SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
PRAYING FOR PROTECTION IS FANATICAL
It is fanaticism to pray for protection, physical or spiritual, for yourself or others. Yet all reverent prayer contains the intention that God will protect your soul against vice. When you pray for a bike you are also asking for protection from the problem of not having a bike. You are implicitly praying that the bike if you get it will be spiritually and physically and socially safe.
If you pray to God then you are praying to the most powerful entity there is. So it follows that praying for a seriously ill person is far more important than getting the doctor. Believers will get the doctor but that does nothing to allay the fanaticism in their attitude. If they had to either pray or get the doctor and they could only do one of these they would pray. The fanaticism means they cannot object when they go that far if God forbids getting the doctor so it is plain murderous. To prefer death for another is like willing it so it is a black heart that would do it. Prayer is meant to lead a person to better submission to the Church and its fanaticism implies, “If I can regard prayer as more important than doctors because of the influence of the Church then by logic I should heed and obey everything my Church commands for God speaks through the Church”.
Prayer brainwashes. If you would put your relations on a shipwreck in the hands of a God whose existence you cannot be very sure of then you are mad for you feel you love them but how can you when you are doing that? Would you love them if you prayed to Sinbad the Sailor to save them? No for that is like asking a complete stranger to look after your little daughter. When you ask God to save a life you are resolving you will accept it if he does not do it so you are confessing God has the right to kill. To approve of death for the sake of a hypothetical God is very unreasonable and callous. To say that such evil may be compatible with God’s plan in some unknown way is to make evil permissible while to say that evil is useless gives it what it really should get, total intolerance. We must will it not to happen. Full stop. God is an evil hypothesis and so prayer is evil and dehumanising.
Though God knows exactly what we need before we ask him, he asks us to pray. It is not to tell him what we want or to tell him what he should do because he already knows and if he should do something he will do it without prayer but to be humble and show him that we are so inferior to him and so make a sacrifice of time and our powers to please him alone (Question 82, Radio Replies Volume 3; page 180, In Defence of the Faith). This is degrading unless you are more sure that God exists than you are that you exist which is impossible for you experience your own existence. That is the simple fact though many religious people lie that they are that sure and say they are surer God exists! You come first and you are meant to love what is outside of you by and through loving yourself. It is as degrading as bowing before an idol and not being sure enough that it is a god. But the Church commands all to pray and even has agnostics doing it.
Young people tend to pray to do well in exams. In essence, this is not praying to become a better and holier person whatever happens and through whatever happens so God will not listen to it. He wants you to be more interested in being holy than in success. Praying to pass or do well is simply asking God to help you to cheat. You want God to make sure only the material you are familiar with or succeed in remembering will come up which is cheating for the purpose of exams is for you to know everything on your course so that you will be prepared for anything that comes up for anything could.
If you are not trying to cheat then why don't you pray, "God, help Johnny to pass the exam and don't worry about me." Praying for yourself to pass and not thinking of Johnny is trying to cheat. Christian virtue says we must be centred on the needs of others so this implies this logic is correct.
Confidence in God’s power to keep you safe or to undo the damage you do is dangerous for it will lead to a lack of effort on your part to at least some extent. When you won’t act, God has to if he is good for the sake of other people. He cannot let the worst happen intending to make amends later for that does not justify it. That is all very well but what if there is no God? Religion is usually reluctant to make sure that everybody knows all about the doctrines its has. Religion tells people to turn to God in prayer for answers and that is a dangerous approach if there is no God. It is fanatical. Psychics are often bad news but this is no better.
We know that belief in miracles is bad and irrational. Prayer makes no sense unless you think that God is tweaking the way things work by secretly miraculously intervening to do what you ask. It would be extreme arrogance to hold that God has to do such things over you.
Prayer is inhuman.
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