New York Times Asks: Should Atheists Pray?

Now that we’re seeing a rise in godless congregations, the New York Times asked some people whether atheists should pray, what the point of prayer is, and whether it’s beneficial.

One of the panelists happened to be me.

Another panelist happened to be Deepak Chopra.

Here’s your challenge: Below are excerpts from our responses; can you match them to the right brown person?

Our brains change with every thought, because thoughts form a feedback loop that every cell eavesdrops on. In the tradition of meditation, silence also forms a feedback loop. A wordless voice says, “Here is peace.” Cells can eavesdrop on that message, too, and when they do, pathways in the brain are changed just as surely as when we respond to thoughts, sensations and emotions.

While the main purpose of prayer may be to help others, it never demonstrably does that. Prayers benefit only those believers who say or hear them. Prayer gives them comfort. It lets them think they have some control over a situation that may be out of their hands. It’s the last resort of people who have run out of ideas, and the first resort of people who never bothered to think about how they could actually fix the problem at hand.

I know. I know. It’s difficult. But try.

And then go here for our full responses. (Leave comments, too!)

"It's not up to atheists to refute any of your claims. It's up to you ..."

University of Maine Students Drown Out ..."
"This makes me wonder whether Satan prefers the Tridentine Latin mass, or the post-Vatican II ..."

Trump Endorses Pastor Who Says Satan ..."
"So temple collecting money to maintain facilities is not a scam. Great I conure.So the ..."

Young People Are Abandoning Religion Long ..."
"Therefore, Mormons are Catholics."

Trump Endorses Pastor Who Says Satan ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment