Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

Post by Angelique » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:23 pm

I really don't think atheists are hated. (What kind of sampling did the U of M study use, anyway- 100% bigots?)

But I do think that atheists who sue over any and every instance when they see some expression of religion do reflect badly on atheism. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion. I have a right to express and practice my religion, you have a right not to practice any religion if you so choose. Neither of us have the right to restrict each other in our practices, expressions, or preferred lack thereof.

[Edited on 23/3/06 by Angelique]
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by HoodedMan » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:13 pm

Originally posted by Angelique
I really don't think atheists are hated. (What kind of sampling did the U of M study use, anyway- 100% bigots?)
But yet the results of the study seem to imply so. And I don't think that such a sampling would be very scientific; it's somewhat subjective. So I doubt it.

[Edited on 23/3/2006 by HoodedMan]
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:49 pm

Well, the way some of the questions were worded seemed to weed out people who don't harbor mistrust against others on the basis of nation of origin, religion, or lack thereof.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Bamfette » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:30 am

Well, maybe 'hated' was a bit strong, but distrusted, marginalized, most certainly. If you don't trust that study, I found some other articles and surveys.... and were the ones they interviewed bigots? you bet. It just happens there are a lot of bigots...

http://www.religioustolerance.org/atheist2.htm
http://www.religioustolerance.org/amer_intol.htm
http://tinyurl.com/gupfe
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/b ... ngier.html

or the fact that not that long ago, Bush sr. said (while he was campaigning for the presidency)
Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are Atheists?

Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the Atheist community. Faith in god is important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are Atheists?

Bush: No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
And he still got elected. Despite numerous letters demanding an apology, from the American Atheist Association, the Bush administration never responded much less made a an apology, public or otherwise. Do you think that would have flown if he had said it about gays? blacks? Buddhists? This was in '87 (and I think the letters continued until 89) it wasn't that long ago. It's not so much what Bush, one person, said, it's the publics acceptance of it, when there would have been OUTRAGE if it had been said about gays, or a racial minority.

How about something more recent.... Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court:

"With respect to public acknowledgment of religious belief," Scalia wrote, "it is entirely clear from our nation's historical practices that the Establishment Clause permits this disregard of polytheists and believers in unconcerned deities, just as it permits the disregard of devout atheists."

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/03/Colum ... rica.shtml

or Lieberman:

"... the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.""

http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/elec16.htm

If YOU don't feel that way, great, good for you. But that doesn't mean it's an attitude that doesn't exist. You have never been on the other side, Ange. maybe you don't pay attention to how the word atheist is used as a slur by many people in the media even such places as ABC. Maybe you missed them reviving the old 'there are no atheists in foxholes' line after 9/11, or the college professor who got beaten up because he wanted to do a course about intelligent design from an atheist perspective. It's not so much the incidents themselves, but the fact that it's just accepted as normal to say those kinds of things. No one protests, no one says they think it's wrong except for atheists themselves or the ACLU, and they are a very small minority in America. It's very different in other parts of the world. I live in Canada where it's actually not bad at all (30% of the population is atheist or agnostic, as opposed to the US's 7% and religion pretty much never comes into play politically. But I do see what our neigbors to the south face, most of our TV channels are American, I've lived in the US for a while, and have many American friends who have lost their jobs because they revealed they were atheist, had their cars keyed because they displayed a Darwin Fish, and many other things. We're less trusted than SCIENTOLOGISTS. (% of born-again Christians who view the impact as negative * Scientology: 81% Atheism: 92% % of non-Christians who view the impact as negative * Scientology: 30% Atheism: 50% in a 1995 poll)

I think most of it is because many religious people don't understand atheism. They think we're 'angry at god' and out to get them, they think we're immoral, that we have no ethics or moral code, and are therefore bad people, we get stereotyped as cold, heartless people who can't appreciate art or beauty. 'intellectual elitists' etc. I've heard all those and many others. many people (in 'real life' especially. atheists are much more highly represented on the internet, and understanding of them is also better) have never met an atheist, or if they have, they don't know it because like gays were not so long ago and even now, many of us are still afraid to be open about our non-belief, because we know it can turn ugly and the odds are we will be judged negatively based on that one fact about us.

It's a passive discrimination. No one's out there protesting about us, we don't even register on many people's radar most of the time. but there are messages out there, a general feeling of 'atheists are bad' that extends to people making comments like the 'no atheists in foxholes' among others, and being distrustful to the point that they wouldn't allow an atheist to marry their children or vote for an atheist candidate, even if they agreed with everything else they said. Or subtle little things like being made to feel guilty for saying 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas' or defending separation of Church and State. People insisting YOU are the one being intolerant, when all you want is equality (people are asking for 'One nation under God' to be replaced with 'One nation, indivisible' not 'one nation under NO god') and (in the case of the Xmas thing) not be dishonest. pointed looks, 'put the Christ back in Christmas!' 'you don't really MEAN that do you?' blah blah blah.

btw. as I was looking for links, I came across this article which I think illustrates my point about how many atheists desire to see positive portrayals in the media: http://www.americanatheist.org/columns/ontar2.html

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Saint Kurt » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:51 pm

I'm coming to the conversation late as usual.

I think that pastor got a bargain for his $504. Hemant Mehta is doing a very good job keeping an open mind and the idea of opening such a dialog as has been opened by the project is amazing. I don't care whether anyone comes away "converted" by any of this as long they are converted in understanding and tolerance of each other.

It is interesting to read about atheists as the "least trusted group" and I would say to them, "Welcome! You now hold a position that has been held by Jews, Christians, and Muslims at various times throughout the world's history. You have truly reached a position of equality in this society of believers. Congratulations!" :D

Okay, I'm kidding, but there is a grain of truth isn't there? No one is free from scrutiny by society. We (and by this I mean the Royal We) have always passed judgement on others for all sorts of reasons we shouldn't. What we chose to believe in is one of them unfortunately. We may pass laws that say there will be no discrimination based on race, creed, religion, sexual orientation etc. but it happens anyway.

I do find the discussion of those subscribing to atheism's worry about their public image interesting though simply because of the point Lisa raises. Until recently there has been no attempt to unify those who don't believe in something - and the only reason for this would be that people usually congregate because of a common cause or trait (i.e. - we all came here because of Nightcrawler, but we end up discussing other stuff too. It would have been harder to gather this group based on "not being a fan of Cyclops" or whatever.) This isn't to say that atheists don't have a common cause, because clearly, they do, but for many many years being an atheist also meant "flying solo". Secular Humanism, Universal Unitarianism, and the many other ways atheists find common ground together are relatively new developments when compared to the length of time the "big three" religions have been around.

Personally, my only issue has ever been with "evangelical atheism" - atheists who zealously attempt to argue people out of their beliefs. Then again, I don't like religious people and organizations who attempt to argue others into accepting that only what they believe is right either, so I am equal opportunity. I know from my own experience that how one choses to view the world in terms God and spirituality is a very personal journey. Those who chose to take this journey with their eyes open, no matter where it leads them, are always rewarded. I've seen some very unhappy people who let others make the decisions for them.

And now for something new: Because this thread so often focuses on Christianity vs. the world I am constantly looking for ways to bring other religions in. I found this, this morning:

Convert from Islam Sentenced to Death

There are a lot of things that are interesting about this article. The first is that it demonstrates firsthand what it's like in a country that really doesn't have a separation of church and state*. Afganistan has a "state religion" and that is Islam - anyone who rejects it is breaking the law. It's a real human rights violation and even though human beings have been killing each other in the name of God for centuries, it's still shocking.

But what is even more interesting is that other governments are attempting to intervene. It makes me ask so many questions, but they all boil down to one: "Why now?" I can think of quite a few times in recent history when governments and people have abused people in the name of religion and no one in any political power did anything. Some of them have been discussed in this very thread. But, why now? Why this one guy in Afganistan?

I don't have an answer of course, but it will be interesting to see where this goes.

-e



*An interesting fact: The US Constitution does not contain any laws requiring separation of church and state. The only protection against a religious government in the Constitution is a law against the creation of a "state religion" (as declared by the first amendment). And example of creation of a state religion would mean the government enacting a bill declaring the US a "Episcopal Nation" where everyone is Episcopalian by default of living here. Rejecting that state religion could become against the law as it has in Afganistan.

The first amendment protects against this, but it does not necessarily provide protection against enactment of religion based laws by the government. This is an important nuance that many people misunderstand.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Crawler » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:44 pm

Ah, but absolute separation of church and state is the only way to not declare an official state religion.

It's like product placement. By placing Pepsi in your movie, you are endorsing it, whether you mean to or not. By basing laws on a faith, you are endorsing that faith, whether you mean to or not.

And Jill's post was not meant to be a "look! we're so hated! everyone sucks!" She was pointing out that now, in the modern day, in this country where political correctness is nearly universal, where if a candidate badmouthed the "marginalized" (that's in quotes because it's what they call it, not because I don't think it's true) Muslim community, they'd be met with protests and a media uproar, it's okay to publically state, in a national interview, while on the campaign trail, that you think that atheists should not be considered citizens.

You may as well doubt their status as human.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Saint Kurt » Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:21 pm

As our discussion had moved in a direction that was becoming more involved in government and foreign political matters (with regards to religion) I felt it was going a little off topic and deserved it's own thread.

You can find it here: Religion, Government, and Foreign Politics

Enjoy!

-e
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

Post by Slarti » Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:54 pm

I saw this on CNN today and had to share it. Anderson Cooper sets up our discussion question in the last line of his column – exorcisms, are they real or not?

http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderso ... tulsa.html

This exorcist, Bob Larson, has been around for a long time and was one of the central figures back in the satanism scares of the 80s and 90s. I’ve even read a couple of his books while doing a psychology paper back in the day. In my opinion, exorcisms in general are bunk and in particular this Larson is exploiting the mentally ill. Of course, there’s no proof either way, just lots of opinions as the active feedback so far to Cooper’s column proves.

Here’s Larson’s site, obviously favorable, and his Wiki entry:
http://www.boblarson.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Larson

And since his detractors are kinda spread out, here’s a couple of links for them too:
http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/larson.htm
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a ... hs&id=4795

[Edited on 27-3-2006 by Slarti]

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:58 pm

I don't think all are bunk, and it is hard to generalize based on one guy.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by LadyErin » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:42 am

Well...since I believe in ghosts, spirits, daemons, Gods, etc...;)
I do believe in hauntings, possessions, and exorcisms, although I think people and places can be haunted but for the most part are not possessed - things can be.

But uhem...this guy? No. And honestly....no offense meant to any Christians...but I am highly doubtful that a Christian rite of exorcism would do much good in many cases.

Because IIRC, didn't 1/3 of the angels fall with Satan? That left 2/3's with Jesus and Co*.? Which leaves him really out numbered....

So the majority of the bad things out there would be from a different mythos** and the rites needed to deal with them would be different but since most Christians refuse to acknowledge there are different ones, they are kinda stuck.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:20 am

Actually, yes. Perhaps Em can answer that better than I can, but God has a name- that we don't use. And Catholics frown upon tossing the Lord's titles around lightly.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by fourpawsonthefloor » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:25 am

Originally posted by Angelique
Actually, yes. Perhaps Em can answer that better than I can, but God has a name- that we don't use. And Catholics frown upon tossing the Lord's titles around lightly.
Sorry - I may just be a fluffhead, but I didn't understand what you meant by "actually, yes". Sorry if I am the only one...

As for the "lords name in vain thing" it is my understanding that most religions frown upon it. However, if a person is not of those religions, they by default don't have to follow the rules of that religion, right?

What I believe is that there are ghosts, spirits, angels and such a thing as an "imprint" on things or places - for example a battlefield may carry an "imprint" of horror, sadness or pain. I personally don't believe in demons, the devil or possessions, but I think that there are "black souls" or in other words, really nasty people.

But we won't really know till we bite the big one. If I die before you do and you want me to try and let you know I will. You may have to wait a while. :D

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by The Drastic Spastic » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:35 am

Originally posted by fourpawsonthefloor
As for the "lords name in vain thing" it is my understanding that most religions frown upon it. However, if a person is not of those religions, they by default don't have to follow the rules of that religion, right?
And "Lord's name in vain" is interpreted by most groups as a prohibition against using the name as a swear, not against simply saying the name. Or names. There are a lot.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Saint Kurt » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:34 am

Originally posted by fourpawsonthefloor
Originally posted by Angelique
Actually, yes. Perhaps Em can answer that better than I can, but God has a name- that we don't use. And Catholics frown upon tossing the Lord's titles around lightly.
Sorry - I may just be a fluffhead, but I didn't understand what you meant by "actually, yes". Sorry if I am the only one...
You're not Paws.

I was trying to puzzle out this answer that I had about a name for God that "we don't use" along with the Catholic prohibition on tossing around the Lord's titles earlier and all I could come up with was "YHWH", which is used (and not used) in Judaism. Loosely translated it means "I Am" which his how God referred to himself when he addressed Moses in the form of a burning bush.

I say "used" because it's the most common form found in the ancient Hebrew texts and I say "not used" because you won't actually see it written down in any Jewish scripture or said aloud by any Jew. Jewish law considers any sort of representation of God's name anywhere to be blasphemy and so for that reason God is never actually referred to this way. Instead Jews say "Adonai" (Lords) or "Elohim" (Dieties)**. In English they would write or type the word as "G-d".

**Isn't odd that the words Jews use for God are plural?

As for tossing the Lord's titles around lightly, surely this does not apply to the answering of a question that has been asked in earnest with good intentions?

Though I'm not sure if I understand the original question - if you are asking about a name for the Christian monotheistic God Lady_Erin, you need to first look at the Trinity and understand the concept of a single God manifested in 3 persons.

One of these manifestations is named Jesus. The other two do not have proper names, but rather descriptions such as "The Holy Spirit" or "The Father Almighty". And even Jesus has titles added to his name such as "Christ" which means "annointed one" or "Messiah".

Otherwise, the Drastic Spastic's Wikipedia link is an excellent overview - much better than anything I could come up with on my own. :)

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

Post by LadyErin » Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:21 am

So, to be respectful, "Adonai"or "Elohim" would be what I should use?

Because, while using a title (god) is completely respectful, I understand that to say to most Christians, 'As I understand it your god...' or 'As far as I know, god...' would be disrespectful because in that since "god" is used as a name, a formal form of address (which is what a title is) and should then be capitalized.

However, I would only use 'God' in refenace to my patron god (subject here, not title) and never 'Lord' to any but him - so it leaves me without a word to use, leaving me a little lost.:doh!

Sometimes, things get too complex and makes me want a juice box, animal crackers, and go lay down on a matt for a nap....
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[Edited on 30-3-2006 by LadyErin]
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

Post by Saint Kurt » Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:33 pm

Well, given that our current society is mostly monothiestic it would be easiest to grab your juice box, animal crackers and just refer to the monotheistic God as "God" - letting Him share a title momentarily with your Patron (while still respecting your Patron) for the sake of being understood. :)

If you were to go about truly trying to reference the concept of the monotheist God by separate names, you would need to also begin referencing the religious tradition the names come from as well. It would get complicated. I'd need a nap too I think.

-e

{Edited because my original answer was dumb...}

[Edited on 29/3/06 by Saint Kurt]
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by HoodedMan » Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:44 pm

Well, I just make life simple and refer to "Bob, Bob being the primary object of worship in most major monotheistic religions". :)
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by LadyErin » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:54 am

Originally posted by Saint Kurt
Well, given that our current society is mostly monothiestic it would be easiest to grab your juice box, animal crackers and just refer to the monotheistic God as "God" - letting Him share a title momentarily with your Patron (while still respecting your Patron) for the sake of being understood. :)
While for a long time I refered to him as "Abraham's God" or "God of Abraham" since that allowed for both Judism and Christianty but I didn't know if it did for Islam...
If you were to go about truly trying to reference the concept of the monotheist God by separate names, you would need to also begin referencing the religious tradition the names come from as well. It would get complicated. I'd need a nap too I think.
See, this is when I say, "I will ask someone who actually knows what they are talking about and bow to their knowlegde." Saves my brain.
Originally posted by HoodedMan
Well, I just make life simple and refer to "Bob, Bob being the primary object of worship in most major monotheistic religions".
:LMAO That works for me.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:13 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00902.html

Duh.

I'm not going to say that there is no importance to prayer. I think on a personal level its very important. And perhaps a sick person who is told they are being prayed for feels a bit of love from those around them and is given more motivation to really fight.

But...seriously. They did a whole study on this?
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Saint Kurt » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:49 pm

I saw this this morning as well and thought about posting it here. I'm glad you did Nacht because I just never got around to it.

I have met people claim to have experienced miracle cures due to the power of intercessory prayer. I'm not talking like, "I stubbed my toe and we prayed and the pain went away", but "I was in a coma ready to undergo heart surgery when I was 16, but I woke up one morning totally cured - the doctors couldn't figure it out" kinds of stories. I am a skeptic and a believer in science. Remember my faith was deepened by a greater understanding of science and medicince so while I don't think you can scientifically prove the existance of God, I do think you can sometimes see God's "footprints" in scientific study. I don't like squishy anecdotal evidence.

So I never know what to make of these miracle cure stories. I don't want to believe them because it doesn't make sense to me. But on the occasions I have been told these stories, it has been by people I trust. Why would they lie to me (and everybody else) about this? So I end up sitting on the fence feeling unconfortable about it all.

I don't know if I like this study either. What purpose does it serve? Should doctors now say to families, "Now, whatever you do, don't pray for your sick loved one, they will have a 60% chance of complications after the surgery."

-e

(edited to fix some crazy mark up mistakes)

[Edited on 31/3/06 by Saint Kurt]
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:00 pm

Exactly Em. It's like, why are people focusing on proving or disproving the power of prayer when there are a ton of things that are alot more relevant/the outcome will make more of a difference to focus on. Not to sound too snarky, but it's like trying to prove whether or not a person can have the soul of a dragon. So what? The person who never believed it will now have a worthless study to back them, and the person who does believe will still believe. What's the point??

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[Edited on 31/3/06 by NachtcGleiskette]
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

Post by Angelique » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:18 pm

They've done more than one study on that, each with conflicting results. And I do rather think the wording of this article kind of suggests, "Don't bother praying for anyone other than yourself or your buddies, because it won't work. It could even make things worse."

Also, the things being prayed for were a bit subjective. A quick recovery for one may take longer than for another, and the presence or relative lack of complications may depend on myriads of variables, only one of which, the patients' stress levels and their ways of responding, was vaguely accounted for in the article. (And sometimes simply saying "boo!" to some perfectly healthy people will unsteady their heartbeats.)

Quite frankly, however, I don't understand how being told someone's praying for another person can make things worse. I would also think that hearing someone you don't even know is gunning for you would actually relieve stress. Unless they phrased it in such a way as to emphasize the possibility that the patient won't have a quick, healthy recovery with no complications, like telling the Catholic patients that their prayer team is doing a novena to St. Jude (patron saint of hopeless causes).

Okay, yes, an exaggeration there. But the point is the study might have had different results, or the article would be more reliable, if the patients' attitudes regarding prayer in general and their place on someone's prayer list were taken into greater account. Someone who tends to only pray in times of utter desperation may be more stressed about knowing someone's praying for them. Someone who prays day in and day out, often as a simple matter of checking in "just because," probably wouldn't stress about someone else praying for them.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by fourpawsonthefloor » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:52 pm

I personally think that prayer can help, even if you just subscribe to the "mental health only" portion of it. (in that someone could believe that they will get well because people are praying - the mind is a pretty powerful thing). Its like anything "non-medical" helping, like for example therapy animals.

However, I agree with you nacht - I think its a funny thing to be studing to death. A person is going to pray if they are going to pray, and if not then they're not going to - regardless of these studies. I mean - put the money to "real" research.

I personally believe that faith can be pretty amazing - but I also think that when it is your time, its your time.

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by The Drastic Spastic » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:22 pm

Originally posted by Saint Kurt
So I never know what to make of these miracle cure stories. I don't want to believe them because it doesn't make sense to me. But on the occasions I have been told these stories, it has been by people I trust. Why would they lie to me (and everybody else) about this? So I end up sitting on the fence feeling unconfortable about it all.
I don't think they're lying, I think they genuinely believe that was the way it went. And there isn't really anything wrong with that, except that if you call things "miracles" you won't bother to look into why/how it actually happened.

The truth is even if God is hanging out one day and benevolently chooses your prayer to answer, the answer is simply not going to be a ray of light and a chorus of angels. Something has to happen in, you know, reality. We might not understand what happened right now, but that doesn't mean it's beyond understanding.

And the difference between 52% and 59% is negligible. I'd like to see the actual study because I want to know how they decided that was a significant result.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Bamfette » Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:38 am

I don't know if I like this study either. What purpose does it serve? Should doctors now say to families, "Now, whatever you do, don't pray for your sick loved one, they will have a 60% chance of complications after the surgery."
I don't think it had any purpose beyond knowing. I don't think they intended for it to direct people's behavior. They just wanted to know, so they did the study. I think the emphasis on the higher number of complicatons was spin put on it by reporters. The people doing the study would have probably predicted a slight discrepency one way or the other, if the results came back pretty much even. the odds of an exact 50/50 split are pretty steep unless the sample is ENORMOUS. but would not have known which side got the (slight) higher complications number until the study was complete... after they released the numbers, reporters added the spin. The study "did not move us forward or backward" in understanding the effects of prayer, said Dr. Charles Bethea, a co-author and cardiologist at the Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. "Intercessory prayer under our restricted format had a neutral effect." ... Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School, co-principal investigator of the study, agreed. "We cannot come to a conclusion, except to say that by this study design, with its limitations, this is what we found," he said. So the people responsible for the study call it a 'neutral' effect, and don't emphasize the discrepency.

though I'm wiht Nacht - duh. of course that's going to be the result. but then, it gives some numbers. So, whatever. I think praying is more beneficial to the person saying the prayer than the person being prayed FOR, personally. Keeps them calm while waiting, gives them hope. Probably has some effect on the person being prayed for *if they know* or if they are praying for themselves.... but I have also heard it varies depending on what you're suffering from....

[Edited on 7/4/06 by Bamfette]

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