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Nancy Allen``
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jmac demanded proof of God being there to those who call out to him in the closed 'Is God Evil' poll. If I may I'd like to share a little about a close friend of mine, Adam.

 

At three years of age I think it was Adam still couldn't talk or use the toilet, so he was taken for prayer healing and as soon as he was brought home he did both like he was doing it for...well months at least. He prayed for someone and they arrived as soon as he did. He turned to God for help and it came at the most unexpected time. He has prayed for answers to questions he had about God and the Bible and they had been answered more satisfactory than religious experts had been able to. He prayed for him to be able to let go of sin and his computer was taken away, it stopped working. Again seeking God he prayed for it to work, not being able to cope with it broken, and the computer was fixed.

 

God answers prayers. There's hard evidence of it. And aside from that in the year and a half Adam had been in religion he has matured greatly. He is happier, and it's clearly not blind faith. He will question the acts of God and religion and even take the church to task on certain issues, such as the high pressure to give money (in comparison to other churches he has attended).

 

As for why God does not answer some prayers, such as with the Middle East, I don't know. I do know however that it had been prayed for for weeks and the simple answer of free will that theologians explain away is really BS. But I could try and find some other explanation for it.

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At three years of age I think it was Adam still couldn't talk or use the toilet, so he was taken for prayer healing and as soon as he was brought home he did both like he was doing it for...well months at least. He prayed for someone and they arrived as soon as he did. He turned to God for help and it came at the most unexpected time. He has prayed for answers to questions he had about God and the Bible and they had been answered more satisfactory than religious experts had been able to. He prayed for him to be able to let go of sin and his computer was taken away, it stopped working. Again seeking God he prayed for it to work, not being able to cope with it broken, and the computer was fixed.

 

I have a cousin that is retarded; he cannot form any legible words at all, nor can he do so much as keep drool within his mouth. He's nearly fifteen now. His parents, or at least his mother, are devout Christians. Infact, his mother would only marry her current husband as long as he had converted to Christianity. Why didn't God choose to help him? Does he love Adam more than him, or did he simply feel Adam deserved it more?

 

God answers prayers. There's hard evidence of it. And aside from that in the year and a half Adam had been in religion he has matured greatly. He is happier, and it's clearly not blind faith. He will question the acts of God and religion and even take the church to task on certain issues, such as the high pressure to give money (in comparison to other churches he has attended).

 

What do you mean by "answered"? Do you mean God gives you some sign in a subtle way, manipulating the brain's tendancy to find patterns in natural coincidental occurrences? Or does God talk directly to you, much like a schizophrenic believes the demons in his closet tempt him to evil?

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jmac demanded proof of God being there to those who call out to him in the closed 'Is God Evil' poll. If I may I'd like to share a little about a close friend of mine, Adam.

 

At three years of age I think it was Adam still couldn't talk or use the toilet, so he was taken for prayer healing and as soon as he was brought home he did both like he was doing it for...well months at least. He prayed for someone and they arrived as soon as he did. He turned to God for help and it came at the most unexpected time. He has prayed for answers to questions he had about God and the Bible and they had been answered more satisfactory than religious experts had been able to. He prayed for him to be able to let go of sin and his computer was taken away, it stopped working. Again seeking God he prayed for it to work, not being able to cope with it broken, and the computer was fixed.

 

God answers prayers. There's hard evidence of it. And aside from that in the year and a half Adam had been in religion he has matured greatly. He is happier, and it's clearly not blind faith. He will question the acts of God and religion and even take the church to task on certain issues, such as the high pressure to give money (in comparison to other churches he has attended).

 

As for why God does not answer some prayers, such as with the Middle East, I don't know. I do know however that it had been prayed for for weeks and the simple answer of free will that theologians explain away is really BS. But I could try and find some other explanation for it.

Anecdotal evidence is not "hard evidence". Hell, I could make up a bunch of bull**** to disprove the existence of god and make it more entertaining than Adam's story. It could have explosions and high-speed chases and a big ****in 'thing that gets blown to hell by spec-ops soldiers at the end just as the hero is escaping.

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Funny, because I remember that scientific study that was done recently that showed that patients in a hospital who were being prayed for had about the same percentage of complications as those not prayed for.

 

http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=138000022

 

There were three groups: one that was not prayed for, another that was prayed for and not told so, and another that was prayed for and was told so. About half of all patients, regardless of prayer or not, had complications.

 

No, god does not answer prayers.

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He has prayed for answers to questions he had about God and the Bible and they had been answered more satisfactory than religious experts had been able to.
Buddha said some really wise things, one of those being that we have the answer to every question within us. We just have to find them. He prayed, and that gave his mind the confidence it needed to come up with the answer.

 

God answers prayers. There's hard evidence of it.
No, there's not hard evidence of it. There are some nice stories, like the ones you just related, but no hard evidence. For example, how do we know the computer wouldn't stop working anyway?

 

Unless there's some actual scientific (not pseudo-scientific) research proving God answers prayers, I'm not going to believe it. Sorry, Nance (I had this really good buddy named Nancy once so the "Nance" has become a habit:o).

 

Set 2000 Christians up with identical computers and set 2000 atheists up with identical computers. Have all the Christians pray for their computers to break down and see if they do at a higher rate than those used by the atheists. Then I'll believe.

 

And just as a side note: Think about all the times, as you said, prayers are not answered.

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I don't pretend to have all the answers, far from it, but I do know that I have seen God work. Why it has not been successful for other I don't know, but all the bull**** of God answering prayers, being able to spin this fantastic story with ****ing terrorists, ****ing nukes, ****ing explosions, everything like has been said, well it's only bull**** if it's not true, and if seeing prayers answered is not evidence I'd like you to tell me what you would accept as evidence.

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and if seeing prayers answered is not evidence I'd like you to tell me what you would accept as evidence.

 

A study like the one I posted, disproving the usefulness of prayer.

 

There have been people claiming to see aliens, ghosts, every matter of crazy ****, and I don't believe them just because they say they "saw" those things.

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I don't pretend to have all the answers, far from it, but I do know that I have seen God work. Why it has not been successful for other I don't know, but all the bull**** of God answering prayers, being able to spin this fantastic story with ****ing terrorists, ****ing nukes, ****ing explosions, everything like has been said, well it's only bull**** if it's not true, and if seeing prayers answered is not evidence I'd like you to tell me what you would accept as evidence.

 

Thats a lie if I ever heard one that thing only ask prayers

for those who kisses it ass , and if they are luckey. But you know I should'nt have said that for one of those modderators close this theard. The reason probably they don't want no god bashing for those good christians. I thought this was a free expression forum.

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But you know I should'nt have said that for one of those modderators close this theard. The reason probably they don't want no god bashing for those good christians. I thought this was a free expression forum.

 

You obviously haven't bothered to read much of what I've posted on the topic of religion.

 

God does not have membership at LF, so as long as you don't bash a member, feel free to bash whatever god you wish. In fact, a classic Senate thread is "Why is it ok to bash christianity?" -though "bash" was edited to read "criticize" before the thread died out.

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People from every other religion ALSO claim that they have witnessed miracles, seen prayers answered and felt god.

 

Does that mean that there are lots of gods out there?

 

Or is everyone just feeling the same god?

 

In which case, how do you know it is YOUR god answering the prayers, not the hindu god, or the muslim god, or the god of war, or the giant spagheti (how do you spellt hat word??) monster?

 

What about some poor 3 year old kid, trapped in some rubble somewhere, crying for help? Will he only get help if he prays to god? He's not old enough to pray or even know about god yet. So he has no chance. But some 90 year old pedophile priest.. he'd get help because he says the right words?

 

If god has spoke to you then wonderful.. but if he hasn't spoken to me then how can he expect me to believe in him?

If he speaks to me, then i ignore him - fine - hten he can be p***ed. But otherwise he should darn well treat me the same as everyone else.

 

Those luck guys in the olden times had it easy! God kept popping up and showing that he existed.. so they could choose what to believe based on some actual evidence. But god hasn't shown up in person for over 2 thousand years now.. so he's obviously not that bothered about us believing in him.

 

Surely its about time for him to commit genocide again? He's way overdue and we have all stopped believing in him long ago.

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At three years of age I think it was Adam still couldn't talk or use the toilet, so he was taken for prayer healing and as soon as he was brought home he did both like he was doing it for...well months at least.

 

Right. You do realize that there are many toddlers who develop motor functions and cognitive abilities as late as four, right? And sudden development of either of these isn't uncommon. My daughter started both almost overnight. Forgive me if I'm not as credulous as you.

 

Herbert et al (2006) concluded that prayer had no effect on a study group of 1,802 patients over a period of about 10 years. The group was comprised of patients that underwent by-pass surgery in 6 different hospitals. Another conclusion that Herbert et al arrived at was that of the patients they studied who were certain that intercessors would pray for them was the highest rate of complication.

 

There is no "hard evidence" that supports the notion that prayer works. A once cited study in the Journal of Reproductive Medicince (Cha et al 2001) has been shown to be fraud. Tales of "faith healing" simply don't have any basis in reality that goes beyond coincidence, placebo, or out-right deception.

 

There are many, many anecdotes of the credulous who tout the validity of faith healing and healing through prayer, but ignored are the significances of coincidence and placebo and undo significance is placed on "hits" and "misses" are completely ignored. Forgotten and out-right ignored are the "misses" -the times when someone's health was prayed for and the person never recovered or died. The body has the ability to heal itself and even the most serious diseases can go into remission, so the laws of chance dictate that some of the prayers must coincide with these natural healings and remissions.

 

Never, however, will you ever see a person who is blind because of a missing retina or crippled because of a missing limb see or walk again. Never will you see diseases and dibilitations "healed" via prayer that cannot heal by the body's own immune system going to work (often in close concert with medical treatment!).

 

Prayer is bunk. It assumes that religion has some basis in reality and not simply a mental condition.

 

References:

 

Benson, Herbert; Dusek, Jeffery A.; Sherwood, Peter Lam; et al (2006). Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: A multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer. American Heart Journal, 151 (4), 934-942

 

Cha KY; Wirth, DP; Lobo, RA (2001). Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer? Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 46, 781-787.

 

God answers prayers. There's hard evidence of it.

 

Which god? What "hard evidence?"

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Right. You do realize that there are many toddlers who develop motor functions and cognitive abilities as late as four, right? And sudden development of either of these isn't uncommon. My daughter started both almost overnight. Forgive me if I'm not as credulous as you.

 

[...]

 

Which god? What "hard evidence?"

Game, set, and match.

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Which god? Humanity has had many over the last hundred thousand years. More than was ever recorded.

 

But evidence need have only the quality of being reproducible and falsifiable. As far as "everything" being a coincidence, I don't recall every commenting on "everything."

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So everything here is coincidence? Okay, what type of evidence do you want before believing there is a God?
Nancy...the argument is, it's not possible to know if it's a coincidence or not. Whether it was a god or just chance, the visible result is the same and the particular 'cause' is unknowable. Maybe your friend really was helped by God to have a better life. Can it be proven? No, it can't, not to the degree that many of these guys will hold you to. You're left with faith, the personal knowlege that you are sure of, but cannot explain to others in purely logical, purely reasonable terms. A good thing, faith, but it was not meant for an argument such as this. You cannot compare the abstract to the concrete and expect them to be fully compatible; the assumptions you are using are not necessarily universal. You and the others are arguing from differing worldviews, and neither you nor they will ever be able to win.
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Which god? Humanity has had many over the last hundred thousand years. More than was ever recorded.

 

But evidence need have only the quality of being reproducible and falsifiable. As far as "everything" being a coincidence, I don't recall every commenting on "everything."

 

No you didn't. Some however seem to be so **** scarred of being wrong that everything that goes against what they believe is angrily denied. For example all the good things that have come from Adam praying and turning to religion, it is all passed off as coincidence. Once or twice I can accept but half a dozen times? What about how he is a lot happier now, or that before he became religious his life had little direction and now he has a car, a job and is working out his life, is that all coincidence as well?

 

Nancy...the argument is, it's not possible to know if it's a coincidence or not. Whether it was a god or just chance, the visible result is the same and the particular 'cause' is unknowable. Maybe your friend really was helped by God to have a better life. Can it be proven? No, it can't, not to the degree that many of these guys will hold you to. You're left with faith, the personal knowlege that you are sure of, but cannot explain to others in purely logical, purely reasonable terms.

 

I can see what you're saying, and I was going to bring up the faith angle as well. From an atheist point of view I know it is hard to see all the things that are spoken of about religion and accept them as fact, or maybe there is a preconception of religion, I'll use Islam as an example and say how Islam is commonly thought of with terrorism. For me I go by what I have seen and what I have experianced. When you die you might go to heaven, if you're good. You might be reincarnated, all that might happen is you get to feed the worms. An arguement that I have heard used for atheists however is 'I have lost absolutely nothing in my religion, and gained so much.' Is it all mere coincidence? I don't see how it can be. However I do feel that maybe some who are atheist, some I stress, are really unhappy people, very much less happy that I have witnessed those who follow some form of religion to be.

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No you didn't. Some however seem to be so **** scarred of being wrong that everything that goes against what they believe is angrily denied.

 

You are so right. Though I doubt we're thinking of the same "some" or what they "believe."

 

For example all the good things that have come from Adam praying and turning to religion, it is all passed off as coincidence. Once or twice I can accept but half a dozen times? What about how he is a lot happier now, or that before he became religious his life had little direction and now he has a car, a job and is working out his life, is that all coincidence as well?

 

Could it not be that Adam had it within him all along? Personally, I find it offensive to transfer the credit of accomplishments to supernatural beings. Lots of people have health, cars, jobs etc. Lots of people get these things after periods of hardship. Surely, you don't assume that someone who is experiencing hardships in life are destined to stay in their hard times unless a god intervenes? How, then would you account for the atheists or people who believe in different gods than yours who overcome?

 

Prayer probably does work for a lot of people in that it creates a psychological situation that allows them to self-motivate or find inspiration -but this doesn't imply that there is truly a god that is intervening or responding. In that sense, prayer is successful and more power to those that it works for.

 

 

I do feel that maybe some who are atheist, some I stress, are really unhappy people, very much less happy that I have witnessed those who follow some form of religion to be.

 

There are some who are religious that are much less happy than those that don't buy into any religious dogma.

 

U.S. Divorce Rates by religion

 

Jews 30%

Born-again Christians 27%

Other Christians 24%

Atheists, Agnostics 21%

 

"Out of convicted rapists, 57% admitted to reading pornography. 95% admitted to reading the Bible."

 

Source:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

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Could it not be that Adam had it within him all along?

 

I'm not sure whether to say that following religion inspired him to have grown as an individual the way he has or if all this happened regardless of religion. It could be true, but Adam most definetly believes he felt the touch of God and that God is working within him and his life. I say good on him, more power to him, the same as those who follow Judism, Islam, Athism, whatever it may be and it has enriched their lives. As long as it doesn't lead to them harming others or attacking others I'm happy for them.

 

Another 'coincidence', since people seem to hate it being called evidence, is that quite a few people that Adam really likes are religious. Cammy from Street Fighter (she is shown to be a Roman Catholic). Aeris from Final Fantasy (the church and her peaceful attitude, not to mention the Ancients deal, makes her either religious or highly spiritual). Spirit from Wing Commander (her dialogue suggests she is religious). Shawn Michaels, he turned to religion after he had to retire because of back problems, and he was able to wrestle again four years later and still does to this day. He has become a lot more open and easier to get on with from my understanding, he even sought peace with the man he 'screwed', or deviously beat, Brett Hart. Long story short he was involved in a plot to make Brett lose when he was meant to win. And looking at these four characters or people, and others along similar lines, the fact they are religious is not the point, these are four people who are basically good, honest, open people.

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Oh I love this god answers to prayers thing, it's amazing. All who thinks god answers to prayers let me give you a bit of perspective.

 

Why of all mighty why would god listen to a single humans everyday prayer?

 

Why would god listen to Adam's prayers when he doesn't listen to, for example the Libanesee people's prayers? or the million people in the world with AIDS?

 

If god did listen to Adams prayers that would make him the biggest @sshole ever. What people doesn't understand is that if there was an all mighty god who listened to prayers then there is millions of other people in the world who has plenty worse problems than you who should be getting their prayers heard first. But since they still haven't gotten their prayers heard then there is no god, if he isn't a complete bastard.

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Lourdes:

Griffin reports 66 declared miracles and about 2,000 unexplained cures (out of approximately 80,000 sick visitors per year over more than a century making the chances of someone being miraculously cured at Lourdes about 0.026%) but claims that millions more have been healed spiritually. Dawkins remains sceptical, and remarks afterwards that nobody has ever reported the miraculous re-growing of a severed leg. Instead he claims that the cures invariably comprise afflictions which were likely to have improved anyway.

 

0.026% is a pretty low success rate... you would almost imagine that more than 0.026% of people would have gotten better anyway.

 

He prayed for him to be able to let go of sin and his computer was taken away, it stopped working. Again seeking God he prayed for it to work, not being able to cope with it broken, and the computer was fixed.

That is contradictory.. if he prayed to be able to let go of his sin (and his PC was in some way his sin) then he should have been able to cope without it.

 

Every year billions of people around the world read their horoscopes in papers, on tv, on phone lines etc..

Which means that every day 550 million people get about the same prediction.

 

Maybe that they will quit their job, for example. Now of those 550 million, maybe 0.01% actually DO decide to quite their job that day. That is still 5.5 million people.

 

Now to the one or two of those five million people who quit their job, then read the horoscope that is going to look pretty magical.. but it is no such thing. Its just the law of averages.

 

Now every day 2.1billion christians pray. Something unexpected or unexplained is bound to happen to one of them. It doesn't prove anything unless it is statistically provable across a big number of people. Which people in this thread have show it isn't.

 

--

 

One day I was stuck on a level in driver3. I had literally replayed it over 100 times. I then said "I swear to god, if i don't complete this level this try i'm going to smash up this CD and go to the developers and kill them all!". (I was quite mad! ;) ).

 

The next try I completed it no problem.

 

Following the logic of your example that would mean that go responded to my "prayer". I think you'd agree its a strange one for him to decide to answer.

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My first comment has to do with surveys... and I'm not just talking about the ones concerning prayer. Complete and total crap, all of them. Can you really take 1 or 2 thousand out of more than 6 billion and expect accurate results?

 

Now, on to prayer. I will openly admit that I believe in God. I believe He listens to every prayer uttered by every human on the planet... all 6 and something billion of us. I also believe He answers every single one of those prayers. Yes, I just said that. See, the problem we're running into here is that we make the mistake of thinking that, if God is going to answer a prayer, He's going to answer 'yes'.

 

So tell me this; do you answer yes to everything? No? Wow! Neither do I! The mistake here is that we mistake God's 'no' or 'perhaps later' for not hearing us. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. If your puppy gets sick and you pray that God will heal it, and then it dies that night, God didn't ignore you. Maybe, if He'd healed your puppy, you'd have chased it out into the road the next week and gotten yourself killed. Maybe, by letting your puppy die, God saved your life.

 

Ok, so that example's rather silly, but the point is that everything happens for a reason. Just because you can't hear God say 'no' doesn't mean He didn't say anything.

 

One final thing that ran through my mind. Earlier, someone mentioned that God doesn't just up and speak to us anymore (can't remember who). They complained that, back when Jesus lived and earlier, God spoke to the people all the time... or something along those lines. But how many people actually heard the voice of God? Sure, there were a few incidents in which God's voice was heard by crowds, but mostly, it was a select few. Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Moses... come to think of it, the numbers thinned out rather rapidly after Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

 

At any rate, you can call God whatever you want, but He does hear you. He does answer you. But He's not one big 'yes' man. He's not a gigantic vending machine in the sky that you make a demand of and get what you want. Don't make the mistake of thinking He is.

 

And think of this: if God really is everything you may have heard (omnipotent, omniscient, ect.), do you really think that a Human, bound by time and space could understand His thought processes?

 

 

Oh, dear... I've rambled again. But I hope I've made some good points. I'm gonna keep my eyes on this thread... I'm interested to know your thoughts on what I've just written.

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No that's good, I think that is along the lines of what the experts teach, I'll have to look it up. I'm not really in a position to add anything to it because I am not some know all priest, but I do think that is pretty good.

 

As for people saying things like 'God's a ****ing bastard and so is everyone who follows him', they don't deserve an answer. If that is how they dispute what is presented to them then in my view they immediately lose all creditbility.

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My first comment has to do with surveys... and I'm not just talking about the ones concerning prayer. Complete and total crap, all of them. Can you really take 1 or 2 thousand out of more than 6 billion and expect accurate results?

 

I assume that by Surveys you mean the scientific studies mentioned earlier?

In which case i don't understand your logic. The results of a study of a few thousand people are definately more accurate than the annecdotal evidence of one or two stories.

 

What you are basically saying is that god's answers change nothing. Or they change such a minute number of things that asking him to change anything is pointless. That kind of makes sense.. because if there is a god (and no-one is saying we can prove that there isn't only that there is no evidence either way) then you'd have to figue he'd planned everything out that way for a reason.. so your uninformed pleas wouldn't change much.

 

Though, if, as you say, god is unlikely to ever change his plan simply because someone asks him.. and the scientists back you up on that.. then it does rather make nancy's initial post invalid.. and make the whole process of prayer rather pointless too.

 

PS/ @Nancy: don't go and ask some so-called "expert" or "know all" priest. Think for yourself. THere is no way that any expert or priest can know the mind of god any better than you or me. Any answer they give is only going to be their guess, based on no more evidence than we have.

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