Monday, August 27, 2007

Does it matter that prayer doesn't work?

If you believe that "The Lord will do His will" regardless of what you pray for, it's weird to imagine you'd see prayer as comforting. Yet weirdly it seems like it is.

Please read my new post about this over on Main Street Plaza: Does it matter that prayer doesn’t work?

8 comments:

mxracer652 said...

I'm sure you've seen this, 5:25 in.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=8uBAPbOWLxc

Très à propos.

Freckle Face Girl said...

Very interesting...

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Hi there :-)

No, it does not matter that prayer does or doesn't work... for instance, many people who I talk to in our support group, pray constantly. It is comforting. It feels like someone is listening.

It helps... Now I have not heard of any one of them going into spontaneous remission. But they get help with finding good doctors, good medication, and good advocacy.

So yes, that might not be from God, but they become relaxed enough to get help.

;-) just think of it as a form of meditation... there are great health benefits to it (the meditation).

Yours Cyn

King Aardvark said...

Hey, thanks for the linky, CL!

Anyway, if prayer is just a placebo (and I'm not disparaging placebos; they can be pretty damn useful sometimes), why hold it in such reverance? Why not use another placebo, or just take your mind off your problems by going go-carting or something?

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Cynthia!!!

True, that's a good point. John Remy mentioned the same thing over on the MSP article.

Hey King Aardvark!!!

Your story (linked from my MSP post) is quite an interesting one. It seems like almost all of the believers who converse cordially with atheists here in blogspace are of the sophisticated variety, who don't think of prayer in terms of God granting them special favors. But it's important to remember that for a huge portion of believers prayer really is like a good luck talisman to bring good fortune...

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks MXRacer 652!!!

I just got around to watching the clip just now (I was having some trouble with my Internet connection). You're right -- it's relevant and quite funny!!! :D

hm-uk said...

Loved the Carlin clip...I'm not sure how I feel about the prayer issue. I think that like C Bagley said the relaxation is similar to meditation (oops, I almost typed 'medication' - Freudian slip, or what!?) and I think that that has a therapeutic effect. Also, if you have people who pray with/for you wouldn't it stand to reason that it might have a beneficial effect in the same manner that when you feel rejected/ostracized/hated, then you can suffer from that, physically? Just a thought. PS. Will you pray for me to get the two papers I need to get written for university? If anybody can make a difference to my ability to write I believe your good vibes will do the trick! Ha!

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Hm-Uk!!!

I think prayer does indeed have a psychological effect -- if I understand correctly, this has been demonstrated. I just mean that it doesn't have a supernatural effect.

Good luck on your papers!!! To any supernatural beings reading this: C'mon help him out!!!