A word or two about prayers

5 Dec

I’ve prayed. I’ve had enough prayers answered to warrant a belief in a deity or ‘The Secret’. So why don’t I ? Magical thinking. My logical brain can’t support it.



In modern times, “religion” can be as difficult to define as “brain”, with multifarious facets to include prayers to deities. Our technology is currently able to tease out some of the neurobiological similarities and differences between believers and non-believers, as well as divergences between individual believers.

Regardless, prayers have been a part of our human psychology and neurology for possibly longer than religion itself. Both “answered” and “unanswered” prayers feed into our innate confirmation bias and our primate social needs; it’s possible that we evolved as a species to pray just as we evolved grooming, and other behaviors. For many people in the west, prayer may be more of a self-soothing ritual more so than it is about actually talking to anyone else.

Organized religion likely surfaced as a result of the Neolithic revolution and provided economic stability by means to collect taxes, and religion eventually evolved and morphed…

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One Response to “A word or two about prayers”

  1. drshellking December 5, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Confirmation bias at its finest. I wound up writing a separate article on that subject as this one was getting too long.

    As for you not believing in prayers I’d say your critical thinking skills well established, enough to observe that there were probably other forces at work (other people, yourself, natural explanations, etc) to warrant positing supernatural intervention when you prayed and they were “answered”.

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