CreateDebate


Debate Info

114
113
Yes, it is. No, it works.
Debate Score:227
Arguments:82
Total Votes:318
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Yes, it is. (38)
 
 No, it works. (44)

Debate Creator

geoff(738) pic



Is prayer nonsense?

Does god hate amputees?

Yes, it is.

Side Score: 114
VS.

No, it works.

Side Score: 113
11 points

Yes. Prayer is simply our attempt to bend the unknown forces of the universe to our requests. People plead to different beings and entities, and employ ritualism in different forms, but that is the bottom line.

It helps us, as it focuses us on our true desires, expresses our gratitude, and comforts us with a optimism of the unknown.

People tend to pray for those things which they feel are beyond their control, and to express vulnerability in safety.

That's all there is to it.

Side: Yes, it is.
10 points

Prayers have a number of logical flaws inherent in their very design, the foremost of which is lack of evidence that they are even answered. While some people claim their prayers have been answered in the past, obviously there is a multitude of other people who have not had their requests fulfilled, often for vital issues. Here are two extreme examples:

1. President George Bush praying for the people of New Orleans right after they were hit by hurricane Katrina, displacing thousands of people. Great load of good that did.

2. Madeline Neumann, an 11-year old girl, died of diabetes. Her parents opted for prayer instead of taking her to the hospital when she showed very noticeable signs of illness and weakening. For 30 days her insulin level dropped, dying as her parents prayed (knowing that she had diabetes).

Here's an article with some research done on the effectiveness of prayer: http://www.livescience.com/health/080410-bad-prayer-kills.html

Naturally, religious people have rushed to generate excuses for unanswered prayers. The most common excuses are:

1) There is no unanswered prayer; God just answers them in different ways than we expect them. If that is the case, what is the point of praying in the first place, especially if fatal consequences result? And even if you believe that God had answered the prayer in such a way that it appears he didn't do anything for you, HOW is that any proof that prayer is effective, in any way?

2) God chooses not to answer them. Obviously a convenient cop-out; if your prayer is not answered, why doubt the validity or effectiveness of praying when you can just assume God simply chose not to answer it? This also produces the problem that you essentially get a 50/50 chance at your prayer being fulfilled. That's the same chance you get if you were to just hope for something to happen, or carry a lucky object with you to somehow increase the chances of something good happening to you. This in no way indicates a divine power.

3) You don't believe deeply enough/ didn't pray hard enough/ lacked faith in the baby Jeebus/ etc. So only believers are able to use prayer, and if their prayers are unanswered then they just didn't pray hard enough? You think Madeline Neuman's parents prayed hard enough, considering they did so for 30 days straight? Once more, a cop-out.

For a bit of scientific research on how effective prayer is (yes, those pesky scientists are foiling religious dogma once more), check out this article: http://www.livescience.com/health/080410-bad-prayer-kills.html

There is no evidence that prayer does help. It's a 50/50 chance to get what you want, which are the odds you have if you do nothing. Thus, there's no reason to believe prayer works in the first place. If prayer worked for you, bravo, now explain how my prayers were never answered (back when I was a Christian and did have faith), or why Neuman's parents didn't have their prayers answer. Hell, tell me what makes you so special that the being who CREATED THE UNIVERSE spends his time and attention catering to your need?

Prayer is good for people who have nothing else to turn to and need comfort. Hoping that this theoretical being will take care of you does provide some solace (at least, to those who don't mind the possibility of it not existing in the first place). Then again, talking with a close friend or family member does the same. And one detrimental effect of prayer is that is erode's a person's self-reliance, putting his or her life in the hands of some unknown force, rather than taking control and responsibility themselves. For more on self-reliance, here's an interesting article from a book on Theosophy:

http://chestofbooks.com/religion/theosophy/H-P-Blavatsky/The-Key-to-Theosophy/Prayer-Kills-Self-Reliance.html

Before prayer can be considered valid, we need some powerful evidence, such as multiple prayers being answered of things that were incredibly unlikely if not impossible to have occurred otherwise (without any human influence). As it stands, prayer is indeed nonsense.

Side: Yes, it is.
3 points

Religious people go on about how god gave us free will and freedom and therefore doesn't intervene when cyclones, earthquakes etc. kill thousands. This cannot be reconciled with pleas like 'please god, rescue my cat from the tree'. Yet another blatant contradiction from the faithful unless god hears prayers, does nothing and saves reparations till after death. Maybe it's a points system.

"It's a 50/50 chance to get what you want, which are the odds you have if you do nothing." I don't quite understand this. The odds are pretty low to pray an amputated limb back. I guess it will either happen or not. I'm favouring the former!

Side: Yes, it is.
8 points

Either there is a god or there isn't. If there isn't a god, praying is nonsense.

If there is a god who reads your mind (hence hears your prayers), prayer is nonsense because god knows what you are asking before you put it into words.

If there is a god that doesn't care what you think (after all god has a lot to do besides listening to you) then prayer is nonsense.

If the only benefit of prayer is its meditation aspect, then prayer is nonsense: meditate instead.

Do a lot of people believe in a lot of different things that are nonsense? Yes.

Side: Yes, it is.

First, let's make the proposition that god is all knowing, so can hear your prayers, and all powerful, so can change things in your favor. Now, obviously the most obvious fallacy straight of is that if he knows the future is he powerful enough to change it? But let's assume that this is not a fallacy. Let's assume he can answer it. But again, only because you prayed. Is this to say if you didn't pray he would have changed the world? Again, runs into the same omniscient omnipotent paradox that we had to ignore in the first place to come to this; if he changes, then he is not all knowing. Also, i find it very egocentric to think that god will change anything because a mortal, one of six billion, asked him to. And obviously if he heard but did not answer, then what's the use praying?

Side: Yes, it is.
4 points

It's impossible to say for sure, but in all likelyhood, prayer is B.S..

First, lets look at the basic claim of prayer. According to advocates, there's some kind of super-powerful being, and that being is listening all people at all times, and it (at least occasionally) grants people's requests. Somehow, using means our science can't understand, it intervenes without detection to, say, cure your nephew's cancer or protect Kenyan refugees from enemy soldiers. This same being, according to prayer advocates, chooses to intervene much less frequently (perhaps never) on the behalf of people who aren't prayed for.

If such a being existed, you would expect people who are prayed for to be significantly more fortunate than people who are not prayed for. You would also expect that this being would occasionally help people in ways that could not happen without intervention; say, teleporting a kid out of a war zone, or giving an amputee back his legs.

This, however, does not seem to be the case. There's no reliable evidence that hospital patients who are prayed for heal at a faster rate than those who are not (see link). And there's no reliable evidence of people being saved or healed in ways that can't be explained be explained by science; there are, for instance, no reports of people miraculously getting back their lost limbs.

For prayer to work, there would have to be an elusive, super-powerful being who can hear everything we say; a being that intervenes in our lives, using unknown means, without detection. This same being doesn't help people who are prayed for significantly more often than people who aren't, and only helps people who have problems that have a chance of being fixed naturally.

Either that, or such a being doesn't exist, and prayer is just a superstition.

The latter is vastly, vastly more likely (and plausible, and logical, and consistent with observation and what we know about the universe and Occam's Razor) then the former. And without any real evidence of the prayer working, it makes little sense to believe in prayer.

Supporting Evidence: Still No Evidence Prayer Works (www.skeptic.com)
Side: Yes, it is.
3 points

If god is all knowing, all powerful, etc, then what does he care what a bunch of people close their eyes and ask for?

Praying amounts to wishing, but people actually believe that it will happen. I like it even more when people ask others to pray for something, as if god is a democratic leader listening to the majority voice.

I am not religious, just because I find it too funny to take seriously. I have wished for things, but I know that only I have the power to make things happen. but maybe, if I kneel just right, and fold my hands just right, and think really REALLY hard about something, it will come true.

Side: Yes, it is.

I prayed for money once and it didn't work so.... I think it's pretty much nonsense.

Side: Yes, it is.
2 points

While I believe prayer itself is simply another form of wishing and hoping, and do not intend to discourage its use, I do want to make clear that it has no practical application, at least within a religious sense.

For example, as Richard Dawkins notes in his book, "The God Delusion," a well-known (and rather religious) scientist, Russell Stannard spent $2.4 million testing "the efficacy of intercessory prayer in medicinal settings was mounting" (if prayer does anything).

The results, reported in the American Heart Journal of April 2006, were clear-cut. There was no difference between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not. There was, however, a difference between those who knew they were being prayed for and those who did not; but it went counter to all hypotheses. Those who knew they had been prayed for suffered significantly more complications than those who did not. The experimenters described the cause as ‘performance anxiety’, attributing the increase in complications to the fact that the patients experienced severe stress wondering why they were being prayed for, and subsequently "freaked out" if you will.

While this is slightly off topic, the reactions to this study seem to somewhat mirror this debate. Once published, these results were hotly contested by religious scientists, just as those in this debate assure us of the necessity and effectiveness of prayer. Let us entertain the idea, then, that these results had instead PROVEN the efficacy of prayer. Do you think they would have been contested for one second? Of course not! But when shown that prayer has no true bearing on reality, those entangled in religion have no choice but to rely upon their own experiences, easily explained by the theory of intermittent reinforcement within behavioral psychology; the thought that an action, such as wearing your lucky underwear (or praying, in this instance), when reinforced intermittently (getting a good grade on a test every other week that you wear them), creates a conditioned belief in the effectiveness of that action.

While prayer is a natural part of Christianity, and may be effective in "communicating with God", there is no reason to suggest that it can or does have any bearing upon reality. Indeed, rather than providing a scientific explanation, believers resort to "faith". And this is true of all facets of Christianity, or any religion. While scientific studies can disprove many of their claims, these studies are shunned unless they provide results that support the Church (as they seldom do). Indeed, this is precisely the reason that many theories, such as those of Freud, have faded into the background; they made assumptions and based theories upon untestable hypotheses, thereby blocking any sort of empirical test, and subsequently isolating themselves. It's the equivalent of the church plugging its ears and going "LA LA LA LA LA".

There you go, I stayed up until 2:09 just for you guys. Good night.

Side: Yes, it is.
1 point

Indeed, amputated limbs have never been 'prayed' back. If anything, prayer can be proven to be limited. There are many other routes for scientific enquiry on the topic which I would like to see fleshed out like the neurochemical similarities between religiosity, superstition, fear & phobia (phobia is powerful, would be interested to know if it has a presence in the mind of a believer), socio-economic and IQ correlates, artificially induced mental partitioning and the prayer-diminishing affect of Alzheimer's disease.

Side: Yes, it is.
2 points

Positive thinking is proven to be beneficial to health, not hard to see why. You're better off (in all forms) being happy than miserable.

But prayer is not positive thinking, it's wishful thinking, it's the acknowledgment of powerlessness.

You are no better praying than not, well except for the lost time and false hope.

Side: Yes, it is.
2 points

Prayers are definately nonsensical and useless in every way you look at it.

You cannot wish your problems away nor can you wish for no problems.

If prayers do work, i guess everyone will be god right now.

Prayers are definately nonsensce and i don't see how they work.

The Law Of Karma condemns the very existance of the god that creates everything in 7 days.

If there is a creator then there sure is bound to have a creator of the creator.

So when god isn't true and is just a myth, so does prayers and holy water.

If holy water and prayers truly work, i am already in heaven...

Side: Yes, it is.
2 points

In the world of psychology, prayer is the same as the self-fulfilling prophecy... that is, if it happens. If it doesn't it's got a whole other term (I dunno where my psych book is). Point is, by praying, (you can convince yourself you're actually talking to God all you want), but you're actually just talking to yourself in a sense that boosts a chance of your mind preparing to make it happen. For instance, pray that you want to ace a test tomorrow, your mind will start to do everything it can to make sure you pass that test because you're desperate enough for it. Of course, this applies to internal issues. As for outside issues, like, praying for the baby next door to be OK, or praying for your brother in Iraq to come home alive, it's really all just chance. Because then, what if the opposite happens? People that pray just choose to ignore the negatives that happen throwing off the ratio of praying working pretty massively.

Side: Yes, it is.
2 points

Even from from a theist point of view, prayer makes no sense. If God knows everything, then what good does prayer do? If god wanted something to happen to you, then it would be part of his plan, if not, then you're wasting your time.

And from an atheist point of view it certainly doesn't make any sense either.

Prayer does not work. It only appears to work when you ask for things that could happen by chance anyway. If you ask for something that cannot happen by chance, such as healing an amputee, you will see prayer always fails.

Side: Yes, it is.
1 point

Yes, without a doubt. No prayer has ever come true without a person making an effort to fulfill his/her own wish.

Side: Yes, it is.
Joelsteele(9) Disputed
1 point

what if a person prays for a friend and makes no effort- just sits there. The someone 'randomly' walks up to them and they end up being friends. You are saying that such a situation is impossible?

Side: No, it works.
1 point

yeah, can't you just think something in your head and have god hear it? what if you're mute? why are you so fucking prejudice?!

Side: Yes, it is.

If God created a divine plan, what is the point of praying?

because if he truly planned the divine plan well before man existed, then there is no point in praying because he thought out the divine plan very carefully many years before especially on Sunday when it is his day off.

Also, if he created a divine plan, then there is no such thing a free will.

Therefore, murder, poverty, starvation, inequities, destruction, war, hate then all contribute to his divine plan. Seems like God has sick humor if this is his divine plan. So, if you say that the devil causes these atrocities, then free will exists and there is no divine plan.

Can't have both divine plan and free will.

Some people make divine plan and free will seem that they are connected.

They can't because if made this divine plan, free will can't exist because he knows what you are going to do. So, if someone is going to commit a crime, he knew about it because it is part of his divine plan.

Side: Yes, it is.
1 point

A common saying is that "there are no atheists in foxholes", meaning that all soldiers pray to survive battle. However, soldiers still do die, many in horrible, painful ways. If prayer did help, none of the soldiers would die, or "God" would prevent the battle altogether.

Side: Yes, it is.
1 point

The frequency with which prayers are answered seems strikingly similar to what we would see with random coincidence.

Side: Yes, it is.
1 point

"a personal communication or petition addressed to a deity, esp in the form of supplication, adoration, praise, contrition, or thanksgiving"

-dictionary.com

Yes. Because that deity is yet in question.

In any experiments, the efficiency of prayer is at random just as simply wishing for the outcome of your choosing.

Side: Yes, it is.

Of course, how is praying to an invisible man going to help anything or anyone?

Side: Yes, it is.
1 point

Yes, trying to psychically connect with your invisible imaginary friend is utter nonsense.

Side: Yes, it is.
-1 points

Prayer is nothing but an addiction. If you are into it and works for you, good for you. Don't force your beliefs on others though. For those who r not into it take a smoke. Definitely makes you feel good. Dont get ADDICTED!

Side: Yes, it is.
5 points

Aside from arguing that 'God answers prayers', I'd just like to say that there's a lot of psychological advantages to believing in prayer. Confidence, committment and the power of vocalizing your ultimate objectives that you want to see through would definitely improve your efforts. Of course, you gotta work it, not just say it, then 'God' may help ya.

Side: No, it works.
Muaguana(154) Disputed
8 points

"God answers prayers"

Prove it.

http://www.livescience.com/health/080410-bad-prayer-kills.html

"the power of vocalizing your ultimate objectives that you want to see through would definitely improve your efforts"

The psychological benefits you mention are by no means exclusive to prayer itself. Seeking counsel with trusted friends or family members offers the same confidence and vocalizes your objectives. In fact, I think speaking to other humans is even more reassuring because there's no doubt that they are listening. Psychologists also can give counsel. Whereas you make a request to the idea of god and don't get any response back confirming that he heard you, other humans give affirmations. Also, there are people who do mistake prayer as being the solution to all their problems, and their faith in prayer can erode their sense of responsibility. Not saying this is always the case, but I've known a few theists who put too much faith in an unknown entity to run their life.

I'm not denying prayer has its benefits, psychologically (although these can easily be gained through other methods); I just deny that god answers prayers because it's not even known whether a god exists or not, and even if it was known, there's still no evidence indicating it answers prayers. It may be that the self-confidence some achieve through prayer is what helps them achieve their goals - not divine influence. This would explain the inconsistency in prayer answering much better than the cop-outs generally used by theists.

Side: Yes, it is.
mumin(215) Disputed
1 point

The topic of the debate is whether prayer is nonsense. You're out to prove that God doesn't exist. Not the same, as I argued from a psychological perspective aside from religious views.

However, I do trust in God. My ultimate objective is to do things right, rather than just get what I want. God helps me with that, so my prayers aren't futile in any case. In your case, however, your objectives come before your beleifs, it seems (since you don't have any).

When a child throws a tantrum, a wise parent doesn't always gratify his whims. God is all knowing. You can be sure you'll get exactly what you deserve.

Side: No, it works.
6 points

Prayer helps to clear thoughts and to focus our energy towards what we're trying to achieve.. Taking a moment to reflect on aspects of life that need attention and to set our minds towards a wish or a need is very beneficial regardless of one's faith.

Side: No, it works.

Yes. There is a lot of evidence of the meditative effects of prayer. Chemical euphoria for example, is not only pleasurable, but benefits your health. Besides that, I would sooner recommend someone to do actual meditation instead of the incidental meditation.

Side: No, it works.
1 point

I prefer the chemical euphoria derived from sex! :)

Side: Yes, it is.
geoff(738) Disputed
0 points

Wouldn't praying for an outcome reduce the effort you may feel you need to put in to achieve it? You're basically begging someone else to do it for you.

Side: Yes, it is.
mumin(215) Disputed
1 point

Maybe that's how it works for you. When I pray, I feel that I am increasing my chances of being successful so I know I can't go wrong. I also feel better in case it doesn't actually work out since I know my intentions are pure (since I could put prayers in to the equation). Either way, makes me feel good about life, so its not nonsense for me. Depends on how you pray, what you pray for and to whom you pray I guess.

Also, I feel a need to pray and remember God, irrelevant of whether I'm begging for something or not.

Side: No, it works.
geoff(738) Disputed
0 points

I would have thought there are more psychological disadvantages e.g. someone praying for the health of a loved one only for their condition to worsen then realising that their belief in god is bogus leading to regret for all the wasted time.

Side: Yes, it is.
mumin(215) Disputed
1 point

Being an ordinary person, putting your faith in prayer is different from pressing a button.

That way I see it, God is all-knowing, wise and ‘listens to all your prayers’ - how and when He chooses to answer them is His decision. Like your prayer, your patience will be rewarded. The same way as a good child would respect his/ her parent’s wish to, I don’t know, not eat too much ice cream and grow up not obese.

At the same time, if you pray with true conviction, would you not agree that the effect your love for the patient and for God would have is a medicine for the soul (which in fact, I consider the true self)?

To me, it’s not wasted time at all, unless you were too busy praying to attend to the physical needs of the patient, which would just be shirking.

Side: No, it works.
4 points

Prayer works. It won't always give you exactly how you want it, but it will get you to where you want to be.

Side: No, it works.
3 points

it works, but works thanks to the power of mind. Prayer give you more self-confidence, is an act of faith. But the question is ¿ If you know this, prayer works? Sorry about my English. Is not very well. Thanks.

Side: No, it works.
geoff(738) Disputed
0 points

It works with the qualification that it can't do anything miraculous e.g. regrow missing eyeball. So there are limits to god's grace.

Side: Yes, it is.
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
1 point

It can't do anything miraculous because it doesn't work. The only time it might work is through sheer coincidence. Anything that can't happen through chance, won't happen at all.

Side: No, it works.

I am in fact an atheist, but I realize that prayer and the belief in prayer can have deep psychological benefits.

Side: It's beneficial
2 points

I wouldn't have had a problem clicking the No if someone hadn't added "it works" after that. I'm not sure that prayer is supposed to work or do anything in particular. That being said, I don't think it is nonsense.

Side: No, it works.

I pray for the day I don't have to pray anymore.

Side: No, it works.
2 points

Of course it's not nonsense...prayer is something people do for comfort..when someone prays they suddenly feel safe and realize that something better is going to happen eventually..and something better does happen.

Side: No, it works.
2 points

Prayer is a request for help. It can be quite effective if you ask someone who is able to help you. Prayer is not just for theists.

Side: No, it works.
1 point

what will happen when the usa changes to the gold standard ?

Side: No, it works.
1 point

Any one ever heard of his research on how emotions effect water?

Dr. Masaru Emoto

Many of you have heard, read or studied about Dr. Masaru Emoto and his concepts involving emotions and their vibrational effects on water. We greatly respect and honor the groundbreaking research and photographic techniques that Dr. Emoto is showing and sharing with the world.

Writings from Dr. Emoto:

" Hado: The intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter. The smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness. The theory of 'Ha do' postulates that, since all phenomena is at heart resonating energy, by changing the vibration we change the substance. What has put Dr. Emoto at the forefront of the 'Ha do' phenomenon is his proof that thoughts and feelings affect PHYSICAL reality. By producing different 'Ha do' through written and spoken words, as well as music and literally presenting it to the SAME water samples, the water appears to "change its expression."

-"Our bodies are composed of seventy trillion (+/-) cells - each containing liquid/water. Water is a substance that easily adapts to its environment. Dr. Emoto freezes droplets of water, examining them under a dark field microscope with photographic capabilities. Using various positive and negative thoughts, words, ideas and music, Dr. Emoto's research has demonstrated that water's physical appearance is not the only change - molecular structure also changes. From Dr. Emoto's work we receive visual proof of human vibrational energy. He has gained worldwide acclaim through his groundbreaking research and discovery that water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness."

This sort of stuff makes me wonder just how much our angry words affect ours and others health. But then of course it may also tie in with the power of prayer to affect ill health. Music is of course vibrational and we know how that can affect animals and even plants as much as it can us.

Even I know the importance of prayer , repetition creates focus; focus become paramount , not the words.

But is this the science behind the New Age concept of energy and vibration (and I guess the old age concept of Chi?)?

Lets take a closer look.

Dr. Emoto's research has demonstrated that water's physical appearance is not the only change - molecular structure also changes.

This sounds like new age gobbledygook to me. Sounds fundamental so it must be mysterious and therefore is probably correct ?!

If water's molecular structure undergoes change then it is no longer water!

The molecule comprises 2 atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, hence the chemical symbol H2O and the chemical name di-Hydrogen oxide.

There is a molecule commonly but incorrectly called heavy water, Deuterium. This is in truth really heavy hydrogen. Its occurrence through the Cosmos [approx 0.015% by volume] is evidence that supports the Big Bang Hypothesis.

Dr. Emoto freezes droplets of water, examining them under a dark field microscope with photographic capabilities.

Ripping stuff..........but the text that follows this stunning bit of intelligence tells us nothing of what he sees.

He has gained worldwide acclaim through his groundbreaking research and discovery that water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness.

A perusal of the Wikipedia site will provide a more realistic view of Emoto's work from qualified scientists. James Randi has offered him $1m if his claimed results can be confirmed by double-blind tests. Emoto has declined the challenge so far.

Emoto also freely declares that he is not a scientist, so 'the Doctor honorific' is almost certainly bogus. The vignette to the right of the article is revealing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaru_Emoto#Water_crystal_work_and_criticism

Why be distracted by either ego? The amazing revelation's by science of the real wonders of the natural world are vastly more awe-inspiring and breath-taking than either ego battling for attention .

When we consider how the mind acts when utilizing common mental exercises like well.... focus is paramount . The words we use or the religions that formed the mantras are inconsequential to the results.

There is mounting evidence that the way we think has a direct relation to our health and environment . Although being me; I don’t think religion is required; to codify prayer as an ancient mental exercise.

Sub cultures are more and more informed . They also outnumber the theocracies that bind them. Greatest change comes from the few . The climate dictates change .

Many field studies on "spiritual" phenomena and para-normal activity have been conducted for some forty years..

Having been a stone mason on some of the most famous buildings in America for years; I have come across some interesting ancient stories . Masons have had a relationship with organized religion for thousands of years .

It is common knowledge in the trade : that religious organizations have always preferred to have their structures built out of particular stone, whenever possible .A lot of those ancient structures are reportedly haunted .

It wasn't until modern times has man discovered that granite is slightly radioactive . Radiation is a form of natural radio waves or electricity and all stone (like all matter) is slightly magnetized . Matter has a measurable background radiation . Granite causes a natural electro-magnetic disturbance.

What does that have to do with prayer or ghosts? Well..."..in order to understand your enemy you must understand yourself..."-Tsun Tsu , art of war .

What is man? Billions of cells with billions of atoms , all communicating with a central hub, the brain . How does the brain communicate? Through electro-chemicals in the nervous system .The electro-chemical organism better known as the 'brain' interprets reality through a pattern of chemicals .

Various universities and government agencies have been studying electro-magnetic patterns in the brain and found out that there are certain constants . Basic commands create electro-chemical patterns in the brain, which use a low electro - magnetic charge to communicate : up ,down , left , right and so on . The military has been developing " hands free" flying with a similar device .All are in agreement

During these studies odd happenings would occur. Aberrations would appear and objects would move completely on their own . Then .....this professor from Nevada , who happened to be experiencing and documenting the same effects with his Tesla Coil "s electro-magnetic fields. Producing not only feeling a sense of aw and uncertainty : but other altered realities over a period of exhaustive tests ; he was able to actually manipulate objects physical structure .( Sorry I can't quite recall the professors name just yet )This professor from Nevada suggested that

".. the brain was naturally programed to communicate through electro- magnetic patterns and should those patterns be disturbed; the brain then "tunes in" to any electro-magnetic field thus warping our known reality by scrambling the brains patterns; "

All modern electronics generate this charged field on some level . 'Ghost' chasers understand this phenomena and often a test is run on the electronic equipment to measure the electro-magnetic disturbance generated by the hardware and structure you expose yourself to ; like the way your house is wired and the location of power stations and the type of stone is on your land...

All thoughts in the mind, create a pattern of chemicals in the brain.

There are specific patterns that identify commands like , up down...and interpret reality .

It has been proven that low levels of radiation disrupts those patterns in the brain ; depending on the level of radiation and location of the individual...ect..

The early church only knew that certain types of stone had mysterious effects on 'believers' and created a sense of aww and uncertainty .. nothing more at the time

Stone was an ancient example .(one everyone seamed to grab for) I used it. to point out that background radiation has always been there and has been used .. Stone is only one material .

In todays modern world the walls are highly charged with electromagnetic radiation ;electrical wires , computers,microwaves, MRI ...have a much higher level of background radiation and in doing so have a much higher validity than stone .I am not saying 'stone can capture thought' ; I am saying that a variety of materials influence the 'minds' perspective and prayer helps focus the mind .

So much in fact, that this agnostic that leans heavily toward atheism is arguing for prayer; not religion.

Side: No, it works.
geoff(738) Disputed
1 point

From Wikipedia: "James Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation, has publicly offered Emoto one million dollars if his results can be reproduced in a double-blind study.[11] Randi has also stated that he does not expect to ever have to pay the million dollars."

Side: Yes, it is.

I know women that pray during sex (they say, "Oh God!" a lot) and when they use a vibrator it is like you said, it changes their physical appearance (face gets a little distorted) and I think it also changes the molecular structure of their.... wait, are we talking about the same thing?

Side: No, it works.
1 point

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Side: No, it works.
1 point

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Side: No, it works.
1 point

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Side: No, it works.

prayer has amazed me on a numberof occasions.

god really is amazing. i know people who have been healed by god. ive always been given what i needby god. he really amazes me every time

Side: No, it works.
1 point

Sick people recover = a miracle from god! Sick people die = the will of god. Sick people stay sick = pray more. You don't see how this arrangement works out in your favor regardless? Give yourself and your planet some credit, man. Credit the doctors, or modern medicine, or a positive outlook. Credit chance or hard work, don't credit wishful thinking.

Every time someone thanks god for putting food on the table it devalues whoever actually put food on the table, or worked to buy or grow it.

Side: Yes, it is.
1 point

when sick people recover inexplicably, yes it is a miracle, i dont see how you can dispute that in any way shape or form, and having seen that first hand on a number of occasions i can safely say that i know in my heart prayer works.

as for when people are healed by medicine, i dont want to take credit away from the doctors, i think they do an amazing job, but i dont see how god couldnt be working through them, and if we have been praying and god allows the doctors to heal them we should thank god for it.

as for the other two, sometimes god chooses not to heal people for one reason or another. and if its theyre time, its theyre time. i dont fear death,i cant wait for the day when i meet god face to face. its going to be EPIC!!! but have you ever watched life without limbs? its this true story about this guy who was born without limbs and he talks about how he prayed and prayed and prayed for limbs, but god said no, and god being as wise as he is, has used him to work through him, to help so many people. sometimes we arent wise enough to see how people are better off without being healed.

and as for the last paragraph, i disagree, i thank my mum everytime she puts food on the table, but i thank god that he has made us well off enough for it

Side: No, it works.

yes, but not all the time, according to Islam, verse 2:216-"but it is possible that you may dislike a thing which is good for you and you may love a thing which is bad for you" this would explain why not all the prayers of good believers are not always answered. also according to Islam: you need to not wear what is haram, not to eat what is haram, not to do what is haram and not make a living from what is haram (gambling, prostitution, etc.) , then, if Allah wills and if it is good for you, he will answer your prayer.

Side: No, it works.
1 point

Not really. Prayer actually works. You practically take time to talk to God and tell him what you need,

Side: No, it works.

Prayer gives hope, so, prayer is beneficial. A lonely person prays because he feels no one likes him. Sick people pray because they want to get better.

Side: No, it works.
0 points

I once prayed for a puppy, but my pastor told me prayer doesn't work like that, so I just stole one and prayed for forgiveness instead.

Side: No, it works.

I pray there's no God because if there is, I'm screwed!

Side: No, it works.
0 points

The Neumann's were silly to depend solely on prayers to restore their daughter's health. At the very least, I hope the Neumann's really do have enough faith in God to be able to trust his decision to take their daughter from them, in his infinite wisdom.

‘Prayers work’, you can’t always understand how so with your limited understanding of the universe, so it really comes down to a question of belief. It would be unrealistic to try and prove it, the same way as you can’t make a blind man see.

Side: No, it works.
Muaguana(154) Disputed
1 point

"The Neumann's were silly to depend solely on prayers to restore their daughter's health."

Why not? You KNOW for a fact that god "helps" you, yes? Why wouldn't he "help" the Neumann's? If god is so all loving and wonderful as you claim, why take away that which the parents love so dear, when they were so loyal and respectful to him?

"trust his decision to take their daughter from them, in his infinite wisdom."

You have no reason to assume a god has infinite wisdom (you are assuming this, just like his very existence), and you certainly have no reason to respect the will of something that wants to kill your own child when you beg and plead for it not to, and it doesn't even tell you why the death is necessary. Instead of learning from the horror of the loss and donating to organizations helping other kids with diabetes, you'd rather just say, "well, god must have intended this to happen, so I guess all kids with diabetes deserve to die." I really hope you're not a parent, if you think children are so expendable.

"‘Prayers work’"

Still waiting for you to prove it. Come on, I don't have all eternity, now.

"you can’t always understand how so with your limited understanding of the universe"

You have just as limited an understanding of the universe as I. You're in no better position. Thus I play it safe and don't make assumptions about what might exist beyond our perception because I'll never be able to prove its existence. You, on the other hand, gleefully assume away and presume plenty of details outside our "limited understanding of the universe", even though you have no reason to whatsoever. Your whole belief is based on nothing but assumptions. They are erroneous, they are unwarranted, they are unfounded. And you even admit it.

"It would be unrealistic to try and prove it"

If you can't prove it, then WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IT? Are you familiar with the term, "intellectual dishonesty", by any chance?

"the same way as you can’t make a blind man see"

Not at all. A person with functional vision cannot make a blind man see the world, however that person HAS seen the world clearly, he knows for a fact it exists with his functional sensory organs. You even admit that your contention is based on faith alone, so you don't know any more than I do (yet you're the one making presuppositions of existence). So, no, I'm not blind, and you're no better sighted than I in this universe.

Side: No, it works.
-3 points
Muaguana(154) Disputed
1 point

"God is always listening and he rewards those who honor and thank him for their blessings."

Two words: Madeline Neumann.

Side: No, it works.
ThoughtNu(107) Disputed
2 points

The only 'being' between my ears is myself. To say anything other would be psychological in nature; as all religious references are. When I 'pray' it has nothing to do with another mystical being.... ;)

Side: Yes, it is.
geoff(738) Disputed
1 point

They prayed in Auschwitz.

Side: No, it works.
-3 points
CalamtyJames(8) Disputed
4 points

A lot of people commit suicide as well, i wonder how tangible those benefits are... see how ridiculous that sounds? To make that statement you MUST PRESUPPOSE that human beings always make informed decisions, and indeed all human beings also know what is "best" for their wellbeing. The arrogance necessary, the anthropocentrism that is so deeply embedded in a statement that has the cause of many humans doing it to somehow be sufficient to lead to the effect of it being beneficial, is ASTOUNDING.

Side: No, it works.
heelspider(109) Disputed
1 point

It is a poor analogy to compare aberrant behavior like suicide to prayer, which has been practiced by the vast majority of the Western World. As ridiculous as it sounds, society can in situations benefit from the meme of suicide. Look at feudal Japan, for instance. Dishonored Samurai committed suicide, which had the positive benefit of instilling a greater sense of honor among the Samurai as a whole.

Prayer, and its Eastern equivalent of meditation, has been practiced in nearly every successful society. Memes survive for a reason; advantageous ideas multiply in popularity and negative ideas tend to fail. Societies that either prayed or meditated have triumphed and societies that did neither have fallen to the wayside.

There is no presumption of informed decision, nor that humans always know what is best for them. Quite the opposite. Humans don't always know why a meme is good. Ancient Hebrews benefited from not eating pork long before science the diseases that come from the uncooked meat. Prayer is probably been a winning meme because meditation has a positive impact on one's mental and physical health, but who is to say?

Side: No, it works.
geoff(738) Disputed
0 points

Possibly, but not necessarily a benefit to the practitioner.

Side: No, it works.