Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Sing a Prayer.

The hard part for theists is admitting they have become the moral source they wanted to worship. In fact, they are now in a position to condemn their god as immoral based on secular principles of human rights. Kwinters

lt is not hard at all.  I know some Catholics and many Jews that for all intents and purposes are atheists.  It was a good Catholic that told me that the "Thy God" of the First Great Commandment is whatever you want Herm to be.  She describes her God as an inner voice that she can converse with as a friend to help her decide what to do in difficult situations.  It is easier to call it "Mary" than Raggedy Ann, because Raggedy Ann actually has a form.  (I did ask.)  Her indoctrination makes Mary the mother of all good things, and as a mother it is easy to transfer that voice inside her head from mom to Mary.

For many of the Jews I know, (a biased sample) God is an ancient guide no longer relavent to the modern world, and is nothing but a word in a prayer.  Comfort food for inner peace.  The Shema, commonly the Deuteronomy 6:4-9, is a centering ritual where G-d and "God's Kingdom" is whatever you want to make of your life. 

I have sung the Shema and Ave Marias, reverently as is mandatory to convey the meaning to believers, and using the interpretation of God from my friends I have no problem as an atheist attaching my own personal meaning to the word.  Mostly Pantheist, APOD is my worship focus, although in the Sierra, the "Range of Light" dominates.  If this makes me a believer, so be it.  I am in good company. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader

After a few quick searches with the terms “pastor” and “atheist,” he discovered that a cottage industry of atheist outreach groups had grown up in the past few years. Within days, he joined an online network called the Clergy Project, created for clerics who no longer believe in God and want to communicate anonymously through a secure Web site.

Early in the article it mentioned that he couldn't pray for a parishioner in difficulty. This is typical of converts of every sort. Many atheists resent prayers and resent being asked to pray.

As a life long atheist, with many good friends who are devout, I have learned both to pray and recieve prayers without hypocricy. I learned this when a devout Catholic friend was in a profoundly tragic situation and asked me for help in the form of prayer. He knew I was an atheist but also had been to performances where I had sung catholic prayers. He said "Please pray for me. God even listens to atheist prayers. They are special for God since he gets so few of them."

I chose appropriate prayers for all involved and sang them as devoutly and meaningfully as I could. Certainly as far as I was concerned I was singing into a void, but a void which contained my friend's God. Where is the hypocricy here?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Petitionary Prayers

Prayer and Magic - Science & Religion - Beliefnet Community:
common sense alone says that most people wouldn't go to the trouble of asking if they didn't think it would work.

"Arguments based on common sense are generally false. Sense is not common and when people are using what sense they have about things that they don't understand the chances are that their sense is misleading them.

In my experience petitionary prayers that are a part of a liturgy or a religious ritual are not expected to be answered. The rituals and liturgies have a powerful unifying value for those who choose to believe. Whether this unity is with God or with their religious fellowship is really unimportant. But the petitionary prayers are integral to the ritual and liturgy not because of expectation of fulfillment but as a promise that God or the religious fellowship is listening and paying attention. Prayer circles have the same function. It is not that God will respond if a lot of people care, it is the fact that a lot of people care that is important.

I have spent thousands of hours studying and singing liturgical works not because I believe that any of the prayers contained therein will be answered, obviously since I do not believe in the referent God, but I learn much about how people respond to things like death and tragedy that they cannot understand. The prayer for peace Dona Nobis Pacem that ends the mass is at least ironic as Beethoven reminds us in the Missa Solemnis with the martial interlude. Do people really believe that God will give us peace in our time or in our lives? If not why have they been praying for just that every Sunday since the Nicene Creed was adopted? What does common sense have to say about that? "

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Atheist Prayers

The supernatural??? - Science & Religion - Beliefnet Community:
yet as we know, knowledge doesn't increase by becoming more and more vague, and ending up with a heap of improbable possibilities to pick and choose from for the sake of personal meaning.

"Do you worship knowledge, or the increase of it? Does knowledge provide personal meaning for your life? Does the heap of improbable possibilities surrounding the origin of the universe or the development of humanity and other existing species help you pick and choose for the sake of personal meaning?

I have spent a lifetime of hard work creating a coherent philosophy to provide personal meaning and moral guidance for my self and by extension those I share it with. For many good reasons some people choose a prepackaged version of both. I see no good reason to argue with them about it. I don't particularly like dark chocolate. Is my preference for caramel worth arguing about? If God answers questions others don't want to deal with why not say 'God bless you?' It doesn't hurt a bit. It is not even an admission that God exists. Ever since a very good Catholic friend of mine in a time of devastating trouble asked me to pray for him with the admonition that God even listens to atheists, I have prayed for theists when requested. I even pray for some without being asked when I think they could use a prayer. It costs me exactly nothing. I am thinking of them anyway and of ways I might help. The prayer was not in lieu of more realistic help, but if they felt better because of it, why would I deny them the comfort of a familiar placebo.

If God tells them to impose their beliefs on others that is a totally different matter. They will find I am a rather formidable opponent, with no scruples about destroying their beliefs if possible. Due to my study of religions I am well equipped to do so. The destruction of a pernicious belief is beneficial to society, and in accord with my personal meaning in life."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Are We Gods?

Are We Gods? :

"Yeah, and I must be a god because when I pray I know that I'm talking to myself."

The quote of the week from beliefnet. Thanks "Namchuck"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

On prayer

In my email:

A friend sent me an email this morning that was a chain letter about prayer.
The idea is that you say a prayer to bless the person who sent you the
email and then you forward the email to at least 5 of your friends who
will pray for you.

I didn't want to forward that particular email as it had pictures and
content that I didn't feel the need to share, especially as I am not a
member of the particular religion.
However, I sure did pray for her and I like the idea of "pay it
forward" email prayer.
A great deal of research has been done on the power of prayer and I
believe in it, even though I am still working on defining my specific
religious beliefs and spiritual identity.

I thought it would be nice to start again using my own thoughts and
words and make it personal and ask all of you to pray for me and mine
I don't care if you forward this email on as it is or write one of
your own, but I think the internet prayer circle is a neat idea.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

To Bob on the death of his father.


In times like this my thoughts turn to two sources for the bittersweet comfort of being alive after the death of a loved one.

The first is Bob DeCormier's Legacy Which I hope you are familiar with. I will share a recording when you return if you wish.

The other is Forrest Church's stock sermon on Being Alive and Having to Die. made more poignant at this time with the final recurrence of his cancer.

My thoughts are with you and although Unitarians don't pray very well I am working on a prayer theory that might work even for us. I will try it out for you.

With love and hugs,

OBEs and the community consciousness.

God Helmets OBEs Illusions and a Cosmic Presence. - Beliefnet Forums: "the mind stays right where it is in the brain of the stressed individual, and it taps into the collective consciousness in an attempt to find a solution. The collective consciousness may be a shared resource made more available to the stressed person by the empathy of caregivers who may be actively seeking the community consciousness to direct assistance to the stressed individual. This is commonly known as prayer, but we don't want to upset the skeptics by a God word in our explanation."