Total Posts:108|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Atheists: Have you tried praying?

Conservative101
Posts: 191
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.
When in doubt, start riots and scream racism
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2014 10:18:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I don't think that praying is something a person can "just do." Prayer requires a state of mind. For all my life my mom has been a Christian and my dad an agnostic, but neither seemed to get any real peace-of-mind from what they believed. Now that they are both in their seventies they have each learned the true value of finding that state of mind, only my dad describes it as "being one with nature" and my mom describes it as "being at peace with God." Let's face it: just talking into thin air makes all of us feel silly.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2014 10:32:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

When I was younger, I was raised in a household that, while not super religious, was at least believers. And my community was pretty religious.

So the fact that I found no reasons to believe was troubling, and I did try praying, though my faith was less in the god that I didn't see grounds for, and more in the idea that those around me must know what they were talking about...everyone told me God existed, so I figured he must, and I was just missing it. I never received any answer or revelation or anything that would lead me to believe, and as I got older I grew more confident in my disagreement with the overall assertion.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2014 10:58:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 10:32:31 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

When I was younger, I was raised in a household that, while not super religious, was at least believers. And my community was pretty religious.

So the fact that I found no reasons to believe was troubling, and I did try praying, though my faith was less in the god that I didn't see grounds for, and more in the idea that those around me must know what they were talking about...everyone told me God existed, so I figured he must, and I was just missing it. I never received any answer or revelation or anything that would lead me to believe, and as I got older I grew more confident in my disagreement with the overall assertion.

That could be a story of my life all the way up to 45 years old. lol
annanicole
Posts: 19,782
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2014 11:00:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 10:18:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I don't think that praying is something a person can "just do." Prayer requires a state of mind. For all my life my mom has been a Christian and my dad an agnostic, but neither seemed to get any real peace-of-mind from what they believed. Now that they are both in their seventies they have each learned the true value of finding that state of mind, only my dad describes it as "being one with nature" and my mom describes it as "being at peace with God." Let's face it: just talking into thin air makes all of us feel silly.

The problem, IMO - (and I even hear this during church services) - is incorrect praying, i. e. praying for some thing, some act that logically demands a direct intervention by God.

Example that I've heard all my life: " ... and dear God, be with the speaker of the hour. Give him a 'ready recollection' of the things he has prepared to say."

To me, that is a waste of words at best. Point number one is that God is not going to "be with" the "speaker in any sense to a greater extent before that prayer than after it. Point number two is that God is not going to miraculously provide the speaker with a better memory than he had before. Of course, the preacher himself knows this (for we have semi-joked about it), but I suppose it would be in poor taste to point it out.

Notice the model prayer given as an example, not a prayer but an example of a prayer. Even though it was offered as an example at a time when miracles abounded, the Lord Himself did not teach His disciples to ask for direct intervention.

To me, prayer is more of an acknowledgement, an acknowledgement of God as the sustainer of all life by the means which He has established, coupled with a request for forgiveness. Why in the world someone would pray to God that Sister So-and-So have a full recovery from her end-stage lung cancer and emphysema is beyond me.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
annanicole
Posts: 19,782
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2014 11:17:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

I know you mean well, but I feel that your post leaves the wrong impression. God makes "arguments", logical arguments for His existence, through His word and, in a secondary sense, through His creation. The way not to determine "Does God exist?" is to, of all things, pray to Him about it.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
irreverent_god
Posts: 1,378
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2014 11:38:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
"I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying."
For me, there is no discomfort in prayer. There is only the sense of uselessness. Many were the prayers (many of them sincere) that I have sent up into the ozone layer. Having been raised in a christian faith, in a christian home, I was fed the bible from the time I was able to read. My parents, excellent teachers both, had me reading by the time I was three. By the time I was ten, I was able to quote chapter and verse to defend my faith. The one thing on which they never counted was my acquiring the ability and desire to think for myself, on my own. For the questions that formed in my young mind, there were no answers. There was only anger and authority. I learned, at a very young age, that this is one of VERY few ways that the belief in a god could be inculcated into an intelligent mind.

Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms.
The expression "reveleational terms" is meaningless. The vast majority of "revelations" that I have seen/heard I know, for a fact, to have been faked. They have been faked for a number of reasons. However, chief among them was the fear of disappointing those they loved. There can be no real reveleations, when there is nothing to reveal.

However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers.
No. They believe they have received answers, but this is a false hope, realized by coincidence or by "interpretation," as far as anyone has ever been able to demonstrate. Inasmuch as the individual to which anything has been "revealed" or whose prayers have been answered, they may be absolutely convinced. One person being convinced, however, does nothing to reinforce the glaring contradictions in the most relevant ways:
Why would an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent 'gawd' answer the prayers of one, and disregard those of another? Why do the prayers of a faithful, devout, humble believing mother that her sick, hungry child receive just enough medicine/food/help (even just clean drinking water) go unanswered, in lieu of the prayer of one in a country with very little want?
Please don't try to respond to that question with "mysterious ways," or "Who are you to question gawd," or "it's not up to us," or any such pabulum... I've heard all of those before, and none of them mean anything. The simple fact of the matter is:
Either you have faith, or there is a reason for belief. You may not simply choose between the most convenient of the two, at the time it is needed. If it is faith, call it faith. If there is reason and rational conclusion, present it. Otherwise, please stop trying to 'save my soul.' I don't believe that I need salvation.

Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural.
There is no "communication." There are wishes sent out to the ozone layer, and there is a desire to see it fulfilled. The slightest inkling that a connection can be made will be immediately seized, by the believer. There is no "supernatural" presence, and there has never been any valid evidence of such presented.

I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences.
Your testimony is completely meaningless. We don't care about testimony from a believer. I will accept evidence from a skeptic. Testimony and stories mean absolutely nothing. They never have, and they never will.

So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot?

From those of us that already have given it a shot: Take your meaningless proselytizing elsewhere. We don't need it, and it serves no rationally useful purpose. If you feel the need to believe in something "greater," in order to give your life "meaning," your weakness is yours with which to deal. We understand that you probably mean well. We don't fault you for that. But the incessant need to attract followers is evidence of the fact that you need some form of reinforcement, for your beliefs to continue their nature of conviction.

Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.
Did you read this sentence, before posting it? You have stated the very demise of your plea: That we ask "with faith that" we will receive it. If faith comes with the prayer, then there is no need for the prayer. That statement is quite self-evidently ignorant.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.
I will accept this option. Your god, your (presumably) bible, and your faith have absolutely no value, in the real, physical, rational world. This type of drivel belongs in a home already filled with faith, or in a church. It is useless to those of us that think rationally. None of your gods (throughout man's history) merit even consideration. They are all based on stupidstition and fear of the unknown. Eventually, the unknown becomes known for those willing to investigate. Eventually, the unknown becomes claimed and asserted, for those too lazy to think, individually.
Logic and Reason are the precursor to Justice.
Faith and zealotry are the precursor to Folly.
slo1
Posts: 4,318
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 12:11:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I prayed and he told me to kidnap a bunch of girls who were going to school.

Why exactly should I believe your experience with prayers are more valid than a violent jiadist?
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 12:25:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

Prayer has not be shown to work.......

If you take a group of people, get them to pray to ANYTHING and pray for various things as a matter of probability your going to get some hits. You can then take those hits as evidence and proof that "prayer" worked.

Same works for miracle healing water and giving it to everyone.

Answered prayer is like the text book example of confirmation bias.

It has not being established that praying to Jesus or another supernatural person is any more effective than praying to Zesus, Allah, or the flying spargetti monster.

Long before people were praying to Jesus they were praying to some God. They had their prayers answered as well.

But you know what, they don't teach this in church. They take advantage of how shall we say, the not so educated, the more easily persuaded. OMG what a powerful testimony, praise Jesus !!! or if we were living a few thousands years ago...........praise the GODS !!!

Within religion contains alot of deception, the best way I know to counter that is what we call critical thinking skills.

So hopefully after reading this you will say, oh yeah I didn't factor all that other stuff in, and be weary of people or groups who try such tactics.

"Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.[Note 1][1] People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations)."

"The expression anecdotal evidence refers to evidence from anecdotes. Because of the small sample, there is a larger chance that it may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases.[1][2] Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a claim; it is accepted only in lieu of more solid evidence. This is true regardless of the veracity of individual claims"
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 12:43:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

The only time I recall praying was when I was about 14 years old. I lived in an extremely religious community at the time and thought I would give it a shot. It was more of a "If you do exist, then here's a chance to make me a believer. I'm listening and open to anything you send my way." kind of thing than an actual prayer, but it's as close as I've ever come to praying.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
Brendan21
Posts: 294
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 10:23:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

Having been raised Catholic and firmly believing in God for more than half my life, I can say that sure praying made me feel good at the time, and I expected answers like everyone else, and yes some times "my prayers were answered" however looking back on it, I was just really looking for some kind of peace of mind by praying, and yes it was all just coincidences.
If you are actually so egotistical (like most religious people are) that you believe God takes a personal interest in your life and answers your prayers while millions and millions of people die everyday undue starvation etc. (A LOT of these people are religious and are praying the whole time) then you just need to open your eyes.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 12:31:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 11:00:14 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/8/2014 10:18:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I don't think that praying is something a person can "just do." Prayer requires a state of mind. For all my life my mom has been a Christian and my dad an agnostic, but neither seemed to get any real peace-of-mind from what they believed. Now that they are both in their seventies they have each learned the true value of finding that state of mind, only my dad describes it as "being one with nature" and my mom describes it as "being at peace with God." Let's face it: just talking into thin air makes all of us feel silly.

The problem, IMO - (and I even hear this during church services) - is incorrect praying, i. e. praying for some thing, some act that logically demands a direct intervention by God.

Example that I've heard all my life: " ... and dear God, be with the speaker of the hour. Give him a 'ready recollection' of the things he has prepared to say."

To me, that is a waste of words at best. Point number one is that God is not going to "be with" the "speaker in any sense to a greater extent before that prayer than after it. Point number two is that God is not going to miraculously provide the speaker with a better memory than he had before. Of course, the preacher himself knows this (for we have semi-joked about it), but I suppose it would be in poor taste to point it out.

Notice the model prayer given as an example, not a prayer but an example of a prayer. Even though it was offered as an example at a time when miracles abounded, the Lord Himself did not teach His disciples to ask for direct intervention.

To me, prayer is more of an acknowledgement, an acknowledgement of God as the sustainer of all life by the means which He has established, coupled with a request for forgiveness. Why in the world someone would pray to God that Sister So-and-So have a full recovery from her end-stage lung cancer and emphysema is beyond me.

There is a lot in what you say that I concur with. I believe that prayer is a state of being more than anything else. All you have to do is to freely reveal your deepest self and God will focus on that. He doesn't need suggestions on what to do. Some people pray by singing and dancing, and some pray through ritualistic actions. One person I know likes to pray by walking across the fields and through the woods surrounding his home while he meditates on the God of nature and the nature of God. Isn't it a shame that so many people think of prayer as a wish-list or something? It's almost as if they expect God to do their bidding, as if he didn't know what was best already.
SemperVI
Posts: 294
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 12:42:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I have found some of the most revealing prayers are the ones where you sit down, shut up and just listen. Don't talk, don't think, just listen..... You would be surprised how much you can learn about the nature of yourself
Dwint
Posts: 47
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 12:44:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

It would be useless. Praying means nothing without faith, that all atheists lack. Praying for an atheist is like writing a letter to Santa. As long as you have no faith, praying is pointless. And let's say your prayer is answered. Will an atheist be convinced god exists or will he just consider it a coincidence?
Hitchens is the way!
annanicole
Posts: 19,782
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 1:01:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/9/2014 12:31:27 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 11:00:14 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/8/2014 10:18:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I don't think that praying is something a person can "just do." Prayer requires a state of mind. For all my life my mom has been a Christian and my dad an agnostic, but neither seemed to get any real peace-of-mind from what they believed. Now that they are both in their seventies they have each learned the true value of finding that state of mind, only my dad describes it as "being one with nature" and my mom describes it as "being at peace with God." Let's face it: just talking into thin air makes all of us feel silly.

The problem, IMO - (and I even hear this during church services) - is incorrect praying, i. e. praying for some thing, some act that logically demands a direct intervention by God.

Example that I've heard all my life: " ... and dear God, be with the speaker of the hour. Give him a 'ready recollection' of the things he has prepared to say."

To me, that is a waste of words at best. Point number one is that God is not going to "be with" the "speaker in any sense to a greater extent before that prayer than after it. Point number two is that God is not going to miraculously provide the speaker with a better memory than he had before. Of course, the preacher himself knows this (for we have semi-joked about it), but I suppose it would be in poor taste to point it out.

Notice the model prayer given as an example, not a prayer but an example of a prayer. Even though it was offered as an example at a time when miracles abounded, the Lord Himself did not teach His disciples to ask for direct intervention.

To me, prayer is more of an acknowledgement, an acknowledgement of God as the sustainer of all life by the means which He has established, coupled with a request for forgiveness. Why in the world someone would pray to God that Sister So-and-So have a full recovery from her end-stage lung cancer and emphysema is beyond me.

There is a lot in what you say that I concur with. I believe that prayer is a state of being more than anything else.

I do not think of it that way, but see no problem with it.

All you have to do is to freely reveal your deepest self and God will focus on that. He doesn't need suggestions on what to do.

Correct.

Some people pray by singing and dancing, and some pray through ritualistic actions. One person I know likes to pray by walking across the fields and through the woods surrounding his home while he meditates on the God of nature and the nature of God. Isn't it a shame that so many people think of prayer as a wish-list or something?

I have long said that one's posture while praying is of no concern; however, I have my doubts about a person praying while dancing. Correct as to the sentence about a "wish list".

It's almost as if they expect God to do their bidding, as if he didn't know what was best already.

True. And the most damning example of all, the most harmful, is the imaginary "sinner's prayer". I wish I had a crystal ball that would reveal to me the number of people at this moment who deluded themselves into thinking that they were lost (probably true), and then they prayed for "Jesus to come into their heart as their personal lord and savior". That just isn't the way it works, yet I've seen it in the back of Gideon's Bible. And what's worse, it concludes "Thank you for saving me", as if that kinda binds God into honoring the error.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
bulproof
Posts: 25,203
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 1:10:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I prayed to my non existent god and received exactly the same response as the person who prayed to their allegedly existent god.

Go figure.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 1:32:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/9/2014 1:01:19 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/9/2014 12:31:27 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 11:00:14 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/8/2014 10:18:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I don't think that praying is something a person can "just do." Prayer requires a state of mind. For all my life my mom has been a Christian and my dad an agnostic, but neither seemed to get any real peace-of-mind from what they believed. Now that they are both in their seventies they have each learned the true value of finding that state of mind, only my dad describes it as "being one with nature" and my mom describes it as "being at peace with God." Let's face it: just talking into thin air makes all of us feel silly.

The problem, IMO - (and I even hear this during church services) - is incorrect praying, i. e. praying for some thing, some act that logically demands a direct intervention by God.

Example that I've heard all my life: " ... and dear God, be with the speaker of the hour. Give him a 'ready recollection' of the things he has prepared to say."

To me, that is a waste of words at best. Point number one is that God is not going to "be with" the "speaker in any sense to a greater extent before that prayer than after it. Point number two is that God is not going to miraculously provide the speaker with a better memory than he had before. Of course, the preacher himself knows this (for we have semi-joked about it), but I suppose it would be in poor taste to point it out.

Notice the model prayer given as an example, not a prayer but an example of a prayer. Even though it was offered as an example at a time when miracles abounded, the Lord Himself did not teach His disciples to ask for direct intervention.

To me, prayer is more of an acknowledgement, an acknowledgement of God as the sustainer of all life by the means which He has established, coupled with a request for forgiveness. Why in the world someone would pray to God that Sister So-and-So have a full recovery from her end-stage lung cancer and emphysema is beyond me.

There is a lot in what you say that I concur with. I believe that prayer is a state of being more than anything else.

I do not think of it that way, but see no problem with it.

All you have to do is to freely reveal your deepest self and God will focus on that. He doesn't need suggestions on what to do.

Correct.

Some people pray by singing and dancing, and some pray through ritualistic actions. One person I know likes to pray by walking across the fields and through the woods surrounding his home while he meditates on the God of nature and the nature of God. Isn't it a shame that so many people think of prayer as a wish-list or something?

I have long said that one's posture while praying is of no concern; however, I have my doubts about a person praying while dancing. Correct as to the sentence about a "wish list".

It's almost as if they expect God to do their bidding, as if he didn't know what was best already.

True. And the most damning example of all, the most harmful, is the imaginary "sinner's prayer". I wish I had a crystal ball that would reveal to me the number of people at this moment who deluded themselves into thinking that they were lost (probably true), and then they prayed for "Jesus to come into their heart as their personal lord and savior". That just isn't the way it works, yet I've seen it in the back of Gideon's Bible. And what's worse, it concludes "Thank you for saving me", as if that kinda binds God into honoring the error.

The only things I have to go by are my own experiences, or at least that's what I trust the most. Then comes the things I hear from people I've learned to deeply trust. I've been to a "black" church where music was at the core of their service, and I saw the way it filled some of them up with what I can only describe as a divine glow while their bodies swayed in response to the emotion they felt. I have an ex-sister-in-law whose whole family went to a church where they "spoke in tongues" and did other things which seemed strange to me. I once visited a church where the pastor asked everyone to lie-down on the floor and writhe like snakes to demonstrate their submission. The only two people left sitting upright were me and a man in a wheelchair, and he was looking at me in a very unpleasant way.

I believe that speaking with God is really no different than speaking with another who you feel especially close to. Mostly the prayer is for your benefit, not for his. He already knows what is really in your mind and your heart. I think that there are as many ways to pray as there are people to execute prayer. You have to let your own personality shine as an inseparable part of the communication. I know when I am in touch with God, and that's what really matters to me. As Jesus said, it is better to lock yourself in a closet at home and speak honestly with God alone than it is to stand on a street-corner and shout-out your devotion for the benefit of others. With that said, I do not deem to be the judge of anyone else's method of prayer. All paths, right?
annanicole
Posts: 19,782
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 3:22:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/9/2014 1:32:56 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/9/2014 1:01:19 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/9/2014 12:31:27 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 11:00:14 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/8/2014 10:18:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I don't think that praying is something a person can "just do." Prayer requires a state of mind. For all my life my mom has been a Christian and my dad an agnostic, but neither seemed to get any real peace-of-mind from what they believed. Now that they are both in their seventies they have each learned the true value of finding that state of mind, only my dad describes it as "being one with nature" and my mom describes it as "being at peace with God." Let's face it: just talking into thin air makes all of us feel silly.

The problem, IMO - (and I even hear this during church services) - is incorrect praying, i. e. praying for some thing, some act that logically demands a direct intervention by God.

Example that I've heard all my life: " ... and dear God, be with the speaker of the hour. Give him a 'ready recollection' of the things he has prepared to say."

To me, that is a waste of words at best. Point number one is that God is not going to "be with" the "speaker in any sense to a greater extent before that prayer than after it. Point number two is that God is not going to miraculously provide the speaker with a better memory than he had before. Of course, the preacher himself knows this (for we have semi-joked about it), but I suppose it would be in poor taste to point it out.

Notice the model prayer given as an example, not a prayer but an example of a prayer. Even though it was offered as an example at a time when miracles abounded, the Lord Himself did not teach His disciples to ask for direct intervention.

To me, prayer is more of an acknowledgement, an acknowledgement of God as the sustainer of all life by the means which He has established, coupled with a request for forgiveness. Why in the world someone would pray to God that Sister So-and-So have a full recovery from her end-stage lung cancer and emphysema is beyond me.

There is a lot in what you say that I concur with. I believe that prayer is a state of being more than anything else.

I do not think of it that way, but see no problem with it.

All you have to do is to freely reveal your deepest self and God will focus on that. He doesn't need suggestions on what to do.

Correct.

Some people pray by singing and dancing, and some pray through ritualistic actions. One person I know likes to pray by walking across the fields and through the woods surrounding his home while he meditates on the God of nature and the nature of God. Isn't it a shame that so many people think of prayer as a wish-list or something?

I have long said that one's posture while praying is of no concern; however, I have my doubts about a person praying while dancing. Correct as to the sentence about a "wish list".

It's almost as if they expect God to do their bidding, as if he didn't know what was best already.

True. And the most damning example of all, the most harmful, is the imaginary "sinner's prayer". I wish I had a crystal ball that would reveal to me the number of people at this moment who deluded themselves into thinking that they were lost (probably true), and then they prayed for "Jesus to come into their heart as their personal lord and savior". That just isn't the way it works, yet I've seen it in the back of Gideon's Bible. And what's worse, it concludes "Thank you for saving me", as if that kinda binds God into honoring the error.

The only things I have to go by are my own experiences, or at least that's what I trust the most. Then comes the things I hear from people I've learned to deeply trust. I've been to a "black" church where music was at the core of their service, and I saw the way it filled some of them up with what I can only describe as a divine glow while their bodies swayed in response to the emotion they felt. I have an ex-sister-in-law whose whole family went to a church where they "spoke in tongues" and did other things which seemed strange to me. I once visited a church where the pastor asked everyone to lie-down on the floor and writhe like snakes to demonstrate their submission. The only two people left sitting upright were me and a man in a wheelchair, and he was looking at me in a very unpleasant way.

All I can do is shake me head.

I believe that speaking with God is really no different than speaking with another who you feel especially close to. Mostly the prayer is for your benefit, not for his. He already knows what is really in your mind and your heart. I think that there are as many ways to pray as there are people to execute prayer. You have to let your own personality shine as an inseparable part of the communication. I know when I am in touch with God, and that's what really matters to me. As Jesus said, it is better to lock yourself in a closet at home and speak honestly with God alone than it is to stand on a street-corner and shout-out your devotion for the benefit of others. With that said, I do not deem to be the judge of anyone else's method of prayer. All paths, right?

Oh, I do not judge their method, per se. I might judge their content.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Schzincko
Posts: 119
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2014 10:31:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I prayed when I was younger... And not saying that it reflects why I lost my faith, but things just seemed to get worse and worse.

For example, we would (as a family) give our thanks for the food and home we had. It was around that same time (when I was still doing this myself) that we lost our house and two family members died.

Now, I didn't mean for that to sound extreme, but to a certain point, after things like these happen, regardless of how often I prayed, went to church, and tried to live an overall honest lived life, it made me wonder if it really was worth doing any of it.

It's possible that I looked at things the wrong way back then, but as soon as I decided I couldn't believe it anymore, I ended up coming out of a deep depression that had almost killed me. So I went with what worked.
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 5:47:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I've asked the universe to do stuff for me yeah. Lol
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president.

May the best man win!
Brendan21
Posts: 294
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 11:12:55 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/9/2014 10:31:52 PM, Schzincko wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I prayed when I was younger... And not saying that it reflects why I lost my faith, but things just seemed to get worse and worse.

For example, we would (as a family) give our thanks for the food and home we had. It was around that same time (when I was still doing this myself) that we lost our house and two family members died.

Now, I didn't mean for that to sound extreme, but to a certain point, after things like these happen, regardless of how often I prayed, went to church, and tried to live an overall honest lived life, it made me wonder if it really was worth doing any of it.

Sorry to hear this happened to you, but stuff like this is exactly my point. Where was "God" for you or the millions and millions of other people that REALLY need a miracle in order to get out of a life or death situation. I find it baffling that so many people who have computers and light switches can say a fair and just God exists, when they just look at whats going on in plenty of other places in the world. Why are you and other people more favored in God's eyes to live a nice/peaceful life and other starve to death at the age of 4 years old knowing nothing but dirt and hunger.
It's possible that I looked at things the wrong way back then, but as soon as I decided I couldn't believe it anymore, I ended up coming out of a deep depression that had almost killed me. So I went with what worked.
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 3:37:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I've prayed. Prayer can develop a conformational bias, not to mention the powerful affects of having complete confidence in gaing the results you seek. This why so many people think prayer works, law of attraction works, wishing on a star, Majik, voodoo etc.

As far as receiving answers is concerned a lot can be said about the subconscious, people can recieve answers to the hardest questions by shutting off their concious mind to allow the subconscious to bring ideals forth. It's why people recieve answers in the shower, during meditation, prayer, while working out etc.
Conservative101
Posts: 191
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 3:39:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/10/2014 3:37:25 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I've prayed. Prayer can develop a conformational bias, not to mention the powerful affects of having complete confidence in gaing the results you seek. This why so many people think prayer works, law of attraction works, wishing on a star, Majik, voodoo etc.

As far as receiving answers is concerned a lot can be said about the subconscious, people can recieve answers to the hardest questions by shutting off their concious mind to allow the subconscious to bring ideals forth. It's why people recieve answers in the shower, during meditation, prayer, while working out etc.

Have you received any answers?
When in doubt, start riots and scream racism
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 3:44:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/10/2014 3:39:12 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
At 5/10/2014 3:37:25 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I've prayed. Prayer can develop a conformational bias, not to mention the powerful affects of having complete confidence in gaing the results you seek. This why so many people think prayer works, law of attraction works, wishing on a star, Majik, voodoo etc.

As far as receiving answers is concerned a lot can be said about the subconscious, people can recieve answers to the hardest questions by shutting off their concious mind to allow the subconscious to bring ideals forth. It's why people recieve answers in the shower, during meditation, prayer, while working out etc.

Have you received any answers?

Yes, I've received them from everything I listed. Have you received answers to tough questions in the shower. Most people report that they have. I don't want to discourage prayer if it's positive benefits outweigh the negative. I'm just letting you know that prayer may work for receiving answers and the faith it gives you might help with achieving personal results, but other than that it's kinda useless.
Conservative101
Posts: 191
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 3:50:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/10/2014 3:44:13 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 5/10/2014 3:39:12 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
At 5/10/2014 3:37:25 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

I've prayed. Prayer can develop a conformational bias, not to mention the powerful affects of having complete confidence in gaing the results you seek. This why so many people think prayer works, law of attraction works, wishing on a star, Majik, voodoo etc.

As far as receiving answers is concerned a lot can be said about the subconscious, people can recieve answers to the hardest questions by shutting off their concious mind to allow the subconscious to bring ideals forth. It's why people recieve answers in the shower, during meditation, prayer, while working out etc.

Have you received any answers?

Yes, I've received them from everything I listed. Have you received answers to tough questions in the shower. Most people report that they have. I don't want to discourage prayer if it's positive benefits outweigh the negative. I'm just letting you know that prayer may work for receiving answers and the faith it gives you might help with achieving personal results, but other than that it's kinda useless.

Well, I do in large part believe it works. It's worked whenever I've tried it, and I've done it hundreds of times. I've also heard testimonies from so many people about how they've done it and have received answers. I don't believe prayers are always answered immediately - some take months or years even, but they are all answered, as long as what is being asked is right.
When in doubt, start riots and scream racism
Lordgrae
Posts: 666
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 4:58:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying.

It's not uncomfortable. Yes, it is uncomfortable to be in a room where everyone is religious except you, and they all pray, and you just sit their awkwardly, trying not to draw attention to yourself.

However, personal prayers, I have done those. A few times. Mostly when I was younger and not an atheist, but a few times since then. It did nothing. I just did it when I felt dispair. I suppose it made me feel a little better, but I realize that it is an irrational way of feeling better, and it failed to solve my problems, or even change my outlook on them.

Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers.

I have a question. If I pray for a sick family member to get better, there are several things that can happen. I will of course, forget all the medical technology which may already cure a certain number of people with whatever it is that I am praying to cure.

1. I am an atheist, I pray, and they die.

In this case, it would only reinforce my previous viewpoint. It would only make me more ground in my current belief set, and while I believe that raw emotionalism is bad for determining something logically, I cannot ignore that emotions play a large factor in our perception of reality.

2. I am an atheist, I pray, and they live.

Now, it is possible I will become religious. Not extremely possible, but possible. However, I could just as easily rationalize that medical science saved my family member, and my prayers were nothing more than a misguided attempt to save the life of someone I love dear in a desperate situation, and not born of rational thought.

3. I am a theist, I pray, and they die

Perhaps I will become more religious. Or perhaps I will simply ground myself in my previous position, and say "it was their time" or, "they are in a better place now". Perhaps in the short run this will make the person feel better, though I think it is healthier to admit the person is dead, mourn, and move on.

4. I am a theist, I pray, and they live

Praise Jebus!

No matter what happens, it is likely you will just be further ground in your current belief, though some will cross over due to pure emotions. This is why basing anything off of results of prayer is irrational. It means absolutely nothing.

And this is assuming there is only the possibility of one religion being true, or no religions being true. This does not take into account the hundreds of other possible religions.

Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences.

I would like to hear some of these stories.

So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Do you understand that atheism is a new movement? That means that almost every atheist was religious at one point in their lives. Very few people grew up atheists. I live in a fairly secular area, and the few people who don't grow up religious, don't grow up atheist. They just have parents who don't care about religion or non-religion.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

Or you could pray to one of the gods of Magic and Ether. Here are some of their names, followed by short descriptions.

1. Diometrix - He was the first Soul Reaver (one who gains power from others. Diometrix specifically attains it by killing them) to gain significant power, and he has been deemed immortal. He is the most powerful mage in the world. Some say he has fused with the essence of Magic.

2. Lance - The horse lord. The most powerful of all the thirty great heroes. It is unknown how he found such power, but he is considered a semi-immortal. Basically, when you kill him, there is a counter that starts at 20. To move the counter one way or the other, you must sacrifice one of his descendants to either add or subtract one. When the counter reaches zero, he comes back to life, even more powerful then before.

3. The first King of Ashes (name unknown) - He ruled over what is now known as the Ashlands. He was the second Soul Reaver to gain significant power, though he can only gain magical powers that are being used. When Diometrix cast his fire against him, he stole it, gaining the most powerful fire magic ever and passed it down through his line.

4. The Man of the East (name unknown) - The most powerful fighter who does not use magic in the world. The third Spirit Reaver to gain significant power. (He can only take spirits by people offering their power to him upon their deaths) One of the Thirty Great heroes. After Lance and another betrayed and killed 27 of the Heroes (including the non-Lance traitor), he got all of their souls, becoming incredibly powerful. Including magical combatants (magical augmentation does not count) he is number two, to Lance. Not including magical combatants, he is number one, and the person below him (the Diamond knight. She can turn invisible) is also excluded.
Birth Name: Graesil s'h'u Aln s'de Alanai'u s'se Saeron
Name: Grae
Titles: Lord, x'Sor Linniae (the false king), Elven War Chief, Heir to Aln
Class: Melee Archer/ Orator
Main Stats: Charisma, Dexterity
Weilds: Bladebow, Elven Slim Sword
Skills: Oration, Double Shot, Backstab, Snatch, Overwhelm Mind, Dominate, Parley, Restorative Sleep
Personal History: Born as the second of triplets, he was wed at an early age to a Dryad. He escaped several times, and on the last was captured and enslaved
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 8:37:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/9/2014 12:42:36 PM, SemperVI wrote:
I have found some of the most revealing prayers are the ones where you sit down, shut up and just listen. Don't talk, don't think, just listen..... You would be surprised how much you can learn about the nature of yourself

Exactly! Back in the days when people seemed to be more in touch with "God," it was because they spent the greater part of most days really listening, observing, and thinking about reality. People today have little time for that. They want everything instantly, in a condensed format. How often does the average person actually meditate on what prayer is? I don't know, but I doubt it's substantial. The Japanese have this philosophy that to take no action IS an action. It sounds silly on the surface, but it really means a lot.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2014 8:47:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/9/2014 12:44:33 PM, Dwint wrote:
At 5/8/2014 9:16:57 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
I know that a lot of atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk are uncomfortable with the idea of praying. Most who debate the nonexistence of God do it under logical terms, not revelational terms. However, a lot of people who believe in God believe in him because they have received answers to prayers. Major religions focus on prayer itself because that is the way that we can communicate with the supernatural. I myself can testify that I've received many answers to prayers, so many that it is hard to believe that they are all coincidences. So I say to those who are hesitant about the existence of the supernatural, if you truly want to know if God exists, as many religions teach, why not give it a shot? Just ask a favor or to know if he is real or anything along those lines, with faith that you will receive an answer, and I am sure you will.

Or you can dismiss my post and continue debating the logical side of the existence of the supernatural. That's cool too.

It would be useless. Praying means nothing without faith, that all atheists lack. Praying for an atheist is like writing a letter to Santa. As long as you have no faith, praying is pointless. And let's say your prayer is answered. Will an atheist be convinced god exists or will he just consider it a coincidence?

I don't see why they couldn't treat it like any other learning exercise. Try praying for others and pay attention to whether or not the prayer seems to have an effect, and then record that data. Be open to receiving communication from a source which you can't exactly explain in physical terms. Just make a real effort to connect with the world around you. As much as many atheists like to claim to be reasonable and open, the truth is they seem anything but that. Their goal seems to be to find a way to totally disprove any potential for a god whatsoever. I don't understand why they couldn't just experiment with their own life, though. They could even keep it secret from everyone if it made them feel more comfortable. But why not give it a try?