Atheists

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Muslim, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,125
    I find it unnecessary to do so, as you have found it unnecessary to provide evidence to your claim.

    If you had read the posts, you'd have seen I found agreement with samcdkey that he/she uses prayer as a form of stress management, to focus on helping to deal with the duress he/she has experienced.

    Beyond that, I couldn't find agreement that prayer had any further effect on her duress.

    If I had claimed anything beyond that, then I failed to explain myself.

    Et tu?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,125
    Is your definition of 'intervention' popping in and out with insults?

    Clearly, it has yet to be to substantiate anything you've said thus far.

    Will you be doing that anytime soon, or will you just continue with the 'interventions'?
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    I disagree.

    May I know, did you have a religious upbringing?

    Have you ever prayed sincerely?
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,125
    I'm not sure how that would have any bearing on the effects of prayer. Perhaps it might help me understand better by hearing your definition of spirituality, and what exactly are you praying?

    Do you define it in terms of spirits; ie. the supernatural? Or something else?
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Ron, I guess it depends on your exposure to religion. For us, Prayer was a family thing which all of us did together; it was an inherent part of life. We never lived in an atmosphere where approval was required or essential; our family is close knit and I cannot recall a single time that I was "punished". We were gently brought up by parents who believed in guidance rather than discipline.

    This has shaped our entire lives and our attitudes towards people and faith.
     
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Well, I would like to know what experience you have with prayer.

    Since you claim spirituality does not exist, I presume you have never embraced any form of spirituality, ever. Or have you ever attempted it and been dissatisfied?

    As to prayer, I am Muslim so I pray to God; for many things.

    I pray the ritual prayers; I pray for strength, for guidance, when I am sick or anxious I pray for relief, when I am happy, I pray in gratitude; when I am confused or bitter, I pray for enlightenment; when I am discouraged, I pray for faith; when I am hoping that something will turn out well, I pray for victory; when I have a fight with someone, I pray for resolution; when I have difficulties at work, I pray to focus; when I am stressed, I pray to relax.
     
  10. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,125
    I have found little or no value in prayer as it is a form of communicating with ones deity. Since deities have not been shown to exist, I would consider prayer as simply talking with oneself.

    Perhaps it was rash for me to claim spirituality does not exist, but I would like someone to show me it does exist. And I'm of course assuming your definition of spirituality is that which is concerned with spirits?

    Have each and every one of your prayers been answered? Why or why not?

    As for your examples, I'll attempt to add my own.

    I don't pray for strength, I find it in myself. I don't pray for guidance, I research. I don't pray for relief from sickness, I see a doctor. I don't pray in gratitude for being happy since it was I, or others who made happen whatever it was that makes me happy. I don't pray for enlightenment when I'm confused, I seek solutions. I don't pray for faith when discouraged, I seek to find solutions to that which discouraged me. I don't pray for something to turn out, I think it through and take every precaution to make sure it turns out as well as can be expected. If I had difficulties at work, I wouldn't pray, I find solutions and make changes to alleviate the difficulties.

    And when I'm stressed, I don't pray to relax, I simply relax.

    So, I would have to ask as to why one would require prayer when the examples you've provided don't?
     
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Lets just say I'm religious? And you're not?


    Have you ever been truly alone with yourself?

    You would be surprised at how many have been answered.

    Does this work for you? If it does and if you have never needed anything more to feel complete, you are following the way best suited for you.

    It does not work for me.
     
  12. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,125
    Being religious does not in any way show that gods exist. All it shows is that you believe in one of a multitude of gods claimed to exist and that you've chosen to believe in one particular god over the others. I merely believe in one less god than you.

    Of course, but how does that show spirits exist?

    I'm assuming none. Can you show that your prayers were answered as a result of devine intervention? Or, were some hits and others misses, as in coincidences? It's funny how many people forget about the misses.

    I am me, therefore I am complete. Believing in the supernatural would only tend to make me incomplete since I would have to toss away what little faculties of reason and rationale I currently hold.

    How do you know it doesn't work for you? Have you tried those things without prayer and simply dealt with them instead?
     
  13. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,717
    Prayer has been conclusively shown to have no effect in the objective world. Outcomes of prayer studies show nothing but random noise.

    If you pray for enough things in your personal life, some of them are bound to be "fulfilled". Then you are subject to the "enumeration of favorable outcomes" which is a powerful deciever when assessing your own observations.

    Also, people don't pray for things that have no chance of happening - pray for a new porche in your driveway tomorrow morning. See what happens. If you happen to be a rich kind and have been dropping hints all year for a porche, then your prayer has a high likeyhood of being answered. I know this is a trivial example, but the principle holds.

    Also, how does praying to a god with a plan, make any sense anyway? If you are dying and pray for a remission, and it happens, did god change his plan? Your death was pretty serious business to you, and apparently part of god's plan for you, yet you could change god's mind? Sorry but that's just childish.
     
  14. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    samcdkey,

    Hi,

    Yet at the basis of Islam, Christianity and Judasim is the essential driving force of reward and punishment. These religions have this in common - follow a very specific set of rules and you will achieve eternal reward otherwise you will suffer. Ultimately the motivation to be good is fear of reprisal.
     
  15. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,717
    In fact, in one study, those prayed for did worse than the other groups. This group knew it was being prayed for. This was explained (tentatively) as added stress, knowing that they were being prayed for and adding to their expectations, in addition to the stress brought on by having to be prayed for in the first place. "Am I that bad that I need a prayer group? Shit!"
     
  16. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,717
    Yes. So how does one explain the statistically good "morality" of atheists in the absence of these threats? I already know the answer.
     
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Yes, there is a set of rules. Just like there are laws. Laws are meant to teach the difference between right and wrong. You can choose to follow or not. You know the consequences. It works for some people, it does not work for others. People manipulate laws to suit their own interests; that does not mean the law is wrong, it means it was misinterpreted or misrepresentated. People use different laws to justify criminal intent or acts.

    However, does that mean we should do away with the laws? That they are null and void? That people will respond better to an absence of law.

    There are differences between the letter and spirit of the law.
     
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    There are as many examples either way:

    http://digitalcommons.uconn.edu/dissertations/AAI3034029/
     
  19. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,717
    Yes. The study I was referring to was done on people with cardiac disease. Maybe the mentally ill are more in tune with prayer and such?

    Smack me if you must, but it begged to be said.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  20. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,442
    I've been struggling with this whole idea of "being complete" and "being incomplete" for quite some time.
    Surely I sometimes feel like I am missing something, like I am incomplete. But when I try to find out what it is that I am missing, what I would need to be complete -- all I can come up with are speculations and no sound answer (apart from needing nourishment).

    I am prone to think that this notion that we are somehow incomplete, per default, is a market scam. Both in the sense of the spiritual/religious market and the capitalistic market. It is always those that try to sell you something that make every effort to convince you that you lack something, that you are incomplete.



    * * *


    Ha! What a new-agey statement!
     
  21. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,125
    What standards of 'complete' do you wish to achieve? If you can't fly a commercial airliner, do you consider yourself incomplete? If you're born without arms, are you incomplete? If you don't believe in god(s) are you incomplete?
     
  22. water the sea Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,442
    Yes, these and more are things we usually get told that we should achieve or have, or we are incomplete.
    But where these standards of "completeness" come from, where they are justified (other than in capitalistic, materialistic reasoning and in religions and cultural traditions), is beyond me.
     
  23. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,125
    That's the point, you make your own standards. I could tell you that you'll never be complete unless you learn to fly a commercial jetliner. Do you feel incomplete by that statement or will you simply tell me to take a flying **** through a rolling donut?
     

Share This Page