The Instigator
innomen
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
Prox
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Prayer is a beneficial activity to the individual(s) who seriously explore it.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
innomen
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/15/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,303 times Debate No: 13157
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (5)

 

innomen

Pro

Prayer - an attempt at conscious contact with a God of one's understanding.
Types of prayer: Petition, Gratitude, Contrition, Meditative, Adoration/Love.

Caveat: those who "seriously explore it" understand that prayer is not a 'Christmas list' in either practice or intent.

Benefit being a net result of the activity as a matter of practice. Principle benefits to the individual are in: behavior, thought, and attitude.

It is my contention that those of faith who engage in regular prayer are better from this practice than they would be otherwise. Such benefits would include a greater sense of peace and contentment with the world, and less egocentrism in general. Further benefits would include, charity, humility, self reflection, greater sense of hope, and sense of inclusion.

This is not a debate about the existence of God. There are countless debates on that subject, and its tangential to the primary focus of this debate.

Upon acceptance of this debate, and in round 2 i will further develop my assertions above.
Prox

Con

I accept.

However, the FOR's position seems to be of a subjective basis that can't be argued against. Who am I to say that a praying person does not have these feelings?

It is my position that prayer can have positive psychological effects on those who believe that prayer will have a positive psychological effect on an individual.

I do not understand what the FOR is meaning by "who seriously explore it". It seems to me that he means "who believe in its positive effects".

Prayer only benefits those who believe in it, not those who explore it seriously.
Debate Round No. 1
innomen

Pro

First, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this challenge, and look forward to a thoughtful exchange. I am further encouraged by his agreement to the resolution:

"It is my position that prayer can have positive psychological effects on those who believe that prayer will have a positive psychological effect on an individual."

To help clear up the question of "who seriously explore it"; I wish to not concern this debate with those who pray out of obligation, or without the genuine purpose of trying to have conscious contact with a God of their understanding. There are many such examples and since they are typically either ‘wishing' or following through on an obligatory request rather than what most consider the intent of prayer to be, I prefer to not be derailed on such a tangent.

I do acknowledge that much of this is 'subjective', however the practice of prayer is incredibly widespread. I am also specifically avoiding the assertions that prayers will heal an individual of a specific medical condition. I'd prefer to leave that as a different debate.

-By engaging in prayer one first acknowledges that there is a power greater than them. This initial acknowledgment provides a sense of humility that might otherwise would not exist. By humbling oneself before God we know that there is greater perfection beyond our imperfection, and we are 'right sized', and less subject to arrogance.

-By asking for forgiveness we acknowledge our defects of character and ask for strength in overcoming those defects. We become more comfortable with our defects and are perhaps more likely to ask for forgiveness to those we may have wronged. We furthermore are more likely to forgive others that we might hold resentments with 'forgive me for my trespasses, as i forgive those who trespass against me'.

-By giving gratitude to God we are bringing a different attitude into our lives where we are more happy with those things that we have rather than resentful for those things we don't have. Gratitude is a key ingredient in happiness. [1]
Gratitude is often key in dealing with self pity.

-Meditative prayer, which is practiced in a variety of manners, produces an actual physiological change in one's brain: [2] Meditation and meditative prayer has the effect of relieving stress [3] through these physiological changes as well as achieving an overall feeling of well-being for the individual.

-Self reflection comes as a natural result of being humble before God. The individual is more likely to account for his or her own actions and the reasons for them when a condition of contrition is achieved. The individual is more likely to take an inventory of his very nature during this process and responsibility as a result.

-When prayers are petitioning God for the help of another person, it's an act of charity and further brings the individual outside of himself and able to be less egocentric. The concern for another is a benefit in that it provides an overall sense of charity which also leads to greater happiness. [4],[5]

-Undoubtedly prayer provides hope. Not just that the requests will be fulfilled, but that there is a loving God that is ultimately there for the individual. Adoration and love for God strengthens the connection that is made for the individual and their God, and it further defines the relationship. Love of God further strengthens the hope that one has in the process of prayer.

-Prayer can also achieve a sense of belonging and help diminish loneliness. Those who live with a sense of disconnect from others, and suffer from loneliness can find solace in the activity of prayer. The acknowledgment of an unconditional acceptance by a higher power can often provide comfort to those who suffer from the loss of a loved one, or a general sense of isolation.

I do acknowledge that there are very limited scientific studies that investigate these specific attributes of prayer. However, the use of prayers in these specific areas has been practiced for thousands of years in multiple cultures. The efficacy of their use should be reflected by that widespread tradition.

-http://www.sciencedaily.com...
-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
-http://www.mayoclinic.com...
-http://www.livescience.com...
-http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Prox

Con

Prox forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
innomen

Pro

My argument stands. I see no need to say more.
Prox

Con

Prox forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
I'm sure you'll be fine.
Posted by Prox 6 years ago
Prox
Okay, I think I just got an angle to work with.
Posted by Prox 6 years ago
Prox
I'll be okay.
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
I agree.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
Ahhh that sucks
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
It is not possible with a number of my country.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
why can't he vote?
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
Indeed!
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
Thanks Mirza, too bad you can't vote.
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
Good luck, Dennis.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
innomenProxTied
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Vote Placed by ALVARADO 6 years ago
ALVARADO
innomenProxTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
innomenProxTied
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Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
innomenProxTied
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Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
LaissezFaire
innomenProxTied
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