It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

God and Prayer

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 02:00 PM
link   
[When I am using the pronoun He, I am merely catering to the Christian custom of referring to God as He.]

Why do we pray? Is it to induce God to placate our desires? Is it to beg for absolution? Is it to gain favor? Is it to somehow lessen the severity of our sins? Is it to beseech salvation? Is it to make God happy?

People pray for many reasons - some more noble than others. A mother might seek a miracle cure for her cancer-stricken infant; a millionaire basketball player might bequest God to use His powers to make a rival miss a free-throw. The one common thread among most prayers is that they almost exclusively endeavor to improve our temporal condition on earth. And I don’t think God - if He truly exists - pays any attention to these sorts of prayers. I don’t believe He cares if the mother’s baby dies or if the Lakers prevail over the Bulls, for reasons I shall explain.

If there is one singular God, than His decisions are made without peer review or the input of a celestial steering committee. He alone created the divine blueprint for the cosmos and He alone instilled meaning in each of His creations. Presumably, this means that each of God’s creations possesses a separate and unique purpose within this omnipotent blueprint. And since God is perfect and thus perfectly efficient, there wouldn’t be wasted space or redundant creations.

Therefore, it’s safe to assume that the Godly purpose of earth and heaven are completely separate.
I’ve never set foot or brandished a halo in heaven but there are certain assumptions I have about what heaven must be like. First, in heaven the inhabitants experience a closeness to God that’s unmatched by that of earth. Second, in heaven there isn’t the pain, chaos, and destruction that we witness on this terrestrial plane. Third, the inhabitants in heaven are happy, peaceful, and everlasting. Fourth and finally, life in heaven is preferable to life on earth.

There cannot be any wasted effort in God’s divine brush, for perfect beings do not inefficiently utilize their resources. Heaven is what it is because it suits God’s purpose - and the same could be said about the earth. Their differences and not their similarities must be examined, for it is these differences that reveal why God deemed it necessary to create each separate entity.

So what are the differences between heaven and earth?

While we can only assume the properties of heaven, we know definitively the dynamics of earth. Here on this bluish-green rock, we’re mortal, finite creations who experience great pain and sorrow when tragedy strikes. Our closeness to God cannot be considered intimate, since our only knowledge of His very existence is via reasoning, deductive thought, and indirect evidence such as “signs,” historic accounts, and correlations we draw from events. The ambiguity of evidence is a major reason why so many contrasting religious ideologies exist - including atheism.

But back to earth: We know that our days on this planet are rife with war, carnage, and an assorted array of unpleasantries. We know that armies are required to protect countries from villains and prisons are needed to incarcerate those who seek to exploit their fellow man. We know that adoption agencies exist to care for abandoned children, the death penalty is used to kill exceptionally wicked people, and abortion is widely utilized to end the lives of unwanted fetuses. We know that over a billion humans are either severely malnourished or starving. We know that all living things die and disintegrate. We know that it’s impossible to forge bonds with other humans or animals without also being subjected to agony, fear, and anger. We know that no matter how happy we are at any moment in time... the happiness will eventually be replaced with something loathsome.

For better or worse, these are the truths of terrestrial life. Unpleasantness is inextricably a part of earth. In fact, these devastating unpleasantries are so mind-bogglingly overwhelming; many high schools are actually compelled to teach children - even those from well-to-do families - not to commit suicide.
Therefore, isn’t it logical to assume that the characteristics of earth were installed for a reason? And that God’s divine plan, for whatever the purpose, demands those “created in His image” to be subjected to the horrors of earth?

God’s motives are subject to widespread dispute amongst the various ideologies. Some view our duration on earth as a protracted test to separate those ready for heaven from those damned to hell. Others view earthly life as a single step in a long cycle of existence, with Nirvana the ultimate destination. But God’s reason really doesn’t matter in this discussion; what matters are the undeniable difference between heaven and earth.
God wants bad things to happen to good people. God wants pain and suffering. God wants death and disintegration. As an immortal, all-powerful being, God surely has the power to alter the base properties of terrestrial existence... yet pain, suffering, death, and disintegration remain. This is the purpose - the reason of earth.

Prayer might he self-therapeutic. It may hold a meditative purpose or help us better understand the nature of God. But it’s useless to pray for God to abandon the properties of earth, for doing so would clash with God’s divine plan. This is why God can’t answer the heartfelt prayers of a mother wailing for her baby to be delivered from cancer; everything dies and everything experiences pain. It’s the uniform divine plan of the earth and her inhabitants; the only difference is on the margin, in the degrees.

If your prayers aren’t answered, it’s because your wishes aren’t a part of God’s divine plan. Nothing more, nothing less. And perhaps there’s comfort in this.




posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 10:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by Dr Isaac Yankem DDS
If your prayers aren’t answered, it’s because your wishes aren’t a part of God’s divine plan. Nothing more, nothing less. And perhaps there’s comfort in this.


Another way of looking at it is, that gods don't exist, and that's why prayers are ineffective at changing outcomes of chance events.

The purpose of prayer is to bring comfort to those involved in the prayer.



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 11:22 PM
link   

Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Dr Isaac Yankem DDS
If your prayers aren’t answered, it’s because your wishes aren’t a part of God’s divine plan.

Another way of looking at it is, that gods don't exist, and that's why prayers are ineffective at changing outcomes of chance events.
The purpose of prayer is to bring comfort to those involved in the prayer.

What if God did whatever anyone prayed for?
We are given what we need, not what we want.
In any faith, prayer is a powerful, effective act. Scientific experiments have shown this, even when the people didn't know they were being prayed for, which contradicts spam's 2nd point.

news.bbc.co.uk...

home.comcast.net...



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 04:50 PM
link   

Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
We are given what we need, not what we want.


This is true for those who are alive. The graveyards are filled with those who's prayers did not even provide what they needed.


Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
In any faith, prayer is a powerful, effective act. Scientific experiments have shown this, even when the people didn't know they were being prayed for, which contradicts spam's 2nd point.


It would contradict it if it were true. Controlled experiments have shown that anonymous prayer has no measurable effect at all on recovery. This shouldn't be surprising even if god was sitting around providing miracles to those who ask, because virtually everyone with great need has someone praying for them.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 07:56 PM
link   
Since the first 2 studies weren't acceptable to you, here is a 3rd. I will side with my own experiences, and these scientific studies.


'http://www.reproductivemedicine.com/Features/2001/2001Sep.htm'

excerpt: The data demonstrate a 50%
statistically significant pregnancy rate
in the IP treatment group....



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 09:47 PM
link   

Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
Since the first 2 studies weren't acceptable to you, here is a 3rd. I will side with my own experiences, and these scientific studies.


'http://www.reproductivemedicine.com/Features/2001/2001Sep.htm'

excerpt: The data demonstrate a 50%
statistically significant pregnancy rate
in the IP treatment group....


If you're research were unbiased, you would have found the studies that show the ineffectiveness of prayer as well. They are online and a few minutes of googling will locate them. Think about why you have not bothered to find them.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 10:31 PM
link   
Actually, despite the fact that I'm not a Christian, I DO believe prayer can work. But so can hope... basically it's operating on the same principal, similar to telekinesis actually. If a single human can change the outcome of a random number generator through thought alone, then imagine the power of a group concentrating on acheiving the same outcome.

So my opinion is that prayer does work, not because the deity being prayed to is acting in any way, but rather because the belief helps make it happen.



posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 11:20 PM
link   

Originally posted by Kruel
If a single human can change the outcome of a random number generator through thought alone,...


Yah, but they can't! ..at least not repeatably.




top topics



 
0

log in

join