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Author Topic:   The Atheist Prayer Argument Is A Dull Generalisation Predicated On INEXPERIENCE
Tusko
Member (Idle past 218 days)
Posts: 615
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 25 of 55 (912290)
08-24-2023 4:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
08-18-2023 3:17 PM


The placebo effect is pretty well documented, and it is fascinating. Sugar pills can produce measurable benefits. I'd suggest that it's power may go some way to explaining the perceived efficacy of prayer.
There's also the matter of regression to the mean. I'd suggest looking at the Daniel Kahneman quote here - Regression toward the mean - Wikipedia - and seeing if you can discern how I think his thoughts are applicable to prayer.
There are also a number of other powerful psychological biases which I would suggest are in play: - confirmation, selection and survivorship bias, which mean that people tend to notice instances of "successful" prayer, and discount or otherwise downplay unsuccessful prayer attempts. [edit: in the case of survivorship bias, they aren't even *there* to document the failure of their prayers to save them]
There's also the matter that even if prayer is effective (and not for reasons of psychology or statistics, but some mysterious force, perhaps of a spiritual or supernatural kind) - then it isn't at all clear what fountainhead we have to thank for these helpful intercessions. I'd be surprised if the power of prayer wasn't considered to be similarly efficacious for all faith groups. Assuming that's true, this would suggest that it isn't the specific dogma but something to do with the general emanation of psychic wobbles. But just to be clear, I don't think there's any particular evidence to suggest psychic wobbles have any part to play - I think psychology and statistics probably cover most bases.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by mike the wiz, posted 08-18-2023 3:17 PM mike the wiz has not replied

  
Tusko
Member (Idle past 218 days)
Posts: 615
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 26 of 55 (912291)
08-24-2023 4:45 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Phat
08-23-2023 6:58 AM


Re: Is Evidence All That You "Believe" In?
IF God exists, He likely won't replicate anything just because a team of scientists require it in order to complete their experiment.
You have to bear in mind that the whole scientific project has been trundling on as long as it has precisely because of the replicability of experimental results. There would be no point in carrying out experimental science or making observations if different things happened arbitrarily. Happily for science, this kind of inexplicable behaviour hasn't been observed. This would seem to act as some kind of evidence against the capricious god that you posit in your quote.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 08-23-2023 6:58 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
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