So we all know people use religion as a crutch, everyone needs something to help keep them upright in life at some point or another..... But when things are really bad for you - say the person you love is dying.... Would you ever find yourself, an atheist, down on your knees praying for them to get better?

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 I really don't think I would.

The person I loved was dying.  I begged the 'powers that be' for her life.  I think when you are desperate you will do anything.  She died.  I didn't blame any supernatural beings although I did lost interest in life for a while. 

I think it is situations where you are losing someone you believe is critical to you, you need a focal point for your despair.  So you beg and plead and do all sorts of acrobatics in your head, mainly because you're a bit deranged at that stage.  Am I proud of it?  No.  But I am honest with myself.  It helped a bit at the time.  Not the thought that there might be something out there that could help.  Just the focal point.

Oddly enough, I begged 'gods' not a singular one.  Weird, that.

Would I do it again?  No, I don't think so.  I don't think that happens more than once.

Imagine you're falling off a cliff.  You scream, "HELP!".  But you aren't really expecting someone to reply, or a big puffy hand to catch you.  It's just the conditioning of the social animal in us to seek support from whatever is around us when we are desperate.

I think you're right, it's that feeling of falling .... And nothing and no one can help or stop you. I agree and I think you are brave to be so honest. Sorry for your heart ache, like you say when you are desperate.... You look for support. Religion plays heavily on this and scoops people up into it's welcoming arms.... Many people join a faith in this way.

Nope. I was the only person in my family at my uncles bedside in the hospital not praying while he was dying from cancer.

Yeah, I think you have to be pretty desperate, to lose your mind.  i should have mentioned the woman I lost was my partner.

I'm sorry for your loss, I hope you and your partner enjoyed the time you had together.

That was sweet, Jonathan.  We had some great times, and I have no regrets, but thank you for that.

What I'd do depends on the situation, but none of the options that flash through my mind include prayer.  If they were dying and it was just a matter of time - No, I wouldn't waste time praying.  I'd spend that time enjoying their company while I still could.

That's one of the reasons I ran away from religion. My godmother was the most religious person I knew, she was like my 2nd mother. She was struck with brain cancer that just ravaged her and erased every bit of who she was. She died a week from my wedding day, and I can't see how "God" would take someone in such a cruel way, especially someone who believed in him so much. 

I will never kneel to an imaginary being again.

No, at least not anymore. This is the kind of thing those disgusting clergy and salesmen of death prey on. They prey on a person's weak moment. Oh you'll convert when you're sick and on your deathbed. Oh you'll pray to Gawd when your child is sick. etc

You know, the same cunts who spread lies about famous atheists converting on their deathbeds.

Let me tell you a story.

One time... I indeed did fall victim to a moment of weakness. I was young, and because I had no religious upbringing, I didn't even know who or what to pray to. I was desperate, sad, in pain, angry.. but I knew about this concept of a deity. Someone or something all powerful that could grant wishes and stuff, it was strange to me. But I knew it was called god, and so in my thoughts I began to pray to this vague cloudy image of a god that I had. I prayed. I begged. Thought that if he would relieve me of the pain that I felt, I would pray to him everyday...

It wasn't anyone's death.

It was when I had some wicked diarrhea and my ass was sore from all the wiping. I was sitting on the toilet as I was praying. Yes, that was my weak moment. And after a day when it passed and my shit became solid again, I just flushed it down along with the idea of a god and all the promises I made to him.

Fool me once, fucker.

I've lost a few people since I became atheist, and prayer was never an impulse. 

I would only make an allowance if a friend or relative who was dying wanted me to pray with them; in that case I would do it out of respect for them in their hour of need.

I know you are talking about losing a loved one to a death, but in terms of losing friendships, I've never really lost anyone that mattered regarding my open atheism. in fact my 82 year old father and I had a great conversation regarding my kids lack of confirmation as Catholics and zero church attendance other than family funerals.

I said as a Catholic he should know that if my kid wants to get married in a church, which I highly doubt anyway, all I need to do is show up with enough money and it will happen.

He then shared with me that even though he had a bit of a relapse when his brother died awhile back, he doesn't really believe in god, and figures its over at death.

This is coming from an old traditional Italian guy, and a conversation I could never see myself having with him. He said that we were 'brave' to hold our position on our lack of belief publically. I told him that thankfully its easier to do in this day and age because more people understand what Atheism really is vs. the demonic attributes given to it by popular religious culture.

In fact it is much more brave for him with his conditioning to discuss his lack of belief, than it is for me, and it is easier still for the kids. All signs that we are heading in the right direction.

My wife a mild non-church going, hedging her bets Catholic, and my daughter and I recently went to the wake of a family friend whose father had died, and my 17 year old was a bit worried about how to act and being very certain that she did not want to kneel and appear to pray at the coffin. So my wife did the kneeling, and I told her to stand behind her next to me and 'look solemn' (we really didn't know the deceased, just the family). When it is someone closer to us, I stand behind my kneeling wife and rest a supportive hand on her shoulder. She then stands and I lean over and whisper in he ear that 'that shit is crazy, you know' and she either laughs or smacks me depending directly on our closeness to the deceased.


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