Author Topic: Prayer doesn't work  (Read 4159 times)

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Online DumpsterFire

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #58 on: July 30, 2012, 05:20:07 AM »
Aside from the obviously ridiculous notion (which has already been acknowledged, thankfully) that the student in this story is Einstein, there is simply no way a legitimate atheist University professor, or any reasonably learned atheist, would respond to the following questions thusly:

Student: Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
 
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
 
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
 
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class is in uproar.)
 
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class breaks out into laughter.)
 
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain,sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
 
Prof: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

None of the student's very loaded questions are difficult to refute, yet the professor doesn't even attempt to do so? Absurd. Having the atheist professor conclude the toothless "defense" of his position by saying "I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son."? Preposterous.

This is just one of many idiotic and untrue stories crafted by theists for theists to reaffirm their own faith. No one who isn't already gleefully aboard the delusion train gives these tales any credence whatsoever.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #59 on: July 30, 2012, 05:26:55 AM »
A professor being thrown by something outside his field of expertise, even if momentarily, would be all that is required for the developmeent of such a story to commence.

No, it's not. It's also necessary that the professor be a complete moron so as not to know why we can be certain wind exists and why cold and heat exist, et cetera.
EDIT: In short, it's necessary that the professor be as dumb as Bill O'Reilly.

A professor of English Literature might struggle to counter such arguments. They're not filled with knowledge on every subject. Especially not if put in the spot.

We're agreed that the story as commonly related is nonsense, but I for one have no difficulty in believing that certain aspects of it might have occurred, in one way or another. And at some point somebody has thrown together a bunch of anecdotes into what we have today.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 05:28:55 AM by magicmiles »
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #60 on: July 30, 2012, 05:35:24 AM »
A professor of English Literature might struggle to counter such arguments. They're not filled with knowledge on every subject. Especially not if put in the spot.

It's called "common knowledge". We know what wind is, we have observed thoughts and we know why things feel hot or cold to us. This doesn't require perfect knowledge of particle physics.

We're agreed that the story as commonly related is nonsense, but I for one have no difficulty in believing that certain aspects of it might have occurred, in one way or another. And at some point somebody has thrown together a bunch of anecdotes into what we have today.

Not every group of stories ends up like the Bible, you know. It is well known that this story was entirely made up.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #61 on: July 30, 2012, 05:54:57 AM »
Pianodwarf posted this a few months back.  And I just thought it was worth reposting:


Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #62 on: July 30, 2012, 06:04:16 AM »
A professor of English Literature might struggle to counter such arguments. They're not filled with knowledge on every subject. Especially not if put in the spot.

It's called "common knowledge". We know what wind is, we have observed thoughts and we know why things feel hot or cold to us. This doesn't require perfect knowledge of particle physics.

But it may require more than 2 seconds thought, occasionally. Some arguments, cleverly delivered, can deceive even those they really shouldn't. And that is all it takes for an anecdote to exist, and anecdotes can be moulded into anything.


Not every group of stories ends up like the Bible, you know. It is well known that this story was entirely made up.

You can't possibly demonstrate that conclusively, any more than I can demonstrate conclusively that it evolved from anecdotes based on actual events.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2012, 06:09:12 AM »
You can't possibly demonstrate that conclusively, any more than I can demonstrate conclusively that it evolved from anecdotes based on actual events.

http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/religion/a/einstein_god.htm
I'll give you more than 2 seconds thought to find a way to dodge the fact that your theist buddies are liars.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #64 on: July 30, 2012, 06:13:11 AM »
Pianodwarf, look at this video

I do not watch videos if the one posting the video has not either: a) provided a summary of why it will be worth my time (I'm a busy man) or b) shown me thru past experience that whatever video he is showing me will definitely be worth my time.

Quote
Is kind of unfair to do this but thanks to my experience plus studies in anthropology, religion and physics, the shuara men and the magical properties of ayahuasca, all provided by God I was able to bring some light to you.

Rather than showing me your insecurity and probable actual lack of expertise in a particular field by telling me that you have a bunch of experience and education in that field, why don't you just tell me what you know, if anything?

Quote
Pianodwarf, sire.  Tribes don't live in the jungle, they live in their well constructed homes.

Is it your view, then, that there are no tribes living in the Amazon rainforest?

Quote
From your daring point of view we all live in the jungle, please.

"Please" is right.  I never said anything like that and wouldn't even try to.  For there to be even the remotest possibility of that being true, all inhabited land areas would have to be jungle, and obviously they aren't.

Quote
I dare you to find any tribes living like animals without tools and science.

There may well not be any such tribes anymore, I'm honestly not sure.  But man was not always a toolmaker.

Quote
there is no factual prove of men living in the jungle, men always build something always change the surroundings to survive.

Same answer.

Quote
Now thanks to science (science is God's creation too

Science was invented by man.  Yahweh had nothing to do with it.

Quote
we know that Homo Sapiens was very different from the other hominids and was not result of any evolution, it seems that Homo Sapiens were the exterminator of the other hominids and apparently the dinosaurs were also killed by Homo Sapiens and not by any meteorite or comet or anything like that. Forget about anthropology from the 70s and 80s, look at the science now.

This is so factually inaccurate as to not merit a response.

Quote
well, is it licit to show you a video of a tribe in the amazonian region?

See response above.

Quote
PD: there is also not factual prove that Jesus ever existed

You don't say.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2012, 06:27:32 AM »
You can't possibly demonstrate that conclusively, any more than I can demonstrate conclusively that it evolved from anecdotes based on actual events.

http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/religion/a/einstein_god.htm
I'll give you more than 2 seconds thought to find a way to dodge the fact that your theist buddies are liars.

I googled that 30 minutes ago and read it. It actually got me thinking about the possible ways a story such as the Einstein one and similar ones might evolve. And whilst its certainly possible that somebody, at some point in time simply wrote them down without ever having heard or known of such incidents, it is also possible that over the years a series of anecdotes vaguely similar to what we see in todays versions was compiled, edited together, etc etc. Impossible to 100% verify either way.

I consider that incidents reasonably similar to those described are likely to have occurred at some point in academic history for reasons already described. I consider it more reasonable to assume that tales such as the einstein one have their basic origins in such incidents, without question embellished along the way. But the inaccuracies, embellishments etc would occur over a long period of time, in my opinion.

I could be wrong. Point is, we'll never know for sure.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #66 on: July 30, 2012, 06:41:32 AM »

 Sorry I never meant to offend you, it was just that you said something that was not there, but well , I'll keep on reading.

Can't help yourself, can you?  Maybe you can try YouTube - it has audio, so you don't even have to read!

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #67 on: July 30, 2012, 06:53:49 AM »
.....ok, now I'm going to read the second searching result from NYTimes(in 2006 by the way, kinda old)....

That 2nd result contains the key phrase "...the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not...."

The 2 most recent on that first search page - 2009 and 2011 - state that "In other words, God seems to have granted favor without regard to either the quantity or even the quality of the prayers." and "The existing research does not support the conclusion that there is any efficacy to intercessory prayer." respectively.  I chose those two as they are from what one might call opposing sides - Christianity Today, and Science Based Medicine.

BOTH conclude that there will be no difference between praying, and not praying, when it comes to getting better - though of course the Christian site states that this is because their god loves us all and shows no favour.  But the point on which they agree is that there is NO DIFFERENCE in results between someone praying (or prayed for) and someone who is not.

Which of course is exactly what Jetson said:

There is simply no difference at all between prayer and no prayer when it comes to healing.  There have been studies done that confirm this. 

The question now, of course, is whether Czar will retract his accusation that Jetson was lying and apologise, and accept that those studeis do indeed show no difference - a fact accepted even by believers who have taken the trouble to look at the results.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #68 on: July 30, 2012, 12:20:56 PM »
If you read the progression of Czar from page one to its last post you can see a pattern in his vernacular change. Or, am I wrong? I don't think I am. This guy is a fake.

-Nam
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #69 on: July 30, 2012, 01:26:41 PM »
I googled that 30 minutes ago and read it. It actually got me thinking about the possible ways a story such as the Einstein one and similar ones might evolve. And whilst its certainly possible that somebody, at some point in time simply wrote them down without ever having heard or known of such incidents, it is also possible that over the years a series of anecdotes vaguely similar to what we see in todays versions was compiled, edited together, etc etc. Impossible to 100% verify either way.

I consider that incidents reasonably similar to those described are likely to have occurred at some point in academic history for reasons already described. I consider it more reasonable to assume that tales such as the einstein one have their basic origins in such incidents, without question embellished along the way. But the inaccuracies, embellishments etc would occur over a long period of time, in my opinion.

I could be wrong. Point is, we'll never know for sure.

What about the story gives you the impression that it is based on real events?
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Offline Nam

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #70 on: July 30, 2012, 01:45:58 PM »
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #71 on: July 30, 2012, 01:59:12 PM »
I guess we might as well add it to the Bible.  After all, it meets the scholarly requirements of the rest of the book.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #72 on: July 30, 2012, 04:08:56 PM »
A professor of English Literature might struggle to counter such arguments. They're not filled with knowledge on every subject. Especially not if put in the spot.

It's called "common knowledge". We know what wind is, we have observed thoughts and we know why things feel hot or cold to us. This doesn't require perfect knowledge of particle physics.

But it may require more than 2 seconds thought, occasionally. Some arguments, cleverly delivered, can deceive even those they really shouldn't. And that is all it takes for an anecdote to exist, and anecdotes can be moulded into anything.


Not every group of stories ends up like the Bible, you know. It is well known that this story was entirely made up.

You can't possibly demonstrate that conclusively, any more than I can demonstrate conclusively that it evolved from anecdotes based on actual events.

We know it is not true, and could not have been Einstein for one simple reason. When Einstein was a student, he was not famous. Nobody would have recorded this interaction between some unknown mouthy student and their teacher.

I find this anecdote really offensive, as an atheist professor myself. I would never show such disrespect to my students, beating them over the head with my personal viewpoint,  as this interaction depicts. Nor would I allow any student to take over the class and "school" me in such a way.[1] That is disrespectful to the rest of the class. I would ask the student to speak to me about their personal views on religion or whatever outside of class in my office hours. And they do.
 1. I have an outspoken, knee-jerk politically conservative religious guy in my class right now. I treat him with the same respect and dignity that I give any other student, and I go out of my way to point out when he is correct on some point, or when I agree with him. But I do not allow him to dominate the class. Although he tries.  :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #73 on: July 30, 2012, 05:02:49 PM »


What about the story gives you the impression that it is based on real events?

Based very loosely on real events.

It seems likely to me that interactions between an atheist/skeptic teacher or professor and a God believing student have occurred many times over the last hundred plus years. Some of these have probably been in class, with an audience, and in some of these the theist might have bested the teacher. So it doesn't seem too far-fetched to me to think that stories of some of these encounters might have been told, re-told, details gotten wrong (as happens - think 'Chinese Whispers'), and so on until we end up with the type of thing bandied about today.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #74 on: July 30, 2012, 05:38:46 PM »

We know it is not true, and could not have been Einstein for one simple reason. When Einstein was a student, he was not famous. Nobody would have recorded this interaction between some unknown mouthy student and their teacher.

I'm sure it wasn't Einstein either. That isn't really my point though.

I find this anecdote really offensive, as an atheist professor myself. I would never show such disrespect to my students, beating them over the head with my personal viewpoint,  as this interaction depicts.

I'm sure you wouldn't either, butI'm equally sure some professors and teachers would. My wife's molecular biology lecturer is vocally anti-Christian in lectures.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #75 on: July 30, 2012, 05:54:12 PM »


What about the story gives you the impression that it is based on real events?

Based very loosely on real events.

It seems likely to me that interactions between an atheist/skeptic teacher or professor and a God believing student have occurred many times over the last hundred plus years. Some of these have probably been in class, with an audience, and in some of these the theist might have bested the teacher. So it doesn't seem too far-fetched to me to think that stories of some of these encounters might have been told, re-told, details gotten wrong (as happens - think 'Chinese Whispers'), and so on until we end up with the type of thing bandied about today.

Unless you can show actual evidence, even a small bit of actual non-biased evidence that something of this accord has taken place, similarly, or at all, your opinion of the matter is no better than the deist/theist who provides no evidence except regurgitated bias from sources shown to be false.

-Nam
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 05:56:13 PM by Nam »
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #76 on: July 30, 2012, 06:57:24 PM »

Unless you can show actual evidence, even a small bit of actual non-biased evidence that something of this accord has taken place, similarly, or at all, your opinion of the matter is no better than the deist/theist who provides no evidence except regurgitated bias from sources shown to be false.

-Nam

I personally remember engaging my social psychology teacher in a 'nature v nurture' type discussion. He openly professed to be an atheist, I professed to be a Christian (even though I suspect I really wasn't commited to God at that point in my life). This was in class.

Although I doubt I was able to provoke the type of reaction indicated in the story, I am hardly the most intelligent theist going around.

Seems to me a little arrogant to think that throughout history there has never been an atheist teacher or professor 'bested' publicly by a thesit student. It would be reasonable to think it has happened many times. And if it has, it is plausible that these occurrences moulded the stories we have today.

And if its plausible then you cannot irrefutably say the stories were completely made up. Embellsished, exaggerated, factually inaccurate - sure. But crafted from scratch as a deliberate lie seems unlikely to me.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2012, 07:45:28 PM »
magicmiles,

I am sorry but that's biased evidence. There's no way to confirm it. We have to take your word for it without any other evidence shown. This the same tactic deist/theists use. I mean, Czar used the same device.

I am not saying it hasn't happened. Nor do I feel anyone else really is either. What I, and I feel the rest of us are saying is: saying it doesn't make it true. Showing unbiased evidence makes it more true than not. Still doesn't make it true, and cannot actually be determined tobe true until other sources can substantiate it.

You haven't done that. Neither has Czar.

-Nam

A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2012, 07:51:48 PM »
But it cuts both ways, Nam. Of course I can't prove what I think has occured. Neither can anybody prove that the story doesn't have its origins in actual events. That's really all I'm saying.

The story probably wouldn't really raise eyebrows or induce such skepticism if the alleged student wasn't identified as Einstein.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2012, 07:55:58 PM »
Based very loosely on real events.

Or that.  In movies, the requirement for it to be "based on real events" is pretty loose.  A couple of people with the same names in the same place might serve; the rest of the story can be any sort of construct.

It seems likely to me that interactions between an atheist/skeptic teacher or professor and a God believing student have occurred many times over the last hundred plus years.

And if so, what then makes you think that this story is an attempt to recount the experiences of one such student?

Some of these have probably been in class, with an audience, and in some of these the theist might have bested the teacher.

Some teachers really are stupid, it's true.

So it doesn't seem too far-fetched to me to think that stories of some of these encounters might have been told, re-told, details gotten wrong (as happens - think 'Chinese Whispers'), and so on until we end up with the type of thing bandied about today.

And do the people who re-tell it honestly think that it's the truth?  Or are they propogating an obvious falsehood (regardless of how it came about - deliberately or through the telephone game)?

Re-telling that story while thinking it's an accurate account of real events seems, to me, to be the height of stupidity.  Yet it's told as if it's an accurate account of real events.

Dishonesty or stupidity, mm?  Take your pick.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #80 on: July 30, 2012, 07:59:23 PM »
magicmiles,

It isn't up to us to show evidence of anything: we're not making the claim. You are. Czar is. Therefore it is up to you to show evidence that what you state has any basis in any sort of truth, rather than conjecture.

I think whether it was Einstein, or plain Joe, people here would question the validity of it.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #81 on: July 30, 2012, 08:14:21 PM »


It seems likely to me that interactions between an atheist/skeptic teacher or professor and a God believing student have occurred many times over the last hundred plus years.

And if so, what then makes you think that this story is an attempt to recount the experiences of one such student?

I don't see it really as any sort of 'attempt'. I don't know the specific origins of the modern versions. I doubt anybody really does. What seems plausible to me is that interactions similar to that described have occurred. Obviously somebody inserted the name 'Einstein' at some point. At what point, though? Who can say? As a deliberate lie, or had that been recounted to them somehow as having actually been the case?


And do the people who re-tell it honestly think that it's the truth?  Or are they propogating an obvious falsehood (regardless of how it came about - deliberately or through the telephone game)?

Who knows? Kind of my point - we simply don't know. But if we can agree that situations similar to that described have probably occured in history, and I suspect you do agree with that, then at the very least it is plausible that tales of such occurrences formed the nucleus of the modern version.

Look, if someone can demonstrate to me that they have absolute proof of the individual(s) who crafted this story completely out of thin air, then please do present it.


Re-telling that story while thinking it's an accurate account of real events seems, to me, to be the height of stupidity.  Yet it's told as if it's an accurate account of real events.

Dishonesty or stupidity, mm?  Take your pick.

I agree that re-telling that specific story as if it is is literally true as described is indeed stupid. But the accuracy of that specific story is not what I am trying to discuss.

I took issue with the bold assertion that it has no basis in relaity whatsoever.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #82 on: July 30, 2012, 08:16:52 PM »
If someone tells you that your mother just died by a taxi on the main street of your home town, does the fact that the main street was accurately identified make the story "true enough" not to be a lie?

What would constitute a false story, to you?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #83 on: July 30, 2012, 08:17:55 PM »
magicmiles,

It isn't up to us to show evidence of anything: we're not making the claim. You are. Czar is. Therefore it is up to you to show evidence that what you state has any basis in any sort of truth, rather than conjecture.

I think whether it was Einstein, or plain Joe, people here would question the validity of it.

-Nam

In fact, One above all made the claim that the story was completely made up. That was the claim. I have presented arguments to counter that claim, or at least to demonstrate that the claim could not be substantiated.

So you are incorrect.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #84 on: July 30, 2012, 08:22:14 PM »
If someone tells you that your mother just died by a taxi on the main street of your home town, does the fact that the main street was accurately identified make the story "true enough" not to be a lie?

What would constitute a false story, to you?

I really feel that we're not on the same page here. The story as described is false. I don't doubt it.

Your analagy isn't helpful in this case, because we can identify the person making the claim, and we can quickly get to the bottom of how they got it wrong.

Identify for me the person behind this story and I'll fly to Canada and buy you a beer.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline Nam

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #85 on: July 30, 2012, 08:27:00 PM »
Then all the books in the Bible must be true because somewhere down the line it was based on something that happened. No one can show any evidence for the things in the Bible, except objects, places, and the like but the rest must be true because they've been told enough times that there has to be truth to them, even a fraction.

Idiotic.

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A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Czar

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Re: Prayer doesn't work
« Reply #86 on: July 30, 2012, 10:29:42 PM »
well something somewhere must be true.
anthropologists lied for a long time but the bones were real.

 God is there, don't be scared homie.