Would an Atheist Pray If..

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posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 02:54 PM
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Your child has just been in a major accident which has placed them in critical condition and on life support. The doctors have done all they can using the latest in medicine and technology, but nothing has worked, they say the child may or may not make it. A few days have gone by and the child's room has become filled with flowers, stuffed animals and get well cards from family members, friends, even strangers and nurses. All are pulling for the child to come through. While on your way back to the room from a breather, a priest approaches you and explains how he heard the story of your child and about how the doctors have done everything they can. He tells you how God has the power to heal and would like you to join him in a prayer for your child. He explains that there is no guarantee that God will grant your prayer, but it's worth a shot. Would you pray with the priest? Or would you just stick to the belief that God does not exist and just accept the fact that your child is probably going to die and therefore no one or anything can help?

Or

Let's say your child has just been kidnapped, a few days have gone by and so far no leads have come in. You've reached out to the police, media and have flyers everywhere. You even put out a $50,000 reward for your child's safe return. It's been weeks but still nothing. You've tried everything, all you want is your child to be found. God knows what he/she could be going through. One morning while sitting on your porch one of your neighbors (who you know is christian, but hardly talk to) comes over and says "I was wondering if you would be willing to say a prayer with me for your child's safe return home. I know you don't believe, but God is good. Maybe God can place it in someone's heart to remember something that might help find the child. Or maybe God will place guilt on the person's heart who took the child so that they would release the child. Who knows. Just pray with me and let's see what comes of it". Once again, it's not guaranteed that God will grant your prayer, but it's worth a shot. Would you pray? Or would you just stick to the belief that God does not exist and just accept the fact that your child is probably out there being raped and tortured, or even worst dead, and therefore no one can help?

I don't see how any person would not pray if they had to deal with either of these.

I know atheist like to be faithful when it comes to believing that God does not exist. But would an atheist really be so stubborn to not even attempt to ask God for a little help if they ever found themselves in one of these situations? I hope not.




posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 02:57 PM
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So I'm supposed to pray to "God" to fix something that he clearly wanted to happen in the first place? I don't see the point. If he were willing to make everything alright, he wouldn't have allowed those bad things to happen in the first place.
edit on 18-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Sometimes one has to be brought to their knees in order to get their attention.



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by RealTruthSeeker

I don't see how any person would not pray if they had to deal with either of these.

I know atheist like to be faithful when it comes to believing that God does not exist. But would an atheist really be so stubborn to not even attempt to ask God for a little help if they ever found themselves in one of these situations? I hope not.


If you truly do not believe in god, there would be no reason to pray.

It would be the same as if have done everything you can scientifically and religiously, but nothing works, so will you pray to Zeus? You don't believe Zeus exists, so why would you pray to him?

Although, I'm sure some would resort to praying as an act of desperation.



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by RealTruthSeeker
 



Sometimes one has to be brought to their knees in order to get their attention.


Sounds like someone I'd prefer to avoid. If they're willing to do those things just to get my attention, they don't deserve my attention. It would be much easier to throw a bunch of fortunate coincidences at me, coupled with signs relating specifically to their identity. Now that's a much better hook to draw me in with.

What you're talking about is the equivalent of kicking me in the crotch, then kicking me in the face while I'm still down. Yeah. Totally gonna appreciate that. NOT. So again, why would I pray to someone who favors such tactics? I may as well ask a serial killer to watch over my dog for me while I'm away on a business trip.
edit on 18-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:12 PM
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You come to ATS to ask a hypothetical like this? Of course every single Atheist on here is going to laugh at the question, they're not in any actual situation. That's like asking a spiritual healer if they'd take treatment for cancer knowing that they have an 80% of survival with the treatment. They'd say no because they're firm on their belief. Like the person above me posted, it comes down to desperation and being in the actual moment, a split second can change your entire perception on anything.
edit on 18-7-2013 by FidelityMusic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by FidelityMusic
 


There's nothing wrong with asking questions. Who knows, someone might surprise us all...
edit on 18-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by RealTruthSeeker
 


If by praying you mean talking to oneself, everyone, including atheists, do this.



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by TheSubversiveOne
 



If by praying you mean talking to oneself, everyone, including atheists, do this.


You forgot the part where they talk to themselves and expect an answer, or a miracle, in return.
edit on 18-7-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:16 PM
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I don't see how any person would not pray if they had to deal with either of these.


The first scenario, I highly doubt that God is going to come down and fix my child. Actually it's a bit selfish and un-Christian like IMO to demand special treatment.

The kidnapping?

Again, I don't think the man in the sky is going to point police in the right direction. Sure, for the faithful the prayer is soothing and it gives the allusion of doing something. I could just as easily read the newspaper and convince myself it was having the same effect.

~Tenth
edit on 7/18/2013 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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WTF..,
if there was a big fat ugly bucktoothed christian with no children with really bad halitosis and a gimp arm who lived in a tuff shed on his parents property and his hobbies were pickin his nose and liking the cheese flavoring off of stale doritos...
would he pray to god for a smokin' hot rich chick to fall out of the sky into his lap?
probably.
would it happen?
probably not.

look, if you really wan't a test for your god, why don't you do like daniel did in 'bel and the dragon story'.
set up a test for your churches to see if their only after your monies.
pile up a bunch of wood and command your god to set it ablaze.

there's a real power in prayer and it comes from focusing one's energies and from linking to those around you, both positively and negatively.

would you please stop claiming everything in the name of god, it gets bothersome!



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:28 PM
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If you truly do not believe in god, there would be no reason to pray.

It would be the same as if have done everything you can scientifically and religiously, but nothing works, so will you pray to Zeus? You don't believe Zeus exists, so why would you pray to him?

Although, I'm sure some would resort to praying as an act of desperation.


Longtime lurker here. Hi!

I'd decided to finally join the forums after reading the OP's questions because I wanted to say basically the same thing, but you beat me to it and said it better than I probably could have.

Also, I agree with what someone else has mentioned; it seems a wee bit bizarre to be asking for help from the person/deity/whatever you call it who apparently put you into this awful situation to begin with, don't you think? It kind of reminds me of how some serial killers apparently try to get involved on the investigation side of things for the crimes they've committed themselves. Creepy.

I actually was in a similar situation as a child. Well, not that I'd experienced any tragedy or anything at the time, but basically, long story short, I was a very anxious little weiner kid who was afraid of everything(my life was pretty sheltered), but mostly afraid of water(and balloons but that's a different story
). My dad was out for a visit(he lives on the other side of the country) and everytime he was in town he liked to eat at this little restaurant on the pier. Their fish and chips was good apparently.

Anyways, it was a ridiculously stormy day and as soon as I stepped out over the water some waves(or maybe it was the wind?) caused the part where I was standing to sway. Que panic attack.

Luckily for me though, there was a group of 6 men who came over and introduced themselves as missionaries; they assured me that "god" has a "plan" for me, and that the water couldn't hurt me. etc. I looked up to my mom and dad and sister and they were standing maybe 10 feet behind this group quietly giggling. Thanks family! Don't try to save your kid from weirdos or anything!

They joined hands in a circle and didn't even ask/invite me to pray, they just each grabbed my hands and looked down and started doing some weird prayer/blessing thing. They wouldn't let go. I didn't close my eyes and bow my head like they did, which the guy who was doing most of the talking seemed to notice at the end as they all said "amen" and looked at me like I was supposed to say it too.

I shrugged(I was like 12), said thanks, told them I appreciated their concern but I'm not religious. I was very young and didn't want to offend them. I actually did kind of appreciate the concern but the whole situation was just weird and awkward, if I found myself in a similar situation at this time in my life I wouldn't let it get that far. My first instinct after reading the OP was that if I were in either of those positions, I would tell them that they can go ahead but I will not be joining in. I have no need to.
edit on 18-7-2013 by charliewins0rz because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:29 PM
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Of course atheist wouldn't pray

But Agnostic would



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:30 PM
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reply to post by RealTruthSeeker
 
When my grandchild was born she had medical issues that required a lengthy stay in neonatal ICU. My daughter, a firm Atheist was at her wit's end with fear and worry and felt helpless. She asked me what else could she possibly do that she hadn't already and I told her that maybe she should pray as God would listen to her whether she believed in Him or not. Together we prayed for my grandchild right there in the NICU waiting room. Our prayer was answered when my grandchild blossomed with good health and was released to go home within a week rather than the several months that had been expected.

Afterwards my daughter returned to her Atheist ways, but I will never forget that she prayed, was answered and gave thanks to God for blessing our family.



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:35 PM
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An atheist understands that their personal belief is just a belief. Like any belief, it could be wrong. Based on that they might pray for someone else just in case. I doubt they would pray for themselves if they are a committed atheist.

How arrogant would it be to believe you absolutely know something unknowable? Oh wait. I guess that is what they do in Church.



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


So in other words, your answer is no you wouldn't? Your so tough and prideful that you wouldn't even consider that it might work. Talk about selfish, I'd hate to have my child haunt me and say "Why didn't you pray for me? God was willing, but you never asked".



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by RealTruthSeeker
 


a variation on pascals wager - which alledged god do you advise we pray to ?



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


The first problem here is that you have already doubted, you're already assuming that the prayer won't work, so in that case it probably won't. Second, since when is prayer special treatment? Let me guess, because God only does things for people who believing in him. NO Duh. Would you loan me $50 right now if I asked you for it? Most likely not. I don't know you, or anything about you, so why in the world would you give me $50? But then again, you might, based on the simple fact that I had the guts to ask.

God is the same way, why would he help anyone who doesn't believe in Him. Why would he grant a prayer or special treatment if you don't even ask? That's like me saying Microsoft would never hire because I'm black. How would I know if never took the time to apply?



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 





You forgot the part where they talk to themselves and expect an answer, or a miracle, in return.


Doesn't matter. Same application, same result.



posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


You can pray to whatever god you want, that's not the point. The point is, would you have the heart to do it?





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