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May 17 2010

Why prayer is nonsense – part 0

By no means is this intended to be an exhaustive list of every theological discussion, every argument and counterargument, with regard to prayer’s efficacy. My aim with this series is to show why prayer is an ultimately useless endeavor, either devoid of any merit when defined narrowly, or if defined vaguely, indistinguishable from other mental disciplines like meditation; and how people entrenching prayer in the public consciousness and including it in their individual philosophies in such large numbers as exists today, tangibly harms society.

This is the master post, the first in a series that will be updated as time allows. I’ll be editing links into this post as I create the subsequent parts. There are a lot of interconnected points that need to be woven together to form my final argument, so please bear with me as I get this thing built. If you’d like to start pulling on threads early, that may help to shape future parts, but otherwise, bear in mind I may well cover it by the time this series is done. Some posts will be longer than others (especially part 2), but I’ll be making an effort to keep the parts relatively digestible, which is of course why I’m chunking this up to begin with.

Part 1: First, define prayer
Part 2: Know your deities
Part 3: But everyone knows prayer works!
Part 4: Even if it IS useless, what’s the harm?
Part 5: So why pray?

4 comments

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  1. 1
    A

    I’m curious about Part 4.

    Off topic: Is there a link to your home page when you’re in a post? I might be a techno-idiot, but I can’t find one and it’s irritating to have to go back to address bar to get back to the home page.

  2. 2
    A

    I found it. I’m officially a techno-idiot! (In my defence, I’d clicked there before, but for some reason it didn’t work.)

  3. 3
    Jason Thibeault

    You’ll hopefully keep checking back for part 4 then! I might even have to string it along a while to keep you coming back for more.

    Ah, I missed you.

  4. 4
    A

    As you know well by now, I’m not good with blogs. That you’re posting links on FaceBook helps, though!

  1. 5
    Activist judges, money for oil, and a blatant disregard for reality « Lousy Canuck

    [...] out of this one. But since there’s probably no point in praying to any sort of deity anyway (as explained here at great depth), it looks like we’re stuck with the knowledge that we made a huge mistake in tackling a [...]

  2. 6
    If it smells like Funk, it must be astrology « Lousy Canuck

    [...] toward creating another overarching deconstruction of astrology along the same lines as my recent Why Prayer is Nonsense series. Others have done it so much more proficiently. There are even peer-reviewed scientific [...]

  3. 7
    “…but he who destroys a good book, kills Reason itself, kills the Image of God.” « Lousy Canuck

    [...] fine with his plans. It’s a function of the Ouroboros aspect of prayer, as outlined in my Why Prayer is Nonsense [...]

  4. 8
    Why Prayer is Nonsense #nationaldayofprayer « Lousy Canuck

    [...] of turning Cinco de Mayo into the farcical National Day of Prayer, today I repost my opus, Why Prayer is Nonsense. By no means is this intended to be an exhaustive list of every theological discussion, every [...]

  5. 9
    Activist judges, money for oil, and a blatant disregard for reality | Lousy Canuck

    [...] out of this one. But since there’s probably no point in praying to any sort of deity anyway (as explained here at great depth), it looks like we’re stuck with the knowledge that we made a huge mistake in tackling a [...]

  6. 10
    Why prayer is nonsense – part 5 | Lousy Canuck

    [...] is the final part in a five-part series. Please see the Master Post if you haven’t already read the previous parts, because this part relies heavily on [...]

  7. 11
    Hello, Freethought Blogs readers! » Lousy Canuck

    [...] as a Mental Parasite Why Prayer is Nonsense (five-part series) In defense of my “meaning of [...]

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