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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 34, Issue 2, April 2017

Shieva Kleinschmidt
Pages 152-175

Atheistic Prayer

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.

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