Prayer in a Pandemic: What’s the Point? A Response to Atheist’s Viral Post

  
Via:  heartland-american  •  2 months ago  •  436 comments

By:    Tré Goins-Phillips

Prayer in a Pandemic: What’s the Point? A Response to Atheist’s Viral Post
For some, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has called into question the presence of a Creator, because why would He allow such pain and tragedy in this world? But I’m convinced it’s Christianity that offers the best response to that difficult question. There’s one tweet in particular that has gotten a lot of traction over the last couple days. Showing a steep climb in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S., Ali Rizvi suggested prayer just doesn’t work.

Atheists have been using this pandemic to attack the existence of God and or challenge whether He is good.  They have openly mocked Christianity and questioned the value of prayer. Theyare wrong.  


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Perhaps not since 9/11 have people been so gripped by the problem of evil — the seemingly conflicting coexistence of God and suffering. For some, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has called into question the presence of a Creator, because why would He allow such pain and tragedy in this world? But I’m convinced it’s Christianity that offers the best response to that difficult question.

There’s one tweet in particular that has gotten a lot of traction over the last couple days. Showing a steep climb in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S., Ali Rizvi suggested prayer just doesn’t work.   Others, like CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who has tested positive for COVID-19, have  pondered aloud  what value prayer has if it’s not accompanied by action — and he’s right: Scripture tells us faith without works “is dead” (James 2:17). If we believe, as we say we do, in the value of human life, in the authority God has given us as His image bearers, we have a responsibility to take ownership of the trials we face. This coronavirus is no different.

But to assume, as Rizvi does, that prayer is pointless reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the faith.

Nevertheless, it’s an age-old question. In the Old Testament, the prophet Habakkuk asked: “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and conflict abounds.”

Faith is trusting when proof isn’t present, when tangible evidence is fleeting.



The author of Hebrews 11:1 described it this way: “Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”


The apostle Paul wrestled with this every issue himself. In 2 Corinthians 4:17, though, he determined: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” He understood this life is “a vapor” that’s here today and gone tomorrow (James 4:14) and whatever experiences define this moment pale in comparison to the ultimate value of knowing God eternally, which is the true joy of our existence.

To suggest our prayers aren’t having the immediate result we deem to be correct is the ultimate show of arrogance. God operates outside time and space, so proof of the good, ultimate value in God’s allowance of things — like this coronavirus pandemic — might not be seen even in our lifetimes.

Philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig  explained

To borrow an illustration from a developing field of science, Chaos Theory, scientists have discovered that certain macroscopic systems, for example, weather systems or insect populations, are extraordinarily sensitive to the tiniest perturbations. A butterfly fluttering on a branch in West Africa may set in motion forces which would eventually issue in a hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean. Yet it is impossible in principle for anyone observing that butterfly palpitating on a branch to predict such an outcome. The brutal murder of an innocent man or a child’s dying of leukemia could produce a sort of ripple effect through history such that God’s morally sufficient reason for permitting it might not emerge until centuries later and perhaps in another land. When you think of God’s providence over the whole of history, I think you can see how hopeless it is for limited observers to speculate on the probability that God could have a morally sufficient reason for permitting a certain evil. We’re just not in a good position to assess such probabilities.

It’s possible, too, our prayers aren’t about immediate outward changes (though sometimes they are) but inward restorations. Rather than asking God  why He’s allowed something, perhaps our job is to determine  what  we can do in the midst of it.

The Western church, for example, is used to meeting on Sunday mornings in buildings all across the country. Now, we’re having to find new and different ways to minister to one another, often through technology. Instead of having access only to the people who fill the pews on Sundays, pastors and worship leaders in California streaming their services online now have to opportunity to speak truth to a struggling single mother in North Dakota who’s at her wits’ end. Young, healthy Christians today have the chance to go pick up groceries for the elderly, at-risk neighbors they’ve seen but never met. Though we can’t meet face-to-face, we all have quite a bit more free time on our hands, so we can catch up with that friend or family member we haven’t spoken to in weeks, months, or maybe years.  New data  from the Pew Research Center has shown more than half of all adults in the country (55%) are praying to God for the coronavirus epidemic to end. That includes the 86% of Americans who already pray regularly, as well as 15% who said they pray rarely but have turned to God during this crisis.



Even an MSNBC host asked the Rev. T.D. Jakes to pray  for the country during a live television broadcast the other day. “For folks who aren’t able to get to church yesterday, I’ve never actually done this on the air: can you lead us in prayer for 30 seconds?” asked anchor Craig Melvin. 


“Our Father and our God, we bow our heads to you in humility, understanding that we are not competent in and of ourselves to handle this kind of global calamity,” prayed Jakes. “We look to You, Lord, to be the source, the strength, the help, the light that we need, strengthen our first responders, strengthen even our broadcast people, strengthen all of us whose lives have been devastated and disrupted and give us the peace that passes all understanding. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.”

People are desperate for hope right now, and Christians know the ultimate Hope. Evil exists, but there is an ultimate good for those who know Jesus Christ. This pain may last for a night, but “joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).


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Heartland American
1  seeder  Heartland American    2 months ago

To suggest our prayers aren’t having the immediate result we deem to be correct is the ultimate show of arrogance. God operates outside time and space, so proof of the good, ultimate value in God’s allowance of things — like this coronavirus pandemic — might not be seen even in our lifetimes.

Philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig  explained

To borrow an illustration from a developing field of science, Chaos Theory, scientists have discovered that certain macroscopic systems, for example, weather systems or insect populations, are extraordinarily sensitive to the tiniest perturbations. A butterfly fluttering on a branch in West Africa may set in motion forces which would eventually issue in a hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean. Yet it is impossible in principle for anyone observing that butterfly palpitating on a branch to predict such an outcome. The brutal murder of an innocent man or a child’s dying of leukemia could produce a sort of ripple effect through history such that God’s morally sufficient reason for permitting it might not emerge until centuries later and perhaps in another land. When you think of God’s providence over the whole of history, I think you can see how hopeless it is for limited observers to speculate on the probability that God could have a morally sufficient reason for permitting a certain evil. We’re just not in a good position to assess such probabilities.

It’s possible, too, our prayers aren’t about immediate outward changes (though sometimes they are) but inward restorations. Rather than asking God  why He’s allowed something, perhaps our job is to determine  what  we can do in the midst of it.

https://thenewstalkers.com/community/discussion/49952/prayer-in-a-pandemic-whats-the-point-a-response-to-atheists-viral-post

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @1    2 months ago
To suggest our prayers aren’t having the immediate result we deem to be correct is the ultimate show of arrogance.

What "results" are prayers having? The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result. It might make someone "feel" better or fell like they're doing something. But that's about it.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1    2 months ago

Maybe you should do some research as to the amount of social good churches and their committed members do and support and be glad we are here even if you don’t believe as we do. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.1    2 months ago
Maybe you should do some research as to the amount of social good churches and their committed members do and support and be glad we are here even if you don’t believe as we do. 

A strawman argument. I was not referring to churches or religious institutions. I was specifically addressing the prayer aspect. Besides, one does not need religion or churches to do good. Being a decent human being in general is a good way.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.3  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.2    2 months ago

The record says otherwise . Prayer isn’t all about signs and wonders or miracles being sought after. There’s so much more as described elsewhere. Also as described in great detail secularists can in no way match or replace what believers do or give

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.3    2 months ago

Some folks think God is supposed to be a wishing well of sorts. That's why you get the occasional idiotic "Pray to win the lotto and tell me how that works out for ya" tripe.

Those type of people clearly have no use for prayer and don't really know much about it. Their pseudo-intellectual brains can't fathom a power greater then themselves.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.4    2 months ago

You are mocking many religious people worldwide.   Praying for divine blessings does indeed seem illogical but surely you realize that not everyone prays for guidance and wisdom.   Surely you have observed people praying for an ill person to recover, for a recession to end, for a loved one to return safely from war, for their football team to win, ....

I am surprised that you mock these people.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.5    2 months ago
I am surprised that you mock these people.

And I am not surprised that you couldn't understand what I wrote.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.6    2 months ago

If I misunderstood then why not correct my misunderstanding rather than insult my intelligence?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.7    2 months ago
If I misunderstood then why not correct my misunderstanding rather than insult my intelligence?

You stated that I mocked religious people. I did nothing of the sort.

That wasn't a misunderstanding, that was obtuseness.

And you know it.

Just cut to the chase and claim some "strawman" argument from me and move on, okay?

I'll let you have the last word.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.9  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.3    2 months ago

And your source for that declaration of course comes from a religious site. Confirmation bias.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.10  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.9    2 months ago

Even an MSNBC host   asked the Rev. T.D. Jakes to pray   for the country during a live television broadcast the other day. “For folks who aren’t able to get to church yesterday, I’ve never actually done this on the air: can you lead us in prayer for 30 seconds?” asked anchor Craig Melvin. 

“Our Father and our God, we bow our heads to you in humility, understanding that we are not competent in and of ourselves to handle this kind of global calamity,” prayed Jakes. “We look to You, Lord, to be the source, the strength, the help, the light that we need, strengthen our first responders, strengthen even our broadcast people, strengthen all of us whose lives have been devastated and disrupted and give us the peace that passes all understanding. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.”

People are desperate for hope right now, and Christians know the ultimate Hope. Evil exists, but there is an ultimate good for those who know Jesus Christ. This pain may last for a night, but “joy comes in the morning”.  https://thenewstalkers.com/community/discussion/49952/prayer-in-a-pandemic-whats-the-point-a-response-to-atheists-viral-post?g=50#cm1285764

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.11  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.9    2 months ago

Then try to rebut the facts they point out if you can. You can’t begin to deny the positive impact we have on the world and your belief system can’t begin to match it either. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.12  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.8    2 months ago
You stated that I mocked religious people. I did nothing of the sort.

From your comment @1.1.4

Some folks think God is supposed to be a wishing well of sorts.

Some of those people are religious people.  Those who pray for healing, pray for a sports victory, pray for prosperity - all are treating God as a wishing well.  But they're still religious, and you're still mocking them.  Unless you meant "Some folks think God is supposed to be a wishing well of sorts." as praise.  If so, please correct our interpretation of your words.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.13  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.8    2 months ago
You stated that I mocked religious people. I did nothing of the sort.

Uh huh.   Here is your entire comment @1.1.4:

Texan @1.1.4Some folks think God is supposed to be a wishing well of sorts. That's why you get the occasional idiotic "Pray to win the lotto and tell me how that works out for ya" tripe.  Those type of people clearly have no use for prayer and don't really know much about it. Their pseudo-intellectual brains can't fathom a power greater then themselves.

I noted that there are indeed many people who pray to God for divine favors:

TiG @1.1.5Praying for divine blessings does indeed seem illogical but surely you realize that not everyone prays for guidance and wisdom.   Surely you have observed people praying for an ill person to recover, for a recession to end, for a loved one to return safely from war, for their football team to win, .....

Atheists do not usually pray so these folks who do pray for divine favors are theists (not necessarily Christian either).   These people do believe God might answer their prayers.   But you call these:  'folks [who] think God is supposed to be a wishing well of sorts'.   Apparently you scoff at their beliefs:  "don't really know much about it" as ignorance that provides mean atheists fodder to criticize their divine wishing.

Sure reads as though you think those who pray for divine favors are being silly.    And since you refuse to clarify, I will go with what you wrote.


In short the question in effect was:  do you think that praying to God for divine favors is logical or do you think it is silly ("... a wishing well ...")?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.14  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.12    2 months ago
Some of those people are religious people.  Those who pray for healing, pray for a sports victory, pray for prosperity - all are treating God as a wishing well.  But they're still religious, and you're still mocking them.  

I did not mock them. I stated it in a response referencing what I believe is happening, especially when coming from someone who doesn't pray or believe in it. I even gave a specific example of exactly what I was talking about.

If so, please correct our interpretation of your words.

My words were pretty clear, I thought.

It isn't my job to interpret for you.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.15  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.14    2 months ago

So, you have either a favorable or neutral opinion of religious people who see God as a wishing well?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.16  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.15    2 months ago
So, you have either a favorable or neutral opinion of religious people who see God as a wishing well?

I have an unfavorable opinion of people who demand that God grant some wish as proof that He exists.

Not my business what people pray for or to whom they pray.

I believe that praying for money to get by and praying to win the lottery are two distinct things.

I'm speaking strictly for myself, and have no interest if people agree or disagree with me on it.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.17  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.14    2 months ago

That’s for sure.  We owe our secular humanist opposition nothing more than already stated.  

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.18  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.16    2 months ago
I have an unfavorable opinion of people who demand that God grant some wish as proof that He exists.

Mmmhmmm.  Way to change the subject of your mockery.  It's unfortunate that your attempt to insult nonbelievers ended up encompassing those believers who actually do treat God as a wishing well.  Nonbelievers, if one cares to apply simple logic, do not.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.19  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.16    2 months ago
I believe that praying for money to get by and praying to win the lottery are two distinct things

I believe they are the same thing.

Sad thing is, I was actually going to agree with you for once, but, then you made no actual point.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.20  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.18    2 months ago
Mmmhmmm.  Way to change the subject of your mockery. 

Gee, I am sorry you took exactly what you wanted from my post, even after I explained it to you and pointed to an example in the very first post I made about this.

Like I stated, I can't interpret for you.

Truth is, I kind of get a kick out of it when liberals are still proving Reagan right--30+ years later.

Thanks.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.21  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @1.1.19    2 months ago
I  believe they are the same thing.

Okay, great.

Sad thing is, I was actually going to agree with you for once, but, then you made no actual point.

Let me see if I can muster anything up from my give-a-damn.

Ah....nope, fresh out!

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.22  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.21    2 months ago

And again, no point to anything.

Must be sad.

Seems to be an MO.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.23  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.20    2 months ago
even after I explained it to you and pointed to an example in the very first post I made about this.

Here's the problem with your explanation.

I stated it in a response referencing what I believe is happening, especially when coming from someone who doesn't pray or believe in it.

Those who don't pray or believe in prayer by definition don't treat God as a wishing well.  Nonbelievers don't ask God for anything.  Why would they?

That would be those who pray, or at least some of them.  Religious people.  The subjects of your mockery.  Just for praying.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.24  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.23    2 months ago
Here's the problem with your explanation.

I have absolutely no problem with my explanation.

I'm almost sorry if you do.

Those who don't pray or believe in prayer by definition don't treat God as a wishing well. 

You seem to be inching closer to what I meant.

I believe it is stupid for people who don't believe in God to demand that God answer a prayer in a specific way to prove God exists. Not sure how you didn't get that from my response where I initially stated that.

Nonbelievers don't ask God for anything.  Why would they?

Never claimed they did. "Why would they" should be directed at anyone who might have stated that, but it isn't me.

That would be those who pray, or at least some of them.  Religious people.  The subjects of your mockery.  Just for praying

You either get my point or you don't. Not really my concern.

But I am kind of getting the feeling that I should maybe pray for you.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.25  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @1.1.22    2 months ago

jrSmiley_90_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.26  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.25    2 months ago

Again, nothing.

Starting to see an empty vessel.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.27  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @1.1.26    2 months ago

jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.28  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.27    2 months ago

At least you admit it. Way more than most do...

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.29  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @1.1.28    2 months ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.30  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @1.1.19    2 months ago

It is a wildly different thing to live by faith and pray to meet immediate and direct needs and praying for wealth by gambling in the lottery.  

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.31  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.29    2 months ago

The good thing is one can grow. One just needs to grow a backbone and not follow the herd.

I know that is hard for some fox watchers.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.32  Ender  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.30    2 months ago

No it is the same.

How is praying for money different than praying on gambling?

Ridiculous in itself to try to make a distinction.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.33  Texan1211  replied to  Ender @1.1.31    2 months ago
I know that is hard for some fox watchers.

Then you should probably switch channels.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.34  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.33    2 months ago

And again, empty vessel.

Sadly I keep thinking there may be something more.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.35  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1    2 months ago

The preacher Joel Osteen told his congregation on his tv show today that God will hide them from the coronavirus. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.36  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.35    2 months ago

Why would God "hide" some people and not others? 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.37  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.36    2 months ago

btw, the death rate in the US for the confirmed cases is almost 3%  -  9000 deaths/ 322000 cases .

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.38  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.24    2 months ago
Never claimed they did.

Sure you did.

people who demand that God grant some wish as proof that He exists.

Just like you mocked religious people who ask God for things.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.39  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.38    2 months ago

However many times you tell a lie., it remains a lie.

Your comment is a lie.

Almost anyone can see exactly what I meant.

But if it helps you feel better, keep on lying!

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.40  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.38    2 months ago

I'll pray all the more for you now.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.41  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.39    2 months ago

Everybody can read what you typed.  Backpedaling won't change it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.42  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.38    2 months ago

Funny thing is, no one who is religious has bothered to whine or complain or even remark about what I wrote.

Why do you think you know what insults them more than they do?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.43  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.41    2 months ago

I backpeddled nothing.

why don't you backpeddle your blatant lies?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.44  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.42    2 months ago

I can understand why they don't wish to see themselves as having been unintentionally mocked by you, and I also can understand that they may feel an unexplained sense of solidarity with you that may make them unlikely to outwardly recognize the mockery.

But you mocked some of them.  I doubt you intended to at the time.  You intended to mock nonbelievers.  You just forgot that your insult can't apply to nonbelievers, who ask nothing of God.

Whoops.

Logic.

 
 
 
arkpdx
1.1.45  arkpdx  replied to  Ender @1.1.31    2 months ago

"not follow the herd."

Says someone who religiously follows the liberal herd.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.46  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.44    2 months ago
I can understand why they don't wish to see themselves as having been unintentionally mocked by you, and I also can understand that they may feel an unexplained sense of solidarity with you that may make them unlikely to outwardly recognize the mockery.

Amazing to me that you can claim to understand that, but can't understand something as simple as "I did not mock them".

Perhaps I should pray that one day you will understand.

ut you mocked some of them.  I doubt you intended to at the time.  You intended to mock nonbelievers.  You just forgot that your insult can't apply to nonbelievers, who ask nothing of God.

Now you are just being obtuse.

I don't have any more time for your obtuseness or lies.

I don't care what it is you think about it. I wasn't going to change your mind, and have no intention of ever trying. What you think is all on you and completely unrelated to me or what I wrote.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.47  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.46    2 months ago

All in black and white, Tex.  I can understand why you wouldn't want to admit it.  I doubt it was intentional on your part.  I think it more likely that you didn't consider the implication of your words, and would now like to deny that they meant what they meant.

Insulting me doesn't negate the fact that you mocked some religious people.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.48  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.47    2 months ago
All in black and white, Tex

Yes, it is. Here is the FULL Post that you seem to have grossly misunderstood--either through ignorance or deliberately:

Some folks think God is supposed to be a wishing well of sorts. That's why you get the occasional idiotic "Pray to win the lotto and tell me how that works out for ya" tripe.
Those type of people clearly have no use for prayer and don't really know much about it. Their pseudo-intellectual brains can't fathom a power greater then themselves.

You are the specific type of person I referred to in my post.

I can understand why you wouldn't want to admit it

Epic fail. I never denied writing the words--just your interpretation of MY words.

Insulting me doesn't negate the fact that you mocked some religious people.

If you felt insulted, I am almost sorry. I didn't mock religious people., That REMAINS A BLATANT LIE.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.49  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.46    2 months ago

Repeatedly labeling Sandy obtuse and repeatedly claiming she is lying accomplishes nothing of value.   Instead of dodging and attacking, you could have simply set the record straight.

Do you think that praying to God for divine favors is logical or do you think it is silly (per @1.1.4 — "... a wishing well ...")?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.50  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.49    2 months ago
Repeatedly labeling Sandy obtuse and repeatedly claiming she is lying accomplishes nothing of value.   Instead of dodging and attacking, you could have simply set the record straight.

I DID "set the record straight". But I damn sure can't understand it for her.

I believe she can speak for herself and doesn't need your help.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.51  Texan1211  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.50    2 months ago

On second thought, maybe she does need your help, as she has proven to not understand my simple post.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.52  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.50    2 months ago

I have asked you the same direct question twice and you deflect both times:

Do you think that praying to God for divine favors is logical or do you think it is silly (per @ 1.1.4 — "... a wishing well ...")?

Claiming people do not understand you when you refuse to answer direct questions is not the problem of others.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.53  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.48    2 months ago

Except that whole "wishing well" thing doesn't apply to me, or other nonbelievers.  A key point you choose to ignore, since your eagerness to insult nonbelievers led you to inadvertently insult some believers.  

You are the specific type of person I referred to in my post.
If you felt insulted, I am almost sorry.

So, you meant to insult me but are almost sorry that you did?

That's about as consistent as the rest of your comments here.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.54  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.52    2 months ago

Your problems are not my problems. 

Guess this means you won't be able to help her understand my post any better than you do.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.55  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.53    2 months ago
Except that whole "wishing well" thing doesn't apply to me, or other nonbelievers.  A key point you choose to ignore, since your eagerness to insult nonbelievers led you to inadvertently insult some believers.  

Your opinion that I insulted people who honestly pray means nothing to me. I know what I wrote, and what I meant, and can't understand it for you. Whether you personally believe me or not is of no consequence here.

So, you meant to insult me but are almost sorry that you did?

I meant what I wrote, and how you take it personally is on you.

I AM almost sorry, but couldn't quite get all the way there.

That's about as consistent as the rest of your comments here.

And yet, as consistent as my comments have been, you still have no earthly idea of what I am speaking of.

Please take the last word here. I really don't care what your opinion is, but it might make you feel better.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.56  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.55    2 months ago

It does seem that they are determined to have the last word.  They seem to think that there is any thing they can say to dissuade us from our beliefs and faith or anything they can do to stop us from expressing the fulfillment, joy, hope that we have because of what we believe or that there is power in a prayer life.  If they think that during a time like this that we will hide what we have under a bushel, they have another thing coming.  We are going to let our light shine come what may from them.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.57  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.51    2 months ago

It’s Holy Week so I expect that the sworn enemies of our faith and the expression of hope we share even during a pandemic will be out in numbers in a show of force. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.58  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.48    2 months ago

You are correct in all your points in your post.  Well said.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.59  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  arkpdx @1.1.45    2 months ago

that herd is one of lemmings. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.60  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.43    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.61  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.42    2 months ago

It’s their immersion into the false doctrines of reason and logic to the exclusion of all else. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.62  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.39    2 months ago

All objective observers know exactly what you meant and what you said and you are exactly right.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.63  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @1.1.32    2 months ago

Because if a real believer who has a relationship with God and prays regularly and has a need come up and asks God to help find a way to make the legitimate need be met, He May well find a way for it to happen.  Praying for instant wealth by gambling which itself is an immoral act to most believers via buying any number of lottery tickets is asking God to reward wrong doing such as wasting much needed earned money on the tickets and presuming God to grant that wish.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.64  Texan1211  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.63    2 months ago

I just get tired of people deliberately misunderstanding a post to score some "points". It is asinine and childish. I will not be tolerating that fucking bullshit any longer for any reason.

These arguments always end up with nothing more than "Prove it" anyways.

The same "logical" people can't stand it, so they have to come crap on the whole seed.

Screw that!

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.65  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.64    2 months ago

Yeah, that’s why I try to ignore them. But you know, cue the attack on my inability to think logically in 3, 2, 1 . . .

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.66  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.65    2 months ago

I try to ignore them as much as possible, and am fairly successful at it, but sometimes I just can't take it anymore and have to speak my mind.

That was BULLSHIT about me insulting people who pray--and my first post in this thread easily proves it to anyone willing to LOOK and COMPREHEND. I just don't get how they can deliberately misunderstand what is plainly written.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.67  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.66    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.68  Texan1211  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.67    2 months ago

I wouldn't go that far.

But I get where you're coming from.

Tolerance is certainly not their strong suit.

I don't try to convert them, and never once have I ever done that. I think it is the condescension that irks me so badly, that and the constant barrage of how "illogical" anyone who believes in God is.

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.69  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.66    2 months ago
That was BULLSHIT about me insulting people who pray

Yes, it was.

I just don't get how they can deliberately misunderstand what is plainly written.

I think sometimes people aren’t looking for a discussion, but are really looking to “win an argument.” Sometimes to do that, they have to pretend you said something rude or stupid.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.70  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.69    2 months ago
Sometimes to do that, they have to pretend you said something rude or stupid.

It must be easier to argue what others don't say than what they do say.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.71  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1    2 months ago
What "results" are prayers having? The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result.

Really?

You like evidence and proof.    Can you give some definitive proof or evidence that it isn’t?

Be specific please. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.72  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.70    2 months ago

We forget who we were dealing with on that particular matter.  One even more militant in their secularism thaneven Gordy is

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.73  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.66    2 months ago
That was BULLSHIT about me insulting people who pray

Do you think that praying to God for divine favors is logical or do you think it is silly (per @ 1.1.4 — "... a wishing well ...")?

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.74  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.71    2 months ago

Considering covid cases are only and have been on the rise, including deaths, it's clear that prayer is having no effect on the crisis. If anything, things have only gotten worse. So if someone is praying for covid to be cured or go away or whatever, they're obviously wasting their time. But I'll bet they probably think they're doing something constructive or making themselves feel better. There's certainly no evidence to suggest, much less support the idea that prayer might be helping with the number of cases.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.75  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.74    2 months ago

That is not evidence or proof that prayer isn't helping make it better.

Please defend your comment with verifiable evidence or proof or take it back.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.76  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.75    2 months ago

Actually, it is. The current numbers contradict any notion or claim that prayer is helping things. There is certainly nothing to suggest otherwise that prayer is helping. So if someone is going to claim prayer is going to help, then the numbers do not support that.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.77  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.35    2 months ago

I don't know what is worse: him making such a stupid and dangerous claim, or people who actually believe that nonsense. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.78  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.76    2 months ago
Actually, it is.

No its not, not in the least but i'm not going to argue with you about it.   Thats a fools errand and i'm no a fool.

Suffice it to say your comment is absolutely unprovable and considering your proclivity to demand proof in other matters, is about as hypocritical as one can get.   And that's all i have to say about that ....

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.79  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.78    2 months ago

Gordy's point is that the evidence suggests prayer is not helping and, in fact, suggests it is worsening the situation.   He is not claiming this as a certain fact.   He is stating the obvious — if one equates prayer with the reduction in COVID-19 cases then the evidence suggests prayer is at best doing nothing.

There is a major difference between noting correlations based on evidence and making a grand claim of certainty.   No doubt you know this yet you nonetheless falsely accuse Gordy of being a hypocrite.   Nice.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.80  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.79    2 months ago

And here comes the usual Atheist dosey doe  ......... 3, 2,1 now report it!

I clearly understand what he is trying to say and it changes nothing.   And as usual i don't need a lecture.   His comment i quoted in 1.1.71 was definitive.  

A comment that can not be proven no matter how hard either of you try to rationalize that it can.

No debate about it.   Put up or shut up and save the absurd rationalizations for someone who doesn't know better.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.81  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.78    2 months ago

Let's examine this then, shall we? Let's start with the premise the prayer will either cause a positive outcome of covid cases (reduced number of cases/deaths) or have no effect or even a negative outcome (increasing number of cases/deaths). We must start with the assumption that people are praying for covid to either be cured or eliminated. Now we take a population sample and determine the number of cases/deaths over time. Covid was first identified in December 2019. But let's say March 2020 and in the US, just to keep it simpler, as March is when cases started occurring exponentially. According to the CDC, there were 30 cased reported March 1. As of April 4, there were 304,826 cases reported. As of March 7, there were 18 reported deaths. As of April 4, there are a total of 1,889 deaths reported specifically due to covid (not including deaths from covid complications-those numbers are much higher). Presumably,  people were praying during the month of March, especially after VP Pence urged for prayers. But as we can see by the numbers, prayer has had no effect in reducing the number of covid cases and deaths. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.82  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.81    2 months ago

Lets use the KISS principle to exam this.   Always the best method when possible.   Nothing more is required in this case

Can you prove prayer is not helping reduce covid cases?   Yes or no?    Its that simple.

And if yes please provide ANY definitive proof or evidence you have to back your assertion up.    So far i've seen no compelling evidence or proof to back your comment up   ...... only conjecture and mere opinions.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.83  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.82    2 months ago

We all know that we can no more prove that prayer works than they can prove that it doesn't.

I guess the main difference is we don't get all condescending, basically calling them idiots for what they believe.

Think they'll ever learn to not do that?

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.84  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.83    2 months ago
We all know that we can no more prove that prayer works than they can prove that it doesn't.

Exactly.   You will notice i never claimed otherwise.

I guess the main difference is we don't get all condescending, basically calling them idiots for what they believe.

Some seem to have a chronic need to do that.   Its very telling to me.

Think they'll ever learn to not do that?

I have hope for some but not all.  jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.85  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.73    2 months ago
Do you think that praying to God for divine favors is logical or do you think it is silly (per @ 1.1.4 — "... a wishing well ...")?

Your oft-repeated question has nothing to do with the claim that I made about it being BULLSHIT that I insulted anyone religious.

Why are ONLY the non-religious claiming it?

If it was so damn insulting, I would expect at least ONE person who is religious to complain at least as much as a couple of nonbelievers have.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.86  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.80    2 months ago
I clearly understand what he is trying to say and it changes nothing.

If you think Gordy made a claim of certainty then you do not understand what he wrote.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.87  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.84    2 months ago

Well, shucky darn, Sparty, I reckon we'uns ought to let the smart folks alone. We are obviously just too dumb to understand their high-faluting ways!

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.88  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.82    2 months ago
Can you prove prayer is not helping reduce covid cases? 

Of course he cannot prove that.  But he never claimed as a certainty that prayer is not helping COVID-19 cases.   He stated that the evidence suggests that prayer is having at best no effect.  

You claim to understand the difference between correlation of evidence and a claim of certainty but your comments conflate the two.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.89  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.88    2 months ago
But as we can see by the numbers, prayer has had no effect in reducing the number of covid cases and deaths. 

Looks pretty certain to me, but I know, we are just too stupid to understand everything you do, right?

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.90  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.86    2 months ago

I understand the words he wrote just fine.   Once again no need for a lecture or more word games from you.  

His comment was definitive in that it clearly stated the covid crisis was not diminishing due to prayer.   Clearly a definitive statement by any reasonable interpretation and obviously not something that can be proven one way or the other.  

Not  unless you or Gordy are omniscient of course ..... are you?

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.91  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.88    2 months ago

Boy, you sure have a better "between the lines" reader than i do. /s   Perhaps you should have written it for him as well.

The words mean what they mean Tig but you can keep trying to craft them into something else if you want.   I'm not buying it.   Not in the least.

At least you manned up and admitted what was said can't be proven.   Perhaps Gordy will now as well but i doubt it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.92  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.90    2 months ago

Isn't it amazing that he can look at a definitive statement and declare it isn't one, all the while confusing what I stated about God not being a wishing well to prove to nonbelievers that he exists?

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.93  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.92    2 months ago

Yeah, this is SOSDD considering .....

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.94  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.89    2 months ago
Looks pretty certain to me, but I know, we are just too stupid to understand everything you do, right?

A claim of certainty means declaring something to be truth.   Evidence suggesting a conclusion is not a claim of certainty, it is an observation.   A claim of certainty in this case would be:  'prayer does not reduce the number of COVID-19 cases'.   Gordy, if you even read what you quoted, is stating that the numbers suggest that prayer is having no effect.   Gordy's claim is that the numbers suggest no effect.   If you want to challenge his claim then you would ask him to deliver the numbers that suggest prayer is not reducing the number of COVID-19 cases.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.95  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.90    2 months ago
word games

How ironic that you deem my explanations of the obvious to be word games.

His comment was definitive in that it clearly stated the covid crisis was not diminishing due to prayer. 

Wrong, Gordy wrote that the evidence suggests COVID-19 cases are not diminishing due to prayer.   He is clearly talking about the statistics which show COVID-19 cases on the rise in spite of prayers.   That is fundamentally different than an unqualified, stand-alone claim such as:  'prayer has no effect on COVID-19 cases'.

His claim is of evidence.  You certainly could legitimately question his statistical evidence (in which case he could provide you stats showing that COVID-19 cases continue to rise).   His claim is not that prayer cannot possibly have any effect on the numbers of COVID-19 cases.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.96  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.94    2 months ago
But as we can see by the numbers, prayer has had no effect in reducing the number of covid cases and deaths

Spin it some more, please.

That is what he wrote. Seems definitive to me, but, hey, I get it, only YOU are smart enough to declare anything here, and we bumpkins should just bow to your expertise.

Spin it some more, PLEASE. It is quite entertaining watching you turn yourself into a pretzel defending his statement as not definitive.

He didn't claim that the numbers suggested it, he stated the numbers prove it.

Spin it, baby, spin it.

SOSDD

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.97  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.94    2 months ago

Horseshit.    Again, this is what he said:

The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result.

There is no "suggest" mentioned.   Certainly means, in a manner that is certain.   Certain means, known or proved to be true which we have already agreed here that it can't be proven true.

So just stop it Tig.    You are embarrassing yourself with your word games.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.98  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.96    2 months ago
He didn't claim that the numbers suggested it, he stated the numbers prove it.

You are putting words in his mouth:

Gordy @1.1.81Let's examine this then, shall we? Let's start with the premise the prayer will either cause a positive outcome of covid cases (reduced number of cases/deaths) or have no effect or even a negative outcome (increasing number of cases/deaths). We must start with the assumption that people are praying for covid to either be cured or eliminated. Now we take a population sample and determine the number of cases/deaths over time. Covid was first identified in December 2019. But let's say March 2020 and in the US, just to keep it simpler, as March is when cases started occurring exponentially. According to the CDC, there were 30 cased reported March 1. As of April 4, there were 304,826 cases reported. As of March 7, there were 18 reported deaths. As of April 4, there are a total of 1,889 deaths reported specifically due to covid (not including deaths from covid complications-those numbers are much higher). Presumably,  people were praying during the month of March, especially after VP Pence urged for prayers. But as we can see by the numbers, prayer has had no effect in reducing the number of covid cases and deaths. 

Where does he claim this is proof?   He is talking about statistics and trends.   The evidence shows ... These are observations as of today.   When someone makes a clear statement such as:

Gordy @1.1.74There's certainly no evidence to suggest, much less support the idea that prayer might be helping with the number of cases.

Your refusal to acknowledge this is an observation of evidence is your failure.    Trying to deem this as a certain declaration (carrying the burden of proof) that prayer cannot possibly help in the spread of COVID-19 is ridiculous.  


Note:  I am confident that Gordy does not believe prayer will make any difference in the spread of COVID-19.   That is my opinion too.   That opinion correlates well with the available evidence.   But there is not sufficient information to declare with certainty that prayer cannot possibly have an effect.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.99  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.98    2 months ago

What goes up must come down
Spinnin' wheel got to go 'round
Talkin' 'bout your troubles it's a cryin' sin
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin' wheel spin
You got no money and you got no home
Spinnin' wheel all alone
Talkin' 'bout your troubles and you, you never learn
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin' wheel turn

keep on spinning, baby!!!!

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.100  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.98    2 months ago
But there is not sufficient information to declare with certainty that prayer cannot possibly have an effect.

Then what the hell are you arguing about?

That was my only point to begin with.

I like how you are talking for Gordy but perhaps next time you should write his comment for him.   Then you could have left the word "certainly" out.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.101  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.97    2 months ago
There is no "suggest" mentioned.   Certainly means, in a manner that is certain.   Certain means, known or proved to be true which we have already agreed here that it can't be proven true.

Looks to me as though you wish to simply declare that you are right.   Sorry, that is not how it works.   You cherry-pick one sentence from Gordy's opening comment ignoring the context and ignoring everything else he has written to explain his meaning to you.   You are purposely ignoring what the man has written.

Opening statement:

Gordy @1.1What "results" are prayers having? The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result. It might make someone "feel" better or fell like they're doing something. But that's about it.

The quoted statement is demonstrably true based on the stats.   "The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result. "   The COVID-19 cases are indeed not diminishing, the are still increasing.   That is a fact, right?   So if someone attributes prayer to helping diminish the COVID-19 cases, then prayer is not having any effect in the statistics.

As I have noted, Gordy's claim is about the evidence.   His claim of certainty is that the evidence shows COVID-19 cases rising, not falling.   That is his claim of certainty.   He uses that evidence to suggest that prayer does not seem to be having any effect.   A logical interpretation.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.102  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.100    2 months ago

I may need to take a little break.

Watching all of this spinning is making me dizzy!

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.103  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.101    2 months ago
You cherry-pick one sentence from Gordy's opening comment ignoring the context and ignoring everything else he has written to explain his meaning to you.   You are purposely ignoring what the man has written.

Well, well, well, isn't THAT rich, considering the source and how misinterpreted my comment was.

LMMFAO

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.104  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.103    2 months ago
Well, well, well, isn't THAT rich, considering the source and how misinterpreted my comment was.

I repeatedly asked you a direct question that would set the record straight on what you meant.  You chose to deflect, complain, go personal, etc.   That is your failure.

Here, I am providing direct quotes with baby step explanations that you fail to rebut and instead simply repeat your claim.   

Here is an idea, ask Gordy if he asserts that prayer cannot possibly have an effect on COVID-19 cases.   If he answers ‘yes’ then you have a claim of certainty.   He believes prayer has no effect, so see if he asserts his belief as absolute truth.

If you are trying to be honest and fair you would ask a question of the author, just as I did for you.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.105  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.104    2 months ago

I made myself perfectly clear, but you and another tried to pretend I didn't.

Keep spinning, it is actually quite entertaining to watch!

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.106  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.100    2 months ago
Then what the hell are you arguing about?

I am rebutting your claim that Gordy declared with certainty that prayer cannot help fight the spread of COVID-19.   His declaration of certainty was that the cases are increasing; not that prayer could not possibly have any effect.

Then you could have left the word "certainly" out.  

And what does 'certainly' apply to?  (hint: see above)

This is the key to your failure:  cherry-picking a word or a sentence.   Instead of asking the author a clarifying question, you stubbornly push your desired narrative in spite of the actual words written.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.107  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.105    2 months ago

You could offer a rebuttal.   But you do not do so.

You could ask Gordy for clarification.  But you do not do so.

You have nothing.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.108  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.101    2 months ago

Lol, i have no problem standing behind everything i have written here as accurate and sincere.   I also have no burning desire to always be right all the time but i usually don't post unless i think i am right so there you go.   Thing is i expect that others here who always demand a high standard of proof, to offer the same in return when questioned.  

That hasn't happened here and it appears some involved truly ARE very interested in always being right  no matter what and/or just intent on playing word games for the sake of playing games.   For what reason i have no idea.

Again, i stand by all my comments here and categorically disagree with all of yours unless noted otherwise.

I out  ..... peace and health!

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.109  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.83    2 months ago

To be blunt, no I don’t.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.110  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.108    2 months ago
Again, i stand by all my comments

A meaningless declaration in lieu of a direct, factual rebuttal.   You can stand by your comments ad infinitum but that will not make them true.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.111  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.110    2 months ago

So predictable ... so trite ..... yawn!

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.112  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.107    2 months ago
You could offer a rebuttal.   But you do not do so.
You could ask Gordy for clarification.  But you do not do so.
You have nothing.

well, golly gee, you must be right because only you are smart and no one is even qualified to converse with you, You are always right, right? And dumb old me, just a hick from Texas. Can't possibly be on YOUR level!

Keep spinning!

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.113  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.102    2 months ago

Me too just from reading all the spin cycles they are. Going through.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.114  Tacos!  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.78    2 months ago

Agreed. The claims made by “the logical people” are absurd, unsupportable hate speech, as far as I’m concerned. For example, the claim that the numbers support their position:

The current numbers contradict

The numbers contradict nothing. No one has grounds for interpreting the numbers because they lack a baseline to compare them to. For all anyone knows, the pandemic might be ten times worse but for prayer. Their unequivocal declarations that prayer is having no effect, or that the crisis is not diminishing as a result, or that people who pray are wasting their time cannot be substantiated.

Of course, when you call them on it enough, they try to team up and pretend they aren’t making factual claims, just being skeptical, or even open-minded, which is laughable. The plain language of their comments shows what an obvious lie that is.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.115  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.114    2 months ago
The claims made by “the logical people” are absurd, unsupportable hate speech, ...

Absurd, unsupportable hate speech?    Such drama in response to calm, logical rebuttals and explanations.

The numbers contradict nothing. No one has grounds for interpreting the numbers because they lack a baseline to compare them to. For all anyone knows, the pandemic might be ten times worse but for prayer.

Your scenario is possible.   But you are speculating without a shred of supporting evidence.   We do not have numbers for the pandemic effects sans prayer.   We only have numbers for the pandemic with prayer and the numbers have been increasing.   Gordy looked as the available evidence and has suggested that prayer, per the metrics, does not seem to be working.   You, et. al. translate that into a claim of certainty:  'prayer cannot possibly work'.   That is intellectually dishonest given the clear explanations that have been provided.

If we are to allow pure speculation then one could speculate that the pandemic might have already died out on its own if not for the prayers.   Pure speculation is not information.

Their unequivocal declarations that prayer is having no effect, or that the crisis is not diminishing as a result, or that people who pray are wasting their time cannot be substantiated.

Amazing.   Nobody has made an unequivocal declaration that prayer is having no effect.   The opinion has been rendered based on the available evidence.  No claim of certainty that prayer cannot work has been made.   Why is it that some insist on putting forth a false narrative while ignoring the explanations and rebuttals?

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.116  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.115    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
1.1.117  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.116    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.118  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.116    2 months ago

Quite a liberal use of emotive words, accusations and demands in response to an unemotional, thoughtful response from me.

If someone makes a comment on a public forum, anyone has the right to reply.   Given your above comment, I suggest you put me on ignore.   I will reply to comments regardless, but you will no longer be tempted to produce presumptive, incorrect and emotional responses like that @1.1.116

 
 
 
KDMichigan
1.1.119  KDMichigan  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.81    2 months ago
But as we can see by the numbers, prayer has had no effect in reducing the number of covid cases and deaths.

Prove it.

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.120  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.118    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.121  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.120    2 months ago

When do you plan to start your new policy of not replying to me?  

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.122  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.121    2 months ago

My comment was not directed to you. I will not read your reply. I assume in advance that it is trolling and nothing more. I am not interested in speaking with you on religious topics anymore. I am not interested in feeding trolling. Do not address me again. I assume you are only looking for a fight.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.123  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.122    2 months ago

If what he says offends you so much just put him on ignore. Seems very simple. Then you wouldn't see any of his comments.

Instead you just insult.

 
 
 
Freewill
1.1.124  Freewill  replied to  Ender @1.1.123    2 months ago

Indeed, you beat me to it Ender. Responding to public comments in a rational and reasonable manner is not "trolling".  If the reader doesn't wish to see those responses, then the ignore feature is ready and waiting to be used. Asking why it hasn't been used after a thrice repeated response of dismissal is also not trolling.  But I think it might be best if TiG not respond any further to Tacos as well since he has made it clear that he doesn't want to engage in any further discussion on this matter.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.125  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @1.1.124    2 months ago

That was the choice I made after the third repetition.   But, moving forward, if someone makes a comment on a public site then we all have the right to freely reply.  Especially if the reply is thoughtful.   If an individual cannot live with that, then that is the key reason we built the IGNORE function.

 
 
 
Freewill
1.1.126  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.125    2 months ago

Completely agree.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
1.1.127  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Freewill @1.1.124    2 months ago
But I think it might be best if TiG not respond any further to Tacos as well since he has made it clear that he doesn't want to engage in any further discussion on this matter.

That is how I view rational and reasonable.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.128  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Freedom Warrior @1.1.117    2 months ago

We are reaching the same conclusion. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.129  Tacos!  replied to  Ender @1.1.123    2 months ago
If what he says offends you so much just put him on ignore. Seems very simple.

And you are free to put me on ignore.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.130  Gordy327  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1.119    2 months ago

The numbers speak for themselves. Plus there is no evidence to suggest prayer has cured anything or prevented infection & deaths.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.131  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.98    2 months ago

Your opinion is correct.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
1.1.132  KDMichigan  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.130    2 months ago

What numbers? 

Mind you I do not believe in God or Gods or some mythical Creator. But saying prayer hasn't prevented infection or deaths is just religion bashing which you so often do. Albeit no great being IMO has prevented infections or deaths but where is your proof that prayer hasn't? You can't prove that. Now go get tig to tell me what you meant to say. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.133  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.82    2 months ago

I did keep is simple. I analyzed the trends based on the numbers provided over time within a population. Then I applied that to the premise that prayer has an effect. So bases on the numbers, prayer is not having a positive effect. There's your evidence. I can't make it simpler than that.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.134  Gordy327  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1.132    2 months ago

The numbers I provided in post 1.1.81.

And saying prayer isn't preventing infections or deaths isn't bashing. It's an anays is of the trends as it relates to the premise of prayer having a positive effect on infections and death. I'm not sure how that can be interpreted as bashing. But I note very said I have proof, as that is too high a standard to meet. But I go by the current available evidence, which actually shows an opposite correlation between prayer and infections or deaths. This demonstrates that prayer is not having an effect. There is also no evidence to suguest prayer is preventing infections or deaths either. So if someone is going to claim or support the notion that prayer is preventing infections and deaths, then the number trends directly contradict that and the lack of supporting evidence for said notion makes it nothing more than mere belief or opinion.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.135  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.133    2 months ago

This is not a matter of simplifying your message or explaining what you mean.   Given the amount of ignored explanation, there is demonstrably no interest in actually understanding your point.  

Instead of 'the evidence suggests that prayer is not working' we see the strawman of 'prayer cannot possibly work'.   Clearly one cannot challenge your point directly since you are correct;  the metrics of rising infection suggests prayer is having no effect.   So instead, out comes the usual strawman.

Always the same game.    Back to the mining for gold analogy.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.136  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.135    2 months ago

You are correct as usual. Although, I wonder if it's a case of not wanting to understand the  explanation,  or simply being unable to understand?

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.137  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.133    2 months ago

Nah, you a have a theory based on available evidence.    It IS NOT proof of the statement you made.    Not even close.   I can’t make it any easier to understand than that.

I find it interesting that one who claims to operate on “facts” would make such an erroneous statement.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.138  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.137    2 months ago
It IS NOT proof of the statement you made.  

Correct!!   It is not proof.   It is evidence (as Gordy has repeatedly stated) that correlates with the hypothesis that prayer has no effect on the virus. 

Not proof, evidence.   There is a difference.

Nah, you a have a theory based on available evidence.

And it is not a theory, it is an hypothesis.   You know the meaning of these words so to misuse them is curious.


Since you replied to Gordy @1.1.133 and somehow found 'proof' in what he wrote, here is his comment in its entirety:

Gordy @1.1.133 - I did keep is simple. I analyzed the trends based on the numbers provided over time within a population. Then I applied that to the premise that prayer has an effect. So base[d] on the numbers, prayer is not having a positive effect. There's your evidence. I can't make it simpler than that.

The problem is not Gordy making a claim of certainty, it is people inserting their own words and their own meaning in direct contradiction to what the man actually wrote.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.139  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.136    2 months ago
I wonder if it's a case of not wanting to understand the  explanation,

At this point, I have no doubt that it is a desire to push a false narrative.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.140  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.138    2 months ago

Good God, now you want to argue about the definition of Theory vs Hypothesis.      Will the disingenuousness never end?    

That said you’ve got that wrong in this case as well but it’s pointless to explain it to you as you’ll just rationalize another BS excuse why you are correct.    Which again, you aren’t.    The words mean what they mean.    You can try to change the meaning all you want but it changes nothing.

SOSDD, I get more unwarranted lectures from a source that I could less about.    So save the sanctimonious platitudes for someone who gives a shit what your opinion is because I don’t.      I find it entirely too disingenuous.

The problem is not Gordy making a claim of certainty,

Still talking for Gordy though I see ....... The erroneous nature of your comment has already been clearly pointed out earlier.    Sad you keep coming back to it and embarrassing yourself.    

Really sad that’s all you got.     That and ridiculous redefinitions of words.    Sad!

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.141  Sparty On  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.139    2 months ago

Nah, just calling out bullshit when see it.  

[deleted]

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.142  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.140    2 months ago

It seems you do not understand the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. And no, TiG isn't speaking for me (although I have no problem with that). But he does perfectly relate my position. But since that doesn't seem to be good enough for you, I'll say it myself then: The problem is not I making a claim of certainty. There, satisfied? And for you to comment on the "meaning" of words, it's obvious you did not understand the meaning of mine, and simply interpret it to suit your own narrative. TiG happens to be exactly correct in his analysis too

And no, I never said I had proof. Neither did I propose a theory. I provided and analyzed hard data to support a hypothesis. It's also far more than anything you've offered and neither have you offered anything to refute me, much less support the opposite position. So any notion that prayer is improving infection/death rates is clearly contradicted by the FACTS I provided. No amount of arguing or complaining from you or anyone else will change that fact.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.143  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.141    2 months ago

Translation: you have nothing! Only personal attacks.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.144  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.143    2 months ago

Lol ..... still can’t admit you were proven wrong.      Sad, really sad.

Then trying some candy assed personal attack deflection snark ..... now that is some extra weak shit there but ..... SOSDD.

Nothing new there .... nothing new at all.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.145  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.142    2 months ago
The problem is not I making a claim of certainty.

Then you shouldn’t have used the word “certainly” if that’s not what you meant to say.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.146  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.145    2 months ago

It was. What he meant to say until you called him out on it 👍

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.147  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.140    2 months ago
Good God, now you want to argue about the definition of Theory vs Hypothesis.

There is nothing to argue about.   The words are well defined.    Seeking clarity is the opposite of being disingenuous.

Your comment evaded my point that proof is very different from evidence and that Gordy stated evidence and did not state proof.

Instead of recognizing your mistake of putting words in Gordy's mouth, you come back with snark and ridiculous allegations such as claims that I am redefining words like theory, hypothesis, proof and evidence.

No thoughtful response, no rebuttal, just snark and the endless stream of false allegations.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.148  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.144    2 months ago

Nothing but their missionary zeal to proselytize believers in the religions of The Book to abandon our faith and join their religion of reason.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.149  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.145    2 months ago

Reread what I originally wrote! I said "the covid crisis isn't diminishing as a result." The data figures  I provided and which anyone can look up supports that. I did not make a claim of certainty such as "prayer has absolutely yes/no effect on the covid crisis," as that would be quite difficult to determine experimentally. Your problem seems to be a lack of comprehension.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.150  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.146    2 months ago

You presume too much, especially since he did no such thing. His challenges were addressed and his counter arguments either soundly defeated or showed to be flawed.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.151  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.145    2 months ago
Then you shouldn’t have used the word “certainly” if that’s not what you meant to say.

The epitome of cherry-picking:  taking one word out of context and using it as your argument.   Again I put the actual words in front of your face:

Gordy @1.1 - What "results" are prayers having? The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result.  It might make someone "feel" better or fell like they're doing something. But that's about it.

The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result is a true statement because the Covid crisis in still increasing.  The word 'certainly' refers to the observation that the Covid crisis is increasing (not diminishing).   And it is increasing!   That much is indeed certain

Prayer has not, per current evidence, caused the Covid crisis to diminish.   Clearly this is true because the crisis is not diminishing.   (Not yet.)


Now you can always speculate as Tacos! did that the Covid crisis might have been worse if not for prayer.   But that is pure speculation — not based on a shred of evidence.   One could also speculate that prayer has made the Covid crisis worse.   See how speculation is a flawed approach?   The smart move is to not speculate and to simply interpret the evidence as it currently stands.   That is what Gordy did.

Per the evidence, a point Gordy has made throughout, the Covid crisis continues to increase.   Thus, per the evidence, there is nothing that suggests prayer is having any positive effect.   Thus it is perfectly logical to conclude that thus far, prayer has had no effect.

When the Covid crisis starts to diminish, and it will, it will no longer be possible to observe that the evidence suggests prayer is not being effective.   Until then, while the crisis grows, the evidence flies in the face of the hypothesis that prayer is causing the crisis to diminish.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.152  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.148    2 months ago

Now that's just paranoid delusion, with a hint of sweeping generalization. Also quite laughable, as it clearly demonstrates you have no effective or logical rebuttal to make. Instead of debating the facts or arguments presented, you instead attack those presenting said facts and arguments. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.153  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.149    2 months ago

As I noted, I am confident there is no intention to acknowledge your point.   Given your and my responses there is no excuse for anyone to think you are claiming certain truth here.   You, the author, told them your intent and they keep insisting they know your intent better than you.  The signature of arguing for the sake of arguing.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.154  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.151    2 months ago

Well said TiG. You summed it up logically and clearly. But I have a feeling we'll continue to see the same intellectually disingenuous (if not outright emotional) responses we've received throughout this exchange.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.155  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.153    2 months ago

I tend to agree. And it will probably continue too until someone takes the "cowards way out" with an "Impasse." 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.156  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.144    2 months ago

Except that I wasnt proven wrong. Except maybe in your own imagination. But, whatever you need to tell yourself to feel better. Yep, nothing new there.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.157  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.149    2 months ago

Lol .... you left out the word “certainly” in your quote.     What a joke.

[deleted]

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.158  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.157    2 months ago

My comment @1.1.151 pointed out the flaw in your cherry-picking a single word and ignoring the context.  

Here are a few sentences to compare:

  1. God certainly exists.
  2. The Bible certainly declares that God exists.
  3. I certainly believe God exists.

Which of the three is a statement of truth (certainty) of the existence of God (a claim of certainty that God exists)?

Yeah I know you will not answer this directly.   This is to illustrate by simple example the flaw of arguing that the use of 'certainly' in a sentence means that every part of the sentence is declared as certain truth.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.159  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.157    2 months ago

That's the best you can do? Pick out a word? It doesn't change, much less refute, anything I said. But it does show how you've got nothing in the way of a logical rebuttal or argument and are just desperate now. Then you follow up with a personal attack. Yeah, What a joke indeed!

 
 
 
KDMichigan
1.1.160  KDMichigan  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.81    2 months ago
But as we can see by the numbers, prayer has had no effect in reducing the number of covid cases and deaths

So in my opinion prayer is a form a meditation for some that use it. If thru prayer they are focusing on dealing with the Corona virus and conscious of avoiding it, prayer has in effect reduced the possible numbers of those being infected. That is one reason why I disagree with your broad statement that prayer has had no effect on the Covid virus.

I don't feel like going into other examples at the moment, but you get the gist on how I feel prayer has helped. I'm not religious but I hope and pray that someone I come into contact with working doesn't infect me and I'm conscious of my environment while working.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.161  sandy-2021492  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1.160    2 months ago
If thru prayer they are focusing on dealing with the Corona virus and conscious of avoiding it, prayer has in effect reduced the possible numbers of those being infected.

And why would this be any more effective than avoiding it through nonreligious social distancing?  Prayer in this scenario is the equivalent of staying home and watching Netflix.

 
 
 
Freewill
1.1.162  Freewill  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.157    2 months ago
You and Tig are so full of shit it’s not funny.

Sparty I don't believe you have any evidence of this as neither has reported a bowel blockage or even the slightest bit of constipation.  Now if that were the case I would tend to agree....it's not funny.

On a more serious note, I have read through this entire exchange and I do not understand why some of you can't see their point, and understand that if your faith is strong, such discussion should not undermine your faith.   Evidence and faith do not always live on the same plane, surely you understand this.  TiG and Gordy do not claim, as perhaps some others might, that God absolutely does not exist or that prayer absolutely does not work, all they are pointing out is a current lack of evidence that God exists or that prayer works.  They simply don't have faith in those ideas like you and many others do without the evidence to prove it.  As much as you are free to explain to others your faith and how you believe it works for you, so are they free to explain why they don't share that faith until they have good reason to. They look at it from a purely scientific perspective, a perspective that if one so believes, God must have given them.

I too tend to lean toward faith (although I'll admit probably not as strongly as many) and the idea that prayer can be soothing, uplifting, hopeful, and also thankful of course.   But I don't think it's just my faith that leads me to do good works, or to treat people with kindness and respect, as is attributed to those of the Christian faith elsewhere in this article.  I know a great many people of no particular religious faith who do as much good, if not more, than most Christians I know.  I also know a great many Christians who do not do good works or even treat people as Christ taught.  I firmly believe, as you do I'm sure, that faith can help guide people in that direction.  But as human beings we all have the potential for goodness regardless of whether we subscribe fully, partially or not at all to any specific religion.

When people like TiG or Gordy ask me for my proof that God exists, or that the Bible is the word of God, or proof that prayer works, I just say I don't have any.  That's the truth.  I simply tell them that I like the idea that something like a God gave us this world and this wonderful life and that I find comfort in the words attributed to Christ and his message to love others as yourself.  And I believe that I want to lead my life as best I can by those words regardless of where they came from, or who wrote them.  Maybe that is foolish, but I don't think so.  I like to think that my faith makes me a better person, but I keep open the possibility that I might be the same person without it.  I have joked with TiG before that I am an agnostic deist.

I do have one concern though with the specific idea that prayer can eradicate this virus, not that I won't go ahead and pray for that anyway just out of sheer hope.  I am concerned (perhaps unnecessarily) that some may believe so deeply that prayer will protect them, that they won't follow the known protocols for avoiding and preventing the spread of this disease.  I do love and respect my religion but I'm also a scientist, and I have seen both in today's time and through-out history where religion (not just Christianity) has gone terribly wrong.  While religion and faith are not necessarily the same thing, both must be carefully considered and tempered using all the tools that God gave us, or nature gave us if one prefers.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.163  Sparty On  replied to  Freewill @1.1.162    2 months ago

Well you might want to go back and read it again.    This is nothing new for those involved when it comes to questions of faith.

i asked a simple yes or no question and never got a direct answer.    I did get a lot of deflection, redirection, rationalization, obfuscation, attempted redefinition ..... you get the point.    None of which was needed for a simple yes or no question.

Bottom line, the comment made clearly stated prayer wasn’t helping.    Every trick in the book was then employed in an attempt to “redefine” what was said but the words used, mean what they mean.    And I have NO doubt that was the original intent no matter what is said here.    One can no more know if prayer is helping than claiming that it isn’t.    That’s just the way it is.

So no honest answers were forthcoming and I don’t expect them.    Which is telling for people who regularly demand proof and evidence here while going into debate attack mode.

I knew that comment was going to get ticketed but it needed to be said imo and I stand by it.    If you read the exchange you should see what I’m talking about.    If you don’t, no skin off my nose but I’m sure the usual attack mode will be ongoing from the players involved continuing the defense of the indefensible.    That’s their M.O.

To that I say .... meh ... SOSDD considering.    I’ve said my piece and again I stand by every single word.    No more words are needed from me.    And no more are forthcoming.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.164  TᵢG  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1.160    2 months ago
So in my opinion prayer is a form a meditation for some that use it. If thru prayer they are focusing on dealing with the Corona virus and conscious of avoiding it, prayer has in effect reduced the possible numbers of those being infected.

Prayer is comforting and that is often a good thing.

That is one reason why I disagree with your broad statement that prayer has had no effect on the Covid virus.

I hope you recognize that Gordy is saying that according to the current metrics, prayer seems to have had no effect on the virus.    He is just looking at the fact that the virus continues to spread (we have not yet hit the turning point) so based on that prayer does not seem to be working.

If thru prayer they are focusing on dealing with the Corona virus and conscious of avoiding it, prayer has in effect reduced the possible numbers of those being infected.

We have no metrics for this so all one can say is ... 'that is a possibility'.   Note also that if we are going to speculate sans metrics, prayer may comfort people and cause them to be less vigil about being infected.   To be clear, if one holds that this virus can only be beaten by human efforts alone, then we are likely to be quite vigil.   If, however, one is comforted through prayer that God is monitoring/handling the situation then one might not be as vigil.   So I accept your speculation that prayer might make people more focused but you should on the same grounds accept my speculation that it could possibly work the other way.   Neither of us have metrics on this so we are both merely offering speculation.

 
 
 
KDMichigan
1.1.165  KDMichigan  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.164    2 months ago

As usual I don't need you to tell me what someone means. He made the broad statement that prayer has had no effect. 
That is false. period. You can not definitively say that not one case of Corvid 19 was avoided because of prayer. 

Now spin it how you want.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.166  TᵢG  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.163    2 months ago
Well you might want to go back and read it again.

Good grief.  

i asked a simple yes or no question and never got a direct answer.  

What was your question?  

Bottom line, the comment made clearly stated prayer wasn’t helping.  

Yes, Gordy does not believe prayer is helping.   His comment was based on the continued rise in infections.    Of course, he does not believe prayer helps anyway given he does not believe a god exists to hear the prayers.   But that is a different topic ...

Every trick in the book ...

What fascinates me is that Gordy and I have consistently explained this.  Gordy, the author, has clearly explained his intent.   But instead of dealing with calm, logical, clear responses you flat out ignore them sans logical rebuttal and then repeatedly return with the same false allegations, snark, etc.    On top of that , you actually try to suggest that it is Gordy and I who are doing the very things you are doing.  

Why you think this is advantageous to you is a mystery.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.167  TᵢG  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1.165    2 months ago

You made a thoughtful comment and I responded accordingly.   We had a decent exchange.  Why, now, do you return with snark?

He made the broad statement that prayer has had no effect. 

Did you see the part where he notes that he is basing this on the metrics?   There is a monster difference between:

  • Prayer has had no effect.
  • Based on the numbers (crisis not diminishing), prayer does not seem have had any effect.

Here is his opening comment:

Gordy @1.1 - What "results" are prayers having? The Covid crisis certainly isn't diminishing as a result. It might make someone "feel" better or fell like they're doing something. But that's about it.

He notes even in his opening comment, and continues to refer to metrics in subsequent comments, that his opinion is based on the fact (and it is a certain fact) that the Covid crisis is not currently diminishing.  That is true.   Right?

He concludes that the "results' of prayer have been at best nothing.   Based, again, on the metrics.

You accuse me of spin, yet his opening comment is clear and, importantly, Gordy has provided plenty of subsequent explanation of this point.   So how can you stick with a narrative that is wholly unsupported by what Gordy has written in this thread?

Do you not see how absurd it is to argue that, in effect, Gordy is lying in this thread when he explains that he was not making a declaration of certainty that prayer cannot help but rather that based on what he (we) can observe it does not appear to be helping?  

Is it not reasonable to hold that Gordy knows his position better than anyone else?  If he consistently returns with 'conclusion based on the metrics' on what grounds can one claim that he is mistaken about his own position?

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.168  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1.165    2 months ago

Here we go:  weee!   Weee!  Weee!  Are they dizzy yet from all their son?  

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.169  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.158    2 months ago
ignoring the context.  

Oh, the irony!

LMMFAO!

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.170  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.169    2 months ago

Gordy and I have provided direct, thoughtful responses backed up with actual quotes.  When challenged we have directly responded.   In contrast, our interlocutors typically provide responses exemplified by the platitude of @1.1.169 and the juvenile tone of @1.1.168

Your comment has no thoughtful content, no attempt to provide a rebuttal, just snark. 

It is obvious that you have no argument.   Why you wish to portray yourself in this manner remains an interesting curiosity.   I would be embarrassed.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.171  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.163    2 months ago

I have always said that Christianity is a faith based religion and thus I will never attempt to “prove” God exists or how prayer works.  That they will believe by faith or they will never believe at all whatever the consequences of each.  Why they demand proof when I tell them I have none is beyond me.  I am not though going to be silenced by them into not saying what I believe or why in the face of either a crisis like this or because they don’t like our belief or to see us verbalize it.  I’m no longer going to argue about logic or reason of non belief.  They say that they don’t rule out that God might somehow exist they just rule out the existence of the God of the Book and that The Christian Bible and likely the Koran and Torah are of any value.  We disagree and will point out like was mentioned all the great good that genuine Christianity has brought and is bringing to the world and to our society.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.172  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Freewill @1.1.162    2 months ago

The capacity of religion to motivate pro-social behavior goes way beyond volunteering. Religious people are more involved in community groups. They have stronger links with their neighbors. They are more engaged with their own families. Pew has found that among Americans who attend worship weekly and pray daily, about half gather with extended family members at least once a month. For the rest of our population, it’s 30 percent. ( See graph 8

Of all the “associational” activity that takes place in the U.S., almost half is church-related, according to Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam. “As a whole,” notes Tim Keller,  “secularism is not good for society.” Secularism “makes people very fragmented—they might talk about community, but they aren’t sacrificing their own personal goals for community, as religion requires you to do.”

Religious practice links us in webs of mutual knowledge, responsibility, and support like no other influence. Seven out of ten weekly church attenders told Pew they consider “work to help the needy” an “essential part” of their faith. Most of them put their money and time where their mouth is: 65 percent of weekly church attenders were found to have donated either volunteer hours or money or goods to the poor within the previous week. ( See graph 9 )

Philanthropic studies show that people with a religious affiliation give away several times as much every year as other Americans. Research by the Lilly School at Indiana University found Americans with any religious affiliation made average annual charitable donations of $1,590, versus $695 for those with no religious affiliation. Another report using data from the Panel Study for Income Dynamics juxtaposed Americans who do not attend religious services with those who attend worship at least twice a month, and made fine-tunings to compare demographic apples to apples. The results: $2,935 of annual charitable giving for the church attenders, versus $704 for the non-attenders. ( See graph 10 ) In addition to giving larger amounts, the religious give more often—making gifts about half again as frequently.

 In study after study, religious practice is the behavioral variable with the strongest and most consistent association with generous giving. And people with religious motivations don’t give just to faith-based causes—they are also much likelier to give to secular causes than the nonreligious. Two thirds of people who worship at least twice a month give to secular causes, compared to less than half of non-attenders, and the average secular gift by a church attender is 20 percent bigger. ( See graph 11 )

These giving levels vary by particular faith. Mormons are the most generous Americans, both by participation level and by size of gifts. Evangelical Christians are next. Then come mainline Protestants. Catholics lag both. Jews give high dollar amounts on average, because they have high earnings, while trailing Protestant givers in donations as a share of income. (See  “Who Gives Most to Charity?”  in the  Almanac of American Philanthropy .)


Religious charity dominates U.S. philanthropy

America’s tradition of voluntary charitable giving is one of the clearest markers of U.S. exceptionalism. As a fraction of our income, we donate over two and a half times as much as Britons do, more than eight times as much as the Germans, and at 12 times the rate of the Japanese. American religiosity plays a central role in that distinctive pattern.

The annual  Giving USA  tabulations show a third of our donations as going to religious causes. But  Giving USA  statisticians acknowledge that this is a gross underestimate. Their calculations include only gifts to houses of worship and related mission organizations. Excluded from their total, they point out, are gifts to faith-based organizations like the Salvation Army and gospel missions for the homeless, to religious schools of all sorts, to Catholic hospitals, to the Jewish federations, to missionary organizations that serve the poor abroad, and so forth.

 A consortium of Jewish funders and other independent foundations called Connected to Give commissioned studies to produce a more inclusive and accurate estimate of religiously driven giving. Its 2013 report conglomerated gifts to churches and synagogues with gifts to faith charities and found that 73 percent of all charitable giving in the U.S. goes to organizations that are explicitly religious. ( See graph 12 ) Other research shows that of America’s top 50 charities, 40 percent are faith-based.

An even more inclusive 2016 study by Georgetown University economist Brian Grim calculated the economic value of all U.S. religious activity. Its midrange estimate was that religion annually contributes $1.2 trillion of socioeconomic value to the U.S. economy. This estimate includes not only the fair market value of activity connected to churches (like $91 billion of religious schooling and daycare), and by non-church religious institutions (faith-based charities, hospitals, and colleges), but also activity by faith-related commercial organizations. That $1.2 trillion is more than the combined revenue of America’s ten biggest tech giants. It is bigger than the total economy of all but 14 entire nations.

 

Ways the religious help others 

To get a sense of the often-invisible ways in which persons of faith help others, consider giving to the poorest of the poor overseas. The most conspicuous philanthropy done in this area is carried out by the Gates Foundation. Gates contributions in Africa and other low-income countries are the signature effort of the world’s largest charitable foundation, and have had heroic effects, in areas ranging from malaria protection to HIV control to eradicating polio.

With the marvelous Gates generosity in mind, now absorb this: members of U.S. churches and synagogues send four and a half  times  as much money overseas to needy people every year as the Gates Foundation does! Much of this religious charity is applied in the hardest places, with high efficiency and low overhead, by Christians who “go the last mile” into rural, extremely poor, or dangerous areas where governments and international bureaucracies have no effective reach. (See “Modern Missionaries” in the Spring 2018 issue of  Philanthropy .)

It is easy to overlook this giving, because it comes not in megagifts from billionaires but rather in millions of $50 checks written by faithful donors to groups like Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, International Justice Mission, Mercy Ships, American Jewish World Service, Compassion International, Catholic Medical Mission Board, MAP International, and so forth. Over the last couple decades, soaring interest in the poorest of the poor by evangelical Christians in particular has made overseas giving the fastest growing corner of American charity. One result: U.S. voluntary giving to the overseas poor now totals $44 billion annually—far more than the $33 billion of official aid distributed by the U.S. government.

There are many other types of charity and social healing where religious givers are dominant influences. 

  • Religious Americans adopt children at two and a half times the overall national rate, and they play a particularly large role in fostering and adopting troubled and hard-to-place kids. ( See graph 13 )
  • Local church congregations, aided by umbrella groups like Catholic Charities, provide most of the day-to-day help that resettles refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the U.S.
  • Research shows that the bulk of volunteers mentoring prisoners and their families, both while they are incarcerated and after they are released, are Christians eager to welcome offenders back into society, help them succeed, and head off returns to crime.
  • The educational alternative that draws most of the headlines today is charter schooling, which serves 3 million children. Much less often acknowledged is the fact that 3.8 million children are educated every year in religious schools in the U.S. ( See graph 14 ) There is evidence these religious schools offer qualitative advantages: their students experience less violence and bullying and feel more secure, exhibit better citizenship skills, are more engaged with their community, and produce average SAT scores more than 100 points higher than public-school students.
  • Religious hospitals care for one out of every five U.S. hospital patients. Catholic institutions account for 16 percent of all hospital beds, and additional large health-care systems are run by Adventists, Baptists, Methodists, Jews, and other faith groups. ( See graph 15 )
  • Faith-based organizations are at the forefront of both care and recovery for the homeless. A 2017 study found that 58 percent of the emergency shelter beds in 11 surveyed cities are maintained by religious providers—who also delivered many of the addiction, health-care, education, and job services needed to help the homeless regain their independence. (See graph 16)
  • Local congregations provide 130,000 alcohol-recovery programs.
  • Local congregations provide 120,000 programs that assist the unemployed.
  • Local congregations provide 26,000 programs to help people living with HIV/AIDS—one ministry for every 46 people infected with the virus. 
  • Churches recruit a large portion of the volunteers needed to operate organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, America's thousands of food pantries and feeding programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Red Cross, and other volunteer-dependent charities. 

One strength of religious philanthropy is sheer numbers.  https://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/philanthropy-magazine/less-god-less-giving

 
 
 
Freewill
1.1.173  Freewill  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.172    2 months ago

I hope you didn’t expect me to argue about any of that.  It doesn’t surprise me at all.  It is one of the primary reasons I enjoy Mass on Sundays and participating in other charitable events sponsored by our Church.  I am the first to point out facts like these when others criticize the Church or only focus on the terrible things that some priests have done, or other corruptions or terrible alliances of the Church centuries ago.  There are always going to be bad or corrupt people in any organization from time to time, but the one constant over the centuries has been the good that the Church has done in caring for the sick, the  poor, and the down-trodden. That is why I think it is important to consider the whole picture rather than just the dark frame when discussing the value of any religion, not just Christianity.  I believe that holds true in considering any group of people for that matter, including those who do not subscribe to any religion.  An open mind will always allow one to better see the good in other people.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.174  Gordy327  replied to  KDMichigan @1.1.160    2 months ago
So in my opinion prayer is a form a meditation for some that use it.

It has been shown to produce similar effects as meditation.

If thru prayer they are focusing on dealing with the Corona virus and conscious of avoiding it, prayer has in effect reduced the possible numbers of those being infected.

Proper precautions such as social distancing and self quarantine has reduced the number of potential infections. Prayer by itself is unlikely to prevent infection. 

That is one reason why I disagree with your broad statement that prayer has had no effect on the Covid virus.

There is no evidence to suggest it has any effect, as we can see by the continuously increasing number of cases.

I don't feel like going into other examples at the moment, but you get the gist on how I feel prayer has helped.

I'm sure you think it has. 

I'm not religious but I hope and pray that someone I come into contact with working doesn't infect me and I'm conscious of my environment while working.

If you're conscious of your environment (and hopefully others are conscious of theirs), then that is a conscious  precaution taken to prevent infection. Prayer is irrelevant to that.

He made the broad statement that prayer has had no effect. That is false. period. You can not definitively say that not one case of Corvid 19 was avoided because of prayer. 

Then demonstrate where prayer has had an (positive) effect. I produced actual numbers to support my position that prayer is not having any positive effect. I already explained that in detail in a previous post.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.175  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.171    2 months ago
I have always said that Christianity is a faith based religion

All religions (deity-centric) are faith-based.

Why they demand proof when I tell them I have none is beyond me.  

An easy way to avoid a challenge for supporting evidence of God's existence is to not make a claim of certainty on God's existence.   For example:

  1. God certainly exists.  (or simply 'God exists')
  2. The Bible certainly declares that God exists.
  3. I certainly believe God exists.

Statement 1 is a claim of certainty that God exists.   The other two are not.  

Statement 2 is a claim of certainty that the Bible declares that God exists.   So if challenged, your response is simply to show how the Bible claims God exists.  Easy.  

Statement 3 is a claim of certainty in your own belief.   You are claiming with certainty that you believe God exists, not that God exists.  

Only statement 1 is a claim that would warrant a challenge to deliver supporting evidence that God exists.

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.176  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Freewill @1.1.173    2 months ago

My point was not to get you to argue but to show that while believers detractors attack what we believe and why we believe they have no answer for the things we do because we believe or how society would replace what we do because we believe if we didn’t and instead act per capita as they do.  How would society make up the difference if all that we do because we believe so illogically and without reason simply disappeared? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.177  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.176    2 months ago

I think society could do exceptionally well if believers were to take an honest, fact-based approach to religious beliefs.   Imagine a world where nobody claims to know the grandest possible entity (God) on a personal basis or to know the mind of such an entity?   Instead, what if everyone used their 'God-given' brains, with circa-2020 information and held this belief:

It is possible that a sentient creator exists.   If so, we would consider this creator God.   God, so defined, is demonstrably awesome in terms of power and knowledge (given what God created) — well beyond our capabilities.  

But that is it ... that is all we would know (hypothetically even).

We would not know what God intends with us or expects of us.   We would not have contradictory stories, rules, consequences, etc. all coming from God.   We would all realize that even if God, so defined, exists that we must take care of each other and our planet because we have no guarantee that God is even watching over us.

Now that would be an honest, credible belief system.  Instead of following the rules of men who pretend to speak for God, we could instead attempt to understand the mind of God through the reality God ostensibly created.

It would also be logical in comparison to the ridiculous plethora of contradictory religions that are themselves internally contradictory.

When asked what God wants of us, the honest answer would be 'I do not know'.   When asked if God exists, the honest answer would be 'I do not know'.   Some might add '... but I believe it makes sense that God does exist' while others might add '... and oddly for such a grand entity, we have yet to have credible evidence that God exists'.

And importantly, Ken Ham and his band will no longer be working overtime to dumb down the next generation.   Kenneth Copeland and the other despicable, slime-bucket prosperity gospel televangelists would be appropriately ignored, etc.   On a different note, Islamic terrorists would not have divine instruction to kill as many infidels as possible because that is the will of Allah.  

The critical thinking that would ensue strikes me as highly beneficial.

 
 
 
Freewill
1.1.178  Freewill  replied to  Heartland American @1.1.176    2 months ago
How would society make up the difference if all that we do because we believe so illogically and without reason simply disappeared?

Why would it simply disappear?  First, nobody is talking about eradicating Christianity. Second, why do you believe that the very same people who gave of their time and money before would not continue to do so even if the churches were somehow shut down?  Now I will agree that organizations like Catholic Relief Services or others as you have described are very good at assembling people of like mind to their charitable efforts.  But the same people who participate in those organizations could very well do so under a different form of organization.  What makes these organizations work so well is people, people with time, funds, and a caring heart which they freely donate. And those same people will not simply disappear even if an atheist somehow comes to power, deletes the Constitution, and abolishes all religion. Do you really think that is likely in the U.S.?  It doesn't sound like a rational fear to me.

Lastly, do you really believe that the people who do good through these organizations do so ONLY because they believe?  Are you saying that if they didn't believe in God or Christ that they would not treat people the same way or be as charitable?  How do you know that?

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.179  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Freewill @1.1.178    2 months ago

I’m saying that there is a huge difference in volunteering, donating personal items, and monetary contributions to charities between a regularly attending church believer and a secularist.  The stuff I’ve posted regarding philanthropy shows the huge differences.  Less God, less giving is a statistical fact.  What I was saying is that of organized religion did disappear not by extermination but by persuasion from secularists, and our organizations went with us, how would secularists make up the difference?  Secularists have no organizational infrastructure like believers do and they per capita give less.  If secularists persuaded believers to be secular and we no longer have because of Who and what we believe in and reverted tontheir norm, who would make up the difference?  

 
 
 
Heartland American
1.1.180  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.177    2 months ago

Sorry but we believers as long as we and our children and grandchildren shall live will never comport our rational faith to your particular fantasy.  You will never see your dream realized.  

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2  devangelical  replied to  Heartland American @1    3 weeks ago

sorry, god ignores the prayers of hypocrites.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @1.2    3 weeks ago
sorry, god ignores the prayers of hypocrites.

That's nice. Prove it.

 
 
 
Heartland American
2  seeder  Heartland American    2 months ago

 Secularist have been using this pandemic as a go to reason to attack the very existence of God and then challenge whether He is good if He actually does exist.  They have openly mocked Christianity and theism in general.  They openly mock and challenge the value of prayer while questioning the sanity of those who do believe. They are wrong. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @2    2 months ago
They are wrong. 

Who says? You? Laughable. Prove there's a god and maybe you'll shut up any naysayer regarding god.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1    2 months ago

No one has to prove there is a God to you.

He has no obligation to satisfy your whims.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    2 months ago

Then he has no credibility for his claims.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.2    2 months ago
Then he has no credibility for his claims.

Do you really think he gives a damn what your opinion on his credibility is?

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.3    2 months ago

I'm just saying, anyone can claim anything. But it means nothing when there is nothing to support the claim. No support equals no credibility. That's just simple fact.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.4    2 months ago

Suit yourself.

 
 
 
arkpdx
2.1.6  arkpdx  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.4    2 months ago

Prove there is no God

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  arkpdx @2.1.6    2 months ago

Why would you ask Gordy to do that?   Has he claimed there is no God?

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.8  Gordy327  replied to  arkpdx @2.1.6    2 months ago

Ah, gotta love the logical fallacies.

 
 
 
arkpdx
2.1.9  arkpdx  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.7    2 months ago

Yes, yes he has. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.1.10  sandy-2021492  replied to  arkpdx @2.1.9    2 months ago

Quotes?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.11  TᵢG  replied to  arkpdx @2.1.9    2 months ago

Then show me with a link to prove you are not just making this up.

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.1.12  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.1.13  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    2 months ago

Here’s another illustration of what we do no matter where we live: and it’s a faith and belief in One some believe doesn’t even exist that motivates these selfless acts of kindness. 

Lending a hand

INTERNATIONAL  | Christian leaders and mission groups across Africa join the fight against coronavirus by  Onize Ohikere  
Posted 4/03/20, 03:17 pm

ABUJA, Nigeria—As lockdowns began this week to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, one megachurch near the capital city donated hospital beds, diagnostic sets, sanitizers, oxygen and regular face masks, and other items to health officials.

“We are not just going to pray and trust in God to save us, but we must come out to support the constituted authorities,”  said Paul Eneche, senior pastor of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja.

Churches and mission groups across Africa are turning their attention to the fight against the new coronavirus.   In western Kenya, Houston-based Living Water International, which has formed partnerships with local churches to provide access to clean water while sharing the gospel, has continued its water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) program.

Maitabel Okumu, an Africa program specialist with the group, said it has a COVID-19 guide fluent in Swahili to help church leaders encourage their members and educate them on the virus. Translators are working on similar efforts in other communities across the continent. Kenya has at least 81 cases of the coronavirus so far. Health Ministry Director-General Patrick Amoth on Monday said the country could record up to 10,000 cases by the end of April and urged Kenyans to remain vigilant.

In Sierra Leone, where officials recorded the first two cases of COVID-19 this week, Living Water delivered sanitizers and other emergency supplies to church communities. In Ghana, the Presbyterian church in North Kaneshie provided food and hand sanitizers to more than 300 needy people, hoping to encourage them to stay home. The country has counted more than 195 cases. As the number of infections in the country rose to 10 in Mozambique, Grace Missions, which runs an annual conference for church leaders and a Christian bookshop, offered its uncommissioned, 32-bed surgical hospital and two respirators to aid the response in Nampula province.

Hannah Malone, an administrative staff member with the group, said officials from the provincial health department visited the facility this week to inspect it and see if it would work as the city’s treatment base: “We want to be helpful to people around us with our resources.”

As international groups rally to help Africa during the pandemic, they also are  condemning  some government responses to the threat. Police officials in Kenya have used batons to beat people and fired tear gas at several others who violated the lockdown. On Monday, a 13-year-old boy  died  after a police officer enforcing a curfew fired his gun in a crowded neighborhood and struck him as he stood on a balcony.

Otsieno Namwaya with Human Rights Watch said authorities should respect the law and abstain from abuse, “otherwise, excess use of force could undermine government’s ability to win popular support and cooperation in an effort to control the spread of the virus.”

AP20091544218335.jpg?itok=CXxet2r_ Associated Press/Photo by Anupam Nath A gate outside a village on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, on Tuesday 

Collaboration and compassion

India’s Christians are offering the use of hospitals and trained staff to take care of coronavirus patients. A Catholic media group is also raising money to feed the suffering homeless.

The Coalition for Christian Health offered to work with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to supply 1,000 hospitals and 60,000 beds, the Union of Catholic Asian News reported. It has Catholic and Protestant healthcare facilities across India, including in rural villages, with 1,000 doctors and 50,000 nurses.

“The Christian community always stood in the forefront to fight any national calamity or crisis, and COVID-19 is no exception,” said the Rev. George Kannanthanam, a coalition official.

With the nation on lockdown, India’s homeless are going hungry. Atmadarshan TV  launched  a “feed a stomach” campaign to raise funds. The Catholic channel sends out volunteers daily with food in central India.

“This has created a serious survival problem for the thousands of abandoned who are dependent on alms for their sustenance,” the Rev. Anand Chirayath said. — Julia A. Seymour      https://world.wng.org/content/lending_a_hand

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.1.14  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.11    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1.15  Freewill  replied to  Heartland American @2.1.14    2 months ago
Your secularists protectors will delete anything we say to explain what it is that we believe or why we do as if such a conversation is an actual attempt to convert

One is free to explain what one believes as long as it does not include statements like others will "...get theirs on final judgement day", as though threatening others with your beliefs.  Such are the strong arm tactics of hardcore proselytizers preying primarily on the fear of those who may be on the fence about what they believe.  Instead of that, perhaps a message of love and compassion and the ways in which faith can be a comfort to people, rather than a cudgel with which to beat them over the head might be a better approach?

Atheists and secularists live by another double standard because anti religion isn’t considered a religion by its practitioners.  

That is because it is not a religion.  It is the absence of religion by its very definition.  So there is no double standard.  What there is, is a standard of decorum, honesty, and respect.  Practice that and all is well.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.16  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @2.1.14    2 months ago
Your secularists protectors will delete anything we say to explain what it is that we believe or why we do as if such a conversation is an actual attempt to convert.  Atheists and secularists live by another double standard because anti religion isn’t considered a religion by its practitioners.  

That is demonstrably false; evidenced by the abundance of religious declarations on this site (mostly from you in fact).

Proselytization is against the CoC and is subject to deletion.   But you are free (and have done so repeatedly) to make claims such as: 

  • evolution is pseudoscience; a worldwide conspiracy perpetrated by godless scientists
  • ignore the word of God at your own peril
  • the Bible is inerrant and true
  • God picks the world's leaders
  • the COVID-19 virus is a result of our sinful decisions
  • ...

The fact that comments like these remain disputes your claim of censorship.   Indeed, these type of comments are challenged and you complain that they are challenged.   Clearly one cannot challenge that which has been censored.

Your allegation of improper censorship by site moderation is false.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.17  Gordy327  replied to  arkpdx @2.1.9    2 months ago

That's nice. Prove it! The most you'll probably find is either me saying there is probably not a god or that I do not believe in a god. But I have made no declarations of certainty such as "there is no god!" I have also said I am open to any evidence for a god. Not surprisingly,  none has ever been put forth. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.18  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.17    2 months ago

Some complain when challenged to back up their claims of certainty (e.g. 'COVID-19 is the result of sin') and then turn around and magically translate stated opinions of others into claims of certainty so they can demand proof.   They recast a statement such as:  'I am not convinced there is a god' into 'There is no god' in what appears to be a desperate attempt to find a contradiction (where none exists).

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.19  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.18    2 months ago

You nailed it.

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1.20  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.18    2 months ago
They recast a statement such as:  'I am not convinced there is a god' into 'There is no god' in what appears to be a desperate attempt to find a contradiction (where none exists).

A classic and unending tactic of ideologues of any stripe and on any subject in venues like this, as I'm sure you are keenly aware.  In this case, perhaps a refresher on the difference between an "atheist" and an "agnostic", might be helpful?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.21  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @2.1.20    2 months ago

Nobody is listening Freewill.   At this point, I am here simply to rebut the dishonesty (pet peeve).

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1.22  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.21    2 months ago
I am here simply to rebut the dishonesty (pet peeve).

Understood. How old is your pet peeve?  Mine is getting up there, shedding like crazy and losing its teeth.  Also starting to suffer from hip dysplasia, but what can ya do?  (-:

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.23  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @2.1.22    2 months ago

Decades old.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @2    2 months ago
They openly mock and challenge the value of prayer while questioning the sanity of those who do believe.

When your claims are challenged with logic you claim this is mocking.   Why, then, do you insist on seeding such articles and making these claims of certainty?

When you seed and comment in a public forum you invite challenges from those who do not share your viewpoint.   That is the purpose of such forums.   Seeding and then complaining of disagreement is ridiculous.   If you do not want disagreement, seed to an exclusively Christian forum.

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @2.2    2 months ago

I’m not going to shy away from expressing faith in a crisis like this or share hope for people or hide what we believe and why or what we do to help the human condition and suffering here on earth out of fear that some will make of themselves a plague and a pestilence vs such expressions 

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2.2  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @2.2    2 months ago

I don’t care what you believe and don’t care what you think about anything.  Your viewpoint on this topic are less than meaningless to me.  I posted about how a majority of are responding in part to the pandemic and how it affects many.  The seed also dealt with mockers such as yourself and the one named in the article and how in this time of trouble to respond to the likes of him.  We believers not only have faith and pray but as a result do works and take precautions as well because we believe.  Instead of being critical o what we believe and why, why not match us per capita in our charity and works instead? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.3  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.2    2 months ago
The seed also dealt with mockers such as yourself ...

That is a false allegation.   Logical disagreement, debate and challenges is not mockery.  

Instead of being critical o what we believe and why, why not match us per capita in our charity and works instead? 

I will continue to be critical of what you post.   You always have the option to post to an exclusively Christian forum.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.2    2 months ago
I don’t care what you believe and don’t care what you think about anything.  Your viewpoint on this topic are less than meaningless to me.  

I believe it is that which bothers some the most.

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2.5  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.3    2 months ago

And you can freely post in an exclusively secular forum.  No one but you compels you to respond to or wish to silence or censor viewpoints you disagree with or don’t like.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2.6  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.4    2 months ago

It’s why they are here.  They can’t stand that we are here freely expressing ourselves and that there is nothing that they can say or do that will persuade us out of our belief.  It’s time to simply challenge them to act to the benefit of society because of their beliefs in the same manner as we do to because of ours instead of what they are doing 

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.5    2 months ago

I am not the one complaining.  I offered a remedy for your complaints.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.2.8  sandy-2021492  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.5    2 months ago
wish to silence or censor viewpoints you disagree with or don’t like.  

Another false allegation.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.9  TᵢG  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.2.8    2 months ago

As evidenced by the abundance of claims made and the complaints that these claims are challenged.   If these claims are censored then they would not exist to be challenged.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.2.10  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.9    2 months ago

Some people have been told that they'll be persecuted.  They see it as a prophecy, and as proof of their worthiness for rewards in the afterlife.  In the absence of actual persecution, they are left with inventing it.

 
 
 
Ender
2.2.11  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.2.10    2 months ago

Yeah, I see them as wanting it, as some sort of justification.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.12  Gordy327  replied to  Ender @2.2.11    2 months ago

Or some sort of delusion.

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2.13  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.2.10    2 months ago

There is plenty of evidence regarding massive persecution of Christians all over the world. It is very real.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2.14  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @2.2.11    2 months ago

No one wants persecution.  That’s just ridiculous.  The thing is though that persecution has when it happened historically caused revival and more rapid church growth in the face of it.  

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.2.15  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.13    2 months ago

With all due respect, there is plenty of evidence of massive persecution of other faith, too. It is probably nothing more than bigotry against those faiths.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.16  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.13    2 months ago

Of course Christians are persecuted — and almost exclusively by other religious people.    Think about that.

Now putting aside the historical and planetary persecution of Christians and focusing here on NT, challenging claims of certainty is not persecution.   Calling such challenges persecution is gratuitous drama.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.2.17  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.2.15    2 months ago

The worst persecution of Christians has come from state atheism governments.  There has been persecution from countries what are controlled literally or figuratively by a state or majority other religion as well.  Atheist regimes have been the most murderous of us over the last 100 years. 

 
 
 
Freewill
2.2.18  Freewill  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.17    2 months ago

“Atheist regimes have been the most murderous of us over the last 100 years.

Just out of sheer curiosity, which regimes would those have been Mr. Trump?

 
 
 
squiggy
2.2.19  squiggy  replied to  Freewill @2.2.18    2 months ago

If you were really curious, you'd search 'state atheism' and not look so obtuse.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.20  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @2.2.17    2 months ago

The 'Communist state' as defined by the former USSR (Stalin) Red China (Zedong) and Cuba (Castro) was anti-theist (all religions, not just Christianity) and, crucially, was also anti- anything that challenged its power.   Religious leaders were murdered and religious gathering spots were restricted or destroyed for the express purpose of eliminating opposition to the authoritarian state (controlling the message).  This took place in the middle of the 20th century.   Part of history;  not the entirety of history.

My point was that when you look around today or when you consider all of history (not just a sliver) you will find that religious persecution is typically the result of 'us vs. them' among religions.   It is religious groups fighting over disagreement on religion.    The most widely known example involving Christianity is where Christians murdered each other (Catholics vs. Protestants) for centuries (16th through 18th century) subsequent to the Protestant reformation.   The key issue here, by the way, was that Protestants read directly from the Bible whereas Catholic leaders prohibited ordinary people from reading the Bible (they wanted to control the message).   

In short, the worst enemy of a religion are the other religions.

Now, applying this to NT, what you find here are challenges to claims of certainty.   Almost invariably this starts with someone (typically you) seeding an article that is either proselytizing, attacking atheists (those who are not convinced a god exists) or attacking science when it clashes with your very specific beliefs.    You make a claim and that claim is challenged.   To label that persecution is ridiculous.   Disagreement and counter-arguments is not persecution.   And if you find a logical challenge to a claim to be persecution the best remedy is to not put forth the claim in the first place.

In a public forum, when one posts an article or comment one should not be freaked out when others put forth an opposing view or make an opposing argument.

 
 
 
Freewill
2.2.21  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.20    2 months ago

Here is an interesting take on this matter , or am I being obtuse?  Underlined emphasis mine.

So who has been the worst throughout history: atheist regimes or religious regimes? Obviously the big numbers come from the 20th century superpowers (China, Russia, Germany) so the answer depends on how you classify those. And this is where the meat of these debates is usually found, splitting hairs on which regime is atheist, which is merely secular, which is non-Christian and thus fair game to be called atheist. Hitchens points out that Stalin's government had all the trappings of religion, including Orwell's totalitarian theocracy, and thus it's merely a play on words to say that it was not religious. Pol Pot was raised a Buddhist monk who grew up to execute Buddhist monks, along with anyone else he could lay his hands on. Whole books have been written on the occult underpinnings of Nazi Germany, the symbology of the Norse gods, to say nothing of the claims that Hitler was a Christian, Hitler was a Jew, and his own writings expressing the kinship he felt with the Muslims. A favorite counterpoint raised by Christian debaters is that these despots practiced Social Darwinism and were thus atheists by definition. In summary, the winner of these debates is the one who can convince the other that the big 20th century genocidal maniacs were motivated either by religion or by a desire to destroy religion. The entire debate is the logical fallacy of the excluded middle.

Here's the thing. If you write a book called   God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,   you sell a lot of books. If you write a book called   What's So Great About Christianity   on the evils of atheism, you also sell a lot of books. If you say that neither extremist viewpoint makes any sense, you end up doing a podcast and working as a greeter at Wal-Mart directing customers to the section where they sell Hitchens and D'Souza books. The truth is less incisive, it's less inflammatory, it raises no ire, and it draws no audience.

And that truth, as I've said time and time again, is that people are people. No matter what segment of society you look at, you'll find good people and you'll find bad people. You'll even find, as has been said, that the line between good and evil cuts through every human heart. Certainly there are people in the news who kill in the name of religion, but just because they kill in the name of religion doesn't really mean they kill because of religion. The Islamic militants who cut off Nick Berg's head are not nice men who would have otherwise been his best friend, if it weren't for their religious convictions forcing them into this grievous act. They are base murderers, and they should be punished accordingly, I don't care whether they go to church or not. Killers don't really kill because of their religion. Neither does a lack of religious convictions cause one to run wild in the streets with a bloody axe and a torch. Religion is a convenient banner for many to carry, but there are plenty of other banners available as well, and if it wasn't religion, they'd do their deeds under some other justification, if they care to even have one. The real reason they do their evil deeds is that they're human. Humans are very smart, very capable; and when we want something, we generally find some way to get it, even if that means killing someone or committing genocide.
 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.22  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @2.2.21    2 months ago

Yup.

In short, life is complicated.   Trying to understand human nature and the workings of societies based on mere slogans and superficial 'truths' will leave one ignorant and naive.   Getting to the truth is difficult.  And the first step is intellectual honesty.   The truth is typically nuanced and complex.   One must be willing to get out of one's comfort zone and look objectively at facts and apply well-founded reasoning.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3  Nerm_L    2 months ago

God can't fix stupid.  God didn't create this mess; we did.  People want God to fix our own stupidity.  Perhaps God can do that.  But then there wouldn't be a need for the Bible, churches, prayer, or Christ.  

The purpose of prayer is to remind ourselves just how stupid we all are.  We are allowed to choose.  And this is the reality we have chosen.

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Nerm_L @3    2 months ago

Indeed.  We all have free will and all to often we mess things up.  Thus repentance and seeking what we can do in the here and now is more about what prayer is to the seeking of miracles or personal gain.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @3    2 months ago
Perhaps God can do that.  But then there wouldn't be a need for the Bible, churches, prayer, or Christ.  

If god chooses not to, then there is no need for a god.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2    2 months ago
If god chooses not to, then there is no need for a god.

If God chooses to intervene, then there is no such thing as human rights or freedom.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2    2 months ago
If god chooses not to, then there is no need for a god.

I need God, whether you do or not.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.3  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @3.2.2    2 months ago

Good for you.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.4  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @3.2.1    2 months ago

What does God have to do with rights or freedom?

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2.3    2 months ago
Good for you.

Indeed it is!

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.2.6  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @3.2.5    2 months ago

I’m not even going to talk to them about logic vs. faith debates anymore but rather describe who we are and what we do because we both believe, have faith, pray and as a result do things and give because we believe that they can’t or won’t begin to replicate or replace if we believers weren’t here acting and doing because we believe.

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.2.7  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2.4    2 months ago

Just everything 

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.8  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @3.2.7    2 months ago

Rather than making an ambiguous statement, how about you elaborate,  then back up your claims with evidence. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.3  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Nerm_L @3    2 months ago

Here is what prayer and faith with action as Cuomo questioned above in the seed. Here’s a bit with link the whole research is in the bashing prayer seed.   It’s clear that America’s unusual religiosity and extraordinary generosity are closely linked. As faith spirals downward, voluntary giving is very likely to follow. An obvious question for philanthropists is whether the causation arrow can be reversed.

Might there be ways that savvy donors could reinforce religious practice, yielding a range of pro-social results including more charitable generosity? We gave that question serious thought and came up with some practical proposals for philanthropists interested in rebuilding faith and generosity in tandem. For some rays of hope on this somewhat gloomy subject, turn to “Ways Philanthropy Can Reinforce Faith and Its Good Works” in the Ideas section of this magazine.   https://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/philanthropy-magazine/less-god-less-giving

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.3.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @3.3    2 months ago

Less God, Less Giving

Karl Zinsmeister | Winter 2019

From its founding, the United States has been the most religious modern nation on earth. And that devotion has fueled many successes in character development, mutual aid, social reform, and national productivity. Yet right from the beginning, American religious activity has been cyclical—flowing and ebbing and flowing again. Historians have identified up to four “great awakenings” in U.S. history where religious conviction surged. In between were periods of backsliding.

Today, we are in a period of decline. Steep decline.

Open antagonism toward faith is increasingly common in the U.S. There are now regular calls for crimping longstanding religious protections.   New York Times  religion columnist Mark Oppenheimer urged that the peak of the gay marriage debate was a good occasion to end the historic tax exemption for houses of worship. The insistence that expressions of faith must be expunged from national discussions, from education, even from sporting and other public events, is on the rise. “There are a lot of nonbelievers who want religious views kept out of the public square entirely. That’s a big problem,” pastor Tim Keller recently told   Philanthropy .

Underlying this resistance to religion is an assumption that faith is not important to the functioning of our nation. It has little social value, according to this view, and may even be harmful to citizens and the republic in various ways. Rising numbers of Americans believe that religious activity can be stopped or pushed entirely into private sanctums without any public cost. 

Those Americans are mistaken.

American Faith Takes A Tumble

As recently as 1972, 95 percent of Americans affirmed a religious affiliation. By 2016 that had fallen to 76 percent. (  See graph 1  ) The proportion of adults who attend religious services weekly is now down to 36 percent. (  See graph 2  )

Younger Americans in particular are falling away. Just 27 percent of adults under 30 attend services weekly. And nearly four out of ten 18-29-year-olds now say they have no religious affiliation. (  See graph 3  )

What does it mean to be religiously unaffiliated? Well, roughly six out of ten of this group consider themselves secular, and three out of ten are active atheists or agnostics. The small remainder identify as “religious” but with no particular faith. Most of the unaffiliated are suspicious of religion.

A large majority of today’s religiously unaffiliated Americans believe that religious institutions do little or nothing to solve social problems. (  See graph 4  ) As a result, more of the U.S. population as a whole now say religion is “part of the problem” than say it is “part of the solution.” (  See graph 5  )

When it comes specifically to philanthropy, 57 percent of all Americans today believe that efforts to help the poor, comfort the needy, relieve disaster victims, and otherwise serve the common good would be just as prevalent “if there were no people of faith or religious organizations to do them.” (See graph 6) As a factual matter, is that accurate?

 

The Humanitarian Habits Of Religious People

When researchers document how people spend their hours and their money, religious Americans look very different from others. Pew Research Center investigators examined the behavior of a large sample of the public across a typical seven-day period. They found that among Americans who attend services weekly and pray daily, 45 percent had done volunteer work during the previous week. Among all other Americans, only 27 percent had volunteered  somewhere. (  See graph 7  )

The capacity of religion to motivate pro-social behavior goes way beyond volunteering. Religious people are more involved in community groups. They have stronger links with their neighbors. They are more engaged with their own families. Pew has found that among Americans who attend worship weekly and pray daily, about half gather with extended family members at least once a month. For the rest of our population, it’s 30 percent. (  See graph 8  ) 

Of all the “associational” activity that takes place in the U.S., almost half is church-related, according to Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam. “As a whole,” notes Tim Keller,  “secularism is not good for society.” Secularism “makes people very fragmented—they might talk about community, but they aren’t sacrificing their own personal goals for community, as religion requires you to do.”

Religious practice links us in webs of mutual knowledge, responsibility, and support like no other influence. Seven out of ten weekly church attenders told Pew they consider “work to help the needy” an “essential part” of their faith. Most of them put their money and time where their mouth is: 65 percent of weekly church attenders were found to have donated either volunteer hours or money or goods to the poor within the previous week. ( See graph 9  )

Philanthropic studies show that people with a religious affiliation give away several times as much every year as other Americans. Research by the Lilly School at Indiana University found Americans with any religious affiliation made average annual charitable donations of $1,590, versus $695 for those with no religious affiliation. Another report using data from the Panel Study for Income Dynamics juxtaposed Americans who do not attend religious services with those who attend worship at least twice a month, and made fine-tunings to compare demographic apples to apples. The results: $2,935 of annual charitable giving for the church attenders, versus $704 for the non-attenders. (  See graph 10  ) In addition to giving larger amounts, the religious give more often—making gifts about half again as frequently.

 In study after study, religious practice is the behavioral variable with the strongest and most consistent association with generous giving. And people with religious motivations don’t give just to faith-based causes—they are also much likelier to give to secular causes than the nonreligious. Two thirds of people who worship at least twice a month give to secular causes, compared to less than half of non-attenders, and the average secular gift by a church attender is 20 percent bigger. ( See graph 11  )

These giving levels vary by particular faith. Mormons are the most generous Americans, both by participation level and by size of gifts. Evangelical Christians are next. Then come 

mainline Protestants. Catholics lag both. Jews give high dollar amounts on average, because they have high earnings, while trailing Protestant givers in donations as a share of income. (See   “Who Gives Most to Charity?”   in the   Almanac of American Philanthropy  .)

Religious Charity Dominates U.S. Philanthropy

America’s tradition of voluntary charitable giving is one of the clearest markers of U.S. exceptionalism. As a fraction of our income, we donate over two and a half times as much as Britons do, more than eight times as much as the Germans, and at 12 times the rate of the Japanese. American religiosity plays a central role in that distinctive pattern.

The annual   Giving USA  tabulations show a third of our donations as going to religious causes. But   Giving USA statisticians acknowledge that this is a gross underestimate. Their calculations include only gifts to houses of worship and related mission organizations. Excluded from their total, they point out, are gifts to faith-based organizations like the Salvation Army and gospel missions for the homeless, to religious schools of all sorts, to Catholic hospitals, to the Jewish federations, to missionary organizations that serve the poor abroad, and so forth.

 A consortium of Jewish funders and other independent foundations called Connected to Give commissioned studies to produce a more inclusive and accurate estimate of religiously driven giving. Its 2013 report conglomerated gifts to churches and synagogues with gifts to faith charities and found that 73 percent of all charitable giving in the U.S. goes to organizations that are explicitly religious. (  See graph 12  ) Other research shows that of America’s top 50 charities, 40 percent are faith-based.

An even more inclusive 2016 study by Georgetown University economist Brian Grim calculated the economic value of all U.S. religious activity. Its midrange estimate was that religion annually contributes $1.2 trillion of socioeconomic value to the U.S. economy. This estimate includes not only the fair market value of activity connected to churches (like $91 billion of religious schooling and daycare), and by non-church religious institutions (faith-based charities, hospitals, and colleges), but also activity by faith-related commercial organizations. That $1.2 trillion is more than the combined revenue of America’s ten biggest tech giants. It is bigger than the total economy of all but 14 entire nations.

Ways The Religious Help Others 

To get a sense of the often-invisible ways in which persons of faith help others, consider giving to the poorest of the poor overseas. The most conspicuous philanthropy done in this area is carried out by the Gates Foundation. Gates contributions in Africa and other low-income countries are the signature effort of the world’s largest charitable foundation, and have had heroic effects, in areas ranging from malaria protection to HIV control to eradicating polio.

With the marvelous Gates generosity in mind, now absorb this: members of U.S. churches and synagogues send four and a half   times   as much money overseas to needy people every year as the Gates Foundation does! Much of this religious charity is applied in the hardest places, with high efficiency and low overhead, by Christians who “go the last mile” into rural, extremely poor, or dangerous areas where governments and international bureaucracies have no effective reach. (See “Modern Missionaries” in the Spring 2018 issue of    Philanthropy   .)

It is easy to overlook this giving, because it comes not in megagifts from billionaires but rather in millions of $50 checks written by faithful donors to groups like Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, International Justice Mission, Mercy Ships, American Jewish World Service, Compassion International, Catholic Medical Mission Board, MAP International, and so forth. Over the last couple decades, soaring interest in the poorest of the poor by evangelical Christians in particular has made overseas giving the fastest growing corner of American charity. One result: U.S. voluntary giving to the overseas poor now totals $44 billion annually—far more than the $33 billion of official aid distributed by the U.S. government.

There are many other types of charity and social healing where religious givers are dominant influences. 

  • Religious Americans adopt children at two and a half times the overall national rate, and they play a particularly large role in fostering and adopting troubled and hard-to-place kids. (  See graph 13  )
  • Local church congregations, aided by umbrella groups like Catholic Charities, provide most of the day-to-day help that resettles refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the U.S.
  • Research shows that the bulk of volunteers mentoring prisoners and their families, both while they are incarcerated and after they are released, are Christians eager to welcome offenders back into society, help them succeed, and head off returns to crime.
  • The educational alternative that draws most of the headlines today is charter schooling, which serves 3 million children. Much less often acknowledged is the fact that 3.8 million children are educated every year in religious schools in the U.S. (  See graph 14  ) There is evidence these religious schools offer qualitative advantages: their students experience less violence and bullying and feel more secure, exhibit better citizenship skills, are more engaged with their community, and produce average SAT scores more than 100 points higher than public-school students.
  • Religious hospitals care for one out of every five U.S. hospital patients. Catholic institutions account for 16 percent of all hospital beds, and additional large health-care systems are run by Adventists, Baptists, Methodists, Jews, and other faith groups. (  See graph 15 )
  • Faith-based organizations are at the forefront of both care and recovery for the homeless. A 2017 study found that 58 percent of the emergency shelter beds in 11 surveyed cities are maintained by religious providers—who also delivered many of the addiction, health-care, education, and job services needed to help the homeless regain their independence. (See graph 16)
  • Local congregations provide 130,000 alcohol-recovery programs.
  • Local congregations provide 120,000 programs that assist the unemployed.
  • Local congregations provide 26,000 programs to help people living with HIV/AIDS—one ministry for every 46 people infected with the virus. 
  • Churches recruit a large portion of the volunteers needed to operate organizations like Habitat for 
    • for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, America's thousands of food pantries and feeding programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Red Cross, and other volunteer-dependent charities. 

    One strength of religious philanthropy is sheer numbers. There are approximately 345,000 congregations stretched across our nation. If you wander America, notes economist Brian Grim, you will pass 25 churches for every Starbucks you come across. (  See graph 17  ) The millions of decentralized services provided by those houses of worship include things like free or below-market space provided to community groups, preschool and daycare offerings, many types of social services, arts events, Boy Scout and sports-team sponsorships, and cash and in-kind support for neighborhood causes and needy individuals.

    Multi-decade research led by University of Pennsylvania professor Ram Cnaan has found large human and economic benefits from church operations. One of his studies of older urban churches found that 89 percent of total visits to these institutions were to take part in a program, educational offering, or community event, rather than for worship. Nine out of ten beneficiaries of these community programs were not members of the religious congregation. Cnaan estimated that the economic impact alone these houses of worship have on their locale averages $1.7 million per year. Multiply that by many thousands of churches nationwide, and then add in non-economic improvements in social life and individual behavior, and you can see the potential for large effects. (  See graph 18 )

    Not surprisingly, studies of church closures  .   https://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/philanthropy-magazine/less-god-less-giving

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.3.2  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @3.3.1    2 months ago

conducted by Nancy Kinney and others find that shutting down a city congregation will often damage a neighborhood’s viability and socioeconomic health. Conversely, active churches, religious schools sponsored by churches, and church-aided neighborhood ministries (like the Zarephath Health Center profiled in “Medical Matchmaking” in the Fall 2017 issue of   Philanthropy   ) can often have strong effects in stabilizing and revitalizing communities.

It isn’t just a matter of serving and healing others. People of faith also behave differently themselves. There is lots of evidence that in addition to encouraging a “brother’s keeper” attitude that manifests itself in philanthropy and volunteering, religious participation also inculcates healthy habits that help individuals resist destructive personal behavior themselves.

A classic study by Harvard economist James Freeman found that black males living in inner-city poverty tracts were far less likely to engage in crime and drug use if they attended church. Church attendance was also associated with better academic performance and more success in holding jobs. Follow-up studies found that regular church attendance could even help counterbalance threats to child success like parental absence, low school quality, local drug traffic, and crime in the neighborhood.

Regular religious participation is correlated with many positive social outcomes: less poverty, fewer divorces and more marital happiness, fewer births out of wedlock, less suicide, reduced binge-drinking, less depression, better relationships. This is true among Americans of all demographic backgrounds.

Causes For    Concern        

Given all the evidence linking religious practice with both healthy individual behavior and generosity toward others, recent patterns of religious decline are concerning. The generational trends—a third of 18-29-year-olds saying they are religiously unaffiliated, and only a quarter attending services weekly—suggest that the philanthropic sharing that has long powered social reform and self-improvement in America could sag in the future. Indeed, recent research on voluntary giving says that future is already here.

Four important investigations in the last year or so uncovered alarming declines in the breadth of American giving. A Lilly School of Philanthropy report found that the fraction of U.S. households giving to charity dropped from 68 to 56 percent from 2003 to 2015. A similar 2018 study at the University of Maryland confirmed that tumble, and added evidence that the national volunteering rate is also deteriorating. By 2015 there were 10 million fewer volunteers in the U.S. than there would have been if the 2005 rate had just held constant. Meanwhile, analysis of the last ten years of IRS data by the  Chronicle of Philanthropy  showed a drop in charitable-deduction itemizing from 30 percent of all filers to 24 percent. And a study by Texas A&M academics reported “sharp declines in overall donative behavior” over the past decade. (  See graph 19  )

It appears that not only generational change but also wealth effects are depressing religious philanthropy. While giving by the whole population has recently declined, gifts from the rich continue to be strong. The rich, however, tend to give to different causes than everyday Americans. Data from the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy show that households making $140,000 or more in current dollars donate only 30 percent of their charity to causes connected to religion—while other Americans channel 60 percent in that direction. If giving by moderate-income households continues to fade and donations by the wealthy become more dominant in the future, expect a bigger flow of philanthropy to colleges and art galleries, and less to charities motivated by religious concern for the least and the lost. (  See graph 20  )

It’s clear that America’s unusual religiosity and extraordinary generosity are closely linked. As faith spirals downward, voluntary giving is very likely to follow. An obvious question for philanthropists is whether the causation arrow can be reversed.  https://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/philanthropy-magazine/less-god-less-giving

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.3.3  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @3.3.2    2 months ago

This is what people who pray do.  Prayer and faith with works and action. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4  TᵢG    2 months ago
Faith is trusting when proof isn’t present, when tangible evidence is fleeting.

Indeed.

To suggest our prayers aren’t having the immediate result we deem to be correct is the ultimate show of arrogance. God operates outside time and space, so proof of the good, ultimate value in God’s allowance of things — like this coronavirus pandemic — might not be seen even in our lifetimes.

Prayer is comforting; that is probably the end of it.   If someone has any evidence that prayer in some way encourages God to take a different course of action, then let's see it.   Logically, however, it is a bit ridiculous to think that God would ever change His mind given He is defined by Christianity as omniscient.   What could possibly influence an omniscient entity to change its mind?  (Answer:  nothing the entity is omniscient)

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4    2 months ago
Logically, however, it is a bit ridiculous to think that God would ever change His mind given He is defined by Christianity as omniscient.   What could possibly influence an omniscient entity to change its mind?  (Answer:  nothing the entity is omniscient)

Also, if god changed his "perfect" mind (or his "Plan," as is sometimes referred), then that means said plan was not perfect to begin with, as a change was indicated or influenced. Logically, god is therefore imperfect.

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.1.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1    2 months ago

As has been stated before there are numerous times when Gods actions were in fact conditioned upon human behavior where the action happened or didn’t based on human behavior.  Our mission as believers is two fold.  It’s to spread our message to all the world and save souls to make the transition from this sinful evil world to the perfect one to come and while here pray and act to relieve human suffering through our faith based charities as described above regarding our philanthropy

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @4.1.1    2 months ago
As has been stated before there are numerous times when Gods actions were in fact conditioned upon human behavior where the action happened or didn’t based on human behavior.  

And still nothing empirical to support that. People can choose to alter their behavior. They can tell themselves it's due to god or whatever. But it's merely a case of mind over matter. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.2  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @4    2 months ago

See 3.3 thread and then try to challenge who we are and what we do and give because of what we believe.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @4.2    2 months ago

Nobody is going to read the volume you posted @3.3 so if you have a true point to make, I suggest you express it in a sentence or two.

Further I am not here to challenge who you are or what you do so retire that strawman.

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.2.2  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.1    2 months ago

Less God, Less Giving    the bottom line.

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.2.3  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.1    2 months ago

You just know how much practicing Christians, Jews, Muslims contribute to poverty relief globally, to food pantries, AIDSbanks, homeless shelters, disaster relief, education, medical clinics and hospitals as well as micro development in poverty areas, the role we play in foster care and adoption, blood donations and time physically providing help in person and giving personal relief items in addition to money.  So instead of being a critic of what we believe or why we do, why not try to match our actions we do as a result of our beliefs as a result of yours?

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3  Transyferous Rex  replied to  TᵢG @4    2 months ago

Philipians 4:6-7 discusses this, with regard to peace. 

I have never interpreted the Bible to convey the sentiment that God changes his mind; rather, I have understood that He is unwavering, unchanging, etc. The story of Lazarus is an example. When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus about Lazarus' sickness, they were praying for a healing. His response? He stayed where he was for 2 more days, then returned after Lazarus had been dead for 4. When he returned, Mary basically told him that he had not listened to their prayers, and that he could have saved him had he been there. You may know the rest. Jesus then calls Lazarus out of his tomb. 

What do we see? An apparent non-answering of a prayer, but the fulfillment of a plan. So, I agree, God did not change his mind. Lazarus died. The rest was a demonstration. 

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

The entire series of comments about the effects of prayer on COVID-19...we know what we know. Does my praying hinder anything? Not in the least. I am praying from the comforts of my home, while doing my part not to contribute to the spread. Do I have demonstrable proof that there is an effect? No. Although, as some point out, there is also no demonstrable proof that there is no effect. We know what we know. Could be, without prayer, the number of world cases would be more than quadruple what they are. At the end of the day, if I choose to believe there is an effect, it matters not to someone who does not believe. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.1  TᵢG  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3    2 months ago

By the same token, Gordy quite reasonably observed that since COVID-19 continues to rise (this is a certain fact) in spite of prayers, the evidence suggests prayers are not having an effect.   The evidence is not conclusive, but it certainly suggests that prayers have not been effective.

 
 
 
arkpdx
4.3.2  arkpdx  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.1    2 months ago

How much higher would Covid 19numbers be if there had not been any prayers? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.3  TᵢG  replied to  arkpdx @4.3.2    2 months ago

There is zero data on that so nobody could possibly know.

You are using Tacos!' argument so I will give you the response I gave him.

Speculating that COVID-19 might have been worse without prayer is flawed reasoning (it is technically the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy).   Because the speculation is based on zero evidence, one could also speculate that COVID-19 is worsening because of prayer.   There is no data on which to base the speculation so it is entirely unguided — 360° of freedom.

That said, prayer could be helping; nobody has stated it was impossible.  Gordy has noted that the evidence suggests prayer is not working and he is correct.   That is indeed what the evidence suggests.   Should we see a decline, then you might argue that prayer did have an effect based on the evidence.   Your argument would certainly not be conclusive but when the virus starts diminishing at least the evidence would now be in favor of your argument.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.4  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.3    2 months ago

Actually, when cases do start to decline, the evidence that prayer played a role in that is even less compelling, as there are now more certain effective factors to take into account, such as: immune responses, medical management, symptom support, quarantine, ect.. All of which can reduce number of cases and deaths. Prayer is more of an afterthought. 

 
 
 
arkpdx
4.3.5  arkpdx  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.3    2 months ago

That same reasoning then says that Gordy is wrong also because there is no data that says that the Corona virus statistics would not be different (higher) if no one prayed. He is speculating just as much as any of those that it has hand will have an effect. We will never know for sure whether prayer had any effect it not. My true feelings in the subject is "so what". If prayer has an effect on the outcome great! If it does not that's OK to ! If it gives those that are praying some comfort and a feeling that they are contributing to the fight ,good for them. Those that pray for divine intervention do not deserve to be criticized or denigrated. There prayers have no effect on you and Gordy or ant other if the prayer naysayers. Why does it matter to you if someone else prays.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.6  TᵢG  replied to  arkpdx @4.3.5    2 months ago
That same reasoning then says that Gordy is wrong also because there is no data that says that the Corona virus statistics would not be different (higher) if no one prayed.

I just explained this @4.3.3.   Yes, it is possible that praying has helped.   I do not see how I could have been clearer yet you respond as if I had not even acknowledged this point.

Gordy's point is that —based on the increasing rate of infections— prayer does not seem to be having an effect.   He did not write that prayer could not possibly have an effect, he wrote that the numbers suggest it is not having an effect.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.7  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.6    2 months ago
I do not see how I could have been clearer

You are very clear. Much more than I. I don't know how many times we have to explain the same thing over & over.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.8  Transyferous Rex  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.1    2 months ago

That's what I tell my wife when I refuse the flu shot each year. Hell, 16 thousand have died from the flu this year already, certainly suggesting that the vaccine has not been effective?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.3.9  sandy-2021492  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.8    2 months ago
Hell, 16 thousand have died from the flu this year already, certainly suggesting that the vaccine has not been effective?

Depends.  What is the percentage of the population who actually gets their flu shot?  I'm betting it's nowhere near 100%

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.10  TᵢG  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.8    2 months ago
Hell, 16 thousand have died from the flu this year already, certainly suggesting that the vaccine has not been effective?

That is what that metric suggests to you?    In this case we have quite a bit more data to go on.   We have scientific data on the efficacy of the vaccine against known variants of the flu.   We have metrics on spread factors (1.3), typical infection counts per locale, etc.   We can clearly determine if the vaccine is effective (or not) and even calculate its efficacy.   

Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 people per year.   The population is currently 7.8 billion people making the mortality rate of the flu worldwide to be at worst .008333%.   And this is under normal conditions where human beings are gathering with no special precautions.    If the mortality rate were to jump from that baseline we would be warranted to reduce the efficacy rating of the vaccine.

Let's apply this to Gordy's point now with an accurate analogy.    A new strand of flu arises and has achieved a pandemic status.   Worse, the infections continue to rise.    Those numbers suggest the flu vaccine has not been effective against this strand.   If it was effective we would expect the numbers to be consistent with past seasonal flu infections and to not spread at a rate that requires extreme worldwide actions, shutting down economies and with all that still reaching pandemic proportions with infections still increasing.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.11  Gordy327  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.8    2 months ago

How many of those who died received the flu vaccine? The vaccine is also only effective against certain strains of flu. And there are many strains. Were precautions used to prevent the flu? What are the patient populations like? But medical science has data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. No doubt the same should hold true if a covid vaccine is developed. 

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.12  Transyferous Rex  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.10    2 months ago
That is what that metric suggests to you?   

Not sure what to make of it, to be quite honest. By the CDC's admission, or chest thumping, whichever you prefer, apparently half the population received a vaccine during the 2018-19 flu season, resulting in an estimated 3,500 fewer deaths. 34,200 still died. I'll slow clap for that. 

In this case we have quite a bit more data to go on.   We have scientific data on the efficacy of the vaccine against known variants of the flu.   We have metrics on spread factors (1.3), typical infection counts per locale, etc.   We can clearly determine if the vaccine is effective (or not) and even calculate its efficacy.   

I'll agree on a point TiG, the vaccine is apparently effective against a known variant. Trouble is...34,200 died from the flu in 2018-19, an apparent example of success. 

A new strand of flu arises and has achieved a pandemic status.   Worse, the infections continue to rise.    Those numbers suggest the flu vaccine has not been effective against this strand. 

What is effective? Apparently, 34,200 deaths is the result of an effective vaccine. Sorry, I'm being a bit of a smart ass. But if we are going to discuss effectiveness, I have a hard time buying the 2018-19 vaccine was effective when the mortality rate in the US was .0106%, when it could have been an estimated .0114% without the shot. Difference of .008% (I'll note that I am not intentionally implying that you are asserting the effectiveness of the 2018-19 vaccine, only that there was no hint of a shut down during a time when the Flu killed over 34K, indicating the CDC considered it a success)

This deal is serious, and I thought that the first time I saw a quack on the news claiming it was not as bad as the SARS outbreak, with a graph to disprove the words coming out of his mouth, prominently displayed on the screen. 

However, I have gone far afield. The question is whether or not my prayer is effective. If .008%, based on all of the metrics, is considered effective, then the peace I receive through prayer is also effective. It positively impacts my health during this crisis, allowing for good sleep, giving me a generally positive feeling and reducing anxiety and stress. I'm fairly certain anxiety and stress in a person may lead to health issues which increase the risk of contracting a communicable disease. My peace may just be the thing that keeps me from being a statistic. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.3.13  sandy-2021492  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.12    2 months ago

Ok, so 34,200 died.  And only half the population was vaccinated, so I'm going to assume that if we'd had a higher vaccination rate, we'd have had even fewer deaths.  We still don't know how many of those 34,200 were vaccinated.  That would be interesting data to have on hand.

Let's also consider another effect of the vaccine - less severe disease in those who do get the flu.  I'm one of those.  About a month ago, I had the flu, confirmed by nasal swab.  Yes, I had the flu vaccine last fall.  Instead of the 5-7 days of illness one can normally expect from the flu, I had 3.  Three days of fever, aches, and a cough, and then the fever was gone.  The cough lingered a bit longer, but that's typical of flu.  Other times I've had the flu, before I started getting the vaccine, my symptoms were much worse and lasted longer.

My son didn't get it at all.  He also had his flu shot.  Neither did any of my employees, and they all get their flu shots.  I was an outlier.

The reason we don't shut down for flu (although sometimes, there are limited shutdowns, such as school closures, nursing home lockdowns, etc.) is that there are no precautions similar to flu that we can take for Covid-19.  There is no vaccine.  It has a longer prodromal stage during which an infected person can potentially spread the virus without knowing it.  There is no medicine repeatedly shown to improve the course of the disease, while we have Tamiflu for flu.  Covid-19 has been shown to be more infectious than influenza - it's easier to catch.  And it has a higher overall fatality rate.

If your prayers comfort you, that's great.  But there is much more evidence supporting the effectiveness of vaccines than of prayers, when speaking of diseases for which vaccines exist.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.14  TᵢG  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.12    2 months ago
What is effective?

In my scenario, this new strand of flu has reached a pandemic status compared to the known strands of flu which are very well contained.   So comparing a pandemic to containment suggests to me that the hypothetical vaccine has not been effective.   In short, I cannot deem a vaccine effective if it fails to stop a pandemic.

If .008%, based on all of the metrics, is considered effective, then the peace I receive through prayer is also effective

I have several times in this seed noted that prayer likely does have a personal calming effect for some people (maybe most).   But that is not what Gordy was referring to.   He was talking about prayer actually mitigating the spread of COVID-19.    The metrics do not support the hypothesis that prayer is helping.

I'm fairly certain anxiety and stress in a person may lead to health issues which increase the risk of contracting a communicable disease. My peace may just be the thing that keeps me from being a statistic. 

We do not have any metrics to support your hypothesis that prayer indirectly causes the individual praying to have an improved immune system.   Of course that is a possibility, but without any data we can only speculate.   Gordy limited his comment to the data.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.15  Transyferous Rex  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.3.13    2 months ago
Ok, so 34,200 died. 

No big deal, right?

And only half the population was vaccinated, so I'm going to assume that if we'd had a higher vaccination rate, we'd have had even fewer deaths.  We still don't know how many of those 34,200 were vaccinated.  That would be interesting data to have on hand.

I can't disagree with that Sandy, but what I can point out is the CDC's admission that the  vaccinations given only saved an estimated 3500. 

Don't misconstrue my thoughts as anti-vaccine or anti-science. I'll admit that I don't take a flu shot. So happens, the only time I have had the flu is the only year I had the shot. Although, I probably picked it up in the doctor's office, which is why the drive by venues are nice.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.3.16  sandy-2021492  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.15    2 months ago
No big deal, right?

I never said it was no big deal.  I said that because I don't think we're getting the whole picture here.  We don't know how many of those people were vaccinated.  We don't know what comorbidities they might have had.  We also know that some years, the vaccine is more effective than others.  IIRC, that was a year in which we knew the vaccine wasn't particularly effective.  Most years, it's more effective.

And no vaccine can be effective if it's not utilized.

As far as the effectiveness of prayer, your prayer may relax you.  My long walks in the country relax me.  So while prayer is considered to involve a request to a deity, it may be that the deity, if it exists, has no direct effect on infection rates or fatalities.  It may just be that we all need to find a way to cope with our stress.  If it's prayer, fine, but let's not make the mistake of assuming that there is a supernatural component, nor, as the author does, insult those who dismiss that unproven supernatural component.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.17  Transyferous Rex  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.14    2 months ago

I'll agree, I can't find a study specifically on prayer's effects on the immune system. 

Questions:

Does the above fact foreclose the issue?

Would you agree that there are studies showing the negative effects of stress on the immune system? (I have always heard this, but never looked. I included a link I found below, which appeared among many, this is the first one I opened)

If reducing stress positively effects the immune system, does it matter what the stress reduction is attributable to? Or, do we need a clinical study on each and every stress reduction method to determine the effects?

https://www.pnas.org/content/109/16/5995

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.18  Transyferous Rex  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.11    2 months ago
How many of those who died received the flu vaccine?

That I did not find, but did search. There may be a page on the CDC's website that has that info, but I'll admit that I stopped looking. The info I found was not even on the same page. Seems like information I'd include in one location.

The vaccine is also only effective against certain strains of flu. And there are many strains.

If my memory serves, the news reports indicated that the shot was not the same strain as that going around, but everyone was still encouraged to get the shot anyway. 

I'm am not saying concern over COVID-19 is unwarranted. As I have noted before, I was concerned in January when I first saw the numbers China was reporting. However, 35.5 million cases, 16.5 million people in the hospital, and 34,200 dead in the US, and there is hardly an eye batted because its flu. 

But medical science has data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. No doubt the same should hold true if a covid vaccine is developed. 

Which is why I point out the flu numbers. Let's hope efforts against covid are more effective. I'm no doctor, scientist, etc., but from what I have heard, the annual flu vaccine is a crap shoot. I'm not confidant a crap shoot will work against this.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.19  TᵢG  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.17    2 months ago
Would you agree that there are studies showing the negative effects of stress on the immune system?

Seems possible to me.   I also accept the idea that prayer can help reduce stress.

So we are not in disagreement, but remember that my focus here is on Gordy’s point which was based on the known metrics of COVID-19 infections.   Gordy no doubt would offer a different opinion as additional real information becomes available.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.20  Transyferous Rex  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.3.16    2 months ago
I never said it was no big deal. 

Sandy, I am a smart ass, and I tend to read the written word as I would speak it. I took your words as "so what?" If mistaken, I apologize.

As far as the rest goes, we could go on and on about what we don't know. What we do know is that the CDC estimates that doing nothing would have changed the number of deaths by 3500. May be a "glass half full" assessment, but seems like doing nothing would result in more deaths if the annual flu vaccine was truly effective. I'm like you, and a couple of others, in that I'd like to see the CDC's estimate on what the number would have been with 100% vaccination. Either that number is too hard to come by, or the estimate would support my interpretation, which sounds like a losing performance on the Price is Right. (not only am I a smart ass, but I'm also a cynic)

as the author does, insult those who dismiss that unproven supernatural component.

I took the article as an insult to Christians, or possibly better, a stepping on the toes thereof. 

Others, like CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who has tested positive for COVID-19, have pondered aloud what value prayer has if it’s not accompanied by action — and he’s right: Scripture tells us faith without works “is dead” (James 2:17).

This line of discussion has prompted me to look at the effects of stress and anxiety. I read a study that concluded that action, on top of positive outlook, did show positive effects to the immune system. The study also warned that falling off of the cliff of positivity could have potentially worse effects than stress in the first place. Or, as I read it, don't get too cocky. 

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.21  Transyferous Rex  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.19    2 months ago
Gordy no doubt would offer a different opinion as additional real information becomes available.

Yes. I am fairly confident that we will not see any information on the effect prayer had on the pandemic. 

I am extremely confident that if the someone actually does a study, it will be pooh poohed.  

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.3.22  sandy-2021492  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.20    2 months ago
I took the article as an insult to Christians, or possibly better, a stepping on the toes thereof. 

LOL, you need to check the seeder's history, and his intro.  It's meant to be an insult to nonbelievers.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.23  Gordy327  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.18    2 months ago

A standard flu shot only inoculates against a few of the more common strains. It may not help against others. Even if someone has the flu vaccine, they can still get the flu. But their symptoms will probably be more mild and their recovery faster, as their immune system has been primed by the vaccine. Still, some protection is better than none. 

Another factor to consider is what comorbidities people might have if they become infected with the flu? Existing health problems complicates recovery or can itself be exacerbated. Looking at the deaths from Covid, many causes of death ate not exclusively from the Covid virus itself, but from the complications it can cause, such as pneumonia. People with existing respiratory, circulatory, or immune compromise are at particular risk. Not to mention there is no "cure" for a virus in the same way we can give antibiotics to cure an exsiting bacterial infection.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.24  Gordy327  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.21    2 months ago

Not necessarily. Any study conducted will of course need scientific peer reviewand analysis of the results. Outside factors will also need to be considered too. If such a study was produced, there will probably be repeat studies to validate or refute the results.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.25  TᵢG  replied to  Transyferous Rex @4.3.21    2 months ago

It depends on the specifics of the study.   For example, if the study is conducted by Answers in Genesis then it no doubt will be bullshit.   But if conducted by a reputable actual scientific source, then the study would be worth investigating to see if it is persuasive.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.26  Transyferous Rex  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.23    2 months ago
Even if someone has the flu vaccine, they can still get the flu.

I may have relayed it here. The one time I had a confirmed case of the flu happened to be the same year I got my one and only flu shot. Multiple unknowns with regard to actually getting the flu that year. Anecdotally, I use that fact to argue against getting the shot with my wife. 

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
4.3.27  Transyferous Rex  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.3.22    2 months ago

Admittedly, I didn't bother to look at what is added, but went straight to the article linked. The seeder may be challenging nonbelievers. I still take the article as addressing Christians. It is written to a Christian audience. Rizvi's Tweet is referenced for the purpose of leading into the position that prayer is not pointless, so don't stop simply because the impact is not readily apparent to you, and, in fact, help someone while you are at it.

 

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.3.28  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.3.22    2 months ago

It was not meant to be and was not an insult to anyone.  To a militant secularist any positive mention of theistic belief is a direct personal insult.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.29  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @4.3.28    2 months ago
was not an insult to anyone. To a militant secularist

The term "militant secularist" can be deemed an insult, especially since I doubt you mean in in a cordial way.

any positive mention of theistic belief is a direct personal insult.  

Sweeping generalization. Also much how some theists view challenges to their beliefs or claims.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.3.30  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.29    2 months ago
The term "militant secularist" can be deemed an insult, especially since I doubt you mean in in a cordial way.

Anything can be deemed whatever the person doing the deeming wishes. Doesn't even have to be true or real.

So militant secularists are feeling insulted to be called what they are?

Not very logical. Not logical at all.

Gee, next thing ya know, women will be insulted for being called women, men for being called men, etc.

How many militant secularists do you know, and have they told you they felt insulted by that remark?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.3.31  sandy-2021492  replied to  Heartland American @4.3.28    2 months ago
It was not meant to be and was not an insult to anyone.

Your intro says that's bullshit.

Atheists have been using this pandemic to attack the existence of God and or challenge whether He is good.  They have openly mocked Christianity and questioned the value of prayer. Theyare wrong.  

So does your next sentence.

 To a militant secularist any positive mention of theistic belief is a direct personal insult.  
 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.32  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @4.3.30    2 months ago
So militant secularists are feeling insulted to be called what they are?

Got anything other than juvenile name-calling, petty insults and other obnoxious tactics? 

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.3.33  Texan1211  replied to  Heartland American @4.3.28    2 months ago
It was not meant to be and was not an insult to anyone.

I had a similar experience, Something I wrote was deemed to be mocking people who pray, although no one who prayed complained at all, just the usual suspects complaining here.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.3.34  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.32    2 months ago

Yes.

If accurately describing someone is now name-calling, I must be guilty as charged, sir.

What's the punishment?

I find it rather interesting how so many really intelligent people here can tell when other people are insulted, even when those other people have said absolutely nothing. What's the secret?

Seems to be a pattern here.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.35  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @4.3.33    2 months ago

Per TiG @12.1.20:

Do you think that praying to God for divine favors is logical or do you think it is silly (per Texan:  "... a wishing well ...")?

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.3.36  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.35    2 months ago

Man, I can hardly believe such an intelligent person would still be confused about what I wrote, especially after much discussion.

Oh well.

I guess intelligence doesn't have much to do with obtuseness, and damn sure can't prevent it.

Carry on!

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.3.37  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @4.3.36    2 months ago

Repeatedly dodging a probative question is as good as answering it.

It is understandable why you refuse to admit you think praying to God for divine favors is silly.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.3.38  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.37    2 months ago

SMMFH and ROFLMAO

Still obtuse.

Sadly, expected now.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.39  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.3.32    2 months ago

Based on the subsequent posts and replies, obviously not! It's quite childish actually.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.3.40  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @4.3.30    2 months ago
Anything can be deemed whatever the person doing the deeming wishes. 

So? Your point?

So militant secularists are feeling insulted to be called what they are?

What makes you think secularists are militant or feeling insulted?

Not very logical. Not logical at all.

You've repeatedly demonstrated your understanding of logic to be quite limited. So your statement means very little.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.3.41  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @4.3.40    2 months ago
So? Your point?

Quite obviously, over your head.

What makes you think secularists are militant or feeling insulted?

Must have been these words--written by you.

The term "militant secularist" can be deemed an insult, especially since I doubt you mean in in a cordial way.

Seems silly to have to explain something so damn basic.

You've repeatedly demonstrated your understanding of logic to be quite limited. So your statement means very little.

Well, you have choices here. Read and then comprehend what you read, ignore posts you don't personally like, whine about what others write because you personally don't like it and don't agree with it.

I think your choice is pretty clear here.

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.3.42  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @4.3.41    2 months ago

I’ll take the last option for $500 Alex.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.3.43  Texan1211  replied to  Heartland American @4.3.42    2 months ago

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.3.44  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Texan1211 @4.3.43    2 months ago

This quote from a Catholic publication, Patheos describes our friends here perfectly:   Healthy secularism keeps government out of faith and allows people space to believe and practice their faith in peace and harmony. Militant secularism, is the antithesis to this. 

Its practitioners use the tools of unjust discrimination to further their aims, including hate speech, verbal harassment, shunning, social isolation and legal discrimination to further their goal of driving those who don’t share their ideas from the public sphere. They also show up at religious discussions and try to take over the discussion and hijack the debate, thus making it impossible to religious people to interact in a positive manner. This is especially widespread in on-line discussions such as this blog.

All this tawdry behavior is done in the name of a utopian claim that if only religion were driven from the world, evil would go away along with it.  One of the many debating tricks these people use is to hold God (who they say does not exist) guilty for human depravity. Thus, if children die of starvation, they ask why a “god” would allow this. If five men rape and torture a young girl, they condemn god for allowing it, not the five men for doing it.

Underlying this logic is an extreme disrespect for human freedom. This disrespect for human freedom manifests in their attempts to use the law, shunning, slander, and verbal hijacking to silence anyone who speaks about faith. They don’t believe that other ideas should be heard, and they use every tool available to them to stop this from happening. The things they try to blame on God are results of human freedom, used to sinful aims.

The question arises, what if they win? What if they succeed in driving faith and people of faith into intellectual and actual ghettos of silence and subservience?   https://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2013/03/atheist-governments-failed-experiments-in-godless-goodness/

 
 
 
Heartland American
5  seeder  Heartland American    2 months ago

God has commissioned us to pray for our county or others besides ourselves, for our national leaders on both sides, as well as repentance.  Asking for miracles or signs and wonders Is not all that prayer is about.  

We as believers are to serve Him by bringing aid and relief as well as comfort to those who are in need

 
 
 
Tacos!
6  Tacos!    2 months ago

Wow, great article. Good find. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
6.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Tacos! @6    2 months ago

Thanks!  I’m glad you liked it. That’s why it’s here to provide comfort in a time like this that so many need and to confront the naysayers who would silence such expressions of hope of only they could.  

 
 
 
Ender
7  Ender    2 months ago

This article can be summed up in three words. Tit for tat.

If religious people have a right to pray and talk about it, atheists have a right to their opinion as well.

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7    2 months ago

Feel free to dump on those of us who use prayer to express faith and hope in a crisis like this where so many are sick and dying to your hearts content.  Have at it.  Feel free to take revenge against us for daring to express ourselves and then try to match us in your acts to help others because of what you believe in or don’t believe to match what we do in addition to faith and prayer because of what we believe.  Let’s compete by giving to charity because of what we each believe instead of arguing about it without either side trying to stifle the free expression of the other. 

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.1  Ender  replied to  Heartland American @7.1    2 months ago

Oh for shit sake.

Feel free to show me where I have 'dumped' on anyone wanting to pray.

You completely ignored everything I said and act with false persecution.

Do Atheists not have a right to their opinion?

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.2  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7.1.1    2 months ago

They do and no one said otherwise.  

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.3  Ender  replied to  Heartland American @7.1.2    2 months ago

Then why take it as a personal assault?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
7.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @7.1.3    2 months ago

We're back to that invented persecution.

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.5  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.4    2 months ago

[deleted] it’s sad really and we do have Christian compassion for such people. 

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.6  Ender  replied to  Heartland American @7.1.5    2 months ago

Bullshit. Blaming people on a void?

I could call all of religion as people needing to fill a void.

I feel sad for people that feel like this as I feel I have no voids that need to be filled.

Nor would I pray to God to fill such things. If one actually listened to scripture, it is up to one to define ones self, life.

Not others, nor is it defined by some preconceived notion.

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.7  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7.1.6    2 months ago

So why are you here?  What was the point you are trying to make?  

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.8  Ender  replied to  Heartland American @7.1.7    2 months ago

I thought it was simple.

Religious people have their view.

Atheist people have their view.

One is not above the other.

Unless one would rather theirs be.

I call them all assholes.

Live and let live.

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.9  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7.1.8    2 months ago

I look forward to openly commenting on your next atheist view point seed.  

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.10  Ender  replied to  Heartland American @7.1.9    2 months ago

You might have to wait a while.

I usually don't seed nor care about religious vs non religious things.

Futile.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.11  Tacos!  replied to  Ender @7.1.8    2 months ago
Religious people have their view. Atheist people have their view.

Right, but I don't see the religious people on this site going into atheist seeds and trying to tell those people they should pray. But repeatedly on seeds about praying, atheists show up to tell believers they are wasting their time when they pray or that prayer does nothing. They even demand that believers prove the existence of God or the efficacy of prayer.

But these seeds are to celebrate what we already believe, not to convince atheists they should do likewise. In spite of being told over and over that no one here cares if they believe or pray, they keep at it. So if you want to say,

One is not above the other.

and

Live and let live.

That's fine. I'm all for it. But I think it's the atheists who need hear it.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.12  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.11    2 months ago

Don't even try with that bullshit.

These seeds are here because someone keeps posting them.

To act like people should just shut up about it is the epitome of ignorance.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.13  Tacos!  replied to  Ender @7.1.12    2 months ago
Don't even try with that bullshit.

You'll need to be more specific. Try to improve your language when you do.

These seeds are here because someone keeps posting them.

Yes. So? 

To act like people should just shut up about it is the epitome of ignorance.

I didn't say people should shut up. You just said "live and let live." I'm just pointing out to you that the Christians here already practice that. It's certain atheists who don't agree with that. 

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.14  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.13    2 months ago

In other words, you have nothing. Typical and expected.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.15  Ender  replied to  Ender @7.1.14    2 months ago

I actually wish you all would try harder. As of now it is just pathetic.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.16  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.13    2 months ago

[removed]

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.17  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.13    2 months ago

I follow whatever donald says, I am just pathetic that way....

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.18  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.11    2 months ago

Bravo 👏! Well said. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.19  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7.1.16    2 months ago

That was kind of rude. 

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.20  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7.1.17    2 months ago
 
 
 
Raven Wing
7.1.21  Raven Wing  replied to  Ender @7.1.16    2 months ago
removed for context by charger
 
 
 
Raven Wing
7.1.22  Raven Wing  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.4    2 months ago
We're back to that invented persecution.

It never ends.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.23  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.11    2 months ago
Right, but I don't see the religious people on this site going into atheist seeds and trying to tell those people they should pray.

Have you noticed 'atheist seeds' here?    There is an occasional article offered that would qualify as an 'atheist article' but they are rare.   Compare that now with the steady stream of religious articles seeded to make claims sans supporting evidence.

If someone puts forth a religious article or an anti-atheist/skeptic article in a public forum, they should not complain when opposing viewpoints challenge claims of truth sans evidence.

'Live and let live' does not mean self-censoring when an opposing viewpoint has been freely offered in a public forum.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
7.1.24  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.23    2 months ago
'Live and let live' does not mean self-censoring when an opposing viewpoint has been freely offered in a public forum.

Some here seem to want self-censoring only from proponents of one side of the debate.  Ridiculous double standard.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.25  TᵢG  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.24    2 months ago

I suppose if I put forth claims that I could not support I might be frustrated by challenges.   But, then again, I would not knowingly put forth grand claims that I could not defend.  But that is just me.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
7.1.26  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.25    2 months ago

"I am the great and powerful Oz!  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"  Odd that we expect recognition and even amusement at such a weak tactic in a movie aimed primarily at children, but some don't think adults should either recognize it or call it out when they see it.

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.27  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.26    2 months ago

Happy Palm Sunday everyone.  A message of hope during this time from a gold star widow on Fox Nation.   https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-hoH3Vg60x/?igshid=cfz0xbeg538g

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.28  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7.1.6    2 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.29  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @7.1.28    2 months ago
“God is in charge of the coronavirus,” he said, adding that because Jesus came to the world and died for our sins, “we never have to be afraid of God’s punishment.”

By this (assuming you read before copying and pasting the words of others) do you recognize that COVID-19 exists because God (as you define 'God') knowingly allowed it to manifest and continues to allow it to do so?

When skeptics point out this consequence of common religious belief, you deem it to be blaming God.   Accordingly, you then are blaming God (via your proxy).

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.30  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.29    2 months ago

Sin is present in this world and it has to run its course before the devils revolt is put down for ever.  Jesus died to save us from all our sins but not from the effects of living with it in this life. God has given Satan his season here and can’t intervene in everything to save everyone all the time from its effects until it all ends.  We know who orchestrated all the evil that ever happened and we know that good people die at the hands of bad people, natural disasters, diseases, accidents and that if we die before old age natural causes we have the assurance of eternal life.  No one wants to die but except the saved at the 2nd coming we all will at some point.  It’s the faith and the assurance of the hereafter that makes the sin and suffering here something we can live through while we wait while doing what we can to help ease human suffering with volunteering and charity to every cause supporting others in need

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.31  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @7.1.30    2 months ago

So God is in charge of everything, knows everything that will happen before it happens, has the power to prevent things like COVID-19, but God really is not ultimately responsible for COVID-19?

Because you directly contradict yourself you are ipso facto incorrect.

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.32  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ender @7.1.10    2 months ago

and yet you are here discussing what you say that you don’t care about.  What’s up with that?

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.33  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.31    2 months ago

Whatever you say.  Have a nice day.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1.34  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.31    2 months ago

I don’t need a lecture about what I believe from you so don’t expect any discussion on these kind of issues from me in the future.  It will be as if you are not here unless I talk to another believer about something you might say.  I can’t stop you from being on these seeds and you can’t stop me from seeding them but on these matters you no longer exist to me.  Sports, politics, the weather or other topics we may have a productive conversation but onthis you will no longer get a reply from me to your condescending arrogance toward believers.  You might as well talk to the hand.  🖐🏻