This question might seem like an atheistic..

When a young kid prays to god for better exam score , doesn't that mean he knows he not going to score good so he forces himself to believe that some higher entity will help him to score good.

When you don't believe in yourself then your start believing/depending on something that is not there or not seen or not felt.

Do you think such dependency is right or wrong ?

  • Can you share a little more about the context and motivations of the problem? What hypotheses have you formed; what has your research uncovered so far?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 23:10
  • Love how local 'intellectuals' think humanities are not subjective. Pathetic.
    – Asphir Dom
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 16:17
  • Call me an idiot, but I was praying before exams :) Commented May 16, 2014 at 19:57

5 Answers 5


This is simply a conflation of language.

The "believe" in the idiomatic usage,

to believe in yourself

has nothing to do with that of its typical usage,

to believe [in the existence of] ___

and therefore there is no logical connection.

  • 2
    -1 It's not. He's referring to the same thing in with belief at both positions in the sentence. You could read it, perhaps as, "When you don't believe in your own power to effect change then your start depending on something that is not there to effect it for you". Something like that. The question does not turn on the word belief.
    – Lucas
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 18:57
  • @Lucas - I see. I think the question was inconsistently worded. In the title it asked, "Is it the same?" To which I answered, "No." But if it's asking, "Does one occur only if the other precurs," then, well, I don't think that's a philosophical question as much as it's psychological and sociological (which, may belong on this site too, I don't know). But then OP asks, "Is such a dependency right or wrong?" Such a black-and-white formulation led me to believe he was relying on a black-and-white logical rule, which I could only find in linguistic turn. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 19:49
  • Agreed, it's not an entirely appropriate question for this site.
    – Lucas
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 21:32

to answer your question is that this dependency is right because is giving you hope.

If you believe in yourself you can also depend on something that is not there or not seen or not felt. Mostly we see ourselves as we are not. So it is better to believe in something ideal as that will give us more hope then believing in ourselves.

We see our imperfection very well so this can shake our hope much more then believing in something we don't fully know.

Is it good live in this illusion? Yes! Because it will tell you the truth about yourself.


Praying to God shows acknowledgement of limitation. This "acknowledgement" may result from believing in false limitations due to lack of self-confidence, but it may also result from the knowledge of true limitations.

"The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not."

If I pray to God for there to be no hurricane, it does mean that I have no confidence that I can stop the hurricane coming. And I would be correct in having no confidence in doing something that I clearly cannot do.

As for the test example, anyone who has ever blanked on a test will know that there are always a few things that are going to be out of your control.

As for your final question, "Do you think such dependency is right or wrong ?" if I assume that your initial premise is correct, my answer is that it's wrong. A sense of possibility and self-confidence isn't just a question of this one test, but of lifelong achievement. However, I reject your premise completely.


To me God seems to be an "invented" concept and almost everyone believes it because it gives us a sense of security. A feeling that someone else will always be there to handle things for you. So, we may conclude that it is just a tool to make ourselves feel better.

But on the contrary, prayer can be considered as a way to give orders to our subconscious mind. Maybe just praying for good marks is a way to tell ourselves about what we exactly want and maybe that helps us in accomplishing our goal.

So, maybe prayer is helpful but in a delusive way.

EDIT: I remember a nice saying to explain my point. No offense.

     "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day.
      Teach him to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime.
      Give him religion and he'll die praying for fish."

Modern western (i.e. American) culture has placed a tremendous emphasis on the importance of individual independence. I've been following a related train of thought, lately, and the proverb "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for the rest of his life," is applicable. The proverb proposes a false reality where fish is the only thing to eat and fishing is the only productive work. It ignores the diversity and interdependence that exists in real society. At its most basic level, that interdependence exists as a barter system: I give a man a fish and he gives me some corn and we both eat.

Somehow I've translated philosophy into economics... But the example illustrates the point: dependence is not bad, and for all the emphasis we put on independence, it is a false ideal (and probably an illusion in itself).

In other words, Andrew Cheong is very correct in his answer - belief (or confidence) in one's self and belief in a higher power are not mutually exclusive. Belief in and dependence upon a higher power can only be bad if the belief produces negative results.

Can a lack of self confidence be a negative result of belief in God?

Again, only if that lack of self confidence actually has tangible negative consequences to the individual. I know a lot of people who have no self confidence whatsoever who still live fairly happy and productive lives. I also know a lot of people who have a great deal of faith and confidence in God, but who also have a great deal of confidence in themselves. My own observations lead me to conclude that faith (which is different from mere belief) in a God typically results in greater personal happiness and success.

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