The Black Vault Message Forums

Discover the Truth!        

Religion & Spirituality

God Is Imaginary: Try Praying & Statistically Analyze Prayer

Whether you believe in a higher power or not, this forum is dedicated to the topic of religion and spirituality. We live in a diverse world with different morals and ideas when it comes to our beliefs, so come in and share your thoughts.

Postby event_horizon » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:23 pm

Proof #1 - Try Praying

How might we prove that God is imaginary? One way would be to find a contradiction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_contradiction) between the definition of God and the God we experience in the real world.

What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.

Will anything happen? No. Of course not.

This is very odd. Jesus makes specific promises in the Bible about how prayer is supposed to work. Jesus says in many different places that he and God will answer your prayers. And Christians believe Jesus -- according to this recent article (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_ ... rally_true), "54% of American adults believe the Bible is literally true." In some areas of the country the number goes as high as 75%.

If the Bible is literally true, then something is seriously amiss. Simply look at the facts.

In 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!

If "every one who asks receives", then if we ask for cancer to be cured, it should be cured. Right? If "our Father who is in heaven gives good things to those who ask him", then if we ask him to cure cancer, he should cure it. Right? And yet nothing happens.

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:
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.

If "nothing will be impossible to you", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should disappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note that if we take the Bible less-than-literally here, the statement "nothing will be impossible to you" becomes "lots of things will be impossible to you," and that would mean that Jesus is lying.

In Matthew 21:21:
I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

If "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should dissappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note again that there is not a non-literal way to interpret "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", unless you replace "whatever" with "nothing" or "little."

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

If God says, "believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," and if we believe in God and his power, then what should happen if we pray to cure cancer tonight? It should be cured. Either that, or God is lying.

In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus tells all of us just how easy prayer can be:
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." [ref: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se ... rsion=NIV;]

Look at how direct this statement is: "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." This is the "Son of God" speaking. Have we taken him "too literally?" No. This is a simple, unambiguous statement. Have we taken his statement "out of context?" No - Jesus uses the word anyone. Yet Jesus' statement is obviously false. Because when we ask God to cure cancer tonight, nothing happens.

We see the same thing over and over again...

In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says:
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.

In James 5:15-16 the Bible says:
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

In Mark 9:23:
All things are possible to him who believes.

In Luke 1:37:
For with God nothing will be impossible.

Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible. Yet, when we pray to eliminate cancer, nothing happens.

And keep in mind that this is Jesus talking here. These are not the words of human beings. These are not the words of "inspired" human beings. These are supposedly the words of God himself, incarnated in a human body. Jesus is supposed to be a perfect, sinless (http://godisimaginary.com/i39.htm) being. And yet, it is obvious that Jesus is lying. What Jesus says is clearly incorrect.

Image
Jesus is supposed to be God. God is supposed to be perfect.
When Jesus speaks, he should speak the truth.
Yet when we look at what Jesus says about prayer,
he is clearly lying.


If you would like additional proof, gather a million faithful believers together into a giant prayer circle. Have them all pray together in Jesus' name that God cures every case of cancer on the planet tomorrow. Pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways. Now, we certainly have two or more people gathered together, and they have asked in Jesus' name, and we have not one but a million faithful believers who, by definition, have faith and believe. We have fulfilled every one of Jesus' requirements.

Will Jesus answer the prayer now? Of course not. Your prayer will go unanswered, in direct defiance to Jesus' promises in the Bible. In fact, if you pray for anything that is impossible, your prayer will always go unanswered (http://godisimaginary.com/i9.htm).

If you are an intelligent, rational human being, all of the examples mentioned above show you that the God of the Bible is imaginary. The Bible clearly promises that God answers prayers. Yet when we pray, nothing happens (for a complete discussion proving that nothing happens, please see this page http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/important.htm). What Jesus says about prayer in the Bible clearly is not true. Therefore, one of two things must be happening:

- God is imaginary.
- God does exist, but he never answers prayers. Unfortunately, God is defined by the Bible to be a prayer-answering being. The contradiction between the reality of God and the definition of God proves that God is imaginary.

In fact, we have ample scientific evidence to demonstrate that the belief in prayer is nothing but pure superstition, as shown in the next proof...http://godisimaginary.com/i2.htm

Understanding the Rationalizations:

A favorite Christian rationalization for why God does not answer our prayer to eliminate cancer is because "it would take away free will." The logic: If you pray and God answers your prayer, then God would have revealed himself to you, and you would know that God exists. That would take away your free will to believe in him. Of course, if this is true, then by default all of Jesus' statements about prayer in the Bible are false. It means that God cannot answer any prayer. Also, why is a God who must remain hidden like this incarnating himself and writing the Bible?

If Jesus is God, and if God is perfect, why aren't all of Jesus's verses about prayer true? Was Jesus exagerating? Was he fibbing? If Jesus is perfect, why wouldn't he speak the truth? Why doesn't a prayer to cure cancer worldwide tomorrow work?

Believers have many different ways to explain why all these verses in the Bible do not work, even if you are praying sincerely, unselfishly and non-materialistically, and even if the answer to your prayer would help millions of people and glorify God in the process. They will say things like this:

"You need to understand what Jesus was saying in the context the first century civilization in which he was speaking..."

or:

"When Jesus talked about 'moving a mountain', he was speaking metaphorically. When someone says, 'it is raining cats and dogs,' no one takes him literally. Jesus was using a figure of speech rather than speaking literally..."

or:

God is not a thing. He is a being. He has a will. He has desires. He relates to people. He has personality traits. Prayer is a fancy word for talking to God. God, who knows everything, even before we say it, knows the difference between our thoughts and wishes, and when we are actually addressing him. He hears our prayers and responds. His responses are based on his personal decisions. We cannot predict how he will respond to our prayers... [ref: http://www.torahbytes.org/63-45.htm]

The primary problem with these rationalizations is that they miss the point. The fact is that God never answers any prayers, as discussed here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/important.htm).

Going one step further, the problem is that all of these rationalizations miss two other important points:

1. God is supposed to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect being.
2. The statement, "Nothing will be impossible for you", along with the other Bible verses quoted above, are false. The fact is, lots of things are impossible for you.

If a perfect being is going to make statements about how prayer works in the Bible, then three things are certain: 1) He would speak clearly, 2) he would say what he means, and 3) he would speak the truth. That is what "being perfect" is all about. A perfect, all-knowing God would know that people would be reading the Bible 2,000 years later, and therefore he would not use first-century idioms (he would say what he means). He would know that normal people will be reading the Bible and interpreting it in normal ways, so he would speak in such a way as to avoid mis-interpretation (he would speak clearly). He would know that when you say, "Nothing will be impossible for you", that what it means is, "Nothing will be impossible for you" and he would make sure that the statement "Nothing will be impossible for you" is accurate (he would speak the truth). If God says it, it should be true -- otherwise he is not perfect.

Unfortunately, the fact is that thousands of things are impossible for you no matter how much you pray, and no one (including Jesus) has ever moved a mountain.

In order to see the truth, you need to accept the fact that all of the above verses are wrong. The fact is, God does not answer prayers. The reason why God does not answer your prayers is simple: God is imaginary.
I don't believe what I believe because it's what I desire to believe. I believe what I believe because it's what logic and reason cause me to believe. All I want is to live with the truth -- nothing more, nothing less.
User avatar
event_horizon
 
Posts: 1621
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:51 am
Location: Colorado

Postby event_horizon » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:28 pm

Proof #2 - Statistically Analyze Prayer

The fact is, God never answers any prayers. The entire idea that "God answers prayers" is an illusion created by human imagination (http://godisimaginary.com/i7.htm).

How do we know that "answered prayers" are illusions? We simply perform scientific experiments. We ask a group of believers to pray for something and then we watch what happens. What we find, whenever we test the efficacy of prayer scientifically, is that prayer has zero effect:

- It does not matter who prays.
- It does not matter if we pray to God, Allah, Vishnu, Zeus, Ra or any other human god.
- It does not matter what we pray about.

If we perform scientific, double-blind tests on prayer, and if the prayers involve something concrete and measurable (for example, healing people with cancer), we know that there is zero effect from prayer. Every single "answered prayer" is nothing more than a coincidence. Both scientific experiments and your everyday observations of the world show this to be the case every single time.

For example, this article says:

One of the most scientifically rigorous studies yet, published earlier this month, found that the prayers of a distant congregation did not reduce the major complications or death rate in patients hospitalized for heart treatments.

And:

A review of 17 past studies of ''distant healing," published in 2003 by a British researcher, found no significant effect for prayer or other healing methods.

This article from March, 2006 discusses the fact that the same conclusion was reached in another study:

In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

In this article we find an amazing quote where theologians (http://godisimaginary.com/i32.htm) and religious leaders declare that prayer has no actual effect:

Religious leaders will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that so-called intercessory prayer is medically ineffective. In a large and much touted scientific study, one group of patients was told that strangers would pray for them, a second group was told strangers might or might not pray for them, and a third group was not prayed for at all. The $2.4 million study found that the strangers' prayers did not help patients' recovery.

This is a remarkable example of "positive spin" -- religious leaders are "breathing a sigh of relief" because prayer has been shown to be meaningless. The fact that prayer is a total waste of time does not matter to them. It does not matter that all of Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible have been proven completely false.

A peer-reviewed scientific study published in 2001 did indicate that prayer works. According to this article:

"On October 2, 2001, the New York Times reported that researchers at prestigious Columbia University Medical Center in New York had discovered something quite extraordinary. Using virtually foolproof scientific methods the researchers had demonstrated that infertile women who were prayed for by Christian prayer groups became pregnant twice as often as those who did not have people praying for them. The study was published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Even the researchers were shocked. The study's results could only be described as miraculous."

This study was later proven to be completely fraudulent. However, everyone who cut out the original article in the NYTimes and posted it on their refrigerators still has that article as "proof" that prayer works.

This article entitled A prayer before dying (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.12/prayer.html) uncovers another case where a "scientific study" of prayer is unmasked as fraudulent.

It's not just prayer that is ineffective. Not even a hopeful attitude helps. According to this article (http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/200 ... ncer_x.htm):

A positive attitude does not improve the chances of surviving cancer and doctors who encourage patients to keep up hope may be burdening them, according to the results of research released Monday.

The dictionary defines the word "superstition" in this way:

An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome. [ref: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/superstition]

The belief in prayer is a superstition. It has been proven scientifically over and over again. When a prayer appears to be answered, it is a coincidence. Quite simply, prayer has absolutely no effect on the outcome of any event. The "power of prayer" is actually "the power of coincidence."

Therefore, as in Proof #1, one of two things must be happening:

- God is imaginary.
- God does exist, but he never answers prayers. Unfortunately, God is defined by the Bible to be a prayer-answering being. The contradiction between the reality of God and the definition of God proves that God is imaginary.

Prayer does not work because God is completely imaginary.

Understanding the Rationalizations

You can find many believers who will say, "The reason why scientific experiments fail to detect God is because God must remain hidden. He does not answer prayers if he knows that he will be detected."

In order to see the truth, you need to accept that this explanation is silly. If God must remain hidden, then he cannot answer any prayers. Any "answered prayer" would expose God.

The whole notion that "God" must remain "hidden" is a total cross-threading of religious doctrine. On the one hand, believers will say that "God wrote the Bible, God incarnated himself and died on the cross for us, and God answers millions of prayers on earth every day." Then in the next breath they will say, "God must remain hidden." God obviously cannot "remain hidden" and "incarnate himself." These two items are mutually exclusive. Therefore, the explanation that "God must remain hidden" is impossible. As soon as you accept how impossible it is, you can begin to see see that God is imaginary.

In order to see the truth, you need to accept the fact that the scientific evidence is accurate and irrefutable. We have scientifically proven that God does not answer any prayers on earth. Every single "answered prayer" is nothing more than a coincidence.

We can see reality by looking at a simple example. Imagine that the rate of remission for some particularly nasty type of cancer is 5%. That means that if 20 people get this type of cancer, it is almost always fatal. Only one in twenty of the people who get the disease will survive. Knowing this, you can see what happens if we actually analyze prayer:

- 20 believers contract the disease
- All of them have read James 5:15, so all of them pray.
- 19 of them die
- The one who lives proclaims, "I prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered my prayers! My disease is cured! It is a miracle! I KNEW God would answer my prayers!"
- You never hear about the 19 who died. No one ever writes about them in a magazine. "Person prays, then dies" is not a great headline. And since they are dead, you will never hear from any of these people.
- Therefore, if you don't look at all the facts around the "answered prayer," and you only hear about the one out of twenty prayers that succeed, it appears that prayer is successful.

The fact is, believers who pray die from this disease at exactly the same rate as people who do not.

We can see the reality of this situation simply by opening our eyes and looking at the data. But we do have to open our eyes -- We have to look at both the successes AND the failures of prayer to see the reality of our world. When we take a scientific approach and we do look at both sides, we see what is really happening. God does not answer any prayers because God is imaginary.
I don't believe what I believe because it's what I desire to believe. I believe what I believe because it's what logic and reason cause me to believe. All I want is to live with the truth -- nothing more, nothing less.
User avatar
event_horizon
 
Posts: 1621
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:51 am
Location: Colorado

Postby OraProNobis » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:58 pm

wow..sounds like someone is a little angry?

Fact is that many who have prayed have been cured of cancer. Look up the statistics.

Many prayers have been answered, and some not.

I will tell you this though, if you are going to pray thinking that He'll never answer it, you guess will probable come true.

I dare you to go spurt all these words at someone who has been cured of cancer , through prayer.

Yes, they do exist.
User avatar
OraProNobis
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:57 pm

Postby frrostedman » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:17 am

OraProNobis wrote:wow..sounds like someone is a little angry?

The bitterness is a consistent theme. And we know the source of it.

It's striking, isn't it. If someone didn't have a shred of belief, there would be no bitterness and anger. Just like I don't believe in the tooth fairy, but I'm not bitter and angry about it.

The bitterness and anger (apart from it's actual source) comes about when someone meditates on the possibility of the heavenly Father really existing, and is disgusted by it and doesn't want it to be true. That's something completely different than simple disbelief. It's personal, emotional, and heart-felt.

I remember when I was in an unregenerate state. I literally hated the idea of God. I wasn't satisfied with just not believing. No, I wanted to cut every Christian I came across, down to size. I enjoyed ridiculing the faithful and trying to tear down their faith. I did the same things you see here. Funny, I remember wanting to construct arguments that would tear down the faithful, but I knew if I was going to do it right, I was going to need to read the bible. But everytime I picked it up, after about 2 minutes, I would get confused, bored, and even more angry, and close the book and give up. It was as if I was trying to read Chinese or something. Very frustrating. Oh yeah, so then later I found out that someone at work had a series on the bible on cassette. RC Sproul's "Dust to Glory." I asked if I could borrow it. The Christian graciously lent it to me thinking I was searching for inspiration and truth. Not close. My intent was to record the cassettes on my own blanks that I bought, so I could commit all the information to memory. That way I could learn about the bible without having to read it! And I recorded several cassettes. Then I went to listen to my newly recorded ones. Guess what. Every single one of them sounded like gibberish!!! I'm not kidding... the voice was all muffled and slow, then fast, then slow again... and could not be understood at all! Ha. And no, it wasn't copy protection because if you remember cassettes, the only copy protection they had was tabs you could break off, which would prevent recording from working at all. And so strange because after that, I put other cassettes in and used the very same blanks I had, and recorded music over them and it worked just fine, using the same recorder. Crazy, huh? So my diabolical plan failed and I ended up giving the cassettes back to the guy at work, without listening to any of them.

And the end of the story is, when I transformed and was born again... afterward, the same guy gave me the cassettes as a gift. And I have since given them to someone else.
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein
User avatar
frrostedman
 
Posts: 3774
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:01 pm

Postby humphreys » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:15 am

OraProNobis wrote:wow..sounds like someone is a little angry?

Fact is that many who have prayed have been cured of cancer. Look up the statistics.


We would expect that whether God existed or not.

We can ask Santa Claus to cure people of cancer, and guess what? Some will get better, and some will not. Santa believers will say that means Santa only responds to some requests, but those a little more savvy will understand what is really going on.

Toss a coin 100 times. Pray for heads each time. If you get 50 heads, does that mean God answered your prayer 50 times? Sounds ridiculous, but this is believer logic I'm afraid :eh:

I just read through the whole article. I don't see the bitterness and anger. Can you point out a specific line? It seems to me like the guy is showing in as many ways that he can how and why prayer obviously does not work and why the Bible is wrong.

Any attempt to refute that point or are we just going to complain about the tone?
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
User avatar
humphreys
 
Posts: 2150
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:51 pm
Location: Inside your head.

Postby at1with0 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:38 am

I'm not a firm believer in the power of wishful thinking or the lack of wishful thinking's success in disproving all gods existence.
"it is easy to grow crazy"
User avatar
at1with0
 
Posts: 9182
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:55 pm
Location: the coproduct of the amalgam of all structures

Postby greeney2 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:14 am

event_horizon wrote:Proof #1 - Try Praying


What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.

Will anything happen? No. Of course not.



Humphreys, nice try right off the bat this is facicious, condesending, and least of all heartfelt praying with humility. It is bitter, and it is not prayed in Faith at all, not sincere, in the form of a challege to God or else. Remember you do not recognize the word Faith, it doesn't exist, yet here you accept to to argue atheism.

Challenge says what if we get down on our knees and pray--did you do that EH or Humphreys? Did you pray in Faith and pray in the name of Jesus. Make a video of yourselves actually doing this experiment, and do it with a heartfelt manner. Will do that? No. Of course not.
greeney2
 
Posts: 9595
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:54 am

Postby greeney2 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:17 am

PS, EH just because the title didn't say proof #1 and #2, this is still just more trash from the same sourse! :wave: You really are an angry and bitter person deep down inside.
greeney2
 
Posts: 9595
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:54 am

Postby humphreys » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:44 am

greeney2 wrote:Humphreys, nice try right off the bat this is facicious, condesending, and least of all heartfelt praying with humility.


Greeney, you're doing it again. I am not Event, and that was not my post.

At least try to pay attention.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
User avatar
humphreys
 
Posts: 2150
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:51 pm
Location: Inside your head.

Postby humphreys » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:47 am

greeney2 wrote:Challenge says what if we get down on our knees and pray--did you do that EH or Humphreys? Did you pray in Faith and pray in the name of Jesus.


Don't you want cancer cured? Have you tried this prayer?

Don't you think it's pretty likely someone somewhere already has made a heartfelt prayer asking for a worldwide cure for cancer? I would imagine this particular request is asked daily by millions of people.

Has God cured it?

All those starving and suffering people in Africa. You don't think they have thought of praying to God to be saved? And yet they still die. The amount of suffering across the world is actually staggering once you step outside the comfort of civilized nations like the USA. Prayer has not saved these people.

Come join us in the real world some time.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
User avatar
humphreys
 
Posts: 2150
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:51 pm
Location: Inside your head.

Next

Return to Religion & Spirituality

  • View new posts
  • View unanswered posts
  • Who is online
  • In total there are 3 users online :: 2 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 10 minutes)
  • Most users ever online was 292 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:19 pm
  • Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot] and 1 guest