You can pray for me all you want,

I’ll be out in the world actually volunteering my time to make the word a better place.

Actions, not words. Or in this case, directionless thought.


About thatcatkatie
I came to this site to discuss my beliefs, and yours too, and hopefully learn some things from my fellow human beings.

17 Responses to You can pray for me all you want,

  1. John Barron says:

    I think that’s an over generalization on your part. I admit that many of the religious faithful ‘pray for’ causes with no action. But in reality, the religious give more than the non-religious (

    And I don’t know your political persuasion, but conservatives give more time and money to charity, as well as donate more blood more often. (I can give you the stats if you are suspicious of the claim) I’m not judging you or others, just making sure everyone is on the same page as far as facts go.

    • thatcatkatie says:

      If you read this information, they surveyed two groups of peopple – religious and secular. However, they’ll tell you straight up that their definition of secular people is people who only sometimes attend church – which is simply NOT the definition of what a secularist is, they didn’t include them with the religious, so the results are skewed from the get-go. I read a few paragraphs and then skimmed, but I’m fairly certain they make no mention of atheists – and if they did survey atheists, they didn’t bother mentioning it in any detail.
      I am not simply conservative or liberal, the closest thing I can define myself as would be Libertarian.
      Now I don’t know of any studies that validly suggest this is true or even false, but if I find any (I don’t have the time to search now, maybe later in the day) I will be sure to post them. I will also be sure to check the information on the study, to make sure I know who they asked, what they asked, and what they define their categories are. If you had done that, you would have noticed that your study was biased and states something that simply isn’t true because they didn’t actually compare the two groups of religious people (I still can’t get over the fact that they labeled church-goers who don’t go that often as secular, just, come on – that’s so obviously wrong) to atheists or agnostics.
      I can’t speak for all other atheists, but I do volunteer my time to charity, I do give blood as often as possible, I do my part to try to make the world a little better when I can. Although I know quite a few atheists who also do these things, and when I compare that number in my head to the number of religious people I know who give back, well… the atheists win.

    • thatcatkatie says:

      Again, you’re looking at charity only in terms of how much money people are willing to throw at a cause as opposed to action. Please read the link I provided. And again, the amount of money you’re willing to throw at something may not necessarily have anything to do with how charitable or generous you are but the herd mindset of the church which tells you to give to charity – which also raises the question of whether or not these people who are being polled would still give as much without the religious incentive telling them to do so.
      You also provided me with a link that was red states vs. blue states – in case you didn’t know, republican doesn’t mean religious and democratic doesn’t mean atheist automatically, so this poll was really useless in regards to the topic, it goes on to mention religion, but if that article isn’t heavily biased then I don’t know what you would consider to be biased.
      AND when you don’t count money given to strictly religious charities (Christians giving money to Christian causes) then the numbers on who is more generous change dramatically.

  2. John Barron says:

    ” Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.”

    You missed this from the RCP link I think. Also, should I give credence to the secularhumanism site? It seems like using the yourself as a source doesnt garner much confidence. “Atheists give lots, just ask them, they’ll tell you”. Do you have any disinterested sources?

    But also, if this discussion we’re having wasn’t really the point, then I don’t get the point of this post

    • thatcatkatie says:

      I didn’t miss it, I just thought the link I posted afterwards provided better insight into the whole charity thing than any survey taken of people – frankly you can’t do a survey on something like that without getting biased information.
      And if you’re wondering what the point of the post is, I’m saying that prayer is fairly useless when it comes to trying to better the world around you. It’s actions that get things done. It’s science and people who are willing to put the time in instead of something easy like praying that get things done. Praying is just believing you’ve done something good and getting to pat yourself on the back for caring about someone without actually doing anything about the situation you’re praying for. How we got on the subject of who gives more to charity was all your doing. I never made that claim, I just talked with you about it once you brought it up.

  3. John Barron says:

    I think you’re right, prayer without action can be ineffective. However making the blanket statement that prayer is useless is merely a statement bourn from a presupposition that God doesn’t exist. But I’m not quibbling with that point since I don’t want to get off on a tangent too far.

    Who gives to charity is a measurable action. You took issue with what seemed to be the religious who were all talk and no action (which is measurably false), which also seemed to the the topic of your post here.

    • thatcatkatie says:

      And you made an assumption about hidden meaning in my post, I made no accusation that the religious don’t give to charity, only that prayer does nothing because simply, no, I don’t believe in God, but I won’t discuss that with you if you don’t want to get into it.
      I never said that atheists are necessarily more likely to give to charity, although I was interested once you brought it up and then even more so when I found the article that would suggest religious people only give to religions because they think they’re supposed to. The article also interested me with the idea that Christians do give to charities, but of you took away he charities that were other Christian foundations ( in other words, Christians giving money to Christians causes because they’re also Christian) then you’d see a different trend in the numbers.

  4. John, rather than providing evidence to refute something thatcatkatie didn’t say, why don’t you refute what she did say? Let’s see some evidence that prayer works—that it alters outcomes at levels greater than what we’d expect by chance. Double-blind research has thus far failed to show any such effect. For example, a large 2006 study showed prayer had no effect on medical outcomes:

    As for charitable giving, here’ s link to more research that further backs up what thatcatkatie said in her most recent reply:

    • thatcatkatie says:

      Thank you, he seems to not realize that jumping straight to who gives more to charity and me saying that prayer is ineffective aren’t quite the same thing, and that we wouldn’t be talking about it if he hadn’t brought it up.

  5. John Barron says:

    I thought I was pretty clear that the message I took away from the brief post was that Katie was criticizing people who are all intent with no action from themselves.

    It sounded like she was essentially saying “OK, you’re going to pray about it and then do nothing else, and I’m going to actually do something”.

    Studies which attempt to show prayer as ineffective are inherently flawed, I’ve written on this in the past, but won’t advertise here unless you are interested in a more full thought about this.

    Bit have you considered that your desires to get motivated about what it is you’re doing was the answer to someone’s prayer? It seems plausible, and quite ironic?

  6. thatcatkatie says:

    And I explained to you already that that was not exactly what I meant. You saw what I said and then thought it sounded like something else, and while I’m fine with discussing that, it is a bit derailing. Although while most Christians give more to charity, if you factor out the religious groups and look at charities that go to things such as cancer research or charities that support basic human needs, atheists/agnostics give more to such charities. Okay, so we already discussed that.
    Now please show me one instance that would prove that prayer works that isn’t just coincidental. Because people pray for all sorts of things (things that really shouldn’t even always be prayed for, like sports). There are also probably people who pray for the opposite of what you want, for example, in instances of war – both sides have men who think their God is on their side. Both pray to win. To go home safely. Regardless of the outcome – some people’s hopes will end up happening and others won’t. So they try to make it logical when their hopes are answered by saying God heard them, when really it’s only coincidence, and people whose prayers aren’t answered just fall back on the idea that God works in mysterious ways. Which is easy to say when you are trying to validate the existence of your deity, instead of considering that the world is just a chain of reaction and events that are all interconnected because we are social creatures, and so good things and bad things happen all the time, and they have to happen to someone. So just because something good happened when you prayed for it, doesn’t mean it happened BECAUSE you prayed for it, the circumstances just happened to line up as so. This refusal to accept coincidence and crediting God or prayer when other people are actually helping is ridiculous to me.
    Now I brought it up in the first place because people keep saying they’ll “pray” for my aunt who keeps falling ill with all sorts of things, while I’m the one that goes to her house and helps her all day long whenever she needs me to. It just bothers me that these people who just “pray” for her think they’re accomplishing anything by that instead of actually trying to help her, or without giving any credit to the doctors who’ve performed surgery on her and tried to get her through her various sicknesses by being good doctors. So when the medicine works, people want to credit God, and themselves, for praying – instead of acknowledging what actually helped her. And please, don’t give me that “But medicine is a an answer to a prayer.” Because you can just apply that though to anything without anything to really back it
    up at all. Now if you had asked me what my post meant from the get-go, you’d already know that.

  7. John Barron says:


    I was reiterating for the person who came into the discussion and reintroducing the same things we talked about.

    Unfortunately your own bias forbids you from granting an acknowledged prayer. You will be able to gainsay any example I might provide as a coincidence. Your worldview has defined away the possibility of supernatural intervention and answers to prayers. You have already determined that God doesn’t exist and therefore anything resembling a miracle or answered prayer cannot really be a miracle or answered prayer because those things don’t exist in your view. You know that anything could be considered a coincidence.I could pray for a lightning bolt to hit your mail box and it could happen on command, what prevents you from dismissing it as coincidence?

    • thatcatkatie says:

      I used to be a christian, I went to church every Sunday for years, so I have considered the other side. At one point in my life I was in a perfectly fine position for my prayers to be answered if such a thing were possible. I had to admit I was wrong to come to the conclusion of being an atheist. What prevents me from thinking that prayer works is that I’ve been around masses of people who thought it was effective for most of my life, in church, in hospitals, in their own homes, in all sorts of situations. So that’s why I’m so sure, because of observing, because even the ‘amazing’ stories you hear about it can be easily explained, and if not then science is not too far from reaching the answers. And coincidences do happen, all the time. My boyfriend and I accidentally coordinated our outfits the other day, and it’s not because we share some weird brainwave that made it happen, it was coincidence. It was coincidence when I prayed for my dog to come home when I was 11 after he’d been gone for a day and he did. Prayer didn’t get him to my house any faster, I know that now. It’s a choice to believe that it did, but just believing it really hard doesn’t make it so. My whole experience on this earth so far would point to things like God not being real, and not even just my subjective experience, but all the evidence out there that debunks the bible, all the evidence that points to evolutionary process and the big band theory. But people take coincidence and happenstance and label it as supernatural instead of trying to understand things or give credit where credit is due.

  8. Pingback: Atheist Marionettes Dance At Behest of Christian Puppeteers – Sifting Reality

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