You may not realize how destructive prayer and pretending are to our culture. Come and see how to connect the dots to hate and ignorance. See what you can do to reverse this trend.
The Western worldview sees prayer as a part of their tradition. It is a public act that shows devotion. This is a way of pretending that erodes the ability to reason and use common sense. It creates a culture that learns to defend its beliefs against any fact that contradicts its worldview.
The Western religions are the Abrahamic religions (1) of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These religions are the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. Today these religions control most of the cultural narrative with over 4 billion members combined.
The Basis of Prayer and Pretending
Prayer is a concept that is a fundamental part of the Western worldview. This worldview is the home of the three major religions of the Abrahamic tree. This tree includes Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Together they boast a worldwide membership of over 4 billion members. Because of their immense size, they have a dominant influence on the cultural narrative.
The Western worldview prayer is supplication for the intervention of a higher power. In other words, you pretend you have an imaginary friend who can help. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains it well:
An act of the virtue of religion which consists in asking proper gifts or graces from God. In a more general sense it is the application of the mind to Divine things, not merely to acquire a knowledge of them but to make use of such knowledge as a means of union with God. This may be done by acts of thanksgiving, but petition is the principle act of prayer. ―The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911)
It is a magical process of explained as mystical, mental, magical appropriation. Here’s how it works. One reaches out magically with the power of the mind via a mystical esoteric practice accessed via a specific formula. Depending upon the sect, it could be “calling on the name,” and it might include ceremonial cleansing “baptism” by water.
This mystical and magical process enables you to get the desired object. Magic is a process whereby they get salvation or other things such as the favor of their imaginary friend. The primary goal is an afterlife of heaven. Other products include healing and material prosperity.
People pray for a variety of outcomes, from physical healing to winning football games. Here’s how it works. When healing takes place the person who prays gives the credit to their imaginary friend. If the person dies, they don’t blame their imaginary friend for not intervening. Instead, they blame themselves for not being devote enough.
The same with the football game. If you win, it is because your imaginary friend helped you. But when both teams are praying to the same imaginary friend for victory, what happens? The winners praise their imaginary friend. The losers blame themselves for not being good enough to win their imaginary friend’s favor. It is a logical fallacy which promotes a culture of illogical thinking.
Phenomenology, Prayer and Pretending
As mentioned earlier, the Abrahamic religions aren’t new. They are the rebranding of earlier traditions from the Mediterranean region. These were the mystery religions of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt and Persia. The initial branch of this tree is Judaism. It complied with most of its traditions from Babylonian mitigated dualism.
Christianity added the dying god traditions of the region, and Islam spun off its own interpretation. These religions have their roots in the philosophy of Phenomenology. However, most people in these religions don’t know it. This unmentioned underlying philosophy helps perpetuate a culture of ignorance.
Phenomenology or Phenomenalism is based on the premise that reality exists only if we experience it. The idea is that all things only exist when we perceive them with the senses. It is a philosophy that assumes man is at the center of creation, and in control of creation, whether that control is known or even recognized. In this philosophy, a select group of “chosen” people can control all phenomena. It is a culture based on the supremacy of one group.
We can summarize phenomenology in the answer to the philosopher’s question. Does a tree make a noise in the forest when it falls and there isn’t anyone around to hear it? A Phenomenologist would answer, no, the tree would not make a sound, if I wasn’t there to hear it. This is because the tree does NOT exist until and I experience it. Therefore, reality exists only through human perception and experience. If man perceives it, then it exists. If man doesn’t perceive it or experience it directly, then it simply doesn’t exist.
Some leaders use this philosophy to rationalize their treatment of those less fortunate. They teach the unbeliever exists only for the benefit of the more worthy and wealthy, those who are “chosen”. The chosen people are worthy because they have a connection with Deity. Because they are chosen by their imaginary friend, they can justify their actions over the less fortunate. The unbelievers, who do not have this Divine connection, are less than human. They to exist when the “chosen ones” weren’t around to experience them.
This kind of thinking makes it acceptable to exact unjust punishments on those not in the group. After all, unbelievers aren’t actually real people. They were just temporal beings, which existed only for the use of the Divinely appointed superiors, the “chosen ones.”
This cult of self-appointed chosen ones underlies the fracturing of culture in the modern world. It spawns the war between Christians and Muslims. One side thinks the Muslims are unbelievers, the other thinks the Christians are infidels. Thus, they can kill each other with their imaginary friend’s approval.
We assert this philosophy is errant. We disagree with the view that just because it is not experienced directly it does not exist. We assert that everything in physical reality exists. This includes all people, regardless of their race, social or economic status. They are real and tangible, not just figments of imagination. We would hope that most people (politicians and governments?) would also agree that the phenomenologist’s view of reality is incorrect.
A Culture of Hate and Ignorance
It is a well-established point that facts and things can exist whether anyone believes in them. Belief is irrelevant to the factual basis of reality. The philosophers question, does a tree make a noise when it falls if there isn’t anyone around to hear it? If we apply our newest logical tool, a fact can exist whether anyone believes it.
So, yes, if the tree makes a noise when it falls, it makes a sound regardless if there is anyone around to hear it. Contrary to the phenomenologist’s point of view, we assert that man cannot affect reality (physical or spiritual) by the power of his thought. Prayer is thus a worthless enterprise. It is merely pretending and putting on a show.
Pretending is a slippery slope. If you can believe your imaginary friend exists, then you believe anything else associated with it. This kind of thinking is what makes people lifelong customers of mythology. It can become an identity that blinds them to the use of common sense and logic. This is where the slippery slope becomes dangerous.
Western organized religion has an outward face of peace and religious holiness. But, at its core, it practices bias and prejudice.
Religious people claim that it’s just the fundamentalists of each religion that cause problems. But, there’s got to be something wrong with the religion itself if those who strictly adhere to its most fundamental principles are violent bigots and sexists. — David G. Mcafee
Hate and ignorance go hand in hand. If you subject yourself to enough groupthink programming, you can substantiate any paradox. Many people are born into this type of thinking. They are subject to programming as children. This programming becomes the basis for skewed thinking. They learn to trust their spiritual leaders and shun any facts or opinions that threaten their worldview.
Others come to religion in times of crisis because people in crisis are vulnerable. They accept the illogical out of the need to find answers. They become customers and advocates for ignorance. They hope that prayer and pretending will provide solutions to their problems.
When they don’t get what they need, it is their fault. They did not pray hard enough. They did not pretend with enough intent. It teaches them to blame the unbeliever, the poor, because they are the ones causing their problems. This breeds hate and ignorance in equal measure.
Most people want a world where we live in harmony, where there is peace and prosperity. Instead, we live in a culture of inequity and inequality. Western thought bases the culture on leveraging the resources of many for the benefit of a few.
The philosophy of phenomenology justifies treating people as less than human. This is used to justify gender discrimination, ethnic and racial bias. It keeps this worldview in place by promoting hatred and ignorance. The root of this negative programming is mistaking mythology for fact. With regular exposure to groupthink manipulation, it perpetuates negative stereotypes and values.
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(1) Arahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia