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Old 03-25-2019, 12:56 PM
 
272 posts, read 48,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffbase40 View Post
Furthermore, you can't say prayer fails every time because it doesn't success all the time. I've been a personal witness to seeing a Christian brother healed overnight of stage 4 thyroid cancer. Completely gone on his next scan, and been healthy and going strong for 20 years. That same friend prayed for me over my nearly crippling back pain and my pain went away and never really gave me problems again.
There is an old saying, that "the plural of anecdote is not data." I am glad that your friend is healthy and your back doesn't hurt, but those are anecdotes that tell us NOTHING about what is actually working (or not working).

Once upon a time, some ancient physician (who also did double-duty as a barber) noticed that one of his patients seemed to get better after he cut open a vein and drained off some blood. So he did it with all of his patients, and more doctors did the same, and for a couple thousand years blood-letting was common practice. Until they actually studied it, learned that not only was it not helping the vast majority of people, it was hurting them. There were undoubtedly many deaths resulting from this unsubstantiated practice... based on an anecdote.

Your personal story of prayer is no more reliable than that ancient physician-barber's observation with a single patient. A certain number of people with a disease... even stage 4 thyroid cancer.... are going to get better (and we haven't heard if your friend received treatment?). Ascribing that improvement to prayer is no more informative that ascribing it to blood-letting, or wearing green socks, or gargling with lemon juice.

That's why the gold standard in advancing knowledge is to study things, preferably comparing them head-to-head in blinded, randomized trials. Then we can actually determine, with some degree of certainty, what level of improvement is due to the intervention being tested (drugs, radiation, surgery, prayer, lemon juice, green socks)... and what is due to pure random chance (i.e., luck). In other words, they would have improved anyway. Until you can do that, prayer cannot be said to have any effect, other than perhaps a placebo effect (a feeling of calm or of doing something?) for the person doing the praying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffbase40 View Post
This is a foolish study. You can't measure something spiritual through physical means. Again, unless we were all clones, there is simply too much variation to draw a trustyworthy conclusion.
That may be true, but it IS possible to measure the physical outcomes, which is what those studies were doing. If you take 1000 patients and pray for them, and another 1000 matched patients who are not being prayed for... and the people being prayed for actually do a little worse... you can't claim that prayer has a beneficial effect. You are left with, at best, "it makes the person doing the praying feel good." The fact that we are not identical clones and there is variation (i.e., people are different, their biology is different, their diseases are different, their response to interventions is different) is why we (a) need to carefully control for as many variables as possible when doing these comparisons, and (b) study a large enough sample to draw meaningful conclusions. Which brings us right back to....

"The plural of anecdote is not data."

Last edited by HeelaMonster; 03-25-2019 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
21,008 posts, read 9,824,158 times
Reputation: 19663
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiej View Post
Id like to speak to #2. What Id like you to do is look around at our world/universe and seriously consider if there is anything or any being/mind/god behind it. If you think there might be, consider what you would say to him/her/it upon your physical death, if presented with that opportunity.
Okay. I'd say: "I was a better principal than you are a god".
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:15 PM
Status: "Trump 2020-Make liberals cry again." (set 14 hours ago)
 
Location: Spaceship Earth
15,947 posts, read 8,637,678 times
Reputation: 1609
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Okay. I'd say: "I was a better principal than you are a god".
Any specific god?
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
21,008 posts, read 9,824,158 times
Reputation: 19663
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiej View Post
Any specific god?
Any god for whom the claim is made that "he" is "all powerful" and "ever loving".
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:30 PM
Status: "Trump 2020-Make liberals cry again." (set 14 hours ago)
 
Location: Spaceship Earth
15,947 posts, read 8,637,678 times
Reputation: 1609
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Any god for whom the claim is made that "he" is "all powerful" and "ever loving".
Well, if he is all-powerful, youd better hope youve been good enough. If hes ever-loving, perhaps it wont matter.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:37 PM
 
8,205 posts, read 3,671,241 times
Reputation: 1857
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelaMonster View Post
There is an old saying, that "the plural of anecdote is not data." I am glad that your friend is healthy and your back doesn't hurt, but those are anecdotes that tell us NOTHING about what is actually working (or not working).

Once upon a time, some ancient physician (who also did double-duty as a barber) noticed that one of his patients seemed to get better after he cut open a vein and drained off some blood. So he did it with all of his patients, and more doctors did the same, and for a couple thousand years blood-letting was common practice. Until they actually studied it, learned that not only was it not helping the vast majority of people, it was hurting them. There were undoubtedly many deaths resulting from this unsubstantiated practice... based on an anecdote.

Your personal story of prayer is no more reliable than that ancient physician-barber's observation with a single patient. A certain number of people with a disease... even stage 4 thyroid cancer.... are going to get better (and we haven't heard if your friend received treatment?). Ascribing that improvement to prayer is no more informative that ascribing it to blood-letting, or wearing green socks, or gargling with lemon juice.
In other words, there is absolutely no way to prove that prayer works with this type of mentality. For most people, if they pray for someone and that person gets better, they believe prayer works. Not with the atheist. The atheist operates in a bubble world where it is technically impossible to prove that anything is real. I can't present any personal stories because you slap the anecdote label on it. Basically you will only accept anything that is repeatable, observable and under strict controlled environments. The supernatural realm doesn't work that way. It is virtually impossible to prove that anything is true beyond a shadow of a doubt. Can you prove that your parents are really human beings and not shape shifters? How? Can you prove that chiropractors are frauds? How?

The best approach is to look at the evidence at hand and draw your own conclusions. Your blood letting example only shows the flaws in science. The doctor took an action, and observed a response. He repeated the same action and got the same response. Cause and effect. He could have said it is a fact that blood letting works. Yet facts don't change. Once we got more information about the human body, the "fact" was shown to be wrong. You can't even be 100% on anything but new information in the future could completely change the board on what we believe is true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelaMonster View Post



That's why the gold standard in advancing knowledge is to study things, preferably comparing them head-to-head in blinded, randomized trials. Then we can actually determine, with some degree of certainty, what level of improvement is due to the intervention being tested (drugs, radiation, surgery, prayer, lemon juice, green socks)... and what is due to pure random chance (i.e., luck). In other words, they would have improved anyway. Until you can do that, prayer cannot be said to have any effect, other than perhaps a placebo effect (a feeling of calm or of doing something?) for the person doing the praying.
Why does radiation work for some people and not another? I would say nothing fails like science. It's in a constant state of failure. We can't even determine if eggs are good for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeelaMonster View Post

That may be true, but it IS possible to measure the physical outcomes, which is what those studies were doing. If you take 1000 patients and pray for them, and another 1000 matched patients who are not being prayed for... and the people being prayed for actually do a little worse... you can't claim that prayer has a beneficial effect. You are left with, at best, "it makes the person doing the praying feel good." The fact that we are not identical clones and there is variation (i.e., people are different, their biology is different, their diseases are different, their response to interventions is different) is why we (a) need to carefully control for as many variables as possible when doing these comparisons, and (b) study a large enough sample to draw meaningful conclusions. Which brings us right back to....

"The plural of anecdote is not data."

You can't control the variables because everyone is different. Not just physical, but on a different life journey. Only God knows what is ahead and if healing is right for us or not. After all, healing is really only delaying the inevitable. The human body will die out in just a few short decades.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:11 PM
 
Location: USA
15,844 posts, read 7,955,005 times
Reputation: 2085
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiej View Post
Well, if he is all-powerful, youd better hope youve been good enough. If hes ever-loving, perhaps it wont matter.
Why? Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as they say, so goodness wouldn't be high on the priority list for such a being.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:38 PM
 
37,305 posts, read 10,076,753 times
Reputation: 4963
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffbase40 View Post
In other words, there is absolutely no way to prove that prayer works with this type of mentality. For most people, if they pray for someone and that person gets better, they believe prayer works. Not with the atheist. The atheist operates in a bubble world where it is technically impossible to prove that anything is real. I can't present any personal stories because you slap the anecdote label on it. Basically you will only accept anything that is repeatable, observable and under strict controlled environments. The supernatural realm doesn't work that way. It is virtually impossible to prove that anything is true beyond a shadow of a doubt. Can you prove that your parents are really human beings and not shape shifters? How? Can you prove that chiropractors are frauds? How?

The best approach is to look at the evidence at hand and draw your own conclusions. Your blood letting example only shows the flaws in science. The doctor took an action, and observed a response. He repeated the same action and got the same response. Cause and effect. He could have said it is a fact that blood letting works. Yet facts don't change. Once we got more information about the human body, the "fact" was shown to be wrong. You can't even be 100% on anything but new information in the future could completely change the board on what we believe is true.



Why does radiation work for some people and not another? I would say nothing fails like science. It's in a constant state of failure. We can't even determine if eggs are good for you.




You can't control the variables because everyone is different. Not just physical, but on a different life journey. Only God knows what is ahead and if healing is right for us or not. After all, healing is really only delaying the inevitable. The human body will die out in just a few short decades.

The best that you are getting there is that nothing is sure. Take the eggs. Eggs are food and therefore good for you. They can also be bad if you eat more than a reasonable proportion of them. It's only the religion who hate science showing that religious claims don't work try to discredit science - usually by looking for anything they can use to argue that science is unreliable and not caring whether they understand the point or not.

Like for instance that blood - letting was the sort of false correlation that you are making with one person who got better and crediting prayers.

I've also had an answered prayer in my life. But I've never been a believer and I wasn't praying. What does that prove? You are simply starting with the faith and looking around for anything that looks like it supports that faith.

This is why anecdotes of answered prayers, miracle healings and people saved from certain death are not evidence for a god and never were. Even if you only pick the ones that happen to Christians.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:39 PM
 
37,305 posts, read 10,076,753 times
Reputation: 4963
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiej View Post
Well, if he is all-powerful, youd better hope youve been good enough. If hes ever-loving, perhaps it wont matter.
If you're wrong and the Muslims are right, you are in trouble.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:42 PM
 
10,732 posts, read 10,964,904 times
Reputation: 3268
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffbase40 View Post

Here are many other examples where prayer DOES work:

https://www.awmi.net/series/healing/

This is a foolish study. You can't measure something spiritual through physical means. Again, unless we were all clones, there is simply too much variation to draw a trustyworthy conclusion. Science can't even tell us for sure if eggs are bad for you. I noticed they flip flopped on that issue again along with taking a daily aspirin. So why trust this study?

So let me get this straight, jeff. You endorse Andrew Wommack Ministries as a legitimate purveyor of success stories of fabulous healings----even though it is a for-profit racket (oh, you didn't know that, did you, jeff. Yeah, search farther and you see

Quote:


Join Andrew & His Partners! When you partner with Andrew, you are among a special group of people who stand alongside him to see more lives changed through the message of God's unconditional love and grace. Your faithful support helps Andrew reach the world with the Gospel truth.

*To make a payment towards a partnership, click on the "Give to Partnership" button after logging in to the "My Account" area.

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With your membership, would you like to setup an automatic donation?
NoYes

https://store.awmi.net/p-682-grace-partnership.aspx
Would you like to set up an automatic donation, jeff, seeing as how you think Andrew is doing such a great job bringing such fabulous stories of God's great healing powers?????????

But you don't endorse my study from Scientific American, an internationally recognized journal of reputable scientists. Nor do you endorse a study done by National Center for Biotechnology Information, a organization affiliated with PubMed.gov a government agency that is affiliated with the National Institute of Health (just check the top left corner of the NCBI link I provided)

Again, you accept a money-grubbing one-man web ministry against the top scientific and government agencies?????????? I am profoundly shocked at your incredibly biased and short-sighted preferences for the "truth", jeff. And yet I shouldn't be shocked, should I, knowing what I know about you?

Last edited by thrillobyte; 03-25-2019 at 04:20 PM..
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