Proofs that prayer doesn't work.

Sapient
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Proofs that prayer doesn't work.

Unless of course the goal is talking to yourself, prayer doesn't work.

We review the following article at the beginning of show 15 featuring Amanda Bloom. You can download that show for free right here.

Quote:

Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer
Published: March 31, 2006

By BENEDICT CAREY

Story from New York Times and all over web. Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

Because it is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1,800 patients, has for years been the subject of speculation.

The question has been a contentious one among researchers. Proponents have argued that prayer is perhaps the most deeply human response to disease, and that it may relieve suffering by some mechanism that is not yet understood. Skeptics have contended that studying prayer is a waste of money and that it presupposes supernatural intervention, putting it by definition beyond the reach of science.

At least 10 studies of the effects of prayer have been carried out in the last six years, with mixed results. The new study was intended to overcome flaws in the earlier investigations. The report was scheduled to appear in The American Heart Journal next week, but the journal's publisher released it online yesterday.

In a hurriedly convened news conference, the study's authors, led by Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist and director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute near Boston, said that the findings were not the last word on the effects of so-called intercessory prayer. But the results, they said, raised questions about how and whether patients should be told that prayers were being offered for them.

"One conclusion from this is that the role of awareness of prayer should be studied further," said Dr. Charles Bethea, a cardiologist at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City and a co-author of the study.

Other experts said the study underscored the question of whether prayer was an appropriate subject for scientific study.

"The problem with studying religion scientifically is that you do violence to the phenomenon by reducing it to basic elements that can be quantified, and that makes for bad science and bad religion," said Dr. Richard Sloan, a professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia and author of a forthcoming book, "Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine."

The study cost $2.4 million, and most of the money came from the John Templeton Foundation, which supports research into spirituality. The government has spent more than $2.3 million on prayer research since 2000.

Dean Marek, a chaplain at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a co-author of the report, said the study said nothing about the power of personal prayer or about prayers for family members and friends.

Working in a large medical center like Mayo, Mr. Marek said, "You hear tons of stories about the power of prayer, and I don't doubt them."

In the study, the researchers monitored 1,802 patients at six hospitals who received coronary bypass surgery, in which doctors reroute circulation around a clogged vein or artery.

The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told that they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers.

The researchers asked the members of three congregations St. Paul's Monastery in St. Paul; the Community of Teresian Carmelites in Worcester, Mass.; and Silent Unity, a Missouri prayer ministry near Kansas City ? to deliver the prayers, using the patients' first names and the first initials of their last names.

The congregations were told that they could pray in their own ways, but they were instructed to include the phrase, "for a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications."

Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.

In another of the study's findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for ? 59 percent ? suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain. The authors left open the possibility that this was a chance finding. But they said that being aware of the strangers' prayers also may have caused some of the patients a kind of performance anxiety.

"It may have made them uncertain, wondering am I so sick they had to call in their prayer team?" Dr. Bethea said.

The study also found that more patients in the uninformed prayer group 18 percent suffered major complications, like heart attack or stroke, compared with 13 percent in the group that did not receive prayers. In their report, the researchers suggested that this finding might also be a result of chance.

One reason the study was so widely anticipated was that it was led by Dr. Benson, who in his work has emphasized the soothing power of personal prayer and meditation.

At least one earlier study found lower complication rates in patients who received intercessory prayers; others found no difference. A 1997 study at the University of New Mexico, involving 40 alcoholics in rehabilitation, found that the men and women who knew they were being prayed for actually fared worse.

The new study was rigorously designed to avoid problems like the ones that came up in the earlier studies. But experts said the study could not overcome perhaps the largest obstacle to prayer study: the unknown amount of prayer each person received from friends, families, and congregations around the world who pray daily for the sick and dying.

Bob Barth, the spiritual director of Silent Unity, the Missouri prayer ministry, said the findings would not affect the ministry's mission.

"A person of faith would say that this study is interesting," Mr. Barth said, "but we've been praying a long time and we've seen prayer work, we know it works, and the research on prayer and spirituality is just getting started."

Here's a youtube video from our friends at godisimaginary.com:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH0rFZIqo8A

Here's a thought from honorary Squad member, the Infidel Guy:
What is the purpose of prayer? What can a finite being on Earth possibly tell an omnipotent, omniscient deity that he doesn't know already?
1.) Humans can't change God's mind for he has a divine plan and is unchangeable.
2.) Prayer can't change God's mind.
3.) Prayer doesn't change anything.
(Prayer may make you feel better emotionally, but it doesn`t change God`s mind.)

Stop talking to your ceiling, prayer doesn't work.

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darth_josh
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20vturbo wrote:darth_josh

20vturbo wrote:
darth_josh wrote:

Really. What exactly should a prayer be like? Which particular way of praying do you personally see results from, 20vturbo?

I believe that prayer is supposed to brings us closer to God and his will. I don't claim to know all of the reasons why God says "no" to prayers.

darth_josh wrote:

Would the 'way' that the prayer was said have an impact upon the results? Well shucks. Throw out all of those prayers done for the control group of the sick people that didn't get better because the prayers weren't 'done' correctly.

This assumes that we know better than God, which if you believe in God wouldn't make sense.

There's a problem here. Do you see it?
You're trying to get 'close' to something/someone that already knows what you're praying for in the first place.
You're asserting that it isn't right for you to question the recipient of your request.

If I were a loving, benevolent friend and you asked me for $20 and I said 'NO' then you would be okay with that??
What if then I gave the $20 to someone that didn't need it right in front of you?
What if I gave you the $20 and then destroyed your car?
You wouldn't require a reason as to why your request was refused and your car was destroyed???
Then if I told you that you'd have to wait until after you were dead for me to tell you the reason then you would ask for something else??
I'm sorry. This all seems like masochistic behavior to me. It's as if there is a certain delight in unanswered prayers from this supposed incomprehensible 'being' that people talk to for no apparent reason.

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ShaunPhilly
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One thing that needs to be

One thing that needs to be kept in mind is what the difference between unanswered prayers and a non-existent recipient of those prayers is. Further, what is the difference between "answered prayers" and the probability that sometimes what people hope and pray for actually happens.

Ascribing an unanswered prayer to God saying "no" to the prayer and an answered prayer to God's acquiescence is justification after the fact, not proof that prayer works (whether the important factor is how it is done, in what name, etc).

The point is that if you pray, for example, to get a job while unemployed and after some amount of time you get a job, saying that it was because you prayed is, frankly, silly.

If prayer is something that God can choose to answer at will, or due to proper praying methods, then it is not something that can be proved or disproved. That is, unless you actually receive an answer in the form of not just the prayed-for response, but God actually talking to you and saying "granted" or whatever, then you are simply believing in prayer because you want to.

The fact is that when people pray and a test is going on, there is no difference between the results and probability without the prayer. Prayer has no measurable effect that any study has shown. believing in prayer despite this is exactly the same as believing in God despite the evidence.

There is no reason to believe in prayer or God. Believe if you like, but don't be surprised when we look at you like you are gullible--and I might have a bridge you may be interested in buying, as well.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


Sapient
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ShaunPhilly wrote: Believe

ShaunPhilly wrote:
Believe if you like, but don't be surprised when we look at you like you are gullible--and I might have a bridge you may be interested in buying, as well.

Or you could just pray for the bridge.

Has anyone said this in this thread yet:

Shit in one hand and pray in the other and see which gets filled first.

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MattShizzle
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::

:ROTF:


kristoffer
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uhm,.. i dont think u were

kristoffer wrote:
this is bullshit... and i know this without even reading this stuff...(ive read a lot of crap u ppl posted..) fine... lets assume this test/ experiment proves your point... lets!!... then another equally "scientific" experiment proves the effectiveness of mass meditation, or proves our cognitivity can influence physical reality (water) (http://www.whatthebleep.com/crystals/) which would mean the same science u circle-jerk on just shafted you... very good job of being short sighted and selective...

"you dont need to be a christian to get into heaven, and the bible is not a manual on telling others how to live their lives"
is ALL id want to tell a christian...

for some reason you guys seem to get stuck on the least interesting parts of the "controversy"... the bible is encrypted wisdom.... stop treating it like misspellings in a phonebook...
and stop hurting atheism goddamnit
adamryan / ryanadam good job...

peace...out

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whats his face wrote:

kristoffer,
You have fallen, hook, line and sinker for psuedoscience.

http://skepdic.com/ramtha.html

"Emoto claims to have proven that thoughts are so powerful they can change the structure of water. His “experiments” consist of taping written words to glasses of water. The next day beautiful crystals appear on jars with words like “love.” We are not told that these are actually ice crystals. In his book, Messages from Water, Emoto claims that water can understand every language in the world, and all their emotional and metaphoric nuances, by picking up on the linguistic vibrations. Water tells us that classical music is good and heavy metal is bad. Water can educate us as to whether religious and political figures are good or bad people. Water is so perceptive that, when played a recording of Elvis singing “Heartbreak Hotel,” the water crystal split into two crystals in sympathy."
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

uhm,.. i dont think u were reading it very well... notice the wonderfully sarcastic phrase: equally "scientific".
"proving" the ineffectiveness of prayer.... plz.. ill put more stock in the floaty ramblings of the japanese water guy...
THAT can at least be entirely recreated..(u wanna do another bypass on all 1800 ?) bottom line : if u wanna take this study for a scientific fact,.. u best look into some studys on mass meditation... theyre just as worthless


kristoffer
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your debating skills are

Sapient wrote:
kristoffer wrote:
stop hurting atheism goddamnit

You can't "hurt" atheism, atheism is simply what you're left with when you abandon theism.

your debating skills are impressive... yes... that one line was
exactly my point?.. ill just reply in the same fashion...
"you dont have abandon theism to be an atheist"... see?
its true!.. and yet completely pointless and redundant...
am i a rational responder now ?


inspectormustard
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Ooh, something I can sink my

Ooh, something I can sink my teeth into! I've been watching the controversy over 'what the bleep' very carefully, and checking their "facts" along the way.

Quote:

"proving" the ineffectiveness of prayer.... plz.. ill put more stock in the floaty ramblings of the japanese water guy...

The problem with that is the floaty japanese guy has a degree from an unaccredited university. That is, he could just be a layman for all we know. His degree is in "alternative medicine," the kind we've shown time and time again to be complete bunk, thanks to people like James Randi.

Quote:

THAT can at least be entirely recreated..(u wanna do another bypass on all 1800 ?)

Well, yes. The beauty of recreating the experiment is that you can find out for yourself that water makes just as many beautiful and ugly crystals whether you write on it or not.

Quote:

bottom line : if u wanna take this study for a scientific fact,.. u best look into some studys on mass meditation... theyre just as worthless

That's what 'whats his face' was getting at. They're both pseudoscience. He was pointing out the falacy in your argument in that it was based on ungrounded studies.

Quote:

your debating skills are impressive... yes... that one line was
exactly my point?.. ill just reply in the same fashion...
"you dont have [to] abandon theism to be an atheist"... see?
its true!.. and yet completely pointless and redundant...
am i a rational responder now ?

The original reply was "atheism is simply what you're left with when you abandon theism" or, to paraphrase, nothing is what you're left with when you take away everything. What you replied with was "you dont have [to] abandon theism to be an atheist" or, once again paraphrasing, you don't have to take away everything to have nothing. Are you seeing the gaping logic hole you have to jump to make that work? I'm afraid only your transsubstantiation of the post is illogical, and therefore you are even more irrational than you were before.

It might help if in the future you consult DeMorgan's laws before you try and reverse a statement. The proper conversion would be

"Theism is what you're left with when you don't abandon atheism"
or
"You have to abandon theism to be an atheist"
or
"Atheism is just theism with an A"
or
"You can't have atheism without theism"
or
something else that at least makes some amount of sense or is actually funny! Inane parodies of logic are neither funny, interesting, nor sensable. Absurd parodies of logic are, however, very funny.


kristoffer
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inspectormustard wrote:Ooh,

inspectormustard wrote:
Ooh, something I can sink my teeth into! I've been watching the controversy over 'what the bleep' very carefully, and checking their "facts" along the way.

Quote:

"proving" the ineffectiveness of prayer.... plz.. ill put more stock in the floaty ramblings of the japanese water guy...

The problem with that is the floaty japanese guy has a degree from an unaccredited university. That is, he could just be a layman for all we know. His degree is in "alternative medicine," the kind we've shown time and time again to be complete bunk, thanks to people like James Randi.

kris says:
i am not saying the jap. guy is right... what im saying is : its as unreliable as the prayer study... you're just being selective
about which crackpot study u wish to quote because it reafferms your beliefs,...

Quote:

THAT can at least be entirely recreated..(u wanna do another bypass on all 1800 ?)

Well, yes. The beauty of recreating the experiment is that you can find out for yourself that water makes just as many beautiful and ugly crystals whether you write on it or not.

kris says:
true...and it was to point out how useless all mentioned studies were...

Quote:

bottom line : if u wanna take this study for a scientific fact,.. u best look into some studys on mass meditation... theyre just as worthless

That's what 'whats his face' was getting at. They're both pseudoscience. He was pointing out the falacy in your argument in that it was based on ungrounded studies.

kris says:
yes!! exactly!!... as pseudo sciency as any prayer study,
do you not see the obvious error in releasing a study on smth
as ungraspable as faith or prayer... as factors without substance they can never be proven or disproven...(not to mention the vast vast vast no of factors that could arguably influence aforementioned study.) a more sensible focal point would be the continuous editing of the bible ( i.e. look! : your bible said smth completely different 700 yrs ago..(especially on the topic of mary of magdalen) ergo: it is an earlier source.. and therefor by definition more accurate than contemporary "translations") using these kind of arguments to sway fanatical christians is utterly futile...how do you debate some1 who thinks dinosaurs are a test of faith by god?
all the science in the world cant cure that brain tumor...

Quote:

your debating skills are impressive... yes... that one line was
exactly my point?.. ill just reply in the same fashion...
"you dont have [to] abandon theism to be an atheist"... see?
its true!.. and yet completely pointless and redundant...
am i a rational responder now ?

The original reply was "atheism is simply what you're left with when you abandon theism" or, to paraphrase, nothing is what you're left with when you take away everything. What you replied with was "you dont have [to] abandon theism to be an atheist" or, once again paraphrasing, you don't have to take away everything to have nothing. Are you seeing the gaping logic hole you have to jump to make that work? I'm afraid only your transsubstantiation of the post is illogical, and therefore you are even more irrational than you were before.

It might help if in the future you consult DeMorgan's laws before you try and reverse a statement. The proper conversion would be

"Theism is what you're left with when you don't abandon atheism"
or
"You have to abandon theism to be an atheist"
or
"Atheism is just theism with an A"
or
"You can't have atheism without theism"
or
something else that at least makes some amount of sense or is actually funny! Inane parodies of logic are neither funny, interesting, nor sensable. Absurd parodies of logic are, however, very funny.

kris says:
if i can not be an atheist by definition because ive never been a theist, you're absolutely right... however..

Atheism is the disbelief[1] in the existence of deities.[2] It is commonly defined as the positive denial of theism (ie. the assertion that deities do not exist),[3] or the deliberate rejection of theism (ie. the refusal to believe in the existance of deities).[4] However, others—including most atheistic philosophers and groups—define atheism as the simple absence of belief in deities (wikipedia)

apply DeMorgan to that all u want (or to a term u got the proper definition of )... "--define theism as the simple absence of disbelief in deities"

i think the definition of atheism makes this whole elaborate attempt to prove your point on that matter redundant..

so it is possible to have nothing without taking everything if you had nothing to begin with... (continuing your logic...)


inspectormustard
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Quote:kris says: if i can

Quote:
kris says:
if i can not be an atheist by definition because ive never been a theist, you're absolutely right... however..

That statement makes it unclear which side of the fence you stand on. We are all born atheist, and theism is a gained trait. Here is why:

Quote:
Atheism is the disbelief[1] in the existence of deities.
[2] It is commonly defined as the positive denial of theism (ie. the assertion that deities do not exist),[3] or the deliberate rejection of theism (ie. the refusal to believe in the existance of deities).[4]

Yes. We define those uses as strong atheism, or sometimes anti-theism when talking about people who actively oppose religion.

Quote:
However, others—including most atheistic philosophers and groups—define atheism as the simple absence of belief in deities (wikipedia)

True also. We call this use weak atheism. Strong and weak are not pedjoratives here, however. Weak simply means that they are either unaware of the concept of god(s) or just don't care.

Quote:
apply DeMorgan to that all u want (or to a term u got the proper definition of )... "--define theism as the simple absence of disbelief in deities"

Disreguarding the truely ironic ad hominem attack on my vocabulary, DeMorgan's theorems as I referred to them have less to do with definition and more to do with use of logic. What you wrote amounted to "you can't be married unless you're unmarried." That's a logical impossibility.

Quote:
i think the definition of atheism makes this whole elaborate attempt to prove your point on that matter redundant..

Hardly. The reason follows in the next answer.

Quote:
so it is possible to have nothing without taking everything if you had nothing to begin with... (continuing your logic...)

Though you phrased that in the worst way I can imagine, it seems to be true. I actually had to read it carefully and do a few discreet calculations. More precisly: you can start with nothing, get something, and then have nothing. So if you start as a weak atheist, you can become a theist, and then become a strong atheist. Or you can start as a weak atheist and become a strong atheist.


ShaunPhilly
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inspectormustard wrote:So if

inspectormustard wrote:
So if you start as a weak atheist, you can become a theist, and then become a strong atheist. Or you can start as a weak atheist and become a strong atheist.

I'm not sure that is true. You can be a strong atheist and become a weak atheist. If you disagree, I think the root of the problem is this statement:

inspectormustard wrote:

We call this use weak atheism. Strong and weak are not pedjoratives here, however. Weak simply means that they are either unaware of the concept of god(s) or just don't care.

No, weak atheism is simply the lack of belief in any gods. It is this lack and the unwillingness, or epistemological inability, to say that no gods exist on top of that lack of belief.

Being an atheist, which implies "weak atheism" unless otherwise stated, I don't believe due to simple lack of evidence. God does not explain anything, and I've seen or heard of nothing that implies one might exist.

Strong atheists will claim that god cannot exist. What they mean is that certain specific conceptions of god are logically impossible, and also (usually) that some conceptions of God are insufficient to qualify as "gods." And indeed some of the classical conceptions of god, like those supposed to have omniscience, omnipotence, and omni-benevolence, make the concept very highly problematic. In my opinion, this strong claim cannot be supported for any possible conception of a "god," and I think most atheists would agree with that. If not, it's no skin off my teeth.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


inspectormustard
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Quote:Quote:So if you start

Quote:
Quote:
So if you start as a weak atheist, you can become a theist, and then become a strong atheist. Or you can start as a weak atheist and become a strong atheist.

I'm not sure that is true. You can be a strong atheist and become a weak atheist.

Well, yes. I was speaking about birth. You can't be born a strong atheist without some kind of genetic modification so that it becomes instinctual. Laughing out loud

Quote:
No, weak atheism is simply the lack of belief in any gods. It is this lack and the unwillingness, or epistemological inability, to say that no gods exist on top of that lack of belief.

Sure. I would say that being unaware of the idea is sufficient to be unwilling to say that no gods exist. Also, if someone doesn't care then they are again probably unwilling to say gods do not exist. Epistomogical ability relates more to (a)gnosticism, which the links farther above talk about.

Quote:
. . .And indeed some of the classical conceptions of god, like those supposed to have omniscience, omnipotence, and omni-benevolence, make the concept very highly problematic. . .

Yeah. Throw on top of those three anthropomorphism and you have a serious logical problem. I'm a strong atheist regarding the human concept of god(s), based on their paradoxical nature, and agnostic regarding "god-like aliens."


20vturbo
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darth_josh wrote: There's a

darth_josh wrote:

There's a problem here. Do you see it?
You're trying to get 'close' to something/someone that already knows what you're praying for in the first place.
You're asserting that it isn't right for you to question the recipient of your request.

No, I am suggesting that prayer is primarily for use to bring us closer to God through understanding. Just b/c God knows us doesn't mean we know God

darth_josh wrote:

If I were a loving, benevolent friend and you asked me for $20 and I said 'NO' then you would be okay with that??
What if then I gave the $20 to someone that didn't need it right in front of you?
What if I gave you the $20 and then destroyed your car?
You wouldn't require a reason as to why your request was refused and your car was destroyed???
Then if I told you that you'd have to wait until after you were dead for me to tell you the reason then you would ask for something else??
I'm sorry. This all seems like masochistic behavior to me. It's as if there is a certain delight in unanswered prayers from this supposed incomprehensible 'being' that people talk to for no apparent reason.

If that $20 made me lazy, yes...the reason we pray is to try to understand why we got the answer given.


ShaunPhilly
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How does one get to know God

How does one get to know God through talking to it and not getting any feedback?

If asking for things in prayer cannot be shown to demonstrate a god's acts, and if God does not directly talk back, then in what way does prayer help us understand God?

The only thing that comes to mind is it helps us understand that he's making himself extremely difficult to find or does not exist.

But if there is more to it, please elucidate.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


20vturbo
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ShaunPhilly wrote:One thing

ShaunPhilly wrote:
One thing that needs to be kept in mind is what the difference between unanswered prayers and a non-existent recipient of those prayers is. Further, what is the difference between "answered prayers" and the probability that sometimes what people hope and pray for actually happens.

Ascribing an unanswered prayer to God saying "no" to the prayer and an answered prayer to God's acquiescence is justification after the fact, not proof that prayer works (whether the important factor is how it is done, in what name, etc).

The point is that if you pray, for example, to get a job while unemployed and after some amount of time you get a job, saying that it was because you prayed is, frankly, silly.

If prayer is something that God can choose to answer at will, or due to proper praying methods, then it is not something that can be proved or disproved. That is, unless you actually receive an answer in the form of not just the prayed-for response, but God actually talking to you and saying "granted" or whatever, then you are simply believing in prayer because you want to.

The fact is that when people pray and a test is going on, there is no difference between the results and probability without the prayer. Prayer has no measurable effect that any study has shown. believing in prayer despite this is exactly the same as believing in God despite the evidence.

I believe in God, that is why I pray. I am not trying to "prove" prayer, only explaining my beliefs.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

There is no reason to believe in prayer or God. Believe if you like, but don't be surprised when we look at you like you are gullible--and I might have a bridge you may be interested in buying, as well.

Shaun

Why would it matter, if there is no God then I won't even know that I existed when I die! Smiling


20vturbo
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ShaunPhilly wrote:One thing

ShaunPhilly wrote:
One thing that needs to be kept in mind is what the difference between unanswered prayers and a non-existent recipient of those prayers is. Further, what is the difference between "answered prayers" and the probability that sometimes what people hope and pray for actually happens.

Ascribing an unanswered prayer to God saying "no" to the prayer and an answered prayer to God's acquiescence is justification after the fact, not proof that prayer works (whether the important factor is how it is done, in what name, etc).

The point is that if you pray, for example, to get a job while unemployed and after some amount of time you get a job, saying that it was because you prayed is, frankly, silly.

If prayer is something that God can choose to answer at will, or due to proper praying methods, then it is not something that can be proved or disproved. That is, unless you actually receive an answer in the form of not just the prayed-for response, but God actually talking to you and saying "granted" or whatever, then you are simply believing in prayer because you want to.

The fact is that when people pray and a test is going on, there is no difference between the results and probability without the prayer. Prayer has no measurable effect that any study has shown. believing in prayer despite this is exactly the same as believing in God despite the evidence.

I believe in God, that is why I pray. I am not trying to "prove" prayer, only explaining my beliefs.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

There is no reason to believe in prayer or God. Believe if you like, but don't be surprised when we look at you like you are gullible--and I might have a bridge you may be interested in buying, as well.

Shaun

Why would it matter, if there is no God then I won't even know that I existed when I die! Smiling


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ShaunPhilly wrote:How does

ShaunPhilly wrote:
How does one get to know God through talking to it and not getting any feedback?

through the results, and from your brain that was created by God. meditation, reflection. ect.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

If asking for things in prayer cannot be shown to demonstrate a god's acts, and if God does not directly talk back, then in what way does prayer help us understand God?

Again it is through the responses given and by searching for truth, whatever it may be.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

The only thing that comes to mind is it helps us understand that he's making himself extremely difficult to find or does not exist.

But if there is more to it, please elucidate.

Shaun

He does give us feedback through what happens when we pray. We also use the brain given to us by God to constantly try to understand the world around us and interpret what it means.


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That's at most a placebo

That's at most a placebo effect, and no more proof of God than it is of Zeus, Mithra, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever. tsk-tsk

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MattShizzle wrote:That's at

MattShizzle wrote:
That's at most a placebo effect, and no more proof of God than it is of Zeus, Mithra, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever. tsk-tsk

Again, I am not trying to prove anything to you, I am just stating what I believe. I believe in God....I am seeking the "truth", whatever it may be....I merely said that the video didn't seem to be very accurate unless you already assume there is no God.


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20vturbo wrote:MattShizzle

20vturbo wrote:
MattShizzle wrote:
That's at most a placebo effect, and no more proof of God than it is of Zeus, Mithra, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever. tsk-tsk

Again, I am not trying to prove anything to you, I am just stating what I believe. I believe in God....I am seeking the "truth", whatever it may be....I merely said that the video didn't seem to be very accurate unless you already assume there is no God.


How about this video then?

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
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omfg u responder blokes...

omfg u responder blokes... read the fucking posts and stop arguing about smth as trivial as definitions


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That was a great video. I

That was a great video. I loved the idea of praying to a jug of milk. And of course it is equally as useful as praying to any god.

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qbg wrote:20vturbo

qbg wrote:
20vturbo wrote:
MattShizzle wrote:
That's at most a placebo effect, and no more proof of God than it is of Zeus, Mithra, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever. tsk-tsk

Again, I am not trying to prove anything to you, I am just stating what I believe. I believe in God....I am seeking the "truth", whatever it may be....I merely said that the video didn't seem to be very accurate unless you already assume there is no God.


How about this video then?

I think it does a better job expanding on the first but it still falls short in the same areas as before. It assumes that a person who doesn't believe in God wants to prove God by trying to scientifically analyze prayer. Personally I believe in God and therefore believe in prayer. I have also "felt" prayer, of course, which could be said to be all in my mind.

The studies are not as straight forward as it made it sound in the video either. There are studies that show people who pray live longer....


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20vturbo wrote: Personally I

20vturbo wrote:
Personally I believe in God and therefore believe in prayer.

You know, around these parts we often talk about the many poor arguments that theists offer are actually a projection of their own inadequacies. For example a hypocritical Christian will call us hypocrites. I find it quite ironic that you over and over leveled a charge at the video that one must presuppose God doesn't exist yet in reality we now have proof (which we already knew) that you were simply presupposing god does exist.

We aren't here because we presupposed god does or doesn't exist, we're here because we sought the truth (we we're believers) and we had to let go of our presuppositions. All of the core members of RRS and dare I say EVERYONE on this board would believe in a god instantly should enough evidence of his/her/its existence be given to us. You however could be given evidence over and over that your god doesn't exist and will defend your presupposition of his existence by calling others presuppositioners.

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20vturbo wrote:ShaunPhilly

20vturbo wrote:
ShaunPhilly wrote:
How does one get to know God through talking to it and not getting any feedback?

through the results, and from your brain that was created by God. meditation, reflection. ect. ]

What results? Meditation and reflection have nothing to do with prayer or God, they are separate actions.

20vturbo wrote:
ShaunPhilly wrote:

If asking for things in prayer cannot be shown to demonstrate a god's acts, and if God does not directly talk back, then in what way does prayer help us understand God?

Again it is through the responses given and by searching for truth, whatever it may be.

What responses? (again)

20vturbo wrote:
ShaunPhilly wrote:

The only thing that comes to mind is it helps us understand that he's making himself extremely difficult to find or does not exist.

But if there is more to it, please elucidate.

He does give us feedback through what happens when we pray. We also use the brain given to us by God to constantly try to understand the world around us and interpret what it means.

What happens when we pray? Sometimes the object if prayer happens? How is this different from me simply wanting stuff and occasionally they happen? It's a rationalization to claim it's actually God responding.

And yes, we do have a brain to try to understand the world, but what does that necessarily have to do with God or prayer working?

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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I'm not 100% sure, but from

I'm not 100% sure, but from what I've read most of us on here did believe in God at one time, and learned enough to realize that God is just pretend - just like leprechauns, the Tooth Fairy and Santa.

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Sapient wrote: You know,

Sapient wrote:

You know, around these parts we often talk about the many poor arguments that theists offer are actually a projection of their own inadequacies. For example a hypocritical Christian will call us hypocrites. I find it quite ironic that you over and over leveled a charge at the video that one must presuppose God doesn't exist yet in reality we now have proof (which we already knew) that you were simply presupposing god does exist.

that was the entire point...I thought the video would have been more geared to the audience it is trying to convert/prove wrong. If I were to try to "convert" or prove that God existed I would have to think about it from an Atheist point of view, not a theist.

Sapient wrote:

We aren't here because we presupposed god does or doesn't exist, we're here because we sought the truth (we we're believers) and we had to let go of our presuppositions.

I too am searching for "truth".... however at this point the experience of myself, others that are older/wiser and from logic I see more evidence of Gods existence than not. I am here to hopefully surf all the forums and spark something that will begin to shatter my current beliefs. This video was not it.

Sapient wrote:

You however could be given evidence over and over that your god doesn't exist and will defend your presupposition of his existence by calling others presuppositioners.

So you think. Smiling


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Honesty. It is so hard to

Honesty. It is so hard to find in theists lately. Sad


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ShaunPhilly wrote: What

ShaunPhilly wrote:

What results? Meditation and reflection have nothing to do with prayer or God, they are separate actions.

Meditation, reflection, thanksgiving, repentance, ect are all essential parts of prayer.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

What responses? (again)

Whatever outcome happens, As stated earlier if a friend was all knowing and didn’t give me 20.00 for some reason, I would need to figure out if I could find out why I didn’t get the 20.00. If he did give me 20.00 I would need try to find out why. This would all be done through the above meditation, reflection ect.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

What happens when we pray? Sometimes the object if prayer happens? How is this different from me simply wanting stuff and occasionally they happen? It's a rationalization to claim it's actually God responding.

And yes, we do have a brain to try to understand the world, but what does that necessarily have to do with God or prayer working?

Shaun

If you believe in God then, you would want to know as much about God as possible. If you don’t believe in God then you are correct there would be no difference in praying to God or the milk jug. I just happen to think there are more things support there being a God than not


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MattShizzle wrote:Honesty.

MattShizzle wrote:
Honesty. It is so hard to find in theists lately. Sad

Sorry, I am not perfect. I'm trying to work on it though.


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20vturbo wrote: If you

20vturbo wrote:

If you believe in God then, you would want to know as much about God as possible. If you don’t believe in God then you are correct there would be no difference in praying to God or the milk jug. I just happen to think there are more things support there being a God than not

This will probably spawn a new thread...

I have not seen anything that supports God's existence. For me, it's not that there is more reason to lack belief than to believe, it is that every attempt to provide evidence or support for God-belief has failed, that I've seen.

So, what support is there for God's existence? I am honestly interested in hearing something new.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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20vturbo wrote:ShaunPhilly

20vturbo wrote:
ShaunPhilly wrote:

What results? Meditation and reflection have nothing to do with prayer or God, they are separate actions.

Meditation, reflection, thanksgiving, repentance, ect are all essential parts of prayer.

And absolutely none of them require that an actual god be involved.

This is the point that theists who make the 'there are many types of prayer' argument always fail to realize.

All that matters here is intercessory prayer, for this is the prayer where a 'god' is required to take part in the process.

Anyone can mediate, find peace, give thanks, without involving anyone else.... which is why theists continually focus on these putative aspects of prayer, and why they run and hide from the negative results concerning experimentation on interecessory prayer.

Dodge away, theist.

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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Sapient wrote:20vturbo

Sapient wrote:
20vturbo wrote:
Personally I believe in God and therefore believe in prayer.

You know, around these parts we often talk about the many poor arguments that theists offer are actually a projection of their own inadequacies. For example a hypocritical Christian will call us hypocrites. I find it quite ironic that you over and over leveled a charge at the video that one must presuppose God doesn't exist yet in reality we now have proof (which we already knew) that you were simply presupposing god does exist.

Precisely. Since theists project their flaws out onto others, a theist's attacks are a golden key into his psyche.... the reality here, all along, is that his complaint is that we should all just assume god DOES exist and not making this assumption, to him, is unfair!

There's a nice way to view this phenomena in the world of sports. Watch fan reaction to network coverage of a sports finals... whether basebal, football, etc.... fans of BOTH teams will complain of a bias against their team. Why?

Because all year long these fans have listened to announcers who favor their team.... they become accustomed to feeling that a pro bias is actually neutral! So whenever they are compelled to listen to unbiased reporting, it appears biased!

So we see the same thing on our site with theists.... they are used to preaching to the choir, they are used to discussing matters of theism with other theists, in a church. They are used to having everyone simply assume that their beliefs are true!

Coming to a place where this belief is not simply assumed appears biased.

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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todangst wrote: There's a

todangst wrote:

There's a nice way to view this phenomena in the world of sports. Watch fan reaction to network coverage of a sports finals... whether basebal, football, etc.... fans of BOTH teams will complain of a bias against their team. Why?

Because all year long these fans have listened to announcers who favor their team.... they become accustomed to feeling that a pro bias is actually neutral! So whenever they are compelled to listen to unbiased reporting, it appears biased!

So we see the same thing on our site with theists.... they are used to preaching to the choir, they are used to discussing matters of theism with other theists, in a church. They are used to having everyone simply assume that their beliefs are true!

Coming to a place where this belief is not simply assumed appears biased.

I had never made that connection before, but it makes a lot of sense. I have been thinking for some time that when theists come into forums like this, they act like we are unfairly or vehemently attacking them. In fact, we are just being either justifiably critical or merely stating how it honestly looks from our point of view. Nonetheless, we are told we are being arrogant, obnoxious, or angry.

This is the same type of projection/bias. They are so used to not being challenged, due to the prevailing myth that religion is protected ground, that when they meet people who do criticize (even respectfully) a bias is claimed.

Shaun

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Monday, January 2nd, 2006,

Monday, January 2nd, 2006, an explosion traps 13 miners in coal mine in Tallmansville, West Virginia.
An entire nation prayed for them with personal requests, candle-light vigils, and prayer at mass in churches throughout the country. Governor Joe Manchin said "we believe in miracles, and we're praying for the miners."
Much of the community gathered in the Sago Baptist Church nearby. George W. Bush said "May God bless those who are trapped below the Earth, and may God bless those who are concerned about those trapped." Then on Wednesday it was announced that 12 of the miners were still alive. Anna McCloy, the wife of one of the trapped miners said "It just shows you enough prayers went out. It's a miracle."
Then a short while later we learned that the news was false and those 12 miners had died. Those innocent people, working hard to support their families were allowed to die. Prayers were unanswered. Millions of people thanked God for saving them. What did they do next? unthank him?
On the same day NBC's "Today" show did a piece on a woman that won the lottery. She said, “God has answered my prayers!”
Perhaps her prayers were better formulated than everyone else's. What are this deity's priorities? Perhaps he isn't there.

On January 4th a landslide in Indonesia sent mud, rocks, and trees demolishing the Java island village of Cijeruk. Hundreds died, most were in prayer at a mosque.
January 5th a hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia collapsed killing 76 during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Christians attribute their deaths to praying to the wrong god.

Summer 2006, West Texas was experiencing a severe drought. Mayor David Miller said "Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help." July 24th, the city council approved the rain-prayer resolution and the residents are asked to pray and fast for rain. They received none, not a drop. Until October and November when Lubbock experienced flooding, after the growing season. God playing a joke? Or is he backlogged? He answered their prayers but it took him a few months to get around to it.
This is the same mayor that asks churches to pray for things like fairness in the media and for citizens to understand city council decisions such as raising taxes.
(November 2004, Texas, Lubbock in particular, experienced the wettest November since records had been kept.)

Prayer doesn't work because nobody is listening.

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


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Exactly. That godisimaginary

Exactly. That godisimaginary site put it very well. Im paraphrasing: God must be thinking...hmmm all those people are being killed in Darfur...good.... Those women and little girls are all being raped.... fine. Those poor people are starving while those CEOs who are cheating are getting richer... all part of my plan. Hmmm that housewife just prayed for me to take the stain out of her skirt. I gotta act on this. Ok... all those people drowned in the Tsunami and in Katrina... Hey, I can't reveal myself too much..... All those deformed babies and innocent people with cancer... hey, I'm God, you can't question me..... Thos families made homeless in fires.... it's all good...... Whoa! 15 year old Susie is praying to me to make sure that zit goes away before her date with Billy. Sorry. I gotta go...

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ShaunPhilly wrote:20vturbo

ShaunPhilly wrote:
20vturbo wrote:

If you believe in God then, you would want to know as much about God as possible. If you don’t believe in God then you are correct there would be no difference in praying to God or the milk jug. I just happen to think there are more things support there being a God than not

This will probably spawn a new thread...

I have not seen anything that supports God's existence. For me, it's not that there is more reason to lack belief than to believe, it is that every attempt to provide evidence or support for God-belief has failed, that I've seen.

So, what support is there for God's existence? I am honestly interested in hearing something new.

Shaun

Sorry for the delay, my computer isn't working. Sad

I agree that this is probably for another thread so I will just start another post later, unless this has been posted elsewhere here?


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todangst wrote: And

todangst wrote:

And absolutely none of them require that an actual god be involved.

But that does not make them not part of prayer.

todangst wrote:

This is the point that theists who make the 'there are many types of prayer' argument always fail to realize.

All that matters here is intercessory prayer, for this is the prayer where a 'god' is required to take part in the process.

Anyone can mediate, find peace, give thanks, without involving anyone else.... which is why theists continually focus on these putative aspects of prayer, and why they run and hide from the negative results concerning experimentation on interecessory prayer.

Dodge away, theist.

I can site "studies" done that support intercessory prayer just like the ones sited in the video, that doesn't prove my point or yours because there is only one way to prove what the "real truth" is....and I don't feel like dying yet.


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todangst wrote: Precisely.

todangst wrote:

Precisely. Since theists project their flaws out onto others, a theist's attacks are a golden key into his psyche.... the reality here, all along, is that his complaint is that we should all just assume god DOES exist and not making this assumption, to him, is unfair!

There's a nice way to view this phenomena in the world of sports. Watch fan reaction to network coverage of a sports finals... whether basebal, football, etc.... fans of BOTH teams will complain of a bias against their team. Why?

Because all year long these fans have listened to announcers who favor their team.... they become accustomed to feeling that a pro bias is actually neutral! So whenever they are compelled to listen to unbiased reporting, it appears biased!

So we see the same thing on our site with theists.... they are used to preaching to the choir, they are used to discussing matters of theism with other theists, in a church. They are used to having everyone simply assume that their beliefs are true!

Coming to a place where this belief is not simply assumed appears biased.

Why do you think that I am attacking or telling you what to think? I never said that you should think anything. My only point is that I am here to see you guys point of view and it seems that this site/video was intended to make theist convert to atheism. If you are trying to get theist to convert, I would think you would have to look at it from their view. I may be wrong....but it is just my opinion


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Eric Ferguson wrote: Prayer

Eric Ferguson wrote:

Prayer doesn't work because nobody is listening.

Or maybe we don't want to hear it?


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MattShizzle wrote:Exactly.

MattShizzle wrote:
Exactly. That godisimaginary site put it very well. Im paraphrasing: God must be thinking...hmmm all those people are being killed in Darfur...good.... Those women and little girls are all being raped.... fine. Those poor people are starving while those CEOs who are cheating are getting richer... all part of my plan. Hmmm that housewife just prayed for me to take the stain out of her skirt. I gotta act on this. Ok... all those people drowned in the Tsunami and in Katrina... Hey, I can't reveal myself too much..... All those deformed babies and innocent people with cancer... hey, I'm God, you can't question me..... Those families made homeless in fires.... it's all good...... Whoa! 15 year old Susie is praying to me to make sure that zit goes away before her date with Billy. Sorry. I gotta go...

If there is a God, and if you were innocent and suffered, I believe you would go to heaven...so is it sad that people have to go to heaven early? maybe not. Should we do everything we can to enjoy life while here....absolutely. Should we try to enhance the lives of our fellow man....absolutely.


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20vturbo wrote:todangst

20vturbo wrote:
todangst wrote:

And absolutely none of them require that an actual god be involved.

But that does not make them not part of prayer.

todangst wrote:

This is the point that theists who make the 'there are many types of prayer' argument always fail to realize.

All that matters here is intercessory prayer, for this is the prayer where a 'god' is required to take part in the process.

Anyone can mediate, find peace, give thanks, without involving anyone else.... which is why theists continually focus on these putative aspects of prayer, and why they run and hide from the negative results concerning experimentation on interecessory prayer.

Dodge away, theist.

I can site "studies" done that support intercessory prayer just like the ones sited in the video, that doesn't prove my point or yours because there is only one way to prove what the "real truth" is....and I don't feel like dying yet.

What does dying have to do with anything?

What I don't like is the way christians take advantage of the situation. If they know someone who was ill and is now feeling better they will tell that person "I was praying for you."(whether they were or not).

You'll never hear a peep from them if the situation they pray about turns out for the worse.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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jcgadfly wrote: What does

jcgadfly wrote:

What does dying have to do with anything?

The only way, I am aware of, to 100% prove that God/spaghetti monster/milk jug/ect. exists or does not exist is when we die and find out.


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20vturbo wrote:jcgadfly

20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

What does dying have to do with anything?

The only way, I am aware of, to 100% prove that God/spaghetti monster/milk jug/ect. exists or does not exist is when we die and find out.

Dying only proves that you're 100% dead. There is a biblical edict (if you believe in that sort of thing) against a return trip to tell someone else so you don't really prove anything in a useful way.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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jcgadfly wrote:20vturbo

jcgadfly wrote:
20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

What does dying have to do with anything?

The only way, I am aware of, to 100% prove that God/spaghetti monster/milk jug/ect. exists or does not exist is when we die and find out.

Dying only proves that you're 100% dead. There is a biblical edict (if you believe in that sort of thing) against a return trip to tell someone else so you don't really prove anything in a useful way.

I realize that, I mean that it is 100% proof to the individual.


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20vturbo wrote: If there is

20vturbo wrote:

If there is a God, and if you were innocent and suffered, I believe you would go to heaven...so is it sad that people have to go to heaven early? maybe not. Should we do everything we can to enjoy life while here....absolutely. Should we try to enhance the lives of our fellow man....absolutely.

Clarification...Life is a great gift from insert belief here and should be protected by us as much as possible.


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20vturbo wrote:so is it sad

20vturbo wrote:
so is it sad that people have to go to heaven early? maybe not.

Actually there bodies go in the ground and the soul waits for the second coming. What a waste of time.
But if you die in a fire I guess all bets are off.

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


20vturbo
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Eric Ferguson wrote:20vturbo

Eric Ferguson wrote:
20vturbo wrote:
so is it sad that people have to go to heaven early? maybe not.

Actually there bodies go in the ground and the soul waits for the second coming. What a waste of time.
But if you die in a fire I guess all bets are off.

then again maybe not, how quick do you think time would go?? maybe souls are traveling near the speed of light?? Do we even know what time is?


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20vturbo wrote:jcgadfly

20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:
20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

What does dying have to do with anything?

The only way, I am aware of, to 100% prove that God/spaghetti monster/milk jug/ect. exists or does not exist is when we die and find out.

Dying only proves that you're 100% dead. There is a biblical edict (if you believe in that sort of thing) against a return trip to tell someone else so you don't really prove anything in a useful way.

I realize that, I mean that it is 100% proof to the individual.

If there is an afterlife then the individual may get his proof but he can't pass that information on to anyone. If there is no afterlife then the individual gets no proof of anything as he has ceased to exist. This is basically Pascal's Wagar -"it better to believe just in case", which we have thorougly destroyed on another thread at this forum.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Randalllord wrote:20vturbo

Randalllord wrote:
20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:
20vturbo wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

What does dying have to do with anything?

The only way, I am aware of, to 100% prove that God/spaghetti monster/milk jug/ect. exists or does not exist is when we die and find out.

Dying only proves that you're 100% dead. There is a biblical edict (if you believe in that sort of thing) against a return trip to tell someone else so you don't really prove anything in a useful way.

I realize that, I mean that it is 100% proof to the individual.

If there is an afterlife then the individual may get his proof but he can't pass that information on to anyone. If there is no afterlife then the individual gets no proof of anything as he has ceased to exist. This is basically Pascal's Wagar -"it better to believe just in case", which we have thorougly destroyed on another thread at this forum.

I don't think it is Pascal's wager, all I said is that the only way to prove what happens after death is to die.


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Then what use is it? You

Then what use is it? You can't change you mind after you die. If you were wrong then you have spent your life living for a myth.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca