abused this to their benefit that gives them control.
I read somewhere that mediation is simply done for the sake of meditation and that there is no goal, nothing to be achieved.
So, if you visit a dentist and refuse a local anaesthetic would that be considered the practice of transcend dental medication?
It’s about one just satisfyin’ their own sense of fear.
I agree. There is a perfect being that loves me, so I must be perfect too. (and when I'm not..it forgives me). I feel so good inside !!
@Leetx Like an addictive narcotic…..once it gets you, it has you for life, unless you have the willpower to,break away from it or to resist it.
Right. If one believes they have no control over what is happening to them or around them, then how does one think that praying to an outside source is going to help?
However, thinking on the situation, taking a moment to look at it as from afar, taking in the whole big picture, might help one figure out a solution toward making things better.
Also, writing it out, talking with a friend, asking for help from a professional... these are all ways we can help ourselves.
Prayer gives the suckers an opportunity to feel like they can control nature. Burnt offerings, sacrifice of animals and children, donating money to "the church". It's very pagan.
It's completely nonsensical. At least prayer to the Christian conception of God, who, in their definition, is all knowing. This would mean he already knows what's going to happen, already knows whether or not you'll pray, and what is going to be the outcome of what you're praying for, making your prayer irrelevant.
I don't get it either. If God needs our advice and direction we are all in a heap of trouble!
Literalism ruins everything.
I think it’s better understood as a practice of mindfulness, like meditation. It’s a tool for managing personal psychology, not a hotline to emergency services.
It may not matter what their conscious intentions are, as long as it has a useful psychological effect. Placebos are known to have measurable therapeutic effect.
The mistake this study makes is the same one religious literalists, theist and atheist alike, make - the assumption that the purpose of prayer is to change something in the material world, be it for oneself or others.
But if it has a real influence it would be on the psychology of the person doing the praying. This study did not measure that. It measured, or tried to measure, the influence of one person, or group of persons’ prayers on other people’s health. The results were not surprising, or counter to what I have claimed.
@skado And the supposition that there's a psychological benefit to the one praying also fails to measure any negative effects one suffers from praying instead of doing something useful to actually improve their condition in the material world. Again, we see @Skado's apologetics only letting him see the beneficial side of religion...
I see the negative too, Chest. I figure that part doesn't need pointing out on this site.
But no living species maintains a costly behavior for 60 thousand years that has nothing but negative effects. The negative effects of a heritable disorder like sickle cell trait are easy for anyone to see. But to understand why nature selected that negative feature requires a deeper study.
@skado you assumption of what you think I feel prayer is for is incorrect. I posted earlier what I was taught. I'll tag you in it
@skado Do you see what you did there though? You're excusing a likely net negative behavior, done most often with the wrong intentions (as you admitted yourself, with literalism ruining it) by saying there's some other possible fringe benefit they could be getting they're not aware of, and then when you get called on it, you say you see the negative too even though you don't say it at first or temper your response with it. It's all positive about religion, all the way, until you're backed into a corner and reluctantly admit there's negatives. This. This is why people on here correctly assume and label you an apologist.
I don't expect anyone on here to remember anything I've posted in the past, but if you happened to, you would know that since I joined in 2017, I have spoken clearly, consistently, and firmly against religious literalism and fundamentalism. I have never needed to be "backed into a corner" in order to say what I have been proudly saying from day one. But no one on this site needs to be reminded of what they so clearly already know.
What I talk about here is the stuff so many apparently don't yet know much about or want to acknowledge - the evolutionary science behind religious behavior.
What you admit, by using the word "likely" is that you don't know whether religion is a net negative behavior or not. I don't see how that could ever be reliably measured quantitatively, but there is, at minimum, good scientific reason to suspect a net benefit toward reproductive fitness for our species based on all the known evidence, not the least of which is that it perfectly fits the scientific rule of thumb for adaptiveness - the fact that it is found in all human societies and in all time periods and places where human populations have ever existed.
If you or anyone here thinks I am an apologist for religious literalism, all I can say is either they haven't read anything I've ever written on the subject, or they have not understood it.
I'm neither excusing sickle cell trait nor condemning it - I'm simply describing its relationship to human adaptedness. Likewise I'm not making a value judgement about religion one way or the other, but simply pointing out its known relationship to human history and how exceedingly well it conforms to known principles of adaptive behavior.
Fine, but the article from the Independent doesn't address that either. It only addresses people praying for other people, not people praying for strength to endure reality. Asking rank&file Christians what prayer is for is like asking a peacock what his tail is for - he doesn't know. But scientists know he uses it as a fitness display. Better to ask a scientist why people pray. You are asking people you think are delusional to tell you why they are behaving delusionally. Better ask a psychologist.
@skado The sickle cell analogy is indeed a true one. Especially since it should be remembered, that we now live in an age when there are better ways to combat malaria available, and whatever benefits sickle cell anaemia may have had in the past, it is now today a wholly harmful disease, which will hopefully be eradicated soon.
Theist religion, of the sort most people here reject, has not been around for sixty thousand years. In fact it is quite a new thing in religion, and goes back perhaps twenty thousand years or so plus, in a very few cultures if that. In many western cultures perhaps ten thousand, about the same length of time as piracy in fact. I now long to hear your explainations for the continuation of piracy, and it benefits to humanity.
@skado I do remember nearly all of what you have posted on here, and I would never say that you are an apologist for literal belief in god. But to be an apologist for belief in theist religion, with all its evils and limitations, as if it were itself a god, and to be blind to the many better ways of achieving all of its doubtful benefits, which are available today, because of that. Without even the poor excuse of a literal belief in the god superstition, that is indeed fundamentalism of the worst sort.
Reasonable answer, specifically to it's effectiveness
I'm betting it's Jay with a hatchet.