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Thoughts & prayers?

Wheezer

Thoughts & prayers to the victims?
Send your thoughts and prayers to one hand and shit in the other hand. See which gets filled first. This fucking belief that "thoughts & prayers" is going to help instead of taking real action that might help is part of the problem. When someone sends "thoughts & prayers," what they are saying is that they intend to sit on their ass and do nothing. >:(

docholladay

@Wheezer

Problem is sometimes that is all a person has to give. They haven't forgotten the victims, just they are physically and financially unable to do more.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Problem is sometimes that is all a person has to give. They haven't forgotten the victims, just they are physically and financially unable to do more.

What's more, in many instances, the only assistance you can offer is listening. Saying "my thoughts are with you" or even "I'll pray for you", is shorthand for "I'm listening, and although I can't alleviate your problem, I'm there for you emotionally."

In that sense, it's not a hollow message, it's instead an emotional response rather than a direct physical action.

Switch Blayde

@Wheezer

"thoughts & prayers"


It means you care.

A friend/neighbor was in the Safeway parking lot the other day loading the groceries into his trunk. A car came around the corner and ran him over (broken pelvis, broken foot, broken ankle, 2nd degree burns on his leg). He had his first operation last night and a skin graft.

I told his wife my thoughts were with them (left out the prayers part because that would be hypocritical for me) and told her to call me if she needed anything. The thoughts part meant I cared.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I told his wife my thoughts were with them (left out the prayers part because that would be hypocritical for me) and told her to call me if she needed anything. The thoughts part meant I cared.

And the offer to help meant you were willing to step up to the plate, something an email on line Facebook message doesn't always convey.

Wheezer
Updated:

Thoughts - yes, maybe.

Prayers? Empty, useless platitudes. Completely ineffective. At most, like pissing yourself while wearing dark pants. It gives you a warm feeling but nobody notices. (definitely nobody listening.)
Those posting shit all over Facebook are just masturbating their own egos.

Replies:   robberhands  Jim S
robberhands

@Wheezer

Do you truly want to start a religious discussion on this forum? Seriously? The mere thought makes me shudder in fear already.

Replies:   Wheezer
Ross at Play

What does the OP suggest: people should not express compassion if they are powerless to offer "real help"?

I don't think "does it help?" is the right question to ask; I think the right question is "does it cause no harm?"

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Wheezer

@robberhands

Do you truly want to start a religious discussion on this forum? Seriously? The mere thought makes me shudder in fear already.


I'm just expressing my anger, frustration and disgust. It takes two to argue. I have no desire to argue with the bible-thumpers.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Jim S

@Wheezer

Prayers? Empty, useless platitudes. Completely ineffective. At most, like pissing yourself while wearing dark pants. It gives you a warm feeling but nobody notices. (definitely nobody listening.)

Agnostic that I am, I still recognize that prayers often mean a whole lot to a person that believes they make a difference. The term probably came into vogue when the vast majority of the country were still (somewhat) devout Christians.

Surely you can understand what using an outdated term can do to a discussion. Common racial pejoratives are a fine example of that. Imagine using one of the common ones referring to black Americans in common use in the 60s and 70s today. Same thing here, except where "thoughts and prayers" are positive, racial pejoratives aren't.

I'd cut those who offer those "thoughts and prayers" a little slack as I imagine most are sincere.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Wheezer

I have no desire to argue with the bible-thumpers.


Then stop giving them opportunities to argue with you.

docholladay

I kind of prefer my question over my life time experience when ever I helped someone. I always asked myself "Why am I trying to help?" If I was thinking of any kind of reward including a simple thank-you. I always figured I was helping for the wrong reason, and stopped helping. If the answer was something like: "Its the right thing to do". I tried to help.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

If I was thinking of any kind of reward including a simple thank-you. I always figured I was helping for the wrong reason, and stopped helping.


So retail clerks who are paid to help customers are doing something wrong by helping customers?

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I don't think "does it help?" is the right question to ask; I think the right question is "does it cause no harm?"


Or does it make them feel better?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Or does it make them feel better?

My question was for the OP, for even those times when it won't make them feel better.
I still see no reason to object if someone tries something that won't help - provided they can be reasonably sure it will do no harm.
That's why I think the frustration evident in the OP is misdirected.

docholladay

@Dominions Son

A different type of help. I mean if I see someone who needs help such as one of those kids I ran across that were living on the streets for one example. I was referring to all those things we do to help others. It might be as little as holding a door open for a person in a wheel chair as one example. Or helping an elderly lady replace a flat tire on her car. There are many potential helpful acts which are not work related.

Job related helping of customers and fellow employees is entirely different. To some extents that is what a worker is being paid for. Without those customers the business could not afford to pay the workers.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Jim S

Agnostic that I am, I still recognize that prayers often mean a whole lot to a person that believes they make a difference. The term probably came into vogue when the vast majority of the country were still (somewhat) devout Christians.

Surely you can understand what using an outdated term can do to a discussion. Common racial pejoratives are a fine example of that. Imagine using one of the common ones referring to black Americans in common use in the 60s and 70s today. Same thing here, except where "thoughts and prayers" are positive, racial pejoratives aren't.

In my church, where 30% are atheists, another 30% are agnostics and the rest of Christians, despite their not believing in Christian doctrine, everyone still offers 'thoughts and prayers'.

It's not a lie to offer a prayer, even if you don't believe in prayer or even a listening Deity. Instead, it's a simple act of compassion, saying you hope they'll get better, and that we're there if they need us. And believe me, it works. They may not get better any faster, but when they do return, we're all closer than we were before, which is as good as a miracle in this age of neighbors ready to sell each other out over the latest Tweet!

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

So retail clerks who are paid to help customers are doing something wrong by helping customers?

Being 'polite and courteous' is more than a mere 'social nicety', it's the glue that holds society together. If you need proof, take a look at the U.S. today. Our chief executive spits out hateful Tweets to anyone who doesn't bow down before him, and the country is about to collapse around us. Remove those 'meaningless platitudes', and everything falls apart!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Our chief executive spits out hateful Tweets to anyone who doesn't bow down before him, and the country is about to collapse around us.

Don't despair. He's not competent enough to cause the collapse of your country.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Jim S

Agnostic that I am, I still recognize that prayers often mean a whole lot to a person that believes they make a difference. The term probably came into vogue when the vast majority of the country were still (somewhat) devout Christians.


Which isn't to mention the weirdness that can be the "placebo effect" in many cases. While I'm not going to harshly criticize hard core atheists for mocking "sky gods" and various other things.

I do think they're foolishly discounting the possibilty that there are potentially things on this world that we haven't yet begun to be able to even quantify, never mind bend to serious scientific inquiry.

There's plenty of things in our daily life that utilize scientific concepts and principles that would have had you locked away/labeled as a mad man even 100 years ago, nevermind a few more centuries back.

To think we've discovered all there is to discover about "the natural world" at this stage of the game is perhaps a wee bit arrogant?

Prayers are, generally speaking, mostly useless. That said, I do think that in some cases people have managed to use "prayer" as a means to tap into something we currently cannot quantify. (This gaining "super-natural" status, until it can be quantified) So in the off chance that they might manage to "tap" into whatever that something is by whatever means or accident, I certainly am not going to sneer at anyone who makes the attempt.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
JohnBobMead
Updated:

When I was Bahai, I believed in the power of prayer. When I was a Charismatic Evangelical, I believed in the power of prayer. When I was LDS, I believed in the power of prayer. When I was a Unitarian, I was uncertain about the efficacy of prayer. As an unaligned Skeptic, I'm pretty sure it doesn't do any good, but neither does it do any harm, unless it is done in replacement of taking other action.

To those who believe in the power of prayer, being in someone's prayers is a very positive thing. To those who don't, it at least shows that the person who is praying for you is concerned, so long as it is done in addition to other possible actions of assistance, rather than instead of; if the person offering prayers is in no position to provide any other assistance, well, it does show they care.

Edit to add:
Given that, I will admit that if someone told me I was in their prayers, my internal reaction, which I would strive to keep from them so as not to offend them, would be, "What a stupid waste of your time and energy!" But, recognizing what it means within their belief system, I would never say that to their face, or in a context where they would feel it was directed at them specifically. Why cause them pain needlessly?

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Prayers are, generally speaking, mostly useless. That said, I do think that in some cases people have managed to use "prayer" as a means to tap into something we currently cannot quantify. (This gaining "super-natural" status, until it can be quantified) So in the off chance that they might manage to "tap" into whatever that something is by whatever means or accident, I certainly am not going to sneer at anyone who makes the attempt.

Isn't that the very definition of 'Agnostic': I can't prove it doesn't exist, so on the off-chance it does, I'll continue with the assumption it's true?

Replies:   Wheezer  Not_a_ID  Jim S
Wheezer

@Crumbly Writer

Isn't that the very definition of 'Agnostic': I can't prove it doesn't exist, so on the off-chance it does, I'll continue with the assumption it's true?

You cannot prove a negative, so, no, I cannot prove prayer does not work. But then the burden of proof is not on me.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Isn't that the very definition of 'Agnostic': I can't prove it doesn't exist, so on the off-chance it does, I'll continue with the assumption it's true?


Depends on whose definitions we're using. I'm not strictly Agnostic, as I have a "leaning" towards a specific denomination even if I spend a lot of time being skeptical about a number of things related to it.

I do think there is "something out there" which is a bit beyond our current ability to identify and quantify at this time. Of course, I also am fairly certain I have had "interactions" with it on occasion, although I won't personally go so far as claiming it is intelligent unto itself as I've never experienced anything on that particular scale, my denominational choice certainly would make that claim.

I'm just more inclined to place it in a category kind of like infrared or ultraviolet light. Just because we didn't have a way to quantify or study it until comparatively recently, that doesn't mean it didn't exist until we could do so. ;)

Although it would be kind of awesome if ignorance of UV radiation rendered you immune to sunburns. Sadly, reality does not work that way.

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

You cannot prove a negative, so, no, I cannot prove prayer does not work. But then the burden of proof is not on me.

I never said you had to prove anything, but you're proving your own point by acting out the very definition of agnostic: you're afraid to take the chance on your own doubt. In other words, while you belittle both atheists and those 'who believe' (that was you, wasn't it?), you don't have the commitment of either.

To delve into my Philosophy background a bit, you believe in faith but don't have the courage to dive in and actually commit to it.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Crumbly Writer

(that was you, wasn't it?),


I am a hard-core Atheist, holding ALL religion and supernatural belief in contempt. I haven't been agnostic in my thinking since I was 14.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

I mean if I see someone who needs help such as one of those kids I ran across that were living on the streets for one example.


Unless your ulterior motive is something actively evil, I don't see why it should matter.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Dominions Son

Its not the question of helping. Its the question of motive. Namely in all those circumstances my only motive was to try and help them. I didn't want or expect anything in return, not even a thank-you. Sure the motives relating to a job are different, but even there sometimes you have the option of whether or not to help someone. Whenever I helped someone in need, it was always because it was the right thing to do.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

I didn't want or expect anything in return, not even a thank-you.


And so what if you did want something in return? As long as what you want in return isn't evil and you do help, making the person's life better, so what?

I say, refusing to help, just because you have a twinge of desire for a simple "thank you" is not the "right thing to do".

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

I say, refusing to help, just because you have a twinge of desire for a simple "thank you" is not the "right thing to do".

I agree.
I heard a comment on a TV show recently: "Going to church is like going to the laundromat. You don't go unless you think you have dirty laundry which needs to be cleansed."

I'm an atheist, but I kind of envy those who can believe. They do seem more likely to be happy.

An exception I see is religions which manufacture the "sin" of guilt over desires for things which cause no harm to others. I see that "sin" as an invention by religions intended to keep paying customers coming through the doors.

Jim S

@Crumbly Writer

Isn't that the very definition of 'Agnostic': I can't prove it doesn't exist, so on the off-chance it does, I'll continue with the assumption it's true?

To me, being agnostic means I don't know Who up there (if anyone) is turning the crank; I just hope S/He doesn't stop.

Replies:   red61544  Crumbly Writer
docholladay

@Dominions Son

I say, refusing to help, just because you have a twinge of desire for a simple "thank you" is not the "right thing to do".


Notice I also said its a matter of motives. My main motive has to be to help. Heck I never really refused to help anyone if at all possible. Until recently when I became almost a hermit because of personal problems. Everyone who knew me said I was the original soft-touch, falling for any and all sob stories. Giving the shirt off my back to help them out.

red61544

@Jim S

To me, being agnostic means I don't know Who up there (if anyone) is turning the crank; I just hope S/He doesn't stop.

Do you think that agnostics pray: "Oh my God (if there is a God), save my soul (if I have a soul)." That lets them hedge their bets!

Replies:   Jim S
Jim S
Updated:

@red61544


Do you think that agnostics pray: "Oh my God (if there is a God), save my soul (if I have a soul)." That lets them hedge their bets!


I doubt that they do. A lot of what I feel about agnosticism was shaped by Robert Heinlein's writings. Discovered him when I was 14 and have never let go. In "Time Enough For Love", he came up with the Notebook of Lazarus Long. You can find it online. Hilarious and oh so prescient in a lot of ways. Anyhow, one of my favorites from the Notebook reads:

There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it?


That pretty much sums up how I feel about both a Supreme Being(s) and prayer.

sejintenej

@Wheezer

This ..... belief that "thoughts & prayers" is going to help instead of taking real action

It is surely all about the psychological effect on the recipient and that depends on the recipient's knowledge of the sender.
If the sender is known to be a very religious person then it can help the recipient whereas the statement about thoughts has more comfort in almost all cases.

If POTUS were to come out and send his prayers ...... think how you yourself would take that but if it were the Pope .......

Facebook versus email versus face to face versus personal phone call. The first two would not have any effect but the fact that the sender took the trouble to put him or herself out to deliver the message personally or by phone has a definite effect. It implies that they are willing to do more if needed.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Sure the motives relating to a job are different, but even there sometimes you have the option of whether or not to help someone. Whenever I helped someone in need, it was always because it was the right thing to do.

There are also those cases where employees do only what is required of them, turning their backs on anyone asking for help in regards to anything else. They're generally thought of as poor humans, though the bosses probably prefer them—until they get their pictures posed in the paper, and then they're all over them, praising their 'selfless dedication' in front of the cameras.

Doing the right thing isn't really any different if you do it for money (like firefighters) or not. What does make a difference, is either NOT doing the right thing because 'no one asked me to', or doing the WRONG thing because someone thinks protestors need their heads bashed in.

Crumbly Writer

@Jim S

To me, being agnostic means I don't know Who up there (if anyone) is turning the crank; I just hope S/He doesn't stop.

Just to be clear, I wasn't attacking anyone for being an agnostic, I was just pointing out that that's the main justification for agnostic belief for hundreds of years ("I can't prove that God exists, so I go to church every Sunday just so I won't end up in hell if I'm wrong"). I've NEVER considered that a rational point of view, but I don't hold WHY someone goes to church against them. What I DO hold against them, is when they CLAIM to do something because of Christ's teaching, and then do something completely against his teachings.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


What I DO hold against them, is when they CLAIM to do something because of Christ's teaching, and then do something completely against his teachings.


Hypocrites are part of every large population grouping. Some just happen to be easier to find than others. Such as hypocritical Christians in an area that are majority Christian. And even Christ had little tolerance for those types, openly condemning people for being such on multiple occasions.

Edit: To be honest, from my recollections of Christ's own teachings. You're probably better off being a prostitute than a hypocrite, but those are things which are inconvenient for most people, and thus ignored.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Not_a_ID

Hypocrites are part of every large population grouping.

Hypocrisy is often an inevitable consequence of the way human brains function. When someone subconsciously notices one of their faults, and usually they do, but are unwilling to consciously accept it, as many often will not, the recognition must go somewhere. If the brain is prevented from pinning the fault on the person themselves it will search for someone else to pin it on.

For those who care, this can be illuminating. If you ever notice the level of your irritation with a particular person's fault feels somehow excessive, that is the time to look for that fault within yourself. It will be hard for you to spot but you can be sure that you do have that particular fault yourself.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Ross at Play


For those who care, this can be illuminating. If you ever notice the level of your irritation with a particular person's fault feels somehow excessive, that is the time to look for that fault within yourself. It will be hard for you to spot but you can be sure that you do have that particular fault yourself.


And is probably part of the reason behind "opposites attract" in relationships. They're a fair bit less likely to "match" up on things that they "key into" as it were.

I know I am somewhat guilty about that with speech. Having had significant enunciation issues as a child, undergoing nearly 6 years of speech therapy at a nearby University as a consequence. People with obvious speech impediments drive me absolutely up a wall. Mostly because even now(decades later) I still consciously monitor my diction as I speak. Although oddly it is the ones with a lisp that seem to bother me the most, and that wasn't my problem at all. Meanwhile the guy talking in pigeon doesn't phase me.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

I know I am somewhat guilty about that with speech. Having had significant enunciation issues as a child, undergoing nearly 6 years of speech therapy at a nearby University as a consequence

I have not had a speech impediment but I have to ask "what is correct enunciation/pronuciation"? The Bronx? Anchorage? New Delhi? New Orleans?

From the age of seven I got lectures about pronouncing words "correctly" and it must have had some effect; my wife's family gave me a hard time about my accent and she claims that in many decades it has moderated slightly.

(If you want so-called "correct" pronuciation hold your nose as you speak!)

Replies:   Geek of Ages  Not_a_ID
Geek of Ages

@sejintenej

I have to ask "what is correct enunciation/pronuciation"?


It's hard to go wrong with GA or RP, depending on which side of the pond you're on.

Replies:   sejintenej
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@sejintenej


I have not had a speech impediment but I have to ask "what is correct enunciation/pronuciation"? The Bronx? Anchorage? New Delhi? New Orleans?


Accents are a different matter, in fact, probably part of my specific issue with learning to speak probably stems from the matter that I'm somehow "not processing" some of that information. So slight to moderate accents actually stand a decent chance of being missed by me entirely.

And it has to be "not processing" because I maxed out the hearing tests the speech pathologist/child development people performed(although they only tested to "normal" as their concern was checking for hearing impairment/deafness), while also being the only person some Navy Corpsmen have ever seen max out their hearing test--and that includes their medically reviewing Sonar Techs.

Edit: I guess the biggest distinction I make on accent vs impairment is that in the case of impairments, I can "hear the spray of spittle" as they talk. Which is probably a large part of why lisps in particular bother me.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej
Updated:

@Geek of Ages


I have to ask "what is correct enunciation/pronuciation"?

It's hard to go wrong with GA or RP, depending on which side of the pond you're on

Would you care to explain those abbreviations?

GA = Gallium and various things like goal allowed and references to Georgia but nothing about sounds

RP = received pronunciation, whatever that is

Replies:   geekofages
sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

Accents are a different matter, in fact, probably part of my specific issue with learning to speak probably stems from the matter that I'm somehow "not processing" some of that information. So slight to moderate accents actually stand a decent chance of being missed by me entirely.

Understood. My problem apparently was that I was not saying various letter combinations correctly - ou as in sound for example.

geekofages

@sejintenej

Would you care to explain those abbreviations?


General American: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American

Received Pronunciation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation

Not_a_ID

Well, there is the New England flavor as well as Southern Drawl + the "Hillbilly" variants that are hard to miss, even for me.

Brit vs Australian vs Canadian vs Kiwi and others(Scottish and Irish, haven't personally encountered Welsh) can be fun too.

richardshagrin

Accents are like opinions (and sometimes assholes) everybody has at least one. Except people with colostomy bags instead. Residents of the Nation of India have distinct ways of speaking, as do other English speakers who reside in places where English is one of the official languages, like the Philippines. It is all pretty much what you are used to hearing.

My question of the day is why do they call it a General Election if no Generals are elected?

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

My question of the day is why do they call it a General Election if no Generals are elected?


I think it goes back to the days of you electing which general to serve by walking over to his camp.

sejintenej

@richardshagrin

My question of the day is why do they call it a General Election if no Generals are elected

I suspect (with no evidence to support me) that it refers to the populace in general as opposed to a specific election such as an election within a trades union or political party where those authorised to vote are subject to specified conditions such as membership of the body concerned

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

I suspect (with no evidence to support me) that it refers to the populace in general as opposed to a specific election such as an election within a trades union or political party where those authorised to vote are subject to specified conditions such as membership of the body concerned


Mostly the general population to actually select the person to take an office vs a party specific primaries to select the candidate for that party in the general election.

The terminology is used even in US states with open primaries.

In a closed primary, you have to be a registered member of the party to vote in the primary.

In an open primary, any voter can vote in any parties primary though each voter is generally limited to voting in just one primary.

Darian Wolfe

@Wheezer

Not quite two months ago I nearly died. I am now left with, an at times, severe speech impediment and reduced cognitive functions. It appears that I will have to deal with this the rest of my life.

I have run the gauntlet of emotions, angry, afraid, worry as I have for all practical purposes lost my career. I also know there's not one damn thing that can be done to help me. I am broken and only time will tell if I will mend.

Do you know what has meant a lot to me? The kind words of others and the knowledge that there are a few people in the world who will spend a part of their time saying prayers for me. I KNOW I am not in this alone and that is a game changer.

Will their prayers be answered? Who knows? I don't. One of the parts of my brain that was injured is the part that handles spirituality. Imagine that- going from being a believer to an atheist experientally in a literal instant.

I do know that I don't want their prayers to stop. They're a lifeline to me because I KNOW the people making them will be patient with me when I can't talk and will not be abusive towards me.

There's my two cents.

Darian

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