Say a Little Prayer For You

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David G McAfee facebook post going viral, who states on his blog in the about section:

“Not only do I believe that it is possible to maintain moral standards without the crutch of religion- but I would argue that it is the only way to achieve true goodness. Free from the constraints of organized religion, a human being is able to express true decency from one’s self- as opposed to attempting to appease whatever higher power he or she may believe in. Personal spirituality is to be admired, but the biases and closed-mindedness spawned by all religions have acted negatively on each and every society throughout history.” –David G. McAfee

Speaking of which, I have finally started reading Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. Whether you agree or not, one of those books to read as a challenge to the conventional thought that science cannot inform on moral choices.

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The picture above is from the Spiritual Science Research Foundation – (SSRF) – considering the site gave no results for neuroscience think the foundation name is overreaching. Neuro science is a pioneering scientific field that Sam Harris is involved in, which can examine prayer scientifically. Yet we should not be too surprised they do not use this:

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The old “We say we use science (sounds good) but it cannot go beyond what humans understand in the spiritual dimension. There lies greater understanding of ancient mysteries and divine realities, and actually that is what we do not science”. Thus people are succoured into an imaginary world rather than using science to have a fascinating understanding of the world we do live in. As Douglas Adams remarked:

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

I remember when the local Born Again Christians were trying to save my family from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they regularly prayed for us. A neighbour a few doors down was responsible for such things. They offered to help out my disabled brother with buying a car which at the time seemed like buying our allegiance (not souls, souls are just another word for body, SOS could just as easily be Save Our Skins to a Jehovah’s Witness), though I’m sure this was kindly meant. Thankfully the welfare system changed shortly after, recognising the need of people who might be able to walk, but not safely get about without their own transportation, deserved help. Based on need rather than creed.

Anecdotal record is not by itself evidence, but I doubt becoming an atheist was what they had in mind when they prayed for me. Still, life goes on. The thing is working out what sort of life to live.

In a very old blog, Don’t Say a Prayer for me Now, I observed:

Now Leicester Secular Society has a banner that reads – “Hands that help are better than lips that pray.” Good intentions are admirable but actions have consequences. I have always thought that it lacked moral responsibility to delegate tasks you should be doing to others. Asking god to make the world a better place misses the point no matter how good it makes you feel making such demands.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78

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Filed under Religion, Sam Harris, Science

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