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View Diary: An Atheist Running for Congress (150 comments)

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  •  No, the claim "prayer works" is testable (0+ / 0-)

    In fact, it has been tested and found to be false.

    Side question. Why do you assume a hidden motive when someone challenges religion or religious beliefs?

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 02:05:50 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

      I'd be interested in seeing definitive studies proving this. You can't really prove whether or not it has any effect, can you? Studies may indicate one way or another, but I doubt one can prove beyond any doubt.

      I didn't assume a hidden motive, I wanted to know what the motive was. It's a fair question, is it not? If I went around here speaking of my faith and sermonizing, my motives would be questioned for days, I'd bet. Why is it wrong the other way around? I asked what the motive was, rather than assuming. I'm not sure what you want to accomplish here, other than to repeat the other commenter's statements.

      Why do you feel the need to parrot my language; are you trying to use it as a subtle jab? You've done this before, I've observed. In my opinion, that habit seems to smack of some sort of self-righteousness. But that's just my opinion.

      •  If I went around here speaking of my atheism (0+ / 0-)

        and sermonizing, you would be justified in questioning my motives. Can you demonstrate that I do that?

        The point of parroting your language is to get you to examine assumptions you take for granted; in this case, that assumption that, since I am an atheist, I am aggressively seeking to convert you and others here, and that that is somehow my primary preoccupation and participation on Daily Kos.

        Of course, the facts don't enter into it, when one is operating from a prejudicial starting position.

        The purpose is not to mock you, it is to point out that, with just a simple word change or two, you find the same argument you make to be offensive. That suggests that the argument itself contains the offense, not the particular target of a particular comment.

        As for definitive studies, I don't think you are really interested in that at all. If you were, they are abundantly available on the Internet, since science is fundamentally an open process of collaborative inquiry, unlike organized religion.

        Studies, in fact, do not indicate "one way or another"; every reputable study performed has failed to show the efficacy of prayer to produce that which is prayed for; there are zero studies showing the contrary. In fact, there is zero evidence for prayer affecting anything directly or uniquely (if it makes people who pray feel better, or helps distract them from pain, so does playing chess or meditating on one's navel).

        In every other realm of human endeavor, you would consider that sufficient. For example, if someone claimed that people can measurably move the Himalayas by farting in Los Angeles, and repeated studies failed to show any mountains moving one iota from the power of farts - even one directed right at the - and there were no counter examples, I doubt you'd be saying, "Hmmm, I'd be interested in seeing definitive studies proving this. you can't really prove whether or not is has any effect, can you?"

        The point is not proving that every extraordinary claim which contradicts known scientific facts is false. The point is that there is no reason to believe an extraordinary claim that contradicts known scientific facts absent any evidence.

        The only reason intercessory prayer seems less absurd than farting to move mountains is the relative popularity of each idea.

        As we know, popularity is no indication of veracity; a great majority of the world has, at various times, strongly believed (and still does, in may cases)  a great many things that we now know aren't true.

        A claim is made. Whenever it is put to test under controlled conditions by credible testers, it fails. When does it become acceptable to say that the claim is false, without invoking your ire?

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 04:19:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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