Prayer…Does it Ever Work?

“…In addition, history has served as a de facto test of alternative forms of healthcare. Until approximately the last two centuries effective medical techniques to treat and cure serious illnesses were largely absent.  During that period prayer and other religious rites were commonly employed medical interventions.  Juvenile mortality rates were probably over 50% (they still exceeded 25% in 1900 Britain and the United States), young adult mortality rates were high, and average life spans were as low as two decades.  The number of children lost probably exceeded 50 billion; only a modest minority of those born made it to old age.  Significantly higher rates of mortality would have probably collapsed the human population and lead to extinction of the species, so it appears that death rates were near their highest sustainable maximum.  The evidence indicates that supportive prayer whether remote or in the presence of or by the patient has been a largely or entirely ineffective treatment for most or all of human history.  G. Paul, Journal of Medical Ethics, November, 2008 Here My emphasis

So for all of human history…up to about the 1800’s, all we had to combat disease or sickness was prayer or the witch doctor.  We, as a species, barely survived.  Enter modern science and medicine and we start to overrun the planet.  So do you think prayer (or the witch doctor) were ever effective?

We know for a fact that prayer is never effective against medical problems that are not subject to spontaneous remission or placebo effect. Medical problems such as Down’s syndrome, Spina-bifida, amputated limbs, etc. cannot, and have never been cured by prayer.

We know that prayer can never restore a heart damaged by heart attack, never restore lungs damaged by emphysema.  Humans are working on many of these medical problems, and if we survive the growing religious wars of this world, we will probably cure them.

Meanwhile, we can seriously doubt that there is a God who answers prayers, or if there is even is a God.

Addendum
Regarding that “Inerrant Bible” instructions about the efficacy of prayer:

Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:
“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

The message is restated in Mark 11:24:
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus reiterates that same message:
“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus speaks to all of us about how easy prayer can be:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says it again:
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Really???
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Muslim Hysteria

“In our hysteria, we are mistaking loyal Muslim Americans and at least a billion peaceful Muslims overseas for a few thousand ruthless thugs who constitute the fascist wing of Islam.”
Clay Farris Naff, 08.26.2010 on HuffPo

Well my comment about this statement would be: how come these billion good Muslims don’t take down/out those few thousand thugs?  And how come those billion peace loving, family centered Muslims don’t get together and get rid of the totally misogynist and archaic 7th century laws and attitudes of the males in the Muslim culture.  One cannot seem to separate the religion from the existing governments that are controlled by Islam.

Their stated aim is to convert all people to the Muslim faith, by any means necessary.  The convert all doesn’t bother me, after all the Christians are trying to do this.  What does bother me is the; by any means necessary.  And different religions are generally not allowed to exist in Muslim controlled countries.  At least Christianity tolerates other faiths; however this may have to change for their own survival.  Really silly when you consider they are both supposedly praying to the same God.

The Christian “Thou shalt not bear false witness” has become “Thou shalt not bear false witness, unless it makes a non-believer look bad.”
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Muslim Slaves

Once again Islam is showing how evilly it treats the five hundred million (or more) women of its culture, and consequently how stupid the religion is.

“In Saudi Arabia a conservative Saudi cleric was told to stop giving unauthorized edicts after he called for a boycott of a  supermarket chain that employs women as cashiers, the office of the kingdom’s most senior religious leader said Thursday.”

“Sheik Youssef al-Ahmed had urged people not to shop at Panda Supermarket because women there work in jobs that allow for the mingling of the sexes, which the cleric said was a violation of Islamic law.” Yahoo News

In all Muslim controlled countries women are considered less than human, they are prey for practically any Muslim man. They generally have no, or very limited, rights, they can be raped with impunity, acid can be thrown in their faces for desiring an education, they can be killed for eloping with a beau without permission of their senior family male, they are property of family males or husbands.  They are told what to wear and how to act, they are not allowed to vote…they have no control of their lives at all.

Most Muslim women are no more than slaves to any man they are linked to by blood or marriage. They are rarely allowed out of the home and when they are they must be accompanied by a male family member.  Of course the males in Muslim households love this, as do the husbands.  The husbands are free to take a second wife and do pretty much whatever they please with either of their wives and female children.

Now Muslims all over the world are trying to bring Sharia Law to the democratic countries they have immigrated too, and thereby achieve ultimate control of all the slaves they call daughter or wife…everywhere in the world.

This is an evil religion of the first order and does not deserve equal treatment under the laws of our country.  No matter how much the Muslim leaders protest that Islam is a religion of peace; as long as they treat females the way they do and connive to continue these practices wherever they live, they deserve to be shunned and not treated with any kind of respect by respectable people. Good people do not let inhumanity continue to exist in their midst.  I might add that good people do not make excuses for a religion that acts like this…there is none.

Think of this…A Muslim male is almost NEVER arrested for any kind of mistreatment of family Muslim women or female children, and often not even for unrelated females.  Would you want this to go on here in the US?  Should ANY religion be allowed to even exist that is this evil?

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The Problem With Religious Morality

“The problem with religious morality is that it often causes people to care about the wrong things, leading them to make choices that needlessly perpetuate human suffering. Consider the Catholic Church: This is an institution that excommunicates women who want to become priests, but it does not excommunicate male priests who rape children. The Church is more concerned about stopping contraception than stopping genocide. It is more worried about gay marriage than about nuclear proliferation. When we realize that morality relates to questions of human and animal well-being, we can see that the Catholic Church is as confused about morality as it is about cosmology. It is not offering an alternative moral framework; it is offering a false one.Sam Harris

I just have to say it again…how is it that the Catholic Church survives?  It is clearly immoral and unable to absolve anyone of their sins because of their own unresolved sinfulness. They care more about their dogma than the sustainability of our earth, and the health of it’s inhabitants.

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Is God The Basis For Our Morality

A correspondent writes the following to me”

“In regards to atheism, if you show me how something can come out of nothing I will convert to!”

Sure I can show you something that came out of nothing…the myth about gods…any god.  There was never any proof for any god…still isn’t, and yet some people swear that a god somehow controls who they are and what they do…what happened to free-will?
He then continues:

“Moreover my question in regards to killing was not why you wouldnt do it, its more of what instills that ideology or law in your persona. Why are we born with this mentality, who instilled it in us at birth?” <sic>

When early man was roaming the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago the evidence seems to show that humans hunted and killed each other with abandon. This went on for a looong time and probably reached its climax in early Biblical times and up until the Catholic Church was usurped as a political power over humans.  Nowadays there are so many of us and we have the ability to choose who rules over us (mostly), and it’s politically incorrect to kill citizens with abandon. Humans have the innate desire for self preservation and the smart ones realize that they must act with compassion towards others if they expect the same back to them.

Of course there are some religions that continue to kill with seemingly no consequences.  They do this by targeting enemies and citizens alike…scaring everyone to death.  Christianity’s last big fling at this process was Hitler’s time; who along with the explicit help of the Catholic Church (which was violently against Jews at the time) and eventually the Lutheran’s and such…contrived to wipe Jews off the face of the earth.  Of course we know they also went after the mentally deficient, the homosexuals, the Jehovah’s witnesses, some other small sects, and of course anybody who disagreed with them.

Muslims are pretty much stuck in the 7th Century, where they will probably stay as long as the religion is allowed to continue.  In the Middle East and some other parts of the third world they (Muslim’s) continue to kill with impunity, and of course the leaders are fanatically trying to bring this practice to America.  The Muslim Allah is supposed to be the same as the Christian and Jewish God…is He (God/Allah/Yahweh) also instilling the same innate reverence for life and morality in the Muslim’s as Christianity is supposed to have.

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that the argument that God/Allah/Yahweh provides humans with their basis for morals or reverence for life stands up.  It’s only the last few years that these things and the concurrent arguments have started to appear and that more or less seems to be simultaneous with higher civilization.

Early Christianity may have spouted morality, but the record shows that it is responsible for millions of deaths, what with all the many religious wars, which, by the way, continue today in many places in the world.

Also for your consideration is the Catholic/Spanish Inquisitions and the witch hunts of the Dark Ages in which as many as three million innocent people were put to death by “Christianity.”

We should also remember that the Spanish Christian’s of the 15th and 16th Century and the later European Christians killed or enslaved as many as 100,000,000 indigenous people of the North, Central, and South America, and all the Caribbean Islands.

I wonder where their God given morals and reverence for life was.

Don’t forget that the early Hebrews were killing men, women, and children, whole tribes and all their animals.  And their “God” was telling them to do this…

Religion/God/Allah/Yahweh has never been a sound basis for morality, and it’s certainly not instilled in us from birth by some non-existent spirit floating in the sky.

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Intelligent Design

Intelligent design in biology has been thoroughly refuted in recent years, so I need not say much. Everywhere biologists look they find evidence of randomness and haphazard arrangements that would be called incompetent if they were designed. No matter where scientists cast their eyes, the universe they see looks just like it should look if there was no divine design. Victor Stenger

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Life is an Amazing Thing

Life is an amazing thing. This world of ours was living and breathing for billions of years before it gave birth to us humans. Our struggle has been going on for a few million years and it seems that in the last century or so we have been winning the struggle, but loosing the earth.  There are now so many of us demanding part of the earth’s resources that they will run out and our grand or great grandchildren will be much poorer than us.  There are simply too many of us and its showing up in many ways…none of them good.

Be that as it may, we still love our family members and are truly distressed when they die.  Death is never welcomed except perhaps by those in extreme pain from a disease such as Cancer. One of my family members passed away today at 2 pm and it saddened many, many people…Son and daughter, husband and brother, and all the in-laws.  Sheryl was a mother to 2, grandmother to 5, sister to 1, wife to one great guy, and friend to many.  She was my son-in-laws mother, and a friend to me and my wife and the rest of our (big) family.  We all truly loved her and will sorely miss her at all the birthday parties, anniversaries, and family get-togethers.  She was felled by a brain aneurism one sunny day and lived on in the hospital for many days fighting for her life, struggling valiantly, but in the end she lost the battle and we are all diminished by her way-to-young death.  She was 62 and way strong, but not strong enough to defeat that tiny little leak of a blood vessel in her brain.

We already miss her terribly…..
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