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Old 02-11-2010, 05:47 PM   #166
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there's no question that prayer and meditation can have untold positive effects on the individual, and there are links between mind/body that are continually being discovered. however, to say that "prayer works" = "existence of a deity" is not correct, and that precisely is putting a narrative over something we don't yet understand.

also, let's not forget about this:

Parents in Prayer Death Get 6 Months in Jail - ABC News

i don't think that anyone is advocating this approach to healing at all, and i also don't think it's entirely fair to dismiss the positive things that spiritual practice can offer to those who are sick and suffering.
I believe what's being 'dismissed' is that prayer alone is responsible straightening crooked legs and backs
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:08 PM   #167
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I believe what's being 'dismissed' is that prayer alone is responsible straightening crooked legs and backs


agreed. but i do think that spiritual practices can be a very important part of healing from sickness and injury in even a physical way.
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:57 PM   #168
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agreed. but i do think that spiritual practices can be a very important part of healing from sickness and injury in even a physical way.
Whatever gives each of us strength.

But ultimately any unexplained recovery from a debilitating condition just means that we're not yet smart enough to know, medically what happened.

Thousands of years our medical practices will probably be probably be looked upon as being as barbaric as we regard dipping suspected withces in water.

I can just hear it - "They actually used radiation to cure cancer, slice open people's skulls and ripped bits of brain out to get rid of tumors, and when (insert unknown as of yet bodily behavior here) happened they thought it was due to prayers......"
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #169
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And a year ago my wife and I miscarried.

I understand the emotion behind this. I really do. At the same time, it's not like the world gets any better if you remove God from it. So, like I said before, maybe suffering doesn't prove the absence of God. Maybe God is found in the hands that pull people alive from the Haitian rubble long after they're supposed to be dead.
A God that is capricious enough to let a random sample of people survive a disaster isn't admirable, and the concept that God is in human goodness steals our finest qualities.
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:12 PM   #170
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Truth is subjective.

But you're being difficult or you're being delusional. I'm still not sure which.
Don't surrender the argument like that, the facts are not a free for all and we should emphasise some truths (for instance intercessory prayer doesn't work in clinical trials).
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:16 PM   #171
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agreed. but i do think that spiritual practices can be a very important part of healing from sickness and injury in even a physical way.
Clinical studies show that being prayed for (and knowing about it) increases post-operative complications from heart surgery; and whatever benefits we find for prayer I would wager are an example of the placebo effect rather some entirely undiscovered mechanism.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:14 PM   #172
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Don't surrender the argument like that, the facts are not a free for all and we should emphasise some truths (for instance intercessory prayer doesn't work in clinical trials).
I wasn't surrendering. Merely recognizing that the whole exchange was going to become a game of semantics and bullshit passing as "truth" because "I wasn't there."

It's hard to find a logical way to describe how Nathan is wrong to Nathan himself.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:57 PM   #173
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It is a challenge, in that case I think its worth highlighting not only how incredible the claim is (thoughts in one persons brain being picked up by a higher power who fixes another persons body) but how arbitrary such interventions are.

Innocent children with pious parents die from cancer while paedophiles go into remission (I only have 24 years on this planet and I've already come across examples of this with friends and relatives - so it's unlikely to be that rare).

If we give God a role in some small good then we have to admit its responsibility in a lot of evil, it makes problems where there are none.

I can understand and make sense of viruses, parasites, mutations, and accidents in our Godless universe, I would be very disturbed if there was a guiding force behind all that suffering - and if somebody wants to make the argument that sin causes all human disease kindly pay attention to harlequin ichthyosis (and other design failures) and go fornicate with yourself.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:15 PM   #174
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I have for years dismissed any idea of an interventionist God as nothing but lunacy.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:46 AM   #175
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Ironically, so have I. This perennial atheism debate probably brings out the worst in me and I'm conscious of that, but the last page or so did call this back to my mind.

Perhaps a better way to put it, for me personally, is that if there are unexplainables that might in some rare case be miraculous, they are always the exception to the rule.

But I know, the argument isn't with religious faith (right), it's with fundamentalism. Right? Yeah.
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:30 AM   #176
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Like I said, I have no problem with religious faith that isn't harmful.
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