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Thread: Atheists praying

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    A new poll of people in Britain found that roughly one in five[1] non-believers there admit that they pray -- especially during a crisis. This sort of agrees with findings by the Pew Research Center which a couple years ago found that nearly 6% of American atheists pray every day and 11% pray weekly or monthly.

    This causes me to wonder why these atheists pray if they claim that God does not exist.

    The new poll was conducted by ComRes (a market research consultancy headquartered in London and one of the country's best known pollsters) at the behest of Tearfund (a Christian charity involved in alleviating world poverty).









    1. Although The Independent says it's "around 24%" and then later says "as many as one in five" and the Daily Mail reports "One in four atheists or agnostics." Taking a quick look at the raw data from ComRes, suggests that 20% is correct (page 21).
    Not really all that surprising. I'm an atheist and often pray myself, I use the Jesus prayer as a form of meditation, which is what prayer actual is anyway. Being human, we also fear death, so no matter how much of a disbeliever one is, the thought of oblivion could overcome ones reason, or like you say, just in case. But of course that's not a true belief, it's just a fear of death, or a desire to live like that of the sudden conversion of the foxhole atheist.

  2. #12
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Not really all that surprising. I'm an atheist and often pray myself, I use the Jesus prayer as a form of meditation, which is what prayer actual is anyway. Being human, we also fear death, so no matter how much of a disbeliever one is, the thought of oblivion could overcome ones reason, or like you say, just in case. But of course that's not a true belief, it's just a fear of death, or a desire to live like that of the sudden conversion of the foxhole atheist.
    To those of us who believe, prayer is not just meditation, it's talking with God.

    The most basic definition of prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  3. Amen Jedidiah, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  4. #13
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    This sort of agrees with findings by the Pew Research Center which a couple years ago found that nearly 6% of American atheists pray every day and 11% pray weekly or monthly.
    According to the Religious Landscape Survey, five percent of evangelicals don't believe in heaven, seven percent of Muslims and ten percent of Catholics feel the same, and just for grins, 49 percent of Jews, a plurality, don't either. It doesn't make much sense, but I don't think there's any way to get around this. There's really no substitute for self-reported religious affiliation.

    IIRC, there's also a huge churn among American nones, with nearly half the population moving in and out between surveys.

    Maybe the atheists surveyed on Sunday were Baptists on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    There is no lao tzu

  5. Amen JimL amen'd this post.
  6. #14
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    To those of us who believe, prayer is not just meditation, it's talking with God.

    The most basic definition of prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.
    Ya think. Do you think you are directly communing with god when praying the rosary, repeating the same words over and over?

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    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    And yet 20% of British non-believers openly acknowledge that they do upon occasion pray -- especially when faced with a crisis or emergency.
    I don't feel like looking again, but I think that was 16 percent, wasn't it? Leaving 84 percent to continue the contradiction. How does this support the "no atheists in foxholes" trope again?

    I know, math is still of the debbil.
    There is no lao tzu

  8. #16
    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    Tending to lend support is no match for direct contradiction.
    Come on lao, you can recognize hyperbole when you see it. Exceptions do not alter the fact that many atheists do pray in times of crisis.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  9. #17
    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Ya think. Do you think you are directly communing with god when praying the rosary, repeating the same words over and over?
    I never "pray" the rosary.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  10. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
  11. #18
    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    I very rarely use a form of prayer which goes something like:

    "Hey, if any benevolent beings out there can hear this, I'd really like it if you could do... xyz"

    While I think all the various human religions are silly, it seems totally possible that the universe is the creation of intelligent aliens, and it doesn't hurt to ask in the unlikely event that someone is listening.

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Not really all that surprising. I'm an atheist and often pray myself, I use the Jesus prayer as a form of meditation, which is what prayer actual is anyway. Being human, we also fear death, so no matter how much of a disbeliever one is, the thought of oblivion could overcome ones reason, or like you say, just in case. But of course that's not a true belief, it's just a fear of death, or a desire to live like that of the sudden conversion of the foxhole atheist.
    I was very different. From the day I became an atheist to the day I returned to the faith, I did not pray. I don't recall even a 'just in case' comment thrown God's way.

  13. #20
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Ya think.
    At times, yes.

    Do you think you are directly communing with god when praying the rosary,
    I have never 'prayed the rosary'.

    repeating the same words over and over?
    Nor do I pray the same words over and over, any more than I say the same words over and over to my wife. (except, "yes dear", and "I love you" )

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  14. Amen mossrose, Jedidiah amen'd this post.

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