Hello, Hedonist. Nice, as always to see you again. I trust you're having a great Sunday.<quoted text>
"...if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity." ~Carl Sagan
Not quite sure what to tell Mr. Sagan, since I haven't found a specific example of an atheist praying to the law of gravity (even though some may).
I think the best thing to tell him is that an atheist can express his religious faith in many different ways.
I did post this earlier, in case you missed it:
Our Powers are within,
Whatever be their name.
What they have done, what still may come,
This Earth can yet be as Heaven.
Live then this day, and without dread,
And forgive your own trespasses
As you forgive those who trespass against you.
And be not led into temptation,
But flee away from evil,
For Time is the Healer,
With power to restore me,
Forever and ever, Amen.
Also found within the text at the above link:
Can an atheist pray? Why not? I don't believe in God - at least not the God as described by the majority of theists - but I DO believe that there is plenty of evidence that we human beings can summon up powers to help us in difficult times. I don't venture to guess whether these powers are within us or outside us, but I don't think it matters what their source is, they are there. And we can benefit from them.
... theres no need to give up religious practice, just because youve decided that the idea of a Creator doesnt make sense. You can still go to church/temple/mosque, you can still pray (both traditional prayer and the personal prayer I talked about in this post if thats part of your tradition). I realize, living in the Bay Area, that Im in a bubble of enlightened religious thinking, where many reformed communities are completely tolerant of naturalistic philosophies like Darwinism. Richard Dawkins criticizes these types as religious moderates, trying to find middle ground where none exists. Maybe thats a valid criticism in some cases, but theres more to religion than belief (especially in the case of Judaism). There are powerful psychological factors involved in community, ritual, and practice that bind us to each other, and help us in our own personal growth, and we dont have to believe in God to take advantage of these things.
... just because youve decided that the idea of a Creator doesnt make sense. You can still go to church/temple/mosque, you can still pray (both traditional prayer and the personal prayer I talked about in this post.