Author Topic: The Atheist Prayer Experiment  (Read 1370 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« on: September 27, 2012, 08:41:35 AM »
Quote
We are asking each atheist who wishes to take part to pray for 2 to 3 minutes a day for 40 days for God to reveal Himself to them.

We would like any reflections, reactions, or revelations (positive or negative) experienced during the experiment to be recorded by participants. This may be video/audio Journal, blog, on a dedicated Facebook page, sent in by email etc.
....
The experiment is based on the paper by Oxford philosopher Tim Mawson titled "Praying to Stop Being an Atheist". In it Mawson argues that, on balance, it is in the interests of those atheists who don't think it's absolutely impossible that there's a God to investigate the issue of whether or not he exists by 'the experimental method' - trying to ask him. Those interested in participating will be sent a copy of the paper.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 09:00:22 AM »
Too bad I already did this, or I would submit my thoughts.  8)
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Offline soderquj

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 10:50:54 AM »
With out a true desire to be in communion with God, God will honor your desire to not commune with him, and therefore will not answer.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 10:53:25 AM by soderquj »
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Offline WPM

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 11:11:12 AM »
Some hard-care atheists eventually do come around.  ;)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 11:11:36 AM by WPM »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 11:52:11 AM »
There was that guy that did a fake baptism for fun and then came out of the water believing. Of course he was killed shortly thereafter.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 12:02:34 PM »
There was that guy that did a fake baptism for fun and then came out of the water believing. Of course he was killed shortly thereafter.

Patron Saint to method actors IIRC.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 12:38:24 PM »
I don't think many of them would be sincere in their prayers though.
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Offline Ergib

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 12:41:59 PM »
I’ve seen a guy on youtube who was Atheist then became an EOC.

Offline stavros_388

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 02:00:30 PM »
I once watched a BBC documentary called "The Monastery". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monastery_(TV_series)
These fairly random people were to live as Catholic monastics for a period of time. One guy was a completely convinced and complacent atheist who filmed and produced adult movie trailers for a living. He sincerely attempted to follow the instructions given him by the monks and ends up having a "religious experience" in front of the camera (that causes him to become a believer and to completely change his life around). He went in fully skeptical but was at least sincere in his attempts to seek God. He even yelled things in his head, like: "Come on, God! If you're real, then don't leave me hanging. Prove to me that You exist!" And God did. Worth viewing. Sincerity is key, I think. God is no jukebox.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 02:01:29 PM by stavros_388 »
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Online ZealousZeal

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 03:48:10 PM »
I was reading about this elsewhere and a good point was raised: how possible is sincerity in this situation? For instance, I could not with any sincerity pray to Odin, being an Odin atheist.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 03:58:02 PM »
I was reading about this elsewhere and a good point was raised: how possible is sincerity in this situation? For instance, I could not with any sincerity pray to Odin, being an Odin atheist.
Yes, but how many 100% atheists are there (that is, how many atheists are 100% sure, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that "God" does not exist)? Even Dawkins won't claim to be 100% sure about his atheism.

So, if there's a small chance that God is real, *and* you are emotionally and intellectually ready to accept that possibility (and many atheists may not be emotionally and intellectually ready to accept that), then the prayer experiment might work.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 03:58:13 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Shiny

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 04:00:17 PM »
I was reading about this elsewhere and a good point was raised: how possible is sincerity in this situation? For instance, I could not with any sincerity pray to Odin, being an Odin atheist.
Well I guess that makes us both atheists, I just believe in one lesser god than you do. ;D
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 04:19:47 PM »
I was reading about this elsewhere and a good point was raised: how possible is sincerity in this situation? For instance, I could not with any sincerity pray to Odin, being an Odin atheist.
Well I guess that makes us both atheists, I just believe in one lesser god than you do. ;D
Jesus did say, "Ye are gods," so if you believe in yourself and in no other god, then you are a true "monotheist".
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline stavros_388

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2012, 05:50:07 PM »
Quote
So, if there's a small chance that God is real, *and* you are emotionally and intellectually ready to accept that possibility (and many atheists may not be emotionally and intellectually ready to accept that), then the prayer experiment might work.

Yeah. That.
"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton

Offline JamesR

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 11:37:00 PM »
There is no way that this idiot is a philosopher at Oxford.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2012, 03:49:13 AM »
There was that guy that did a fake baptism for fun and then came out of the water believing. Of course he was killed shortly thereafter.

commemorated today in our church:
http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/1_18.html#1
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2012, 01:41:47 PM »
There is no way that this idiot is a philosopher at Oxford.
I don't think that the Oxfordian philosopher is the one who is running the actual prayer experiment; the host of the radio show is running the experiment.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2012, 01:53:29 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Typically Protestant they neither explain what prayer is, how to pray, or provide any kinds of guided prayer or meditations.  What could they expect but for nothing to happen?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline Green_Umbrella

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2012, 03:36:49 PM »
Perhaps 40 days of praying 2-3 minutes a day is a poor way for atheist to find God. I say skip the prayers. They should perform 40 days of acts of love for others. Then perhaps they will need to pray.

¨And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.¨ 1 John 4:16

Offline alanscott

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2012, 04:17:04 PM »
I do personally believe God’s grace is given freely to all. If a true atheist (not sure how many really exist) were wiling to sincerely embark upon such an experiment perhaps that would indeed be the first step of cooperating with God’s grace. IMHO being willing to sincerely embark upon such an experiment is by the grace of God. I have no idea what may come out of it but I do believe that if we (anyone) accept and respond to Grace all the more is given. Eventually might that not manifest into a reality?

I agree with Hebte that it would be beneficial if they were guided on prayer. Perhaps it is very Protestant of me ;) but I’m not convinced anyone needs to be ‘taught’ how to pray. I’ve always felt the Holy Spirit would take care of that for those that would do so with an open and honest heart.

I certainly think the experiment is worth the try!
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2012, 04:29:24 PM »
the Holy Spirit did take care of that.
He invented the church...
 ;)

Offline alanscott

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2012, 04:42:00 PM »
the Holy Spirit did take care of that.
He invented the church...
 ;)

 :laugh: Nice!

Does that qoute of the month thing still exist??

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Offline neon_knights

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2012, 08:10:05 PM »
I think this is a great thing...

Offline minasoliman

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2012, 01:06:17 PM »
I would have started with an ascetic struggle first, like avoid cussing for 40 days and engage in social work.  Realizing a sense of humility of how nothing you are can then lead to a prayer expirement.
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Offline celticfan1888

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Re: The Atheist Prayer Experiment
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2012, 01:57:14 PM »
More like "agnostic" prayer experiment
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