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F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
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11-09-2011, 11:12 PM
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
Miracles??? Those only happen in Fairy-Tales!

Well, religious people believe that God performs miracles, but that's just silly because the bible is wicked and cruel.
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16-09-2011, 03:03 PM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2011 03:08 PM by 17thknight.)
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
I've seen enough neurological results that show significant alteration in brain function during a moment of devout prayer/religious experience to know that it is having some kind of effect on the human mind, and by extension the body. Something is occurring there.

I honestly don't see why it's hard to believe that prayer could have real, tangible effects on the material world. How, you might ask? It has been demonstrated, in laboratory conditions, that simply measuring a photon will change its state from wave to particle. Ceasing to measure it turns it back into a wave. And I'm not talking about measuring it with a device, you can do soemthing as simple as count in your head how many photons a photon gun is firing, and the state changes, and by extension the results of the test. It's the old "slit-in-the-box" test. But you also have Schrodinger's Cat, and many others, that show this is a real phenomenon.

The point is this: We KNOW for a FACT that the human mind, and any other quantum measuring device, is capable of altering the state of electrons, photons, and in other words alter the physical world.

We KNOW the Placebo effect works, and by any logical measure, it shouldn't. Why should believing you'll get better make you better while a person on real medicines dies? It doesn't logically follow, but it does occur.

So, knowing that Placebo Effects are real, and knowing (beyond any doubt) that the human mind (along with any other measuring device) can alter electron states, photon wave/particle states, particle decay, etc, I see no problem believing that prayer really does have a tangible effect on people.

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17-09-2011, 09:04 PM
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
Miracles and prayer is all based on superstition. As I've heard on a podcast here, you'll find that most of the prayers are for insignificant things that would have happened anyway. When someone says "that's a miracle", I don't think (most of the time) they are actually realizing they are referencing the belief of divine intervention. People usually say something is a miracle when they simply can't explain it, however that doesn't mean there isn't an answer for it.

If I may steal a quote from Bill Maher (from an interview with Piers Morgan I think), "praying is attempting to telepathically communicate with an invisible friend". Essentially, praying allows you to feel like you've done something when you actually haven't. "Let us pray that the victims of this tragedy get back on their feet again and find food and shelter", well when this happens (due to activist and charity groups) they will say "Thank god! It's a miracle!". No it wasn't!

People are religion for many different reasons. I think mainly it's because they don't want to feel alone in this world, that their is no life after death. They want answers without actually doing research or studying science. But most importantly, people are religious because they were indoctrinated and were taught out of questioning authority and beliefs. "Get them while their young and they can't think for themselves".

Write down ten equally grantable prayers and pray one to a modern God (Allah, Jesus, etc.) and pray the others to any Greek god. I think you'll have about the same results for both.
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17-09-2011, 10:43 PM
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
Power of suggestion - even charms and spells can 'work' when people believe in them.
The first crack in my christain life came when I realised that god did NOT answer prayers, and there was going to be no miracle in my life.

I want for myself what I want for every women, absolute equality. Agnes Macphail
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01-10-2011, 09:54 PM
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
(27-08-2011 07:09 AM)robotworld Wrote:  Well, I have a few questions regarding prayers and miracles, and the scientific basis behind them...

1) What are miracles? How do you define them?
2) The stigmata and the resurrection... do you consider them miracles?
3) What does prayer actually achieve?
4) Just a thought, is religion attractive because it allows a person to feel comfort by being in a group of like minded people and the calming ability of prayer/meditation/chanting/religious rites?

Thanks, and any further information is greatly appreciated!

  1. In current use, I think a miracle is when something extremely unlikely happens. Also it's seriously overused. Someone gets diagnosed with seriuos cancer, gets treated, & lives, &, "it's a miracle!" Really? No, it would have been a miracle if they were in dr's office, got the dianosis, then a giant being of light appeared in front of them & healed them right then & there. Also much abused is - there'll be, maybe an amtrak wreck or something, 812 people will die except for 1 baby, & "it's a miracle!" Yeah, but bummer for those other folks, huh.
  2. No, because I have no reason to believe they occured.
  3. I think prayer can acheive a lot. But let me unpack that. It can achieve the same thing as meditation, or prayer to some other god. Prayer is a way of focusing one's energies & thoughts & getting in touch with the strength inherent in all humans. The problem is xtians say the strength is from god. They don't recognize it as coming from their own selves. Also it can certainly induce the placebo effect, as others have pointed out, by activating the body's own mechanisms for healing.
  4. Yes. Go to burning man. Go to ecstatic dance. Go hang out at some pagan thing. People love to chant & induce trance. Our brains really seem to crave that. It makes us feel good. But there are myriad routes to that that don't involve kowtowing to an imaginary god.

Every time you say you don't believe, Jesus rips the wings off a fairy. - SkepticalParenting.com
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03-10-2011, 07:05 PM (This post was last modified: 03-10-2011 07:41 PM by mysticjbyrd.)
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
(27-08-2011 07:09 AM)robotworld Wrote:  Well, I have a few questions regarding prayers and miracles, and the scientific basis behind them...

1) What are miracles? How do you define them?
2) The stigmata and the resurrection... do you consider them miracles?
3) What does prayer actually achieve?
4) Just a thought, is religion attractive because it allows a person to feel comfort by being in a group of like minded people and the calming ability of prayer/meditation/chanting/religious rites?

Thanks, and any further information is greatly appreciated!

1) Events that take place that seem to defy common human understanding. I use the word common, because usually they are easily explained by intelligent deductive reasoning.
2) There is no evidence that Jesus ever existed. The story of Jesus Christ is just a ripoff from stories that date back a millennium before he supposedly existed.
3) Prayer might relieve stress. Talking your problems out is helpful, even if it is to your imaginary friend.
4) Yes, that is one reason. Social suicide is also a major reason people do not abandon their religion.
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26-07-2012, 07:04 AM
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
Firstly, don't take for granted that some prayers led to immediate miracles. You have to examine the content of such "miracle" to start with. How do you know it was caused by the prayer without any other factors acting on the subject? Let's say that someone gets "miraculously cured" of cancer without attending the doctors. The kind of questions you would want to ask, as a scientist, are what stage of cancer did the patient suffer from and whether it was properly diagnosed, how strong was his immune system (for that you look at the history of past diseases), whether any cancer-therapies had been administered, and, of course, discount for the placebo effect, which has been proven.
In the cases of resurrection, they are simply bogus, and I have nothing else to say. It is impossible to resurrect a what we call "biologically dead" person. If someone claims to have resurrected someone, in order for the claim to be recognized as valid, we have to be sure that the person was actually dead, but not in a coma. Otherwise, it would be like earning your salary and attributing it to God rather than your own efforts you put in. Or it would be like saying "As ice cream sales increase, the rate of drowning deaths increases sharply. Therefore, ice cream consumption causes drowning." This is actually statistically true, but not empirically. As you may have told already, ice cream sales have nothing to do with drowning, but both of them are brought about by the summer that has just hit. That is why, you have to be very careful with correlating a prayer with something. That is why, we have to isolate all other conceivably important factors in order to study the actual "power" of a prayer. What do the creationists have to say about it? Well, so far they have been reluctant to test the power of prayer in a lab, and those who did dare, came out with negative results. They say, that the prayer has to be genuine in order to work. Well, too bad. What exactly do you mean by genuine? Do you mean the kind of prayer that takes place when there is a myriad of other circumstances affecting the subject of the prayer, all having the potential to "make the prayer work." To me, that's just not good enough.
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26-07-2012, 07:29 AM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2012 08:06 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
There are a number of studies which indicate that prayer raises one's circulating beta-endorphin levels, and dopamine levels, and oxytocin levels, (see ghostexorcist's "moral molecule" thread"). So yeah, prayer does have a measurable effect. Beta-endorphin is chemically related to Morphine Sulfate. So basically it's the same thing as the "runners high" phenomenon. It's addicting. Beta-endorphins can also be raised by singing, humming, chanting, walking, listening to relaxing music, etc., etc.

Ommmm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin#M..._of_action
http://www.jbc.org/content/263/1/92.short
http://www.springerlink.com/content/f746282655732w40/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphine
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jm00213a001

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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26-07-2012, 08:38 PM
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
"Praying: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy."
Ambrose Bierce
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26-07-2012, 09:19 PM
RE: F***ing Prayer and Miracles, How do they work?
(27-08-2011 07:09 AM)robotworld Wrote:  Well, I have a few questions regarding prayers and miracles, and the scientific basis behind them...

1) What are miracles? How do you define them? Miracle is a description of something considered to be good that doesn't seem to have an explanation.
2) The stigmata and the resurrection... do you consider them miracles? Don't consider them as they didn't happen.
3) What does prayer actually achieve? Perhaps comfort for the person praying. Flip a coin...either way you got a 50/50 shot at it being effective, at best.
4) Just a thought, is religion attractive because it allows a person to feel comfort by being in a group of like minded people and the calming ability of prayer/meditation/chanting/religious rites? Yes

Thanks, and any further information is greatly appreciated!

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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