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Old 01-03-2024, 09:58 AM
 
18,249 posts, read 16,904,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
Actually you are more correct than you realize and obviously wrong about some other things...

Though I am an atheist and have yet to find evidence or good reason to believe a god exists, I can easily recognize the power of prayer. Not only is it a great way for some people to relieve guilt, it's also a way to help people feel better about their prospects looking forward. Relieving guilt, no matter how, is a valuable psychological win for these people. Unless of course it's to help bad people relieve themselves of guilt for being bad people, but for others who simply need to "stop beating themselves up" about something, the riddance of guilt is a good thing. Therapists help people to do the same thing all the time.

Then too for those who believe prayer will help them with whatever life challenges going forward, the value of prayer is that increased sense of comfort. Whether real or imagined, you might say the "power of prayer" is not all that much different than the "power of positive thinking." For many it actually works, whether real or imagined.

Where you are obviously quite wrong is to suggest "we all know God is non-existent." Obviously this is not true. If it were, the power of prayer to relieve guilt and/or to help with life challenges wouldn't work the way it does for believers. At least sometimes or in some cases. Regardless the reality about how it works.

I agree prayer is an incredibly valuable TOOL (I put that in capitals to emphasize the fact prayer is nothing but a tool). It's a valuable tool for accomplishing a lot of good. Prayer comforts certain people in times of tragedy, stress, events beyond our control, and relieving guilt among other things. What it is useless for is the very thing Jesus commanded his followers to use it for: getting results for something a person needs. In every instance where Jesus mentions prayer he is talking about God fulfilling a need of some sort. For example:


And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."


This is one gigantic propaganda tool for the Christian leaders to propagate among the dumb sheep. "Follow our god and he will give you all the things you need." Baloney--pure baloney. But the dumb sheep keep falling for it. They never notice that help never comes directly from God, it always comes from some secular source. The Christian hierarchy, at a loss to explain why God never helps directly, invented this business about how it is God helping when a boat comes by to pick you up after you've been stranded on top of your rooftop in a hurricane. It never dawn on the sheep's feeble brains that the boat would have come by with or without God's help. Christians just ride the coattails of secular operations by claiming it was God who did it. I can use that strategy. If you win the million-dollar lottery I can tell you that I prayed for you and it was my prayer that convinced God to let you win and that I deserve half of the prize. If you're dumb enough you'll believe me and give me half your winnings. That's how it has always worked for Christianity because the underlings--the intelligent ones anyway who run the Christian Corporation know that there's no God, or miracles or prayers that work, but the belief in God is great tool for scamming the gullible into believing that prayer really works if you know how to recognize God working within secular operations.



I shouldn't have to repeat that it's been proven time and time again in study after study that prayer simply doesn't produce any tangible results, but it's great as a therapy for coping with guilt and tragedy for certain people who respond to it. How often do you hear politicians say, "Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims in the ravaged tornado zone." If I was one of the victims I'd scream back, "Peddle your stupid prayers somewhere else. Send us some help and some money. That's what we need."
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Old 01-03-2024, 10:18 AM
 
529 posts, read 181,783 times
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Yes, it works!
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Old 01-03-2024, 10:19 AM
 
29,526 posts, read 9,700,562 times
Reputation: 3466
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
I agree prayer is an incredibly valuable TOOL (I put that in capitals to emphasize the fact prayer is nothing but a tool). It's a valuable tool for accomplishing a lot of good. Prayer comforts certain people in times of tragedy, stress, events beyond our control, and relieving guilt among other things. What it is useless for is the very thing Jesus commanded his followers to use it for: getting results for something a person needs. In every instance where Jesus mentions prayer he is talking about God fulfilling a need of some sort. For example:

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."


This is one gigantic propaganda tool for the Christian leaders to propagate among the dumb sheep. "Follow our god and he will give you all the things you need." Baloney--pure baloney. But the dumb sheep keep falling for it. They never notice that help never comes directly from God, it always comes from some secular source. The Christian hierarchy, at a loss to explain why God never helps directly, invented this business about how it is God helping when a boat comes by to pick you up after you've been stranded on top of your rooftop in a hurricane. It never dawn on the sheep's feeble brains that the boat would have come by with or without God's help. Christians just ride the coattails of secular operations by claiming it was God who did it. I can use that strategy. If you win the million-dollar lottery I can tell you that I prayed for you and it was my prayer that convinced God to let you win and that I deserve half of the prize. If you're dumb enough you'll believe me and give me half your winnings. That's how it has always worked for Christianity because the underlings--the intelligent ones anyway who run the Christian Corporation know that there's no God, or miracles or prayers that work, but the belief in God is great tool for scamming the gullible into believing that prayer really works if you know how to recognize God working within secular operations.

I shouldn't have to repeat that it's been proven time and time again in study after study that prayer simply doesn't produce any tangible results, but it's great as a therapy for coping with guilt and tragedy for certain people who respond to it. How often do you hear politicians say, "Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims in the ravaged tornado zone." If I was one of the victims I'd scream back, "Peddle your stupid prayers somewhere else. Send us some help and some money. That's what we need."
In my prior comment I was simply supplementing what you explained with regard to the "power of prayer." I wasn't making any arguments to the contrary of what you explain here, but of course the "power of positive thinking" (to use an alternative term for much the same thing) does have some real, practical affects. Hope is a very real and important emotion when it comes to the challenge of overcoming so much that humans are faced to overcome in one way or another. Lose hope and very often "the battle is lost" whether there is the chance of winning or not.

"Whatever gets you through the night" as others might say...

Where I might disagree with you more than just a bit is how you refer to people who seem taken by "one gigantic propaganda tool for the Christian leaders" as "dumb sheep." If you know anything about people who believe in God and especially those looking for help to get through difficult times, it's not dumb to pray or to believe that prayer might help. You can't throw all those millions of people under that dumb bus far as I'm concerned. Should not anyway. There are other explanations other than lack of intelligence that explains how and why people do such things.

Take it from an atheist, and if you don't understand, just say so and I'll try to further explain, but I really don't think that should be necessary. Is it?

It's frustrating for everyone to hear politicians forever saying "our hearts and prayers go out to the victims," and no doubt real tangible help should be offered too, but it's obvious that at such times even the offering of tangible help isn't good enough. Sometimes no matter what is said or done really helps, but for some, many actually, prayer helps more than anything else. No matter to them whether the results are tangible.

Even for me as an atheist, I think you would do well to tone your rhetoric down more than just a bit. Just as I sometimes feel religious people can tone down their propaganda more than just a bit as well. For whatever any of this is worth to anyone...
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Old 01-03-2024, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
88,509 posts, read 84,688,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalAngel2009 View Post
My wish is that you will give God another try. He is so loving and when our souls are open and we feel the very essence of His being, His Divine Love, flow into our souls, there is no mistaking it as the more you have then your soul expands. Most times, it’s a warm feeling in your heart area. I have even felt the Pentecostal showers and that was fantastic.

Jesus came down here in 1914 to write these messages and when I finally read one of them, I cried because I knew it was him. He brings the truth and many things in the Bible are not. Like Jesus being God. That’s a big “No!” Like Jesus dying on the cross to save our sins. Another big lie. He died because he was murdered.

And what about the Virgin Mary? Pure bunk! Mary and Joseph were married then along came baby Jesus! That story in Matthew was a ridiculous story. Let’s get real.

God is a creator. He doesn’t have a wife. He’s never been married. He is a soul. Just like we have a soul in our bodies. But His soul is perfect because He will never have to endure what we have to on this earth. But He is loving and forgiving and wants all of His millions of children to live near Him in the highest Heavens where Jesus lives-the Celestial Heavens. When we follow Him, life becomes easier and blessings abound.
And yet, you ignore post after post telling you that people followed him, life was not easier, and blessings did not abound.
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Old 01-03-2024, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,759 posts, read 24,261,465 times
Reputation: 32903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
And yet, you ignore post after post telling you that people followed him, life was not easier, and blessings did not abound.
It's seeing only what they want to see.
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Old 01-03-2024, 11:07 AM
 
29,526 posts, read 9,700,562 times
Reputation: 3466
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
It's seeing only what they want to see.
There is a term for this sort of thing that I reference in this forum all the time, but as it is time for me to be signing off from this forum again today, I'm trying to remember what it is. To help me remember, I'll look up the thread I started about this problem tomorrow. All the while to think how people make claims about who is "closed-minded" and/or who is open to what as well.
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Old 01-03-2024, 12:23 PM
 
18,249 posts, read 16,904,903 times
Reputation: 7553
Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
In my prior comment I was simply supplementing what you explained with regard to the "power of prayer." I wasn't making any arguments to the contrary of what you explain here, but of course the "power of positive thinking" (to use an alternative term for much the same thing) does have some real, practical affects. Hope is a very real and important emotion when it comes to the challenge of overcoming so much that humans are faced to overcome in one way or another. Lose hope and very often "the battle is lost" whether there is the chance of winning or not.

"Whatever gets you through the night" as others might say...

Where I might disagree with you more than just a bit is how you refer to people who seem taken by "one gigantic propaganda tool for the Christian leaders" as "dumb sheep." If you know anything about people who believe in God and especially those looking for help to get through difficult times, it's not dumb to pray or to believe that prayer might help. You can't throw all those millions of people under that dumb bus far as I'm concerned. Should not anyway. There are other explanations other than lack of intelligence that explains how and why people do such things.

Take it from an atheist, and if you don't understand, just say so and I'll try to further explain, but I really don't think that should be necessary. Is it?

It's frustrating for everyone to hear politicians forever saying "our hearts and prayers go out to the victims," and no doubt real tangible help should be offered too, but it's obvious that at such times even the offering of tangible help isn't good enough. Sometimes no matter what is said or done really helps, but for some, many actually, prayer helps more than anything else. No matter to them whether the results are tangible.

Even for me as an atheist, I think you would do well to tone your rhetoric down more than just a bit. Just as I sometimes feel religious people can tone down their propaganda more than just a bit as well. For whatever any of this is worth to anyone...

Just to clarify few things in my previous post and to address a few of yours:


I think you were basically agreeing with me about the inefficacy of prayer as far as tangible results go. And I agree that prayer is marvelous for comforting someone. But anyone with half a brain should have realized by now based on numerous studies and testimonies that prayer simply doesn't work for getting anything tangible that a person might need to make their life better. But theists believe that prayers really works. That's puts them several rungs down on the IQ ladder from where an educated former Christian is standing who has learned through experience that prayer and a $20 bill will get you a Big Mac meal. So if the $20 gets you the meal then what's the use of the prayer?



Here's a question posed by the British psychological Society:


"Are religious people really less smart, on average, than atheists?"

Response: "Various studies have found that, on average, belief in God is associated with lower scores on IQ tests. Atheists performed better overall than the religious participants, even after controlling for demographic factors like age and education. Agnostics tended to place between atheists and believers on all tasks. In fact, strength of religious conviction correlated with poorer cognitive performance."


https://www.bps.org.uk/research-dige...erage-atheists


So don't shoot the messenger. Christians as a whole score lower on intelligence tests than atheists. And Christians-turned-atheists tend to be of higher intelligence than their counterparts who stick with Christianity into old age. This is not rocket science. Just read any Christian's post. The more "into" belief in God and Jesus and all the baggage that go along with such beliefs, the more bizarre and "way out in left field" their statements are. You never read that kind of outlandishness in atheists' posts because they are grounded in reality and know that such supernatural mumbo-jumbo just isn't possible.



Quote:
Where I might disagree with you more than just a bit is how you refer to people who seem taken by "one gigantic propaganda tool for the Christian leaders" as "dumb sheep."

Where am I wrong? Christians DO use certain beliefs as propaganda tools. One example among thousands: "Plant a faith seed of $1000 in our ministry (READ: "Plant the $1000 in my pocket to help me buy a private Lear jet to joy-fly) and you will reap a hundred-fold harvest for you and your family because God will bless you abundantly for your faith." Ever hear that one? Watch this just in case you haven't:


"Money, Commeth to me NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oXhYVm2MW8


Now tell me please that anyone with an ounce of gray matter is going to fall for this scam. But then watch all the people in the congregation run up and throw their hard-earned money on the steps of the altar. Would you catch an atheist behaving in this completely screwball manner?
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Old 01-03-2024, 01:16 PM
 
4,640 posts, read 1,787,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
I've never not given God a chance...

Again, I can relate to much you describe in the way of these feelings and emotions when I believed in God. What has me an atheist today has nothing to do with giving God a try or another try. Or feelings. I can and do feel strong emotions about a good many things, and I am open to all emotions generated by whatever might cause me to feel them. I'm not closed to any of them, but I can't somehow have emotions based on something I can't recognize to exist. I don't know how to do that.

Perhaps you can appreciate what I am explaining by pointing out how you do the same thing. What you think is "pure bunk" and/or ridiculous, others fervently believe to be true. With all their open heart! Now ask yourself, if/when someone in all seriousness and sincerity asks you to believe something they do but you don't, how can you bring yourself to think or feel what they do?

My life has become no more difficult since I became an atheist in any case. These are assumptions or presumptions forever made about believing in God that religious people just don't seem able or willing to accept. Becoming an atheist was rather liberating in fact, and it has helped me to live a more simple, honest and comfortable life. A life, that if there were a God, might very likely approve. One I always feel is better than I deserve. Free of many fears, concerns and "baggage" that it seems so many religious people must carry one way or another.
Did you live a life that was UNsimple, UNhonest and UNcomfortable before becoming an atheist?
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Old 01-03-2024, 01:27 PM
 
4,640 posts, read 1,787,858 times
Reputation: 6428
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
I agree prayer is an incredibly valuable TOOL (I put that in capitals to emphasize the fact prayer is nothing but a tool). It's a valuable tool for accomplishing a lot of good. Prayer comforts certain people in times of tragedy, stress, events beyond our control, and relieving guilt among other things. What it is useless for is the very thing Jesus commanded his followers to use it for: getting results for something a person needs. In every instance where Jesus mentions prayer he is talking about God fulfilling a need of some sort. For example:


And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."


This is one gigantic propaganda tool for the Christian leaders to propagate among the dumb sheep. "Follow our god and he will give you all the things you need." Baloney--pure baloney.
Wait a minute...You said that "he will give you all the things you NEED." THERE'S the rub, thrill. There's a HUGE difference between "want" and "need." Do you get the difference?

Quote:
But the dumb sheep keep falling for it. They never notice that help never comes directly from God, it always comes from some secular source. The Christian hierarchy, at a loss to explain why God never helps directly, invented this business about how it is God helping when a boat comes by to pick you up after you've been stranded on top of your rooftop in a hurricane. It never dawn on the sheep's feeble brains that the boat would have come by with or without God's help.
Says WHO? YOU? How do you know that? And how do you know that God didn't help JUST because you didn't ask?

Quote:
Christians just ride the coattails of secular operations by claiming it was God who did it. I can use that strategy. If you win the million-dollar lottery I can tell you that I prayed for you and it was my prayer that convinced God to let you win and that I deserve half of the prize.
OR, it was your prayer along with OTHERS who prayed for the same thing.

Quote:
If you're dumb enough you'll believe me and give me half your winnings. That's how it has always worked for Christianity because the underlings--the intelligent ones anyway who run the Christian Corporation know that there's no God, or miracles or prayers that work, but the belief in God is great tool for scamming the gullible into believing that prayer really works if you know how to recognize God working within secular operations.
So YOU say...speak to the millions who have gotten prayers answered, WITHOUT *YOUR* help.

Quote:
I shouldn't have to repeat that it's been proven time and time again in study after study that prayer simply doesn't produce any tangible results, but it's great as a therapy for coping with guilt and tragedy for certain people who respond to it. How often do you hear politicians say, "Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims in the ravaged tornado zone." If I was one of the victims I'd scream back, "Peddle your stupid prayers somewhere else. Send us some help and some money. That's what we need."
And how many of those victims GET help? LOTS more than who don't. And how many prayers have been answered for them to receive help? Do you KNOW?

Try being homeless for a while, thrill. THEN you may be able to differentiate between what a 'want' and a 'need' is...
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Old 01-03-2024, 01:57 PM
 
18,249 posts, read 16,904,903 times
Reputation: 7553
Quote:
Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
There is a term for this sort of thing that I reference in this forum all the time, but as it is time for me to be signing off from this forum again today, I'm trying to remember what it is. To help me remember, I'll look up the thread I started about this problem tomorrow. All the while to think how people make claims about who is "closed-minded" and/or who is open to what as well.

I try to be open minded. If a Christian could give me just one verifiable truth to support their beliefs in Jesus I could accept it.
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