Total Posts:76|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

The power of prayer...

leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2009 6:28:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Numbskulls:

http://news.ninemsn.com.au...
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
Lexicaholic
Posts: 526
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2009 6:51:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Don't need reason,
Don't need to be sane,
Don't need any medicine,
To ease your pain.

The spirit will move you if it reaches you in time,
Or you might just lose your life.
That's the power of prayer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On a serious note, stupidity isn't quite negligence. The problem with having a society that respects faith is that it must be society that respects faith. All faith, however stupid. This is the trouble with tolerance.
http://mastersofcreationrpg.com... - My new site and long-developed project. Should be fun.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2009 8:04:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
How sad, she is right for being charged. But how much do you want to bet that certain street preacher will blame the mother's supposed adultery/homosexuality/gluttony/greed for her daugther's death?
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 8:59:35 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
This is not a story about religiosity; this is a story about incredible stupidity. If it weren't for religion, I posit, these parents would have still killed their daughter. Their inane beliefs just so happen to manifest themselves in religion. Thus I don't think this is an indictment against religion, but, like a said, an indictment against outrageous idiocy.

That said, organized religion be bad, and bla, bla, bla...
Television Rot: http://tvrot.com...
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 9:41:23 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/24/2009 8:59:35 AM, PoeJoe wrote:
This is not a story about religiosity; this is a story about incredible stupidity. If it weren't for religion, I posit, these parents would have still killed their daughter. Their inane beliefs just so happen to manifest themselves in religion. Thus I don't think this is an indictment against religion, but, like a said, an indictment against outrageous idiocy.

Well said.
beem0r
Posts: 1,155
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 10:22:03 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/24/2009 8:59:35 AM, PoeJoe wrote:
This is not a story about religiosity; this is a story about incredible stupidity. If it weren't for religion, I posit, these parents would have still killed their daughter. Their inane beliefs just so happen to manifest themselves in religion. Thus I don't think this is an indictment against religion, but, like a said, an indictment against outrageous idiocy.
Idiocy? Their faith teaches that God can heal people. Why then, with such a powerful healer on their side, would they turn to secular sources for medical treatment, especially when their God is likely a jealous God who likes to test people's faith every once in a while?
No, they're not idiots specifically for failing to give their daughter treatment, they're idiots for accepting their religious teachings on faith rather than on evidence. Religion is certainly one of a few different panderers of superstitious nonsense, but it is also the most pervasive by far. These people probably didn't go out seeking whatever harmful superstitions they could get their hands on (as you seem to suggest), they likely just happened to be taught it as kids. They probably wouldn't be very much more rational if they weren't taught it, but they also probably wouldn't have killed their daughter.

Though I have to say, irrationality is the real enemy of reason, whereas religions are just dealing irrationality to the irrational masses.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 12:32:13 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
beem0r is right. Religion is to blame. It's not that these parents were idiots, they were true to the religion. All the other religious people are obviously in denial if they too don't have this much faith.

.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
InquireTruth
Posts: 723
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 12:57:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Evidence does seem to suggest that the utility of prayer does net positively (if prayer was mere superstition, as you suggest Beem0r, then we would expect scientific studies to yield no measurable difference between the health of those prayed for and the health of those not).

The largest study of its kind had 3393 patients studied over a span of six years. The results? Those prayed for had shorter hospital stays and a shorter duration of fever. This says nothing of the thousands of testimonials available online for the efficacy of prayer.

The girl, however, should have received prompt medical attention. It would do most people well to understand that, what is congenial with conservative evangelical Christianity, is that God has gifted people with the gift of medicine and its practice and Christians should take full advantage of its benefits. It reminds me of the old joke about the preacher:

A storm descends on a small town, and the downpour soon turns into a flood. As the waters rise, the local preacher kneels in prayer on the church porch, surrounded by water. By and by, one of the townsfolk comes up the street in a canoe.

"Better get in, Preacher. The waters are rising fast."

"No," says the preacher. "I have faith in the Lord. He will save me."

Still the waters rise. Now the preacher is up on the balcony, wringing his hands in supplication, when another guy zips up in a motorboat.

"Come on, Preacher. We need to get you out of here. The levee's gonna break any minute."

Once again, the preacher is unmoved. "I shall remain. The Lord will see me through."

After a while the levee breaks, and the flood rushes over the church until only the steeple remains above water. The preacher is up there, clinging to the cross, when a helicopter descends out of the clouds, and a state trooper calls down to him through a megaphone.

"Grab the ladder, Preacher. This is your last chance."

Once again, the preacher insists the Lord will deliver him.

And, predictably, he drowns.

A pious man, the preacher goes to heaven. After a while he gets an interview with God, and he asks the Almighty, "Lord, I had unwavering faith in you. Why didn't you deliver me from that flood?"

God shakes his head. "What did you want from me? I sent you two boats and a helicopter."
beem0r
Posts: 1,155
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 1:09:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/24/2009 12:57:17 PM, InquireTruth wrote:
Evidence does seem to suggest that the utility of prayer does net positively (if prayer was mere superstition, as you suggest Beem0r, then we would expect scientific studies to yield no measurable difference between the health of those prayed for and the health of those not).

The largest study of its kind had 3393 patients studied over a span of six years. The results? Those prayed for had shorter hospital stays and a shorter duration of fever. This says nothing of the thousands of testimonials available online for the efficacy of prayer.
The overwhelming majority of studies show that prayer has no significant effect on anything. Those that have shown otherwise are usually studies where people are TOLD that they are being prayed for. I'd guess that your fabled study uses a flawed methodology like this rather than a proper double-blind setup. Even if not, note that even with no correlation, 5% of studies should show results that are significant with a 95% confidence level. This is why it is not sufficient to reference only one study when tens of other studies contradict it, as is the case on the supposed effectiveness of prayer.

But hey, if you want to believe that God will take control of other people to aid you if you pray, making them go to medical school and develop prowess as a doctor, or making them drive their boats or helicopters to you, go ahead with your delusions.
InquireTruth
Posts: 723
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 1:28:58 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
You have said that the majority have produced null results. An intellectually honest and fully informed answer would say that SOME studies have shown null results (and of course, since they got the "RIGHT" answer, they must have had the correct methodology).

And the largest study of its kind, Double blind, parallel group, randomised controlled trial of a retroactive intervention, concluded that prayer has a measurably positive effect on health - your false assumptions notwithstanding. As the most comprehensive, methodologically sound, and largest study of its kind, I think we can grant it some weight in the matter.(http://www.bmj.com...)

Or a study done with 500 patients shows the positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...)

You can make caricature of my views all you want, it does not make your opinion seem any smarter or all that more becoming. An epistemologically honest approach would suffice in showing that you are not on a higher ground of reason.
beem0r
Posts: 1,155
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 4:28:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/24/2009 1:28:58 PM, InquireTruth wrote:
You have said that the majority have produced null results. An intellectually honest and fully informed answer would say that SOME studies have shown null results (and of course, since they got the "RIGHT" answer, they must have had the correct methodology).
First, the majority of experiments have shown null results (including one you mentioned, see later in this post for that). It wouldn't be more intellectually honest to just use the word "some."

The correct methodology is not something based on my own beliefs - it is something any scientifically rigorous people can agree on. The patients and those the patients interact with cannot be allowed to know whether the patients are in the control group or experimental group. Groups should be chosen randomly and by equalizing the groups based on various variables (race, age, severity of fever, etc, which mere random selection sometimes creates problems).

And the largest study of its kind, Double blind, parallel group, randomised controlled trial of a retroactive intervention, concluded that prayer has a measurably positive effect on health - your false assumptions notwithstanding.
Alright, so your study was double-blind, great.
However, it's not the largest trial. This is, or at least was at the time of publication in 2006:
http://web.med.harvard.edu...
And of course, no effect was seen. In fact, the group that was prayed for did a bit worse, though the small margin and the fact that other studies don't all reproduce this result means it is likely coincidental.

Also, note that most people conducting studies on this subject have a firm belief that prayer works. In general, this means that studies that show that prayer has an effect will be more likely to be published. Such may be the case for your BMJ study, where the methodology is so quick that several studies could be completed within a very small amount of time. Some have hypothesized that Leibovici, set on confirming his hypothesis, simply conducted many trials and published the one that most confirmed his hypothesis.

Or a study done with 500 patients shows the positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...)
"CONCLUSIONS: As delivered in this study, intercessory prayer had no significant effect on medical outcomes after hospitalization in a coronary care unit."
And that's the second best one you could find?
Puck
Posts: 6,457
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 9:23:50 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Okay let's have a look at these. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you were not just abstract mining.

At 5/24/2009 1:28:58 PM, InquireTruth wrote:
(http://www.bmj.com...)

Erm two page report proving prayer?

Cites significance at .04 for both duration of stay and duration of fever. Not significant for mortality. Which is ok - medical journals however don't take anything serious over .01 though. Does not detail type of analysis done. Does not detail in any degree hospital methodology. Does not detail prayer group methodology. Does not detail blinding methodology. Basically there is not enough reported to determine anything conclusive about what was done. Report fail. There's probably a good reason it only managed to be published in a Journal that also covers subject matter like ESP. :D

lol Medical Ethics fail. No consent obtained.

..."As we cannot assume a priori that time is linear, as we perceive it, or that God
is limited by a linear time, as we are, the intervention was carried out 4­ years after the patients' infection and hospitalisation. The hypothesis was that remote, retroactive intercessory prayer reduces mortality and shortens the length of stay in hospital and duration of fever."

(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...)

The results: NS = no significant difference between control and experimental; <.01 indicates a significant result at an alpha level of .01. Which is basically saying < 1/100 chance these results are false positive simply by virtue of running the analysis (type I error). No adjustments were made to account for multiple analysis' being done i.e. the more results you spew out the more likely it is to find a type I error.

Antianginal agents NS
Unstable angina NS
Antiarrhythmics NS
Coronary angiography NS
VTNF NS
Readmissions to NS
Mortality NS
Congestive heart failure <0.01
Inotropic agents NS
Vasodilators NS
Supraventricular tachyarrhythmia NS
Arterial pressure monitoring NS
Central pressure monitoring NS
Diuretics <0.01
Major surgery before discharge NS
Temporary pacemaker NS
Sepsis NS
Cardiopulmonary arrest <0.01
Third-degree heart block NS
Pneumonia <0.01
Hypotension (systolic <90 torr) NS
Extension of infarction NS
Antibiotics <0.01
Permanent pacemaker NS
Gastrointestinal bleeding NS
Intubation/ventilation <0.01
Days in CCU after entry NS
Days in hospital after entry NS
Number of discharge medications NS

Methodology issues:

Intercessory group was a specific 'daily devotional prayer and active Christian fellowship with a local church.' Firstly those chosen were aware of the nature of their prayer - i.e. the study. They were given the patients *name* and their medical history. Hospital visits were not controlled for - that is given name and condition a Christian chosen to 'help' someone in hospitalised care can quite easily track that person down (all patients were in one hospital). Patients were not followed up at all to ask if this was the case - citing 'possible result bias' as the reason. Which is silly as the experiment was over. So we have a potential confound in the availability of visits (and subsequent information delivery). Each patient was assigned to three to seven intercessors - given n= 192 for experimental group that's quite alot of potential placebo sugary spiritual pills. Additionally those chosen were *updated during* the study on changes to their patients - so most definately not a double blind.

"I collected the information on each patient in a blinded manner" - is not a methodologically sound instruction. The specific purpose of a "Methods" section of a scientific report is for the availability of direct repetition. It tells me the reader absolutely nothing and makes it quite suspect.

Analysis issues:

Really sloppy reporting. :(

Used independant t-test on a repeated measure.
Uses non parametric test without indicating for which - non parametric tests measure categories, not a numerical value that can be used to determine means and variances, but rather frequencies in a sample. Possibly violates Chi square assumptions of minimum allowed expected frequncies.

Bias: Clearly there is one. Discussion is about God's motivation.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 9:32:18 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Since medical ethics are supposed to have some relation to known reality, it's kind of silly to apply them to attempts at supernatural healing with no potentially harmful natural component Puck ^_^.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2009 9:47:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/24/2009 9:32:18 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Since medical ethics are supposed to have some relation to known reality, it's kind of silly to apply them to attempts at supernatural healing with no potentially harmful natural component Puck ^_^.

More to do with ooo medical records lets spread those around. :)
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 1:11:35 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/24/2009 9:23:50 PM, Puck wrote:
Okay let's have a look at these. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you were not just abstract mining.

At 5/24/2009 1:28:58 PM, InquireTruth wrote:
(http://www.bmj.com...)

Erm two page report proving prayer?

Cites significance at .04 for both duration of stay and duration of fever. Not significant for mortality. Which is ok - medical journals however don't take anything serious over .01 though. Does not detail type of analysis done. Does not detail in any degree hospital methodology. Does not detail prayer group methodology. Does not detail blinding methodology. Basically there is not enough reported to determine anything conclusive about what was done. Report fail. There's probably a good reason it only managed to be published in a Journal that also covers subject matter like ESP. :D

lol Medical Ethics fail. No consent obtained.

..."As we cannot assume a priori that time is linear, as we perceive it, or that God
is limited by a linear time, as we are, the intervention was carried out 4­ years after the patients' infection and hospitalisation. The hypothesis was that remote, retroactive intercessory prayer reduces mortality and shortens the length of stay in hospital and duration of fever."


(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...)

The results: NS = no significant difference between control and experimental; <.01 indicates a significant result at an alpha level of .01. Which is basically saying < 1/100 chance these results are false positive simply by virtue of running the analysis (type I error). No adjustments were made to account for multiple analysis' being done i.e. the more results you spew out the more likely it is to find a type I error.

Antianginal agents NS
Unstable angina NS
Antiarrhythmics NS
Coronary angiography NS
VTNF NS
Readmissions to NS
Mortality NS
Congestive heart failure <0.01
Inotropic agents NS
Vasodilators NS
Supraventricular tachyarrhythmia NS
Arterial pressure monitoring NS
Central pressure monitoring NS
Diuretics <0.01
Major surgery before discharge NS
Temporary pacemaker NS
Sepsis NS
Cardiopulmonary arrest <0.01
Third-degree heart block NS
Pneumonia <0.01
Hypotension (systolic <90 torr) NS
Extension of infarction NS
Antibiotics <0.01
Permanent pacemaker NS
Gastrointestinal bleeding NS
Intubation/ventilation <0.01
Days in CCU after entry NS
Days in hospital after entry NS
Number of discharge medications NS

Methodology issues:

Intercessory group was a specific 'daily devotional prayer and active Christian fellowship with a local church.' Firstly those chosen were aware of the nature of their prayer - i.e. the study. They were given the patients *name* and their medical history. Hospital visits were not controlled for - that is given name and condition a Christian chosen to 'help' someone in hospitalised care can quite easily track that person down (all patients were in one hospital). Patients were not followed up at all to ask if this was the case - citing 'possible result bias' as the reason. Which is silly as the experiment was over. So we have a potential confound in the availability of visits (and subsequent information delivery). Each patient was assigned to three to seven intercessors - given n= 192 for experimental group that's quite alot of potential placebo sugary spiritual pills. Additionally those chosen were *updated during* the study on changes to their patients - so most definately not a double blind.

"I collected the information on each patient in a blinded manner" - is not a methodologically sound instruction. The specific purpose of a "Methods" section of a scientific report is for the availability of direct repetition. It tells me the reader absolutely nothing and makes it quite suspect.

Analysis issues:

Really sloppy reporting. :(

Used independant t-test on a repeated measure.
Uses non parametric test without indicating for which - non parametric tests measure categories, not a numerical value that can be used to determine means and variances, but rather frequencies in a sample. Possibly violates Chi square assumptions of minimum allowed expected frequncies.

Bias: Clearly there is one. Discussion is about God's motivation.

InquireTruth, you've been served.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 10:49:39 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
In order for this to work, the success rate of prayer would have to be 100%. Otherwise it would just be considered a coincidence. But a problem arises if it were true. If prayer were to work every time, the people who are prayed for have an unfair advantage. There might be more deserving people who end up dying just because no one was praying for them. This puts an incredible amount of power into the hands of people instead of God, yet God is supposed to be the healer and the powerful one.

.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
beem0r
Posts: 1,155
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 1:11:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/25/2009 10:49:39 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
In order for this to work, the success rate of prayer would have to be 100%. Otherwise it would just be considered a coincidence. But a problem arises if it were true. If prayer were to work every time, the people who are prayed for have an unfair advantage. There might be more deserving people who end up dying just because no one was praying for them. This puts an incredible amount of power into the hands of people instead of God, yet God is supposed to be the healer and the powerful one.

In one of the studies that failed to show any significant results, the folks who did the survey (or maybe it was just some church) said something to this effect:
"What's more interesting than the fact that the prayed-for group did not do any better than the not-prayed-for group is the fact that the not-prayed-for group got just as much, if not more, of God's blessings!"

Texas sharpshooters.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 2:29:49 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Feed off of other peoples pain and suffering much?
" No tragedy too large or too small for us to attain SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! "

2 Peter 3:3-7 (New King James Version)
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

The Cross.. the Cross.
leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 3:31:31 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/25/2009 2:29:49 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Feed off of other peoples pain and suffering much?

She didn't exactly feed off her child's pain and suffering, she was just brainwashed to believe talking to herself would cure her daughter instead of using scientifically proven methods. Don't be so hard on her.
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 4:04:27 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/25/2009 3:31:31 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
At 5/25/2009 2:29:49 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Feed off of other peoples pain and suffering much?

She didn't exactly feed off her child's pain and suffering, she was just brainwashed to believe talking to herself would cure her daughter instead of using scientifically proven methods. Don't be so hard on her.

What an almost amusing misunderstanding. I was referring to the atheist communities despicable predilection for utilizing even the most abhorrent of news stories to further their vile little agenda.
But of course you knew that.

Romans 1:16 (New King James)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 4:08:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/25/2009 4:04:27 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
What an almost amusing misunderstanding. I was referring to the atheist communities despicable predilection for utilizing even the most abhorrent of news stories to further their vile little agenda.

http://www.godhatesfags.com...

Looks like it isn't just us.
leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/25/2009 4:31:37 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/25/2009 4:04:27 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 5/25/2009 3:31:31 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
At 5/25/2009 2:29:49 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Feed off of other peoples pain and suffering much?

She didn't exactly feed off her child's pain and suffering, she was just brainwashed to believe talking to herself would cure her daughter instead of using scientifically proven methods. Don't be so hard on her.

What an almost amusing misunderstanding. I was referring to the atheist communities despicable predilection for utilizing even the most abhorrent of news stories to further their vile little agenda.
But of course you knew that.

Indeed I did know that. All you can blame me for is posting a religious-based story on a religious forum, but you can blame your ridiculous belief system for causing the death in the first place.

Christians - 0
People Who've Retained a Little Bit of Sanity - 1

Also, next time you bring up Stalin or Pol Pot, realize that you are using extremely abhorrent news stories to further your agenda. You do this quite a lot.
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/26/2009 8:05:35 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/25/2009 4:31:37 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
At 5/25/2009 4:04:27 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 5/25/2009 3:31:31 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
At 5/25/2009 2:29:49 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Feed off of other peoples pain and suffering much?

She didn't exactly feed off her child's pain and suffering, she was just brainwashed to believe talking to herself would cure her daughter instead of using scientifically proven methods. Don't be so hard on her.

What an almost amusing misunderstanding. I was referring to the atheist communities despicable predilection for utilizing even the most abhorrent of news stories to further their vile little agenda.
But of course you knew that.

Indeed I did know that. All you can blame me for is posting a religious-based story on a religious forum, but you can blame your ridiculous belief system for causing the death in the first place.
Indeed you do speak the currency of this world.
At least now that you've (finally) taken responsibilty for feeding off of pain and misery to further your (I'm SORRY, I meant SATANS) agenda.
People make mistakes. Christians get fooled by satan just the same as anyone else.
Christians - 0
People Who've Retained a Little Bit of Sanity - 1
People-0
Satan-1 more.
Also, next time you bring up Stalin or Pol Pot, realize that you are using extremely abhorrent news stories to further your agenda. You do this quite a lot.

No, they would be historical examples rather than current news events, a subtle difference perhaps but one I'm sure, with help, you'll get.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The Cross.. the Cross.
InquireTruth
Posts: 723
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/26/2009 11:38:42 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
First, the majority of experiments have shown null results (including one you mentioned, see later in this post for that). It wouldn't be more intellectually honest to just use the word "some."

Neil C. Abbot of the Department of Medicine and University of Dundee, reviewed 22 trials, ten of which reported positively. In his review he noted that two of the large-scale trials whose methodology were equal and sound both generated positive effects. He suggests that the field is too varied to draw any ultimate conclusions, BUT there is enough positive evidence to necessitate further research. He has said, quite honestly, "No firm conclusions about the efficacy or inefficacy of healing can be drawn."

John Astin, PhD; Elaine Harkness, BSc; and Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD analayzed 23 trials and found that 57% showed positive effects. They concluded that "We continue to stand by what we feel is a reasonably cautious and conservative interpretation of the findings. Because 57% of the trials we examined did show a significant effect on at least one outcome (and the overall pooled effect size was significant), we do feel that, at a minimum, additional research should be carried out in these areas. While it is true that the results were not uniformly positive, the mathematical odds (based on a simple binomial test) that 13 of 23 studies would show a significant treatment effect (P < 0.05) are greater than 1 in a million. It is therefore unlikely that these results are due to chance alone."

In 2007 David R. Hodge published his comprehensive analysis of 17 major studies of intercessory prayer in the March, 2007, issue of Research on Social Work Practice and found an overall positive effect.

Alright, so your study was double-blind, great.
However, it's not the largest trial. This is, or at least was at the time of publication in 2006:
http://web.med.harvard.edu......

In terms of participants, it is certainly not the largest.

Some have hypothesized that Leibovici, set on confirming his hypothesis, simply conducted many trials and published the one that most confirmed his hypothesis.

This proves nothing beyond the hearsay. Everyone has a bias, if you can prove that that bias influenced the study, then by all means prove it. But do not expect others to believe that the study is in error merely because someone HAS a bias – that is inevitable.

"CONCLUSIONS: As delivered in this study, intercessory prayer had no significant effect on medical outcomes after hospitalization in a coronary care unit."
"These data suggest that intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU."

Okay let's have a look at these. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you were not just abstract mining.

I have read about these studies and am trying to find links to the original published studies. I typically have hardcopies sent to me via my school's library system, but having graduated, my access to such materials are as of now limited. Any suggestions?

lol Medical Ethics fail. No consent obtained.

And if the effects were positive skeptics cry foul because, after all, the patients knew people may have been praying for them – that alone is a possible confounding factor.

In terms of the study you dissected, I will agree that it is of little evidential use.

InquireTruth, you've been served.

Because one of the many studies available for scrutiny was shown wanting? As listed above, many people, more qualified than myself and, I can only guess, more qualified than puck too, have already done comprehensive analyses of many trials and have found that positive results indicate that further study is necessary.

In order for this to work, the success rate of prayer would have to be 100%.

Yeah, sorry… that's not how studies work. The problem could be with the studies or with a misunderstanding of the nature of prayer. C.S. Lewis, in anticipation and long before these studies were ever manifest, said, "The trouble is that I do not see how any real prayer could go on under such conditions… Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men for our experiment… as if it were magic, or a machine—something that functions automatically"
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/26/2009 12:10:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/26/2009 11:38:42 AM, InquireTruth wrote:
Yeah, sorry… that's not how studies work. The problem could be with the studies or with a misunderstanding of the nature of prayer. C.S. Lewis, in anticipation and long before these studies were ever manifest, said, "The trouble is that I do not see how any real prayer could go on under such conditions… Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men for our experiment… as if it were magic, or a machine—something that functions automatically"

That frankly doesn't make sense.

In order for these double-blind studies on intercessory prayer to work, they need to have 100% success rate, especially with the ones that have what you believe to be the "right methodology." Clearly, if it does not have a 100% success rate, it clearly doesn't work. Such is the burden of proof placed on intercessory prayer - you claim that this supernatural deity has this undeniable effect, so you must prove it is undeniable. It must be 100%, there is no room for God to say "ehhh maybe not today."
InquireTruth
Posts: 723
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/26/2009 2:38:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
"That frankly doesn't make sense."

You may not get it, but that certainly does not mean it does not make sense. Intercessory prayer requires that we fully understand WHAT prayer is in order to study its effects (some studies used script and others were group). Moreover, there are far too many confounding elements that could be present at any given moment. There is no preventing the prayer of those outside the study AND we have no idea of the openness or sensibilities of those being prayed FOR. These elements could be crucial to the understanding of prayer. C.S. Lewis's point was that it is hard to have a scientific study of something that is a property of the heart. Can prayer BE prayer if it is not genuine?
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/26/2009 2:48:39 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/26/2009 2:38:51 PM, InquireTruth wrote:
"That frankly doesn't make sense."

You may not get it, but that certainly does not mean it does not make sense. Intercessory prayer requires that we fully understand WHAT prayer is in order to study its effects (some studies used script and others were group). Moreover, there are far too many confounding elements that could be present at any given moment. There is no preventing the prayer of those outside the study AND we have no idea of the openness or sensibilities of those being prayed FOR. These elements could be crucial to the understanding of prayer. C.S. Lewis's point was that it is hard to have a scientific study of something that is a property of the heart. Can prayer BE prayer if it is not genuine?

All you're admitting to - no sorry - giving an excuse for is intercessory prayer by saying that it cannot be validated by scientific experiments. Fine, I completely believe that, but all it does is give us even more reason to distrust any positive results from these experiments. You are just trying to save your argument by using the tired old line of "its supernatural", therefore asserting that any scientific claims that produce negative results are somehow wrong. You're obviously desperate.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/26/2009 3:21:02 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 5/26/2009 11:38:42 AM, InquireTruth wrote:

I have read about these studies and am trying to find links to the original published studies. I typically have hardcopies sent to me via my school's library system, but having graduated, my access to such materials are as of now limited. Any suggestions?

Find a library that has public access to subscriptions. Not much more you can do if your school chooses to forget its students. :P Maybe google the article title and get lucky.

And if the effects were positive skeptics cry foul because, after all, the patients knew people may have been praying for them &#8211; that alone is a possible confounding factor.

This study the prayer was 4 years post treatment - so that's not the confound. It's the use of medical files, possibly made public without consent that was the issue.

qualified than puck too, have already done comprehensive analyses of many trials and have found that positive results indicate that further study is necessary.

I saw your above meta-anlaysis references - you can link those too if you like. As for my qualifications, I'm a practitioner in the field of Social Sciences - data analysis of this sort is something I am specifically trained in - something GPs and surgeons are not.
InquireTruth
Posts: 723
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/26/2009 3:23:43 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
All you're admitting to - no sorry - giving an excuse for is intercessory prayer by saying that it cannot be validated by scientific experiments. Fine, I completely believe that, but all it does is give us even more reason to distrust any positive results from these experiments. You are just trying to save your argument by using the tired old line of "its supernatural", therefore asserting that any scientific claims that produce negative results are somehow wrong. You're obviously desperate.

Why are you being so obtuse? You are asking me to say that intercessory prayer does not work because it has been scientifically attested to have positive effects only about half the time? Despite the innumerable attestations of the power of prayer, despite my own experiences of its efficacy, I am to admit that it is really merely illusory? To this I cannot and will not "admit."
You're suggesting that, even though we are not entirely sure of the nature of prayer, or the potential confounding elements, that I expect 100% success rate when studying its efficacy - that's balderdash and just plain foolish - your caricature of my response not withstanding.