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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:19 pm
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Is prayer really communication with God?

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From a different thread in Theology, Doctrine, and Dogma:
2timothy316 wrote:
The only miracle I know of that everyone can perform today on demand is prayer. Communication with a being that doesn't even live in our space-time continuum is quite a miracle. Technologically speaking mankind can't make any form of communication move faster than the speed of light. Yet in prayer we can talk to God who lives in a whole other universe that we cannot measure even less reach and He can, through holy spirit, direct us to the Bible to communicate back to us.

There are multiple claims within this quote: There exists a god who ‘lives in a whole other universe’. Two-way communication with this god is possible through prayer (from ‘us’) and ‘holy spirit’ (from ‘god’). The holy spirit’s effect is to ‘direct us to the Bible’. And finally, everyone can perform this miracle on demand.

Questions for debate: Can any of this be proven to be true?

What sort of experiment could we devise to satisfactorily test this? And why should the ‘holy spirit’ be confined to just directing the praying person to a book?

I submit as the null hypothesis that such ‘communication’ is purely one’s own internal thoughts - either consciously or subconsciously ‘thinking through a problem’, or possibly (and rarely) an effect of some neurological condition such as schizophrenia. No god involved.

A stipulation for the debate: individual anecdotes along the lines of “I prayed for X and it came true” won’t be considered as strong evidence.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:35 am
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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[Replying to post 1 by Diagoras]

Quote:
Questions for debate: Can any of this be proven to be true?


People have tried, and some attempts at scientific study seem to suggest that the authors have a bias towards believing that gods exist when they make their conclusions, such as this one (reading between the lines):

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802370/

A Wikipedia article (this has many references at the bottom):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer

and others make mention of psychological benefits that have nothing to do with whether or not there is communication with a god, but from the perceived belief that there is. But this addresses whether or not prayer has any benefits ... not whether it is actual communication with a god of some sort.

As an atheist I don't believe (by default I suppose), that communication with a god is possible as I don't believe that gods exist. So the question of whether such communication can be proven scientifically may fall into the same category as trying to prove that gods exist, or not. I would separate religious faith from science and argue that the study of prayer is a waste of resources, but that is predicated by my belief that gods don't exist so by default prayer has no use or benefit. Proving either, however, may indeed fall outside of the realm of proper science.

It seems that unbiased studies on the efficacy of prayer have shown that at best it is a placebo.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:04 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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Diagoras wrote:

From a different thread in Theology, Doctrine, and Dogma:
2timothy316 wrote:
The only miracle I know of that everyone can perform today on demand is prayer. Communication with a being that doesn't even live in our space-time continuum is quite a miracle. Technologically speaking mankind can't make any form of communication move faster than the speed of light. Yet in prayer we can talk to God who lives in a whole other universe that we cannot measure even less reach and He can, through holy spirit, direct us to the Bible to communicate back to us.

There are multiple claims within this quote: There exists a god who ‘lives in a whole other universe’. Two-way communication with this god is possible through prayer (from ‘us’) and ‘holy spirit’ (from ‘god’). The holy spirit’s effect is to ‘direct us to the Bible’. [...]

Questions for debate: Can any of this be proven to be true?



Certainly it possible for this to be proven.


Quote:
TO PROVE
1.
demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument.


So the veracity of prayer can be proven by solid logical argumentation and of course by personal experience although some of that proof is not necessarily scientifically measurable, at least at this present time.



JEHOVAHS WITNESS

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:57 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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[Replying to post 3 by JehovahsWitness]

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Certainly it possible for this to be proven.

I’m hoping so.

Quote:
So the veracity of prayer can be proven by solid logical argumentation

I deliberately started this thread in the Science forum, not the Philosophy forum, as I am more interested in exploring the idea of whether the act of human-to-deity communication (‘H2D Comm’) could be verified by experimentation. That’s the act of it, not the effect of it, which I acknowledge does have real benefits. The null hypothesis that I offer simply posits that these real benefits come about by means other than H2D Comm, therefore does nothing to prove that H2D Comm exists.

I suspect that one reasonable (and large) objection to my stipulation about the need for experiment will be along the lines of ‘God doesn’t just grant wishes for lottery numbers’. But I’ve deliberately held off from describing any possible double-blind experiment we could do, anticipating that very objection: God doesn’t have to answer. If there’s someone of faith here who feels that they could overcome that objection somehow, I’d be very interested to hear it.

By all means, though - suggest a logical argument to get the ball rolling. I’m happy to hear one.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:14 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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[Replying to post 1 by Diagoras]

No prayer cannot be scientifically proven and it does not need to be. Prayer is not for the unbeliever it is for the believer and a nonbeliever can not understand prayer for 2 reasons.

1. How would a two dimensional being understand the third dimension? God is a being that can act outside of our three dimensional universe. So can you point me to the fourth dimension or 5th dimension. Or could you set a test up for me that can measure a value in the 4th or 5th dimensions. Most theories on the structure of the universe have more than the 4 dimensions we can perceive. So most physicist believe that there are dimensions that we cannot sense.

2. Prayer is not to receive good things from God although that does sometime happens but it is to align our will with God's will. This is also a topic that a non believer would not understand. Non believers cannot understand this because they do not believe they are a sinner in need of a savior. There is nothing that brings a believer more joy than to know their sins are forgiven and for them to be aligned with the will of God. That is a believers great joy. I do not think that would be the case for a non believer.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:24 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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[Replying to post 1 by Diagoras]

From my experience, the only thing that can be proven true, scientifically, is that some people believe God exists.
Everything else 'God' seems to be up for individual interpretation that even individuals in the same group can't all agree on 100% of the time.
Looking for scientific proof of a belief is, to me, a waste of time and energy.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:29 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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[Replying to post 5 by EarthScienceguy]

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Non believers cannot understand this because they do not believe they are a sinner in need of a savior.


Or, they don't believe that any gods exist to pray to (so the exercise would be pointless), or that sin is anything more than a religious concept (so nothing to be saved from). An athiest position makes many issues like this much easier to deal with.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:47 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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Diagoras wrote:

From a different thread in Theology, Doctrine, and Dogma:
There are multiple claims within this quote: There exists a god who ‘lives in a whole other universe’. Two-way communication with this god is possible through prayer (from ‘us’) and ‘holy spirit’ (from ‘god’). The holy spirit’s effect is to ‘direct us to the Bible’. And finally, everyone can perform this miracle on demand.

Questions for debate: Can any of this be proven to be true?

What sort of experiment could we devise to satisfactorily test this? And why should the ‘holy spirit’ be confined to just directing the praying person to a book?

Is there a suggested mechanism for this two-way communication? Cell phones use RF signals. A simple, easily demonstrable bit of evidence for this is that cell phones don't work inside of a Faraday cage. If we can find a similar way to block prayer, then maybe we can identify prayer's mechanism for reaching God.

Christians, can you think of places where you've noticed that prayer isn't working? Like have any of you visited a deep cave or old mine, for example? Or if any of you dive as a hobby, is there a depth past where you no longer hear God's responses to your prayers? Do any of you spend time in buildings large enough or shielded enough that you have to step outside to effectively pray?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:55 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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[Replying to post 7 by DrNoGods]

Quote:
Or, they don't believe that any gods exist to pray to (so the exercise would be pointless), or that sin is anything more than a religious concept (so nothing to be saved from). An atheist position makes many issues like this much easier to deal with.


I agree with you. "Broad is the road that leads to destruction." I know you do not believe this and there is no reason why you would. I better stop before I start preaching again.

Or did I already?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:01 pm
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Re: Is prayer really communication with God?

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[Replying to post 8 by Difflugia]

Quote:
Is there a suggested mechanism for this two-way communication? Cell phones use RF signals. A simple, easily demonstrable bit of evidence for this is that cell phones don't work inside of a Faraday cage. If we can find a similar way to block prayer, then maybe we can identify prayer's mechanism for reaching God.

Christians, can you think of places where you've noticed that prayer isn't working? Like have any of you visited a deep cave or old mine, for example? Or if any of you dive as a hobby, is there a depth past where you no longer hear God's responses to your prayers? Do any of you spend time in buildings large enough or shielded enough that you have to step outside to effectively pray?


Great question!!!

Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8If I ascend to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle by the farthest sea, even there Your hand will guide me; Your right hand will hold me fast.

So no there is no where God is not. In fact for God to be the creator of the world He not only has to be at every point in space but also a every point in time all at the same time. That is what is meant by omnipresent.

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