Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


PRAYER IS TRYING TO FEEL YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING FOR ANOTHER WHEN YOU HAVE NOT

Psychologists talk about the illusion of help.  Okay you and/or somebody else are/is starting and working on a process to improve things in life and attitudes etc.  Yet the clear outcome you want and they want is not there.  It is something vague and too ghostly that is aimed for.  That is like shooting in the fog.  The truth is you and the other don't want the clarity.  There is no being ready and no being willing.  The thought of the outcomes cause good feelings when they are not clear.  It is like how somebody is in love with the idea of being in love but won't work on getting the attention of a very suitable person who is a potential partner.  The specific scares them. 

Another gimmick for feeling you are helping yourself when you are not is when you do have specific goals but keep changing them all the time so that in the end you have nothing but memories of the good feelings your projections brought you on your aimless journey.

A successful outcome has two ingredients.  The quantitative or measurable outcome.  And the qualitative outcome.  It is not measurable but is very real.

Prayer involves no measurable outcome.  You seek the vague and in a vague timeframe.  It has no quality as a good thing.  Prayer is clearly acting like you have a personality disorder.

When you abuse how you help yourself over putting too much value on feelings that will spill over into how you want others to treat you and how you treat them.

God answering prayer is about helping. So it follows that if a prayer gets no response then the absence of any responses is the helping. So no prayer fails. An unanswered prayer then and a one that is simply not responded to do not amount to being the same thing.  If a prayer gets no help in any sense then it must be the petitioner's fault. Prayer cannot even be broadly tested so it is not about truth or searching for truth.  It is judgmental to blame the praying person for getting no help at all.  There is no difference between this and using a rabbit's foot.  It is cruel to suggest that a cancer patient may stop themselves being helped for they are praying badly or there is some blockage to God they have created.

If you feel good about doing something that is not testable at all - not even in a vague way - then you don't need to pray to feel good.  You just do.  The feeling is there and you pray.  This is all about you and not what the other person needing help is going through. 

Prayer is about feeling good about doing nothing for another

Prayer is asking God or gods to do their own will - it is asking not commanding. They are going to do it anyway if they are good. It is like asking a man to breathe! Asking somebody to help a person is not helping the person. Why? Because the free will of the person asked is the cause of any help he or she gives. It's not you. People pray because it makes them feel they are helping themselves or somebody else. But that can only happen if they see it as a kind of magic in which case they should be honest and do magic instead.

Proper prayer doesn’t really do anything for anybody. Such prayer is asking God to help people. If people need help, a good God will help them and not wait until somebody asks him. Using prayer to do your will is different and is actually magic not prayer. Proper prayer calls for help and then blocks that help. It is really about kidding yourself that you are doing something for others.

To pray for a person is really doing nothing for them. It is really asking for your magic to fail because prayer implies that you are not the one that has the magic and somebody else, God perhaps, does. It injures the person prayed for in the sense that you are keeping the magic from them that they need.

With magic, you can experiment in the hope of seeing results. With prayer, nothing whatever proves success or failure. There is always an excuse when the prayers are not answered. Usually it is that the answer was received but just not recognised. Prayer affirms that you don't have the right to do tests or seek proof. Anything that is supposed to be so important and is neither verifiable or falsifiable is really just an affirmation that says: "I have no right to learn the things that are most important. I am therefore worthless." Prayer makes artificial demons that need to be exorcised.

Magic is an ethical way of helping people. Prayer isn't. Magic is doing something for them – it is sending power out to enfold them in love and hold them and protect them. Sadly magic is bollox but prayer is worse.

It is not prayer that matters but what you are at heart. If you have good will in your heart it matters. Prayer does not. Only religious superstition disagrees.

In the light of the teaching that prayer is a relationship with God and God is to be loved totally, Catholics say that ultimately prayer is what matters most. Prayer should be about a person trying to change himself or herself. If prayer is about change then it follows that it is not the words and the images of holy things in your mind that matter but the heart. You would pray with your heart by doing actions of heartfelt love for the sick and the poor. Praying for the sick then is disgusting unless you are able to do something for the sick and trying to. Praying for the sick would imply you don't really care about them much or enough. Praying for the sick in a chapel or convent instead of going to the hospital then shows you want to tell yourself you care more when you don't. It is using prayer to delude yourself that you are wonderful. And thus you feed your smug ego.

A person has a relationship with their wife/husband.  The spouse is never at home.  "They are busy".  The spouse sleeps around.  "Maybe it is not true.  They love me."  The spouse gives abuse to you.  "They have a psychological problem but they love me."  Everything then shows the relationship is real.  It is obvious though that this is not a relationship.  It is you degrading yourself with lies.  The relationship is abuse if the spouse is in any way letting you think that way.  So it is with God.  If God does not exist then the abusers are the clergy and teachers and parents who instil belief in you or who try to.

It is natural to feel responsible when others suffer around you even if you have done nothing directly to hurt them or to directly cause that state of affairs. We never do enough to make the world a better place. You will get relief from the feeling of responsibility and feel at peace if you pray. Why? Because when you pray you make God responsible and you remind yourself that if he makes all things then he is ultimately responsible. You ask him to do something about the suffering. That is a rationalisation that you engage yourself in to protect yourself from the truth.

Thus prayer is really an insult to those who suffer because of you or who you think suffer because of you.

The problem with any kind of belief is that we tend to forget most of the time that it is not a fact for you but just a belief. For example, if you believe Jesus rose you still don't know for certain if this belief is factual. You will tend to feel that it is a fact and treat it as such. Belief easily slips into such arrogance. Prayer reinforces that arrogance. You feel sure that you have helped others when you should not be so sure.

Despite the fancy religious teachings about prayer, in reality prayer is just an irrational, "I wished and therefore I got", kind of outlook. If such irrationality is good then why bother helping anybody? Why not just pray for them? Prayer encourages such irrationality. If it does some good, we must remember that the good is often the enemy of the best.

When people hear about the bad things that happen in other areas or other countries they may feel that they are somehow picked by something or someone for special treatment. They may think the higher power regards them as better people than it does the unfortunate people who have poor luck. Or it may be random blessings. Both attitudes stink. Yet the feeling of being blessed or that one can be is what prayer is all about. The atheist resists the urge for it is repulsive.