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6 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2008 - 5:37PM #1
Blü
Posts: 25,176
.
Prayers are wish-lists.

The Lord's Prayer, for instance, says -

May all humans recognize your authority.
May your theocracy be instituted as world government.
May everything happen exactly as you wish.
May we not go hungry today.
May our creditors release us from our debts.
Don't let bad things happen to us.

(And so on).

This looks like a contract - I'll wish you the first three and you'll give me the second three.

Let's assume that our supplicant doesn't think prayer is idle or merely polite form.

Then this - and all other prayers that ask for something, however personal, however selfless - are attempts at magic: the obtaining of a desired result in reality merely by wishing.

Magic works for Harry Potter. As for reality ...
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2008 - 9:19PM #2
costrel
Posts: 6,226
Blü,

Have you ever read Marvin W. Meyer and Richard Smith's wonderful collection of English translations of early Christian magical texts?

http://books.google.com/books?id=h93iCQ … tian+Magic

The most eye-opening section is the section of Christian curses. Some of the strangest of all are the spells against "headless powers." And of course, one cannot forget all the sexual spells.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2008 - 2:16AM #3
Blü
Posts: 25,176
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costrel

Wow!  That's heartfelt stuff!

Yes, your point's well taken - a curse is just as much a magic wish as a prayer is.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2008 - 10:19AM #4
Kwinters
Posts: 22,566
I don't understand prayer as a form of petition.  It would seem to be asking gods to alter their will to conform to human will.

And don't Christians, with whom I'm most familiar, teach that people need to surrender themselves to the will of their god?

For instance, someone develops cancer.  Now, according to Christian beliefs, this must be god's will, because nothing which is not god's will ever takes place (a convenient tautology).  To pray to the god who organised the course of human destiny to change his will to conform to human wishes would seem to be telling god his will is wrong and should be amended.

Shouldn't it be a sin to ask god to alter what he has organised.  If you develop cancer, then obviously its god's will that you die of cancer.  To use science and medicine to alter that situation is to question, reject and actually defy the will of god, right?
Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2008 - 10:59AM #5
redshifted
Posts: 2,283
I pray to Joe Pesci.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 4:04AM #6
Blü
Posts: 25,176
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redshift

Too late. The recording angle has writ.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 4:12AM #7
Blü
Posts: 25,176
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KW

I go to weddings, christenings and funerals, and all the prayers are petitions - Yahweh, protect / promote / provide.

I know a lot of rationalizing goes on about prayer.  You're not supposed to bother the boss by asking for personal favors, for instance - which brings in the notion of approved causes, things legitimate to seek.

It's still magic.


I also note that none of our theist friends has bothered to deny it.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 9:18AM #8
Adelphe
Posts: 28,744

Blü wrote:

.
Prayers are wish-lists.

The Lord's Prayer, for instance, says -

May all humans recognize your authority.
May your theocracy be instituted as world government.
May everything happen exactly as you wish.
May we not go hungry today.
May our creditors release us from our debts.
Don't let bad things happen to us.
(And so on).

This looks like a contract - I'll wish you the first three and you'll give me the second three.

Let's assume that our supplicant doesn't think prayer is idle or merely polite form.

Then this - and all other prayers that ask for something, however personal, however selfless - are attempts at magic: the obtaining of a desired result in reality merely by wishing.

Magic works for Harry Potter. As for reality ...


The primary purpose of prayer is to align our will with God's.

Let's examine The Lord's Prayer--the perfect prayer, the model prayer:

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

(Father! A good, caring, loving being)

hallowed be your name.

(let us remember that you are holy, different, separate)

10 Your kingdom come,

(may your kingdom be manifest on earth, and may I contribute to that)

your will be done,

(may your will be done--your will is nothing but good)

on earth as it is in heaven.

(may we understand that your will is good, and may we be channels of your will here on earth)

11 Give us this day

(remember to commune with God, seeking His will daily)

our daily bread,

(remember that we truly need no more than basic sustenance)

12 and forgive us our debts,

(forgive my many transgressions, remember to be humble, don't forget specks and planks...)

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

(and remind me to forgive others because I transgress, too)

13 And lead us not into temptation,

(may I have the strength--and remember--not to let temptation have the best of me)

but deliver us from evil.

(and may I remember that while evil exists, and we are to manifest your Kingdom on earth, ultimately it is only you who can deliver mankind from evil)

In sum,

"Every day be reverent, circumspect, contemplative, careful, forgiving, helpful, and thankful"

iow, be mentally healthy.

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 11:47AM #9
upsala81
Posts: 2,559

Blü wrote:

.
Prayers are wish-lists.

The Lord's Prayer, for instance, says -

May all humans recognize your authority.
May your theocracy be instituted as world government.
May everything happen exactly as you wish.
May we not go hungry today.
May our creditors release us from our debts.
Don't let bad things happen to us.

(And so on).

This looks like a contract - I'll wish you the first three and you'll give me the second three.

Let's assume that our supplicant doesn't think prayer is idle or merely polite form.

Then this - and all other prayers that ask for something, however personal, however selfless - are attempts at magic: the obtaining of a desired result in reality merely by wishing.

Magic works for Harry Potter. As for reality ...


The debt thing has nothing to do with creditors, but with sin.  And God's kingdom is not a theocracy, as Jesus says his Kingdom is not of this world.  We need to teach the Republicans that.

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2008 - 12:10PM #10
redshifted
Posts: 2,283

Blü wrote:

.
redshift

Too late. The recording angle has writ.


Joe will fix that up no problem. Have you seen Casino?

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