Author Topic: On ''Prayer''  (Read 2403 times)

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 12:48:12 PM »
''When did I realize I was God? When I was praying and realized I was talking to myself.''
Peter O'toole
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Offline Baruch

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2020, 01:34:54 PM »
''When did I realize I was God? When I was praying and realized I was talking to myself.''
Peter O'toole

A wise man, but actually a demi-god.  Thinking you are God is megalomaniac.  Only a politician or billionaire would make that mistake.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2020, 01:36:03 PM »
Prayer is a superstition that, at best, may temporarily give a person hope for a solution to a problem. I see nothing "supernatural" about prayer because it is a delusion, and delusions are very natural--no magic is required to explain them. Your example demonstrates that prayer fails, and when it fails, people will explain away the failure.

Power of positive thinking, if you are a theist.  Won't work for atheists of course.  They have the powers of positive integers ;-)
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2020, 05:28:02 PM »
A wise man, but actually a demi-god.  Thinking you are God is megalomaniac.  Only a politician or billionaire would make that mistake.

...Don't you think you're a demigod?
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2020, 07:30:24 PM »
That is also definitely a possibility, such as with those sending donations to a faith healer instead of continuing to take their medications (because taking them is a declaration of a lack of faith). But I think he's referring to a study in which people were in the hospital. They couldn't really do anything other than wait. But studies have found that these people, if they know people are praying for them, have an increased likelihood of death. Performance anxiety is believed to be the reason for this effect.

I experienced a kind of "religious performance anxiety" when I was a Christian. I was reprimanded by a faith healer because I could not "receive my healing." He blamed me telling me that it was my fault that I was not healed. According to his logic, if I really believed Jesus could heal me, then it would have happened. My remaining in my condition was proof that I was an unbeliever.

He didn't consider the possibility that miracles of healing don't really happen.

Anyway, I was very upset over the whole matter. Not only did I lose out on my miracle, but I was afraid that my "unbelief" might damn me. I was also very confused because it sure seemed like I believed. After all, I sought the miracle by asking this "healer" to help me. If I didn't believe, then why would I have asked him to pray for me?

So yes, such performance anxiety might adversely affect anybody who has Christians praying for their recovery from an illness or injury. Those praying are unlikely to see prayer as the reason for the failure. They may blame the person prayed for seeing her or him as faithless.


Offline trdsf

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2020, 09:21:48 PM »
Prayer is basically a way to pretend you're doing something to help someone, when you're not.  Basically, "I'll pray for you" is nothing more than a socially acceptable way to say, "Wow, sucks to be you."
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

Offline Baruch

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2020, 10:43:45 PM »
...Don't you think you're a demigod?

Yes, but I ain't special.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2020, 06:32:37 AM »
I think there are positive, as well as negative, aspects of prayer.

Offline Sal1981

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2020, 08:50:59 AM »
I think there are positive, as well as negative, aspects of prayer.
Whatever positive aspects there are to prayer, can be better answered with other approaches, IMO.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline Baruch

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2020, 11:43:35 AM »
Whatever positive aspects there are to prayer, can be better answered with other approaches, IMO.

All prayer is the same as nutty parents not taking children to an available doctor?
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Sal1981

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2020, 11:45:46 AM »
All prayer is the same as nutty parents not taking children to an available doctor?
No & did I write that?
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline Baruch

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2020, 11:57:21 AM »
No & did I write that?

A suggestion.  List the negatives and positives in order.  Just for clarification.  I could say that on average, vegetarians are a threat to society.  But I don't have to give any reasons why ;-)
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Sal1981

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2020, 03:55:12 PM »
A suggestion.  List the negatives and positives in order.  Just for clarification.  I could say that on average, vegetarians are a threat to society.  But I don't have to give any reasons why ;-)
Psychosomatic benefits (feel-good) from prayer can well be had from an awe-inspiring hike through nature, that's first and foremost in my mind. I know they're not the same - but that's kinda the point - since prayer is introducing bogus "benefits" that can be easily answered elsewhere and yet be authentic.

Second, prayer gives false hope, it might have positive effects immediately when you're praying for some reason or another, the same feel-good benefit I just mentioned, but ultimately and down the road, prayer does jack shit for you and giving a false impression of actually doing something when you're only just talking to yourself, instead of actually doing something instead praying to change whatever circumstance you're praying for.

Third, which also ties into the second sentiment, when someone prays for x, and lo and behold their prayer is "answered", such as praying a headache away and it goes away, makes people falsely attribute something that would happen regardless of their prayer, to what amounts to wishful thinking, which makes you think that prayer has an impact or an effect, when it does, again, jack shit. What do you think will happen, instead of real action, pray in a difficult situation with real-world impacts that you wrongly think that prayer will affect, when it does jack shit? Reality doesn't give a shit what you're praying for.

Fourth, prayer is nefariously giving a false impression of how wishes are answered, as if a god would care, when only actions and its accompanying realistic outlook is what makes a difference. Besides, god supposedly has a plan for everyone or some shit, then why pray? Isn't praying asking god to change his fucking plan?

Fifth, prayer is falsely giving thanks/attributing stuff to a non-existent entity which gives a negative reinforcement for stuff you could do yourself all along. If you think about it, isn't a pat on your own back more fulfilling and being proud of something you yourself did? I think so.

I could probably think of more but these 5 points is what stands out to me.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline trdsf

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2020, 08:46:13 PM »
Alas, I can't recall where I saw the study, but one research project on intercessory prayer showed that hospital patients who knew they were being prayed for tended to do worse -- in interviews, the reason turned out to be that because they knew they were being prayed for, they assumed they were doing worse than they actually were and "needed" the "help" of prayer.
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2020, 09:25:08 PM »
Prayer is basically a way to pretend you're doing something to help someone, when you're not.  Basically, "I'll pray for you" is nothing more than a socially acceptable way to say, "Wow, sucks to be you."

Prayer can be quick, easy, and cheap. It sure beats actually doing some work or taking risks to make the world a better place!