Page 1 of 13 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 127

Thread: Praying to God is Dumb

  1. #1
    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    3,669
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)

    Praying to God is Dumb

    Even if you are a believer in God, praying to him to ask him for anything makes no sense.

    Especially when you consider God's will and his plan.

    If it isn't his will for you to get whatever you are asking for, you aren't going to get it.

    If it is his will to for you to get what you are asking for, then your prayer is equally irrelevant.

    Let's say you have small child who has been in a car accident, the child is near death.

    Your prayers have absolutely no impact on God's will to save the child.

    If the child dies, some dumbass in your church will explain that God must have needed another little angel in heaven.

    If the child recovers, there will be great rejoicing and praising of God for answering the prayers to save the child, but if it wasn't his will to do it, no amount of prayer would save the child.

    You can get the exact same results praying to a fire hydrant.
    All behold that fancy strutting peacock, the bake sale diva...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    124
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    I approach the question just a little differently.

    1) If you accept an omniscient God, then you accept that He already knows what all of our actions and choices will be.
    2) If you accept that we have free will, then you accept that God's foreknowledge is simply knowledge, not fate or directive. Kind of like I always knew what my children would order if I took them our for fast food burgers, but I let them make up their own minds and tell me what they wanted.
    3) If you accept an omnipotent God, then you accept that He has the ability to change literally anything about anything at any time.
    4) If you accept that we have free will, then you accept that He chooses not to interfere with the results of our choices.

    Since I was taught that God is omniscient, omnipotent and has gone well out of His way to ensure that we have the privilege of free will, it takes very little in the way of thought to take the 4 numbered points as givens in a conversation about this same God.

    4 is the big one.

    Pray for anything you want, but if you are praying to avoid the consequences of human choice, know that you are explicitly requesting God violate his primary promise in setting us free in the world.

    The only things you can pray for, and have any expectation to receive, amount to help controlling your own thoughts, emotions and behaviors. You can focus on being more empathetic, more understanding, more patient. But you can't get things changed, just how you perceive and respond to them.

    Interestingly enough, you can achieve the same goals through meditation . . ..
    Back from the bit bucket. Somebody flushed the buffers on me, though . . ..

  3. #3
    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    3,669
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hustonj View Post
    I approach the question just a little differently.

    1) If you accept an omniscient God, then you accept that He already knows what all of our actions and choices will be.
    2) If you accept that we have free will, then you accept that God's foreknowledge is simply knowledge, not fate or directive. Kind of like I always knew what my children would order if I took them our for fast food burgers, but I let them make up their own minds and tell me what they wanted.
    3) If you accept an omnipotent God, then you accept that He has the ability to change literally anything about anything at any time.
    4) If you accept that we have free will, then you accept that He chooses not to interfere with the results of our choices.

    Since I was taught that God is omniscient, omnipotent and has gone well out of His way to ensure that we have the privilege of free will, it takes very little in the way of thought to take the 4 numbered points as givens in a conversation about this same God.

    4 is the big one.

    Pray for anything you want, but if you are praying to avoid the consequences of human choice, know that you are explicitly requesting God violate his primary promise in setting us free in the world.

    The only things you can pray for, and have any expectation to receive, amount to help controlling your own thoughts, emotions and behaviors. You can focus on being more empathetic, more understanding, more patient. But you can't get things changed, just how you perceive and respond to them.

    Interestingly enough, you can achieve the same goals through meditation . . ..
    That is a rather healthy way of looking at, but it is certainly at odds with what the Christian Bible promises.


    Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

    Matthew 21:18-22 New International Version

    18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

    20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

    21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
    If one believes what the Christian bible says, that shouldn't matter.

    I agree with how you explained it, in that it allows the modern day Christain to cope with matters of faith.

    However, that way of thinking isn't in the source material, the Holy Bible promises something entirely different.

    It is hard to deny a clear failure to deliver on Matthew 21:21.

    PS

    Matthew 21:18 shows Jesus acting like a pouty little bitch if you ask me.

    He kills the fig tree because it had no figs?

    Think about all the tired, poor, and hungry travelers who might have enjoyed a fig the next year.

    Instead of blessing it to feed hungry people, he gets mad and curses the poor little fig tree, effectively screwing over future travelers.

    That is a clearly a dickhead move.
    All behold that fancy strutting peacock, the bake sale diva...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,558
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hustonj View Post
    I approach the question just a little differently.

    1) If you accept an omniscient God, then you accept that He already knows what all of our actions and choices will be.
    2) If you accept that we have free will, then you accept that God's foreknowledge is simply knowledge, not fate or directive. Kind of like I always knew what my children would order if I took them our for fast food burgers, but I let them make up their own minds and tell me what they wanted.
    3) If you accept an omnipotent God, then you accept that He has the ability to change literally anything about anything at any time.
    4) If you accept that we have free will, then you accept that He chooses not to interfere with the results of our choices.

    Since I was taught that God is omniscient, omnipotent and has gone well out of His way to ensure that we have the privilege of free will, it takes very little in the way of thought to take the 4 numbered points as givens in a conversation about this same God.

    4 is the big one.

    Pray for anything you want, but if you are praying to avoid the consequences of human choice, know that you are explicitly requesting God violate his primary promise in setting us free in the world.

    The only things you can pray for, and have any expectation to receive, amount to help controlling your own thoughts, emotions and behaviors. You can focus on being more empathetic, more understanding, more patient. But you can't get things changed, just how you perceive and respond to them.

    Interestingly enough, you can achieve the same goals through meditation . . ..
    ...and if you believe the Christian salvation story.

    You also accept that God created the vast majority of human souls, that he apparently loved, knowing good and well that after an exceedingly short time on Earth full of temptation, they would then spend an eternity in torment, weeping an gnashing their teeth burning in Hell.

    I find that difficult to reconcile.

    If you knew your child was going to choose a cyanide-laced bag of fries from the homeless bum outside so he could save $1.79, you would probably prevent it.
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 07-15-2015 at 01:11 AM.
    The Voice of Reason

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    on a Marl Road
    Posts
    3,882
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post

    PS

    Matthew 21:18 shows Jesus acting like a pouty little bitch if you ask me.

    He kills the fig tree because it had no figs?

    Think about all the tired, poor, and hungry travelers who might have enjoyed a fig the next year.

    Instead of blessing it to feed hungry people, he gets mad and curses the poor little fig tree, effectively screwing over future travelers.

    That is a clearly a dickhead move.
    Do you kiss your rabbi with that potty mouth?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    3,669
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
    Do you kiss your rabbi with that potty mouth?
    No, I usually take him into the mikvah and give him a proper rogering.

    Shouldn't you be out infiltrating a Mason lodge?
    All behold that fancy strutting peacock, the bake sale diva...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    3,669
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    ...and if you believe the Christian salvation story.

    You also accept that God created the vast majority of human souls, that he apparently loved, knowing good and well that after an exceedingly short time on Earth full of temptation, they would then spend an eternity in torment, weeping an gnashing their teeth burning in Hell.

    I find that difficult to reconcile.

    If you knew your child was going to choose a cyanide-laced bag of fries from the homeless bum outside so he could save $1.79, you would probably prevent it.
    You just hit pay dirt!

    So few Christains ever contemplate the Alpha and Omega in such a manner.

    God would be responsible for everything if he is real. All the good, but also the all the darkest evil too.

    Something that creates such darkness, and leaves us such a shitty set of instructions as the Christian Bible to avoid it does not seem competent at all.

    Far from it, he is a bungling hayseed. He is childlike with his creations, because he sets so many of us up for failure and destruction.

    Not unlike a kid who spends hours building a model ship, only to blow it to smithereens with firecrackers after a short while.

    Omniscient, omnipotent creator?

    Bullshit!

    A cosmic seven-year-old who lords over a weebles village with a can of lighter fluid and a lit match is more like it.
    Last edited by Absinthe Anecdote; 07-15-2015 at 05:55 AM.
    All behold that fancy strutting peacock, the bake sale diva...

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Dayon, Ohio
    Posts
    1,244
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    So I thought I would piggyback on this thread. I grew up in Southwest Missouri as the son of a Pentecostal Pastor. I haven't been to church in years but I'm still friends with a lot of Christians just because I grew up with them or went to school with them. In the last year, two people I know have lost a family member.

    The first person is a mother who lost her 20 year old son. He overdosed on methamphetamine. Even though he was passed out, his friends didn't want to take him to the hospital for fear of being arrested. They just dumped his body. His mother posted a rather long plea for those who were involved to come forward and help the investigation. She also went into this long rant about how she has prayed to God and that God told her that her son is in Heaven.

    The other person is someone who I went to school with. Her brother committed suicide a few weeks ago. She has been posting things like, "God needed another Angel" or that her brother is in Heaven watching over her.

    Here's my question, how can either of these people reconcile these posts with their beliefs? If a drug addict and someone who committed suicide are both in Heaven then isn't pretty much everyone going to make it? In both of these cases, I think the people are having a hard time dealing with the vengeful side of God. People believe in Christianity because they want to believe in something after this life. That provides comfort for them as they live their life. The problem is when loved ones die they are left with only two options. 1.) Their loved one is being tormented in Hell because the God they serve sent him there or 2.) Their loved one is in Heaven because everyone goes to Heaven which makes it pointless to pick any religion at all.

    Any of you have friends like this? I really want to say something to these people but I figure it is probably best to just let them grieve. It would be an asshole move to point out that if there is a Heaven their loved ones aren't in it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    on a Marl Road
    Posts
    3,882
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    No, I usually take him into the mikvah and give him a proper rogering.
    Serious Question, How does one go about reconciling his hatred of all things religion with the fact that his life's work (collecting or analyzing intelligence) is being directed by those dedicated to bringing about a Greater Israel from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Shouldn't you be out infiltrating a Mason lodge?
    Shouldn't you be following up on that lead Rainmaker gave you about the Mosque in Silver Spring instead of looking at Selfies of American Citizen's nutsacks stolen from their smart phones?
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 07-15-2015 at 01:47 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,558
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by SomeRandomGuy View Post
    So I thought I would piggyback on this thread. I grew up in Southwest Missouri as the son of a Pentecostal Pastor. I haven't been to church in years but I'm still friends with a lot of Christians just because I grew up with them or went to school with them. In the last year, two people I know have lost a family member.

    The first person is a mother who lost her 20 year old son. He overdosed on methamphetamine. Even though he was passed out, his friends didn't want to take him to the hospital for fear of being arrested. They just dumped his body. His mother posted a rather long plea for those who were involved to come forward and help the investigation. She also went into this long rant about how she has prayed to God and that God told her that her son is in Heaven.

    The other person is someone who I went to school with. Her brother committed suicide a few weeks ago. She has been posting things like, "God needed another Angel" or that her brother is in Heaven watching over her.

    Here's my question, how can either of these people reconcile these posts with their beliefs? If a drug addict and someone who committed suicide are both in Heaven then isn't pretty much everyone going to make it? In both of these cases, I think the people are having a hard time dealing with the vengeful side of God. People believe in Christianity because they want to believe in something after this life. That provides comfort for them as they live their life. The problem is when loved ones die they are left with only two options. 1.) Their loved one is being tormented in Hell because the God they serve sent him there or 2.) Their loved one is in Heaven because everyone goes to Heaven which makes it pointless to pick any religion at all.

    Any of you have friends like this? I really want to say something to these people but I figure it is probably best to just let them grieve. It would be an asshole move to point out that if there is a Heaven their loved ones aren't in it.
    My Mom passed away while I was a Christian. She was kind of a Christian, too, but not the Born-again, say a prayer to be saved kind that I had become at the time.

    So...I prayed and convinced myself that God told me with that "little voice in my head"...that minutes or seconds prior to her death, Jesus appeared to her and she accepted Him into her heart. Hallelujah.

    That is kind of the good thing there...no matter what or how you lived your life, you only needed to accept Jesus a second before you die and it's milk and honey with streets paved with gold for you...so, that's how they reconcile it, I think...convince themselves that in that last minute when their loved on is in a coma, jesus comes to them and says, "Yo, here I am" and that person accepted Him into their heart.

    Seems that was the answer to all the millions of people who lived before Jesus came to Earth and never had the opportunity to accept him. During the 3 days that Jesus was dead, he went into Hell or purgatory or wherever to give all the dead people that chance to accept Him into their hearts. Seems like, at that point, it's a pretty easy call, really.

    ...Had a guy that worked in our building pass away a couple years ago. One of his good friends spoke at the funeral about how he has been on Dean's case about accepting the Lord for years...Dean always refused. So, Dean got Leukemia in his 70s, and this friend spent some time with him when he was close to death. So, Dean was facing his mortality and finally started taking this whole Jesus thing seriously, but he'd said Dean felt guilty and hypocritical that he refused God his whole life and was looking for him now. This friend explained God's mercy and there at the very end, led Dean in prayer to accept Jesus. Saved in the nick of time, Dean died a short while later.

    I think you're right...we like to think there is a Heaven because it makes us feel better....live forever! Some parts of it make me scratch my head. There supposed will be no sin in Heaven...so, we all sin, will we remember our sins, we will still want to do them? If not, are we still the same person up there? Will we remember the people in our Earth life that didn't get in? How could we live eternally joyous knowing our loved ones are being eternally tormented? If we won't remember even our loved ones...just who will we be up there?

    Then there is the Andrea Yates thing, as I've brought up before. She killed her 5 children because she was afraid they were gonna turn against God. Now, typically, Christianity will teach us that children go to heaven. It's too horrible to think otherwise. But when you compare eternity in Heaven to the few short years we get to spend on Earth...Andrea Yates did her children a HUGE favor by getting them into Heaven before they had a chance to screw up their eternity as adults on Earth. I mean who cares about the 80 or 90 years we get on Earth in relation to eternity? Of course, she probably screwed up her own eternity by doing so...but seriously, isn't that a pretty awesome love? For Andrea so loved her children that she gave up her own eternity so that her children could live forever. Now, THAT is some sacrifice! Pretty amazing Mom if you believe all the sorts of things she did.

    If you believe that children automatically go to heaven, we really should kill all the babies. Allowing them to live only gives them opportunity to screw up their eternities...abortion is just saving souls.
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 07-15-2015 at 02:05 PM.
    The Voice of Reason

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •