T Nation

Does Prayer Work II

[quote]forlife wrote:
Try increasing your faith to the size of a mustard seed, Cockney. [/quote]

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and it will be yours.
~ Mark 11:22, 24

I asked, I believed, I got nothing, nada, zilch, zip. It’s a con!

[quote]forlife wrote:
clip11 wrote:
I realized that and it wasnt until I first had faith that things began to happen. I had it wrong wanting God to prove something to me. First you believe and then he sends assurance. I, like most people had it backwards.

So what happens next time you pray and nada happens?

Are you going to admit it, or are you hopping onto the religious hamster wheel?

Because you see, they have it down pat. Pray:

  1. If it happens, it MUST be because god did it!

  2. If it doesn’t happen, it MUST be because god didn’t want it to happen!

Of course, it’s impossible that praying has zilch to do with whether something actually happens or not :wink:
[/quote]

I’ve said it once, I might as well say it again. God is not your butler or your genie in a bottle. He’s here to serve every need. If you do not get this you’re retarded.

Let me explain it to you. Since, I am not gay I will use a girl for this example. Praying for most people is like telling a girl or asking her to give you a blow job. She might or might not give you one depending on if she was planning on giving you one. Yet, unless her name is Diamond and she works at the seedy neighborhood strip club she will want to hear more than “Dear Diamond, I really really really hope you’ll give me a blow job right now because I have needed one for the past week. Amen.”

Prayer is a conversation with God, you know how people have conversations with normal people. I do not know when it turned into this time for asking for stuff. Yes, it is not inappropriate to ask God for something, but if he knows best, then when he does not answer your prayers with a ‘Yes’ than that is because the appropriate answer was ‘no.’ I am sure you are mature enough to know that when someone tells you no that you do not have a temper tantrum and say screw you I’m not talking to you again, right? So, why would you expect someone who is superior to you to just answer your every wish, I am sure your parents didn’t?

You don’t have to demonstrate that your god answers every prayer in order to provide evidence that your god is more than a fairy tale.

All you have to do is show that this happens more than would be expected by chance alone. Even a miniscule 1% effect over chance would be evidence that your god isn’t a figment of your imagination.

Unfortunately, you can’t even show a 1% effect.

[quote]stokedporcupine8 wrote:

Your point is well taken. It is scary though to think that this same sort of thought process leads people to conclusions on national issues, no? I mean, in this case we’re just talking about someone’s belief in God. [/quote]

I take your point, but I don’t have any evidence that any sizable portion of people use this approach to get to conclusions on national issues. Do people rely on something other than Reason to form conclusions on national policy? Sure - but that isn’t the same as praying for a balancing of the budget and waiting on God to do it.

I agree, we do - I just don’t think it happens to the degree you suggest. Moreover, your second point - that the average atheist is no better equipped to decide or reason on prevalent issues - is very true. Look no further than these forums.

That said, I think “demanding a higher standard from our fellow citizens” requires a rejection of both zealous extremes, not the foolishness preached by either the Evangelicals or the Faux Rationalists we see in these forums.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
stokedporcupine8 wrote:

Your point is well taken. It is scary though to think that this same sort of thought process leads people to conclusions on national issues, no? I mean, in this case we’re just talking about someone’s belief in God.

I take your point, but I don’t have any evidence that any sizable portion of people use this approach to get to conclusions on national issues. Do people rely on something other than Reason to form conclusions on national policy? Sure - but that isn’t the same as praying for a balancing of the budget and waiting on God to do it.

Anyway, to some extend I think we as a democratic society have a right to demand higher standards from our fellow citizens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I think your average atheist has any better decision making and reasoning skills.

I agree, we do - I just don’t think it happens to the degree you suggest. Moreover, your second point - that the average atheist is no better equipped to decide or reason on prevalent issues - is very true. Look no further than these forums.

That said, I think “demanding a higher standard from our fellow citizens” requires a rejection of both zealous extremes, not the foolishness preached by either the Evangelicals or the Faux Rationalists we see in these forums.

[/quote]

It seems we are in agreement. I would only clarify that when I said that “this same sort of thought process leads people to conclusions on national issues”, what I had in mind was a sort of inferential connection. For example, there are I think many people who hold a certain world view–whether it be Biblical fundamentalism or atheism–for all sorts of irrational reasons. Those worldviews then entail certain beliefs–Biblical fundamentalism might entail believing all abortion is wrong, etc–and so by default these people who irrationally accepted one worldview then hold the beliefs entailed by that worldview. Since these people tend to be quite vocal on public policy issues, their irrational beliefs do affect national policy.

Of course I’ve simplified things, as I’d imagine most people do not hold beliefs simply because they are entailed by their worldview, but because other, possibly rational, considerations come into play. Just how many people’s beliefs about national issues could count as “irrational” not withstanding, this same sort of irrational thought process is indicative of many facets of public policy debate. People tend to not look at policy questions objectively, for instance asking “Will this policy affect the sort of results we want?”, but instead look at them through ideological glasses, asking something more like “Does this give with my world view?”. Of course most people will claim they really ask the first question, but the sort of evidence grabbing that goes on in policy debates is indicative of the second question. To put it simply, most people form beliefs first, and only afterward look for rational argument to back up their belief.

[quote]stokedporcupine8 wrote:

It seems we are in agreement. I would only clarify that when I said that “this same sort of thought process leads people to conclusions on national issues”, what I had in mind was a sort of inferential connection. For example, there are I think many people who hold a certain world view–whether it be Biblical fundamentalism or atheism–for all sorts of irrational reasons. Those worldviews then entail certain beliefs–Biblical fundamentalism might entail believing all abortion is wrong, etc–and so by default these people who irrationally accepted one worldview then hold the beliefs entailed by that worldview. Since these people tend to be quite vocal on public policy issues, their irrational beliefs do affect national policy. [/quote]

I think we are in agreement - but I would add that there is a difficulty in generalizing about what constitutes an “irrational” conclusion. To take your example, a Fundamentalist may think all abortion is wrong in compliance with their worldview, but their worldview contemplates that conclusion as perfectly rational (and is, meaning that there is a rational argument to err on the side of preserving the natural right of life, etc.). That is a rational argument, and there are rational arguments to the contrary.

I think you are certainly right about two major things:

  1. People start with idelogical conclusions they like, and they work backwards to justify them and frequently ignore information that would otherwise weaken (or destroy) their preferred conclusions

  2. People see public policy not from a standpoint of “what is the best overall public policy that we should enact, regardless of how it benefits me?”, but rather “how can I bend public policy to give me everything I want, regardless of [cost, impact, effectiveness of serving the most people, etc/]?”

We see #1 in nearly every thread here.

We see #2 frequently as well, and this is the politics of “special interest” rather than “general interest”.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
I’ve said it once, I might as well say it again. God is not your butler or your genie in a bottle. He’s here to serve every need. If you do not get this you’re retarded.

Let me explain it to you. Since, I am not gay I will use a girl for this example. Praying for most people is like telling a girl or asking her to give you a blow job. She might or might not give you one depending on if she was planning on giving you one. Yet, unless her name is Diamond and she works at the seedy neighborhood strip club she will want to hear more than “Dear Diamond, I really really really hope you’ll give me a blow job right now because I have needed one for the past week. Amen.”

Prayer is a conversation with God, you know how people have conversations with normal people. I do not know when it turned into this time for asking for stuff. Yes, it is not inappropriate to ask God for something, but if he knows best, then when he does not answer your prayers with a ‘Yes’ than that is because the appropriate answer was ‘no.’ I am sure you are mature enough to know that when someone tells you no that you do not have a temper tantrum and say screw you I’m not talking to you again, right? So, why would you expect someone who is superior to you to just answer your every wish, I am sure your parents didn’t?[/quote]

When your magic space genie performs a real miracle like spontaneously growing back a limb, then I’ll believe.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

stuff

[/quote]

Depressing, no?

[quote]forlife wrote:
You don’t have to demonstrate that your god answers every prayer in order to provide evidence that your god is more than a fairy tale.

All you have to do is show that this happens more than would be expected by chance alone. Even a miniscule 1% effect over chance would be evidence that your god isn’t a figment of your imagination.

Unfortunately, you can’t even show a 1% effect.[/quote]

You’re still mistaken, prayer is not asking for stuff time. That is part of prayer, but you are still applying your bias of what prayer to use as evidence why prayer does not work and why God is not real.

And, if you’re not with God’s plan, then how could you even believe that 1% more than chance allows would correlate that there is a God?

Again, prayer is about conversation and having a relationship with God. You ask for things and if God decides that it is good, then he grants it. But I can assume that if he always says yes then there is no relationship and he turns into a magic genie.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Brother Chris wrote:
I’ve said it once, I might as well say it again. God is not your butler or your genie in a bottle. He’s here to serve every need. If you do not get this you’re retarded.

Let me explain it to you. Since, I am not gay I will use a girl for this example. Praying for most people is like telling a girl or asking her to give you a blow job. She might or might not give you one depending on if she was planning on giving you one.

Yet, unless her name is Diamond and she works at the seedy neighborhood strip club she will want to hear more than “Dear Diamond, I really really really hope you’ll give me a blow job right now because I have needed one for the past week. Amen.”

Prayer is a conversation with God, you know how people have conversations with normal people. I do not know when it turned into this time for asking for stuff. Yes, it is not inappropriate to ask God for something, but if he knows best, then when he does not answer your prayers with a ‘Yes’ than that is because the appropriate answer was ‘no.’

I am sure you are mature enough to know that when someone tells you no that you do not have a temper tantrum and say screw you I’m not talking to you again, right? So, why would you expect someone who is superior to you to just answer your every wish, I am sure your parents didn’t?

When your magic space genie performs a real miracle like spontaneously growing back a limb, then I’ll believe.[/quote]

Hmm…well once you grow a brain let me know I’ll consider you a human. You give outrageously stupid tests that you think God has to prove to you, but you do not even have enough common sense to open your eyes and see that this world would be impossible to be formed by chance and something had to direct it formation.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
Hmm…well once you grow a brain let me know I’ll consider you a human. You give outrageously stupid tests that you think God has to prove to you, but you do not even have enough common sense to open your eyes and see that this world would be impossible to be formed by chance and something had to direct it formation.[/quote]

It’s not outrageous to suggest that a space genie who created a universe in six says can recreate a limb which he made in the first place. True, something may have had a hand in our universes creation, doesn’t mean it’s a old white guy with a beard invented by Jews in the desert by stealing from other religions.

Also, Brother Retard, I never suggested that the universe was formed by chance.

This common sense you speak of? You might want to get some for yourself. Probability is mathematics, which pervades every corner of the universe. If you have any semblance of common sense you’d realize that in a universe of countless galaxies the probability of 1 in infinity is still a pretty large “chance”.

How are you so sure earth is the only rock with life on it? Did your magic Jew Genie ripped off from Horus and Dionysus tell you so?

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Brother Chris wrote:
Hmm…well once you grow a brain let me know I’ll consider you a human. You give outrageously stupid tests that you think God has to prove to you, but you do not even have enough common sense to open your eyes and see that this world would be impossible to be formed by chance and something had to direct it formation.

It’s not outrageous to suggest that a space genie who created a universe in six says can recreate a limb which he made in the first place. True, something may have had a hand in our universes creation, doesn’t mean it’s a old white guy with a beard invented by Jews in the desert by stealing from other religions.[/quote]

Who says it’s an old white guy with a beard. That was the English who created that myth. I do not even put a picture on God, that’s called Idolatry. And what limb are you talking about?

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
Makavali wrote:
Brother Chris wrote:
Hmm…well once you grow a brain let me know I’ll consider you a human. You give outrageously stupid tests that you think God has to prove to you, but you do not even have enough common sense to open your eyes and see that this world would be impossible to be formed by chance and something had to direct it formation.

It’s not outrageous to suggest that a space genie who created a universe in six says can recreate a limb which he made in the first place. True, something may have had a hand in our universes creation, doesn’t mean it’s a old white guy with a beard invented by Jews in the desert by stealing from other religions.

Who says it’s an old white guy with a beard. That was the English who created that myth. I do not even put a picture on God, that’s called Idolatry. And what limb are you talking about? [/quote]

So you’ve lost track of what must be less than a page ago. I asked why if God performs miracles, he or she has never regrown a lost limb?

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
Makavali wrote:
Brother Chris wrote:
Hmm…well once you grow a brain let me know I’ll consider you a human. You give outrageously stupid tests that you think God has to prove to you, but you do not even have enough common sense to open your eyes and see that this world would be impossible to be formed by chance and something had to direct it formation.

It’s not outrageous to suggest that a space genie who created a universe in six says can recreate a limb which he made in the first place. True, something may have had a hand in our universes creation, doesn’t mean it’s a old white guy with a beard invented by Jews in the desert by stealing from other religions.

Who says it’s an old white guy with a beard. That was the English who created that myth. I do not even put a picture on God, that’s called Idolatry. And what limb are you talking about? [/quote]

Don’t mind Mak, he likes his space genies, and etc., to have been created by old eastern/asian guys. But it’s been a while since he’s questioned us on which heathen religion he should follow. So, he could be carrying on with some Native American system now, for all I know.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Also, Brother Retard, I never suggested that the universe was formed by chance.

This common sense you speak of? You might want to get some for yourself. Probability is mathematics, which pervades every corner of the universe. If you have any semblance of common sense you’d realize that in a universe of countless galaxies the probability of 1 in infinity is still a pretty large “chance”.

How are you so sure earth is the only rock with life on it? Did your magic Jew Genie ripped off from Horus and Dionysus tell you so?[/quote]

It is a little higher than 1 in a million. I do not have the exact statistic, but it’s something 1 in 1x10^40,000 in the number of trial assemblies of amino acids needed to give rise to enzymes required for life. 10^12 is a trillion and scientists say that 10^50 is just under impossible.

The chances for the simplest organism known is one chance in 10^340,000,000 and for life evolving in any single planet, including Earth is one chance in 10^2,000,000,000.

Imagine this scenario:

Billions of years ago a dark substance began to evolve from nothing. It came out of nowhere. Then there was a big bang. We don’t know what caused the bang or why, but it happened.

As many millions of years passed this substance developed a fizz to it and became sweet. Millions of years later some aluminum molecules formed from nothing, gathered together, and wrapped themselves around liquid in the perfect shape of a cylinder. The aluminum then formed a pop top on the cylinder.

Forty or fifty years ago, some red and white paint molecules fell onto the can, forming the words “Coca-Cola,” an expiration date, and a complete ingredient list. Wow-that is amazing!

It would be an insult to your intellect if I insisted that the above scenario were true. This universe is infinitely more complex than a can of Coke, yet for some reason people are content to believe that it just came out of nowhere - that something came from nothing.

Science told me.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Brother Chris wrote:
Makavali wrote:
Brother Chris wrote:
Hmm…well once you grow a brain let me know I’ll consider you a human. You give outrageously stupid tests that you think God has to prove to you, but you do not even have enough common sense to open your eyes and see that this world would be impossible to be formed by chance and something had to direct it formation.

It’s not outrageous to suggest that a space genie who created a universe in six says can recreate a limb which he made in the first place. True, something may have had a hand in our universes creation, doesn’t mean it’s a old white guy with a beard invented by Jews in the desert by stealing from other religions.

Who says it’s an old white guy with a beard. That was the English who created that myth. I do not even put a picture on God, that’s called Idolatry. And what limb are you talking about?

So you’ve lost track of what must be less than a page ago. I asked why if God performs miracles, he or she has never regrown a lost limb?[/quote]

Who says God hasn’t? Maybe he just doesn’t want, I can not speak on God’s will because I do not know it. But if it is his will, than he’ll do it.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
Makavali wrote:
Also, Brother Retard, I never suggested that the universe was formed by chance.

This common sense you speak of? You might want to get some for yourself. Probability is mathematics, which pervades every corner of the universe. If you have any semblance of common sense you’d realize that in a universe of countless galaxies the probability of 1 in infinity is still a pretty large “chance”.

How are you so sure earth is the only rock with life on it? Did your magic Jew Genie ripped off from Horus and Dionysus tell you so?

It is a little higher than 1 in a million. I do not have the exact statistic, but it’s something 1 in 1x10^40,000 in the number of trial assemblies of amino acids needed to give rise to enzymes required for life. 10^12 is a trillion and scientists say that 10^50 is just under impossible.

The chances for the simplest organism known is one chance in 10^340,000,000 and for life evolving in any single planet, including Earth is one chance in 10^2,000,000,000.

Imagine this scenario:

Billions of years ago a dark substance began to evolve from nothing. It came out of nowhere. Then there was a big bang. We don’t know what caused the bang or why, but it happened.

As many millions of years passed this substance developed a fizz to it and became sweet. Millions of years later some aluminum molecules formed from nothing, gathered together, and wrapped themselves around liquid in the perfect shape of a cylinder. The aluminum then formed a pop top on the cylinder.

Forty or fifty years ago, some red and white paint molecules fell onto the can, forming the words “Coca-Cola,” an expiration date, and a complete ingredient list. Wow-that is amazing!

It would be an insult to your intellect if I insisted that the above scenario were true. This universe is infinitely more complex than a can of Coke, yet for some reason people are content to believe that it just came out of nowhere - that something came from nothing.

Science told me.[/quote]

You clearly do not understand the current theories of the origin of the universe. I guess that is what happens when you are prepared to accept the explanation ‘God did it’ the second the words get a bit complicated.

[quote]Cockney Blue wrote:
Brother Chris wrote:
Makavali wrote:
Also, Brother Retard, I never suggested that the universe was formed by chance.

This common sense you speak of? You might want to get some for yourself. Probability is mathematics, which pervades every corner of the universe. If you have any semblance of common sense you’d realize that in a universe of countless galaxies the probability of 1 in infinity is still a pretty large “chance”.

How are you so sure earth is the only rock with life on it? Did your magic Jew Genie ripped off from Horus and Dionysus tell you so?

It is a little higher than 1 in a million. I do not have the exact statistic, but it’s something 1 in 1x10^40,000 in the number of trial assemblies of amino acids needed to give rise to enzymes required for life. 10^12 is a trillion and scientists say that 10^50 is just under impossible.

The chances for the simplest organism known is one chance in 10^340,000,000 and for life evolving in any single planet, including Earth is one chance in 10^2,000,000,000.

Imagine this scenario:

Billions of years ago a dark substance began to evolve from nothing. It came out of nowhere. Then there was a big bang. We don’t know what caused the bang or why, but it happened.

As many millions of years passed this substance developed a fizz to it and became sweet. Millions of years later some aluminum molecules formed from nothing, gathered together, and wrapped themselves around liquid in the perfect shape of a cylinder. The aluminum then formed a pop top on the cylinder.

Forty or fifty years ago, some red and white paint molecules fell onto the can, forming the words “Coca-Cola,” an expiration date, and a complete ingredient list. Wow-that is amazing!

It would be an insult to your intellect if I insisted that the above scenario were true. This universe is infinitely more complex than a can of Coke, yet for some reason people are content to believe that it just came out of nowhere - that something came from nothing.

Science told me.

You clearly do not understand the current theories of the origin of the universe. I guess that is what happens when you are prepared to accept the explanation ‘God did it’ the second the words get a bit complicated.[/quote]

Well buddy ol’ pal, give me a run down of your new theories of the origin of the universe.

I still find it funny, the explanation that God created earth has been around for Oh, say about 6000 years. So, let’s say a bunch of irrational monkeys believed that God created the earth. Don’t you think that within 6000 years that someone would correct the layman and the scholars on their fallacy. That and have it stick. No you do not see that at all.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
Billions of years ago a dark substance began to evolve from nothing.[/quote]

Wrong already.