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  1. #1
    Godeskian is offline I have taken all knowledge to be my province. User Rank
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    Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7114722.stm

    The Orthodox Church of Cyprus has ordered priests to pray for rain to end one of the island's worst droughts.
    Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the church head, urged priests to pray together on 2 December for rainfall to end a drought that had "blighted" the land.
    We really aren't all that far from caveman days of rain-dances and worshipping thunderclouds, are we?

    "We are certain that by praying together with the warmest of spirit and deepest of faith it is possible that Almighty God will hear our prayers and grant our request," said a statement from the archbishop on Monday.
    Or you know, you could take a course in meteorology and actually understand how the ****ing weather works.
    Close your eyes, but keep your mind wide open.

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Actually some mayor in california prayed for rain during the fires....and low and behold it rained within hours of the prayer......and weather forecasters reported no rain for weeks ahead....

    Anyway - the power of prayer is strong. If you don't believe me, remember this conversation on your deathbed....even you will pray one final time.

  3. #3
    Godeskian is offline I have taken all knowledge to be my province. User Rank
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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by yarbsea View Post
    Actually some mayor in california prayed for rain during the fires....and low and behold it rained within hours of the prayer......and weather forecasters reported no rain for weeks ahead....
    Evidence please? Because the unsupported word of miracles is exactly what I strive against.

    Anyway - the power of prayer is strong.
    Then why is it that virtually every serious study on the power of prayer comes up with 'neutral at best' as it's result. Studies done by both secular and religious authorities?

    If you don't believe me, remember this conversation on your deathbed....even you will pray one final time.
    This is just a retread of the whole 'no atheists in foxholes' argument that has been disproven over and over again. I'm not going to suddenly start believing just because i'm shuffling off the mortal coil, especially as I don't expect to find anything on the other side.
    Close your eyes, but keep your mind wide open.

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Godeskian View Post
    Evidence please? Because the unsupported word of miracles is exactly what I strive against.



    Then why is it that virtually every serious study on the power of prayer comes up with 'neutral at best' as it's result. Studies done by both secular and religious authorities?
    Let me get this straight...miracles are "unsupported" but then in the next sentence you claim "studies" of prayer come up "neutral"?

    Are you an idiot? Either you believe in it or you don't, but you can't disbelieve it, and then PROVE something in the negative with a study. You can't PROVE a negative...

    Example.
    Stories of bigfoot are unsuported miracle claims.

    In a unrelated note, scientists have conclused their studies and arrived at a neutral conclusion on the validity of the existance of bigfoot...

  5. #5
    Godeskian is offline I have taken all knowledge to be my province. User Rank
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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by yarbsea View Post
    Let me get this straight...miracles are "unsupported" but then in the next sentence you claim "studies" of prayer come up "neutral"?
    On studies on the effectiveness of prayer, virtually all studies returned a result that prayer had no effect, either positive or negative. Ergo, a 'neutral' result.

    Most of these studies look at prayer in terms of medical healing which is it's most common public use, and people who were prayed for in addition to medical treatment statistically showed neither a marked improvement, nor a marked deterioration when compared to those for whom the sole treatment was medical.

    And yes, miracles are unsupported. If they were supported by evidence (that I'll note you've not yet supplied as to this mayor who got God to make it rain) then they wouldn't be miracles in the first place.

    Are you an idiot?
    Must you immediately reach towards these ad hominem attacks? They prove nothing. Why not actually debate my points, or better yet, provide evidence for your own arguments.

    Either you believe in it or you don't
    There is technically a third option. There is belief, disbelief, and those of us who don't actively disbelieve, but have found no evidence for the existence of the divine either.

    You can't PROVE a negative...
    You can't 'prove' anything except in maths. You can only find evidence to support a theory or debunk it. Even the so called scientific laws are simply theories for which there exists such a preponderence of evidence that there is no reasonable chance of debunking them.

    You can however, try and find evidence for a positive, and find the result provides neither positive nor negative. Which is what tends to happen with studies on the power of prayer.
    Close your eyes, but keep your mind wide open.

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Godeskian View Post
    On studies on the effectiveness of prayer, virtually all studies returned a result that prayer had no effect, either positive or negative. Ergo, a 'neutral' result.
    Simple fact is, most people would not agree that the results of prayer are effective or not effective. It either works or it doesn't. An engine either moves a car or doesn't move the car, but not moving the car isn't a NEUTRAL stance. The neutral term is misleading. Plus most people know that prayer isn't a genie in a bottle. It's method to madness to overcome problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godeskian View Post
    And yes, miracles are unsupported. If they were supported by evidence (that I'll note you've not yet supplied as to this mayor who got God to make it rain) then they wouldn't be miracles in the first place.
    Google "mayor prays for rain" and you'll find a couple in texas, georgia and california. Many of them worked out...coincidence? It doesn't matter, the prayer had an effect...it may have made it rain, it may have calmed people's fears, it may have done other things.


    Quote Originally Posted by Godeskian View Post
    Must you immediately reach towards these ad hominem attacks? They prove nothing. Why not actually debate my points, or better yet, provide evidence for your own arguments.
    There is no evidence. That's why its faith. Believe or do not believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godeskian View Post
    There is technically a third option. There is belief, disbelief, and those of us who don't actively disbelieve, but have found no evidence for the existence of the divine either.
    This isn't serious, this is just something you say to your computer buddies to make you seem aloof. Get real.

    Tell you what - do you actively disbelieve the earth is flat? If you don't, then on the other side do you have ANY evidence that the earth is round? In reality you can only BELIEVE the earth is round, because you personally can not know the truth without going to great lengths. So instead you have to have faith that what other people have studied, caluclated and so on is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godeskian View Post
    You can't 'prove' anything except in maths. You can only find evidence to support a theory or debunk it. Even the so called scientific laws are simply theories for which there exists such a preponderence of evidence that there is no reasonable chance of debunking them.

    You can however, try and find evidence for a positive, and find the result provides neither positive nor negative. Which is what tends to happen with studies on the power of prayer.
    I don't have time for this discussion. Yes, proofs are for math (no S, since i'm not in the UK..thank god) but the scientific method rules out unprobable events...in general. But it's not fair to apply such science to religion.

    It's like the giant spagetti monster...when you try to use a ruler to measure his height, he simply warps space and time and changes physics to make the ruler inoperable. This silly example demonstrates how science can not fairly judge the supernatural. Unfortunatly.

  7. #7
    Godeskian is offline I have taken all knowledge to be my province. User Rank
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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by yarbsea View Post
    The neutral term is misleading.
    Okay. I don't particularly agree with you, but it's certainly not worth arguing about.

    Many of them worked out...coincidence?
    Unless it is actually impossible (as opposed to improbable) then scientifically speaking yes, it was just a coincidence. Now if it was actually impossible for it to have rained, and it did anyway, then you'd be well on your way to providing evidence for a miracle.

    This isn't serious, this is just something you say to your computer buddies to make you seem aloof. Get real.
    Actually no. I realise it may not fit your worldview, but it's not just some soundbyte to me. I don't believe in the divine, but I've also seen no evidence for it, so the likeliest answer is that it doesn't exist. However I am open to being shown evidence.

    Of course, when you say that faith doesn't allow for evidence we reach an impasse. But to dismiss the way I think as airs put on for the internet seems a tad petty.

    Tell you what - do you actively disbelieve the earth is flat? If you don't, then on the other side do you have ANY evidence that the earth is round?
    Of course I have evidence that the earth is round. I can just look to the horizon from any beach in the world. Or alternatively you can look out the window of an airplane on a clear day and you can see the curvature of the earth. And that doesn't include evidence from sattelites and manned spacecraft. Or for that matter, I could simply trek around the world, and unless I am magically transported from one side of a map to the other, i'll end up where I started. Something that can only be achieved on a spherical volume.

    because you personally can not know the truth without going to great lengths. So instead you have to have faith that what other people have studied, caluclated and so on is true.
    Snort, I love this argument. I really do. It's meaningless because it's an attempt to turn science into a religion, but it's really fun to read. :)

    Yes, proofs are for math (no S, since i'm not in the UK..thank god)
    Err, it's not maths in the US but math? Interesting, didn't know that.

    But it's not fair to apply such science to religion.
    Why not?

    Not you specifically, but many religious people want their religion taken seriously by the scientific community, does that not require that they have to abide by the same standard for testing as any other branch of knowledge?

    This silly example demonstrates how science can not fairly judge the supernatural. Unfortunatly.
    At least we can agree on that.
    Close your eyes, but keep your mind wide open.

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Yea, Math is US and Maths is british..such as british people say "to hospital" and us people say "to the hospital"...strange mutations

    If you want a real debate...enjoy this www.theflatearthsociety.org

    there you can debate all day long about how the earth is flat. It's actually pretty enlightening to see an entire alternate science developed. In their FAQ you will see rebuttals to all your claims about how you "know" the earth is round...curvature - optical illusions....pictures of space...faked...lol enjoy!

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    The thing to point out is that confirmation bias is always present when we are dealing with things of this nature, a good example is the belief that more males are born in a full moon. To a person whose son is born in a full moon this is more than enough evidence and just the fact that the event happened once is more than enough to confirm his/her bias.

    Now for someone who is actually interested in knowing wether these events are true or not we need to test it at a statistical level(im glad my knowledge of statistic goes up to S3), doing a proper statistical analysis removes any form of confirmation bias.

    Now theres been quite a few experiments to see wether prayer has any effect, the main outline of the experiments were to have 3 groups of people who were patients at a hospital. Group 1 was the control group, no prayer were done to them, group 2 received prayers everyday but they werent aware of it and group 3 received prayers and knew they were being prayed for

    the results were that statistically there was no difference between group 1 and 2, the recovery times didnt vary statistically(yarbsea i beleive this is what godesian meant by neutral). For group 3 something unespected happened, since the people knew that they were being prayed to, they began to suffer from stress caused by feeling the need to get better quickly.

    Theive done many things to try to make the experiment work, for example the people conducting the prayer were changed to ones of religions with different denominations(ie evangelist, catholic ect), they changed the prayers aswell(ie instead of praying for martha they prayed for martha brown that is in hospital X). As you can imagine no one talks about this because none of the tests have given postitive
    results, as to now the one exuse that seems to permeate the beleives is that god at seeing people praying for someone else to get better went and said "over my transendental body" making prayer unfalsifiable and thus impossible for either party to say that they work or dont work

    Now for anyone who doesnt immediatly fall to comfirmation bias(i flipped my coin and it landed on heads twice!! therefore it will always land on head) you and your omnipotent god can do a few things to convince us:

    any event which has a success probability of 0 and ends as a success will immediatly count as a bonnafied miracle. An amputee having his/hers arms grow back would be spectacular(and surely very easy for an omnipotent god)

    One that is not only very improbable but also occurs multiple times such as a person who prays winning the lottery 5 times in a row

    Remember:
    Ho: prayer doesnt work
    H1:prayer works


    Just like a criminal before you can convict him you have to show to the jury beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person is guilty

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by yarbsea View Post
    Yea, Math is US and Maths is british..such as british people say "to hospital" and us people say "to the hospital"...strange mutations

    If you want a real debate...enjoy this www.theflatearthsociety.org

    there you can debate all day long about how the earth is flat. It's actually pretty enlightening to see an entire alternate science developed. In their FAQ you will see rebuttals to all your claims about how you "know" the earth is round...curvature - optical illusions....pictures of space...faked...lol enjoy!
    ad hominems arent regarded highly by anyone, debate the issue not the person. You claim that prayer works, if this is true then there would be evidence of this. To this point you have failed to show any.

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by coosjoaquin View Post
    ad hominems arent regarded highly by anyone, debate the issue not the person. You claim that prayer works, if this is true then there would be evidence of this. To this point you have failed to show any.
    Couple problems - there is no evidence. Unfortunate for both sides.....

    And as for the double blind tests of prayer and the amputee regrowing arms....all this sounds great, but the honest answer is that prayer does not bring miracles, the miracle is in existence and creation and the substance that makes us different. No one claims that prayer can give you arms. What prayer can give you is resolve to help yourself or others. Prayers to be a better person or to help a hurting friend, these prayers can be "asnwered". Enjoy!

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    As to "there being evidence to support prayer"....

    I propose an experiement:

    Hypothesis - trees that fall without being "heard" make no sound.
    Anti-thesis - all other trees that are "heard" do make a sound
    -----------
    Group: forest in alaska->choose a tree that is farther than 100 miles from any source of "hearing" (to include microphones, ears, animals, insect vibrations...etc).

    Control Group: tree in alaska that is within 10 feet of human ears and a microphone decive.

    Method: In control group, record sound of tree falling, while person listens to it and describes it in detail. In group method, remove all "hearing" devices and entities from the tree and allow it to fall.

    Problem: You can't measure the in-audibility of the tree because your inability to observe the phenomenon. Christian would rely on this fact when asked to show evidence of prayer and its effects. Unfortunatly they are unobservable by mortals such as you or I.

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by yarbsea View Post
    Actually some mayor in california prayed for rain during the fires....and low and behold it rained within hours of the prayer......and weather forecasters reported no rain for weeks ahead....

    Anyway - the power of prayer is strong. If you don't believe me, remember this conversation on your deathbed....even you will pray one final time.
    Doesn't god already know that Cyprus needs rain? Seems kind of superfluous to pray to him and make him aware of something he already knows. Same thing in California.

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Godeskian View Post
    Or you know, you could take a course in meteorology and actually understand how the ****ing weather works.
    How would this help them make it rain?
    It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs.

    "All things are perfect to every last flaw and bound in accord with Eris's Law."
    -HBT; The Book of Advice 1:7

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    July 1988 • SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL • Vol. 81, No. 7

    http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaver...getics/smj.pdf

    Results of a test done on the effectiveness of prayer.
    "the study (Table 1) revealed the condition of the
    patient groups at the time informed consent was
    signed. The 109 patients with acute myocardial
    infarction had the following Killip’s classification
    class I, 16% (prayer group) vs 16% (control
    group); class II, 8% vs 10%; class III, 1% vs 1%,
    and class IV, 2% vs 2% (P = NS). Univariate
    and multivariate analysis showed no statistical
    differences between the two groups at entry. Thus,
    it was concluded that the two groups were
    statistically inseparable and that results from the
    analysis of the effects of intercessory prayer would
    be valid."

    "Multivariate analysis of the data using the
    variables listed in Table 2 revealed a significant
    difference (P < .0001) between the two groups
    based on events that occurred after entry into the
    study. Fewer patients in the prayer group required
    ventilatory support, antibiotics, or diuretics."

    A study on depression.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/p7dmttdvpuwyk628/

    "Doris Rajagopal1, Elizabeth Mackenzie1, Christine Bailey1 and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey1
    (1) Division of Geriatric Medicine, Institute on Aging, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

    Abstract The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a spiritually-based intervention in the alleviation of subsyndromal anxiety and minor depression in an elderly population. Twenty-two residents of six continuing care communities diagnosed with minor depression participated in this study. There was a significant decrease in anxiety and a trend toward decreased depression. In addition, participants who continued to use the Prayer Wheel had a decrease in depression scores, while those who did not had an increase in depression scores. These findings suggest that use of the Prayer Wheel may promote psychological well-being among older adults."
    It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs.

    "All things are perfect to every last flaw and bound in accord with Eris's Law."
    -HBT; The Book of Advice 1:7

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    Re: Cyprus priests ordered to 'pray' for rain

    Here's a good one.

    Why Medical Studies Are Often Wrong

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Who...tory?id=997688
    It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs.

    "All things are perfect to every last flaw and bound in accord with Eris's Law."
    -HBT; The Book of Advice 1:7

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