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The Power of Prayer
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Posted 9/4/08

crunchypibb wrote:

Holy S*** you wrote a thesis, I took a two second glance and saw the last paragraph. So you're saying there's other ways to have our prayers answered other than through God? I agree but your last paragraph suggests that God may not be the cause. How come? And please keep the details to a minimum, for this debate if I want to know I'll ask.


*Grumbles* No, that was my post. He was trying to quote it but my name didn’t appear. The quote program on CR is flawed and buggy, it sometimes messes up. Anyway, that was my essay.

To answer your question I wasn’t saying that God isn’t the cause. I was saying that there’s no proof that he was the cause because we don’t currently understand the mind. In other words, we have –at least- two technical possibilities.

1. Divine/Spiritual intervention
2. The mind can interact with the environment through natural/scientific means that we’ve yet to uncover.
Posted 9/4/08
My youth pastor was telling me this story how he and a prayer circle in Thailand was praying for one of their friends that had this crazy infection in her big toe that made it swell to incredible size and what not..... anywho I can't remember if he said it was almost immediately or after an hour that it was healed. Normally I do not take those sorts of stories seriously but since this was someone who I knew very well and did expect to lie to me I was pretty iffy on it (still am). I have faith and all and do believe in the power of prayer but only for drastic circumstances. I dunno.....
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Posted 9/4/08

lolos123 wrote:

i am evangelic and very religious even if i dont look like it


So?
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Posted 9/4/08 , edited 9/4/08

SeraphAlford wrote:
I recently read in my text book for one of my college classes here at EOSC that prayer has been scientifically/statistically proven to be effective.

Research also reveals that prayers likewise has powerful positive effects. In a double-blind experiment in San Francisco in which some heart patients were prayed for but others were not, patients for whom no one was praying were five times more likely to require antibiotics, three times more likely to develop pulmonary edema, and TWELVE times more likely to require a mechanical ventilator.

The first idea that comes to mind is that this is just a coincidence. However, the experiment has and can be repeated with the same results every time.
Well, I just thought that people here might be interested in discussing this topic. I certainly found it interesting.


This is something known as the placebo effect. If you know you're being prayed for, then you feel better about your recovery, quickening your chances of recovery.

ie. Sugar pills can help people overcome a disease if they're told the sugar pills are a miracle-drug that can cure their illness.


"I recently read in my text book for one of my college classes here at EOSC that prayer has been scientifically/statistically proven to be effective. "

Yes, it is helpful in terms of the placebo effect and generally making people feel better.
But if you're talking about in terms of miracles, then that is incorrect.

Science, under no circumstances whatsoever, accepts divine intervention or miracles.

Scientifically and philosophically, there is the "Laws of Nature" or the rules that the universe operates by.

' God does not cheat' - in other words, if there is a God, then he would not create unbreakable rules of nature, only to break it himself to engage in divine intervention/miracles.
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Posted 9/4/08 , edited 9/4/08

angelseraphim wrote: Its all random, natural selection.


Natural Selection is NOT random



SeraphAlford wrote:
To answer your question I wasn’t saying that God isn’t the cause. I was saying that there’s no proof that he was the cause because we don’t currently understand the mind. In other words, we have –at least- two technical possibilities.

1. Divine/Spiritual intervention
2. The mind can interact with the environment through natural/scientific means that we’ve yet to uncover.



Divine Intervention basically suggests God is the cause. That suggestion is a spiritual/religious possibility, but not a scientific one.

In terms of science, this entire scenario is most likely just the placebo effect.
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Posted 9/4/08

crunchypibb wrote:


angelseraphim wrote:

What’s my theory? Well, the easiest answer would be to accredit the difference to divine intervention, but that’s a sweeping conclusion. I don’t think that this study necessarily evidences any form of deity or spirit. Secularly speaking, it’s more likely that the people are connecting with each other.

The human consciousness is a very strange thing. Thoughts are the only immaterial thing that can interact with mater. When it comes to the brain we understand how signals are transferred through electrochemical reactions. What we don’t currently comprehend is how the neurons know what we want.

A window breaks. The vibrations hit your ear and are transferred to your brain. An electrochemical signal is shot from your brain and triggers your nerves. Your muscles pump into action. Chemical energy becomes kinetic energy. You move over to the window to see what happened. It’s all very mechanical…except, we –choose- to investigate. A thought is an imaginary concept. It’s not tangible, it’s not located anywhere specific, it doesn’t have mass, it doesn’t have energy, there’s no physical force to a thought whatsoever.

Yet, a thought it was what makes our neuron fire. A thought, an imaginary concept, is causing a very real and physical change. Eventually I’m sure we’ll find a scientific explanation for this. Until then we really don’t have a clue how a mere concept can directly interact with our genetic and biological functions.

Attacking this secularly, I’d theorize that we’re evolutionarily programmed to have some kind of a mental connection to the outside world. I mean, if our thoughts can interact with our brains then why not other physical items? Our brains are completely physical, and they interact with thought.

Hypochondriacs are so paranoid of illness that they begin to have symptoms. In an extreme case a person can literally give themselves a brain tumor simply by constantly fearing that they have one. Their mind interacts with their body. Theoretically, then, why shouldn’t it be possible to interact with somebody else’s body?

The placebo is the most powerful drug available to us right now. Yet, it’s just a sugar pill with no real benefit except the psychological. As you said earlier it makes people think they’re getting better and this increases the likely hood that they really will recover. So, if this is true, then maybe it’s also true that we can help other people recover simply by believing that they will get better.

That would actually explain a lot of things. One example is that we really do have documented events in which a Christian evangelical or preacher heals somebody of a known medical illness. There’ve been several cases where cancer victims make sudden, full, and unexplained recoveries after sending prayer requests to their churches.

There’s another case in which a Buddhist monk meditated next to a pool of water. Simply by focusing on the water he actually changed its PH level. These are all documented cases. Some people may think I’m loopy, but the evidence is very real. You may not believe me, but the government does. As a matter of fact, the US military spends 4 million dollars to study mind reading. Even since the 1950s we’ve had programs researching phenomenon of this nature.

I recently watched a show on the health channel in which a little girl was kidnapped, stabbed seven times, and thrown into a creek. It was in the middle of winter and it didn’t take long for hypothermia to set in. A worried mother set out on a search for her daughter, who was submerged in ice-cold water, freezing, unable to breathe, and bleeding beneath a bridge. The mother drove over the bridge and then stopped.

Though she had no way of knowing her daughter was down there she knew where to find the little girl. Find her she did, hours after the event. The little girl was dead. Her body had turned gray, ash gray. The mother rushed her to the hospital and called her church. The church began to pray, and by the time the girl got the hospital her color had returned. This girl is alive today. Part of this is because the doctors who operated on her, but undeniably the prayers do seem to have had some kind of effect.

It’s happened, and people consider that proof that God is acting in our lives. It’s not proof, because there are other possibilities-such as the one I just gave. Now, mind you, it still -suggests- that there –may- be a god, but it’s not proof. It is also possible that there’s a logical explanation, however unlikely it may seem.




It is interesting if people have the ability to influence the environment around them through their mental strength. Well this goes to my X-men comics statement. Are our supposed mental abilities God given or developed through evolution. I prefer to believe in the latter.


Holy S*** you wrote a thesis, I took a two second glance and saw the last paragraph. So you're saying there's other ways to have our prayers answered other than through God? I agree but your last paragraph suggests that God may not be the cause. How come? And please keep the details to a minimum, for this debate if I want to know I'll ask.

Thats Seraph's thesis not mine.
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Posted 9/4/08
Ugh...I take a break from arguing with 9/11 conspiracy theorists and this is the puddle I find myself in... >_<
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Posted 9/4/08

SeraphAlford wrote:


angelseraphim wrote:

It is interesting if people have the ability to influence the environment around them through their mental strength. Well this goes to my X-men comics statement. Are our supposed mental abilities God given or developed through evolution. I prefer to believe in the latter.




Why can’t it be both? Einstein believed that science, logic, and math were the brush, canvas, and colors God used to paint the universe. You know, most of the founding fathers of science weren’t secular and clinical. They were religious and passionate.

Anyway, I can’t say I understand why you’d prefer our minds to originate simply from evolution except perhaps a bias against religion. Wasn’t it Dostoyevsky that said, “Without God everything is permissible, but nothing is meaningful?

Without God we’re just biological robots. To cite my favorite Richard Dawkins’ quote: “We are survival machines-robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.”

Weinberg wrote:
“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”

Without God people are nothing more than objects. Our thoughts are no different than the AI of a computer. Our emotions are merely chemical reactions. There is no purpose, and existence is hollow.

I understand how somebody can believe this, but not why they would want it to be true.


I'll define my value and my purpose by myself by my own means. I just can't allow something or someone else define me. I wont be controlled or commanded by a God. Thats just how I am.
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Posted 9/4/08

Intranetusa wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:
I recently read in my text book for one of my college classes here at EOSC that prayer has been scientifically/statistically proven to be effective.

Research also reveals that prayers likewise has powerful positive effects. In a double-blind experiment in San Francisco in which some heart patients were prayed for but others were not, patients for whom no one was praying were five times more likely to require antibiotics, three times more likely to develop pulmonary edema, and TWELVE times more likely to require a mechanical ventilator.

The first idea that comes to mind is that this is just a coincidence. However, the experiment has and can be repeated with the same results every time.
Well, I just thought that people here might be interested in discussing this topic. I certainly found it interesting.


This is something known as the placebo effect. If you know you're being prayed for, then you feel better about your recovery, quickening your chances of recovery.

ie. Sugar pills can help people overcome a disease if they're told the sugar pills are a miracle-drug that can cure their illness.


"I recently read in my text book for one of my college classes here at EOSC that prayer has been scientifically/statistically proven to be effective. "

Yes, it is helpful in terms of the placebo effect and generally making people feel better.
But if you're talking about in terms of miracles, then that is incorrect.

Science, under no circumstances whatsoever, accepts divine intervention or miracles.

Scientifically and philosophically, there is the "Laws of Nature" or the rules that the universe operates by.

' God does not cheat' - in other words, if there is a God, then he would not create unbreakable rules of nature, only to break it himself to engage in divine intervention/miracles.


Please read my discussion with angleseraphem. The patients weren't aware that they were being prayed for, so the placebo effect can't be given credit for this. Does that mean the study proves God? Hardly, if you read the afore mentioned dialogue I provide a perfectly logical explanation. This doesn’t prove anything. It’s just an interesting topic.
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Posted 9/4/08

Intranetusa wrote:


angelseraphim wrote: Its all random, natural selection.


Natural Selection is NOT random


My mistake. To the untrained eye it does appear to be random.
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Posted 9/4/08

Intranetusa wrote:


angelseraphim wrote: Its all random, natural selection.


Natural Selection is NOT random



SeraphAlford wrote:
To answer your question I wasn’t saying that God isn’t the cause. I was saying that there’s no proof that he was the cause because we don’t currently understand the mind. In other words, we have –at least- two technical possibilities.

1. Divine/Spiritual intervention
2. The mind can interact with the environment through natural/scientific means that we’ve yet to uncover.



Divine Intervention basically suggests God is the cause. That suggestion is a spiritual/religious possibility, but not a scientific one.

In terms of science, this entire scenario is most likely just the placebo effect.


Scientifically speaking, it’s technically possible that one or more religions can be true or hold an element of truth. The first option is a religious possibility, but also a scientific possibility. As I mentioned in my last post, the placebo effect has already been ruled out.

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Posted 9/4/08

SeraphAlford wrote:
Please read my discussion with angleseraphem. The patients weren't aware that they were being prayed for, so the placebo effect can't be given credit for this. Does that mean the study proves God? Hardly, if you read the afore mentioned dialogue I provide a perfectly logical explanation. This doesn’t prove anything. It’s just an interesting topic.


Proves God? Which God? Maybe God(s) of Hindusim, Vishnu and Brahamin, decided to smile on these patients? We can't automatically assume it's the Judeo-Christian God.



Let's say it is the Almighty Creator of the Universe.

However, why would God do something like this? A God doing this during a study would seem like a diety stoking his ego, in order to show followers he exists.

Why would he create immutable laws of nature, just so he can break it himself?
Philosophically, divine intervention/miracles make no sense...and is an insult to God.


I would like to think it most likely is coincidence, or some of the patients were given different or even preferential treatment (as in not a true double-blind test). That's a better explanation than insulting the Almighty by saying "God did it."
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Posted 9/4/08 , edited 9/4/08

angelseraphim wrote:
I'll define my value and my purpose by myself by my own means. I just can't allow something or someone else define me. I wont be controlled or commanded by a God. Thats just how I am.


But if evolution programmed you then you’re not defining yourself at all. Evolution is. As a matter of a fact, free will cannot exist without some kind of God because every moment in time exists in cognition to one another. In other-words, the future is already determined. It is true to say that what will be will be, but at the same time what will be already is; therefore, free will must be an illusion because you have no control over your future actions and cannot change them. The only way to escape this is to call upon an entity which can surpass human logic-aka, a mystical God.
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Posted 9/4/08

thenatureofthings wrote:

My youth pastor was telling me this story how he and a prayer circle in Thailand was praying for one of their friends that had this crazy infection in her big toe that made it swell to incredible size and what not..... anywho I can't remember if he said it was almost immediately or after an hour that it was healed. Normally I do not take those sorts of stories seriously but since this was someone who I knew very well and did expect to lie to me I was pretty iffy on it (still am). I have faith and all and do believe in the power of prayer but only for drastic circumstances. I dunno.....


Hey tnt! Ya prayer works when you put effort into it. But what you said in red disturbs me. Sounds like you use prayer as an airbag. The thing is prayer doesn't have to work like that, you can use it as often as you want and God would actually love it. It's like acne cream, you don't wait until the acne appears cause then it's too late. Use the acne cream even after the acne's gone.
.....Ya I just used a bad example x_x. But meghan, God's like that neighbor who's always got your back. Talking to him more will actually be benificial cause then he can even help you on dire situations even if you didn't ask for his help yet. Plus prayer is actually more like a conversation, not just a help hotline.
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Posted 9/4/08

SeraphAlford wrote:
Scientifically speaking, it’s technically possible that one or more religions can be true or hold an element of truth. The first option is a religious possibility, but also a scientific possibility. As I mentioned in my last post, the placebo effect has already been ruled out.



Scientifically speaking, religion and science are totally different since one is faith while the other is evidence.
It addresses different questions in life.

Divine intervention or miracles, in any shape, size, or form, completely contradicts the entire notion of science. Laws of Nature are there for a reason. If science accepts divine intervention, then every single scientific field of study in history would be invalidated.

In some aspects, philosophically, it also contradicts the view of a perfect God who has no need to engage in miracles.
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