If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
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12-02-2015, 04:00 PM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
(10-02-2015 10:41 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  I was railing away in the anti-prayer thread and made a statement that if prayer actually succeeded, and some god bent or broke the natural course of nature to answer the prayer, it would disrupt anyone whose actions depended on nature working according to natural law. And it hit me a bit later what that really meant: if prayer succeeds, science is useless.

So your kid sister is in the cancer ward with Final Stage Pancreatic cancer and all the family gathers round for another heavy prayer session. This time, a god listens, reaches down from the ether and rearranges the pancreatic cellular configuration enough to send the cancer into remission. The family is ecstatic.

The oncology staff, on the other hand, while elated, is puzzled. They now have an outlier data point they'd like to account for. And, even if not able to account for it, their database now shows one more remission, changing the statistics of oncological study. Most damaging, their conclusions of the efficacy and safety of therapies under test are skewed, totally unknown by them, by forces they will NEVER be able to account for.

NO scientific study, if prayer works, could begin to compile a valid statistical foundation for evaluating outcomes because the wild cards of answered prayer would make garbage of any mathematical models. Scientists trying to formulate the reliationships and mechanisms of natural function would confront, continually, events of answered prayer that violate every law they might manage to construct.

We would truly inhabit an unfathomable, permanently mysterious world in which NO action could have a predictable outcome.

That would be a terrifying world indeed, a world in which prayer works.

I'm glad we don't inhabit one.

Speaking as someone who is personally affected (I have an aunt with Stage 4 lung cancer and several friends and family in remission from cancers) I want to respectfully remind you that there isn't a doctor on the planet who has been practicing for years who has not seen such "data point anomalies". I know lots of people who had something "disappear" after a healing service or prayer -- including new agers, and atheists who didn't pray at all, and the doctors were gobsmacked.

So it sounds like you're saying the world will fit into neater compartments with more bell curves and fewer anomalies. Miracles being on the outside of bell curves. Unfortunately this world is a battleground between God and the devil, children of light and children of darkness. So there's that.

Or you can simply listen to your own point and see if you feel god might be in the anomalies!

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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12-02-2015, 05:16 PM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
(12-02-2015 04:00 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I know lots of people who had something "disappear" after a healing service or prayer -- including new agers, and atheists who didn't pray at all, and the doctors were gobsmacked.

Yes, psychosomatic illnesses will do that and they do so without any help from an invisible magic being. Plus, obviously amputees weren't among them since that would require that something "appeared".

As for the rest of what you said, science does work so you've refuted nothing. Drinking Beverage

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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12-02-2015, 05:31 PM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
Fixing a misdiagnosed illness isn't a "miracle".

It's taking credit, where credit isn't due.

...

It's the classic move of hucksters, con-men and evangelical preachers......

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The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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12-02-2015, 06:04 PM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
you hear the phrase "power of prayer" often from the faithful...and I was thinking...since there is what....8 billion ppl in the world, and 80%ish purport to believe in a god...so it is probably safe to say that at least 6 billion ppl believe in a god, lets just half that for argument's sake...so the world has 3 billion people that believe in a god, and most likely utter a silent prayer at least once a day..from the mild "please god let me get to work on time", to the frightening "please god dont let him kill me" type prayers. From mild to moderate to fervent, 3 billion people probably utter one prayer a day....just go with it for the moment...so out of those 3 billion daily prayers, how many get answered?

The very few that appear to be answered I posit it is due to the lottery of chance and coincidence. However, if you are the believer who say prayed "oh god let my numbers come in on the lottery pick" (just like every other faithful person who bought a ticket)...and one of those believers wins the lottery...he or she is going to think, Oh my god, he answered my prayer...I am living proof....no, no I say there was 3 billion pulls on the the one armed bandit of prayers game machine and it just seems like your pull happened to come up with the three lemons.....but the bible says ask and ye shall receive right? for example

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matthew 7:7)

"Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:22)

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark 11:24)

so think about it this way, the handful of prayers that seem to have been answered is not an indication that prayer works, rather we must look at it from the other angle, why didnt the other 2,999,999,992 ish prayers get answered? To me this is an indication that there is no power of prayer, rather it is just the lottery of chance and coincidence.

When it comes to argument from personal experience, I understand how this happens....lets say poor aunt phyllis is in the hospital, and the docs say it doesnt look good, so the family gathers and urgent prayers are made...suddenly the next morning aunt phyllis makes a turn for the better, to the family, this is proof of god's intervention, and answer to prayers and no one will be able to change their mind...no, not a miracle, it was chance and coincidence, if not then all the billions of prayers on the behalf of sick family members would be answered as well.....all it would take to prove prayer is have just one amputee in history who prayed and regrew a leg, then we would have to reconsider...until then...poppycock, dreams and wishes created by those desperate enough to utter them.

Just my thoughts..

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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12-02-2015, 07:02 PM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
(10-02-2015 11:08 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Beyond mysterious - it would be like living inside Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where everyone gets to make incantations. It would be madness. Nothing would make sense.

The difference is that magic in Hogwarts is quite regulated, so it wouldn't be chaotic at all.

Dude come on, don't fail me like this on Harry Potter! Tongue

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13-02-2015, 02:34 AM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
(12-02-2015 04:00 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... it sounds like you're saying the world will fit into neater compartments with more bell curves and fewer anomalies. Miracles being on the outside of bell curves. Unfortunately this world is a battleground between God and the devil, children of light and children of darkness. So there's that.

These are the types of paragraphs that really highlight the derangement of mind it takes to sustain belief in religiosity. The first two sentences are straightforward. They're not correct, but they're straightforward. Then comes a sentence FedEx'd in from the planet Brqxvwzd. It's not even a non-sequitur; it's an utterance that has no relationship to the preceding sentences, nor any discernible relationship to any sentences said by anyone anywhere at any time. An absolutely 100% pure WTF?
The closing "So there's that." collapsed me out of my chair laughing.

So, I'll address sentences 1 and 2. The world DOES fit bell curves. Anomalies do NOT lie outside bell curves, they are the rims of the bell. They give the bell its shape. If prayer worked, meaning random events take place without discernible reason, there wouldn't BE bell curves at all. There'd be no orderly frequency distribution of event types because ANY event would have equal likelihood of happening. It'd be impossible to develop any predictive mathematical construct because the only plots possible would be flat lines.

So you have personal acquaintance with "inexplicable" medical good outcomes that "gobsmacked" physicians. Who doesn't? First of all, any physician, or astronomer, or physicist, or engineer, or anyone engaged in a field whose principal activity is RESEARCH would be remiss if not "gobsmacked" by new observations and insights. Why bother exploring if you don't expect to find something whose explanation still needs to be worked out?

But a "gobsmacked" physician would be dangerous and should have his license revoked if at each "gobsmacking" he just put it down to "god" and made no further effort to understand the workings of nature.

Your aunt was in a hospital, incidentally, because her faith in science was stronger than her faith in prayer. As is most peoples'. Well, science attained that degree of credibility by being successful at predicting outcomes. You go around sticking prayer into the mix and science falls apart, incapable of distinguishing the natural from the supernatural. You cripple the very means you're putting most of your hope into. Physicians can develop effective therapies because bell curves ARE possible.

There is no "god" in the anomalies, anomalies are nature itself. If prayer worked, there wouldn't BE any anomalies: everything and anything would be equally possible, and no one would be able to know anything.
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13-02-2015, 02:49 AM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
On a slightly related note...

I've mentioned before on here one of the reasons I can't believe in an 'interventionist' deity ...

Who gets the Nobel Prize for physics? The scientist whose latest discovery will change the world or the deity who tinkered with the observations / experimental results?

But here's one I've been slipping in to lectures recently, as an aside...

I ask "How much do the major financial institutions spend on security measures to prevent theft by those with the talent for mind-reading, crystal-balling or using the power of prayer to find out other people's account information?"

Answer: sweet fuck all. Ohmy

Why aren't the regulators more concerned about this?

Big Grin

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13-02-2015, 07:27 AM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
And you'll note -- DARPA isn't working on a "Prayer Army"......

And those guys will try ANYTHING.....

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The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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13-02-2015, 07:46 AM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
(13-02-2015 02:49 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I ask "How much do the major financial institutions spend on security measures to prevent theft by those with the talent for mind-reading, crystal-balling or using the power of prayer to find out other people's account information?"

Answer: sweet fuck all. Ohmy

Why aren't the regulators more concerned about this?

Big Grin

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“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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13-02-2015, 07:52 AM
RE: If Prayer Worked, Science Wouldn't
THere's a group of "psychics" up the road from me (next door, 3/4 mile away) that has been going broke, trying to drum up business. (think they run a brothel too)...

One would think if they were really psychic they'd know you can't make any money without any customers........... The farmers out in this area tend to be a bit on the skeptical side.

They've got "For Sale" signs out....... Heard they're heading for Nevada.....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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