People that claim to have experience miraculous healing or giving eye-witness accounts of such, plague me all the time. Now I could write a long-ass blog explaining the many scientific studies done on prayer as well as the power of the mind. namely: the placebo effect. But I won't as I am very tired. There is one simple question however that I ask theists when they mention healing and it is quite simple:

 

Since god is such a miraculous healer, why doesn't he heal amputees?

 

Now you might say oh Antonio what a stupid question, but stop for a moment and think about it. All these so called miracles that happened ALWAYS occur on levels we cannot see. example cancer patients ( I personally know a secular friend who is a cancer survivor, just to prove a point.) as well as people with migraines, high blood pressure, diabetes...it's almost NEVER something superficial. Now ask Mr. Theist, why won't god heal amputees? Are they not worthy of his healing? or is it just that your god is imaginary?

 

sorry for the short, choppy blog but I'm drained

 

good night, and god bless XD

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Comment by Glen Rosenberg on June 3, 2011 at 1:11am

John,

You really are working for the other side!

There is one way we can improve the ratio of atheists to theists. Deny medical care. Let the faithful rely on prayer and compare mortality rates. Gee I wonder how that will come out and in the interest of science true believers should have the opportunity to demonstrate the efficacy of prayer. Yeah that's the ticket.

Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on June 3, 2011 at 12:56am
I didn't read the whole thing, John, but that was interesting - especially the part about the chickens.  I raised chickens for awhile and they are not particularly intelligent animals nor would I say they are "psychic".   I do believe in the power of positive thinking and positive action.  When I was writing my master's thesis, I really didn't totally believe I could do it because I have a lot of challenges with MS.   I listened to positive thinking podcasts nearly everyday and sometimes even when I slept.  In spite of my misgivings that I could not finish my thesis, I did and it was extremely well received.  So I have some evidence in my own life that positive thinking works.  However, I have tried to positive think my way out of MS and other health problems.  I have tried to pray them away, have other people try to pray them away for me, and yet they remain slowly getting worse all the time.  I'm not saying it doesn't work at all for improved health, but I wouldn't rely on it totally.
Comment by John Camilli on June 3, 2011 at 12:51am

Akron, having not conducted experiments on prayer myself, I cannot attest to its validity or lack thereof. All I can say is that a lot of people think both ways, and there are a lot of experiments that indicate either possibility as well. I will say that I agree with Antonio that even positive results in these experiments do not necessarily indicate that anything supernatural is going on (frankly I think the term 'supernatural' is oxymoronic). However, what if it turned out that humans have some capacity to control and direct the natural frequencies given off by the brain? That would not be supernatural, but it would lend validity to at least one aspect of theistic belief.

 

It's my suspicion that a lot of the beliefs of theists are not actually based in bullshit. I think, through mass repetition and great lengths of time, its probable that a lot of religions have arrived at ideas that actually do reflect reality, without necessarily having an explanation of how. Prayer could be one of them. Just because we don't believe in a God or gods doesn't mean we should automatically dismiss everything that theists and their religions have to say.

 

Antonio, I thought it was interresting about the patience doing worse in recovery when they knew they were being prayed for. That seems to contradict the placebo effect. I would have expected the opposite reaction, although I suppose it would depend on wether or not the people being prayed for were theists. If not, then they might have felt the prayer was unwanted and useless and therefore their minds might ahve created that negative response in their bodies. I'll have to check out the details of study, but I doubt if that detail will be included. Bit of an oversight by the researchers IMO.

Comment by A3Kr0n on June 3, 2011 at 12:16am
John, as I told Antonio in a different post of his I'm new here. Please tell me you're playing the roll of Mr. Theist in your first post about prayer. No, I didn't read all those studies in their entirety. I scrolled and stopped at the mice experiment where remote healers woke them up faster when they prayed, then I stopped there. Not point in continuing. Man, you guys confuse the crap out of me. I thought I had dry humor, or is it?
Comment by Antonio Chambers on June 3, 2011 at 12:12am

For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. "Thoughts" may be considered as said action but lets not call this prayer. This is all scientific, nothing supernatural. I suspect the results of some of these experiments move along that line. There are also studies done that show recipients of prayer actually did WORSE than controlled patients. Other studies suggest prayer had no effect at all.

Try this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html.

 

Now one must be careful to put this thesis in the "unexplained" category, as we Do know the brain emits and receives frequencies;this is fact. There is a game that I once had the pleasure of playing called Mind-flex. it involves placing some form of receptor on your head and controlling the movement of a ball through a series of obstacles. The brain, perhaps, can influence physical matter, this is nothing supernatural or metaphysical. I'm not really an expert in this area..but I have a gist of the operation involved. Now concerning "prayer." I have yet to see proof that it works. It is far from being tested efficiently due to (in my opinion) apathy by the scientific community. Thanks for the heads up tho :D

Comment by John Camilli on June 3, 2011 at 12:04am
You already know the theist's answer to your question: God works in mysterious ways. We are wont to scoff at such statements, but can you honestly say you understood all of your parents repremands and punishments as a child? And didn't you end up thinking about some of them as an adult and realizing that, yeah, they did you some good, even though you often hated it at the time?
Comment by John Camilli on June 2, 2011 at 11:59pm
I hate to do it, but you gotta read this article from the Scientific and Medical Network. It's a reputable collection of citations of many experiments, peer reviewed and conducted in the scientific method, that actually seem to validate the efficacy of prayer, quite conclusively. I have read several of these studies in their entirety, and I simply have no alternative explanation for them. Let me know what you think.

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