You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
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That about covers it.
Actually, prayer is looking pretty good now.
Now that is one I’d like to see on a billboard.
“The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.” – Robert G. Ingersoll.
Ok, Devil’s advocate here (bad term, I know)
Prayer can be helpful if one uses it to calm and steady themselves (e. g., CS Lewis is supposed to have said “I pray because it changes ME”).
Think of what many athletes do just prior to competition (where they concentrate, imagine themselves doing well, etc.)
Of course, one still has to do the work correctly.
Or, in other words, prayer might help you design a better bridge (if you pray prior to doing the hard work of designing) but it won’t keep a poorly designed bridge from falling down.
It is a bit like yoga: I don’t believe in any religious aspect of yoga, but when I do yoga regularly I get far fewer aches and pains.
I disagree. Prayer isn’t necessarily quick or free. I’d go so far as to say that prayer has a huge cost despite the calming effect it has on some.
another devil’s advocate guy here: if you are religious and believed prayer fixes things then all the boxes in the left hand column would be checked, and prayer would be an ideal choice.
of course, in real life prayer obviously does nothing…
devil’s advocate continued…i agree with josh in that regardless of whether God does exist a believer would be moved to benevolent acts.
The chart does not reflect the believers position. At best it seems like a straw man and isn’t a very good argument.
Then again I suppose it isn’t intended to be.
I’m with Ollie. I think that prayer/positive thinking/meditation do work in some ways. Those people who use prayer as a time to reflect, to ask for strength, to choose a method for dealing with problems or even to recognize their problems are a step ahead of those who don’t. That’s one thing I miss about being a practicing Catholic – time to reflect on my day, to put my thoughts in order, to prioritize the people and things in my life that I cherish and to take stock of the good things I have. I have to make time for it now, but now I don’t feel bad about doing it in the bath because I know god isn’t a big pervert watching me! Those people who use prayer as a cop-out or to absolve themselves of responsibility are the ones who are denying themselves a great opportunity.
You could put the same here for repetense and forgiveness from god. It’s something I’ve been debating the last while, but works with prayer and pretence. By praying and asking god for forigveness…it’s like, I don’t have to do anytihng myself god will, I don’t have to pay for my mistakes and crimes, I don’t have to make a effort to help others because god will do it all for me. How is this a just and moral system?
Prayer is more than sitting back and waiting for things to happen. The point of prayer is not to just let God do all of the work for you. You work very hard on the problem at hand. You do everything thing you possibly can, then you ask for help and God steps in to pick up the slack. You are responsible too.
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