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Featured As an atheist having someone praying for you

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Ayjaydee, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Ayjaydee

    Ayjaydee Active Member

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    If you are engaged in a discussion/debate with a theist and they post something like "I'm praying for you", do you take it as wish for your best interests or as a passive/aggressive "shot" meant to antagonize and belittle your point of view?
     
  2. Geoff-Allen

    Geoff-Allen Resident megalomaniac

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    It all depends.

    It would be nice if it was a genuine wish for your well-being and peace-of-mind.

    I would go with my gut as to whether you find it a cheap shot that is motivated by a bit of arrogance or complacency - there's a lot of it going around in real life!

    I will pray for you to be well guided in responding to whatever debates you are engaged in.

    That's no pun - I really mean it - most of us need all the guidance we can get :)

    All the best!
     
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  3. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

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    Depends. I have a co-worker who always says she wants to pray for me even though she knows I am an atheist. I understand she means well by it. Still, it can come across as overbearing to me at times. It shows disregard. I don't think she understands that, though, so it doesn't get under my skin. I just smile and say thanks.

    Now when I get ambushed by folks trying to proselytize to me when I'm just trying to go to the store... That can get bothersome. That doesn't come from a good place, and instead comes from a place of arrogance and condescension. I don't have the patience to hear the same old spiel over and over again. I just wanna get some eggs and milk.
     
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  4. Ayjaydee

    Ayjaydee Active Member

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    Thanks , but telling me you'll do something for me of which I have no belief in its power is really no favour and could be construed as a failure to respect my beliefs. But you are sincere and I'll accept them as long as you allow me to view them as best wishes!! Lol
     
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  5. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Regardless of the theist or atheist views, for anyone to say to you "I'm praying for you," when you have not solicited it, can be offensive. It's patronizing, no matter who says it to who unless there is a cause amongst friends, such as grieving a loss, or in the interest of encouragement. If it's to a stranger unsolicited, that's just the person's ego on display, announcing how spiritual they think they are.
     
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  6. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    I've seen it used both ways. I have no problem with it when sincere.
    If it's being used in a demeaning way and I'm feeling pithy I might say 'I'll think for you.'
     
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  7. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    Depends on the circumstances.
    But on the internet it usually(ok, almost always) comes across as a passive/aggressive shot that tells me that they've failed to support their stance, but don't want to admit that to themselves.
    I smile a little.
    Tom
     
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  8. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that already an idiom? If you haven't hard that retort as a theist, you haven't had much contact with unbelievers.
     
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  9. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Especially when you 'hear' what isn't said. " ... because you can't do that yourself." And yes, that can also be added to the usual retort.
     
  10. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    To be fair to the religious, most time, they mean well when they say, "I'll pray for you"
    I usually ignore it and treat it as a normal reaction from a person of faith.
    Much more useful would have been, "What can I do to help?" but they believe praying is helping.

    Ho hum
     
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  11. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    No. I take it as good intentions and leave it at that.
     
  12. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    I tend to take it as the latter, while still acknowledging that the theist may not be aware of this implication. To many people who pray, the act of praying FOR someone has only ever been associated positively, so the act of praying for someone is seen as entirely selfless and noble; but this is only because they don't see the other side of it - the implication that the person they are praying for has some deficiency that requires your praying to save them from.

    It's kind of like the old "heaven/hell" discussion I've had in the past with a few Christian and Muslim friends. I have friends who love me and value me as a friend, but still believe I am going to hell. They do not couch this in terms that are negative towards me, and seem to feel that me going to hell is just an unfortunate consequence of their belief, but they are unconscious of the implication that I must therefore deserve to go to Hell regardless of how little they seem to agree with that assessment.

    No matter what kind of positive spin you put on that "I'll pray for you" line, the underlying implication will always be "You need to be prayed for".
     
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  13. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    I'm inclined to agree with this rather than it being a conscious passive-aggressive remark, but I do like to point it out when they say it to me that I don't necessarily think that telling me I need to be prayed for is a very nice thing to say.
     
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  14. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Dunno about online debate, but IRL, if it is clearly said with good intentions then getting annoyed about it is pathetic.

    Getting annoyed at someone genuinely wishing you well simply because you would prefer them to have phrased it slightly differently is petty arrogance and a total **** move.

    I live somewhere that people will often say 'pray for me, ya'. I used to say "I don't really pray but I give you my best wishes" but even that is ridiculously petty, so now I just say "ok, of course".

    If someone is clearly saying it to annoy you, then there is no need to be polite. I would give people the benefit of the doubt if I'm unsure though.
     
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  15. Maximus

    Maximus the Confessor

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    It is something we are to do:

    'Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.'

    James 5:16
     
  16. Ayjaydee

    Ayjaydee Active Member

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    Perhaps.an atheist may not consider himself part of each other and may be insulted that you think he needs healing
     
  17. Maximus

    Maximus the Confessor

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    Perhaps. But I can't help that - other than to pray for their enlightenment.
     
  18. Ayjaydee

    Ayjaydee Active Member

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    Then you will find many may avoid you or worse
     
  19. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    Depends on the person and why they are praying. Praying while I am fighting an illness versus praying for me to stop my sinful ways.
     
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  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Right wing fabrication regurgitator...so they say.
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    If imprecatory or derisive prayer, I have no comment.
    If the friendly kind, I smile.
     
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