Prayer:Some questions

Cpt_pineapple
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Prayer:Some questions

The Christian health care topic induced an epiphany which could help me understand Hamby's arguments better.

 

So the simple questions I would like to ask:

 

 

 

Does Christianity actually teach that prayer will get you ANYTHING you want? I do mean ANYTHING, such as PS3s, ponies, ending world disasters etc....

 

 

Does it say that prayer is the BEST way to acheive said things?  Better than worldly efforts? World efforts would be trying to aquire said things by action.

 

 

 

I know he goes on about prayer in his arguments and I would like clarification of the above.

 

 

 

 

 


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Then there's that song

Then there's that song "Unanswered Prayer" by the very talented Garth Brooks which suggests that sky daddy doesn't always give you what you want because what you want at any certain time, may not be what's best.

 

This of course provides the perfect argument for the power of prayer because if a prayer request does not come true, and then later on down the line, something seemingly better comes along, it now comes down to God knowing better than you about what you REALLY want and need.

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Well, I can't ask

Well, I can't ask christianity, so I asked a christian. He sez no on the ps3 and ponies front (Even asking that got me a scornful look). Luckily there's a way around that. Where I live we have this dead catholic saint who kids can ask for stuff like that, and he does deliver the goods. Although I guess it's not technically prayer when all you do is write a list and say please.

But the ending world disasters thing got a definite yes and a live demonstration.

As for it being the best way to achieve something, he was annoyingly vague on that.


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Well Allison, I would

Well Allison, I would ask you what you mean by “Christianity”?

 

From where I stand, the word does not mean some monolithic thing where basic terminology is generally agreed upon by all. Sure, in the USA at least, there are groups that use the word in that sense. Even so, each subgroup has a somewhat different idea of what it means.

 

As an example, I have had the dubious pleasure of knowing “Christians” who felt that it is acceptable to vandalize RC churches, in one case to the point of smashing icons of the virgin Mary. I did not press for details but apparently, this person felt that the RC crowd was worshiping wrong or different concepts. But I digress...

 

Then there is the RC crowd. From what I can tell, they also have some odd ideas of who should be counted as the in-crowd. One time when I lost my keys at work, I was exhorted to recite a “prayer to Saint Anthony” as a way of getting him to hand me my keys. I told them that I am not catholic and I was told that the prayer works for anyone. If that is true, then they are engaging in something much closer to a pagan ceremony to invoke a supernatural entity than to what the fundie crowd might consider to be prayer.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

That much being said, stuff like ponies are going to be a tall order for probably any group that is not contemplating drinking the kool-aide. Even so, are there groups that believe that you can use prayer to get what you want?

 

Most assuredly there are.

 

People pray for all sorts of things and then if those things happen, they attribute the event to the power of prayer. When they don't happen, they have a ready made gloss job in the idea that god's plan was for something else. Basically, all the hits count and the misses are ignored.

 

Now I call that a mental sickness. From where I stand, it is little different from a compulsive gambler who can walk into a store with $5 to spend on lottery tickets. All winning tickets are added to the mental win register before being put back into more tickets and the losses are discarded from any mental register. Half an hour later, they can tell you all about how they won $250, yet they don't even have the initial $5 left.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

One time when I lost my keys at work, I was exhorted to recite a “prayer to Saint Anthony” as a way of getting him to hand me my keys.

 

Hey, I know that dude ! My mom prays to him like 5 times a day, out loud ! "Holy Anthony, pleeeeeease let me find my *insert lost item*"

She calls him the patron saint of the scatterbrains.


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When I worked at Walmart

When I worked at Walmart some customers would pray that their would be enough on their food stamp cards to purchase their food.  Then they would thank/praise Jesus and tell me that they prayed for this and it is because of him that it is so if they did have enough to cover their purchases.

Sounds made up...
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Magus wrote:When I worked at

Magus wrote:

When I worked at Walmart some customers would pray that their would be enough on their food stamp cards to purchase their food.  Then they would thank/praise Jesus and tell me that they prayed for this and it is because of him that it is so if they did have enough to cover their purchases.

This is quite possibly the funniest thing I've heard in a while.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Does

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Does Christianity actually teach that prayer will get you ANYTHING you want? I do mean ANYTHING, such as PS3s, ponies, ending world disasters etc....

No, and that's just silly. I'd wager that even the youngest of Sunday school children understand what hamy and other's just don't get.

What's bizarre to me is these continually underdeveloped strawmen that gets passed around these forums, and believed almost dogmatically. 

It's understandable, you don't like religion, but this doesn't mean you should be in the business of promoting deluded understanding of it. 


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The 'average' preacher gives

The 'average' preacher gives the message that a prayer for an event or item will have three answers: Yes, No, Maybe.

However, a prayer for guidance is the one they tout as always being answered. It gives the individual a direction or 'calling' and is the most harmful in my personal opinion. It takes away the needed part of id to make a self-centered decision or worse it eliminates the guilt stemming from the consequences of an ethically or morally corrupt action.

Christianity teaches through its preachers, not necessarily through its books/tenets. However, if the 'answered prayer' is something that leads an individual to sin against those self-same tenets then it is obviously not coming from the lord, their god, but the darker more sinister forces of evil set in opposition to the church.

Who tells them when the prayer is not from their god? The preacher or elder who initially told them to pray for the needed guidance. THAT is the most obfuscatory exercise of control over another person ever utilized by humanity. Think about the person confused in their life choices and how weak they are at the moment. Now, put forth this idea that asking the empty air can lead you in the right direction. Whatever comes in the hours after such an event becomes their answer from their god and thus they feel their faith is reaffirmed. Despite the probability that the same thing would occur without the prayer anyway.

 

You'll forgive me if I judge this topic as being as close to ignorant as I'm willing to engage? There are few things as self-evident as the tool of prayer as it relates to religion in general. One need only listen to the whispers in a christian Sunday service to garner enough information on this matter to make an informed opinion.

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darth_josh wrote:The

darth_josh wrote:

The 'average' preacher gives the message that a prayer for an event or item will have three answers: Yes, No, Maybe.

However, a prayer for guidance is the one they tout as always being answered. It gives the individual a direction or 'calling' and is the most harmful in my personal opinion. It takes away the needed part of id to make a self-centered decision or worse it eliminates the guilt stemming from the consequences of an ethically or morally corrupt action.

Hodgepodge, at the best naive reductionism.

If christian preacher had so much influence as you suggest, we wouldn't be having over 40,000 denominations of Christianity, and we wouldn't have the large number of theist who leave one church for another, through out the course of their life time. Preachers don't have the power to decide what the congregation feels is right and wrong, some preacher who stands up to his gun loving congregation and tells them possession of guns is immoral, is not going to get applause, he'd be kicked to the curb.

And the reason for this, is for the same reason someone can't tell me broccoli taste good, to make it taste good for myself. And why my coworker can't get me to find black metal a good listen, no matter how much he pleads. 

Individuals attends churches where their own views are aligned with their community and leaders of that church, not because they desire the church to define their views for them, but rather to have home for their views. And this is why we have varying bodies, and chapels of theism, catering to the divergent views of peoples. 

 

 


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Anonymouse wrote:  

Anonymouse wrote:

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
One time when I lost my keys at work, I was exhorted to recite a “prayer to Saint Anthony” as a way of getting him to hand me my keys.

 

Hey, I know that dude ! My mom prays to him like 5 times a day, out loud ! "Holy Anthony, pleeeeeease let me find my *insert lost item*"

 

She calls him the patron saint of the scatterbrains.

 

Then you have been lucky. I was expected to recite a whole thing that would have taken about 3 to 5 minutes to go through. After which, I was not promised that the dude would appear as if he had been beamed down from the Enterprise to hand me my keys.

 

How about I spend that time looking for them?

 

theTwelve wrote:
No, and that's just silly. I'd wager that even the youngest of Sunday school children understand what hamy and other's just don't get.

 

What's bizarre to me is these continually underdeveloped strawmen that gets passed around these forums, and believed almost dogmatically.

 

It's understandable, you don't like religion, but this doesn't mean you should be in the business of promoting deluded understanding of it.

 

Well, I will not presume to speak for other members here. However, from my experience, there is no small number of members who have had religion in their past and have known what goes on therein.

 

That having been said, if you see poor arguments from me, I would ask that you call me out on them. Such would only help me, even if not to join whatever group you may be a member of. I suspect that you will not do so because I have long ago earned my debate chops.

 

Even so, theists are not immune from poor arguments themselves and assuming otherwise always rubs me the wrong way. While you may have a specific idea of what prayer means to you, that does not mean that everyone holds the same view. The danger inherent in magical thinking is exactly that it is magical thinking. Once one has managed to compartmentalize one's own mind, then what is prima facie impossible is fairly easy to swallow.

 

For example, I know several people (from different churches, mind you) who have heard that on 9/11 someone was trapped above the fire line in the WTC. However, this person was “of the faithful” and prayed before jumping.

 

Well, don't you know but god heard the prayer and responded accordingly. Exactly what happened depends on which version of the story I am hearing but apparently, he jumped a quarter of a mile and walked away without so much as a scratch.

 

So where is this dude today? If he exists, would not the televangelist/mega church crowd have dug him up? Really, they make lots of money getting people in wheel chairs to walk a few steps. This guy would be worth billions to them.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Well Allison, I would ask you what you mean by “Christianity”?

 

I mean Christianity as perscribed by the bible.

 

 

It's only one "l" BTW

 

 

Quote:

That much being said, stuff like ponies are going to be a tall order for probably any group that is not contemplating drinking the kool-aide. Even so, are there groups that believe that you can use prayer to get what you want?

 

Most assuredly there are.

 

People pray for all sorts of things and then if those things happen, they attribute the event to the power of prayer. When they don't happen, they have a ready made gloss job in the idea that god's plan was for something else. Basically, all the hits count and the misses are ignored.

 

Now I call that a mental sickness. From where I stand, it is little different from a compulsive gambler who can walk into a store with $5 to spend on lottery tickets. All winning tickets are added to the mental win register before being put back into more tickets and the losses are discarded from any mental register. Half an hour later, they can tell you all about how they won $250, yet they don't even have the initial $5 left.

 

 

 

This isn't about the effectivness of prayer, it's about whether Christians think praying is the best way to get what they want.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:This

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

This isn't about the effectivness of prayer, it's about whether Christians think praying is the best way to get what they want.

So is there an official stance on that ? I'd love to hear it. 

I've asked a couple more christians and there seems to be some disagreement. It's really annoying when they can't make up their minds.


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theTwelve wrote:Individuals

theTwelve wrote:

Individuals attends churches where their own views are aligned with their community and leaders of that church, not because they desire the church to define their views for them, but rather to have home for their views. And this is why we have varying bodies, and chapels of theism, catering to the divergent views of peoples. 

 

   I agree ( PDW switching off sarcasm mode ) with theTwelve.  In my community there is a large Christian-style congregation whose membership is almost exclusively gay.  At the complete other end of the theological spectrum is a guy I went to school with who is a firm believer in the white supremacist doctrines of Christian Identity.  With out a doubt people shop around to find a version of Christianity that agrees with their pre-existing values.

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Anonymouse wrote:So is there

Anonymouse wrote:

So is there an official stance on that ? I'd love to hear it. 

I've asked a couple more Christians and there seems to be some disagreement. It's really annoying when they can't make up their minds.

Notice the difference of these two things:

You can have an agreement on what something isn't, but doesn't mean you have an agreement on that it is.

Christians might disagree on what prayer is, but you'd be scare to find a theist who will claim that praying for anything (and I do mean for anything) will make it come to true.

There is an agreement on what prayer isn't. We can all argue about what the meaning of what it means to be a good neighbor, but we'd all agree that someone who robs his neighbors house isn't one.

 


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theTwelve wrote:Notice the

theTwelve wrote:

Notice the difference of these two things:

You can have an agreement on what something isn't, but doesn't mean you have an agreement on that it is.

Christians might disagree on what prayer is, but you'd be scare to find a theist who will claim that praying for anything (and I do mean for anything) will make it come to true.

There is an agreement on what prayer isn't. We can all argue about what the meaning of what it means to be a good neighbor, but we'd all agree that someone who robs his neighbors house isn't one.

 

 

I didn't ask them what they think prayer is or isn't. I asked them if they think prayer is the best way to get what they want.

Like I said, some are annoyingly vague on that. Some say "yes, but...", others go for "no, but...".  In fact, I asked this question before, and I noticed some christians changed their minds.

 

So I'd love to know what the official christian answer is to that question, so I can tell them what they should think. Some of them have no idea.

 


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Anonymouse wrote:I didn't

Anonymouse wrote:

I didn't ask them what they think prayer is or isn't. I asked them if they think prayer is the best way to get what they want.

Well, your problem is you don't know how to ask the question, your question is plagued with ambiguity, so it's prone to receive rather ambiguous responses.

I suggest you try and make the question using examples, and conceivably real situations, to remove the ambiguity.

Like this one, A.) "is the best way to get A an exam, to not prepare for it, and just pray about it. B.) " Is the best way to get an A on an exam, to prepare for it, and pray about it", or C.) is it the best way to get an A on an exam by preparing for it, and not praying about it.

I'd wager you'd be scare to find a response that's not B, now go and test it out, and tell me the results.

The problem with your question, is that it leaves the question of the alternative "ways" in the air. While mine is a bit more scientific, and less ambiguous, yet probing the same question. 

 

 

 


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theTwelve wrote:Well, your

theTwelve wrote:

Well, your problem is you don't know how to ask the question, your question is plagued with ambiguity, so it's prone to receive rather ambiguous responses.

I suggest you try and make the question using examples, and conceivably real situations, to remove the ambiguity.

Like this one, A.) "is the best way to get A an exam, to not prepare for it, and just pray about it. B.) " Is the best way to get an A on an exam, to prepare for it, and pray about it", or C.) is it the best way to get an A on an exam by preparing for it, and not praying about it.

I'd wager you'd be scare to find a response that's not B, now go and test it out, and tell me the results.

The problem with your question, is that it leaves the question of the alternative "ways" in the air. While mine is a bit more scientific, and less ambiguous, yet probing the same question. 

 

Hey now, be fair. It's not my question, is the one from the OP.

I actually did put the question more or less like that, but the problem is, I tend to ask a lot of questions these days, and they're getting kind of wary. They suspect a trap when I as much as say "hello". I'm going to get more "let me get back to you on that" than Bs, I'll wager. But sure, I'll give it a go.

So do you think that christianity teaches that prayer is not the best way to make things happen ? Not better than worldly efforts ?


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Anonymouse wrote:So do you

Anonymouse wrote:

So do you think that Christianity teaches that prayer is not the best way to make things happen ? Not better than worldly efforts ?

Again this is a poor question, because of the ambiguous term "best". Best in what way? Best in a way that forgoes other alternatives (A)? Best in a way that is in addition to other alternatives (B)?

Is the best way to get a job, by going into the interview with an optimistic and cheerful spirit?

Is it a better way than researching the company prior to the interview? A better way that wearing proper attire?

Or is it only the best way, in addition to these other ways as well.

 

 


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OK twelve, let me run

OK twelve, let me run with your example. Let's say that I am looking at an exam and I prepare for it.

 

Case 1: I submit work that merits an A but I do not pray for a grade.

 

Case 2: I submit work that merits a C but I prayed for an A.

 

In either case, will god tell the instructor to give me the wrong grade based on whether or not I have prayed? Or will I get the grade that I have earned and the fact of my prayer (or lack thereof) be irrelevant?

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

I submit work that merits a C but I prayed for an A.

Ah, who feels it merits a C? The individual taking the test prior to taking it, after taking it? the teacher who reviews it and grades it?

 


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theTwelve wrote:Again this

theTwelve wrote:

Again this is a poor question, because of the ambiguous term "best". Best in what way?

Right, so it's the question in the OP you have a problem with. Okay, I'm sure she'll be right along to clear that up for you.


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This isn't about what

This isn't about what Joe/Suzy Christian will do, or the effectiveness of prayer, it's about what they SHOULD do in regards to prayer if they follow Christianity.

 

Quote:

I suggest you try and make the question using examples, and conceivably real situations, to remove the ambiguity.

Like this one, A.) "is the best way to get A an exam, to not prepare for it, and just pray about it. B.) " Is the best way to get an A on an exam, to prepare for it, and pray about it", or C.) is it the best way to get an A on an exam by preparing for it, and not praying about it.

 

The question is what Christianity teaches.

 

Does it teach you should not prepare for it because your prayer will be enough and God will determine what grade you get?

 

Does it teach that you should supplement your action with prayer? That is prepare and then prayer you're preperation is adequate and that God will give you strength?

 

It's about what Christians should do if they are following the teachings of Christianity.

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Does it

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Does it teach that you should supplement your action with prayer? That is prepare and then prayer you're preperation is adequate and that God will give you strength?

It teaches this,  and you'd be hard pressed to find christians, no matter of what stripe, that'd disagree with this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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theTwelve

theTwelve wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Does it teach that you should supplement your action with prayer? That is prepare and then prayer you're preperation is adequate and that God will give you strength?

It teaches this, 

It does ? You guys are sure about this ? Awesome. Now I get to tell a whole bunch of Joe/Suzy Christians that they're not doing it right. This is going to be fun.


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Anonymouse wrote:It does ?

Anonymouse wrote:

It does ? You guys are sure about this ? Awesome. Now I get to tell a whole bunch of Joe/Suzy Christians that they're not doing it right. This is going to be fun.

I actually would like to hear these Joey/Suzy christians u keep talking about. Go into a theist forum quote Capt, ask the theist if they agree, and come back here and show us the results.

I gave you a statement which I claimed to hold predictive value, that at least claims what the vast majority of christians would believe, if you disagree, or assume otherwise, i'd like to hear views of theist that are contrary to the prediction. Find me those bunnies in the pre-Cambrian.

 

 


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theTwelve wrote:I actually

theTwelve wrote:
I actually would like to hear these Joey/Suzy christians u keep talking about.

The Joe/Suzy christians I am refering to are the "prayer heals" crowd. You sure you want to hear them ? Okay then, you asked for it, here's a whole stadium full : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sthm3vH6ixY&feature=related

theTwelve wrote:
Go into a theist forum quote Capt, ask the theist if they agree, and come back here and show us the results.

I already have the results. A close relative who believed prayer alone would do the trick.

theTwelve wrote:
I gave you a statement which I claimed to hold predictive value, that at least claims what the vast majority of christians would believe, if you disagree, or assume otherwise, i'd like to hear views of theist that are contrary to the prediction. Find me those bunnies in the pre-Cambrian.

Don't know about bunnies, but sure, let's just google "power of prayer" and see what we get....Ah, there you go :

http://www.allaboutprayer.org/power-of-prayer.htm

Now find me something even remotely like cap's quote on that site.


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This is about what

This is about what Christianity teaches, not what Christians do.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:This is

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

This is about what Christianity teaches, not what Christians do.

 

 

 

   Then take your question to various Christian forums and then bring us the results.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:This is

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

This is about what Christianity teaches, not what Christians do.

 

Yeah, I got that. Sorry for getting off topic.

If christianity teaches that prayer alone won't get you anything, then I'll gladly help spread that particular part of the message. Heck, I've been doing that for a while now.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:This is

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

This is about what Christianity teaches, not what Christians do.

 

 

 

Then it really comes down to which sect are you talking about? Catholic, Evangelists, Baptists, Mormom, etc, etc, etc. Because speaking in general terms this question really doesn't apply, what does christianity teach depends on which sect your talking about. Some about action and prayer, others just prayer, other actions only, etc.


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I asked on the religion

I asked on the religion board on GameFAQs and got some responses

 

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=263&topic=51640527

 

 

However, I don't think the bible quotes are what they say they are.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I asked

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I asked on the religion board on GameFAQs and got some responses

 http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=263&topic=51640527

However, I don't think the bible quotes are what they say they are.

There are boards for christian gamers ? Lol.

I see you asked for bible quotes. Got these yet ? :

James 5:16-18 declares, "…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers.

Jesus taught, "…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." The Bible urges us, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

 

And you got a link from one of them, about "god helps those who help themselves". Here's a quote :

the Bible teaches the opposite. God helps the helpless! Isaiah 25:4 declares, "For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat..." Romans 5:6 tells us, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."

It goes on to say that christians shouldn't fall into the trap of inactivity. God can get you a job, but he's not going to make employers come looking for you, that kind of thing.

They don't provide a bible quote for that, though.


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Great question captain.  I

Great question captain.  I don't think there is a simple answer, so here are my anecdotal thoughts.

 

A typical, 'normal', non-whacky Christian in a western democracy is pretty much a secular beast who has some confusion about cause and effect.  They will, for example, pray for a job then go physically look for a job.  If they get a job, they will praise God, if they don't get a job they will pray some more and look some more.

If you ask them if prayer is the best way to get things, they might say yes or no depending on their particular beliefs, but here is a better question: If you pray, will you experience a better outcome for a particular event?  That is a more appropriately phrased question for mainstream Christians.  I imagine the answer to that will be yes in most cases.

Is that kind of prayer harmful?  Not really, or at least not directly.  The only harm comes because it teaches magical thinking.  

 

However, there really are a significant number or fundamentalists who would say it is better to pray for a cure for cancer than get chemo.  Faith healers, etc.  But if you bring that up people like theTwelve will complain because it is not representative of mainstream religion (modern mainstream religion, like I said, nowadays most people are secular for practical matters).

 

Now, does the "Bible" teach that prayer can do anything?  I think so, as a literal interpretation.  The caveat though is prayer relies on internal faith, and it will only work if you have enough.  This gives an easy out because faith cannot be quantified.  "The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. (Matthew 17: 19-20, Luke 17: 5-6" and all that.  I was taught that this meant miraculous works were possible if a person had deep enough faith.  Some people really do take this literally...luckily, that attitude declines the more a person knows about how the world works and the less of the physical world they think is supernatural in nature.  You still see a lot of prayer for mental issues, because people think the mind is supernatural, so prayer is an appropriate response.

(Edit: I actually remember looking at a mountain once as a little kid and thinking, gee whiz, if only I had enough faith I could just pick that think up!)

 

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mellestad wrote:However,

mellestad wrote:

However, there really are a significant number or fundamentalists who would say it is better to pray for a cure for cancer than get chemo.  Faith healers, etc.  But if you bring that up people like theTwelve will complain because it is not representative of mainstream religion (modern mainstream religion, like I said, nowadays most people are secular for practical matters).

Actually I don't come from "mainstream" theism, my parents are pentecostal christians, (the extreme end of fundamentalism), I actually use to attend the Harvest convention in Ohio, where Benny Hinn has spoken at, in fact I was one of those individuals who fell, after briefly being touched by him. But my life in these setting has been as one of an outsider, understanding it, but not sharing it. So when I'm speaking about prayer, I'm speaking from this end, the end that most atheist shallowlly understand or after a wounded experience of their own, only judge under the guise of their hostile bias. 

While individual attends services like Benny Hinn, seeking a healing for their ailments, they do so on top of medical treatment when possible, they don't forgo chemo for prayer, or miracle healings. They take their medical treatment, and pray for a miracle on top of this.

My aunt one time ordered miracle water for her ailing shoulder, which she was taking meds for, and doing the stretches her doctor asked her to do, and on top of this she prayer for a miracle to have it healed. This is the majority "fundie" view on prayers. You're not going to hear any of these "faith healers" claiming to forgo medical treatment, or chemo. I been raised in this circle, and I have far more exposure to that crowd, across the country, past and present than I'd wager anyone on this forum does. 

I've known several fundie individuals personally who were diagnosed with cancer. The same thing, they'd take medical treatment, and pray for healing. This is what the vast majority of fundies do when their ill. You're not going to find any difference in the level of medical care, and treatment among fundies or atheist, or mainline theist (at least not as a result of their religious beliefs).

But here's my challenge: go into any fundie message board, ask them if they support this scenario, and we can see how naive some of your assumptions are:

Ask them if their was a little girl, with christian parents, who was ill, and endanger of dying without medical treatment, but their parents chose  to forgo medical help, and held a prayer vigil instead, if they'd endorse the parents position. 

I've never expressed the "mainline" view on prayer, I've expressed the view of prayers among the communities of believers that I personally belong to, fundie theist.

 

 

 

 


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But there are individuals

But there are individuals who do forego or reject proper treatment to follow people like Benny Hinn around in the hope that they will eventually get to be treated them. The really tragic aspect of this is that people with real problems are very unlikely to be allowed on, precisely because these charlatans or their minders are primed to only accept people who are likely to be able to able to display at least the appearance of a quick and 'miraculous' cure.

Even if these are not the majority, even a few people being misled into such beliefs, leading to the significant probability of an early death, is too many, and unnecessary.

 

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theTwelve wrote:mellestad

theTwelve wrote:

mellestad wrote:

However, there really are a significant number or fundamentalists who would say it is better to pray for a cure for cancer than get chemo.  Faith healers, etc.  But if you bring that up people like theTwelve will complain because it is not representative of mainstream religion (modern mainstream religion, like I said, nowadays most people are secular for practical matters).

Actually I don't come from "mainstream" theism, my parents are pentecostal christians, (the extreme end of fundamentalism), I actually use to attend the Harvest convention in Ohio, where Benny Hinn has spoken at, in fact I was one of those individuals who fell, after briefly being touched by him. But my life in these setting has been as one of an outsider, understanding it, but not sharing it. So when I'm speaking about prayer, I'm speaking from this end, the end that most atheist shallowlly understand or after a wounded experience of their own, only judge under the guise of their hostile bias. 

While individual attends services like Benny Hinn, seeking a healing for their ailments, they do so on top of medical treatment when possible, they don't forgo chemo for prayer, or miracle healings. They take their medical treatment, and pray for a miracle on top of this.

My aunt one time ordered miracle water for her ailing shoulder, which she was taking meds for, and doing the stretches her doctor asked her to do, and on top of this she prayer for a miracle to have it healed. This is the majority "fundie" view on prayers. You're not going to hear any of these "faith healers" claiming to forgo medical treatment, or chemo. I been raised in this circle, and I have far more exposure to that crowd, across the country, past and present than I'd wager anyone on this forum does. 

I've known several fundie individuals personally who were diagnosed with cancer. The same thing, they'd take medical treatment, and pray for healing. This is what the vast majority of fundies do when their ill. You're not going to find any difference in the level of medical care, and treatment among fundies or atheist, or mainline theist (at least not as a result of their religious beliefs).

But here's my challenge: go into any fundie message board, ask them if they support this scenario, and we can see how naive some of your assumptions are:

Ask them if their was a little girl, with christian parents, who was ill, and endanger of dying without medical treatment, but their parents chose  to forgo medical help, and held a prayer vigil instead, if they'd endorse the parents position. 

I've never expressed the "mainline" view on prayer, I've expressed the view of prayers among the communities of believers that I personally belong to, fundie theist.

 

 

I was also raised in a fundamentalist atmosphere.  We both have our own anecdotal evidence, and I don't even disagree with you.  I don't see anything you wrote that is at odds with what I wrote.  You even claim that the people you know do not take prayer literally, even though we can obviously show real examples of those who did.

 

And please stop with the 'wounded atheist' crap.  It is such a terrible insult, based entirely on your own ignorance and unfounded presupposition...it is the ultimate religious straw man.

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BobSpence1 wrote:But there

BobSpence1 wrote:

But there are individuals who do forego or reject proper treatment to follow people like Benny Hinn around in the hope that they will eventually get to be treated them.

The question was, what is the christian view on prayer, and I expressed the view that belongs to the vast majority of theist, including fundies, and followers of Benny Hinn, their may be a few in a population of billions, who do forgo proper treatment but they are the exception not the rule.

But like I said the question has always been what is the christian view on prayer, and more explicitly in the last post, what is the fundie christian view on prayer.

Quote:
Even if these are not the majority, even a few people being misled into such beliefs, leading to the significant probability of an early death, is too many, and unnecessary. 

Well, when it comes to adults, who make their own poor decisions, whether it be by dieting, seeking herbal remedies, or divine miracles, they are all welcome to make their own choices, and pay their own consequences as a result.

The last recipient of the Richard Dawkins award, for increasing scientific knowledge, was Bill Maher, an individuals who admonishes the use of vaccines, and claims "all prescription drugs are poison". There's your Benny Hinn of atheism, awarded for furthering science of all things.

Quote:
even a few people being misled into such beliefs, leading to the significant probability of an early death, is too many, and unnecessary.

Too many, for what? Too many that we should fine, imprison perhaps individuals such as Maher and Hinn? What are you suggesting? 

 

 

 

 


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mellestad wrote:I was also

mellestad wrote:

I was also raised in a fundamentalist atmosphere.  We both have our own anecdotal evidence, and I don't even disagree with you.

Put it this way, if scientist wanted to go out and determine what the majority view of fundies on prayer is, they'd go out and survey a sample representative of the large variety of fundies. I've had close to thirty years in these circles, and I don't share their views, and I hold a very objective perspective on their beliefs and ways of life, void of sentimentalizing, and hostility. I've spent these years going across the country, engaging fundies of every walk and life. The variety of individuals a scientist would sample, is the variety of fundies that I've engaged with for a multitude of years.

And in fact anytime I make a claim about the fundies view on something, I make it in a way that can be easily falsifiable if it weren't the case. You can take whatever I've claimed as the fundie view on something, take it to various fundie forums, approach the fundies you're surrounded by or have grown up with, and I'd wager, they're not going to tell you, I have their views all wrong. 

And I'd wager that those who disagree with my view, and propose an alternative one, would get the opposite reaction. I'd bank that I have a highly objective, and scientific understanding of fundies, far better than any individual on this forum does, and you or anyone else is more than welcome to shop anything I said around to various fundie communities to see if that's the case or not.

Quote:
And please stop with the 'wounded atheist' crap.  It is such a terrible insult, based entirely on your own ignorance and unfounded presupposition...

Actually I don't believe all atheist are "wounded" ones, but this forum is a hot bed for them as evident by the various testimonials of the members and founders through out this forum about their past experiences with theism. Brian Sapient believes his theist mothers should be thrown in a mental hospital. This site was founded by wounded atheist, and that's a fact not an unfounded presupposition.

 

 

 

 


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theTwelve wrote:BobSpence1

theTwelve wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

But there are individuals who do forego or reject proper treatment to follow people like Benny Hinn around in the hope that they will eventually get to be treated them.

The question was, what is the christian view on prayer, and I expressed the view that belongs to the vast majority of theist, including fundies, and followers of Benny Hinn, their may be a few in a population of billions, who do forgo proper treatment but they are the exception not the rule.

I think your assumption that the number of people who forgo treatment is only a 'few among billions' is a massive under-estimate.

Quote:

But like I said the question has always been what is the christian view on prayer, and more explicitly in the last post, what is the fundie christian view on prayer.

Bible quotes have been given that explicitly support the idea of real effectiveness of prayer, even allowing for the equivocation over how much 'faith' is required. If the Bible is not relevant to the 'Christian view on prayer', what is??? 

Quote:

Quote:
Even if these are not the majority, even a few people being misled into such beliefs, leading to the significant probability of an early death, is too many, and unnecessary. 

Well, when it comes to adults, who make their own poor decisions, whether it be by dieting, seeking herbal remedies, or divine miracles, they are all welcome to make their own choices, and pay their own consequences as a result.

The last recipient of the Richard Dawkins award, for increasing scientific knowledge, was Bill Maher, an individuals who admonishes the use of vaccines, and claims "all prescription drugs are poison". There's your Benny Hinn of atheism, awarded for furthering science of all things.

 

Quote:
even a few people being misled into such beliefs, leading to the significant probability of an early death, is too many, and unnecessary.

Too many, for what? Too many that we should fine, imprison perhaps individuals such as Maher and Hinn? What are you suggesting? 

That whatever can practically be done to educate/inform these people, to counter the ideas of the faith-healers and anti-vacc'ers, including Maher, should be done. Like a number of others, I am troubled over the award to Bill Maher - he is very strong against traditional religion, which is valuable, but his position on conventional medicine is very problematic. This 'meme' of anti-vaccination really seems to bite strongly - I have a long-time friend who I have always thought of as rational and sceptical, but he does go in for some fringe ideas, including anti-vacc. He expressed to me what he thought was an example of the 'obvious' harm of vaccination, and it was really lame.

In the case of Benny Hinn, maybe some stronger action could be justified, since he is a fraudster making a living out of these foolish beliefs, exploiting the dim-witted, if you like.

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theTwelve wrote:mellestad

theTwelve wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I was also raised in a fundamentalist atmosphere.  We both have our own anecdotal evidence, and I don't even disagree with you.

Put it this way, if scientist wanted to go out and determine what the majority view of fundies on prayer is, they'd go out and survey a sample representative of the large variety of fundies. I've had close to thirty years in these circles, and I don't share their views, and I hold a very objective perspective on their beliefs and ways of life, void of sentimentalizing, and hostility. I've spent these years going across the country, engaging fundies of every walk and life. The variety of individuals a scientist would sample, is the variety of fundies that I've engaged with for a multitude of years.

And in fact anytime I make a claim about the fundies view on something, I make it in a way that can be easily falsifiable if it weren't the case. You can take whatever I've claimed as the fundie view on something, take it to various fundie forums, approach the fundies you're surrounded by or have grown up with, and I'd wager, they're not going to tell you, I have their views all wrong. 

And I'd wager that those who disagree with my view, and propose an alternative one, would get the opposite reaction. I'd bank that I have a highly objective, and scientific understanding of fundies, far better than any individual on this forum does, and you or anyone else is more than welcome to shop anything I said around to various fundie communities to see if that's the case or not.

Quote:
And please stop with the 'wounded atheist' crap.  It is such a terrible insult, based entirely on your own ignorance and unfounded presupposition...

Actually I don't believe all atheist are "wounded" ones, but this forum is a hot bed for them as evident by the various testimonials of the members and founders through out this forum about their past experiences with theism. Brian Sapient believes his theist mothers should be thrown in a mental hospital. This site was founded by wounded atheist, and that's a fact not an unfounded presupposition.

 

 

Your argument is: "My anecdotes are better than yours because mine are totally more scientific."  You are right, how could I have missed it all this time?  Dear Lord, theTwelve has shown me the way...his anecdotal statements squash my anecdotal statements like bugs, how could I have been so wrong for so long???

I never even disagreed with you.  I plainly stated that the majority of theists do not hold to the literal idea that prayer works better than secular action, and you spend paragraphs convincing me about how wrong I am, because your 'evidence' shows that your friends don't literally believe that prayer works better than secular action!

However, there are many who do believe that.  For many theists the fact that they go out and work for something they prayed for is a secondary act...it was the prayer that actually mattered.  Feel free to awe me with how much your life experiences trump my life experiences on this issue.

 

Better yet, feel free to devise a survey question that asks, "do you think prayer is essential to achieving success in secular matters?" or how about, "Do you feel that prayer is more important than worldly actions?"  Prayer is serious business to a huge portion of theists, and their belief in prayer is a vital part of their daily lives.  You tell me that they usually use prayer to supplement secular action, and I agree...because I think most theists are not theists beyond giving occasional lip service to the idea.  But ask them directly what they think and I imagine a very large number of them will say that prayer has a hugely important direct physical impact on their daily lives.

 

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Why are we even having this

Why are we even having this 'debate'?

 

Just look at Catholicism and their saint fetish, and belief that said saints will directly intervene in prayed to hard enough.  Isn't that case closed?

 

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Sorry to drag this out and

Sorry to drag this out and multipost, but I have to reply on the wounded atheist stuff.

 

Some atheists see the bad side of religion first hand.  This shapes their worldview because they see how a system that claims to be infallible is, indeed, deeply fallible and actually often destructive to human lives.

When people point this out, people like you trot out this 'daddy knows best' crap about how their experience is not valid because they did not see the 'true' beauty or glory of religion and say they must be an atheist because they are wounded, and the tone is always snide, like their opinion does not matter because they are just bitter cry-babies.  If someone rapes or beats or abuses you every day in the name of god and you understandably incorporate that life experience into a belief system that sees god as negative how is that not fully valid?

How about we design a little scenario.  Po lives in North Korea.  He is indoctrinated from birth to deify the Dear Leader.  He also is in a near constant state of starvation and oppression, he is taken for a petty crime and tortured nearly to death.  One day he hears an illegal radio broadcast telling him it doesn't have to be this way and he should jump the border to South Korea.  Po gathers up the courage and leaves his birth country behind:  

A) In your world, he is captured before he crosses the border and people tell him he just doesn't understand the Dear Leader...just because he had some bad experiences does not mean the system is bad.  Look at all these happy people still living in North Korea!  They love the Dear Leader, and their lives are fantastic!  People tell him he can't really understand why North Korea is great because he has been 'wounded' by experiences that don't represent the true nature of the glorious nation!  The Dear Leader is perfect, of course he can never be wrong, it says so in this book he had his minions publish!  He is sent home, then he is beaten and killed, all the while singing praises to the Most Glorious Nation.

B) In my world, he escapes and we call him rational for seeing the negatives and contradictions in an imperfect system that claims perfection, and praise him for his ability to see that the often corrupt system of his birth was not the only option.  We admire his courage to defy his indoctrination.  He goes on to live his life as he sees fit.

 

The takeaway from this is you're a fascist Smiling

 

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Is Twelve even a Theist?  

Is Twelve even a Theist?

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Is

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Is Twelve even a Theist?

 

 

 

I hope so, otherwise I ranted for nothing!

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BobSpence1 wrote:I think

BobSpence1 wrote:

I think your assumption that the number of people who forgo treatment is only a 'few among billions' is a massive under-estimate.

Really? Let's see, most individuals in the world, don't even have a medical option to forgo, health care is not available to be given up. But do you want us to believe, when some sort of medical aid organization travels to poor and highly religious regions of the world, that they encounter a significant number, of individuals who forgo the free medical treatment made available to them for prayer? All these organizations seeking vaccines for the poor regions of the world, are not claiming resistance by these religious populations about taking them, they argue for the lack of availability of the treatments, not a resistance to taking them.

Claiming that the numbers are anything beyond few among billions, is pure mythologizing, any measure we could use, like the issues faced by medical aid organizations, the seeking of medical care among theist, and non theist, do not reveal any sort of the mythological issue you and others here proclaim. If a significant number of individuals through out the world was forgoing medical treatment for prayer, that'd be something of concern, something that medical organizations would be documenting, as a barrier to treatment. But none of this exist what so ever. 

So where does your belief that it's a massive understatement come from then? I'd wager pure mythology, without a shred of evidence in your favor whatsoever, believed by you more so because it cuddles your worldview than any facts, because it's quite evident you and others here don't have any. So stop peddling sheer delusions. 

Quote:
Bible quotes have been given that explicitly support the idea of real effectiveness of prayer, even allowing for the equivocation over how much 'faith' is required. If the Bible is not relevant to the 'Christian view on prayer', what is??? 

You're right, and all the fundies I know believe explicitly in the effectiveness of prayer. Just like most of our professors believe in the effectiveness of being prepared for an interview, they just don't believe you should forgo the professional attire because of it.

Now, with prayer and treatment, this is not an either or choice, as if you had to forgo one for the other. In fact the treatment can be seen as the answer to that prayer for a healing. A poor theist praying for a cure for a dying child, later finds a medical doctor willing to treat the child out of the kindness of her heart, would see this as an answer to that prayer.

Just as the individual seeking the cure for his cancer, is not praying for a single means to that cure, but any means whatsoever. The answered prayer, is just to be healed, the prayer is still answered even if by means of the chemo. The fundie who prayed for a healing, and was healed by medical treatment, believes his prayer has been answered, and that his prayer was effective.

Quote:
That whatever can practically be done to educate/inform these people, to counter the ideas of the faith-healers and anti-vacc'ers, including Maher, should be done. Like a number of others, I am troubled over the award to Bill Maher - he is very strong against traditional religion, which is valuable, but his position on conventional medicine is very problematic. This 'meme' of anti-vaccination really seems to bite strongly - I have a long-time friend who I have always thought of as rational and sceptical, but he does go in for some fringe ideas, including anti-vacc. He expressed to me what he thought was an example of the 'obvious' harm of vaccination, and it was really lame.

In the case of Benny Hinn, maybe some stronger action could be justified, since he is a fraudster making a living out of these foolish beliefs, exploiting the dim-witted, if you like.

Well, if you ask me people like Maher are far worse, than the Hinns, because there are presenting an either or alternative. Unlike the Hinns of the world that are not. You're not going to hear Benny Hinn opposing medicine, and medical care, unlike Maher. Nor do I feel the need to baby, grown men and woman, who willfully give money to these known huxters. People desire for those cheap comforts in their ailments, and suffering, and I have no desire to deny them even the delusional ones. There's a market for cheap hopes, and it's been effective in giving it's customers exactly what they want.

 

 

 

 


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mellestad wrote:Some

mellestad wrote:

Some atheists see the bad side of religion first hand.  This shapes their worldview because they see how a system that claims to be infallible is, indeed, deeply fallible and actually often destructive to human lives.

When people point this out, people like you trot out this 'daddy knows best' crap about how their experience is not valid because they did not see the 'true' beauty or glory of religion and say they must be an atheist because they are wounded,

Haha, bravo. I don't know where I peddled the you don't get the beauty or glory of religion anywhere on this thread. 

What I mean by a wounded atheist, is an atheist hurt by theism, whether as the result of theism on their own personal lives, or the lives of individuals they cared for. My use of the term, wasn't to invalidate their bad experience with theism, or even to vilify theism of those wounds, but rather point out that these wounds carry over, and handicap and taint the individuals ability to objectively contemplate religion, because their wounded passions are ever present in their observations. 

Overt affection, or over hostility are emotions that handicap our capacity to be objective observers of things that cause such feelings. I claimed that my observation of theism are free of both, and pointed to the errors in your thinking on the subject to be the result of bias formed by your wounds. 

Notice in the course of the argument, I haven't argued anything remotely pro-theism, anti-atheism, the only things that been argued is what the theist views on prayer are. You don't have to be of a theist leaning, or atheist leaning to concede my points. 

Quote:
I hope so, otherwise I ranted for nothing!

Yes, you did. 

 

 


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theTwelve wrote:... How in

theTwelve wrote:

...

 

How in the world can you claim that I have been wounded by theism, and I am so filled with passionate rage that I cannot objectively analyze theism?  Can we start making assertions about why you are a theist?  That should be a fun game.

And your point is, personal experience cannot be used to analyze religion because if you see anything negative firsthand you might be biased.  Amazing.

 

You have not even made a point beyond flat assertions that I have not even disagreed with, so I don't see why anyone would concede anything.

My rant was poignant and beautifully articulated.  Your theistic indoctrination makes you incapable of analyzing atheistic thought with any kind of rationality, so I reject and ignore anything you will ever say.  (Haha, take that fascist!)

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


theTwelve
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mellestad wrote:How in the

mellestad wrote:

How in the world can you claim that I have been wounded by theism, and I am so filled with passionate rage that I cannot objectively analyze theism?  

I apologize, I didn't realize how I used the term in it's original context:

 

"So when I'm speaking about prayer, I'm speaking from this end, the end that most atheist shallowly understand or after a wounded experience of their own, only judge under the guise of their hostile bias. "

I wasn't speaking about you, just in general.   

 


latincanuck
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Oi Vey

You guys love to argue semantics eh? In the end Capt.'s question is really dependent on the "Christian" you ask, mainstream every day believer has one answer (and really are they a christian? Depends on who you ask again), a catholic (Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Roman, etc, etc, etc), Amish, Pentecostal, Methodist, Mormon, Reformed, etc, etc, etc, ask any one christian from different denominations and you could get so many different answers to your question Capt. So really, since the entire bible is up to interpretation (as the massive about of denominations is proof of), what do you think? your answer is as good as any other really. In the end, yes there are christians that truly believe that prayer is the only thing one has to do, just pray and god will take care of the rest. There are others that believe in prayer and action and others that believe in action over prayer.

Thats really the honest answer capt.


Anonymouse
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theTwelve wrote:So where

theTwelve wrote:
So where does your belief that it's a massive understatement come from then?

Can't speak for him, but maybe he wonders why they need faith-healing laws in some states in your country.

theTwelve wrote:
You're right, and all the fundies I know believe explicitly in the effectiveness of prayer. Just like most of our professors believe in the effectiveness of being prepared for an interview, they just don't believe you should forgo the professional attire because of it.

Right, so the fundies you know do believe prayer is effective, but not on it's own ? Okay, but I think Cap wanted to know (I'm sure she'll correct me if I'm wrong) if there are any bible passages supporting that view (of prayer on it's own not being effective).