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(MSNBC)   More than half of all American adults believe prayer can save them from terminal illness. Bill Maher surrenders   (msnbc.msn.com ) divider line
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5091 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Aug 2008 at 6:54 AM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-08-19 10:59:27 PM  

Thorndyke Barnhard: NateInYourFace

My neighbour Bob, got shot in the face had his head completely blown off we prayed a bit and his face grew back.

I bought a lottery ticket and me and my family prayed a bit and I won 18 gazillion dollars.

/Win.
//Endscene.

My sociology professor wanted there to be no peer reviewable statistics verifying that such a correlation exists between prayer and positive medical outcomes so he had his church pray that no such studies would be made and it worked!

Yay prayer!!!!

 
2008-08-19 11:01:19 PM  

Thorndyke Barnhard: NateInYourFace

My neighbour Bob, got shot in the face had his head completely blown off we prayed a bit and his face grew back.

I bought a lottery ticket and me and my family prayed a bit and I won 18 gazillion dollars.

My sociology professor wanted there to be no peer reviewable statistics verifying that such a correlation exists between prayer and positive medical outcomes so he had his church pray that no such studies would be made and it worked!

Yay prayer!!!!


/Win.
//Endscene.

///There.
 
2008-08-19 11:01:19 PM  
My little brother died of colon and liver cancer on Thursday. He was 29. All the best oncology in the world and thousands of prayers only left him with multiple organ failure and days of delirium and blinding pain.

If there is a God, fark him.
 
2008-08-19 11:03:57 PM  

Descartes: Is it bashing season already?


I'm sorry we're starting to reach enlightenment, and all the silly superstitions of last millennium's favorite mythology are falling by the wayside. Don't be bitter about it.
 
2008-08-19 11:05:26 PM  

HolyGeekboy: My little brother died of colon and liver cancer on Thursday. He was 29. All the best oncology in the world and thousands of prayers only left him with multiple organ failure and days of delirium and blinding pain.

If there is a God, fark him.


Truly sorry to hear that, my sympathies dude.
 
2008-08-19 11:08:10 PM  
HolyGeekboy: My little brother died of colon and liver cancer on Thursday. He was 29. All the best oncology in the world and thousands of prayers only left him with multiple organ failure and days of delirium and blinding pain.

If there is a God, fark him.

Truly sorry to hear that, my sympathies dude.


Wow. Sorry, I can't imagine what that must be like.
 
2008-08-19 11:17:54 PM  
All the sarcasm doesn't change the fact that I've seen multiple occasions where people have prayed and doctors have admitted that there is no way in heck things could have played out the way they did, aside from a miracle.

Pretty humbling.

A guy I know, I should add, had a good friend who was driving down a road in MN, along a river in early spring, when a logging truck coming towards his car had a log come loose and clothes line his car. The guy's car got totaled, he somehow ended up landing in the river, bleeding pretty bad, and unconscience.

When paramedics arrived, they described the scene as unbelieveable. The guy was laying in the river, with the log that hit him under his head, propping his head out of the water, stopping him from drowning. The water temperature was cold enough that it slowed down his circulation and bleeding, just enough that he survived. He walked away from the hospital later that week thankful that what paramedics called a one in a billion chance occurred.

Not only does God *sometimes* answer prayer the way we hope, He also does a great job pulling us through hard times.
 
2008-08-19 11:24:42 PM  

NateInYourFace: All the sarcasm doesn't change the fact that I've seen multiple occasions where people have prayed and doctors have admitted that there is no way in heck things could have played out the way they did, aside from a miracle.


Let me give you a question.

If a miracle is something that is not supposed to be, but is...
What is something that should be, but is not.

Like why did my daughter survive catastrophic birth and a long NICU stay, while other babies died in their parents' arms?

Why did my brother die, and others (religious or not) were saved?

The answer is that it is totally and completely random. The sooner you accept this, the better you will be equipped to live a useful life.

And don't give me any of that "sometimes God's answer is no" bullshiat. It's all totally and completely random based on more permutations and variables than you or I can conceive of.

But magic man in the sky? No. Sorry. I spent the last ten years losing my faith, and rationality has helped me deal with every tragedy since. I wish you the same gift, someday.
 
2008-08-19 11:43:23 PM  
HolyGeekBoy

The answer is that it is totally and completely random. The sooner you accept this, the better you will be equipped to live a useful life.

And don't give me any of that "sometimes God's answer is no" bullshiat. It's all totally and completely random based on more permutations and variables than you or I can conceive of.

But magic man in the sky? No. Sorry. I spent the last ten years losing my faith, and rationality has helped me deal with every tragedy since. I wish you the same gift, someday.


You ask some good questions, and I appreciate what seems like sincere well wishing towards me.

Why does God allow some to suffer...some to die...some to live...

It doesn't hurt God for us to question Him, He's a big guy, He can take it.

I think, though, that us questioning God is like a dog questioning it's master. We take the dog in for his shots...to get neutered...etc, and the dog is like, "What the heck, why are you hurting me?"

We don't give the dog table scraps, don't let it run out the front door to chase the neighbor's cat, don't let it sit in the car on a hot summer day - because we know that while all these things must seem logical and great to the dog, we know better. We euthanize some of the dogs at the kennel, and let others live. Probably a bad analogy, but my point is I believe that what we see and understand is a fraction of what God knows and understands, and no matter how hard we try, we will only see fractions of the entire picture in this life.

We're not all knowing. God is. I trust the creator of the universe has some good logic, even though our finite logic can't always grasp it.

I don't know why God let's some live and some die, but through tough times and good I've seen Him take care of me.
 
2008-08-19 11:44:32 PM  
The IGNORANCE IS AS STRONG AS EVER IN farkalaland!

Thanks for the daily guffaws!
 
2008-08-19 11:44:47 PM  
My neighbour Bob, got shot in the face had his head completely blown off we prayed a bit and his face grew back.


You watch too many Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones movies.
 
2008-08-19 11:53:10 PM  
NateInYourFace

The "dog/master" analogy doesn't exactly ring true. Even if a dog can't develop reasoning beyond Pavlovian response, the dog has a distinct advantage in that the master is physically there. It can see the entity that feeds it, cares for it, and punishes it. If the dog were schizophrenic, the argument would make much more sense.
 
2008-08-20 12:19:03 AM  
CokeUpWerewolf

The "dog/master" analogy doesn't exactly ring true. Even if a dog can't develop reasoning beyond Pavlovian response, the dog has a distinct advantage in that the master is physically there. It can see the entity that feeds it, cares for it, and punishes it. If the dog were schizophrenic, the argument would make much more sense.

Ok - point taken.

Please tell me what air looks like?

What do atoms look like?

What do radiowaves look like?

There are a lot of things that we can't see, yet they exist.

Sure, you'll probably say we can see these things, with the right technology. My point is people have known that things exist before the technology; they saw the effects from the invisible, and the evidence was too compelling to assume anything other than there was something physical behind it. Something causing it.

We don't see God, but the evidence is too compelling to believe otherwise.

Which brings us back to the question, why does God allow some things to happen - which I'm sure my dog asked when he got neutered.
 
2008-08-20 12:37:23 AM  
NateInYourFace

All of the things you've listed are practical things with a physical presence. We can measure their effects. We can use those measurements to make useful calculations to better our lives. God has no such footprint. If you're going to claim that the whole of creation is his footprint, that's fair enough, but it doesn't mean that he's involved in the minutia of every being's life as one would assume should prayer actually work.

I don't doubt that the universe is certainly the product of something, but to say that its creator is God asks a person to accept an awful lot of things. Just to be clear on what we're talking about, we're going with classic Judeo-Christian God, aren't we?

Simply asking why something occurs doesn't prove that something made it occur. If your dog were smarter, he'd realize that.
 
2008-08-20 12:41:55 AM  
NateInYourFace

Sorry, I don't mean to sound like a dick. I've had a few and I grew up with a bunch of people telling me I was going to hell because I was raised Catholic. It's wrong of me to be snippy. I assume we didn't go to school together. Heh.
 
2008-08-20 12:49:51 AM  

TypoFlyspray: Superstition endures because sometimes it works


There are two words people need to learn: confirmation bias

I have a magic talisman that protects me against being eaten by alligators. I know it works because I haven't been eaten by an alligator.
 
2008-08-20 01:03:48 AM  

NateInYourFace: There are a lot of things that we can't see, yet they exist.


Just because you can't perceive radio waves with your 5 native doesn't mean you can't detect them. You can still observe their effects with the proper instruments.

I can detect radio waves by turning on the radio, or putting something in the microwave oven and observing changes in the real world in a measurable and controllable manner.

If there is an active living God (IE the Christian God, not the deist "Celestial Clockmaker" God), his/her/it's ongoing influence MUST affect the universe in a measurable, observable manner; either directly via an appropriate instrument, or indirectly via statistical analysis. If your God exists, he hides his existence so completely that he is completely undetectable by any method that can be conceived, and leaves no statistical trace whatsoever of his intercession. Hardly the characteristics of a God who wants to be constantly worshiped and adored by his creations.
 
2008-08-20 01:18:52 AM  

CokedUpWerewolf: NateInYourFace

Sorry, I don't mean to sound like a dick. I've had a few and I grew up with a bunch of people telling me I was going to hell because I was raised Catholic. It's wrong of me to be snippy. I assume we didn't go to school together. Heh.


Well, now we all know you're going to hell because you've had a few dicks. Being raised Catholic, there is no need to ask where said dicks were disrobed from.

/ :)
 
2008-08-20 01:24:20 AM  
m1lgram

Wow. Can't believe I typed that. I need to call it a night.

/I suppose I do have a purdy mouth.
 
2008-08-20 01:27:23 AM  

NateInYourFace: Which brings us back to the question, why does God allow some things to happen - which I'm sure my dog asked when he got neutered.


Ya, I'm sure your dog asked itself that question as well, hahahahahah.

Dude, the only question your dog was asking itself is "when can I lick my balls again".
 
2008-08-20 01:29:07 AM  

Tassach: If your God exists, he hides his existence so completely that he is completely undetectable by any method that can be conceived, and leaves no statistical trace whatsoever of his intercession. Hardly the characteristics of a God who wants to be constantly worshiped and adored by his creations.


Let me take a stab at this one.

You have to have faith.

At least I think that's what they tell everyone?
 
2008-08-20 01:33:16 AM  

NateInYourFace: Please tell me what air looks like?

What do atoms look like?


Ask the people of Hiroshima an Nagasaki. I'll think they can give you a pretty good description.


What do radiowaves look like?

There are a lot of things that we can't see, yet they exist.


We know they exist because they are detected through experiments using the scientific method. For some reason, God has never been detected through these same methods. Oh, that's right, we can't measure God. Yet somehow you all seem to know he exists. Do you see a contradiction there?
 
2008-08-20 06:54:19 AM  

Pincy: NateInYourFace: Which brings us back to the question, why does God allow some things to happen - which I'm sure my dog asked when he got neutered.

Ya, I'm sure your dog asked itself that question as well, hahahahahah.

Dude, the only question your dog was asking itself is "when can I lick my balls again".


His dog tried to divide by zero? Wow!
 
2008-08-20 08:38:37 AM  

NateInYourFace:
I don't know why God let's some live and some die, but through tough times and good I've seen Him take care of me.


Maybe you're a good person who does nice things and makes good decisions, and good things have happened for you.

It doesn't take God for that to happen.

People can continue making implausible explanations for God. It doesn't make your theory any more credible. You imagine God is helping you, and are therefore helped. Therefore God must exist.

I have faith and strong sense of moral conscience, and so, in general, I do well too. God isn't helping me. In fact, the idea "God" was holding me back from learning about many wonderful things in the world.
 
2008-08-20 08:57:01 AM  
that had to be one of the most, if not the most, stupid article i've ever read. a "news" report giving validity to art bell and his ilk could be written if they used the same criteria as this survey.

/no i didn't read the thread. if all of you said the same great. if any didn't, well please don't breed or vote.
 
2008-08-20 09:50:10 AM  
Survive1999: Say what you will but 3 different brain specialists declared a family friend brain dead with 3 different brain scans.

Totally Terri Schiavo.


Umm, no. Impossible.

Terri Schiavo's brain was essentially liquefied. Your friend may have had EKGs that showed no activity, but she sure as hell didn't have "scans". Or, she did have scans, and you are mis-reporting what they showed.

"Totally Terri Schiavo" = no cognitive function possible.

What you really should say is "Totally Different".

NateInYourFace: All the sarcasm doesn't change the fact that I've seen multiple occasions where people have prayed and doctors have admitted that there is no way in heck things could have played out the way they did, aside from a miracle.

So, you shouldn't have any trouble directing us to the recipients of this Godly Largess, or their doctors, who no doubt chronicled these happenings for their obvious importance to the administration of effective patient care, and submitted their data to the relevant Journals?

I won't be holding my breath, mind you.

Not only does God *sometimes* answer prayer the way we hope, He also does a great job pulling us through hard times.

Fark that. He clotheslined the dude with a farking log and dumped him in the river! Then he bobs him up with the same log and says, "let's see if you can hold on til the paramedics get here"? Then he throws in making the ambulance have to traverse a winding logging road just to make things more interesting? You're citing this as an instance of mercy and care?

The crudest fratboy on the snottiest campus on the planet would have a hard time reaching that level of douchbaggery.

I swear, sometimes I think my wife's concept of God is right: we're like ants in a Ant Farm to him and He's a brat who occasionally shakes it to watch the ants scurry around.

My point is people have known that things exist before the technology; they saw the effects from the invisible, and the evidence was too compelling to assume anything other than there was something physical behind it. Something causing it.

Right. Zeus hurling lightning bolts off Mount Olympus. It's a perfectly cromulent explanation for the unseen cause of the seen effect.
 
2008-08-20 11:29:42 AM  

Tassach: TypoFlyspray: Superstition endures because sometimes it works

There are two words people need to learn: confirmation bias

I have a magic talisman that protects me against being eaten by alligators. I know it works because I haven't been eaten by an alligator.


No, I understand about confirmation bias. My contention is that state of mind, whatever the cause, has an effect, probably not a determining effect, on health. Lacking a study it would be impossible to prove, but the studies that optimistic people are healthier in general are suggestive. (Look them up yourself; if I were a footnoter, I'd still be in school.)

Prayer can, if one can believe in the entity/object prayed to, can generate a positive state of mind vis a vis one's health. Knowledge that people are parying for one can, if one believe in the efficacy of the entity/object to which one believes these folks are praying, have the same effect.

It's all in the mind.

I do not believe that one can wish onesself to good health. I do believe that, if it isn't going to hurt and might help, why would you not go there, particularly if you have a terminal disease.
 
2008-08-20 11:30:43 AM  

Tassach: TypoFlyspray: Superstition endures because sometimes it works

There are two words people need to learn: confirmation bias

I have a magic talisman that protects me against being eaten by alligators. I know it works because I haven't been eaten by an alligator.


Oh, and my taliman keeps the turtles away.
 
2008-08-20 12:30:18 PM  
TypoFlyspray: I do believe that, if it isn't going to hurt and might help,

But, see, that's the point. Some of us don't accept that part as a given. And what few empirical studies there are indicate that it can hurt, and probably doesn't help.

I concede that meditative activities can calm a person down, that's not the same thing as prayer, i.e. petitioning.

Knowledge that people are parying for one can, if one believe in the efficacy of the entity/object to which one believes these folks are praying, have the same effect.

That's actually not true, according to at least two studies, one of which I cited supra: Knowledge that one is being prayed for is positively correlated with worse outcomes.
 
2008-08-20 01:41:14 PM  

Deucednuisance: I concede that meditative activities can calm a person down, that's not the same thing as prayer, i.e. petitioning.


YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER!

/ Sorry, couldn't resist.

Deucednuisance: But, see, that's the point. Some of us don't accept that part as a given. And what few empirical studies there are indicate that it can hurt, and probably doesn't help.


Fairly answered. OK, I'm not going to spend time tracking down those studies, and I am not granting you are right. I am, however, granting that is 1) a perfectly valid stance, and 2) you may be right.

Deucednuisance: That's actually not true, according to at least two studies, one of which I cited supra: Knowledge that one is being prayed for is positively correlated with worse outcomes.


That surprises me, but there I'll stipulate you have the right of it, at least unless/until I look over the study.

DN, I don't necessarily agree with you on some of this, but I definitely appreciate the cut of your jib. Thank you for the civil and informative discourse.
 
2008-08-20 02:14:43 PM  
There sure are a lot of angry atheists on Fark.
 
2008-08-20 02:54:52 PM  
TypoFlyspray: Thank you for the civil and informative discourse.

Well, I don't know how the hell that happened.

You're welcome, but fear not: my usual snark will be back in full force, soon, in a Thread Near You!
 
2008-08-20 04:14:22 PM  

ls650: There sure are a lot of angry atheists on Fark.


im not angry about religion.

but i get angry when i think about where we could be if there was no religion to hold us back. what if there were no dark ages? what if stem cell research had started 50 years before it did?

it's wasted potential that's most upsetting.
 
2008-08-20 09:41:58 PM  

ls650: There sure are a lot of angry atheists on Fark.


I'm not an atheist, just an agnostic.

Look it up, d-bag.
 
Pav
2008-08-23 07:18:22 PM  
You guys need to keep an open mind on this one.

The power of the mind is very powerful. If you can grasp the concept of mind over matter its not a very large step to prayer over matter.

People very well may exert their will on the universe without knowing it.

And think about thousands of people dwelling on the same thing at the same time.

That can be a pretty powerful reality making machine.
 
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