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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Prayer doesn't help heart patients in U.S., study finds

Prayer doesn't help heart patients in U.S., study finds
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Dark Helmet
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Mar 31, 2006, 06:35 PM
 
"The study found 59 per cent of the patients who knew they were being prayed for developed medical complications. Among those who thought they might be prayed for, 52 per cent had complications.

The researchers said they had no explanation for the higher complication rate among patients who knew they were being prayed for."

There's a real shocker. Seems even the placebo effect doesn't' work.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/nati...-20060330.html

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placebo1969
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Mar 31, 2006, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet
There's a real shocker. Seems even the placebo effect doesn't' work.
I have no idea what you're talking about.

I have a person experience with prayer and surgery that I'll post later.
     
BRussell
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Mar 31, 2006, 07:07 PM
 
So the conclusion of the study is that you shouldn't tell people that you're going to pray for them, because if you do tell them, they might have more complications?

It's really a kind of reverse-placebo effect, or negative placebo effect.
     
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Mar 31, 2006, 07:23 PM
 
Praying isn't going to perform that triple-bypass.
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cpt kangarooski
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Mar 31, 2006, 08:22 PM
 
I think that the study should be expanded by also considering prayers against someone. E.g. the young wife praying that the old, rich husband will die, leaving everything to her.
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docbud
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Mar 31, 2006, 08:48 PM
 
Were all the heart problems the same? Some patients having double, triple, or quadruple bypass? Was the prayer group the ones with the worse condition, while the non prayer group was a simpler bypass?
     
BRussell
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Mar 31, 2006, 09:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by docbud
Were all the heart problems the same? Some patients having double, triple, or quadruple bypass? Was the prayer group the ones with the worse condition, while the non prayer group was a simpler bypass?
If they didn't take care of something so basic as that, I'd hope that it wouldn't be published in this journal.
     
docbud
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Mar 31, 2006, 09:53 PM
 
BRussell--I agree that such a basic thing should have been taken care of. But it would not surprise me if it wasn't. The posted article doesn't say either way.

And how do you do scientific research on something like that, when technically the research is not scientific?

It will definitely be interesting to see the published article.
     
FeLiZeCaT
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Mar 31, 2006, 09:57 PM
 
Does not prayer correlated with Faith and Heaven? If you pray for someone sick, and that person gets worse, does not that mean we push that person closer to Heavens?
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docbud
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Mar 31, 2006, 10:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by FeLiZeCaT
Does not prayer correlated with Faith and Heaven? If you pray for someone sick, and that person gets worse, does not that mean we push that person closer to Heavens?
I don't know about looking at it that way...Seems like a copout.
     
Railroader
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Mar 31, 2006, 10:31 PM
 
Most people don't understand prayer. This thread supports that statement.
     
isao bered
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Mar 31, 2006, 10:48 PM
 
heh. maybe it adds additional stress to recover when you know folks are praying for you. could be a tad bit intimidating having to be someone's proof for gawd. ;-)

be well.

laeth

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docbud
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Mar 31, 2006, 10:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Most people don't understand prayer. This thread supports that statement.
What's to understand? Some prayers are answered and some are not. If the prayers are answered, it means God listened. If the prayers fail, it means God had different plans. That is not a good argument to have or to defend.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm a Christian, and I believe (though I'm not the greatest Christian in the world by any means). But when I'm told that when you gather in his His name to pray for someone that the prayers will be answered, I would like to think they would be answered. Not a thing of "well, He had different plans."

I admit, I do find it difficult to rebut those arguments. If we pray and we are promised they will be answered, why this thing of "God answers prayers in mysterious ways"?
     
placebo1969
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Mar 31, 2006, 11:06 PM
 
My personal experience:

In 1992, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease (lymphatic cancer). Eventually, the doctors found that it had spread to my spleen, so they removed it. After the surgery, I was NPO, meaning I couldn't eat or drink anything for a week (everything was intravenous). After a few days, my stomach didn't like that and I started to vomit. It was the lowest point in my life. There I was, puke all over me, naked, a tube stuck down my dick and a nurse cleaning me up. I prayed for the pain to go away. It went away.
     
Railroader
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Apr 1, 2006, 12:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by docbud
What's to understand? Some prayers are answered and some are not. If the prayers are answered, it means God listened. If the prayers fail, it means God had different plans. That is not a good argument to have or to defend.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm a Christian, and I believe (though I'm not the greatest Christian in the world by any means). But when I'm told that when you gather in his His name to pray for someone that the prayers will be answered, I would like to think they would be answered. Not a thing of "well, He had different plans."

I admit, I do find it difficult to rebut those arguments. If we pray and we are promised they will be answered, why this thing of "God answers prayers in mysterious ways"?
Show me the verse and the context.

Is this the verse you are talking about: Matthew 18:19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. Because you are certainly interpreting it wrong by taking it out of context.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say your prayers for something physical will be answered if you ask God.

Prayer is a Christian's way of praising God, thanking God, and asking for understanding, emotional strength, or guidance.
     
olePigeon
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Apr 1, 2006, 01:55 AM
 
In a recent study, people who prayed to Cthulhu for mental patients found out that the patients were still 100% insane.

Fhtagn fhtagn!
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Apr 1, 2006, 02:08 AM
 
Someone call?
     
Kevin
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Apr 1, 2006, 03:05 AM
 
AAh, yet another thread were SWG is attempting to convince himself.

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Kevin
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Apr 1, 2006, 03:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by docbud
What's to understand? Some prayers are answered and some are not. If the prayers are answered, it means God listened. If the prayers fail, it means God had different plans. That is not a good argument to have or to defend.
Or sometimes our own actions, or lack of commitment fail.

Too many people attempt to con God. Only turning to him when times are tough.

Sometimes we reap what we sow.

I've seen prayer work, and I have seen it not.

Jesus had the power to heal though the spirit. He claimed all of us had this same power. Most of us really have no clue how to tap into such a thing.

The more I know about the body and how it works, the more I am convenience it wasn't a happenstance.

}And people can pray for someone all they want. Said person has to be willing and faithful or it's all for nothing.

Just another example of the scientific community not getting spirituality.
     
Kr0nos
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Apr 1, 2006, 04:12 AM
 
LOL. Praying for somebody NEVER directly helps the recepient (other than maybe make them feel better because they know that somebody else really cares for them).

Praying is something you do for yourself, and as that, it can actually aide people in overcoming ailements (no, it will not make you walk again, or grow you another arm). It' simply a form of introspection (just like meditation).

If prayer was really some kind of super medicine, it would have been licensed and marketed a long time ago.

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Kr0nos
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Apr 1, 2006, 04:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Prayer is a Christian's way of praising God, thanking God, and asking for understanding, emotional strength, or guidance.
…and as such, can help a person overcome an illness etc.

If I change my way of living, and if I pave my streets with good times, will the mountain keep on giving…
     
Railroader
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Apr 1, 2006, 09:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kr0nos
…and as such, can help a person overcome an illness etc.
Huh? You got some splainin' to do.
     
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Apr 1, 2006, 11:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Prayer is a Christian's way of praising God, thanking God, and asking for understanding, emotional strength, or guidance.
Hmm, there are also a whole lot of Christians who pray in exactly the kind of circumstances in this study - for someone with health problems. I'd say the vast majority at one time or another pray with the goal of helping people going through difficult times in their lives, wouldn't you? Are you saying they shouldn't pray with that goal?
     
Fyre4ce
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Apr 1, 2006, 11:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Most people don't understand prayer. This thread supports that statement.
I guess I don't. Please explain it to me.

I fail to understand how God, who is all-knowing (so he knows what you think before you pray) and all-powerful (can execute virtually any prayer) could be persuaded by prayer. If He really is manipulating us here on Earth, don't you think He would have thought out His plan out enough ahead of time that he would have already considered anything you might tell Him in prayer? I think the prayer in the study was more for the prayer's benefit (so they wouldn't feel so helpless) than for the prayee's benefit.

Personally, I have never seen any evidence that God intervenes at all in human affairs. Looking at an event and trying to explain how it happened by asking why God would allow it to happen seems foolish to me. I'm an engineer. I rely on physical evidence for my work. I'm not going to design an aircraft out of lead and then pray to God to keep it from falling out of the sky. All it takes is one glance at the safety records of modern airliners to understand that we really do have a pretty good understanding of the laws of nature. Everything I've ever seen can be explained by the laws of nature. Why assume it's God?
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Apr 1, 2006, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon
In a recent study, people who prayed to Cthulhu for mental patients found out that the patients were still 100% insane.

Fhtagn fhtagn!
Originally Posted by Cthulhu
Someone call?
See!?! See!!!

Our prayers have been answered. Someone calls upon Cthulhu and he appears here in the forum. If that isn't proof of his existence I don't know what is?

All praise Cthulhu.
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Scandalous Ion Cannon
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Apr 1, 2006, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by placebo1969
I prayed for the pain to go away. It went away.
Ya that usually happens after surgery and medication.
"That's okay, I'd like to keep it on manual control for a while."
     
Fyre4ce
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Apr 1, 2006, 02:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by placebo1969
My personal experience:

In 1992, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease (lymphatic cancer). Eventually, the doctors found that it had spread to my spleen, so they removed it. After the surgery, I was NPO, meaning I couldn't eat or drink anything for a week (everything was intravenous). After a few days, my stomach didn't like that and I started to vomit. It was the lowest point in my life. There I was, puke all over me, naked, a tube stuck down my dick and a nurse cleaning me up. I prayed for the pain to go away. It went away.
Can you be certain that your pain went away as a result of divine intervention?
Fyre4ce

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Railroader
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Apr 1, 2006, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell
Hmm, there are also a whole lot of Christians who pray in exactly the kind of circumstances in this study - for someone with health problems.
Just because a lot of people do something doesn't mean they have it right.
Originally Posted by BRussell
I'd say the vast majority at one time or another pray with the goal of helping people going through difficult times in their lives, wouldn't you? Are you saying they shouldn't pray with that goal?
That's why I said "emotional strength" in my original post about what prayer is supposed to be. But to pray for healing just isn't the way Jesus taught us to pray.
     
Railroader
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Apr 1, 2006, 02:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
I guess I don't. Please explain it to me.
I did. Look at my last line in my second post in this thread.
Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
I fail to understand how God, who is all-knowing (so he knows what you think before you pray) and all-powerful (can execute virtually any prayer) could be persuaded by prayer.
You expect to understand God?!? If you understood God then you would be God.
Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
If He really is manipulating us here on Earth, don't you think He would have thought out His plan out enough ahead of time that he would have already considered anything you might tell Him in prayer?
He has given us Free Will
Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
I think the prayer in the study was more for the prayer's benefit (so they wouldn't feel so helpless) than for the prayee's benefit.
That's not what was implied in the original posters post.
Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
Personally, I have never seen any evidence that God intervenes at all in human affairs. Looking at an event and trying to explain how it happened by asking why God would allow it to happen seems foolish to me. I'm an engineer. I rely on physical evidence for my work. I'm not going to design an aircraft out of lead and then pray to God to keep it from falling out of the sky. All it takes is one glance at the safety records of modern airliners to understand that we really do have a pretty good understanding of the laws of nature. Everything I've ever seen can be explained by the laws of nature. Why assume it's God?
You don't think God set those "laws"?
     
placebo1969
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Apr 1, 2006, 02:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
Can you be certain that your pain went away as a result of divine intervention?
Yes. That's why it's called faith.

Your mileage may vary™.
     
BRussell
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Apr 1, 2006, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Just because a lot of people do something doesn't mean they have it right.
Does that include you? Because you sure seem to have the ultimate truth about prayer figured out. All I know is that the vast majority of Christians pray for God's intervention, including such things as health. And given that the Bible is full of people praying for things from God, and the importance of healing in Christianity and the life of Jesus, it hardly seem fair to call all the legions of people wrong if they pray in that way.
     
Railroader
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Apr 1, 2006, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell
Does that include you? Because you sure seem to have the ultimate truth about prayer figured out.
I do not believe what the masses believe just because the masses believe it. If that's what you're asking.

I don't have the "ultimate truth of prayer" figured out (whatever that is or you are meaning). I never claimed to. But I have studied prayer extensively and I am understand that the majority don't understand it. The majority don't even understand Christianity.
Originally Posted by BRussell
All I know is that the vast majority of Christians pray for God's intervention, including such things as health. And given that the Bible is full of people praying for things from God, and the importance of healing in Christianity and the life of Jesus, it hardly seem fair to call all the legions of people wrong if they pray in that way.
Show me a verse where Jesus taught us to do this.
     
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Apr 1, 2006, 03:29 PM
 
I'm an atheist, but I think the research is flawed. They are having strangers pray for the patient. All the measure from the research is knowing someone is praying for you during a surgery causes more stress which leads to more comlications.

It wouldn't matter if the patient is having double, triple, or quadruple bypass, as long as the patients are randomize in a double-blind study.
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BRussell
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Apr 1, 2006, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
I do not believe what the masses believe just because the masses believe it. If that's what you're asking.

I don't have the "ultimate truth of prayer" figured out (whatever that is or you are meaning). I never claimed to. But I have studied prayer extensively and I am understand that the majority don't understand it. The majority don't even understand Christianity.
It just seems as if you, on the one hand, state that humans cannot understand God, and yet on the other, claim that you do understand how to talk to God and how everyone else is wrong.

Show me a verse where Jesus taught us to do this.
Luke 11 is pretty clear that you ask God for stuff and he gives it to you. Give us this day our daily bread, for one. Ask and you will receive. In James 5 it says very clearly to pray for the sick.

I personally don't believe in prayer for healing the sick, let alone basketball games and the other things people pray for. But I don't think it's such an unsupportable idea in Christianity.
     
Railroader
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Apr 1, 2006, 04:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell
It just seems as if you, on the one hand, state that humans cannot understand God, and yet on the other, claim that you do understand how to talk to God and how everyone else is wrong.
No, you are taking it out of context. I stated that he expected to under stand God. Not how to pray.

I don't claim "everyone else is wrong". I claim most people don't understand prayer. Their understanding comes from ignorance.
Originally Posted by BRussell
Luke 11 is pretty clear that you ask God for stuff and he gives it to you. Give us this day our daily bread, for one. Ask and you will receive. In James 5 it says very clearly to pray for the sick.
No it's not. The Lord is teaching us to ask for our "daily bread". What we need to feed ourselves. Not a nice home or a healed arm or even a healed heart.

"Ask and you will receive" relates to forgiveness and God's love.

In Luke 11 Jesus talks about asking for the bread. The bread is Jesus.

James 5 is from James. NOT Jesus.
Originally Posted by BRussell
I personally don't believe in prayer for healing the sick, let alone basketball games and the other things people pray for. But I don't think it's such an unsupportable idea in Christianity.
Even using James as an example it is a weak argument.
     
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Apr 1, 2006, 07:26 PM
 
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Apr 1, 2006, 07:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kr0nos
LOL. Praying for somebody NEVER directly helps the recepient (other than maybe make them feel better because they know that somebody else really cares for them).
Actual happenstance's has already proven that to be false.
Praying is something you do for yourself, and as that, it can actually aide people in overcoming ailements (no, it will not make you walk again, or grow you another arm). It' simply a form of introspection (just like meditation).
In my belief, and what I have actually experienced in life, there are no bounds to prayer.
If prayer was really some kind of super medicine, it would have been licensed and marketed a long time ago.
We don't have the ability to do such a thing. Highly arrogant.
     
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Apr 1, 2006, 09:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Most people don't understand prayer. This thread supports that statement.
Quoted for emphasis. God is not a vending machine.
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
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Apr 1, 2006, 09:53 PM
 
asefd
     
FeLiZeCaT
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Apr 1, 2006, 09:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead
Quoted for emphasis. God is not a vending machine.
So pray or not, God decides.
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Kr0nos
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Apr 2, 2006, 03:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Huh? You got some splainin' to do.
What's there to explain. People have strong faith in the healing powers of prayer, and in some instances this helps them overcome their illness.

It's essentially the same reason why placebos work (for some).

If I change my way of living, and if I pave my streets with good times, will the mountain keep on giving…
     
Fyre4ce
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Apr 2, 2006, 03:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
I did. Look at my last line in my second post in this thread.
Fair enough, but your definition doesn't include anything about the "pray-ee." Like I said before, prayer is solely for the pray-er's emotional benefit. It seems foolish to expect God to be swayed one's prayers, especially considering your next statement that it's impossible to understand God without actually being God.

Originally Posted by Railroader
You expect to understand God?!? If you understood God then you would be God.
Well, it's in my nature to try to understand things (you might say that God gave me a chronic curiosity about the world). But the real point is, God is clearly at a much higher level than human comprehension can fully reach. Two consequences of this jump out at me:

-Let's suppose God gave a loved one a life-threating illness. The loved one is being treated and you are praying to God to let the illness be cured. Don't you think God would have considered your reaction before the affliction? Don't you think He would have decided in advance whether to spare the person, or let him/her die? If we are really at a qualitatively lower level of understanding than God, doesn't it seem highly unlikely that human prayers would sway Him?

-It seems to become a big problem to try to justify anything based on what God wants. Sure, we have the Bible as some kind of documentation, but the Bible was written by human beings, not God. What if the writers of the Bible got it wrong? What if the true meaning of what God wants was obscured through multiple translations? And even if you assume the Bible is a perfectly accurate account of what happened, it's STILL a gigantic leap to say you really know what God wants.

Originally Posted by Railroader
He has given us Free Will
This is true, but the question is whether you believe in (occasional) divine intervention. Do you believe that God will step into human affairs and "mix things up" a every now and then (by saving someone from tragedy, or smiting a heathen, for instance)? Personally, I don't. I know that many do. I can't quite tell where you fall in.

Originally Posted by Railroader
That's not what was implied in the original posters post.
No, but I'm taking it one step further. If scientific evidence suggests that prayed-for patients are statistically no better-off than ones that are not prayed for, then why pray? You and I basically agree on the answer (it would seem) - for the emotional well-being of the pray-er.

Originally Posted by Railroader
You don't think God set those "laws"?
Oh sure. But, setting them up and letting us figure them out on our own is very different from assuming that God at this moment is interfering with worldly affairs. Even though I usually find quotes tacky, there are two that are so very relevant, and written by so very intelligent people, that I cannot restrain myself from posting them here:

"I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice." - Dr. Albert Einstein

"The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God,' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity." - Dr. Carl Sagan
Fyre4ce

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Apr 2, 2006, 01:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead
Quoted for emphasis. God is not.
Fixed.
     
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Apr 2, 2006, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kr0nos
What's there to explain. People have strong faith in the healing powers of prayer, and in some instances this helps them overcome their illness.

It's essentially the same reason why placebos work (for some).
Nice theory. But placebos can't heal cancer. Placebos can't bring back the dead. Placebos can't cure the blind.
     
Weyland-Yutani
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Apr 2, 2006, 07:36 PM
 
Prayer is meditation.

cheers

W-Y

“Building Better Worlds”
     
sminch
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Apr 2, 2006, 08:26 PM
 
my mother's an anglican priest, and she said something to me once about people asking her to pray for people who are sick - "do they really think god heals people based on a popularity contest?"

which has already struck me as a damn good point. if you have no friends or family and get sick, because no one is praying for you should you have less chance of getting well than if a guy with lots of friends had them all praying for his health? that'd be a peculiar way for god to act, wouldn't it? i'm sure it's all completely outside of the realms of my understanding etc etc but if that's the way god works then he's a strange character indeed.

sminch
     
Railroader
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Apr 2, 2006, 10:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Weyland-Yutani
Prayer is meditation.

cheers

W-Y
Prayer is worshipful communication.

I thought you claimed to be a Christian.
     
Scandalous Ion Cannon
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Apr 3, 2006, 12:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Weyland-Yutani
Prayer is meditation.

cheers

W-Y
Which religion we talking here?
"That's okay, I'd like to keep it on manual control for a while."
     
Weyland-Yutani
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Apr 3, 2006, 07:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scandalous Ion Cannon
Which religion we talking here?
Christianity (not to be confused with the heretic versions popular in the US bible-belt such as evangelism and other fundamentalist misunderstandings)

Prayer is meditation, though meditation is not prayer.

cheers

W-Y

“Building Better Worlds”
     
Dark Helmet  (op)
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Apr 3, 2006, 12:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Weyland-Yutani
Christianity (not to be confused with the heretic versions popular in the US bible-belt such as evangelism and other fundamentalist misunderstandings)

Prayer is meditation, though meditation is not prayer.

cheers

W-Y
So how does that relate to this study?

"She's gone from suck to blow!"
     
 
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