FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (Page 10)

  This topic comprises 11 pages: 1  2  3  ...  7  8  9  10  11   
Author Topic: The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act
Geoffrey Card
Member
Member # 1062

 - posted      Profile for Geoffrey Card   Email Geoffrey Card         Edit/Delete Post 
But I think most religious people have trouble answering questions like, "If you prayed in X situation, would Y result occur?" because the question invokes the unknown quantity of "what God is inclined to do" which is something no one is willing to predict. In general, I think that people who believe in miracles, but who recognize their rarity, don't feel that they fully understand why some situations warrant intervention, while others don't, and so they are unwilling to assume one way or the other in a given case.

A typical religious person, in my experience, will pray hoping for the best, but will also prepare themselves for the worst.

Posts: 2048 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
Whereas, from an agnostic point of view, I ask myself, "How would this situation be any different if God didn't exist?" And I'm left with no reason to conclude that it would.
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoffrey Card
Member
Member # 1062

 - posted      Profile for Geoffrey Card   Email Geoffrey Card         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Why wouldn't God be in a position to help people out directly every time they call?
Tom, you've already recognized my position on that earlier in this thread. If God's entire plan is contingent on his children being exposed to the hazards of reality, rather than living in a playpen, then granting us carte blanche with miraculous intervention would make this entire experience pointless.

Given His eternal perspective on the pain of mortality, compared with the ramifications of NOT suffering pain in mortality, He gets to decide not to help us the same way I decided to hold my daughter still while the doctor administered a very painful injection. It was awful for her, and felt like a betrayal to me, but I knew that the pain would end, and that vaccinating her was the best choice in the long run. So I did it.

Posts: 2048 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoffrey Card
Member
Member # 1062

 - posted      Profile for Geoffrey Card   Email Geoffrey Card         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Whereas, from an agnostic point of view, I ask myself, "How would this situation be any different if God didn't exist?" And I'm left with no reason to conclude that it would.
This would be a valid response if I were presenting the purpose of prayer as a reason for an agnostic bystander to believe in God. Since I'm not, it's kind of a non-sequitur.

I use prayer because I already believe in it. I don't expect my experience with it to persuade anyone else.

Posts: 2048 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post 
If you lost your wallet because it was God's will, you didn't have a choice in the matter, which then means you wouldn't have free will.

If you lost it because you were careless, well that is your own fault. You could ask God for help, just don't get mad if it doesn't magically appear in your pocket. He may want you to learn something from your mistake [Smile]

Posts: 1937 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
If God's entire plan is contingent on his children being exposed to the hazards of reality, rather than living in a playpen, then granting us carte blanche with miraculous intervention would make this entire experience pointless.
Again, this one falls flat for me because people are allowed to die who could not possibly have learned something from that experience. Did God let them die so that other people might learn?
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Again, this one falls flat for me because people are allowed to die who could not possibly have learned something from that experience. Did God let them die so that other people might learn?
Well, according to plenty of Christians, sure, Tom, that doesn't make much sense-but there are tons of religions, not just some sects of Christianity, wherein this makes plenty of sense, given that lots of religious systems don't have the idea that life and learning stops at death.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoffrey Card
Member
Member # 1062

 - posted      Profile for Geoffrey Card   Email Geoffrey Card         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Again, this one falls flat for me because people are allowed to die who could not possibly have learned something from that experience. Did God let them die so that other people might learn?
I don't think the point is necessarily for each individual experience to have a specifically-intended learning purpose. I think it's the exposure to danger and chaos in general that is part of the learning process.

Death, specifically, can be a learning experience for the friends, neighbors, and dependents of the deceased. But death also serves the purpose of ending an individual's mortal experience. If we didn't have death, then the pain of mortality would be eternal, and would take on an entirely different meaning and scale from God's perspective. But it is supposed to end, so that we can move on to other things.

Posts: 2048 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post 
Touching on the point from earlier, God would have a much better understanding of death than we do. Specifically, he would know exactly what happens to us after death, whereas we know extremely little about the answer to that question. This makes it practically impossible to cast any sort of judgement on questions of whether or not it was right or wrong for God to let someone die.
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DDDaysh
Member
Member # 9499

 - posted      Profile for DDDaysh   Email DDDaysh         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
God can inspire the fire brigade to go where the priest is...
Then why doesn't He do that every time there's a fire and the fire brigade doesn't know about it?
Maybe this really doesn't help the argument, since it's not really on par with most Christian doctrine, but I believe that God isn't all powerful. I think God is VERY powerful, maybe so powerful that if you give him any one specific task he'd always be able to accomplish it, but not totally, completely, absolutely in control of every aspect of the universe.

In other words, no, God cannot make a mountain so heavy he cannot move it.

In that scheme, the reason God doesn't always send a fire truck is because there is a cost to sending the fire truck, and sometimes that cost is too high, or, in some other way contrary to a purpose God is already working towards.

As for prayer... I pray. Sometimes my prayer is just talking to him, but often I ask for things. Every once in a while, God gives me what I asked for. More often, that's not what happens. Sometimes he gives me other things instead, and sometimes I feel like there's no answer at all. God really is very much like a parent.

For instance, what if my son were to ask me for a Snicker's bar? Well, sometimes I will know that a Snicker's bar won't hurt him, and will make him happy, so I give it to him. More often, however, I know that a Snicker's bar is not good for him and say no. Then (if I'm being a good parent) I figure out why he was asking for a Snicker's bar. If he was asking because he was hungry, I'll make him a healthy snack instead. If he was asking because he was bored, I'll try to entertain him. It goes on and on...

In real life, of course, it's much more complicated. I have to ask, at times, what could POSSIBLY be more important than the life of a child? Still, I'm not God and I don't know. Maybe there is, and when I'm dead, maybe I'll understand, or maybe not. Maybe when I die and see the big picture I will be angry with God and think he could have done a better job, but I really hope not!

Posts: 1321 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post 
Strangely enough I thought of this thread after watching the "Firefly" episode of Fringe. Walter brought Peter from the other universe, and due to the event there were no fireflies out.(They died or something) A little girl had gone out to catch a firefly but she could not find any, so her father went out to look for her. The truck he was driving went out of control and killed a young man. (Who happened to be the son of Christopher Lloyd's character)

The Observer knew that this would happen but made no attempt to stop it. The Observer knew what should have happened, but due to Walter's decision the future that should have been was changed.

I think God does the same. He can see how things should or can happen, but our decisions can change what actually takes place.

Or there are an infinite number of Parallel Universes, which is possible too. [Smile]

Posts: 1937 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
swbarnes2
Member
Member # 10225

 - posted      Profile for swbarnes2           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:

But the point of asking questions is to get answers I didn't expect.

Why don't you ask next if Nazis are bad, swbarnes, and should be scorned? If kicking puppies is awful?
Those are points on which I feel I already know the opinions of the board.

quote:
Though of course you're exaggerating quite a bit, since how much of medical science was 'proven' a thousand years ago?
Very little.

(See, answering questions, even rhetorical ones isn't hard!)

quote:
The point of asking Scott the question you asked him was not to get an answer you didn't expect. You're lying when you say that, and it's pretty obvious to anyone who read it, I feel very comfortable in saying. The point in asking that question, in that way, was an attempt at a zinger, to paint him into a corner, to get your, "A ha! moment." Everyone's done `em, and I've certainly done more than my fair share, and it will take a lot of persuasion for you to convince me you were sincerely seeking out an unexpected answer.
I don't understand why you are associating answering a simple question as "painting oneself into a corner", as something terrible that people shouldn't be asked to do. When Ron claims that "Each primary species was created with a library of alternate characteristics", and I ask him to show us that library in the genome of an organism, no one accuses me of wrongfully trying to paint Ron in a corner. If Ron asks me to post an example of a mutation which causes resistance, I'd do it, and not worry about some "Ah-ha" moment. And if he did manage to prove some claim of mine wrong, I would stop and relook at my evidence and my reasoning, and be glad that I didn't go on another day being wrong. And I would realize that the only reason I was able to find and correct my error was because I was willing to "paint myself into a corner".

quote:
But even if it wasn't obvious, I have your own post to prove what your motive was: "You didn't do that, exactly as I knew you would not."
I do lots of experiments where I'm 95% of the outcome before I do them. It doesn't make my carrying them out dishonest. If I'm wrong, I need to know, and the only way to discover that is to run the experiment.

quote:
So let's just dispense with that bit of BS, shall we? Your motive wasn't truth-seeking seeking or perspective-learning, it was winning. That's fine, but since you're so blatant about it you may as well cop to it.
No, it is perspective learning. I would have figured that every theist would be quick to say "Kara would die no matter who prayed over her, prayer simply can't regrow beta cells". I did not think that multiple theists, all of whom know that the Neumanns' own prayers were ineffective, would insist that prayer might have saved her life.

quote:
this is why it's a deceptive question: because you imply by asking the question that Scott, or anyone else you ask the question, is the sort of fellow who believes that prayer should be relied upon exclusively. It smacks of a 'when did you stop beating your wife' question.
I don't see how that compares to "What would happen if you did X"? Yours does contain the implicit assumption that beating was started, becuase the word "stop" demands it, but my question doesn't have any wording like that. There are a million things that I would never do, but that doesn't prevent me from at least guessing what outcomes might happen, and how likely they all are.

I obviously would never sit back and pray for a deathly ill child to get better either, but I have no problem concluding that if I did try praying for Kara to get better, she still would have died of diabetes.

And anyway, the answer to yours is still simple: "Never, because it is impossible to stop what one has never started". One word, one short sentence is all it takes to deconvolute the tangled question. And I don't consider myself painted into any corner by answering it. My answer was accurate, and contains enough context that others will derive an accurate understanding from it.

quote:
Here's why it's a trick: why are you asking Scott, or anyone else around here for that matter, if they rely on prayer alone to accomplish something such as healing?
I understand that some people on this board would rather answer that question that the one I asked, but that's why I asked the one I asked.

quote:
"What would happen..." "What would happen..." "What would happen..." Well, I can answer your question for my own part at least. In this case I think it's most likely she would have died. Now before you start on another colorful rant, please remember that I'm being much more careful in my use of words like 'most likely' than you are with your use of words like 'many'.
See, that wasn't challenging was it? Do you feel that you are painted into a corner, by giving a simple answer to a simple question?

"Most likely" to me suggests a probably of death somewhere between 50% and 70%, where other terms like "almost certainly" would suggest more like 95-99%. Does a 30-50% chance of being healed by prayer alone accurately describe your claim?

But the very least, your post suggests that you think that she might have regrown her beta cells and lived with no medical intervention, correct?

Posts: 575 | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
Swbarnes, in my opinion, for prayer to have medically helped Kara, it would have needed to start generations ago. Perhaps prayer for insight into the causes of diabetes, prayer for the dedication of scientist and doctors, prayer for the understanding of how prayer works so that her parents weren't so misguided, prayer for a world that is more devoted to helping sick children and preventing disease.

You, and Kara's parents, have a view of prayer that is far too narrow.

Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post 
"Perhaps prayer for insight into the causes of diabetes, prayer for the dedication of scientist and doctors, prayer for the understanding of how prayer works so that her parents weren't so misguided, prayer for a world that is more devoted to helping sick children and preventing disease."

None of which will actually DO anything. ACTIONS to promote these goals would.

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
Prayer should lead to action. Better action.
Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paul Goldner
Member
Member # 1910

 - posted      Profile for Paul Goldner   Email Paul Goldner         Edit/Delete Post 
Sure, if the quality of the person (prior to praying) is such that introspection will help him take better action in the future, then introspection will help him to take better actions in the future. But other than that, there's no reason prayer should lead to better action.
Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post 
Heh, swbarnes, you just can't do it, can you? Have an honest conversation, that is. No, I don't mean just a technically honest conversation. I doubt there isn't a person here who's aware you're being quite technically honest-though sprinkled with a few dishonesties here and there (yes, you're quite interested in learning about the perspectives of theists, that just rings through clearly, heh).

Given that and how tedious it is to speak to you, I'll just answer your last question: yes. It's possible-and not necessarily because of any prayer, either. Sometimes people just get better for unknown reasons-perhaps those reasons would be known someday with better tools to observe, but not now.

Now please, in your pursuit of knowledge, continue attempting to learn about my perspective. Heh.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
swbarnes2
Member
Member # 10225

 - posted      Profile for swbarnes2           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Swbarnes, in my opinion, for prayer to have medically helped Kara, it would have needed to start generations ago.[/]quote]

Is this your roundabout way of saying that you believe that had you prayed for her to be healed as she lay dying, she still would have died?

[quote]Perhaps prayer for insight into the causes of diabetes, prayer for the dedication of scientist and doctors

Prayer for insight? Has prayer ever turned up a novel drug target? Do Christians find more drug targets than atheists? Are Catholic universities finding more drug targets than Merck?

quote:
prayer for the understanding of how prayer works so that her parents weren't so misguided
Of course. You understand how prayer works, and they don't. They are ignorant, but you know better. They choose to believe, just like you did, but they should choose something else.

The Neumanns surely have received exactly as much confirmation of the accuracy of their beliefs through prayer as every theist here has. How can you expect them to turn away from what they believe God has confirmed in them? Would you?

quote:
prayer for a world that is more devoted to helping sick children and preventing disease.
How will praying achieve this?

People have been praying for children to recover from illness for thousands of years, and for thousands of years, they died. Even people who prayed the way you think they should (the ones who will accept help from motorboats and helicopters) still watched their children die because science hadn't learned enough to save them. How many more millennia must pass before you can conclude that prayer isn't saving lives?

The Neumanns sincerely believed they were helping their sick child. More devotion would not have changed Kara's fate.

Posts: 575 | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoffrey Card
Member
Member # 1062

 - posted      Profile for Geoffrey Card   Email Geoffrey Card         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think any reasonable person believes that prayer is meant to be a reliable process that mechanically produces measurable results, and that "more devotion in" always == "more miracles out". (People do believe this, but I don't consider them to be reasonable.)

Prayer is something that religious people do because they feel they have a relationship with God, and in times of need, how could they NOT ask for His help? Those with a measure of realism and humility accept that under normal conditions, it takes a lot more than prayer to solve a serious problem. But prayer can help individuals find the answers they need, even if the question they end up getting an answer to is along the lines of, "How do I deal with this unabated tragedy?"

People who refuse treatment in favor of prayer alone are wrong, in both my opinion and yours. We can definitely agree about that, right? At the same time, I believe in God, so I think prayer still has value, despite it not-doing things that I never expected it to do.

Do you believe that people should only do things that are guaranteed to have a measurable impact on the problem they wish to solve? Or is it okay if, alongside other strategies, people also try things that are unlikely to have an impact, but which express their hope and commitment, and which help them to work through the stresses with a trusted friend who in some very rare cases might actually produce a solution?

When I'm stressed out by unsolvable problems at work, I often discuss my problems with my immediate superior. In most cases, I come into the conversation with no expectation that I'll walk out with the problem resolved. But the conversation itself defrays tension and helps to move me in the right direction, and every now and then, my superior has an idea for something he can do to offer a small amount of relief. Talking to him doesn't make my problems magically go away, and I wouldn't want them to the problems are my job, not his, and I want to demonstrate that I can handle them myself. But I'm not going to STOP talking to him because that's "all" I get out of the exercise.

[ February 16, 2011, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: Geoffrey Card ]

Posts: 2048 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
But prayer can help individuals find the answers they need, even if the question they end up getting an answer to is along the lines of, "How do I deal with this unabated tragedy?"
Are Christians noted for more rarely committing suicide than those who do not pray? Do they deal better with tragedy? Do they have less depression, make fewer bad decisions, recover from bad events faster? If not, what exactly does it mean to "deal with tragedy"?
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
0Megabyte
Member
Member # 8624

 - posted      Profile for 0Megabyte   Email 0Megabyte         Edit/Delete Post 
In all honesty, KoM, there is something comforting in prayer. It can make people feel better, or at least more at ease. I've seen it happen, and I've felt it happen myself when I was religious.

Do I think it's something magical? No. Do I believe it's actually even talking to a god? No. And do I have any statistics? Not on me.

But the action can have an effect. Focusing your thoughts on what you want, or hope will happen, etc, is not a useless endeavor. Asking, even in your mind, for help from a higher authority has a mental effect which is real. I've felt it.

But just like positive thinking is helpful in many specific situations even though The Secret's law of attraction is bogus, the actions involved in prayer can be helpful, even if the act isn't communication with anyone but the self.

Seriously, challenging this particular thing isn't the most helpful part.

Of course swbarnes is right about it having no demonstrated effect on the greater world. But it has an effect on the person, mentally anyway, and that kind of focus can be good. Certainly when it causes someone to go and take actions.

(Don't imagine I think sitting and praying instead of doing anything is useful. But I am not talking about people who'd pray for their child and put it in God's hands instead of going to a doctor. I'm talking about the normal people I meet in everyday life.)

Posts: 1577 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MrSquicky
Member
Member # 1802

 - posted      Profile for MrSquicky   Email MrSquicky         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
But prayer can help individuals find the answers they need, even if the question they end up getting an answer to is along the lines of, "How do I deal with this unabated tragedy?"
Are Christians noted for more rarely committing suicide than those who do not pray? Do they deal better with tragedy? Do they have less depression, make fewer bad decisions, recover from bad events faster? If not, what exactly does it mean to "deal with tragedy"?
You know, those are answerable questions. In this case, the research says yes. Members of religious groups self-report as happier, are less likely to commit suicide, and are less likely to suffer from depression than people unaffiliated with a religion, and these differences are significant.
Posts: 10177 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post 
Edit: This was in response to 0mega, not Squicky.

How does this differ from taking two Valium, or for that matter from resolving to deal with the problem and get on with your life? The question is not whether humans are capable of dealing with tragic events; of course we are. When people say "I don't know how I'd deal with X", they are ignoring the fact that ultimately they have exactly two options: Deal, or commit suicide.

The question is, does prayer actually help, compared to other methods of processing grief/anger/whatever? And further, if it's just a technique for such processing, then it should be presented as such and evaluated as such, without the nonsense about gods. In a similar vein, if acupuncture genuinely helps, fine, do a proper study of its effects; don't waffle on about the lines of chi spiralling around the chakras, or whatever. But the theists here want to have it both ways: They want prayer to be just a method of dealing with bad stuff, and evidence for the existence of their god. Well, either you have evidence of an outside effect, or you've just found a meditation technique; make up your minds which it is, and argue from there.

Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post 
(I've come across the religion makes people happier thing on gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/116449/Religion-Provides-Emotional-Boost-World-Poor.aspx

However, it only really seems to work in poor countries where religiosity is more common in general. In richer countries where it is less common, the relationship was reversed where the difference was more than 2%)

Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MrSquicky
Member
Member # 1802

 - posted      Profile for MrSquicky   Email MrSquicky         Edit/Delete Post 
Mucus,
A fair bit of the scientific research I'm aware of focused on America, specifically and showed significant differences.

Posts: 10177 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
But the theists here want to have it both ways: They want prayer to be just a method of dealing with bad stuff, and evidence for the existence of their god.
I don't think many theists care whether prayer is evidence for the existence of God.

Actually, I don't think many theists are all that concerned about whether or not there's evidence for the existence of God, if by evidence you mean hard proof. That sort of misses the point of religion.

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mucus
Member
Member # 9735

 - posted      Profile for Mucus           Edit/Delete Post 
MrSquicky: Thats not really contradictory when you consider that the religiosity of the US is somewhat of an outlier among richer countries.
Posts: 7593 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xavier
Member
Member # 405

 - posted      Profile for Xavier   Email Xavier         Edit/Delete Post 
You must not have read much of the "Jewish thing" thread Tresopax [Smile] .

And a fairly large number of people here have cited prayer and its results as evidence considered for why they believe, even if they don't submit it as solid evidence for others.

Posts: 5656 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
You must not have read much of the "Jewish thing" thread Tresopax [Smile] .

That assumes the theists participating in that thread are typical of the general theist population.

I think that's clearly "no".

Speaking for myself, I don't care whether y'all believe there is hard proof or not.

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I don't think many theists care whether prayer is evidence for the existence of God.
It's the primary means by which Mormons are instructed to verify the truth of their church and, by extension, the existence of God.
Posts: 3275 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xavier
Member
Member # 405

 - posted      Profile for Xavier   Email Xavier         Edit/Delete Post 
I think adding "if by evidence you mean hard proof" just confuses the sentiment. KoM clearly didn't mean evidence as "hard proof", he meant "measurable in an objective way", which is hardly the same thing.

Because of this, I can't seem to make a satisfactory reply to your post rivka.

Posts: 5656 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post 
*shrug* Call it what you like. I have evidence that satisfies me; I care not one whit whether it satisfies you, KoM, Tom, etc.


MattP, to themselves. Not to others. No?

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoffrey Card
Member
Member # 1062

 - posted      Profile for Geoffrey Card   Email Geoffrey Card         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
I don't think many theists care whether prayer is evidence for the existence of God.
It's the primary means by which Mormons are instructed to verify the truth of their church and, by extension, the existence of God.
To themselves. This is meant to be individual, subjective evidence. Not verifiable laboratory evidence.

EDIT: Missed Rivka's post [Smile] What she said.

Posts: 2048 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post 
Hiya, Geoff. [Smile]
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
I don't think many theists care whether prayer is evidence for the existence of God.
It's the primary means by which Mormons are instructed to verify the truth of their church and, by extension, the existence of God.
Not exactly. The entire process is usually shrunk down to the phrase, "Search, Ponder, and Pray."

You can't just walk around praying for verification of things. One must first study them, and consider for themselves what their own opinions are on the matter, and then present those opinions in prayer.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post 
BB, I'm talking about *the* test - Moroni's challenge. It's a pretty straightforward "ask and it will be answered" thing.
Posts: 3275 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
BB, I'm talking about *the* test - Moroni's challenge. It's a pretty straightforward "ask and it will be answered" thing.

Yes, and you will note Moroni's challenge does not come until virtually the end of the entire book. The reason the BOM is pushed vigorously as a good thing to pray about is because a prophet of God said it's worth praying about, and if it is true, then it stands to reason many other important principles found in Mormonism and indeed Christianity itself are then also true.

When I was young I read the entire Book of Mormon, and prayed about it right then and there; I got no answer. I did it again when I was much older, and again I got no answer. I did ask God for guidance as to what was amiss or if perhaps the book was not true, and I felt inspired with the instructions, to stop trying to force an answer, to think about things for myself. After doing so, I concluded that I felt the evidence pointed towards the book being true, and the confirmation I was seeking came then.

If I had been reading the Book of Mormon and come across some undeniable evidence that the Book was not real, or if the Book taught principles that I felt were incorrect, I wouldn't have bothered praying.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
When I was young I read the entire Book of Mormon, and prayed about it right then and there; I got no answer. I did it again when I was much older, and again I got no answer. I did ask God for guidance as to what was amiss or if perhaps the book was not true, and I felt inspired with the instructions, to stop trying to force an answer, to think about things for myself. After doing so, I concluded that I felt the evidence pointed towards the book being true, and the confirmation I was seeking came then.
Um....
*shuffles feet*

Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I think adding "if by evidence you mean hard proof" just confuses the sentiment. KoM clearly didn't mean evidence as "hard proof", he meant "measurable in an objective way", which is hardly the same thing.
Well yes, that is probably a more accurate way to word it. I don't think most theists are all that concerned with having proof that's measurable in an objective way. They do care about the question of why we should believe in God, but I don't think many are expecting the answer to that question to be something objectively measurable.
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
When I was young I read the entire Book of Mormon, and prayed about it right then and there; I got no answer. I did it again when I was much older, and again I got no answer. I did ask God for guidance as to what was amiss or if perhaps the book was not true, and I felt inspired with the instructions, to stop trying to force an answer, to think about things for myself. After doing so, I concluded that I felt the evidence pointed towards the book being true, and the confirmation I was seeking came then.
Um....
*shuffles feet*

Are we dancing? I love the shuffle!
Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

When I was young I read the entire Book of Mormon, and prayed about it right then and there; I got no answer. I did it again when I was much older, and again I got no answer. I did ask God for guidance as to what was amiss or if perhaps the book was not true, and I felt inspired with the instructions, to stop trying to force an answer, to think about things for myself. After doing so, I concluded that I felt the evidence pointed towards the book being true, and the confirmation I was seeking came then.

o__o
Posts: 15421 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
You: Is the BoM "true?"
God: <no answer>
You: Is the BoM "true?"
God: <no answer>
You: What's wrong? Why don't you answer me?
God: Think about things for yourself.
You: Okay, I'm convinced by other evidence of some sort. The BoM is clearly true.
God: Yeah, it is.

Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
Tom: My point was I was not really pondering or considering the matter. I just read the text for what it was, and prayed.

Look it was a mistake to even go into my own personal experience on the matter. I was only trying to point out for Mormons, it's not a matter of, "Oh hey I wonder if the BOM is true, I'll just pray real hard!" The fact is when I was praying really hard it didn't work for me.

I'd rather not discuss my experience anymore if that's OK with you.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, I didn't really expect you to be comfortable with any comments, which is why I "shuffled;" I interpreted the "are we dancing" as an invitation to comment, though.
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I was only trying to point out for Mormons, it's not a matter of, "Oh hey I wonder if the BOM is true, I'll just pray real hard!"
The church really needs to update their missionary training then because I've never spoken to a missionary that hasn't basically said "just pray about it!". (And I've spoken to a *lot* of missionaries - curse of being a non-member that's married to a Mormon.)

[ February 17, 2011, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

Posts: 3275 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
BB, I'm talking about *the* test - Moroni's challenge. It's a pretty straightforward "ask and it will be answered" thing.

Hmm. That's not how it was taught to me. Here's the verse:

quote:
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

There are qualifiers, not the least of which is asking the question with a sincere heart and real intent. Also, faith in Christ, recognition of the mercies of God, and some sort of meditation/pondering agenda.

I'm reminded of the problem Oliver Cowdery had when he tried to translate the Book of Mormon: he'd asked God for the ability to translate but wasn't capable of making sense of the writing on the plates. God's response was to tell him that the gifts he was looking for aren't free for the asking; you have to put in the work of study.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The church really needs to update their missionary training then because I've never spoken to a missionary that hasn't basically said "just pray about it!". (And I've spoken to a *lot* of missionaries - curse of being a non-member that's married to a Mormon.)
I'd settle for missionaries that didn't drop by unannounced at 3p on a Saturday and stay for two hours without having any sort of message or use to their visit.

My priorities may be a bit different from yours...

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Look it was a mistake to even go into my own personal experience on the matter. I was only trying to point out for Mormons, it's not a matter of, "Oh hey I wonder if the BOM is true, I'll just pray real hard!" The fact is when I was praying really hard it didn't work for me.
I think your experience makes a helpful point about prayer even to us non-Mormons.
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
The church really needs to update their missionary training then because I've never spoken to a missionary that hasn't basically said "just pray about it!". (And I've spoken to a *lot* of missionaries - curse of being a non-member that's married to a Mormon.)
I'd settle for missionaries that didn't drop by unannounced at 3p on a Saturday and stay for two hours without having any sort of message or use to their visit.

My priorities may be a bit different from yours...

They are quite similar to mine. I can sympathize with missionaries wanting a friendly face to talk to after a rough day or week, but man I have no patience for that sort of time wasting.
Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
Look it was a mistake to even go into my own personal experience on the matter. I was only trying to point out for Mormons, it's not a matter of, "Oh hey I wonder if the BOM is true, I'll just pray real hard!" The fact is when I was praying really hard it didn't work for me.
I think your experience makes a helpful point about prayer even to us non-Mormons.
It's a good lesson about prayer and faith.
Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 11 pages: 1  2  3  ...  7  8  9  10  11   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2