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Source: (consider it) Thread: What to pray for when your good means someone else's bad?
roybart
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We live on the east coast of Florida which for days has been threatened by a possible direct hit from Hurricane Irma. This morning the report shows that the projected track of the hurricane has moved west sufficiently that we are "out of the cone". We will have tropical storm winds but apparently not a historic hurricane.

Problem is that the eye of the hurricane is now projected to move up the west coast of the state, right along the coast. Millions live there, including a beloved nephew and his wife.

Have you ever had this situation -- where gratitude for being spared something is directly connected to the increased likelihood or inevitability of suffering for others?

How have you handled this when it comes to prayer? How have you regulated your own gratitude and relief when these are coupled with the increased suffering of others?

[ 09. September 2017, 22:18: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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simontoad
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Pray for the strength to accept whatever happens without falling apart?

Stay safe.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Tortuf
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You have my heartfelt empathy and prayers.

I don't believe that your prayers for safety would make God direct that kind of devastation on someone else. We humans are fragile and have to live in a world where the laws of physics work the same every time. When a hurricane comes it is not because of some malignant force (Except corporations that pushed climate change denial), it is the result of climatic conditions that create the hurricane. I do not believe God created Irma. God created the world and set it running on a set of physical laws that operate the way they operate. If a hurricane comes it just does.

I have come to that point where I simply pray for the strength to face God's creation exactly how and when it comes to me. I pray for God's guidance and the ability to carry it out. I lift up people I love and people I dislike to God, not to change God's mind about them, but to exercise compassion.

My belief is that doing this does not put me in a position of asking God to change God's mind, or the laws of physics.

I hope you do not believe you have put your family in harms way with prayer. I do not believe God would pay attention to a prayer that someone else be harmed except to want the person making that prayer to come to see God as love instead of hate.

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Dafyd
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Pray everything you feel on both sides. The important point in prayer is that you express your hopes and desires to God. It's not your job to work out how God is supposed to answer them before you start praying about them.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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cliffdweller
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It's a horrible situation. I don't want to take from your experience, but since you asked for ours, I'll share: my granddaughter was born 7 months ago with 6 severe heart defects, including single ventricle. Left untreated it is fatal within a few days of life. Only a few years ago the only,hope was a heart transplant from an infant donor. Fortunately for us, the recommendation was instead for a newer protocol of three open heart surgeries, she came thru the first well and will have the 2nd in a month or so. I have been acutely aware of how grateful I am that I font have to pray for a transplant, because it would mean praying that our tragedy would become someone else's tragedy-- the death of another baby somewhere. As a grandma, I probably would have done so, but it's a truly anguished and fraught prayer. I've prayed for the three doctors who developed our protocol

I think all you can pray in honesty in these zero-sum, win-lose situations is "Lord have mercy"

Praying for you and all those in the storms path. Lord have mercy [Votive]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Lamb Chopped
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Tell God both sides of it--that you wish(ed) the hurricane would move, but that you don't want anybody else to suffer. He knows anyway, so you might as well get it all out. Dafyd's right--it's not your job to work out how God answers, he will do that, and if there is a third better choice you've not thought of, he will.

I don't believe it is possible to pray harm on anyone else (effectively, I mean), even if you were trying to--which you aren't. Prayer is not a blind force, it is a request to a person who will certainly use his own judgment.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Enoch
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However we pray, it is more important that we are honest rather than that we pretend to be more holy or more altruistic than we really are. God is a God of truth, not a God of lies, nor of delusions, nor of hypocrisy. So it's important to pray from a position of truth, however uncomfortable or embarrassing that may be. Unless you are very strange, you don't want the storm to hit either you or your relatives. You don't want it to hit anyone at all, but if it's got to hit someone, you'd rather it hit somebody else. That may or may not be how God answers your prayer, but .... .

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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I feel like a heretic and apostate with the opinions I hold, but I do believe the following about things like the storm to which you refer, coming from some personal experiences. I cpuld have misinterpreted and perhaps there's a way I've not thought of. So here goes...

God's intervention would be nice if it were something that really ever happened, but God will no more influence the weather and trajectory of a storm or multiple storms than the stockmarket, success on a school exam, winning a lottery, or the random wilful evil of an individual. God will provide comfort in adversity. And we hope, motivate Christian response among people who profess to follow Jesus. So pray and hope and motivate yourself. God isn't controlling the storm, won't change the damage to property nor who dies and who is injured.

In small scale parallel, we've evacuees from nothern forest fires again. Smoke in the air with climate warmed temps. The best we can do is visit and feed. God doesn't seem interested in sending cooler temps nor rain. Perhaps observing us to see if we'll stop sinning against the environment, but will not save us from fire nor you from smoke. So we try a Christian response and consider how should behave. Praying is not enough and contraindicated if it encourages passiveness. Let me explain.

I would be cautious about "giving it over to God". I worry this promotes passivity via guilt imobilizing or feeling absolved of responsibility to do something. It is a time think for Works not Grace. Two things: something direct to help others who are suffering, and being of the change required to change our society's behaviour which has caused your storms to be so many and so intense. Climate change is a Christian and spiritual problem.

(Our relief here is cordinated by the Salvation Army which coordinates all Christian groups by providing administration. And by the Red Cross who have things like cots, clothing, mobile cooking facilities. There's very little direct religious behaviour such as praying. )

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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mr cheesy
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The simple solution is not to pray.

I really don't think prayer is the thing that a very large percentage of Christian think it is.

If you really think that you're influencing the deity in such a way that he might advantage you rather than someone else, then I think you really need to change your theology. And stop praying like that.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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roybart
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tortuf wrote:

quote:
I have come to that point where I simply pray for the strength to face God's creation exactly how and when it comes to me. I pray for God's guidance and the ability to carry it out. I lift up people I love and people I dislike to God, not to change God's mind about them, but to exercise compassion.

My belief is that doing this does not put me in a position of asking God to change God's mind, or the laws of physics.

That is actually the way I tend to see this matter. You express it better than I have to myself in my own mind.

quote:
I hope you do not believe you have put your family in harms way with prayer. I do not believe God would pay attention to a prayer that someone else be harmed except to want the person making that prayer to come to see God as love instead of hate.
I do not feel this way. But I know people who do, and it seems very common for people to forget that their wishes for themselves can have serious consequences for others.

On the other hand, I think I may have been too influenced (scarred?) by childhood experiences with the pre Vatican II RC version of "examination of conscience," in which one was urged to examine and hold in suspicion one's motives and to keep delving deeper and deeper to find those detestable sins that always lurked below the surface. Not going deep enough was itself a sin, at least as I understood it them. It is possible, I guess, to worry too much about motives.

In that context, I especially appreciate Enoch's:
quote:
However we pray it is more important that we are honest than that we pretend to be more holy and more altruistic than we really are. God is a God of truth not lies.
cliffdweller, thank you for sharing about your granddaughter. I'm glad that this new operation procedure is available to her. Prayers for complete success!

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"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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Anglican_Brat
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In God's speech to Job (Job 41) , God mentions and praises Leviathan.

I interpret Leviathan to be a mythic representation of Chaos, or to use more saucy language, "Shit happens". Some theologies, such as versions of Calvinism, refuse to accept the existence of Chaos, preferring to believe that God directs every action in the universe.

The answer to Job, that God gives, I think is that stuff happens whether you are good or bad. The "blessings" given to Job is no more a reward for his good behavior, nor are his sufferings, a consequence of his sins. To use prayers or sacrifices as a means of manipulating the deity, which is what unfortunately a lot of popular religion is, is wrong.

Shit happens, hold on for the ride, and don't let it stop you from loving God or your neighbor.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Dafyd's right--it's not your job to work out how God answers, he will do that, and if there is a third better choice you've not thought of, he will.

Tell me, if you will, what other two choices are worse than a real outcome of a missing child turning up raped and murdered?

I fear you will find offence at this, but that is not the point of it. The point is that the world is demonstrably shitty to the point that it is obvious that prayers are not answered and that God is not planning outcomes.

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

I really don't think prayer is the thing that a very large percentage of Christian think it is.

Understatement of the decade.
quote:

If you really think that you're influencing the deity in such a way that he might advantage you rather than someone else, then I think you really need to change your theology. And stop praying like that.

The idea that good/bad should be zero-sum is weird to begin with. Couple this with if God acted on prayers, there would be no hurricane in the first place...

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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SusanDoris

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Very interesting as always, but I have to ask, why believe in a god then since the natural world, in a natural universe, does what it does just as it would if nobody believed in any god of any kind? But I realise this is an unfair question on a forum where only a small minority are atheist and am not looking for a direct or indirect answer in this thread.
whatever prayers are said for and about the hurricane, the earthquake and all the other dreadful events where one set of people deliberately harms another, such prayers are a person's focused thoughts and will probably help the person cope better, and , if in a position to do so, help in practical ways.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

If you really think that you're influencing the deity in such a way that he might advantage you rather than someone else, then I think you really need to change your theology. And stop praying like that.

The idea that good/bad should be zero-sum is weird to begin with. Couple this with if God acted on prayers, there would be no hurricane in the first place... [/QB][/QUOTE]

Sure. And in the broader sense that is true, but in the narrower sense or at least from our human pov there really are win/lose situations. As in the example I noted above where praying for a heart transplant for my granddaughter can only mean praying for some other baby somewhere to die. That's win-lose at it's rawest-- our best day becomes someone else's worst day.

God is bigger than that, bigger than our imaginations, which is why I suggested praying "Lord have mercy"-- because really what we want is "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done"-- a world where all is set right and we don't have these fraught decisions.

The larger issue, as noted above, behind all this of course is the issue of theodicy. I would agree with the poster above that Calvinism has a particularly inadequate answer to the problem of suffering, and therefore a particularly inadequate (if not dismissive) approach toward suffering (see the odious Nashville statement for exhibit A).

More and more I'm finding help in inaugurated eschatology-- the notion that the Kingdom is "both now and not yet". That God is in a not-yet-completed process of "setting right" all that has been undone-- both thru human choices or thru natural causes-- in the world. I don't have to dismiss hurricanes or genetic heart defects as "God's will"-- I can hear in them God's "no!" to the needless, innocent suffering. But I also can have hope that, even now, God is at work-- so there is reason to pray, even as I know that much will not yet be set right.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Dafyd's right--it's not your job to work out how God answers, he will do that, and if there is a third better choice you've not thought of, he will.

Tell me, if you will, what other two choices are worse than a real outcome of a missing child turning up raped and murdered?
WTF? We were discussing hurricanes.

Did you mean to post this on some other thread?

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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The problem is, isn't it, that people pray, and are encouraged to partake of corporate prayers, for their specific needs and the specific needs of others, which implies and supports the idea that a prayer for a good health outcome for an ill person is causatively related to the outcome, or that damage from a storm or fire may be divinely mitigated.

If we don't believe that our prayers affect God, they why do we pray as they do? As if there is causation?

Time and again, I have greatly vexed and annoyed clergy and other religiously committed people about their sloppy thinking, lack of intellectually integrity, ow they seem to want to have their cake: prayer will affect real life worldly outcomes; and then lie down in it: of course we can't control God, and the time frames, purposes and trajectory of the universe are great, so let us pray for succour and strength. With the unstated implication that the specific prayer for the storm, health recovery of someone etc, were untrue, they were just playing to some immature understandings. Well it won't do. It is justifiably rejected by the atheists, who can then include everyone in the category of ridiculous.

Prayer can be, at most, hope, in such contexts, but as noted above, better as something that motivates actual behaviour by human beings.

God does not intervene in day-to-day human life. And if God does, it is for the special people only, which me and mine ain't (which is obtuse of me to post, but "prayer really does something other than affect motivation of humans" ideas bother me profoundly).

I don't agree with everything he says, Robertson Davies is on the right track--

quote:
Robertson Davies, Canadian author from wikiquote (CCL-SA, this is not copyrighted)
People say, when a relative dies: "Oh, how could God have taken her away so young and with so much before her?" God doesn't give a bugger about how young she is. He probably isn't noticing particularly. That's just the way a lot of things happen. A lot gets spilled, you know, in nature. When you look at what's going on out there now, those trees are dropping seeds by literally the hundreds of thousands and millions, and one or two of them may take on. I think that that is the way that God functions. He doesn't care nearly as much about individuals and individual fates as we would like to suppose. But by trying to ally ourselves with the totality of things, we may get into Tao as they say in the East and be part of it, really take part in it, and not just regard ourselves as a kind of miraculous creation and the rest just sort of stage scenery against which we perform.

I thus firmly hold that prayer at most can comfort the person praying, and motivate the human beings to do something. God will not do anything other than this: comfort and motivate.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Dafyd's right--it's not your job to work out how God answers, he will do that, and if there is a third better choice you've not thought of, he will.

Tell me, if you will, what other two choices are worse than a real outcome of a missing child turning up raped and murdered?
WTF? We were discussing hurricanes.

Did you mean to post this on some other thread?

It was meant to challenge the idea that God answers prayers, but in ways one might not understand. I used a more simple example in an attempt to keep it as clear as possible. cliffdweller got it but you did not, so results are mixed.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Lamb Chopped
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Well, I still don't get it, so I'll just have to take a pass on that one.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Ian Climacus

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Very interesting as always, but I have to ask, why believe in a god then since the natural world, in a natural universe, does what it does just as it would if nobody believed in any god of any kind? But I realise this is an unfair question on a forum where only a small minority are atheist and am not looking for a direct or indirect answer in this thread.

Not an unfair question. I know you do not expect an answer, but...

This is a very simplistic answer. I do not believe in God because I believe he is directing every occurrence in the world, every hurricane, every leaf that falls...

Physics, astronomy and other sciences explain to me the way God ordered the world to work. Yes, you could take God out of the equation but I have seen changed lives and moreover fully believe we are here with a plan and purpose under an Almighty God. You can easily say He is not needed, but I believe He is, and is existing.

A God who gave into every whining prayer for success in exams or jobs would be a Santa Claus. I do not deny I have, and do, pray like that at times (even praying for a successful job interview is denying someone else...), but I hope I do so less and less.

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Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
...The answer to Job, that God gives, I think is that stuff happens whether you are good or bad. The "blessings" given to Job is no more a reward for his good behavior, nor are his sufferings, a consequence of his sins. ...

One of the great things, for me, about studying the Bible in terms of its sources and meanings was the realization that Job is basically the first novel; it is not literally true. That's fortunate, since I couldn't worship a deity who plays such evil games with people. Job has its truths, but they don't include wiping out a family to see what its patriarch will do.

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I'm not dead yet.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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I suspect Job's family was obliterated in real life and this became necessary to explore and explain by everyone who knew about it; if there was going to be any sense made of random, mindless violence and cruelty they had to talk it over. Aren't these are facts of human existence, which, if the bible is to be use in understanding life, and faith, has to explore? Annihilation is something that families experience, whether the Holocaust, The Last of the Mohicans or of my father's family. This discussion of a storm is of the same substance if not the same severity.

David asks "my God why have you forsaken me?" (Psalm 22) and Jesus asks the same thing, though we expect he knew. Sometimes I think faith is itself the disease for which it also purports to be the cure. Job asks the same doesn't he: "where shall wisdom be found?" and he begs for understanding. But to my mind, Ecclesiates does the wiser job of answering Job's question and David's and even Jesus' question.

Ecclesiastes 4 from the start of it:
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

We have to understand the vacuum, the utter nothingness and have this motivate us to do right and kind and with loving motives. IMHO.

[Tangent]since one of my children was almost murdered and greviously physically harmed on a morning where we'd prayed a prayer of protection an hour before, I've become a student of this, 6 years now: trying to make sense of the why. I forgave my father for raising me with denial because he hadn't much choice after all of his cousins and relatives were killed save one in WW2 such that when my child was attacked I offered God to die in exchange for avoiding the harm. I hadn't Jesus' knowledge. And there was nothing to deny any more. I learned that prayer saves us not from evil nor changes reality, and I dropped the denial my father inadvertantly taught me. Naked and hard truth to reconcile. Unavoidable. And my understanding was converted as harshly as were I on a Damascus road (did Paul get punched and kicked when down?). A putting away of childish things, but done for me not by me.
[/tangent]

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Golden Key
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"Best possible outcome" is a prayer that people of many beliefs find helpful, accurate to what's needed, and honest.

And what other people have said about expressing yourself to God. Whether or not prayer "works", that at least helps you vent, and work through your thoughts/feelings.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Galloping Granny
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I have long since given up belief in a god who manipulates people and events. Which is why I communicate less with an old and dear friend who lives near Orlando Florida and who responded thus when I emailed her to say we had prayed for her and her family in church this morning: "I have been asking God to turn this off ever since Hurricane Irma got to the Caribbean islands. I know He can since he created the Universe,but if he chooses not to, that this storm, which has hurt so many, will draw the hearts of many to Him consistently, not only when they are afraid."
I simply cannot grasp how an intelligent person in this day can think like this. My concept of God is of a constant presence, which is a spirit of unfailing love, which will surround me – or my friend – whatever eventuates.
GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

Posts: 2593 | From: Matarangi | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Very interesting as always, but I have to ask, why believe in a god then since the natural world, in a natural universe, does what it does just as it would if nobody believed in any god of any kind? But I realise this is an unfair question on a forum where only a small minority are atheist and am not looking for a direct or indirect answer in this thread.
whatever prayers are said for and about the hurricane, the earthquake and all the other dreadful events where one set of people deliberately harms another, such prayers are a person's focused thoughts and will probably help the person cope better, and , if in a position to do so, help in practical ways.

What's natural about something that has zero entropy capable of making rationally apprehendable universes? And that's before we talk about Jesus. You're a constant source of disappointment in being only atheistic of a God none of us believes in SusanDoris. Try being atheistic of the God we believe in ever since you came here.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
What's natural about something that has zero entropy capable of making rationally apprehendable universes?

Would you please explain what you mean by that? I have listened through slowly a couple of times, but I’m afraid I do not understand what you meam.
quote:
And that's before we talk about Jesus. You're a constant source of disappointment in being only atheistic of a God none of us believes in SusanDoris. Try being atheistic of the God we believe in ever since you came here.
My apologies for being a disappointment to you! I would point out that, as an atheist, I lack belief in all the gods that anyone here does or does not believe in, supposedly living spirits of people such as Jesus , plus all ghosts, angels, etc.
However, I respect members’ opinions here, and always enjoy reading and joining in the discussions on SofF.

I tried to put a smiley after disappointment to you, but it doesn't seem to hshow...

[ 10. September 2017, 17:13: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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jedijudy

Organist of the Jedi Temple
# 333

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quote:
Originally posted by roybart:
...
Problem is that the eye of the hurricane is now projected to move up the west coast of the state, right along the coast. Millions live there, including a beloved nephew and his wife.

Have you ever had this situation -- where gratitude for being spared something is directly connected to the increased likelihood or inevitability of suffering for others?...

I'm on Florida's southwest coast. Personally, I'm just glad that the whole state won't be devastated by Irma. Things will be bad enough for all of us, but I'm happy for your safer situation, roybart.

Our prayers have been for the safety of all of us. The tongue in cheek prayer has been for Irma to Just. Stop. and disappear. I have to believe that God does want us to stay safe. And I don't think God would deliberately move a storm to save some and destroy others.

FWIW, YMMV.

--------------------
Jasmine, little cat with a big heart.

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rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
I have long since given up belief in a god who manipulates people and events. Which is why I communicate less with an old and dear friend who lives near Orlando Florida and who responded thus when I emailed her to say we had prayed for her and her family in church this morning: "I have been asking God to turn this off ever since Hurricane Irma got to the Caribbean islands. I know He can since he created the Universe,but if he chooses not to, that this storm, which has hurt so many, will draw the hearts of many to Him consistently, not only when they are afraid."
I simply cannot grasp how an intelligent person in this day can think like this. My concept of God is of a constant presence, which is a spirit of unfailing love, which will surround me – or my friend – whatever eventuates.

Can't say I have a problem with either your prayer, or your friend's response. I have never thought of God as someone who only hands out candy to those who ask nicely. S/He is infinite so therefore can be appealed to in an infinite number of ways.

Trying to figure out the 'what's' and why's of it all, (not just destructive weather events), seems to be a pointless exercise in scrambling the brain.
I did consider making the 8 mile car trip to church this morning, in order to pray for globally warmed oceans to stop producing supercharged hurricanes. The irony detector kicked in so I opted for a lie-in instead.

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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@SusanDoris. Everything in the universe functions according to the laws of physics. The conception of the universe doesn't. It's origin transcends physics. The natural. Something creates universes. Always has. Inexhaustibly. From eternity. That's not natural by any nature that we know. And whatever conceives universes, conceives them rational. Not random. Unless one claims the anthropic principle to an even more insane degree. That rational, law abiding universes arise alongside non. And worse that anything can happen. Anything. All at once. Everywhere. But doesn't. Anywhere. So one must believe that all universes are quantum mechanical and only vary in their dimensionless constants, if at all, in which the anthropic principle operates rationally.

Odd that.

And nobody here believes in gods. We believe in God.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
Shipmate
# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Very interesting as always, but I have to ask, why believe in a god then since the natural world, in a natural universe, does what it does just as it would if nobody believed in any god of any kind? But I realise this is an unfair question on a forum where only a small minority are atheist and am not looking for a direct or indirect answer in this thread.
whatever prayers are said for and about the hurricane, the earthquake and all the other dreadful events where one set of people deliberately harms another, such prayers are a person's focused thoughts and will probably help the person cope better, and , if in a position to do so, help in practical ways.

I don't think there are many people here who believe that God moves hurricanes around to reward or punish people. Although on the TV news, there seemed to be quite a few.

I think you are right about the benefits of prayer; after that, I suppose there is a kind of deism, and also a psychological fit with some Christian symbolism. Good enough, I suppose.

--------------------
no path

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Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Martin--

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And nobody here believes in gods. We believe in God.

That's rather a broad statement. Why assume no Shipmates believe in a different Supreme Being? Or that there are no polytheistic Shipmates?

Or is this, however unintentionally, atheistic humanist Shipmate vs. the one, true, solid block of Christian Shipmates, for whom you speak?

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17537 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Susan--

(waves at Susan)

Goodness, a Christian instructing you on how to be a proper atheist!
[Biased]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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roybart
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# 17357

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quote:
I'm on Florida's southwest coast. Personally, I'm just glad that the whole state won't be devastated by Irma. Things will be bad enough for all of us, but I'm happy for your safer situation, roybart.

Our prayers have been for the safety of all of us. The tongue in cheek prayer has been for Irma to Just. Stop. and disappear. I have to believe that God does want us to stay safe. And I don't think God would deliberately move a storm to save some and destroy others.

Happy that you are safe too, jedijudy. On the whole the state has done a lot better than some of the more dire tv commentators predicted last night. (I'm thinking of you, CNN.) My prayers, it turns out, included more gratitude than I expected. The dedication and skill of the first responders, police, government workers, and others charged with public welfare were marvelous to behold. On the whole, I've emerged from this hurricane with a renewed respect for the power of nature and a much greater admiration for my fellow citizens and what they are capable of achieving.

[ 12. September 2017, 02:14: Message edited by: roybart ]

--------------------
"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

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Martin60
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# 368

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@GK. Of the theists here, none believe in a lesser god level on down. Some atheists here do. And believe that the rational supernatural, metaphysical universe generator is just an extension of natural and physical. As good an ignorant superstition as any other I suppose.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Martin--

And you've polled every Shipmate, have you? Even polled all the ones who post?

Nice that you can be so open-minded about "ignorant superstitions".

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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Yes in the statistical sense and it is isn't it. Redundant phraseology I realise.

[ 12. September 2017, 08:30: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Martin--

I don't know what statistics you mean. But, respectfully, given all the spiritual journeying *you've* done, perhaps you could cut other people some slack?
[Angel]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17537 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
@SusanDoris. Everything in the universe functions according to the laws of physics. The conception of the universe doesn't. It's origin transcends physics.

Thank you for your reply. However you look at the definitions of the word ‘conception, the implication is that there is an idea formed before being carried out. If its ‘origin transcends’ physics, then you are faced with the infinite regression question of where the origin originated, aren’t you?! As far as I know, no-one has come up with observations that lead to something, some actual thing or process, which does not ‘obey’ the laws of physics.
quote:
The natural. Something creates universes. Always has. Inexhaustibly. From eternity. That's not natural by any nature that we know. And whatever conceives universes, conceives them rational. Not random. Unless one claims the anthropic principle to an even more insane degree.
Sounds perfectly natural to me and the idea that there is a conceiver of the idea is just that – an idea, an entirely human idea.
quote:
That rational, law abiding universes arise alongside non. And worse that anything can happen. Anything. All at once. Everywhere. But doesn't. Anywhere. So one must believe that all universes are quantum mechanical and only vary in their dimensionless constants, if at all, in which the anthropic principle operates rationally.
Quite a few words flung in there!! ‘quantum’ of course; ‘law-abiding universes’ – it was humans who worked out what the laws were from observations and recorded data, universes do not obey laws that are already made elsewhere or by some other X or Y; ‘dimensionless constants’ – what are those?
quote:
Odd that.
Certainly is!
quote:
And nobody here believes in gods. We believe in God.
How do you decide it is the right one?

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2902 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Susan--

(waves at Susan)

Goodness, a Christian instructing you on how to be a proper atheist!
[Biased]

*Waves back, with a big smile!*
It's fun, isn't it?! [Smile]

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2902 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I don't think there are many people here who believe that God moves hurricanes around to reward or punish people. Although on the TV news, there seemed to be quite a few.

I think you are right about the benefits of prayer; after that, I suppose there is a kind of deism, and also a psychological fit with some Christian symbolism. Good enough, I suppose.

Thank you – I like what you say.

[ 12. September 2017, 11:11: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2902 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
@GK. Of the theists here, none believe in a lesser god level on down. Some atheists here do. And believe that the rational supernatural, metaphysical universe generator is just an extension of natural and physical. As good an ignorant superstition as any other I suppose.

I lack belief in anything which has the adjective ‘supernatural’ qualifying it!

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2902 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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Deleted - posted twice by mistake.

[ 12. September 2017, 11:29: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by roybart:
quote:
I'm on Florida's southwest coast. Personally, I'm just glad that the whole state won't be devastated by Irma. Things will be bad enough for all of us, but I'm happy for your safer situation, roybart.

Our prayers have been for the safety of all of us. The tongue in cheek prayer has been for Irma to Just. Stop. and disappear. I have to believe that God does want us to stay safe. And I don't think God would deliberately move a storm to save some and destroy others.

Happy that you are safe too, jedijudy. On the whole the state has done a lot better than some of the more dire tv commentators predicted last night. (I'm thinking of you, CNN.) My prayers, it turns out, included more gratitude than I expected. The dedication and skill of the first responders, police, government workers, and others charged with public welfare were marvelous to behold. On the whole, I've emerged from this hurricane with a renewed respect for the power of nature and a much greater admiration for my fellow citizens and what they are capable of achieving.
[Big Grin] [Axe murder] [Big Grin] [Votive]

--------------------
The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
@GK. Of the theists here, none believe in a lesser god level on down. Some atheists here do. And believe that the rational supernatural, metaphysical universe generator is just an extension of natural and physical. As good an ignorant superstition as any other I suppose.

I lack belief in anything which has the adjective ‘supernatural’ qualifying it!
You obviously don't.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
@SusanDoris. Everything in the universe functions according to the laws of physics. The conception of the universe doesn't. It's origin transcends physics.

Thank you for your reply. However you look at the definitions of the word ‘conception, the implication is that there is an idea formed before being carried out. If its ‘origin transcends’ physics, then you are faced with the infinite regression question of where the origin originated, aren’t you?! As far as I know, no-one has come up with observations that lead to something, some actual thing or process, which does not ‘obey’ the laws of physics.
quote:
The natural. Something creates universes. Always has. Inexhaustibly. From eternity. That's not natural by any nature that we know. And whatever conceives universes, conceives them rational. Not random. Unless one claims the anthropic principle to an even more insane degree.
Sounds perfectly natural to me and the idea that there is a conceiver of the idea is just that – an idea, an entirely human idea.
quote:
That rational, law abiding universes arise alongside non. And worse that anything can happen. Anything. All at once. Everywhere. But doesn't. Anywhere. So one must believe that all universes are quantum mechanical and only vary in their dimensionless constants, if at all, in which the anthropic principle operates rationally.
Quite a few words flung in there!! ‘quantum’ of course; ‘law-abiding universes’ – it was humans who worked out what the laws were from observations and recorded data, universes do not obey laws that are already made elsewhere or by some other X or Y; ‘dimensionless constants’ – what are those?
quote:
Odd that.
Certainly is!
quote:
And nobody here believes in gods. We believe in God.
How do you decide it is the right one?

The bestest is the rightest.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Martin--

I don't know what statistics you mean. But, respectfully, given all the spiritual journeying *you've* done, perhaps you could cut other people some slack?
[Angel]

Statistical sampling GK. No one here embraces a lesser god or two. Which people? Atheists who are not atheistic of any God of mine whilst being irrationally superstitious?

[ 12. September 2017, 20:43: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Susan--

quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
*Waves back, with a big smile!*
It's fun, isn't it?! [Smile]

LOL. Enjoy yourself! [Biased]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17537 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
@GK. Of the theists here, none believe in a lesser god level on down. Some atheists here do. And believe that the rational supernatural, metaphysical universe generator is just an extension of natural and physical. As good an ignorant superstition as any other I suppose.

I lack belief in anything which has the adjective ‘supernatural’ qualifying it!
You obviously don't.
I 'obviously don't' what? Please clarify.

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2902 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
@GK. Of the theists here, none believe in a lesser god level on down. Some atheists here do. And believe that the rational supernatural, metaphysical universe generator is just an extension of natural and physical. As good an ignorant superstition as any other I suppose.

I lack belief in anything which has the adjective ‘supernatural’ qualifying it!
You obviously don't.
I 'obviously don't' what? Please clarify.
"...lack belief in anything which has the adjective ‘supernatural’ qualifying it!"

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
lack belief in anything which has the adjective ‘supernatural’ qualifying it!"

Okay, name what it is you thinkI believe which is qualified by the adjective supernatural, or anything you think I believe which people say is supernatural.

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2902 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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The conceiver of universes.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16325 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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