Saw this and was intrigued by it:
I'm not quite sure what to think. Firstly I don't really know who Mr Rogers is ... I suppose it would be like "praying" to Geoffrey off Rainbow; odd. Secondly, I don't tend to verbalise my thoughts in any way which is like a prayer. I see a separation between defining "my thoughts in words" and being reminded of "my relationship to the larger universe outside myself".
I get great pleasure from nature and the wider world around me - especially the night skies and the quiet sound of a woodland or a coast; and I think quite a lot about my role in society, but there is no sense of prayer in either of these two activities.
I suspect there is something very American in this; a god soaked country where everyone is expected to be churched and so where people without a theory of the supernatural are still influenced by the folk memory of prayers at the end of the bed.
I've mentioned Elizabeth Anderson quite a few times before on MF.
Her essay "If God is Dead, Is Everything Permitted?" is quite brilliant. She talks about morality being reciprocal claim making:
How ... can I answer the moralistic challenge to atheism, that without God moral rules lack any authority? I say: the authority of moral rules lies not with God, but with each of us. We each have moral authority with respect to one another. This authority is, of course, not absolute. No one has the authority to order anyone else to blind obedience. Rather, each of us has the authority to make claims on others, to call upon people to heed our interests and concerns. Whenever we lodge a complaint, or otherwise lay a claim on others' attention and conduct, we presuppose our own authority to give others reasons for action that are not dependent on appealing to the desires and preferences they already have. But whatever grounds we have for assuming our own authority to make claims is equally well possessed by anyone who we expect to heed our own claims. For, in addressing others as people to whom our claims are justified, we acknowledge them as judges of claims, and hence as moral authorities. Moral rules spring from our practices of reciprocal claim making, in which we work out together the kinds of considerations that count as reasons that all of us must heed, and thereby devise rules for living together peacefully and cooperatively, on a basis of mutual accountability.
I don't pray - but I do have a sense of preparing a conversation to a community to try to work out how to "give others reasons for action" and how we can "work out together the kinds of considerations that count as reasons that all of us must heed".
These private attempts at verbalisation aren't to any Geoffrey or any sense of a personality, but there is a sense of a community being willing to listen and respond - one without a supernatural, one aware of the fallibility and bias, but one still trying to find a right path in a complicated world.
Is that close to what the cartoon is characterising? Maybe.