Your Garage botysf16 Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Explore Premium Audio Fire TV Stick Sun Care Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis UniOrlando Segway miniPro
Customer Discussions > Religion forum

If you ever wondered why god has never answered your prayers...


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1901-1925 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:02:45 PM PDT
Bryan Borich says:
It's in you.....

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:11:54 PM PDT
BB: It is, it's just not the answer you desire, which doesn't change the point.

RR: And what is the point? That you refuse to answer simple, direct questions? A human being is NOT evidence of God. You are leaning on that old creationist standby, the argument from incredulity.

BB: Let's try it another way:

Tat Tvam Asi

RR: And you said earlier, "And I did write comprehensible english [sic]." LOL!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:13:53 PM PDT
In response to my question, "Where is your evidence that most of the universe isn't physical?"

Bryan Borich wrote, "It's in you..... "

To this I will reply, "In what alternate universe does this make any sense?"

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:25:53 PM PDT
Bryan Borich says:
All of them.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:26:41 PM PDT
Bryan Borich says:
Well I figured if the english weren't working, maybe Sanskrit would.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:47:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 6:53:40 PM PDT
S. Friedman says:
Thanks Bryan
So then what I'm seeing is you and some others kinda talking past one another, since the 'god' you describe doesn't match the 'god' most commonly discussed on these threads.

Forgetting that for a moment, and going back to the thread title, does the god you describe actually do anything for us, particularly in response to prayer, praise, worship or rituals?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:50:40 PM PDT
Bryan Borich says:
>So then I guess the issue is that you and others are kinda talking past one another,

Sometimes I like letting people assume things, what can I say?

>does the god you describe actually do anything for us, particularly in
>response to prayer, praise, worship or rituals?

No, he/she doesn't need to, it was arranged that we could provide everything we need for ourselves. Part of the 'Free Will' deal.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 7:05:20 PM PDT
S. Friedman says:
Well no offense meant, but to me, your god sounds like nothing more than the answer to a trivia question.

If this god just set things in motion and then left us to ourselves, then I don't see what it matters whether or not it exists. Hopefully you're getting something more out of it.
Your reply to S. Friedman's post:
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
 

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 7:36:32 PM PDT
Bryan Borich says:
>If this god just set things in motion and then left us to ourselves, then I don't see
>what it matters whether or not it exists. Hopefully you're getting something
>more out of it.

It only matters in that it is the goal.

What I get out of it, is that in the end there is much more knowledge to gain about the nature of the universes and how to manipulate them.

That plus, you/we are god......

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 7:57:38 PM PDT
Good Mourning Sunshine

Hello Vicki, I do not find prayer as simply a request for things that I want or need, no more than my conversations with my husband are to make my wishes known. I do share my heart with him and sometimes I want to express my wishes too. Prayer to me is really a relationship. It is my way of knowing God and how he cares for me. It is listening and speaking. God speaks to me through many things. My thoughts, my feelings, other people and creation itself. Just like a relationship with people grow over the years so has my relationship with God grown. Furthermore I have experienced unexplainable things, which I attribute to God and his presence in my life. Prayer does change things. Me for one. I hope God continues to change me until I pass from this life into the next. God bless you and everyone in this forum.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 7:57:51 PM PDT
Good Mourning Sunshine

Hello Vicki, I do not find prayer as simply a request for things that I want or need, no more than my conversations with my husband are to make my wishes known. I do share my heart with him and sometimes I want to express my wishes too. Prayer to me is really a relationship. It is my way of knowing God and how he cares for me. It is listening and speaking. God speaks to me through many things. My thoughts, my feelings, other people and creation itself. Just like a relationship with people grow over the years so has my relationship with God grown. Furthermore I have experienced unexplainable things, which I attribute to God and his presence in my life. Prayer does change things. Me for one. I hope God continues to change me until I pass from this life into the next. God bless you and everyone in this forum.

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 9:30:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 7:06:47 AM PDT
Well, here we are, nearly 2000 posts on, and it boils down to a number of participants who simply ignore arguments they don't like and repeatedly post assertions that have been entirely refuted, and others who simply show up and without reading anything that has been said, also post assertions that have been entirely refuted.

So in summarising the arguments that have been brought up to answer the original posting there's very little new to say, as very little new has been presented in the way of argument. But to make sure there's no ambiguity, the questions those who assert that there is supernatural intervention in human affairs need to answer have been separately listed.

The religious have made assorted assertions concerning supernatural intervention in human affairs:

Whatever is prayed for is always obtained

Whatever is prayed for is only sometimes obtained

Prayer is not about asking for things at all, but only about telepathic conversations with the supernatural

There is never any answer to prayer.

Clearly only one of these can be true, and the religious who have commented here have so far been unable to demonstrate it's anything but the last. But let's take them in order.

1) Whatever is prayed for is always obtained, and this is evidence that there is a supernatural force of some kind sitting at the end of the telepathic telephone.

This is a claim that runs contrary to all available evidence, and one that even most religious people would dispute (although probably not on sound grounds). But there is testimony in newspapers worldwide on a daily basis that prayer has failed to avert disasters on all kinds of scales from the very personal to the nationwide state of emergency kind.

It can only be assumed that those who make the claim that all prayers are answered (regardless of by which particular sky fairy or fairies) are only making very modest requests indeed, none of which have any noticeable effect on wider society or involve demonstrably supernatural events rather than the everyday, or which are not indistinguishable from standard everyday cause and effect.

If all genuine prayers by the devout are answered then it can only be assumed that the devout are positively demonic, failing as they do to relieve the suffering of the innocent on any significant scale, but simply watching it all happen when they might take action (just as all the omnipotent supernatural beasties do).

If their claims were to be taken at all seriously these people should all be found and locked up for crimes against humanity. Imagine allowing cancer to continue if you could wish it out of existence at no personal cost whatsoever. Imagine if you could prevent the starvation of millions but you stood back and watched. Imagine you could do away with tsunamis but you stand back while 30,000 Japanese including helpless infants are picked up by waves, smashed against buildings, and drowned.

Clearly the religious do frequently pray for the widespread relief of human suffering but do so without any visible result, which sometimes brings the response that just because the answer isn't the one they were looking for doesn't mean it didn't come.

In its simpler interpretation this is no different from saying that sometimes there are results and sometimes not, and the objections to this are elaborated below.

In its stronger form, that a super-fairy is beyond human understanding and thus so are its motives and actions, all further discussion becomes unnecessary. By definition the super-fairy is unknowable, so we can't detect its actions in the world, assume any motivation for good or ill, or have any clue what is going on. Any conversation about super-beasties is meaningless, prayer is pointless since any response is undetectable or unintelligible, and belief amounts to entirely empty and pointless claims that there is/are some entity/ies whose presence we cannot detect and about which there's nothing we can know. It doesn't get much sillier.

QUESTIONS for those who believe that all prayers are answered:

Why haven't you prayed for something of widespread benefit to the innocent, deserving (however defined), and suffering, such as the end of diseases for which the human race has yet to find cures, relief from famine, and end to natural disasters? What kind of hideous cruelty lets millions writhe in agony when this might be averted at no cost? Do you lack imagination, sympathy for fellow human beings, or are you simply vicious?

Either you haven't asked, or your particular deity cannot perform such miracles, or your deity can perform such miracles whether requested or not, but chooses not to do so, and is profoundly evil. Which is it?

2) Whatever is prayed for is only sometimes obtained, but this is still evidence that there is a supernatural force of some kind sitting at the end of the telepathic telephone.

The problem with this is that the so-called evidence is indistinguishable from simple random events in the everyday world that require no supernatural intervention to explain.

Whether I pray to a particular sky pixie, to a different sky pixie, to a whole set of sky pixies, to an inanimate object, just vocalise a desperate desire for some benefit whether to myself or others, or don't say anything to anyone or anything at all, the results are exactly the same.

Either:

What I want to happen happens

Part of what I want to happen happens

Nothing of what I want to happen happens.

Welcome to the real world in which events just take their course according to well-established natural laws.

There is therefore no reason whatsoever to presume that anything more than we can observe in the everyday world exists, and no evidence from prayer that it does so. If a super-beastie's intervention took some form in which natural laws were obviously suspended (child saved from being run over by dematerialising from tarmac and rematerialising in mother's arms; a loaves-and-fishes deal relieving famine amongst tens of thousands in some benighted corner of the world) we'd have something to go on.

But events that are routinely claimed to be evidence of miraculous intervention are no different from those that occur in the natural world. A lucky escape is just a lucky escape. Lucky escapes are no surprise: what would be really jaw-dropping would be if lucky escapes never happened at all.

The real world, with its standard well-understood cause-and-effect mechanisms involving decidedly un-supernatural matter and energy is sufficient explanation for events, and no evidence for anything out of the ordinary at all.

Some claim that all the lucky escapes are deity-generated, and the failure to provide prayed-for escapes is due to glitches in the prayer mechanism: the failure to ask the right deity, the failure to wear the right special clothes, to mutter the right magic spells, to mutter them in the right juju house, to wash properly before asking, to get the juju man in the funny hat involved, etc. etc.

What kind of omniscient and omnipotent deity says, 'Tough! You're not wearing the magic underwear I require, so your five-year-old dies in cancer-induced agony over the next couple of days.' It would itself be psychotic to even want to communicate with such a creature, let alone worship it. Luckily there's no evidence here whatsoever for its existence.

QUESTIONS for those who hold that sometimes prayer works and sometimes it doesn't:

Imagine (as many scientists now think is true, but that's neither here nor there) that there is a range of alternative universes, in some of which there are supernatural forces and in some of which there aren't. Is there one, even with no sign of any deity, that wouldn't offer exactly the same 'evidence' for the intervention of the supernatural in the everyday? What reason, then, is there to believe the supernatural is present in the particular universe we occupy?

Since a world without the supernatural looks exactly the same as one without it, with everything explicable by ordinary cause and effect, what need or reason is there to invent the supernatural?

If you believe that your particular deity sometimes refuses to answer because e.g., you haven't knelt in the right way or quoted the right verse from some 'holy' text, how do you explain its morals: e.g. letting innocents die in agony simply because you weren't wearing the right hat when you came to ask it to provide the relief it already knew without you asking was needed? Please explain.

Why do the responses to prayer that you claim occur, but for which you can provide no proof, never take the form of overtly supernatural acts and never happen on a large scale, but only resemble exactly small-scale events that might happen by chance? Why are these in fact not just small-scale events that happen by chance? Why is there never any large scale supernatural event that would place the responsibility for explanation on sceptics for a change?

3) Prayer is not about asking for things at all, but only about telepathic conversations with the supernatural. However these conversations are proof of the existence of the supernatural.

Clearly any conversation contains requests for responses to greetings and subsequent observations, so this claim is meaningless. Prayer often contains praise for the supernatural entity addressed (according to some it bizarrely demands such prayer above all other forms) and other elements, but for most religious people it also contain requests. Protection from harm is supposed by most to be one of the key benefits of belief in an omnipotent beastie. Is an entirely indifferent super-beastie really worthy of respect and worship?

But unfortunately, the telepathic conversation, inaudible to anyone else, is no evidence of anything except wishful thinking at best, no different in any way to a child's conversation with an imaginary friend; it's psychosis or brain damage at worst, perhaps particularly if some demanding voice intrudes unexpectedly and threateningly.

Those who regard this as sufficient evidence that meaningful communication takes place with the supernatural need to realise that it cannot possibly count for anyone else, not least since if someone else is hearing the voices of different super-beasties from their own, and ones that deny the existence of their own super-beastie, their own first response is to deny the reality of the in-head voices of others. What's needed here are psychiatry, drugs, or just the achievement of full adulthood (or some or all of these). No one else can reasonably be expected to take such claims seriously.

QUESTIONS for those who believe prayer to be nothing more than conversations with some deity or other:

If you believe that hearing a voice in the head is sufficient proof of the existence of your particular flavour of deity, why isn't it sufficient proof of a different deity when someone else hears a different voice? If you refuse to accept someone else's account, then why should anyone be expected to accept yours?

4) There is never any answer to prayer.

On this we can agree, although we may differ on whether this is evidence of some kind that there are in fact no super-fairies. It is certainly evidence that either there is no omnipotent super-fairy, or if there is then that it is utterly evil. If it is in fact good, then it clearly isn't omnipotent. In the face of vast, unalleviated human misery, you can't have it both ways.

We condemn anyone who murders another human being, but if there's an omnipotent super-deity of some kind it murders us all, either quickly and often agonisingly through causes it could easily prevent, or slowly over a four-score-years-and-ten or so period. As the creator of all things it is responsible for cancer, heart attacks, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslips, tornados, venomous creatures, parasites, and preventable accidents to the innocent of all kinds.

And it doesn't matter how fervently however many people pray to however many innumerable numbers of sky pixies the only thing that ever makes a difference to the death toll are scientific progress in the development of medicine, the forecasting of natural disasters, and the application of technology.

QUESTIONS for those whole believe that their deity never answers prayer:

This is a safe position, since there's no evidence that any supernatural force ever acts. So what evidence is there for any of the many deities' existence when the universe functions perfectly well without any necessity for them? Is a deity standing on life's sidelines and watching all the misery without intervening in any way worth of worship?

Either address the arguments set out, answer the questions, provide logically well-formed arguments to support your positions, provide cogent evidence of supernatural intervention in human affairs, or spend your time on your feet trying to make a meaningful practical difference to your own life and the lives of others, not on your knees frantically wishing things were different.

Unless you can actually answer the questions posed and demonstrate the existence of supernatural. But all the evidence of the last 2000 posts is that you can do nothing of the kind, and that you'll just ignore these arguments because you are incapable of forming reasoned responses to them that will arrive at the conclusions you desire.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 9:37:42 PM PDT
Bryan Borich says:
Your assertions are based on certain assumptions that are incorrect (even by the standards you use in asking).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 10:09:13 PM PDT
I too struggle with all the suffering in this world. I do believe that one day our God, both yours and mine whether you believe in God or not, will bring peace on earth to all. I pray for the suffering and the injustices to stop and trust that one day your eyes will see what my words can not convey. God Bless you now and always.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 6:23:05 AM PDT
Vicki says:
Dear Critical Thinker,

You asked :"Can't the omnipotent master of all space and time be reasonably expected to take care of a simple thing like a preemie?? Or a broken arm? Or a wound that's gushing blood??!?!?"

It would be helpful, for the sake of discussion, to understand the Christian worldview and how it informs the way that we live on a daily basis, facing the various crises that non-believers face as well.

One of those elements to understand is this-
God is not at the beck and call of the believer. He does not smooth all the wrinkles of life that come our way. He has different purposes in mind than to be our wish-fulfiller.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 6:30:36 AM PDT
Vicki says:
Dear Jack,

It sounds to me like you think that there is no way for us humans to find truth. Or, maybe truth is not important in your worldview?

We were created with the ability to reason, to use imagination to picture what we cannot build ourselves, to look beyond the material. So much of life that matters is immaterial (such as beauty, ideas, love, spirit, cohesiveness).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 6:37:36 AM PDT
Irish Lace says:
"It sounds to me like you think that there is no way for us humans to find truth."

Define "truth," please. Jack was, if I am not mistaken, discussing "facts."

"We were created with the ability to reason, to use imagination to picture what we cannot build ourselves, to look beyond the material. "

But if you consider supernatural as a "reason" based on imagination or beliefs, rather than the evidence, then... how is this different from "make stuff up"?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 6:43:27 AM PDT
Vicki says:
Dear Angela,

I agree prayer is a lot more than making requests of God, although He wants us to make our requests known to Him.

Prayer is also about commitment to God, letting go of self, fellowship with God, learning what He loves, getting to know Him, acknowledging how He works in our lives, sharing every part of our lives with Him, answering His invitation to join in His kingdom work and being equipped by Him to do so, resting in Him, receiving His grace, love, strength, courage, and comfort. And probably some more things that I have forgotten at the moment.

I agree that relationship with God does have a transforming effect on us!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 6:48:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 9:42:25 AM PDT
> I pray for the suffering and the injustices to stop and trust that one day your eyes will see what my words can not convey.

'I don't have any answers to these questions and can produce neither logic nor evidence to support my position which in fact not even I understand. I don't think; and I don't think you should think either.

Actually I'm not really here to contribute anyway but only to spam a link for my self-published e-book of fairy tale fantasy brainlessness.'

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 7:07:30 AM PDT
Vicki says:
Dear Irish Lace,

You said :"Jack was, if I am not mistaken, discussing "facts." "

Good point. But isn't it part of the human experience to look beyond mere facts and into their meaning for us and asking the "why" questions and the "where do I fit in" questions?

You said :"But if you consider supernatural as a "reason" based on imagination or beliefs, rather than the evidence, then... how is this different from "make stuff up"?"

I consider the existence of imagination, our perception of beauty and cohesiveness, our propensity to ask the "why" questions and "what's my purpose" questions as pointers that there is more to truth than the existence of the material.

I do believe that it is POSSIBLE to know the truth, to sort out the various stuff that has been made up from the stuff that is genuine.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 7:34:22 AM PDT
Vicki says:
Dear Critical Thinker,

You asked :"Can't the omnipotent master of all space and time be reasonably expected to take care of a simple thing like a preemie?? Or a broken arm? Or a wound that's gushing blood??!?!?"

It would be helpful, for the sake of discussion, to understand the Christian worldview and how it informs the way that we live on a daily basis, facing the various crises that non-believers face as well.

One of those elements to understand is this-
God is not at the beck and call of the believer. He does not smooth all the wrinkles of life that come our way. He has different purposes in mind than to be our wish-fulfiller. "<<

What you seem entirely incapable of grasping is that a universe in which **God is not at the beck and call** of the religious believer is EXACTLY the same sort of universe in which NO GOD EXISTS.

Your universe where --"Welp, sometimes stuff turns out good for me when I pray for things to happen, sometimes it does not turn out good for me."-- is 100% indistinguishable from a universe (iwo, the one we live in) where things happen simply by random chance, no "gods" involved.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 8:22:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 8:24:01 AM PDT
> Your universe where --"Welp, sometimes stuff turns out good for me when I pray for things to happen, sometimes it does not turn out good for me."-- is 100% indistinguishable from a universe (iwo, the one we live in) where things happen simply by random chance, no "gods" involved.

And not only that, but if the situation in which sometimes there are results and sometimes there aren't is taken as evidence of supernatural interference in human affairs, then even if we invented a model universe and designed it (as we'd inevitably have to anyway) with no deities, it would still look to the occupants (those of them who refused to think about it for more than a second) on this basis as if there was supernatural intervention in human affairs, even though we'd specifically designed it without any. There are no possible universes in which ordinary events wouldn't, on this basis, be taken as evidence for the supernatural, even those in which there isn't any (which, of course, is anyway all of them).

This is rather fatal to the argument that occasional hit-or-miss responses to prayer is anything other than random chance.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 8:57:28 AM PDT
BB: All of them.

RR: Do you have anything of substance to offer or are you just playing juvenile games?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 8:58:17 AM PDT
So you can capitalize "Sanskrit" and not "English"?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 9:37:03 AM PDT
zato says:
P.R. Nevill-Hadley, meaningless, hardly. By being testable I am assuming that you mean verifiable by the scientific method--please correct me if I am wrong. But since the scientific method does not really prove anything, but only gives us a picture of what is finite (or objective, if you wish, meaning it exists within a set of defined parameters) according to the best of our knowledge (said parameters), I believe you are applying the wrong tool to the job, because our knowledge is always limited, and our parameters are always the products of limited experience. Also, the interpretation of evidence is not knowledge, which it seems most people (both theist and secularist alike) have forgotten. In short, prayer can only be proven effective through personal experience. For secularists to be debating whether prayer is objective (or effective) or not is what is probably meaningless, because prayer does not exist exclusively within the set of parameters that the modern secularist movement has established--basically, that God does not exist. It merely comes down to how you have set your parameters. The only logical path, then, is not having a set of defined parameters at all, but merely experiencing the universe around you and taking it for what it is. The problem with secularists (and theists, oftentimes) in regard to prayer is that they have decided that prayer is an either/or proposition (a Stock Delimma, in other words.)--either God answers all prayers or it means that He does not exist. It falls outside of most secularists' parameters that God, if he should exist, may answer some prayers and not others--for example, God gives you only what you need, not what you want (if what you want is what you need, then all the better, I suppose--but since most people hardly know what they want, little hope is expected that they actually know what they need). What this means is that unless a person is willing to accept that it is possible that what they believe is wrong, then any discussion with that person is meaningless, unless you like being a "yes man", that is. Any discussion in which the participants are willing to engage in the honest exchange of ideas has meaning. The problem with most of these Amazon forums (and most forums in general) is that most participants (secularists and theists alike, again) have confused their beliefs with knowledge and are mostly unwilling to accept the fact that what they believe always has the potential to be falsified, or that what they believe is untrue always has the potential to be proven real. My suggestion, therefore, would be to take Jesus's basic teaching to heart and just be nice to each other. But, of course, that is wishful thinking, because humans are mostly irrational creatures, (again, whether secularist or theist alike), and since kindness to people outside of one's community (within their set parameters, that is) appears to be a learned trait, I am, unfortunately, of the opinion that kindnes on a wide scale basis is unlikey--of course, I could be wrong, and hopefully I am.
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the Religion forum

 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  118
Total posts:  3552
Initial post:  Mar 9, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 22, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 3 customers

Search Customer Discussions