Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
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11-02-2015, 09:24 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(11-02-2015 08:52 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Let's say that my predictions consistently, repeatedly exceed statistical chance at my level of knowledge. At a craps table I correctly call the throws enough to always beat the house. Not just once, but every time, every visit to Vegas. Not just playing at craps, but in anything where I forecast an outcome. I never lose, and I never lose without ever having to do any homework. I'm never wrong, and I'm never wrong without having to do homework.

That would get my attention. That would be unquestionable evidence that something beyond ordinary understanding was going on. And note that it would be so extraordinary it'd make me a world renowned figure very quickly.

But even if that did transpire, I would STILL not attribute it to godly tampering. I would possess irrefutable evidence that something beyond understanding occurred, yes, but that's all it would mean, that what we thought we understood is still incomplete. It would NOT lead me to think "a god was responsible".

THAT would be a pathetically useless conclusion.

If I had the sort of predictive power described above I would "move heaven and earth" to get to the bottom of it, to figure out just what in blazes in going on so I could KEEP it going, bottle it, sell it, prosper from it IN FULL CONFIDENCE OF KNOWING ITS MECHANISM. Stopping inquiry at "god diddit" would be stupefyingly block-headed.

I'm going to guess that every prayer you deem to have been a prayer answered was for something that could easily have happened naturally, that you never prayed for something so far outside the bounds of true probability that its occurrence would be internationally newsworthy. But if all you pray for are ordinary events, on what basis do you ascribe their happening to supernatural cause?

That would not prove a celestial god, it would only prove that you're Rainman.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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12-02-2015, 02:28 AM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(10-02-2015 09:51 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(09-02-2015 11:07 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  It would be an astonishing conceit if it were so, yes. But to quote C.S. Lewis, who was asked why he prayed often after his second wife passed, "Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me!"

So then it is only as useful as say meditation?

If so then why not simply meditate?

“The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton...the-brain/

“...when researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD sifted through nearly 19,000 meditation studies, they found 47 trials that addressed those issues and met their criteria for well-designed studies. Their findings, published in this week’s JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain.”

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindf...1401086967

Prayer, as a form of meditation, makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Attributing anything beyond that to a novena is superstition.

novena |nə(ʊ)ˈviːnə|
noun
(in the Roman Catholic Church) a form of worship consisting of special prayers or services on nine successive days.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from medieval Latin, from Latin novem ‘nine’.

Thanks for the new word FC! Bowing
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12-02-2015, 03:42 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(11-02-2015 08:52 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(11-02-2015 03:34 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... what would you consider evidence of answered prayer?

Let's say that my predictions consistently, repeatedly exceed statistical chance at my level of knowledge. At a craps table I correctly call the throws enough to always beat the house. Not just once, but every time, every visit to Vegas. Not just playing at craps, but in anything where I forecast an outcome. I never lose, and I never lose without ever having to do any homework. I'm never wrong, and I'm never wrong without having to do homework.

That would get my attention. That would be unquestionable evidence that something beyond ordinary understanding was going on. And note that it would be so extraordinary it'd make me a world renowned figure very quickly.

But even if that did transpire, I would STILL not attribute it to godly tampering. I would possess irrefutable evidence that something beyond understanding occurred, yes, but that's all it would mean, that what we thought we understood is still incomplete. It would NOT lead me to think "a god was responsible".

THAT would be a pathetically useless conclusion.

If I had the sort of predictive power described above I would "move heaven and earth" to get to the bottom of it, to figure out just what in blazes in going on so I could KEEP it going, bottle it, sell it, prosper from it IN FULL CONFIDENCE OF KNOWING ITS MECHANISM. Stopping inquiry at "god diddit" would be stupefyingly block-headed.

I'm going to guess that every prayer you deem to have been a prayer answered was for something that could easily have happened naturally, that you never prayed for something so far outside the bounds of true probability that its occurrence would be internationally newsworthy. But if all you pray for are ordinary events, on what basis do you ascribe their happening to supernatural cause?

So, in answer to my question, you began down several roads--you did honestly, I'm not criticizing you--but then concluded--"no, even if X or Y happened, it couldn't be that there's a god."

So I'll ask again what it is you are looking for regarding answered prayer, please.

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, 03:47 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
Unless you're willing to subject your prayer requests to the scientific method - all you have is anecdotes.... And, seeing you've got an agenda - those anecdotes won't hold much water.

....

If you'd like to subject your prayers to true testing - I'm quite certain we could set that up for you.

.....

Waiting for excuses as to why that's impossible....

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

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, 10:24 PM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2015 10:28 PM by Airportkid.)
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(12-02-2015 03:42 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... So I'll ask again what it is you are looking for regarding answered prayer, please.

I apologize my response wasn't clear enough, so I'll try again: There isn't anything that would persuade me it was a prayer answered - nothing I can imagine, and I can imagine quite a lot of outlandish things. Being able to correctly call the outcomes of random events would be beyond any of science's current understanding, but surmising it must be a god tampering is the LAST possibillity I would consider.

Here's another outlandish event: at 3:00PM Greenwich time everyone on the planet, including the deaf, hears, in their own dialect and idiom, an unmistakable spoken voice say "I am your Lord, you will mark my presence, heed my instructions, and obey". In a matter of hours it will be evident that the phenomenon was global, was not a local prank, and was therefore an apparent miracle, something beyond all present scientific understanding. Again, instantly concluding it was some god interfering in the affairs of mankind would be THE most foolish thing to do, THE most irresponsible, unethical, lazy, stupid thing to conclude. An event like that would compel a massive crash research program into just what heretofore unknown ripple of nature's fabric that was SO WE DON'T TRIP OVER IT NEXT TIME.

Now, at risk of possibly confusing you, there might be some event I cannot imagine that were it to take place, I might give the god possibility some measure of probability. But to do so would REQUIRE "god" being significantly more defined than it has ever been in terms of its characteristics and capabilities.

For now, NOTHING I can imagine would lead me to think "Oh, that was a prayer answered".

And I think those who DO think things are prayers answered are scientifically irresponsible, ending their inquiries at the first speculation and not even beginning to conduct further investigation into what happened.
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13-02-2015, 12:04 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(12-02-2015 03:47 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Unless you're willing to subject your prayer requests to the scientific method - all you have is anecdotes.... And, seeing you've got an agenda - those anecdotes won't hold much water.

....

If you'd like to subject your prayers to true testing - I'm quite certain we could set that up for you.

.....

Waiting for excuses as to why that's impossible....

get three thousand guinea-pigs errr I mean volunteers who suffer from the exact same conditions be it a broken bon eor something (it doesn't matter what it is so long as all 3000 of em share that condition and this experiment doesn't have any long term negative consequences for our lab rats)

now divide them equally into 3 groups
the first one, group A will be left to have their conditions be cured/fixed/whatever by having people of faith pray for them but the subjects won't be told that their being prayed for to be healed but no medical treatment
the 2nd group wouldn't be prayed for to get better but receive the standard medical treatment instead
the 3rd group will be told that they are being prayed for but get no medical treatment either

after this is all done take statistical measurements and see if there is any difference ? if there isn't any difference between the groups then prays can't make anything noticeable that would support the claim that prayer works then prays have just been proven to be Bullshit!

--------------------------
2nd experiment: ask people to pray for certain things and see how often their prayers get answered
no stories from long ago or yesterday will do
ask them to pray to know the size, location, severity of the next 5 earthquakes/floods/ etc or heal the limb of an amputee on demand and succeed consistently without failing once
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16-02-2015, 01:03 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
Ace and Online,

I've spoken extensively on these points already. God reveals Himself to those who would like such revelation, period. See my response to Airport Kid below for more (especially Ace, since Airport Kid is disagreeing with you here).

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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16-02-2015, 01:04 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(12-02-2015 10:24 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(12-02-2015 03:42 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... So I'll ask again what it is you are looking for regarding answered prayer, please.

I apologize my response wasn't clear enough, so I'll try again: There isn't anything that would persuade me it was a prayer answered - nothing I can imagine, and I can imagine quite a lot of outlandish things. Being able to correctly call the outcomes of random events would be beyond any of science's current understanding, but surmising it must be a god tampering is the LAST possibillity I would consider.

Here's another outlandish event: at 3:00PM Greenwich time everyone on the planet, including the deaf, hears, in their own dialect and idiom, an unmistakable spoken voice say "I am your Lord, you will mark my presence, heed my instructions, and obey". In a matter of hours it will be evident that the phenomenon was global, was not a local prank, and was therefore an apparent miracle, something beyond all present scientific understanding. Again, instantly concluding it was some god interfering in the affairs of mankind would be THE most foolish thing to do, THE most irresponsible, unethical, lazy, stupid thing to conclude. An event like that would compel a massive crash research program into just what heretofore unknown ripple of nature's fabric that was SO WE DON'T TRIP OVER IT NEXT TIME.

Now, at risk of possibly confusing you, there might be some event I cannot imagine that were it to take place, I might give the god possibility some measure of probability. But to do so would REQUIRE "god" being significantly more defined than it has ever been in terms of its characteristics and capabilities.

For now, NOTHING I can imagine would lead me to think "Oh, that was a prayer answered".

And I think those who DO think things are prayers answered are scientifically irresponsible, ending their inquiries at the first speculation and not even beginning to conduct further investigation into what happened.

So what if we're not looking at answered prayer but simply wanting to have God reveal His nature to us?

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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16-02-2015, 04:18 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(16-02-2015 01:04 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... So what if we're not looking at answered prayer but simply wanting to have God reveal His nature to us?

Then you must determine why you are invoking a god, or are looking for one. What does having a god around do for you that you can't do without?

Many of us don't need a god, and are repulsed by the very idea of a god. We don't feel any absence in our lives, no need to fill some "emptiness". We see nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that belief in a god contributes to a worshiper's life that cannot be met (and in many cases surpassed) by secular and humanist ideals, aims, endeavors and outlook.

Ask yourself a very difficult question: were it PROVEN that the god concept is truly nothing but wishful imagination, proven to YOUR SATISFACTION that the proof is sound, what would change about your life THAT WOULD MATTER? Would your family fall apart? Would you fall into a depression? Would you lose your career? Would lose your closest social circle?

I don't think any of those thing would happen, or anything else beyond a few days of coping with disappointment, but the essential elements that make life worth living wouldn't change at all.

But you tell us - what would your life lose if god were found not there and never was?
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16-02-2015, 04:56 PM
RE: Prayer: the Ultimate Selfish Conceit
(16-02-2015 01:03 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Ace and Online,

I've spoken extensively on these points already. God reveals Himself to those who would like such revelation, period. See my response to Airport Kid below for more (especially Ace, since Airport Kid is disagreeing with you here).

I don't suppose you noticed that when "God" revealed hisself to you - he sounded suspiciously like yourself????

Cuz that's how it works.....

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

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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