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Old 06-04-2010, 09:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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@ Kate

Well, I think there's a fundamental difference between a person praying to god to fulfill a need and a person self-motivating to achieve a goal.
While I agree that a positive attitude is more conducive to achieving a goal than a negative one, I think that a prayer for a goal to be achieved is the act of a person submitting that they can't do it on their own and admitting to god that they need his help. To arrive at the point where a person admits need of divine influence is to admit that they are incapable of doing it alone, which is negative thinking.
In essence, prayer itself is the antithesis of positive thinking and personal esteem in the regard you're speaking of.
True, if you conducted a prayer that was like "I want $1000" or "I want X to fall in love with me" or "I want my pregnancy test to be positive" or "I want to be cured of this fatal cancer" then that is very much the case.

But if your prayer is something like:

"I need the strength to overcome my addiction to nicotine," then by verbalising your problem you have identified that you need to overcome your addiction and to do this you are going to need strength. Thinking that God is giving you strength could muster up your own inner strength and help you to overcome the problem. Kind of like a placebo effect.

or if you said something in your prayer like:
"I need the motivation to finish this assignment so I don't fail," then you have recognised that the assignment needs to be completed in order for you to not fail, and that to do this you need motivation. Again, if you are under the impression that God has sent you motivation then you are probably more inclined to be motivated to finish the assignment. The fact that you have verbalised to yourself exactly what you need to do may also aid in working towards the goal.

I'm not saying this is something that happens every time somebody prays but just an idea...
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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@ Kate

Actually, you got it backwards in reference to what I was saying.
By no means is it reasonable to assume that a person praying for their cancer to be miraculously cured is a negative thinker. They don't have any control over their cancer. Positive thinking won't help their cancer. Medicine will go some way to help, and prayer does nothing but provide a supplemental factor to ease their mind.

But for someone who IS capable of controlling an outcome, like finishing an assignment or what have you, is selling themselves out by relegating the responsibility of providing motivation to achieve their goal to some external deity.
Placebo or not, this conditions a person to not see worth and ability in themselves and creates a dependency. Regardless of the outcome being positive, the methods of achieving it are just as important because self-confidence and esteem play major roles in a person's life and having the ability to stand on your own legs in all those areas affected is more important than simply thinking you've got a "life-line" in case things get tough. A big negative of that is the fact that if a person is dependent on god to help them achieve goals, then their behavior can be a negating factor if they start thinking that maybe their deeds have put them out of favor with god or made them less deserving for their prayer to be answered... which may cause them to not attempt to achieve their goal at all because they doubt their "support" will be awarded.

Ideally, in motivational aspects, yourself is your best bet because it's the one thing you have the most control of.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freebase Dali View Post
@ Kate

Actually, you got it backwards in reference to what I was saying.
By no means is it reasonable to assume that a person praying for their cancer to be miraculously cured is a negative thinker. They don't have any control over their cancer. Positive thinking won't help their cancer. Medicine will go some way to help, and prayer does nothing but provide a supplemental factor to ease their mind.

But for someone who IS capable of controlling an outcome, like finishing an assignment or what have you, is selling themselves out by relegating the responsibility of providing motivation to achieve their goal to some external deity.
Placebo or not, this conditions a person to not see worth and ability in themselves and creates a dependency. Regardless of the outcome being positive, the methods of achieving it are just as important because self-confidence and esteem play major roles in a person's life and having the ability to stand on your own legs in all those areas affected is more important than simply thinking you've got a "life-line" in case things get tough. A big negative of that is the fact that if a person is dependent on god to help them achieve goals, then their behavior can be a negating factor if they start thinking that maybe their deeds have put them out of favor with god or made them less deserving for their prayer to be answered... which may cause them to not attempt to achieve their goal at all because they doubt their "support" will be awarded.

Ideally, in motivational aspects, yourself is your best bet because it's the one thing you have the most control of.
Ah yeah, I gotcha. That is very true. A person praying to God to ask them for motivation in finishing their assignment would be completely different to a person using positive visualision to summon their own strength to finish the assignment.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yea there was a lot of extra info that didn't need to be included.
But it's spelled out for a wide audience.
I thought it was funny, but because I don't like milk, I pray to Satan.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So I suppose everything is simply coincidence. There would in that case be no fate, nothing happens for a reason, only cause and effect. So we should in fact worship a milkjug because prayers may not be instantaneous. Do you feel anything when you make a prayer to god? Are we brainwashed to worship our god over a milkjug?
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So I suppose everything is simply coincidence. There would in that case be no fate, nothing happens for a reason, only cause and effect.
pretty much. welcome to reality.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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"good luck"
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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So God is a milk jug? Or is he a spaghetti monster?

That last link made me laugh. Idk why, I just find something funny about WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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So God is a milk jug? Or is he a spaghetti monster?

That last link made me laugh. Idk why, I just find something funny about WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com.
Hahahaha... For real though.. Apparently god has a thing against amputees. He simply refuses to grow their limbs back for some odd reason.
But who knows... maybe we're all on our way to a divine trajectory of being a society where limbs are a thing of the past and we just kinda roll around...
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The way Christians see that their prayers are answered is just a small part of a large problem. If we zoom out a bit, one will see that the logic Christians use goes something like "I prayed for X, and X happened, so it must have been my prayer that caused X." The bigger problem, which is evident outside of religion, is the acceptance of the statement, "I preformed X, and Y happened, so X must be the cause of Y." It is the same logic people use when they throw a bunch of statistics out in order to show that "people who play violent video games will be violent." One can't make the leap from the occurrence of Y after X to X being the cause of Y. Correlation does not mean causation.

Prayer is to motivational tool as chewing tobacco is to cigarettes. Some people might be able to break their addictions and whatnot, but then they drag around faith-based contradictions in their lives, which I will assume that we all agree are not healthy. Why bother with prayer if you can just break the addiction with a healthy dose of self-esteem? Oh, that's right! Then we would start approving of pride and things like that. I am sure we don't want to start heading down that path . . .
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