Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If You Believe In Prayer



I have a question for you. The “Jesus Wallet” is from a marketing campaign described on PopCult Magazine here. Basically, it’s a scam. I think only the most brain-blasted believer would not agree that the perpetrator of this demand for cash is a religious predator. Here’s the question. If the recipient of this mess really believes, and is sincere in their prayer, why won’t it work? Sure, the sender is a scoundrel, but that has nothing to do with the nature of the poor fools who are praying, and the relative merit of their petition for relief. Is the whole thing tainted by the Reverend’s cooties or something? These are good, desperate people who are going to fall for this crap, so what is your explanation for a god that would let this happen? If the supplicants are worthy, I can’t see any reason why this is not a perfectly legitimate prayer, regardless of the inventor. The point of origin is what should count, right? So, when it doesn’t work, does one admit that prayer is worthless, or does one just say, “they’re not doing the magic incantation right?”

The only thing more useless than prayer are the people who promote it.

Missing Woman Found Trapped in Car

There was an intense search by the State Police, and presumably volunteers. The search was narrowed down by computer forensics tracking her cell phone use to a particular tower. She was air-lifted by helicopter to the hospital, where she is being treated for severe dehydration and renal failure. It will take the best that medical science has to offer to pull her through. After all this high-tech, human effort, what did the husband say on the news?

“Thank you Jesus!”

Were I part of the rescue effort, or any of the professionals that trained them, I would say under my breath, “You’re welcome, asshole!”

10 Comments:

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Donnnnn said...

The 'Prosperity Gospel', so prevelent in the heartland of the USofA, continues to exist because it fits in perfectly with the All American Dream of having it all and having it right frickin NOW!

No amount of reason or logic can dislodge this time homoured belief because there is too much at stake...EVERYTHING!

Whether it's Creationism or Prosperity it all must be protected at any cost. If one piece of the puzzle fell the whole deck of cards will tumble..
and we can't have that happen now can we? How on Earth could Mankind function accepting responsibility for their actions and not having someONE else to blame?

 
At 3:54 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

donnnnn: Exactly so. The idea that they are essentially attempting to bribe God for a reward does not seem to enter their carefully laundered heads.

 
At 6:03 AM, Blogger John T. said...

"The only thing more useless than prayer are the people who promote it."

Do you think that maybe prayer isnt for gaining anything externally but primarily for gaining things internally. I believe prayer is for centering oneself like meditation does. And usually when we come from this peaceful place we are able to perceive our situations differently. "Mind over matter, If I dont mind, it dont Matter."

 
At 7:59 PM, Blogger Kalanchoe542 said...

john t.,

There is prayer, and then there is "prayer". I believe Breakerslion is referring to the second species in his criticism, not the centering, calming, meditative brand that is at the core of all true spirituality. Even hard core cynics of my ilk recognize the difference. The commercial brand of "prayer" is useless and loathsome. It casts a shadow on all of humanity.

As I am often reminded in my day to day life, if you have to advertise and flaunt your religion, it has little or nothing to do with actual spirituality.

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

john t: I knew a Humanist that believed in getting up in the morning, facing the dawn, and saying out loud what he wanted. This kind of practice does indeed focus the mind, and if your prayers are for finding strength within to face a day, or a challenge, then the only thing left to debate is, "who are you talking to?" If you believe that a magic sky fairy is going to help you, then eventually you might pray for salvation when you should be doing something more useful, like swimming for your life.

If one uses prayer, like meditation, to focus one's own mind, and this has a positive effect, isn't the attribution of a deity as the cause for that effect incorrect?

kalanchoe542: You practically hit the nail on the head. Everyone looks for the easy way to get what one wants. It's human nature to want to avoid hard work, and it always seems easier for the other guy. Selling prayer is selling into this desire, but there are few shortcuts in life.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger John T. said...

Breakerslion

Actually I do believe in Creative force that started the Universe as we know it. Not in the traditional sense as you seem to view it but slightly different. I do believe that prayer was designed for our brains to function better, and it seems the studies bear that out. Now that doesnt mean you get what you pray for, but your body sure seems to get benefit from it.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

john t: Selective breeding for 10,000 years? Behavior that has become instinctive in some way over time? Ignorance is bliss? I have seen these studies, and can't say I know what exactly is going on there. I can say that I don't believe any supernatural force is listening, or doing anything active in terms of manipulating reality. Take any given Sunday. As many sports fans are disappointed as rewarded for their prayers....

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger John T. said...

Breakerslion

Who said anything about supernatural? I think prayer is perfectly natural and whatever designed our brains(naturally) made that part of us. Your view on what a creator could be is clouded by what religion has told you it is. But seeing as you know what started the Universe, you wont get what Im trying to say ;)

 
At 4:04 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

John t: I would dearly love to hear you try to define a creator of the universe that can hear you when you're praying that does not fall under the definition of supernatural. Even with the super hearing attribute removed, please explain how this being could exist before everything else and not be super-natural. If you quibble and say that the matter used to create the universe already existed, a) explain what condition it was in and why an extraterrestrial, non-corporeal, non-mortal, super-intelligent being was necessary for its progression into the current state. b) explain how you know this being was not meddling with someone else's earlier creation, and c) explain why a creator is necessary for the life forms we know, but is not necessary for a being with even higher theoretical complexity.

I think prayer is a cheat, fostered by those who benefit from a hierarchical structue in which the bottom tiers are exploited and disenfranchised. Prayer is a placebo for action. If you think you're in a lottery, you're less likely to stop waiting for justice or other rewards and take action.

As for my "knowing" how the universe was created, how's your theoretical math?

 
At 4:07 AM, Blogger Cayden said...

This is absolutely insane.

Christians keep saying grace and thank God every time they sit at the dining table, but they never ponder where the rice came from.

The rice came from poor farmers in China and Thailand, who are so damn poor they can't afford education for their kids. The folks whose daughters would grow up and find themselves in a cheap brothel somewhere in South East Asia to supplement the family income.

Why don't they thank these sorry bastards and their families? To thank an imaginary Asshole for the 'bountiful harvest' - detestable!

 

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