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On3Truly

Atheism and faith

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DieChecker
16 hours ago, joc said:

Do you pray for the protection of your kids  on the road? 

I would pray if I thought there was danger. I don't usually pray for every action/activity in every day. Otherwise I'd never be doing anything else.

I do see how if I said, "I pray my kids have a good day tomorrow.", or, "I pray my kids are able to do well in school and get a good job someday.", can be seen as fear induced... Because... WHAT IF... they don't get a good job? Or they don't have a good day? What then?? 

Or, one can pray for your kids to have a good job, or have a good day... simply because you love them.

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DieChecker
16 hours ago, joc said:

The religions  are here for one reason above all others. To line the coffers  of  said religion .

I think this is only partly true. The Mega Religion churches are definitely collecting a lot of money. And I've been to churches (in Georgia) where the principle reason they wanted you to come is to put money in the Plate.

But, my wife is a pastor's daughter, and he definitely never got rich off religion. I think he's made all of about 100,000 dollars in the 20 years that I've known him. I know at least 5 or 6 other people who are, or were, Protestant pastors/ministers who are barely meeting needs. Of those who have gone into Ministery in the Protestant side of things, maybe 1 in 10, that I have met, have been what would be called successful (in a high cost urban center), so that they make more the $100,000 a year.

Perhaps all go in thinking to line their coffers, but it seems more like car racing, where few actually win.

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joc
52 minutes ago, DieChecker said:
17 hours ago, joc said:

Do you pray for the protection of your kids  on the road? 

I would pray if I thought there was danger

Then would you agree that at the heart of danger lies fear? 

I am not ridiculing those who pray...I am just attempting to make a point that fear is a huge  factor in a lot of prayer. And the greater point is, when that is the  case,  it is fear that rules...not faith. Example: Peter and the boys were very afraid on the Sea of Galillee during a storm.  Jesus was asleep.  When they awoke him he said, peace, be still. He had faith. Peter had fear.

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DieChecker
4 minutes ago, joc said:

Then would you agree that at the heart of danger lies fear? 

I am not ridiculing those who pray...I am just attempting to make a point that fear is a huge  factor in a lot of prayer. And the greater point is, when that is the  case,  it is fear that rules...not faith. Example: Peter and the boys were very afraid on the Sea of Galillee during a storm.  Jesus was asleep.  When they awoke him he said, peace, be still. He had faith. Peter had fear.

During a similar storm on the Sea of Gallilee, Jesus was on shore and the Disciples were on a boat. Jesus walked out onto the water to join them and asked them to meet him part way. Peter, having faith, walked out onto the water and only when Fear got into him, did he fall and flounder into the water. It was when he acted in fear, rather then faith, when the miraculous stopped. Praying in fear would seem to be one of the worst ways to pray, IMHO, being as praying is asking for the miraculous. Though that doesn't mean it isn't done, and done often.

I can see where fear can be seen as a motivator for prayer. And very likely it is for many people. So, I guess your statement has a lot of truth to it.

People fear because they fall short of perfection and are sinners. If people understood that the Bible tells us this is true, and that it is well known to God, and that such is why all that is required is the asking of forgiveness, and all is forgiven.... then there should be a lot less fear.

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joc
44 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

I think this is only partly true. The Mega Religion churches are definitely collecting a lot of money. And I've been to churches (in Georgia) where the principle reason they wanted you to come is to put money in the Plate.

But, my wife is a pastor's daughter, and he definitely never got rich off religion. I think he's made all of about 100,000 dollars in the 20 years that I've known him. I know at least 5 or 6 other people who are, or were, Protestant pastors/ministers who are barely meeting needs. Of those who have gone into Ministery in the Protestant side of things, maybe 1 in 10, that I have met, have been what would be called successful (in a high cost urban center), so that they make more the $100,000 a year.

Perhaps all go in thinking to line their coffers, but it seems more like car racing, where few actually win.

I am not talking about the individuals profiting, rather the entire mindset of the organization...

...it is all tied to the 'tithe'.

In the book of Numbers there is a litany of Law.  Don't eat pork...don't sleep with animals or your same sex, don't  work on Sunday, etc. In that list is found The Tithe.  It  is interesting to me that, the churches dropped that whole list...except for, The Tithe.  Where does the church of God get off picking and choosing which of God's laws they will or will not obey?  It should be rather obvious what the church is more interested in.

By comparison, when Peter came to Jesus in need of money to pay taxes...Jesus told him to go fish...which, after all was Peter's livelyhood. He did not hit up his followers for money.

 

 

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joc
Just now, DieChecker said:

 

People fear because they fall short of perfection and are sinners. If people understood that the Bible tells us this is true, and that it is well known to God, and that such is why all that is required is the asking of forgiveness, and all is forgiven.... then there should be a lot less fear.

It is not required to ask forgiveness!

The bar is set much higher than that. Jesus was very clear...he was not speaking  in parables  when he said that the requirement  for forgiveness is that you must be forgiving yourself!

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DieChecker
15 minutes ago, joc said:

I am not talking about the individuals profiting, rather the entire mindset of the organization...

...it is all tied to the 'tithe'.

In the book of Numbers there is a litany of Law.  Don't eat pork...don't sleep with animals or your same sex, don't  work on Sunday, etc. In that list is found The Tithe.  It  is interesting to me that, the churches dropped that whole list...except for, The Tithe.  Where does the church of God get off picking and choosing which of God's laws they will or will not obey?  It should be rather obvious what the church is more interested in.

By comparison, when Peter came to Jesus in need of money to pay taxes...Jesus told him to go fish...which, after all was Peter's livelyhood. He did not hit up his followers for money.

Overall though, I see churches... organizations, and buildings, both... disappearing slowly. If there was a lot of money in it, it would be growing, not deflating. That is Protestant Christianity though, and not in the Bible Belt (South).

Technically the Tithe was dropped too. AFAIK. Out of maybe ten churches that I've attended over the last couple decades, only one Demanded a tithe. The rest only asked for donations.

I do believe though that Many religions do function around money. The Catholics are supposed to be a strict 10%, I believe. And the Mormons, I believe, give even more. Both, I have heard, will come and check your income records, if they feel they are being short changed. Some organizations basically take everything and then dole out to everyone in a communistic manner. 

In Scientology, in order to reach higher levels in the church it can require incredible amounts of money.

There is a lot of truth in what you say. 

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DieChecker
14 minutes ago, joc said:

It is not required to ask forgiveness!

The bar is set much higher than that. Jesus was very clear...he was not speaking  in parables  when he said that the requirement  for forgiveness is that you must be forgiving yourself!

True. Being forgiving is part of being forgiven.

Quote

(TLB, Matthew 6:12)

...and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.

Quote

(NLT, Luke 15:3-7)

"If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it? And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found. In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!

Probably most famously...

Quote

Romans 10:9-10 NIV
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

and...

Quote

John 14:6
6  Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

 

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XenoFish
2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

I would pray if I thought there was danger. I don't usually pray for every action/activity in every day. Otherwise I'd never be doing anything else.

I do see how if I said, "I pray my kids have a good day tomorrow.", or, "I pray my kids are able to do well in school and get a good job someday.", can be seen as fear induced... Because... WHAT IF... they don't get a good job? Or they don't have a good day? What then?? 

Or, one can pray for your kids to have a good job, or have a good day... simply because you love them.

There's no causal effect due to those prayers and the actual outcome though. The only effect would be a reduction of stress and worry on your part, perhaps a bit of optimism as well. 

Edited by XenoFish
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joc
Just now, DieChecker said:

True. Being forgiving is part of being forgiven.

Probably most famously...

and...

 

Matthew 6:14. 
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Matthew 6:15 

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

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DieChecker
22 hours ago, XenoFish said:

There's no causal effect due to those prayers and the actual outcome though. The only effect would be a reduction of stress and worry on your part, perhaps a bit of optimism as well. 

No scientifically shown causal effect.... :D

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XenoFish
1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

No scientifically shown causal effect.... :D

Prayer might make you feel better about doing nothing and it's only useful as a affirmation if you do something. 

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joc
Just now, XenoFish said:

Prayer might make you feel better about doing nothing and it's only useful as a affirmation if you do something. 

Feel better about doing nothing

Bingo!

It's  easy to pray for the homeless  (for example)...and pleáse Father watch over the homeless Father and bless them Father and help them in their time of need Father..and on and on...

It's  easy.  A bit different however if you are praying that  same prayer while volunteering at the homeless shelter

Prayer  and hope...both make you feel better but the causal effect of either depends on 'doing' something .

Better said in Christianspeak...faith without works is dead.

 

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XenoFish
5 minutes ago, joc said:

Feel better about doing nothing

Bingo!

It's  easy to pray for the homeless  (for example)...and pleáse Father watch over the homeless Father and bless them Father and help them in their time of need Father..and on and on...

It's  easy.  A bit different however if you are praying that  same prayer while volunteering at the homeless shelter

Prayer  and hope...both make you feel better but the causal effect of either depends on 'doing' something .

Better said in Christianspeak...faith without works is dead.

 

The way I see and perhaps only myself. Is that if you're going to have faith (let's say be a Christian), let your actions be your prayers. Not just words spoken in vanity. But purposeful intentions turned into a tangible change. If you (used indirectly) can do this without anyone know you're (insert religion here) the better. This ought to be a positive and constructive change though. 

Edited by XenoFish
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danydandan

Strong convictions precede great actions

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XenoFish
6 minutes ago, danydandan said:

Strong convictions precede great actions

Depends on those convictions and the actions taken. Does it really take such great faith to detonate a bomb in a crowd all in the name of god?

Edited by XenoFish
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joc
16 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

The way I see and perhaps only myself. Is that if you're going to have faith (let's say be a Christian), let your actions be your prayers. Not just words spoken in vanity. But purposeful intentions turned into a tangible change. If you (used indirectly) can do this without anyone know you're (insert religion here) the better. This ought to be a positive and constructive change though. 

Everything you just said Xeno has already been said...over and over..in this way and that way..by Jesus himself.  The real problem  is that the religions based on christianity are 180 degrees out of phase with the actual teachings and philosophy of Jesus.

And it isn't  original to Jesus either...there is truth and their is woo and you my friend speak truth.

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DieChecker
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

The way I see and perhaps only myself. Is that if you're going to have faith (let's say be a Christian), let your actions be your prayers. Not just words spoken in vanity. But purposeful intentions turned into a tangible change. If you (used indirectly) can do this without anyone know you're (insert religion here) the better. This ought to be a positive and constructive change though. 

Depends. If you are unable to take an action, such as if your uncle is a soldier in a warzone, then prayer can be useful. Even if only to the person praying. A believer in a religion possibly would believe in the supernatural elements of that religion, and as such, saying a prayer can be a request for the invocation of that supernatural power to assist in some way. Assuming that there is a God, then asking God to do something isn't stupid, or useless. Even if only one in a million are answered, there is hope of a miracle happening.

Not that actions are bad, but if one truly believes, then their actions will be a reflection of their belief and faith. 

I think that is partly what is meant by "faith without works is dead". In that if a person REALLY had faith, they'd perform works automatically. If they aren't performing works, then they probably don't have strong faith.

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DieChecker
33 minutes ago, joc said:

Everything you just said Xeno has already been said...over and over..in this way and that way..by Jesus himself.  The real problem  is that the religions based on christianity are 180 degrees out of phase with the actual teachings and philosophy of Jesus.

And it isn't  original to Jesus either...there is truth and their is woo and you my friend speak truth.

This is sadly true to a greater degree then most people think. My father in law, who is a pastor, says it is like there are a huge number of people who are wearing a "I'm a Christian" t-shirt, while hating on people, ignoring those in need and following the OT to a larger extent then the NT.

It is very sad.

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XenoFish
40 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

Depends. If you are unable to take an action, such as if your uncle is a soldier in a warzone, then prayer can be useful. Even if only to the person praying. A believer in a religion possibly would believe in the supernatural elements of that religion, and as such, saying a prayer can be a request for the invocation of that supernatural power to assist in some way. Assuming that there is a God, then asking God to do something isn't stupid, or useless. Even if only one in a million are answered, there is hope of a miracle happening.

Not that actions are bad, but if one truly believes, then their actions will be a reflection of their belief and faith. 

I think that is partly what is meant by "faith without works is dead". In that if a person REALLY had faith, they'd perform works automatically. If they aren't performing works, then they probably don't have strong faith.

That's were the therapeutic aspect come in. By putting hope into words, you are in a way reassuring a form of optimism. Consoling yourself in the face of uncertainty. If someone were to pray for a better world without trying to be a better person that is just wishful thinking, at worse magical thinking. By changing yourself, you in a way (perhaps subtle) "change the world". Any answer from god is very highly likely to just be some form of confirmation bias or belief perseverance. While magical thinking can and does have benefits in certain circumstances. If it's relied on to heavily it can lead to self-delusion. This is the same problem I have with the practice of magick. There are too many who want to wish for a better life, without effort. Something for nothing, which in realty, doesn't exist. 

Of course there are the showboat believers who put on a good face in public, but are scum away from church. 

 

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danydandan

There has been multiple studies relating to the efficacy of prayers.

Galton, suggested in 1800s that the monarchs of England should live considerably longer than the average person due to the fact that every Sunday thousands of people prayed for their health. They infact to not live longer than the average person. Bryd carried out a study on a group size of 393 people, it's was suggested that there was an effect, however when the study was reviewed it was full of type one errors, Harrid in 1999, I think, tried to replicate Bryd's results with different methods, as Bryd's experiment was not blinded. This too suggested a postive effect however, the test was also flawed and both tests can be attributed to what's called a sharpshooter fallacy. In 1997 another test suggested that prayer helped both receiver and agent of the prayers. I think O'Laoire carried out this test. Im pretty sure anxiety was used to measure the effect of said prayers. The Mayo clinic carrier out a study on around 800 patient's. Each patient was the subject if prayers once a week, or five times a week can't remember, and end points were measured after 25 weeks. It was concluded that  prayer had no effect on the outcomes of the end points. There is the famous MANTRA study that shows null effect of prayers. Then there is the step study that shows zero effect also. But it also suggested people who knew they were being prayed for had performance issues. I think Richie Dawkins wrote about this in one of his books.

Some meta analysis of different studies also suggest that there is a null effect of prayers on patient's. Basically it seems the more rigorous the parameters the less of an effect seems to appear.

So based on evidence, there seems to be prehaps a placebo effect due to prayers, while the step study suggests it might be damaging to tell people they are being prayed for.

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/PDF/fenwick_%208_4_04.pdf&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwiQ-u677oLbAhVK_KQKHdSLCxEQFggkMAQ&usg=AOvVaw2v6AmqxyYJWmgCE_xXi1QJ

https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/41/4/923/689380

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XenoFish
41 minutes ago, danydandan said:

a placebo effect due to prayers

That old magical placebo effect.

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Hammerclaw
1 minute ago, XenoFish said:

That old magical placebo effect.

If it works with money, I need your prayers.:rofl:

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Guyver
On 5/8/2018 at 12:36 PM, Doug1o29 said:

So that's the question:  How does mind create God?

Doug

That.....and......how is the mind capable of producing supernatural experiences?  If there is no actual God, and God only exists as a function of our own minds, then we are God and we don't even know it.  If there is no God, then I have done miracles.  

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Hammerclaw

I believe a cup half full is a cup not empty.

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