All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
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01-03-2013, 12:57 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 03:26 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  There is a reason researchers will often keep the true purpose of a study away from the test subjects....they don't want the study to influence the actions of thier subjects. With God that is impossible to do. A researcher studying the power of prayer has to hope that his subject, God, will cooperate in the study...he can't trick God into cooperating.

Scientific studies of prayer are bad science.

You have a decent point here.

This is similar to testing an employee. Say I have an employee working for me. His job is to answer phone calls from customers and process their requests. Suppose I want to test him to find out if he is doing his job. I would prefer to spy on his calls without his knowledge, hear what the customers ask for, and then check his work to see if he granted those customers' requests. If I told him I was doing this, he would be certain to do his best work when he knows I am checking, so I would prefer not to tell him and to test him at random without his knowledge - that way I am testing his routine behavior instead of his best behavior.

You're right, with god being supposedly omnipotent, there really isn't any way to "test" prayer without him knowing he's being tested. If he were our employee, he would grant every prayer to prove his worth to us, his boss. But he's not our employee so he can do whatever he wants, ignore or answer the prayers as he sees fit.

So, sure, I agree with your point that testing prayer is a flawed concept for the above reason.

But what's the point?

Are you just denying that studies that test prayer are useful? OK, most of us already know that anyway but for different reasons: Christians ignore the studies and assume god answers their prayers while atheists ignore the studies and assume god doesn't exist. Shouldn't the existence of god be a more interesting study than whether or not this possibly imaginary being refuses to be tested, if he exists at all?

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01-03-2013, 01:28 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
First thing I thought when I read the title was "Well, no shit. Prayer does not fucking work. Doing a study on prayer is like doing a study on the tooth fairy."

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
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01-03-2013, 01:38 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
My gods, these theists are everywhere, but at least they make funny posts. Glad we have them.

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01-03-2013, 02:24 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 12:57 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  You're right, with god being supposedly omnipotent, there really isn't any way to "test" prayer without him knowing he's being tested. If he were our employee, he would grant every prayer to prove his worth to us, his boss. But he's not our employee so he can do whatever he wants, ignore or answer the prayers as he sees fit.

So, sure, I agree with your point that testing prayer is a flawed concept for the above reason.

But what's the point?

Are you just denying that studies that test prayer are useful? OK, most of us already know that anyway but for different reasons: Christians ignore the studies and assume god answers their prayers while atheists ignore the studies and assume god doesn't exist. Shouldn't the existence of god be a more interesting study than whether or not this possibly imaginary being refuses to be tested, if he exists at all?

God cannot be fired like your employee so the analogy doesn't follow.

Yes I am denying that prayer studies are useful because they are fatally flawed. I think it is silly to conduct them and I think it is silly of atheists to use the as evidence that praying to God has no effect. I am very skeptical of the power of prayer myself so this isn't a thread arguing for the power of prayer. It is a thread about the validity of prayer studies. People need to stop conflating the two.
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01-03-2013, 02:30 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 06:41 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  1. Read other peoples' posts thoroughly

2. Do not tell someone that they believe X, based on your own guess or inference. Ask what they believe, don't tell them what you think they believe

3. When making a thread, inflammatory titles like this one will NOT win you friends

4. Don't play games when making a new topic. State clearly what you're trying to demonstrate and lay out your evidence clearly and concisely. Don't be "cute" about it



Note, I'm not telling you to agree with me. I'm not even telling you to be civil. You can throw ad homs all you like if you follow the rules above. This is just basic forum debate 101.

The shit you're doing now? That's trolling, whether you realize it or not.
You atheist have been guilty of all these things. If you read my post about Dawkins. I argued that Dawkins was wrong. But you guys were claiming I was arguing about evolution being evidence for God. I never made such an argument.
I have been told I believe in the bible. I have never claimed to believ in the bible.
The title of this thread isn't inflammatory. The title is reflective of the content. The thread is argument that prayer studies are fatally flawed. I have no idea were your coming from here.
Some arguments are long and complex and it just easier to hash out the pieces in individual arguments.
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01-03-2013, 02:40 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2013 03:34 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
* repeat ...
The PLURAL OF ATHEIST is ATHEISTS.
Do you plan on English 101 with Bio 101 ?
Clearly you were/are leading up to claiming that "fitness" for an environment is what you consider evidence., and you're just royally pissed off like a 2 year old, that we guessed what you are up to. So now your argument comes down to "oh that's just silly'. Fail.
I still want to know what credentials you have, or what makes you think you can tell a PhD Evolutionary Biologist they are wrong.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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01-03-2013, 02:48 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 06:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Answer 1: If god does not exist, then testing prayer would not test him. So instead of testing something that is not measurable (god), they were testing for the effects of the prayer (in case complications and recovery rates), to see if the prayer itself could cause a statistically significant change in patient health. This might be a hard concept for you to understand, but not everyone bases their lives around the existence of your god. This study tested the effects of prayer and prayer alone, a god was not needed or tested, merely the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of prayer on patients. If the prayer had been effectitve, that would not have proven the existence of any god, let alone your specific God. Get over it.

If God is not a factor in a prayer study, then the study really isn't about prayer. Prayer is a solemn request for help or thanks to God. If God is excluded from the study then the study is really about good intentions, or wishful thinking, or hope.

I don't have a problem with your veiw here. I would only have a problem if you tried to use such a study to show that prayer doesn't work or that there is no God. You can't have it both ways. You can't say the study was not about testing God and then claim prayer studies conclude there is no evidence that prayers to God are ever answered.


(01-03-2013 06:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Answer 2: I can't compel something that refuses to prove it's existence, thus it is a moot point. A hidden god that refuse to interact in reality is IDENTICAL (as far as we are concerned) to a non-existent god. Claim divine mystery all you want, but in science we prove things by testing them. If your God refuses to be tested, even indirectly (and at the cost of the well being of his followers), then you God's existence is not even worth consideration.

This point may be valid but it isn't relavent to this thread. This thread is a discussion about the validity of prayer studies. It isn't about God's existence, or the power of prayer, or religion. It is a discussion on whether or not you can reliably test God. You are making the argumentive error of presenting a red herring.


(01-03-2013 06:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Prayer studies are silly....
Agreed

(01-03-2013 06:42 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  All the study means to me is that intercessory prayer does nothing helpful. You have no evidence to claim that your god answers prayer, or that prayer is proof for your God. Nor can I say that the lack of prayer's effectiveness proves there is no God. It is just another piece of evidence that supports the premise that there is no god; or if he does exist, he/she/it is actively hiding its presence, chooses not intervene, or can't intervene in our reality. It could be used as evidence against an explicitly interventionist deity, such as Yahweh, but is much less effective evidence against a pantheist or deist god.

Please follow phaedrus's advice and read my posts. I never ever claimed that prayer works. In order to be consider evidence that proves there is no God, the study would have to test God....something you claim is not part of the study. You are contradicting yourself here.
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01-03-2013, 02:51 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 02:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  * repeat ...
The PLURAL OF AHTHEIST is ATHEISTS.
Do you plan on English 101 with Bio 101 ?
Clearly you were/are leading up to claiming that "fitness" for an environment is what you consider evidence., and you're just royally pissed off like a 2 year old, that we guessed what you are up to. So now your argument comes down to "oh that's just silly'. Fail.
I still want to know what credentials you have, or what makes you think you can tell a PhD Evolutionary Biologist they are wrong.
There is no reason to compare me to a two year old except to provide cover for you weak argument.
I forgive you for the insult.
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01-03-2013, 02:55 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 06:58 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Your concept of these threads being ideas based on thinking is skewed. It is, but your ideas are on the par of flawed that you claim these tests are.

You are equating that prayer has to be connected to the conscious God acting on the prayer. That's only one concept of looking at the idea of prayer scientifically. That's why they value the idea of people knowing/not knowing of the prayer. It's looking to judge prayer in it's physical form in how it affects someone mentally; it also judges to see if there is any impressive correlation that would be unexplainable without supernatural intervention-which there hasn't been any of.
I don't have a problem with your veiw here provided you realize then that you cannot use these studies as evidence there is no God or that praying to God doesn't work.
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01-03-2013, 02:56 PM
RE: All scientific studies regarding prayer are fatally flawed
(01-03-2013 02:51 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(01-03-2013 02:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  * repeat ...
The PLURAL OF AHTHEIST is ATHEISTS.
Do you plan on English 101 with Bio 101 ?
Clearly you were/are leading up to claiming that "fitness" for an environment is what you consider evidence., and you're just royally pissed off like a 2 year old, that we guessed what you are up to. So now your argument comes down to "oh that's just silly'. Fail.
I still want to know what credentials you have, or what makes you think you can tell a PhD Evolutionary Biologist they are wrong.
There is no reason to compare me to a two year old except to provide cover for you weak argument.
I forgive you for the insult.
You were supposed to say, "what's an ahtheist?" Tongue

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