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?

Views: 1567

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I think praying is a healthy and natural thing to do even though I'm almost certain that there is no supernatural god. I have prayed and will continue to pray.

What we experience as consciousness is only a small part of our mental totality. How do we unlock the ideas, solutions, emotional strength, and otherwise untapped capacity of our subconscious minds?

I don't think religion has created an appetite for prayer but merely taken advantage of a psychological need we've evolved. Doesn't thought start off as external speech when we are young? It is only later that we learn to talk internally, I.e. think. If this is true, then the whole basis for our thought process is rooted in talking to someone more powerful than us - a parent. Maybe prayer is just a means to satisfying this psychological need? I certainly feel better after I have prayed, it's quite natural I think to have the load lightened having spoken to someone.

Hey John,

I like this, particularly the part about cognition deriving of some phylogenetic need to "talk" to a parent - perhaps to find new and better ways to express our needs to the parent so that the parent can respond better to our needs?

- kk

You say you are 'almost certain there is no supernatural god'. Although we can never be certain of anything in life, you can be sure of your faith. Faith in what ever form it takes. Normally this is a faith in others. The people you trust most and look up to or follow for guidance in life. Like you say, as a child, for most people this faith emerges from a parental guidance. But when you 'pray' are you perhaps just talking to your inner self... Sounding ideas out and questioning internally in readiness for coping with things externally. Human beings are very well adapted to coping, it makes us a successful species of creatures on this planet doesn't it!
Jules111. I am without doubt just talking to my subconscious even though I find it more comforting to converse as if to another, rather than just chew things over. As I said, I think the roots may be in early thought development.

Similarly, but not quite as comforting, I talk to my dog Chester. I think it's the same principle except I find his head-cocking a little off putting.

Like your discussion :)
While I agree with you that talking to a well loved family pet may offer some comfort and reassurance that you are not alone, one must not forget you are 'playing it safe' as subcouisously you know the pet can not answer back. Unless of course you also talk for the said pet, giving it a funny little voice of it's own .... Then you do have to, perhaps, start worrying!
You got me! White was never my colour!

I suspect Chester and I share our own points of view - great minds, after all --

That's "bargaining," one of the stages of grief and unless the doctor is open to a bribe, valueless, and can make you dizzy if you get up too fast.

Sorry John, but to me, I AM my higher power, but if I can get away with walking around, mumbling, by calling it praying to myself, sure, I'll give that a try --

If we've evolved to do it, can't be valueless can it?

Actually, yes, John, I believe it can.

We evolved an appendix, that at the time had a value, but no longer does; it's gradually fading away, as has, some biologists say, our vestigial tail, though thankfully, I've managed to retain most of mine.

Further, some things we do, aren't necessarily what we evolved to do. Various features that have evolved for other purposes, can be used to watch TV, but one can't honestly say that we've evolved into couch potatoes, except for my Uncle Fred. All we can say with certainty, is that what we've evolved, ALSO permits such activity, to say otherwise, would leave the door open to admit we're evolved to misuse alcohol or narcotics - because we can do it, doesn't mean we're evolved to do it.

Feet that evolved from hand-like appendages, used for grasping branches, into flatter, sturdier vehicles for propelling ourselves across solid ground, could never - literally in a million years - have been envisioned by our ancestors to be instrumental to the performance of a Prima Ballerina in her breathtaking pas de deux of Swan Lake, but we're all the richer because she discovered another use for that which she evolved, to get from Point A to Point B.

We Humans are resourceful animals - we find many uses for the features we evolve - in the case of prayer, I can't say that we've evolved to do it, so much as we've evolved a brain capable of learning to do it, in which case, yes, it could well be valueless, unless we impart value to it.

I recently read a religiously-slanted article that maintained that prayer was scientifically shown to have beneficial health effects to the one praying - not from a supernatural source necessarily, but from releasing beneficial endorphins that benefit he who prays - buried near the bottom, was a tiny, two-sentence paragraph casually mentioning that meditation was found to have the same effect. Can't have information like THAT getting out, can we?

This Beautiful Post, Arch, this Beautiful Post ^

I'm not proud of having screamed to infinity for my partner being dragged away.  At no stage can I say I actually thought anyone was listening.  I just had nobody else to scream to, and I really needed someone, anyone, to help me.  But look, I survived, and learned to love again too, so I'm the fortunate one.

I tried meditation - actually because my deceased partner would meditate daily and felt it was a wonderful thing.  So I tried.  Empty your mind, they say.  Fat chance.

I've actually considered trying it from a different angle.  I need to try to empty my mind of opinions on stuff.  But then again, I'm in a different place now, in a different time, and I seem to have a large chunk of natural happiness, so not being in need of support, I don't have the drive to meditate any more.

Arch, do we evolve to do anything? That I implies a purpose. Whose purpose? Aren't all the things we do, including prayer, just a result of evolution? Maybe our appendices will wither away one day, but cognitive development doesn't seem to be headed in that direction and until that time, externalising a guiding figure will probably remain a strong impulse.


© 2018   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service