Keinschmidt, Shieva. Atheistic Prayer
2017, Faith and Philosophy 34(2): 152-175.
Added by: Emily PaulAbstract: In this paper I will argue, contrary to common assumptions, that rational atheistic prayer is possible. I will formulate and respond to two powerful arguments against the possibility of atheistic prayer: first, an argument that the act of prayer involves an intention to communicate to God, precluding disbelief in God's existence; second, an argument claiming that reaching out to God through prayer requires believing God might exist, precluding rational disbelief in God. In showing options for response to these arguments, I will describe a model on which atheistic prayer is not only possible, but is on a par with theistic prayer in many more ways than one might expect.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Kleinschmidt, Shieva. The Experiential Problem of Petitionary Prayer
2018, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83(3): 219-229.
Added by: Emily PaulAbstract: Sometimes we petition God for things through prayer. This is puzzling, because if God always does what is best, it is not clear how our prayers can make a difference to what God does. Difference-Making accounts of petitionary prayer attempt to explain how our prayers can nonetheless influence what God does. I argue that, insofar as one is motivated to endorse such an account due to wanting to respect widespread intuitions about this feature of petitionary prayer, they should also be motivated to endorse an account of prayer that respects widespread intuitions about other central features of petitionary prayer. I describe three problematic cases and the intuitions we have about them, and show how these intuitions restrict any Difference-Making account of petitionary prayer.
Comment: Useful in an advanced UG or masters philosophy of religion course, as it can be discussed as a more complex version of a contradiction within God's alleged attributes - and it could be good as a task to get students to boil this down. Could also of course be very useful for a unit on petitionary prayer.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
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Comment: Very useful for a unit/module on atheism and agnosticism - in particular, as a bridge into fictionalism. This paper would be a great core reading prior to a debate on e.g. the rationality of theism/atheism/agnosticism.