Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Prayer

Prayer

Conclusion:

"God knows everything - everything we say in prayer, God already knows. The point of praying is definitely not to reveal things to an all-knowing God. God acts only when God knows it is good to act, the wishes of prayer can only ever be against God's will, as I have elaborated on above. So, when prayer works, how does it work? If prayer works, then it is either coincidence (you've prayed for something that was going to happen anyway) or, you knew what was best better than God did, and God intervened!. The latter is impossible. Magic, or prayers, when they are effective, must be against God's will. If you ask a Christian or a Muslim, what will they say is the magical force that acts against God's will? Satan's will. If a supernatural affect such as prayer goes against God's will, then it is Satanic. As such, prayer is either useless, or Satanic. What business, then, have theists got in praying? This is a warning to all god believers that they must be very careful of their own motives when they get together and pray for things!"

79+ comments on this also exist on a different LJ entry - click.

I am a bit of a fantasy buff, Dragon Lance so on and crap, but it is amazing when you read the formal prayers of the religious that are written down, especially in the Catholic faith, but also in the rest. Spell casting in the fantasy realm usually involves the wizard or whatever, trying to gain the favor of a certain God, the spells seem to always begin with comments and praise and slowly they transition into some type of request for alliagence and then finally comes the specific request...

Read some prayers, especially the ones written on the backs of candles, that are sold to the religious... it is nothing but spell casting...
Tejun

Prayer

(Anonymous)
See, if you really knew God, His true desire is an intimate and personal relationship with all of us. Prayer is a form of intimate communication with Him. TRUE Christians are not to pray for selfish things (new Cadillac, lots of money, etc.) We are to pray for Godly things and things of true need. Also, He just wants us to talk to Him. He likes that. He encourages us to pray to Him, as He does like to bless us. Sometimes the answer is yes (if it is good for His plan for us). Sometimes the answer is no (not good for us). He knows all, and, therefore, knows best! Sometimes the answer is yes, but not in the way we might have wanted it. Above all, we are to pray for a more intimate relationship with Him. So, your "definition/warning" about prayer is foolish. And, as God's word states, His (God's) ways are foolish to unbelievers. You just proved that point. Again, God's Word is 100% correct! So, to all of you out there reading this ... do not look to men for answers ... look to God! He has your best interest in mind ... Believe me! I've experienced God's will, love, advise & discipline in my life. And ... it was better than any "person" on this earth ever gave me! The results, etc. were beyond human comprehension. Turn your life over to Jesus ... you will NEVER be sorry! :>

[[See, if you really knew God...]]


If I really knew ‘god’ he would exist. (Epistemology joke).



[[His true desire is an intimate and personal relationship with all of us.]]

Are you a prophet now? You presume to speak for ‘god’ and can tell us what his “desires” are?

Can’t it tell me this itself?

‘god’ would not need you to pray for it to communicate with you. You would not need to pray for an existing omniscient ‘god’ to know all you could relate anyway. Therefore prayer is not REALLY for communication, is it?



[[Prayer is a form of intimate communication with Him.]]


Ah...now I’m a prophet. See my dialogue above.




[[TRUE Christians are not to pray for selfish things (new Cadillac, lots of money, etc.) We are to pray for Godly things and things of true need.]]



I think you’re missing the point. You are not praying for ‘god’s’ sake. You are praying to fulfill your own needs and desires. Theoretically, ‘god’ does not want.



[[Also, He just wants us to talk to Him. He likes that.]]


Does he? How does he feel about your mind-reading skills? Yahweh told us not to suffer a witch to live. Should we be wondering about you?


[[He encourages us to pray to Him, as He does like to bless us.]]


No, in the case of the bible, illogical sheep herders and tribal war lords passed down oral tradition that was eventually written down as hearsay testimony (i.e. testament) about what THEY presumed ‘god’ wants. How reliable is their testimony? A book cannot be both testimony (testament) AND the “word of ‘god’”. If ‘god’ possessed Bob and wrote the Book of Bob, then this would not be the testimony of Bob. Either the bible is the word of ‘god’ or it is testament. It cannot be both. Is the bible not testament?


[[Sometimes the answer is yes (if it is good for His plan for us). Sometimes the answer is no (not good for us). He knows all, and, therefore, knows best! Sometimes the answer is yes, but not in the way we might have wanted it. Above all, we are to pray for a more intimate relationship with Him. So, your "definition/warning" about prayer is foolish.]]


I respectfully disagree.

What would be foolish is to pray to a ‘god’ that already knows everything, including what is “written in your heart”. If you REALLY didn’t want ‘god’ to change what IT wanted to do rather than what you want it to do, then you would simply wait for it to do what it is going to do anyway (when it already knows what is in your heart). You pray because you want a favor. You want ‘god’ to stop running the universe long enough to help you find your missing cat. That’s a form of arrogance IMO.



[[And, as God's word states, His (God's) ways are foolish to unbelievers.]]


It’s been said that wearing ball caps makes men bald. (Or is it that balding men wear ball caps more often?)

Is it that ‘god’s’ ways are foolish to unbelievers or is it that nonbelievers find such claims foolish?




[[You just proved that point. Again,]]


No, your statement is meaningless. The ways of Jabberwocky cannot be known to you, and you don’t know what I’m talking about, therefore you prove Jabberwocky true!!!

If ‘x’, then ‘x’, therefore ‘x’!!


[[God's Word is 100% correct!]]

If you are referring to the bible, then you are wrong. Consider the ascension. All of the synoptic gospels disagree with one another, as does John, and Paul disagrees with all the above mentioned. Truth must be consistent and non-contradictory, therefore the bible is not true.


[[So, to all of you out there reading this ... do not look to men for answers ... look to God!]]


‘X’ is not an answer, it is a variable with an unknown value.

[[He has your best interest in mind ... Believe me!]]


“Believe (you)”, this is what it all boils down to isn’t’ it?


That which requires faith cannot offer support for its own claims. If it could, it wouldn’t require faith.

“Have faith in my belief” is another way of saying “have perfect belief in what I believe?”


Why should I do this?

The Vampire
LOGOS



Re: Prayer (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Prayer (Anonymous) Expand

Your critique of prayer

[[5. Conclusion
God knows everything - everything we say in prayer, God already knows. The point of praying is definitely not to reveal things to an all-knowing God. God acts only when God knows it is good to act, the wishes of prayer can only ever be against God's will, as I have elaborated on above. So, when prayer works, how does it work? If prayer works, then it is either coincidence (you've prayed for something that was going to happen anyway) or, you knew what was best better than God did, and God intervened!. The latter is impossible. Magic, or prayers, when they are effective, must be against God's will. If you ask a Christian or a Muslim, what will they say is the magical force that acts against God's will? Satan's will. If a supernatural affect such as prayer goes against God's will, then it is Satanic. As such, prayer is either useless, or Satanic. What business, then, have theists got in praying? This is a warning to all god believers that they must be very careful of their own motives when they get together and pray for things!]]


I agree with all of your five points. Brilliantly said.

If the “will of ‘god’” is necessarily good, then prayer is necessarily evil.


The Vampire
LOGOS




Re: Your critique of prayer

(Anonymous)
Where do you dream up such bullshit? And this question is from an evangelical christian ... born-again and Bible believing child of God. You people are crazy. We are not crazy ... YOU ARE. I read so much on this site and you claim we are crazy, but I say YOU ARE ALL CRAZY insane weirdos! Let's have a "see who is more crazy" debate, eh? We'll have an independent judge. If there is such a thing! You give me all the reasons you believe what you believe ... and you will have to explain what you believe! Then I'll explain what and why I believe. Then, we'll see who is really crazy! Although, I know God does not want me to defend Him, nor does He need me to. And, no, I'm not some weirdo "prophet." God just tells you so in the Bible. You people are really full of shit and have no clue. So, probably, the whole thing would be pointless. Asshole!

When I read your opinions I honestly really feel for you. I want you to really really look at any good that's happened to you and really ask why and how that happened. Don't think it's a coincidence or don't think it's luck or you were having a good day. It's not synchronicity.

Then note any bad things that have happened to you and think on the bad things you have done in the past, it's not a coincidence or luck or synchronicity..your actions affect your life..literally....

Literally..open your eyes not just your eye lids.

I dis-like major modern religons e.g. islam christianty jewdiuism

i think they make god too abstract. Would, if he existed, be so like and unlike us? So powerful, so human like but without fault? i think god is like us, he makes mistakes he has human desires...

Personally i think greek gods are better to look to, they drink, have fun, and make mistakes.

After taking this aproach to life simple things can be related to each god



Posiden FTW!!!!!!

praying may have a purpose in Gods purpose

(Anonymous)
Ok, I agree that there is a big problem with the grand argument of evil.
and I believe the answer to why there is evil is a combination of A and C
that god is not all powerfull and especially is not perfectly good.

God is not perfectly all powerfull because he can't make a rock so heavy that he can't lift it. or the one I said to my grandma teaching sunday school when I was just a pup, when she said God can do anything. I said "no he can't, can he make a surface so dirty that it cant be cleaned, and then a cleaning chemical that can clean any surface"

this just means that there exists certain things that the laws of the universe do not allow. And that nomatter how much power you have, you cannot do such things unless you alter the laws of the universe. But if you alter the laws of the universe that's cheating! So the laws of the universe permit impossibilities, and tell the universe what the odds are of certain things happening. like certain things have such a slim chance of happening that we just say they're impossible...but not everything has a chance of happening, and anything with 0 chance of happening actually is impossible. But what I think the bible means when it says that "with God all things are possible" is that things people say are impossible (like walking on water, changing water into wine, saving rich people from hell) are things that God can do.

And why is everybody making a stink about the God causing evil thing. OF COURSE GOD IS EVIL according to what we all consider wrong and evil. Anything that causes the human race pain suffering, or a lowered chance of survival is going to be bad or evil for us. But what is described as being evil in the bible as anything that is against the good of God, and his will. The bible says that God created the universe for the good pleasure of "his" will, not ours! It also says that God alone is good, so that means that anything that isnt God is Evil. My theory on the whole God and universe thing is that Evil is necessary to make God good. Because if everything was good, or as good as God then there would be nothing special about God. Sort of like if everybody was famous then nobody would be, or if everybody was as good at basketball as Michael jordan then there would be nothing special about Michael Jordan. So evil, or weakness, or stupididty is necessary to make good, power, and genius a reality, and special. Everything needs it's shadow. Every partical in the universe has an antipartical. So, God is the blessed one, and his way will be done, and he will be better off then anything else that exists, everything will be for his benefit. So God will say that what is good deserves good things, and since only God is good only God deserves his paradise in heaven, and everything else is Evil just cause its not God, and deserves bad things (eternity in hell). So the only reason we're not in hell suffering right now is because he is showing mercey, because he loves us. Now he loves us, which means he has a desire for what is best for us (eternity in heaven), but that does not mean that he doesn't love himself infinitly more! So when you love something more then something else, you're gonna sacrafice the lesser love for the greater love. This doesnt answer the question of why evil and suffering exists, that just means that there may be a reason why it does that we just don't know about. So I believe that evil and suffering just has to be a part of the plan that brings God the most pleasure, and billions of souls going to hell, and some to heaven is just somehow a part of that strange plan.

So, if God wasn't evil (able to cause you pain and suffering) then why in the world does Jesus warn us to utterly fear him! "he says that the worst of what man can do to you (which is pretty freaking bad!) is absolutely nothing compared to what God can, and will do to you in hell!(if you don't repent) That's some pretty scary shit!

continues...


continued...

It basically says that some people were created by God to disobey him, so he can show his importance and greatness by casting them into Hell and proving that he was right, and just, and they were wrong to disobey him (because he's good and deserves praise, and obedience, just because he says so, and he's God) This shows his importance, because if you don't get God you dont' get peace, and joy, and happiness.

and some people were created to be saved, to prove his importance because if you do get God, not only do you get his mercey (no hell) but you get his grace (heaven!) where there are the things that everybody wants, peace, joy, happiness ect. ect.

So, I belive the universe is set up to make God the most important thing. All humans want to be allive, and happy, and God makes it that you have to love, and serve him, and know him, and be blessed by him to get those things. So, let's say that God makes everybody love him, and gives everybody eternal life, then that only shows that God is important because with him you get everything you want. But with the invention of pain, suffering, and hell, God can make himself infinitley important two times over. Meaning that, if you either Got heaven, or non existence, God is still infinitley important, because an eternity of joy is infinitely better then an eternity of non existance. but with the invention of hell, God is now doubly infinitely important, because now if you don't get God, you dont' just get a lack of heaven, you get the opposite (Eternity in Hell!!!!) so therefore God would favor this, because it makes him more important.

I know what I've just said is a scary argument, because it says that human consciousness exists only to serve the better of Gods, but that's what I believe. That somehow, there is a reason for everything, including the pain and suffering of humans, animals, and God himself. I think people make a silly mistake in saying that everything happens for a reason, or "according to Gods plan" or that "God has a plan for everybody" when they allways attatch a good meaning to it. Just because God has a plan for you, doesn't mean that its for your benefit! The Bible says it's for his benefit! Doey! sunday school teachers, and priests allways say that to comfort people, but what the flip! That's like the whole "God allways evil for our benefit, and so we learn from it" argument that obviously doesn't work. What about all the billions of human souls, and perhaps trillions or more demons that have to suffer eternity in hell because of his plan. To me that sounds more like a warning, then a comfort causing statement, that "God has a plan for you". Jesus was warning us, and comforting us at the same time, saying that God loves you, and I love you, and want you to be in heaven, but WATCH OUT! we love ourselves much more, and our great plan (that exists for our own good) is going to be carried out, and climax at the judgement which is soon to come!

You see, Einstein disbelieved in christianity because he said the idea of God judging people for their choices, didnt make any sense because "free will" doesn't exist, and that God makes us do everything.

I agree with what Einstein said, but I don't agree with the total conclusion, which is that God is Evil, because he makes people sin, and then judges them for things they were "coerced to do". Einstein claimed that in a way God would be judging himself because he is the source of the evil he is supposedly judging.


continues...

continued...

But, I think the point is, on judgement day God "will" be judging himself. God will reward those who have God in them, and will throw away everything that isnt him. He's judging their characters, and the choices we make in life are just reflective of our characters. It doesn't matter if our evil nature is ultimately caused by God, because his justice is different then ours. (similar to, but different) (so your conclusion that God is unjust is also correct) because it is different then our morals, and justices. Just as his goodness, and rightousness is different then what we consider good and rightous. Just because our choices are caused by the laws of nature, and ultimately by God himself, does not mean that they are coerced, it just means that they are not "free willed" our choices are still an active part of the cause and effect chain, they just aren't at the top of the cause and effect chain. We, as humans feel the need to punish choices because that creates a survival advantage. That is why we get hung up on choices, but God is judging the heart, and cares about choices because they are a reflection of the heart.

So, I see the universe as a giant play, that God has written, and everything that happens is just happening according to what is written. But when you go to a play, and boo and curse the villain, it doesn't matter that you know he or she "has" to do and say the bad things he does because they are written in the script. You still boo, and curse him or her anyway. Even if it was "you" who wrote the script to the play.

So the universe is a giant script written by God, and it will unfold as God determined that it would. But he writes himself in as Jesus, the big hero who saves many from his eternal wrath that will unfold on Judgement day. It doesn't matter if he is the ultimate cause of the sinfull behavior of those he's judging, he's damning them because they deserve to go to hell, and they deserve to go there simply because they are not God. And and the people who go to heaven, go to heaven just because God (for whatever reason) wants to save a few. It says that his plan is a great mystery that will be revealed on judgement day.

continues...


continued...

My ideas with prayer have to do with the free will thing. You say that prayer is pointless because an all good God would allready be doing everything in his power for your benefit. True, but I disagree that God is all good. I believe that prayer may have an effect that we don't know about as well, just as evil and suffering might. Even if the effect is purely psychological you could still say that it is God who's giving the effect, because God takes credit for a geat many things that happen in this world that science can figure happened because of the laws of nature. If God created the laws of nature, then everything that happens because of them are in a way happening because of his will. Both good, and bad. All that it means when we figure out that we don't have "free will" is that our choices have causes, and are not self caused. That's all that means, that doesn't mean that every choice we make is a coerced choice...we're still making preference choices. I think the brain only catagorizes our choices as either free willed (a preference choice) or a coerced choice (like I was brainwashed, and forced to do it against my will)..and for whatever reason says that if a choice is a preference one, that it is "free willed" and has no higher cause, and if a choice we make has a higher cause then it ceases to be a preference choice, and is a coerced decision. That's not true though, because I can still choose something with my will (because I want to do it) and still be effected by punishment and reward, and that choice can be caused by the laws of science.

But my point is, just because my choices are all determined in advance, doesn't mean that I'm not making them (or in technical words, my choices are still a part of the cause and effect chain) therefore, even if God has determined wether or not I will chose to pray at the highest point in the cause and effect chain, its' still up to us because we don't know wether or not we will choose to pray, and therefore I"m still causing it to happen wether or not there is a higher cause causing me. So I can still chose to pray to God and get the benefits of praying, or I can chose not to pray to God and not get the benefits.


Sorry, for rambling on like this...these are just a few ideas I've built up after a few years of thinking about this stuff. I hope you can analyze some of it, and offer your opinions.

By the way I love your sight, it has a great deal of interesting points, and arguments to stir the brain.

I wonder Vexen, have you ever heard of a Muslim, Hindue or Buddhists prayer come true?

Are you saying your "loving" God only loves people who happen to have the correct beliefs?

Re: Prayer (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Prayer (Anonymous) Expand

God as Santa

(Anonymous)
As I see it, "Evidence" means nothing. Because two people can look at the exact same evidence and come to two vastly different conclusions.

One moves toward God while the other moves away from God. So, the answer must be deeper than mere evidence.

As for your Conclusion on prayer, it would seem as though you see prayer as solely a means to getting stuff from God. i.e. "if prayer works"

It's a bit like wondering if talking works. Some people will talk but that doesn't mean the other person is listening. The other person may be distracted or disinterested. A person can also talk but be misunderstood. There are also deaf people who don't hear a thing when others talk but they can communicate just fine.

So, if you ask, does talking work, I'd have to say that it depends on the person who's listening.

Also, when people say that prayer is "for us", they mean that we are the ones who can learn through it. What I have leanned through prayer is, I've learned who God is, but I've also learned who God ISN'T. I have also learned more about myself.

overall point

(Anonymous)
this is all very good but extremely repitative and well, funny! the way people spend hours beating their heads up to be different and state what they believe. which is of course nothing much. but these tests are a waste of time if u think u are right u shudnt need an argument. i'm happy because i have a purpose in life, it isn't going nowhere.i believe in the right thing and something better, not to shun other ppl, god bless u :P

Re: overall point

(Anonymous)
gosh what a lot of people having a point to proove!!

obviously you all have faith sincerely in what you believe and no matter what someone tells you , you think your belief is right!

and to be honest that is what it comes down to faith and belief
for me a sa christian, i look upon my faith as 100% my truth and all i can do is pray for those who dont know jesus and in my daily life evangelise for him

i think if we want to knock something down we should learn a little about it ourselves...
look online for an "alpha course" they are run in churches ... and go along anyone who doesnt know or who doesnt believe and air your views there they are welcome and debate is welcome ,atheists agnostic pagan whatever are welcome and then you will be able to talk about why you dont believe in christianty many a good discussion is had following a meal and a video! people from all walks of life are there christian non christian and it helps us all have an insight into what each other feel and believe rather than sit trying to argue on a computer a face to face discussion is always good! the churches dont expect you to do anything you dont want but i truly would encourage going to anyone who wants to find out why christians believe what they do! for whatever purpose you want to know!

"Function" of Prayer

(Anonymous)
Prayer allows us to enter into Relationship with God, something that wasn't touched upon. One needs to have a personal experience of prayer to understand it, and I'm amazed at how insightful atheists/agnostics/Satanists/etc. are at pointing out a lot of shoddy thinking and desire in relation to prayer, because people often do pray incorrectly or for the wrong reasons. We don't pray just to get results, just as we're not in a relationship just for sex or so we can use another. We work together, and God works in a subtle, unmeasurable way with us when we're cooperative and willing. Our prayer is the wordless opening of the heart to the universe, to God, to everything. We can also listen to our internal voice for guidance - our conscience, God, whatever you would like to call it. So prayer is a bit introspective, is an aesthetic, is psychological, etc. To simply reduce prayer to an attempt to control and to try to scientifically study it by controlling it is to miss the meaning and significance of prayer in our daily lives. Assuredly though, I give great compliments to all challenging thinkers because the mutual dialogue helps us all to become more understanding, and I have significantly modified my views of prayer over the years due to such free thought. Thank you!

One thing I want to point out that I got from reading J. Krishnamurti is that all certain knowledge is tied to past experience; thus, to say that God is "all-knowing" would be saying God knows about everything that happened in the past. In life, we experience Uncertainty and Mystery; God is mysterious and has some uncertainty, if God is to be considered Alive. I think it's most important to consider God an immeasurable mystery; that's what infinity is, unboundedness, and these qualities such as "omni-whatever" are seriously lacking. You cannot measure the measureless.

Re: "Function" of Prayer

Firstly, thank you for your comments and intelligent reply. So, take my disagreements below in the kindest way, for I respect that you, like me, are committed to investigating and uncovering the truth through careful thinking.

(1)

It seems that a 'relationship with god' must merely be from our, limited, point of view. Or, for believers in god, that is. It seems that if you believe in something, you can claim to have a 'relationship' with it if you spend periods of time meditating on that idea. But, I wouldn't say that that makes the underlying object a more valid idea or theory. It merely makes the practice psychological.

(2)

You said: "Our prayer is the wordless opening of the heart to the universe, to God, to everything. We can also listen to our internal voice for guidance - our conscience, God, whatever you would like to call it."

Which, to me, sounds more like meditation. How do you differentiate therefore between introspection, reflection and meditation (which are all surely worthwhile), and 'prayer'? If it is the same as meditation, which its psychological and spiritual overtones, then why call it something else?

(3)

God, as the creator of time and space, knows all the past and all the future because it is eternal and outside of time; it doesn't see "forward" from the present, nor "back" from the present... it sees all existence, all time, in an absolute way, because it created the entire ensemble from beginning to end. Your comments about uncertainty seem to contradict the idea of a creator god.

(4)

God might best be considered an immeasurable uncertainty, but, I would rather consider that (as there is no god) the unvierse itself has some of those qualities. (Try "Devotion to the Beautiful Universe We Live In" by Vexen Crabtree (2007))

Dave

(Anonymous)
The study on prayer is nothing but an organized testing of God, which is also forbidden in the Bible.

Studies on prayer are studies of human psychology, not of gods.

Re: Dave (Anonymous) Expand

Helpful

(Anonymous)
http://www.spwickstrom.com/why/

God Bless

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