Author Topic: On ''Prayer''  (Read 286 times)

Offline Paolo

On ''Prayer''
« on: May 23, 2020, 08:45:40 PM »
Ok, this is another on a series of ''supernatural'' things...  :eyes:

So, this friend of mine who is hardcore Evangelical or Lutheran, if you prefer that...he prayed for my insomnia problem (I used to take medication-- yes, this is quite a personal thread), and I got to ''sleep'' on that day...

However, not too many days passed and I started having trouble sleeping again. He prayed once more and this time it didn't work out. I stayed on medication for the following months until I naturally could sleep without taking pills (which has led me to think it was psychological, at the end of the day).

So, what are your views on prayer? What effects can it have? Can it have any real supernatural truth to it? And what about the example I gave of myself?

Offline SGOS

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 09:09:43 PM »
If you pray for rain, it will rain.  This seems like proof enough until you realize that if you don't pray for rain, it will still rain.

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 09:27:49 PM »
Prayer is a placebo, at best.  It only effects the person praying if they think it did.  It is called wishful thinking.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 10:21:07 PM »
Galton did an interesting study of prayer a long time ago, and found it had no effect. Worse yet, it had negative effects sometimes.
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Offline Baruch

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 12:48:02 AM »
Galton did an interesting study of prayer a long time ago, and found it had no effect. Worse yet, it had negative effects sometimes.

Regular medications have a negative effect sometimes.  Dirty medical staff cause thousands of fatal nosocomial infections in hospitals.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Hydra009

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 12:53:10 AM »
So, what are your views on prayer? What effects can it have? Can it have any real supernatural truth to it?
I dunno, try praying for world peace and see what happens.

Offline Baruch

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 12:57:40 AM »
I dunno, try praying for world peace and see what happens.

Beware of what you ask for.  World peace only happens with extinction of the humans.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 06:58:27 AM »
Prayer effectivity is a simple proposition to prove with controlled experiments. The promise is simple as well in Mark 11:
 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

There are not and will never be successful experiments. Just plot out the frequency of human events, you will see the bell curve. If god has a plan, why are his followers always asking him to change it?
One would expect that the faithful would have a huge advantage over everyone else. This is far from the case. In fact I could find tons of data to show the opposite.

Intelligence and hard work has alot more to do with wellness than getting on you knees and faith in nonsense. The fictitious jesus character is a liar. Then the apologists will step in a say "well your prayers will be answered in heaven". Not what was promised and totally unprovable. Perfect story for swindlers.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 07:06:41 AM by Cassia »

Offline aitm

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 07:07:54 AM »
If the best a god can do is to give you a nights sleep, don’t go praying for a miracle.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline SGOS

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 07:08:25 AM »
Plastic Jesus
Billy Idol

I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I've got my plastic Jesus
Ridin' on the dashboard of my car
Through my trials and tribulations
And my travels through the nation
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far
Ridin' down the thoroughfare
With a nose up in the air
A wreck may be ahead
But he don't mind
Trouble comin', he don't see
He just keeps his eye on me
And any other thing that lies behind

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2020, 11:40:03 AM »
Galton did an interesting study of prayer a long time ago, and found it had no effect. Worse yet, it had negative effects sometimes.

Yeah, I was gonna bring that up. It seems there's performance anxiety associated with knowing someone (or multiple people) are praying for you. You don't want to disappoint them by not getting better, and that causes you to become more stressed, increasing your chances of dying instead of getting better.

I like this idea Christians have, that the more people you have praying for something, the more likely it is for those prayers to come true. It's like God is up there in Heaven, with some arbitrary quota he come up with.

"Sorry, guys. You only had 10,000 people pray that little Jimmy doesn't die of cancer. You were supposed to have 12,000 pray that he doesn't die. Oh well. I didn't want to do this, but you only have yourselves to blame."

And then there's the annoying win-win scenario they set up for God. If God gives you what you asked for, then he answered your prayers because he is good. But if he doesn't give you what you asked for, then he is still good, because he knows better. THEN WHY DID YOU BOTHER ASKING IN THE FIRST PLACE!? Hell, even if a child dies from cancer, they say, "Well, he's in a better place now, where he will feel no sadness or pain." God is in the perfect position. He can't lose. He can do absolutely nothing, and he'll still get all the credit.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2020, 11:52:55 AM »
So, what are your views on prayer? What effects can it have? Can it have any real supernatural truth to it? And what about the example I gave of myself?

Prayer is a superstition that, at best, may temporarily give a person hope for a solution to a problem. I see nothing "supernatural" about prayer because it is a delusion, and delusions are very natural--no magic is required to explain them. Your example demonstrates that prayer fails, and when it fails, people will explain away the failure.

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2020, 11:59:37 AM »
If you pray for rain, it will rain.  This seems like proof enough until you realize that if you don't pray for rain, it will still rain.

Testimonies regarding the "power of prayer" often involve the post-hoc fallacy. This fallacy goes like this:

Events A and B came before event C.
Conclusion: A caused C.

Of course, event B could also be said to be the cause of C. So when prayers are answered, the "answers" may come about for reasons beside the prayer.

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2020, 12:02:47 PM »
Galton did an interesting study of prayer a long time ago, and found it had no effect. Worse yet, it had negative effects sometimes.

I think the "negative effects" of prayer can be explained as people wasting their time with prayer while they could be doing something that has a good possibility of solving the problem in question.

Re: On ''Prayer''
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 12:22:51 PM »
I think the "negative effects" of prayer can be explained as people wasting their time with prayer while they could be doing something that has a good possibility of solving the problem in question.

That is also definitely a possibility, such as with those sending donations to a faith healer instead of continuing to take their medications (because taking them is a declaration of a lack of faith). But I think he's referring to a study in which people were in the hospital. They couldn't really do anything other than wait. But studies have found that these people, if they know people are praying for them, have an increased likelihood of death. Performance anxiety is believed to be the reason for this effect.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville