Stathis,
I enjoy your (Brent, Bruno, etc.) religion-class.<G>
What you quoted about prayer, is in the  ballpark of what I say always, 
except for the addition: 'does what was to be done anyway'.  IOW: he doesn't 
care.
Why do the religions (almost all of them) depict a god after the worst human 
characters: jealous, flatterable, requiring praise and  blind obedience, 
vengeful, irate, picking favorites,
even sadistic and not caring? Why does he punish for deeds done exactly as 
he created the sinner? Why is he said to have created this miserable 
creature 'homo' after his own image?
This prompted my debate-argument against(?) the Intelligent Design ever 
since "ID" showed up, as:
1. a design does nothing and is not intelligent, it is a manual         how 
to do a job,
    the designer may be intelligent, but who does the job? A 
blueprint (ID) does nothing.
2. The world is evil, made so that creatures eat up others, pain, 
torture, lies, greed, SM, exploitation, etc. etc. so it is more     likely 
that it is the handiwork of the 'devil'. Anyway:                 Lucipher 
means the one who brings the light (photon,             energy, existence) - 
Never mind theism or deism.
    THEN we are created in the image of the devil. Closer.

(Carl Sagan was more benevolent: in Cosmos he wrote that the world is the 
test-work of a 'demiurg', who failed - and it was let running so the others 
see how NOT to do it.)

John

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <everything-list@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, November 18, 2006 8:05 AM
Subject: RE: Natural Order & Belief




Brent Meeker writes:

> You mean like this: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12345b.htm

That reference has an interesting take on prayer:

"In hearing our prayer God does not change His will or action in our regard, 
but simply puts into effect what He had eternally decreed in view of our 
prayer.

In other words, prayer doesn't make a difference because will do what
he was going to do anyway. Moreover:

"Indeed, so numerous and so helpful are these effects of prayer that they 
compensate us, even when the special object of our prayer is not granted. 
Often they are of far greater benefit than what we ask for. Nothing that we 
might obtain in answer to our prayer could exceed in value the familiar 
converse with God in which prayer consists.

The author seems to be implicitly aware of the empirical challenge presented
by all the unanswered prayers. By this process, theism is watered down until
it looks much like deism, the position of most modern theologians with a 
broad
philosophical education, which excludes the fundamentalists who believe in 
the
literal truth of their religious books.

Stathis Papaioannou


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