Friday, January 20, 2006

Prayer is selfish beggary

I made some comments about prayer on an atheist blog that seemed to spark some controversy with the religious.

I said that prayer is an example of weakness and helplessness. It is the ultimate example of beggary, wanting something for nothing. It illustrates some of the worst characteristics of human nature and provides evidence for B.F Skinners learned helplessness theory.

I then asked what the use of praying is when one believes that god has a plan for them. For if one prays for something within god’s plan then that something will happen regardless of prayer, conversely if one where to pray for something that is not included within god’s plan then that something will not happen regardless of prayer also, so either way prayer is ineffectual and useless. My comments created a ripple of outrage and spawned several other religious blogs to create posts about prayer. Ironically no one even attempted to answer the question of the futility of prayer at all. They merely asserted that not everyone prayed for “presents” and selfish reasons, they said that some pray for strength and health. This was my point to begin with and I find it absurd for them to imply that I only thought people prayed for material gifts. If one is praying for good health then that would be just as good an example of beggary and selfishness as is praying for a new car. Rather than eat healthy, exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle one is begging a supernatural force to intervene and create these results for them – weakness, helplessness, and selfish beggary.