What do you think about people offering "thoughts and prayers" in the wake of a tragedy?

Particularly in America every time that there is a national tragedy people politicians and citizens immediately start responding with "keeping X in our thoughts and prayers." Then they seem to do nothing else about it. If you're an American do you also see this as a trend? If so do you have a problem with it?
  • It's insulting to those who went through the tragedy
    Vote A
  • It's all well and good, but they should get up and do something.
    Vote B
  • Thoughts and prayers are enough.
    Vote C
  • Other
    Vote D
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Most Helpful Girl

  • Some people are genuine when they say it. If something happens to a loved one or friend, I'll tend to message them to make it more personal and assure them that I'm there and am willing to do whatever I can to help, if any help is needed. It feels better than just leaving a "thoughts and prayers" comment.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Obviously a lot of people said "well and good but they should do something." To which I'd say... yes if they're able that's a good thing for them to do... but what if you've lost a loved one? What are they supposed to DO? Say they fell asleep and never woke up are people supposed to come do something about it? Sure you have those people willing to make meals and such but for many people empathy/sympathy is all they can really offer, or at the very least all they think they an offer, and knowing that it's the most they can do... I find it very encouraging that they're doing it.

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    • I personally wouldn't feel anything if someone offered prayers after a loved one died, but to clarify the question was about "thoughts and prayers" in the wakes of tragedies, not a solo death. Ie in the wake of a hurricane or something of that nature.

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    • Oh apologies. I didn't pick up on "national." I didn't read the description too carefully xD

    • All good

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What Girls Said 10

  • Just a generic expression of sympathy.

    No one really prays.

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  • I think it's great people even care enough to let you know they are thinking of you. Now if it's someone that can do something more then I'd question why they wouldn't.

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  • Most of them probably just say it cause its what they hear others say but probably really don't think much else about it afterwards.

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  • Its nice that people are thinking of them and are showing support. However, they should do something about it. Actions speak louder than words.

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  • Thoughts and Prayers are Appreciated, As long as you Mean it from your Heart from the Start. xx

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  • It’s the thought that counts even if I don’t believe in prayer as an atheist.

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  • It's useless.

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  • Absolutely useless.

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  • does it really matter

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  • They're enough esp if there's nothing the person can do

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What Guys Said 24

  • From my point of view (atheist/antitheist) I find it to be like doing the least amount possible to make themselves feel like they've done something without actually doing anything.
    But I guess from their point of view they genuinely feel like they're doing some good.

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    • Matthew 6:2 agrees with you on this one, oddly enough. It's a good thing to want to think of someone and pray for them if you can, if you mean it, if you are unable to do anything else. But announcing it - especially in vain - on social media? That's unhelpful, narcissistic, and pretty close to being a modern equivalent to "announcing it with trumpets."

      Do you find it weird that Jesus agrees with you on this one topic?

    • I wouldn't say i find it weird, no. I mean it makes perfect sense. There's nothing to he gained by announcing that you're praying for people other than to try to make them see you in a certain light. Like you said, its just vain.

  • Well, that’s not true we always do plenty about whatever situation has occurred. We say “keep ‘so and so’ in our thoughts and prayers” just to increase morale and foster a healthy mentality/emotional state. It’s beneficial for our brains and our ability to think clearly to solve complex situations. It doesn’t have to be religious in intent but it can be. Both are beneficial.

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    • "It’s beneficial" By "it" do you mean prayer or increasing morale and such?

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    • I would say that telling your wife the harms of stealing and costs of stealing to me, herself, and society are great. If she stops stealing because of that, then that is the MAXIMUM benefit possible. We should opt for that. If she continues to steal, proper sanctions have to be put in place but not a beating.

    • Good! We agree! The pont I was trying to get you to say was that there's nothing magical about the phrase, rather it's the sense of camaraderie. We could easily come up with a new one that did the same thing and there'd be no difference. It's not the phrase, but the result. What you keep saying is that the result is what's important and you and I both agree, I think that we're just having a communication error XD

  • As a non believer, it is not insulting, but yeah - stop talking nonsense. "God" will help you? Ih really? Tell me, why did "God" made disaster happen? You don't go to the dentist and say, "thank God m tooth is fixed"...

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    • Haha some people do. One guy put it this way for me, "when I have a headache I say a prayer, take a tylenol, and my headache goes away."

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    • That doesn't sound like humour...

    • Perhaps my delivery is poor

  • 1. They could genuinely really mean it
    2. It's what's socially acceptable and almost expected so they want to show that
    3. They do it for positive publicity

    Hard to say which one though

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    • Should they do more? Do y'all have a similar trend in the UK?

    • I mean, it's not their responsibility, but personally if I were very rich, I'd spend much more of my time helping people so for me it'd be nice if they used actions rather than just saying it

      Yeah it's similar here in the UK but probably less severe

    • Cool, thanks

  • Useless..

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  • I understand, coming from a religious person, offering prayer is a sign of great support. Even as an atheist, I am well and truly grateful, however, they too should see from my point of view and realize prayer means nothing to me in the grand scheme of things. To me, its just a sign that you care in your own unhelpful way. You care, but your doing something that isn't helpful.

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  • It's just a way to look good on social media, without actually doing anything. Most of the time they'll forget about in the next 5 minutes.

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  • It's more used to let other people know that they care about said tragedy instead of actually caring about the tradegy whether people know or not.

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  • I think it's a waste of time and the fact that you went through the energy to type it out... ugh. If you don't care then don't say anything. If you want to help speak up.

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  • all well and good but the reality is prayers don't remedy a tragedy or do anything to address the underlying cause that led to the tragedy.

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    • the saying has effectively become trite lip service translated to mean "we're sorry but that's about as far as our concern goes."

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