Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
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04-11-2013, 06:07 PM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
(04-11-2013 11:36 AM)cjlr Wrote:  (tellingly your 'best' account is three hundred years old)?

Tongue

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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05-11-2013, 01:58 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
(04-11-2013 06:04 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  So when I describe these events to my friend:
a. Am I providing evidence of miracles, that anyone who is predisposed to believe in miracles can and should accept as supporting their world view?
b. Is the sceptic who asks "Did you check whether their legs were simply bound?" introducing new "facts" to the account that should carry less weight the evidence I provided? Should the weight these new "facts" carry for various listeners depend on their world view?

Regarding A: If your friend believes that God heals amputees then you friend should expect to hear about stories of God healing amputees. Suppose your friend is an atheist and never hears about God healing amputees....that would be evidence to him that God does not heal amputees(which atheists use all the time). In your example, the eye witness account is evidence. It may not be compelling or persuasive evidence, but it is evidence non the less.

Regarding B: The skeptic who asks, "Did you check to see if the amputee legs were simply bound" is not introducing new facts. However this is not what is being done. What is happening is Dunning and others are simply concluding the leg was bound up.

Also keep in mind that in this case there was actually a trial which concluded a miracle had been preformed. Presumably there would have been someone in that trial whose job it was to challenge witness accounts and would ask question like, "could the leg have been bound up".
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05-11-2013, 02:55 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
(05-11-2013 01:58 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Also keep in mind that in this case there was actually a trial which concluded a miracle had been preformed. Presumably there would have been someone in that trial whose job it was to challenge witness accounts and would ask question like, "could the leg have been bound up".

In summary there is Zero falsifiable evidence of any supernatural medical miracles.
And in regards to amputee healing, there is only 300 year old 3rd hand documents/stories requiring doxastic logic.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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05-11-2013, 02:56 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
I find it hard to classify an account as evidence if the sum of multiple accounts is no more persuasive than that of the individual account. The evidence of multiple clinical trials adds up - the sum of data is data. We know how the trials were conducted and we know their findings. It's possible that some were fudged or falsified in some way but by meta analysis and by repeating the trials we can come up with reliable statements about the safety and efficacy of certain procedures.

The sum of invalid data is invalid data. If the clinical trial was not conducted carefully or produces outlier results for unknown reasons it can't be used to deduce any useful information. If we can't look at this amputation case and say that it substantially increases the evidential basis for accepting that god heals amputees then I don't see how we can meaningfully describe it as evidence. It seems more like noise than signal. It's a data point, but the trend for acceptance or non-acceptance certainly points in the opposite direction. This was not a carefully controlled trial, and we can presume anything we like about those who conducted the examination for recording this as a miracle. We can't say anything much for certain.

But I think we are crossing swords over semantics here. When you say "it's evidence but is weak", I would say "it's a data point that is an outlier and looks unreliable". I think we can both agree that it is a data point, and that the important question is what we can reasonably conclude from it.

If we treat it as data then the proper conclusion would be to treat it as an outlier, and not being in and of itself a reliable basis for claims of miraculous deamputation. If we treat it as being an actual recorded event of an actual de-amputation then that would be different - if we accept that an event certainly happened then we have no scope to deny that such events can happen. So I think that's where the meaning of words conflicts. To me data is statistical in nature and is uncertain. It is only interpretable within the context of a larger data set. To me evidence is essentially certain in nature and defines a set of known constraints that the actual reality must fall within.

Any case, the thing that concerns me is your argument about how different people with different underlying belief systems should interpret this event. That's disturbing to me because to my mind any two open-minded people should be able to come to a reasonable agreement about the reliability or not of a particular event on its own merits, essentially unbiased by their existing beliefs. You seem certain that a believer should interpret the evidence one way and a non-believer should (or is bound to) interpret the data another way. I think that sets up unreasonable expectations both of credulity and incredulity where in principle people who fall on both sides of this question should be able to resolve the question of whether this event is evidentially valid based on the same information being available to both.

If two people interpret this event differently I think that is not a reflection of their world views or existing beliefs, but on their respective processes for critically analysing new information. So to me the questions are:
* What is the optimal way to approach new information in order to achieve a high degree of correct beliefs, and
* How would we apply that process to this case based on the evidence available.

It seems strange to me that you are arguing that believers and non-believers must differ on the interpretation of this evidence, because it also seems to me that you and I at least are in furious agreement that this case does not carry with it the compelling evidence that would be required to accept it as true beyond a reasonable doubt - and that the collection of all deamputation cases together similarly does not carry compelling evidence to accept it as possible beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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05-11-2013, 10:40 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
(05-11-2013 01:58 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(04-11-2013 06:04 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  So when I describe these events to my friend:
a. Am I providing evidence of miracles, that anyone who is predisposed to believe in miracles can and should accept as supporting their world view?
b. Is the sceptic who asks "Did you check whether their legs were simply bound?" introducing new "facts" to the account that should carry less weight the evidence I provided? Should the weight these new "facts" carry for various listeners depend on their world view?

Regarding A: If your friend believes that God heals amputees then you friend should expect to hear about stories of God healing amputees. Suppose your friend is an atheist and never hears about God healing amputees....that would be evidence to him that God does not heal amputees(which atheists use all the time). In your example, the eye witness account is evidence. It may not be compelling or persuasive evidence, but it is evidence non the less.

Regarding B: The skeptic who asks, "Did you check to see if the amputee legs were simply bound" is not introducing new facts. However this is not what is being done. What is happening is Dunning and others are simply concluding the leg was bound up.

Also keep in mind that in this case there was actually a trial which concluded a miracle had been preformed. Presumably there would have been someone in that trial whose job it was to challenge witness accounts and would ask question like, "could the leg have been bound up".

Regarding A:
It's worth noting that eye witness accounts are only entered into evidence IF and ONLY IF they were subjected to the possibility for cross examination.

Ex: you are standing on the sidewalk, when a car jumps the curb and mows you down. You survive, but have lost vision in your right eye. Now, in court, you are suing the driver.

Your medical records are inadmissable in court unless the doctor testifies to his notes.
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06-11-2013, 02:34 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
(05-11-2013 02:55 AM)sporehux Wrote:  In summary there is Zero falsifiable evidence of any supernatural medical miracles.
And in regards to amputee healing, there is only 300 year old 3rd hand documents/stories requiring doxastic logic.

The Miracle of Calanda could be falsified. Suppose a doctor note was discovered which stated the leg was not amputated. If such a document was discovered you guys would immediately switch from claiming "oh 300 year old 3rd hand documents are not evidence for anything" to "Look at this document created at the time of the alleged incident which proves the "miracle" never happened"

The theists would then make up new "facts" to hand wave away the evidence like "that doctors note was created by God to test our faith or some other B.S.

Me...I'd consider it all evidence.
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06-11-2013, 02:49 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
(06-11-2013 02:34 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Me...I'd consider it all evidence.

Not all evidence is created equally, nor does it all carry the same weight.

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06-11-2013, 04:23 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
(06-11-2013 02:49 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(06-11-2013 02:34 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Me...I'd consider it all evidence.

Not all evidence is created equally, nor does it all carry the same weight.

But a ton of evidence weighs the same as a ton of bullshit!

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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06-11-2013, 05:07 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
Ok, then forget the past events, why has god not re-limbed any god fearing devout christian soldiers injured in the holy war against terrorism. plenty of praying done for it.

well i don't personally believe its a holy war, but the christian right certainly do.

are they praying wrong, does god not care, is it because in the past they worked at mcDonalds on the sabbath over the school holidays. or is God camera shy now we have invented them.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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06-11-2013, 07:35 AM
RE: Why wont prayer heal amputees ?
Relying on fuzzy recollections of a weight of evidence without being truly critical of evidence as it comes in is not a good basis for coming to reliable conclusions. If you're going to rely on a weight of evidence, make sure it is reliable evidence: Not biased, not cherrypicked, and not fraudulent. If you are going to assess a body of evidence that exists and is readily at your disposal, try not to let your existing biases determine how you interpret the evidence. Instead, collect and consider the evidence you have at hand and judge fairly where the evidence leads.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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