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  Topic: Prayer, Worse than doing nothing< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 20 2008,14:46   

It's good that people feel empathy and sympathy. But it's a shame that they pray, because this really does bugger all and yet allows folks to feel like they're making a difference, which they're not. Send money, write a letter or something. You might not even be praying to the right God...

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
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Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 20 2008,15:14   

The only prayer I never really understood, was the prayer before diner. Why thanking an mythological and transcendant being?? The farmer who grew the food deserves the thanks, the supermarket personal who make sure it's available to you, and ofcourse the person earning the money in your house so you can buy the food. Why not thanking the right sources?
As for the other moments, I kinda understand why people do it. Some people simply need to support themselfs, humans are emotionally pretty weak creatures.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 20 2008,15:15   

I am in a good mood today,so I am willing to grant that prayers would at least get the same benefit as those repeating mantras. *

But that's as far as it goes.  

OMMMMMM!


* Your results may vary.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,02:54   

I'm kind of with J-dog on this.  To an extent I think a prayer could be a way to focus your thoughts, a way to take a step back and take stock of your situation.  Hell, I saw a sign on a local church recently that was halfway to being an invitation to Buddhist meditation.  It said something about turning off the television and computer and sitting in the silence and knowing God.

As for the accomplishing nothing thing, well, in some situations there is nothing (more) you can do anyway, but you're left with the desire to act.

I was once in the unpleasant situation of sitting out a tornado warning in a house without a basement.  So I sat it out in the inner hallway of the house with a group of people, and waited.


I can't say I was in mortal fear of imminent death, but the feeling of complete helplessness was overpowering.  Perhaps it's wrong, but my impulse is always to get out into the open.  I want to see the damn thing coming, I want to be able to act.  Sitting in a hallway not knowing if anything is coming and unable to do anything if it was was a tough thing to deal with.

I'm not saying praying to an invisible man in the sky actually protects you, but I can understand that it could be a useful way to cope with the feelings of helplessness.

As it was, my coping mechanism was to babble at great length about anything and everything.  Really, I suspect that a quiet prayer to the invisible being in the sky of my choice would have been a lot less annoying to those around me.

On the other hand...  I listen to a lot of old time radio shows, either through archive.org or a net radio station that broadcasts that sort of thing 24 hours a day.  I've recently been catching a lot of "Family Theater".  It's curious in that it didn't have a commercial sponsor unlike most programming of the era.  It was sponsored by a religious group.  

Despite that the programming wasn't exactly the sort of vapid apologetics you'd expect from such an enterprise today(at least not always), but the beginning and end of the shows have a lot of talk about the importance of prayer.  "The family that prays together stays together" was their motto.  Instead of a commercial message they'd say that it's important for everyone to pray if we're to achieve world peace (yeah, that one worked out real well, didn't it?), and try to reinforce the idea that prayer keeps families together.  Another of the things they like to start off the radio show with is "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of".

With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, I admit I find that quote kind of pathetic.  It always makes me think of all the tests that show that prayer doesn't do squat.  So...  I guess that line could be correct, if it has an effect we don't know about it.

  
khan



Posts: 1525
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,17:11   

Quote (Assassinator @ Aug. 20 2008,16:14)
The only prayer I never really understood, was the prayer before diner. Why thanking an mythological and transcendant being?? The farmer who grew the food deserves the thanks, the supermarket personal who make sure it's available to you, and ofcourse the person earning the money in your house so you can buy the food. Why not thanking the right sources?
As for the other moments, I kinda understand why people do it. Some people simply need to support themselfs, humans are emotionally pretty weak creatures.

"Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing."

-Bart Simpson prayer at dinner

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

Frequency is just the plural of wavelength...
-JoeG

  
jeffox



Posts: 667
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,21:07   

Prayer is the equivalent of the sound of one hand masturbating.   :O    :)    :)   :p

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,21:44   

Quote (khan @ Aug. 21 2008,15:11)
Quote (Assassinator @ Aug. 20 2008,16:14)
The only prayer I never really understood, was the prayer before diner. Why thanking an mythological and transcendant being?? The farmer who grew the food deserves the thanks, the supermarket personal who make sure it's available to you, and ofcourse the person earning the money in your house so you can buy the food. Why not thanking the right sources?
As for the other moments, I kinda understand why people do it. Some people simply need to support themselfs, humans are emotionally pretty weak creatures.

"Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing."

-Bart Simpson prayer at dinner

"And what if we choose the wrong religion? Each week we're just making God madder and madder."

-Homer Simpson to Marge

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 21 2008,22:27   

Then there was the kid who saw no need to pray before meals, because his mother was a good cook. :p

Henry

  
jeffox



Posts: 667
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 22 2008,00:23   

Henry J did write:

Quote
Then there was the kid who saw no need to pray before meals, because his mother was a good cook.



Oh, ya ya, and his dad had a real job.   :)   :p

  
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