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Prayer

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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.

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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

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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?

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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

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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.

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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....

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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.

 

the thread was meant more for an open-ended discussion of what prayer is and what, if the traditional judeo-christian understanding of it is outmoded due to the flaws illustrated above, can be changed in our understanding (if anything) to maintain prayer as still meditatively useful, if not externally beckoning in any literal sense.

 

i also think that the discussion could lead, ultimately, to the factors present in the formation of belief systems and the supernatural as precursors to accepting prayer on faith in spite of the clearly massive, massive confirmation biases involved in filtering information to "prove" the efficacy of prayer.

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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.

 

if you're a deist, why are you praying?

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if you're a deist, why are you praying?

probably wasn't the right word to use. I do not believe in the modern organization and money making ways of the church, but I definitely believe in salvation through Jesus Christ, which can only be attained through prayer.

I definitely do not consider myself a Jeffersonian deist. I believe the universe was created to be self-sustaining. For example, God does not send a tornado to Oklahoma to punish people; He only created the methods of keeping water and streams of air moving around the world.

I do reject the modern Christian usage of prayer as a magic lamp with a genie inside.
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My six year old thinks if he blinks really fast while a progress bar is loading that his data will load faster. There have been times where I've witnessed the progress bar speed up and load at a faster rate when he starts his little blinking ritual. The times it works for him are evidence enough to him that the blinking ritual does work. I don't mean any offense with that story but that is how I see people with prayer. And if it really worked and it was strong enough to move mountains and do the impossible then why are the only prayer request that I "see" being answered are the mundane everyday stuff like a progress bar loading faster? Why not manna from heaven to feed the hungry, amputees regrowing body parts and deformities disappearing?

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probably wasn't the right word to use. I do not believe in the modern organization and money making ways of the church, but I definitely believe in salvation through Jesus Christ, which can only be attained through prayer.

I definitely do not consider myself a Jeffersonian deist. I believe the universe was created to be self-sustaining. For example, God does not send a tornado to Oklahoma to punish people; He only created the methods of keeping water and streams of air moving around the world.

I do reject the modern Christian usage of prayer as a magic lamp with a genie inside.

 

I think that falls under theist.

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I am all for prayer if it helps the person doing the prayer feel better about themselves or situations.

 

 

I do not like prayer when it replaces actual action or good deeds. This is a common one on facebook.

 

Example....

 

 

Our poor little cousin was diagnosed with cancer and needs to undergo treatments.

 

- Oh dear thats awful, I will pray for him

- So Sad, prayers going out!

- Please know that he is in our prayers!

 

 

 

Here we have no real concern and no real help. It does nothing but make the person that wrote it feel better about themselves, look what a nice person I am I am praying for someone! How about throwing a dinner their way. How about sending the kid a toy off Amazon. My gut tells me that if there is a god up there he is going to ask those folks why they did not get off their lazy fat asses and do something instead of begging him to do it all the time.

 

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