Help me out
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27-12-2011, 03:23 PM
RE: Help me out
Ummm, did you guys see this thing?

http://www.davidmyers.org/Brix?pageID=122

Apparently the STEP experiment (Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer) was made on over 1800 voluntary heart surgery patients split randomly in 3 equal groups:

-People who were told they would receive prayer
-People who were told that they may or may not receive prayers (and they did)
-People who were told that they may or may not receive prayers (and they didn't)

Each patient who received prayers had 3 to 7 Christian volunteers (coming from Catholic churches and various Protestant communities) who prayed for him/her.

Results:

Group 1 (knew about the prayer, received prayer) 59% of the patients experienced complications
Group 2 (uncertain about the prayer, received prayer) 52% complications
Group 3 (uncertain about the prayer, did not receive prayer) 51% complications

Major events and death within 30 days from surgery - very close numbers between the 3 groups
Average recovery time - very close numbers between the 3 groups.
The non-prayer group was generally luckier than the other 2 groups, but with a small difference consistent with random chance.

The study was supported by the Templeton Foundation (christian) and carried out in 6 academic medical centers.

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27-12-2011, 03:26 PM
RE: Help me out
(27-12-2011 02:50 PM)Clint Barnett Wrote:  
(27-12-2011 02:25 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Well... since prayers of the unbelievers aren't heard, the only people who could conduct this experiment would be believers. And since they are already prejudice to a certain belief, the results would be heavily skewed.

I have to ask where it is said that prayers of the unbelievers aren't heard. I probably don't remember a scripture that states this. Maybe you could help me on this. Because it sounds like God has an auto-mute button on atheists.

As for the rest of your comment yeah I agree it would be heavily skewed.

John 15:7 - 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 6:44 - 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

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27-12-2011, 03:26 PM
RE: Help me out
Yeah I saw that a while ago Malleus. Very interesting article.

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27-12-2011, 04:01 PM
RE: Help me out
(27-12-2011 02:16 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  My new question is "How can we know if prayer is answered by God or by chance?" It's in response to critics of prayer studies, claiming that prayer is "done wrong" by scientists. ...

This is the same type of objection (if not exactly the same objection) as the true believers in psychic phenomena use when these phenomena cannot be shown to even exist. Besides, the scientists didn't pray - they had congregations of believers pray in most studies.

Pretty lame argument, intellectually lazy.

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27-12-2011, 04:10 PM (This post was last modified: 27-12-2011 04:16 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: Help me out
(27-12-2011 03:23 PM)Malleus Wrote:  Ummm, did you guys see this thing?

The study was supported by the Templeton Foundation (christian) and carried out in 6 academic medical centers.

Yep. Richard Dawkins devoted a section of The God Delusion to it, so I think a lot of us are familiar with it. There have actually been a total of 17 studies done on prayer (according to Wikipedia) with mixed results, but what stands out about this one is that it is double-blind (which is the best way to remove bias) and it was done and funded by theists but came up with "evidence against interest" (evidence contrary to what the scientists were hoping for).

It seems to me that they were going about this the best way they could - apparently this 3rd group where people were prayed for and knew about the prayer could prove that prayer produced the Placebo Effect. Theist or atheist, an average scientist would've expected it to work. But it didn't, probably because the Placebo Effect may not have any effect on heart patients.
(27-12-2011 04:01 PM)Chas Wrote:  This is the same type of objection (if not exactly the same objection) as the true believers in psychic phenomena use when these phenomena cannot be shown to even exist.

I know it, thanks to this... it's worth watching if you haven't already.




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27-12-2011, 04:22 PM
RE: Help me out
This is just my opinion, take it for what it's worth:

The common Christian has a grave misunderstanding about prayer. Our prayers cannot affect the choice that God has made; however, it provides an understanding of God and shows our faithfulness to Him.

It doesn't surprise me that the tests are pretty much the same. Whether those people lived or died wasn't up to the prayers of the praying but up to God. If prayers have no meanings but are just prayers to praying, then they are without honor.

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27-12-2011, 04:48 PM
RE: Help me out
(27-12-2011 04:22 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  This is just my opinion, take it for what it's worth:

The common Christian has a grave misunderstanding about prayer. Our prayers cannot affect the choice that God has made; however, it provides an understanding of God and shows our faithfulness to Him.

It doesn't surprise me that the tests are pretty much the same. Whether those people lived or died wasn't up to the prayers of the praying but up to God. If prayers have no meanings but are just prayers to praying, then they are without honor.

I have a hard time understanding this. You're suggesting that prayers don't change God's will (thus have no effect), and that the prayers are just for our benefit to know God better?

What are we learning about God? If you ask for something and he says "I could give you what you need or desire, but i won't", what positive lesson are we learning about God? Jesus says (in Matthew) that if your son asks you for a loaf of bread, are you going to give him a stone? If he asks for a fish, will you give him a snake? And says God is a much better gift-giver than you are. But it seems that the lesson we learn from experience is that when you ask for fish and bread, you may get them, or you may get nothing, or you may get a stone and snake.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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27-12-2011, 04:57 PM
RE: Help me out
(27-12-2011 04:48 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(27-12-2011 04:22 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  This is just my opinion, take it for what it's worth:

The common Christian has a grave misunderstanding about prayer. Our prayers cannot affect the choice that God has made; however, it provides an understanding of God and shows our faithfulness to Him.

It doesn't surprise me that the tests are pretty much the same. Whether those people lived or died wasn't up to the prayers of the praying but up to God. If prayers have no meanings but are just prayers to praying, then they are without honor.

I have a hard time understanding this. You're suggesting that prayers don't change God's will (thus have no effect), and that the prayers are just for our benefit to know God better?

What are we learning about God? If you ask for something and he says "I could give you what you need or desire, but i won't", what positive lesson are we learning about God? Jesus says (in Matthew) that if your son asks you for a loaf of bread, are you going to give him a stone? If he asks for a fish, will you give him a snake? And says God is a much better gift-giver than you are. But it seems that the lesson we learn from experience is that when you ask for fish and bread, you may get them, or you may get nothing, or you may get a stone and snake.

Prayer isn't for God. Like I said, it's for us. Yes, it's to communicate with God. He let's us know His decisions and sometimes why He makes the decisions. The "stone-bread" thing is a metaphor for God's intentions. He isn't going to give us something that is going to be useless for harmful if we ask for something else. He's going to give us what we need according to His plan. The "bread" could be nothing; and, during prayer, He could reveal to us why it's nothing.

Does that make sense? Am I being clear? I feel like I'm being a little convoluted.

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27-12-2011, 05:01 PM
RE: Help me out
(27-12-2011 04:57 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Prayer isn't for God. Like I said, it's for us. Yes, it's to communicate with God. He let's us know His decisions and sometimes why He makes the decisions. The "stone-bread" thing is a metaphor for God's intentions. He isn't going to give us something that is going to be useless for harmful if we ask for something else. He's going to give us what we need according to His plan. The "bread" could be nothing; and, during prayer, He could reveal to us why it's nothing.

Does that make sense? Am I being clear? I feel like I'm being a little convoluted.

Yes. Prayer doesn't change God, it changes you.

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28-12-2011, 10:45 PM
RE: Help me out
Why did you go to a Catholic forum if you're not a believer? Or are you a critical believer?

Once again, I'm not attempting to criticise or troll, I'm just wondering about the motivation so please don't be upset or aggressive.

If we, as athiests, deliberately challenge beliefs then aren't we simply doing as Christians do?

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