Ok, this may seem like a ridiculous question, but I'm curious if anyone else ever does this.

First, let me state that I have never believed in the supernatural, aside from a short time around 9 years old when I saw a movie about Nostradamus that freaked me out so much I don't think I slept for a month

What I'm curious about is this: Sometimes when I am in great pain (suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux mostly) I have thought something along the lines of "If anyone is out there listening, please make my pain go away."

Of course, it's never helped, but I wonder why I even go there. I suspect it is because of growing up around people who pray for help. I know that even if my pain immediately went away I would know that it was not the work of god, so it confuses me why I would do this.

Do any of you occasionally have thoughts like this?

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No, I don't. It seems useless to me to pray for something I hope to happen. I remember George Carlin put it very nice in one of his monologues. Carlin said that why pray if god already had a plan, so it didn't matter if you pray or not, he's not going to change his/her plan.

However, sometimes, just sometimes, I try talking to whatever is up there, if there is. But only when a person that I care deeply for needs it. I'd say something like "Ok god, if you are there, help my friend because he/she believes in you. I don't ask for myself, but for this person I care about. So don't be a dick." After that I feel half like an idiot and half a good friend.
What good is having a plan if every smuck with a two dollar pray book can come along and fuck it up??

Haha!
Your post made me think of this awesome comic.

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/i_know_youre_listening.png
hehehe

thanks for that!
During my passage into unbeleif I would sometimes pray even though I didn't really believe in god any more. I would say to god things like "it seems like I'm the only one doing any talking here doesn't it?" and "am I the only one who is contributing to this relationship?". I was rather young at the time and I eventually came to realize that I was correct in my assumptions.
I wish he was there to pray to. It would be very comforting to have a god who would take care of my problems. I haven't prayed since I stopped believing
As a transhumanist, i should think that if gods existed, it would be our duty to become thier rivals and superiors- or at least equals. Q seems to come to mind when i consider such thoughts... And i would think that it would have been thier intention for us to become this way- but maybe that's more in line with Deism. There's nothing inherantly wrong about gods- but it is important to realize that that is merely our own subconscious manifesting cognizant symbols to get us to behave a certain way- or, like you said, to comfort us. There is still no empirical evidence for gods, as it shall stand. But if they be minor deities- we are likely to be able to synthesize them before one shows itself ;)
I pray every so often, because during my discussions with christians we often make deals where I get them to read or watch something in exchange for me doing something. And if I agree to pray then i do it. I see it as an opportunity to contemplate any issues I'm having in my life.

But my grandfather was an atheist for about 60 years and at one point he was being crushed between 2 train carriages at work he admitted to praying as a last resort. I'm sure a lot of christians would love to hear about that :)
Not anymore.
I never did it much when I consider myself agnostic.
Now I don't really see the point.
I do hate when I get upset or hurt myself and say jesus.
You don't have to worry about Jesus, he's only an identity created to start another bat-shit-crazy death cult. What's more, some christians aren't even convinced that he Is the "Son of God." I've talked to one such christian over on Chris Morse's blog, Suddenly Atheist- under "Godless Bible Study" and "What Sacrifice?".

It's a fascinating history- that of the Early Church[es]. Apocrypha doesn't just present problems for Xianity though- nearly every religion, and even Buddhism, has several different stories about the same assumed people within it... There is a great deal to be gleaned about human thought processes and anthropological findings to be made in the feild of the History of Religion, but the same is also true of literature of any other sort... However, this would be something which also coincided with daily operation of life, government, ect. So calling religion a set of stories is being intellectually dishonest. It is far, far more credulous. But all the more fascinating to study right?
I used to pray as a child but just because my mother told me to do so.
As I grew up I stopped talking to myself at night so I didn't do it anymore.
But now, sometimes I also feel like asking somebody for help when I need it, but I remember there's no supernatural being out there, that it used to be in my mind and I was just taught to talk to him. I have to deal with problems by myself.
I have never doubted the non-existence of god; however, I find myself having thoughts that could be thought of as "praying", I suppose, if I thought there were actually anyone listening. I also have minor superstitions that I know have no possibility of influencing anything, yet I feel compelled sometimes to pay attention to them.

I figured those were both just psychological impulses that all people had, maybe the sort of thing that make irrational people actually believe in god or believe that their rituals can influence the outcome of unrelated events. Just something to acknowledge for what it is, a little quirk of how the mind works, and ignore. I suppose if that is right, that it may have some sort of psychological purpose; some unknown function.

Occasionally, I offer to sell my or, preferably, somebody else's, soul to Satan, if I can just have what I want, but that hasn't gotten me very far either. ;-)

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