Tuesday, 8 September 2009

what is the logic of prayer after a tragedy?

i know this is probably insensitive seeing how soo many people have died in "acts of god" lately, but i am a logical thinker....

I do acknowledge for those who do pray, that prayer *can* be a good thing, so if you do say prayers and you really believe in it, then good for you, but seriously, if you pray, stop reading right now......

ok... still reading...? don't blame me if i shatter your little world of prayer...

Prayer *does* allow people to heal - i've read about studies and shit man, it works! .. but not in the sense that god does any thing to intervene..

if I'm not mistaken, the healing properties in prayer are just merely the "power of positive thinking" .. if you say a prayer that somebody gets better when they are sick, or that they go to heaven when they die or you pray for yourself to get better when you are sick or you think you're going to die - you get the idea - but that allows the person praying to *relax*, to release some of that burden of whatever is troubling them, to overly simplify it.

When you say a prayer and you really believe that it makes a difference, these lucky people can reduce their stress levels, it's a release, and when somebody knows that somebody else is praying for them (**and** appreciates their prayers), their stress levels can reduce too, because they are being shown that somebody cares...

this is all a guess by the way, but when you stress over stuff, you tend to worry yourself sick, and prayer, meditation, reading a book, going for a walk, going to bed early, keeping warm rah rah rah, they all have healing effects. I'm no expert, but my doctor tells me not to stress... all the time.

but the prayer that i am talking about here is not the sort of prayer that is actually useful, this blog is about prayers to god *after* a tragedy has happened...

so... a rather long rant.... and again I don't mean to belittle individuals with their prayers for the current wave of natural disasters we are experiencing ...

mostly written 8 September 2009, mostly...

i've come up with two blogs here - one is very long - but then i realised that it could be totally simplified ... so a short version and a long original version


What's the point in praying to god at all? Do you think you can change god's mind? what is the point? You flatter yourself if you think your prayer will make a difference.. if god is going to smite you, your family, the country, or the fucking planet you are on - IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN - *regardless* of what *you* do.

A more useful "prayer" is to pray that you *yourself* have the strength to accomplish whatever it is that you find to be a challenge; that *you* wish those that are suffering, aren't suffering; in fact, christians are meant to pray for what they already have and not for things that they want .. so technically you can't pray for someone to get help, in fact, the christian themselves are supposed to provide help for those in need.

before you read the rest of this - the words "pray" or "prayer", apply to praying to god, just saying some thing into the air doesn't count as "prayer" - you have to believe in your particular god to be able to say a proper "prayer" in the first place. just saying, for clarity


recently we've seen a spate of air plane crashes and natural disasters and the like, and after these events, I've seen a whole bunch of "Tweets" over on twitter.com from supposedly caring individuals praying for these people who have died in tragic circumstances.

but let's think about this, why do they pray? why do these people pray *after* some nasty thing happens??? Isn't it too late to pray after the fact?

I'm not saying it would not appreciated by the people affected, and yes knowing people care about you in your time of need makes you feel a tiny little bit better and i'm not saying it's not nice to see people doing something that has some semblance of being human but... I saw dozens of tweets saying that people were "praying" *after* these disasters... what is that all about?

Let's examine this, shall we?

I made a tweet because I was annoyed at how everyone was making a big deal out of praying after the Air France flight 447 crash into the Atlantic and asked into the Tweether as to why people didn't pray beforehand to stop it happening at all.

The only actual reply i got was someone saying that they are not psychic and that i should have respect for those paying their respects. (she's probably right)

but what do these people pray about? i can only speculate about three basic things that they might say a prayer about:

pray that these people who have died tragically are going to go to heaven?

well that's nice, but what difference does it make now? if the person was going to heaven or hell, isn't that decided already? so what different action is god going to take even if this prayer is heard?

now don't get *offended* - but how up ones' self do you have to be, to pray for someone that has died already that you don't even *know*???

seriously? don't get me wrong, the sentiment is nice and such but --- logically --- what's the point? let me explain:

imagine a person is killed tragically by an 'act of god' in a mud slide or something and this person was going to go to hell because they ate pork after midnight on Ramadan or something - but then somebody goes and prays for them - does the person praying for this dead person assume the dead guy is going to heaven? why?

i mean, it's nice to wish someone to go to heaven regardless of who they were and what they did but, did they consider that their prayers are asking god to change its mind? if some person was struck down by an act of god, then uhmm, didn't god strike them down on purpose? i know it's a bit much to assume anyone struck down by god is not going to go to hell, but come on, if god strikes you down it's a fair bet it was done because you did no good, right? ... good people aren't generally deemed to have been struck down by god when they go...

so do these prayer-people think that god is going to spare some heathen from the fiery pits of hell for all eternity because *this* one particular believer said *their* one particular little prayer? do they think god is going to change its infinitely clever mind about something because of little old *them*? is it like a vote? if enough people pray to god, will god change its mind?

i'm sorry but I just don't *get* the idea of prayer *after* the shit has happened

i know people may honestly mean well with their prayers, but...

why do they think that they are *so* special that their prayer is saving someone from an eternity in hell? do they honestly think god's judgement is something to be bargained over?

oh... hang on... what if these poor souls that have died are not christian though? why ask to have *them* sent to christian heaven? I mean we keep hearing that non-Christians will not be going to heaven, so.... what happens when a plane load of Muslims crashes and a whole bunch of christians wish them a speedy trip to a christian heaven.... can they convert after they are dead, can they?

pray so that the loved ones of those who died don't suffer heartache for too long

well, that's thoughtful and nice and sweet too, but again do they think god is going to listen to them, and alter little minor things in the universe, just because *they* think that they have god's ear? why do they think god may just answer the things that *they* pray about?

do they think that feeling bad for these other people who have died tragically, is somehow being a compassionate person?

it's a nice sentiment, but again, if god is going to take away the hurt from someone, somehow, then god is going to do that anyway, is it not selfish to think that your prayer would make a difference? there is no point praying for the dead, christians should be out helping people in need that are NOT dead, all this time wasted on prayers for dead should have been used to *actually* do something useful for the living!

and these people who die in tragic circumstances, have those people praying for them considered that maybe god is *punishing* these people who've died in these horrific circumstances because they weren't good people in the first place?

maybe god made the tragic event happen in the first place because god was answering the prayers of someone who wanted evil people exterminated?!!

after all - the religious feverishly spout that god does everything for a reason. so plane crash, mudslide, tsunami, whatever - it's all an act of god if you listen to the religious and these disasters could very well be god enacting punishment upon evil people!

so given that, what do you think god is going to think of people praying for these evil heathens god has just struck down with their asking for lenience for these earthly scum, especially when it was their previous prayers asking that god rid the world of these evil people??!!

first you say a prayer to god, asking god to punish evil people, then you ask god to be nice to them, isn't that merely just pissing-off a jealous, vengeful god?

god would be sitting up there in heaven, going...make up your fucking mind already!

pray to god, so that god doesn't let this particular thing happen to them?

seems to me, that the *only* practical purpose of prayer *AFTER* the fact, is that you are reminding god, to not let the same sort of disaster happen to you.. Oh! Thank god I wasn't on a plane that crashed into the middle of the ocean!

Oh! Thank god I wasn't standing on the beach when that tsunami came in!

I don't think people are praying for other people at all when they pray, especially when they pray after the fact...

I mean, it's nice to give condolences, but prayer doesn't make a difference, *especially* after the fact, it can't possibly make a difference, because god has already made up its mind to smite them.


So... it would seem that prayer after the fact, is how you make yourself feel better about how that nasty thing wont happen to you because you've got god.


and this isn't about not having compassion, so if your feathers are ruffled, too bad...

maybe these people actually do mean well, but in my experience most christians with their flippant attitudes to other races and religions don't give a flying fuck about non-christians when they are alive, yet when a plane-load of non-christians die, they pray for their souls or that they go to a christian heaven? come on! hypocrite much?

there is no commitment to the dead either, you say a prayer for them and that's all you need to do. Can't say a prayer for the living, because that would be stupid seeing how you're supposed to be out actually helping those people in need.

if prayer actually does make a difference - then why the fuck aren't people asking god to not strike down people BEFORE it fucking happens? could it be that you can't be self congratulating before the tragic event, because if you tried, you'd look stupid...

"i prayed today that an asteroid wouldn't hit the earth... and guess what? we're still here... so all of you should say thank you because I might forget to say a prayer tomorrow"

If there is a god and praying actually does make a difference then the only "real" purpose for praying *after* a tragic event is to remind god that you still believe in it, just in case it's still in the smiting mood to smite something smiteable, like yourself.

But if you do pray and you still get smotified down by god, then you did not pray enough. or maybe... hehehehe... praying has nothing to do with anything because there is no god to hear your prayers? or even funnier... you *flatter* yourself to think that the supreme being of the entire universe and yourself are somehow "chummy" ... or indeed, that you've been praying to the god fantasy that you yourself have designed, which you now mistake for your own ego ...

The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception.--[Nietzsche]

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these are my rantings about religion - i speak fluent sarcasm - know this when you are reading and it will save you some heartache.