Astreja: I, too, am in the medical field. And I have heard doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians, and others give credit to God for MIRACLES when there was a reverse in an illness or condition that could not be attributed to anything done by those medical professionals.
I'm also in the medical field. And I can tell you that I have seen many instances where people get better or reverse a condition without any known reasoning behind it. To chalk that up to God is to do so without evidence that it was God that intervened. The only reason a medical professional would give credit to God is if they first believed that God worked miracles. Of course, for them, things look like the work of God, because they have created in their minds a supernatural agent that has the capability to do such things. Every religion out there does this. Every single one. Again, the problem is that they have no evidence that God (or Allah, or Vishnu, or what-have-you) had anything to do with it . You don't see X-rays that say "Jesus was here" on them. You don't have MRI's that show unequivocal evidence that the only possible thing that could explain a reversal of fortune is the hand of the Allah. That stuff doesn't exist. Yet because they THINK God exists, it automatically follows that they give God the credit. The rest of us shake our heads and are honest enough with ourselves and say "I don't understand how this person got better, but that doesn't mean a supernatural entity is the only possible explanation."
Now, on the flip side of this... What about all those times where someone went from perfectly healthy to horribly sick in a very quick period of time, and for no known reason? Is this too, a "miracle"? Would those same doctors and nurses and X-ray techs (all fallible humans, btw, who are capable of misreading previous exams and scans) also chalk these instances up to the work of their God? Would you ever hear a doctor say, "I'm sorry sir. Your son was perfectly healthy 20 minutes ago, and he just stopped breathing. It must be a miracle! God's plan is perfect, after all." No, they would not. Because they do not believe in a Deity that is willing to do such a thing. Even though it is the EXACT SAME SCENARIO, only working against the patient instead of for them. It is an event they do not understand, yet they do not classify it as a miracle.
Do you see the problem with the whole thing now? The medical professionals who believe in God profess that anything they don't understand is obvious evidence for God, but only if it goes in the patients favor. If it goes against the patient, however, it's not God. It's just bad luck, or a turn for the worse. I say there is no evidence that God is real, and an unexplainable turn for the better or for the worse is just something we can't explain... yet.
I actually have a problem myself with people believing that prayer to God convinces Him to heal someone (or perform a miracle), like he's a genie in a bottle.
So prayer to God is worthless in terms of making any sort of noticeable change in the world. That's a old, but clever way to hide it. How would a God that makes no noticeable change in the world differ objectively from one which isn't real? If I said I believed very strongly in a God named PAkjfdlasj, and when you asked me to tell you why my god doesn't answer prayers, I said that he's just not in to that sort of thing, would that even remotely convince you that it was real?
I do not view prayer in that manner. Prayer is communication with God, a means of developing a relationship with the One Who loves me more than anyone on this earth could love me.
Alright. There is some serious cognitive dissonance going on here. Have you ever looked at the world around you? I mean, taken a good look at things? Around the world, millions of people are starving to death. Tens of thousands of children die every day from starvation. Cancer kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. Plagues, famine, death, war, destruction are all over the place. And a good portion of it is caused by religious belief. Yet you sit there and think God is great because he's chosen to love YOU? Do you think God loves everyone? And if you do, what criteria would you use in real life to assess whether or not the most powerful being in the universe "loves" everyone? There is abundant evidence throughout the world to prove beyond any doubt that if God is real, there is no chance that he loves everyone. No chance.
Very loosely similar to talking with your fiance, learning who he is, what he likes, what he believes. You marry and keep on talking. You learn more and more about this person, become emotionally closer to him, love him more deeply. You get to the point of trusting him. Trusting he will love you through good and bad, he will protect you, he will accept you even when you fail. Of course with a couple, that relationship must progress on behalf of both parties or the relationship will fail.
So... why is it that we let people who claim to talk to GOD roam free in society, but if people claim they talk to anyone other than God, we put them in a home?
Look, 54East. You do not have a relationship with God. I'm sorry, but you don't. And if you think you do, it is nothing more than an invisible friend, and perhaps you should seek some help for this. You are making this out to seem like God is some sort of being you can have conversations with, and quite frankly, that's nuts. Everything you said here is correct about human to human relationships, but God is only in your head. Seriously, this paragraph is a bit disturbing.
When that relationship is between man and God, God already knows and loves and accepts man. Man must learn to know and love and accept God. Prayer is the best way to develop that relationship.
White noise. God isn't real. Imagine me saying that to you and substituting the word God for Santa. That is how I, personally, view what you are saying here. What would you think of me if I said that to you? Wouldn't you be like... whoa, this guy's lost it.
So...even though I have fervently prayed for God to heal someone or protect someone or to let me win a lot of money or to make me thin (always wanted to go to a faith healer and see if he would shove me to the floor and I get up thin!!) But in that prayer--many times pleading--I am pouring out my heart to Him, telling Him my desires, developing that relationship.
In other words, you were asking him to do something for you because you didn't like whatever situation you were currently in. That doesn't sound like relationship building. It sounds very childish. Imagine if you were God, having to hear this crap all the time. I imagine for him, it would be a lot like being in a car full of kids and they are all yelling that they want to stop for ice cream, and you can't stop for ice cream because nobody's eaten dinner yet. And you're sick of driving because you've been stuck in traffic for 3 hours on the GW bridge and there is this freaking 18-wheeler in front of you that smells like chickens, and there's nowhere to pull off and.... Can you see God turning around and screaming, "Stop whining about the ME damn ice cream or I'm gonna' climb over this seat and spank the crap out of all of you!"
Truth is, every time you pour out your heart to God, nothing changes. You even admit it. God doesn't do anything. Nothing changes. Take it another step and ask yourself... wouldn't this be the exact same result that you would get if God did not exist?
Also, I'm curious. Why would you need to tell God your desires? Doesn't he already know them?
Like in the married couple's relationship, the wife tells her husband what she wants, even if she know she isn't going to get it (because of finances or something that is physically impossible for her husband to do), so I tell God what I want because that is what helps me develop my relationship with Him.
Within reason, you could probably go about proving that you have a husband. I mean, a daily interaction with the husband is a very good indicator that you have a husband.
This whole thing is such a mind job. You've got this invisible friend who you think you can talk to and develop a relationship with, and it's all in your head but you can't even see that. You have anthropomorphized this God figure to be just like another person who you can talk to, and plead your case to, and develop this relationship with, yet none of it occurs in reality. You don't see God, you can't hear him. You can't sense him in any way at all, yet you still believe He's there.
The way you cover up the non-evidence for this being is by giving it ZERO characteristics that could be verified in some way. "Oh, I've got a problem with people who think God answers prayers," you say. Guess what? So do we! Why? Because God doesn't answer prayers. But this is where your logic and ours part ways. We, as atheists, then move on to look for other reasons why it might be reasonable to believe in God. We look at the bible.... failure. We look at the world around us... massive failure. We can't hear, touch, taste, smell, see, test, measure, experiment on anything about God to know if it's real. Soooo, wait a minute, maybe it's not real, we say! Then the snowball starts to roll downhill.
All we can do is sit here and listen to you rattle on about how to develop this relationship with your personal invisible friend, and it just makes me shake my head. It's completely looney. What sort of brainwashing does it take to convince someone that this stuff is true?
Ultimately the goal is to get to "Your will be done" because I know that God's plan is perfect and mine is self-serving.
If this is true, then worshiping your God is just about the last thing I would ever choose to do. I would never worship a God who's perfect plan includes death, war, famine, genocide, rape, murder, AIDS, cancer, starvation, and so many more terrible things.
Why would a prayer such as "God, please cure cancer around the world" NOT be part of a perfect plan? Why would a prayer such as "God, please give everyone some food" NOT be part of a perfect plan? Are those self-serving? Yet, God does not answer those prayers. Are you saying the reason is that they are selfish prayers?
I apologize for such a long post. Please don't kick me out of here! I have recently become extremely interested in why atheists believe what they believe and want to learn more. There are some real goofballs on You Tube who post their opinions (atheists and Christians alike), but I want some serious discussion. Thanks. Have a good night (or day, if you are on the other side of the world!)
We don't kick out Christians until they earn it. We like having them here.
The thing about atheists, however, is that the only thing we have in common is what we do NOT believe. We do not believe in God. After that, there's many different takes on things. I dare say that most atheists do not believe in God because there is no evidence that God exists.