Monday, March 14, 2011

Pray for Japan... even though they're atheists

...in the sense that they don't believe in a supreme being, anyway.  Shintoism and Buddhism are prevalent "religions" but belief in a supreme single deity is not required.

I keep seeing and hearing of people saying they're "praying for" Japan but not saying what they're praying for exactly.  It's really a kind of meaningless expression of concern.  Deep down they know their prayers won't affect the outcome other than to make them feel a bit better about being helpless. This is the kind of insipid vague crapola that bugs me when it's directed toward me.  If you actually question the good-hearted souls who offer to pray for others they will quickly become embarrassed at how shallow and useless their gesture is.

Here are some questions to ask in case you run into this inanity:
  1. Why would a Christian god care about non-Christians?
  2. Why didn't God prevent the earthquake and tsunami?
  3. What are you asking God to do, exactly?
  4. Why didn't you pray for Japan (or Haiti, or Thailand) before this happened?
  5. What about all the other people in the world who need help?  Why not pray for them?
  6. Why are you only praying for the living?  Why not ask god to forgive the deceased for being Shintoists and Buddhists?
  7. Why aren't you praying for God to halt the aftershocks?  (they likely aren't)
  8. Why should God listen to you?
  9. If you pray for the Japanese and another earthquake kills more people there, does that mean God doesn't answer prayers?
  10. Why doesn't God perform a miracle and bring all the victims back to life?

16 comments:

L.Long said...

The answer to the points is three fold...
1..S/He/IT is a psychopathic petulant spoiled 5yr-old that ignores you.
2..Why would #1 listen to a bunch of mentally challenged sheep?
3..Prayer works just like wishful thinking...NOT at all.

krissthesexyatheist said...

Two thingies 1. on CNN belief blog that have translations of #prayertweets from 'them'. Might be interesting. 2. I was going to write about #prayforjapan....and you did a better job than me (boo hoo). Awesome homie, great work again.

#notprayingforjapanbutdoingthingiesinrealityforthem,

Kriss

krissthesexyatheist said...

Two thingies 1. on CNN belief blog that have translations of #prayertweets from 'them'. Might be interesting. 2. I was going to write about #prayforjapan....and you did a better job than me (boo hoo). Awesome homie, great work again.

#notprayingforjapanbutdoingthingiesinrealityforthem,

Kriss

Rhacodactylus said...

I hate that phrases like "Our thoughts and prayers," or "God willing," have permeated our culture to such an extent that I (and other atheists) will even use them in passing.

Great post on the absurdity of the notion.

Infidel753 said...

Well, some Christians have what might be considered a more logically-consistent response. And I'm still trying to figure out whether this is a parody.

L.Long said...

I looked at the 'this' from 753 -- She is saying what many religious say all the time but putting in a context that makes the hateful rhetoric sound the way we atheist hear it all the time. By relating it to Japan shows how hateful and bigoted it rally sounds. If any xtians feel uncomfortable at the way she says it, well that's what it always sounds like when they spout that crap.

LadyAtheist said...

I love the response to "this" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs1F5jzfc4s

hahaha

LadyAtheist said...

p.s. it scares me that CNN has a "belief blog"

ex-minister1 said...

God always gets a pass for a believer. They say he answers all prayers. It is yes, no or wait. How convenient and untestable. He is a totalitarian and everything he does is right.
My question is: If he is so loving why does he sit their with his thumb up his ass and watch this shit? Should he exist he is either incompetent or one mean prick.

Human Ape said...

An interesting difference between how the normal Japanese reacted to their disaster and how the god-soaked Haitians reacted to their earthquake.

The wackos wandered around aimlessly while screaming "Praise Jeebus" while the normal people rationally and calmly did what was necessary to save a bad situation from getting worse.

LadyAtheist said...

I've been seeing these posts and articles about how surprising it is that the Japanese are behaving themselves and not looting etc. It's the corollary to the posts and commentary about how wonderful Americans whenever there's a disaster.

B.R. said...

You should have added, "Since God is all-knowing and all-powerful and never lets anything happen that he doesn't want to, why bother praying at all? He'll only answer you if it's part of his plan. And why bother sending aid to Japan? If you save the life of someone who would have died otherwise, you're interfering with god's plan. And what does it say for god's omnipotence/omniscience if you can do this?".

Never mind "FATALITY", that's a fuckin' BRUTALITY!!!

GearHedEd said...

...and if anyone would know about BRUTALITY, Boba Fett would...

B.R. said...

Hah! Hah! You forgot the next video, "Boba Fett Volunteers!". EPIC!!

Seriously, though, when I said "BRUTALITY", I was thinking or Mortal Kombat...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4aXnX2Km6c

Prepare for awesomeness. And turn up your volume. And make sure you watch it to the end.

Symbolt said...

Yeah well, as an atheist I can tell you that even though these people are trying to work magic, I am a little embarrassed when I hear things like that, but I try not to give in to my cynicism and see that a lot of those people mean to say that they emphatize with the Japanese, and hope that all is well with them (which you can conceptualize as "imagine that if they were physically proximate, they would do something to actually help them"). So instead of going "boo-hoo, how did your 'God' save those Japanese people who died, huh?", maybe you should try to think of a more constructive way of expressing your concern at what you think is an inactive stance in reacting to the disaster in Japan? Reading this post makes me feel like listening to some religious people saying things like "see how being Atheist helped her? she screamed out "God!" when her car got smashed, anyway." Your post is IMO equally non-constructive, but atheists change places with the believers.

Philosopher said...

I'm one of 'them'- a japanese. I personally hate the phrase and this website http://prayforjapan.org/default.aspx
It kinda suggests a "lets help those poor savages" colonialism to me.