Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

PhillyB

Prayer

82 posts in this topic

Can we prove God doesn't hear? Or acts? Hard to prove he does as well so I guess its..its...faith.

Philly I get the impression your mind is already made up. I could be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for those interested in the discussion (and because i'm about to copy and paste it into the facebook discussion i'm having of a similar nature) i quote at length bishop spong:

 

 

 

In 1981 my wife, Joan, received a cancer diagnosis that was determined in all probability to be fatal. Because we were a well-known and publicly-identified family in New Jersey, this news became public knowledge almost immediately. The religious resources of our people and our friends were quickly mobilized. Prayer groups throughout the diocese and even in ecumenical settings added my wife to their list of special intentions. Her name was spoken regularly during the prayers of the people in public worship in almost all of our churches. Concern, caring, and love were communicated to both of us by those actions, and we received that caring with deep appreciation. Remission did appear to have been achieved, and Joan lived for six and a half years from diagnosis to death. That was beyond anything that the doctors had led us to believe was possible. As this realization of a prolonged remission began to dawn, the people who were most concerned and whose prayers were the most intense began to take credit for her longevity. "Our prayers are working," they claimed. "God is using our prayers to keep this malevolent disease at bay." Perhaps there was present still that ancient but unspoken assumption that this sickness was the work of the devil and that this evil work was being thwarted by the power of God loosed through the prayers of God's people.

 

Despite my gratitude for the embracing love that these people demonstrated, both for me and for my wife, I could not help but be troubled at their explanations. Suppose, I queried to myself alone, that a sanitation worker in Newark, New Jersey, probably the city with the lowest per capita income in the United States, has a wife who had received the same diagnosis. Because he is not a high-profile person, well connected to a large network of people, socially prominent, or covered by the press, the sickness of his wife never comes to public attention. Suppose he is not a religiously oriented person and thus prayer groups and individual petitions in hundreds of churches are not offered on his wife's behalf. Would that affect the course of her sickness? Would she live less time from diagnosis to death, endure more obvious pain, or face a more difficult dying? If so, would that not be to attribute to God not only a capricious nature, but also a value system shaped by human importance and the worldly standards of social elitism? Would I be interested in worshipping a god who would treat my wife differently because we had opportunities in life that the sanitation worker had not had? Do I want to attribute to the deity a behavior pattern based on human status?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can we prove God doesn't hear? Or acts? Hard to prove he does as well so I guess its..its...faith.

Philly I get the impression your mind is already made up. I could be wrong.

 

if my mind was made up i wouldn't have bothered to make this thread

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why did people in the bible pray? Jesus wasn't exactly the Great Gatsby and he seemed to make it a point to pray. Especially before encountering large crowds of people. Why would he do that and why would the writer even mention it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why did people in the bible pray? Jesus wasn't exactly the Great Gatsby and he seemed to make it a point to pray. Especially before encountering large crowds of people. Why would he do that and why would the writer even mention it?

 

because premodern assumptions could be made based on the cosmology of the time, specifically that god resided in a palace beyond the sky and as such was an external deity tinkering in the daily events of people's lives, divining his will from above, hearing petitions of believers and acting on them, rewarding just behavior and punishing the bad, takings sides of nations, etc.

 

as humans have grown to understand the nature of the universe around them, these notions of an external deity living above the world (only possible, of course, in a flat earth) have been demolished, but the notions of an external god with agency that was based on those premodern understandings still exists today. jesus, it must be assumed, prayed within that premodern cosmological context, with the same understanding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gospodin shuttlesworth, aren't you a deist? what's your take on this? you tend to avoid these types of threads but i'm sure you have plenty to contribute

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if my mind was made up i wouldn't have bothered to make this thread

So what was the point of the two pictures in the OP?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what was the point of the two pictures in the OP?

 

to illustrate the logical problems one runs into with the traditional judeo-christian understanding of prayer as inducing external action to the situation or circumstance of one's desire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

to illustrate the logical problems one runs into with the traditional judeo-christian understanding of prayer as inducing external action to the situation or circumstance of one's desire

i'm not trying to argue about your methods, but i just want to explain how this looks to me, as a deist.

If I give an example of how I used prayer to help me in some facet of life... you counter with an explanation about how praying helped me by me actually maintaining focus, rather than by divine intervention, correct?

To me it seems a waste of time to try to contribute to a thread where the primary purpose is to look at prayer through the lenses of logic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed it live, bit I'm watching it now. He is at 17:30 on rope. This. Is. Insane!

Praying is seriously keeping this guy calm right now. Almost like he is having an out of body experience. I couldn't do this....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Topics

  • Posts