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Prayer Study: Humans Fail to Manipulate God
Scrappleface ^ | 2006-03-31 | Scott Ott

Posted on 03/31/2006 9:09:57 AM PST by Tarkin

(2006-03-31) — A team of scientists today ended a 10-year study on the so-called “power of prayer” by concluding that God cannot be manipulated by humans, not even by scientists with a $2.4 million research grant.

The scientists also noted that their work was “sabotaged by religious zealots” secretly praying for study subjects who were supposed to receive no prayer.

The allegations came at a news conference where researchers announced their findings that intercessory prayer by two Roman Catholic religious communities and a group from the Missouri-based Unity church failed to produce better results for patients recovering from heart surgery.

“As it turns out, God was not impressed by our academic credentials, our substantial funding base, and our rigorous study protocols,” said lead researcher Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist and director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute near Boston. “I get the feeling we just spent 10 years looking through the wrong end of the telescope.”

While patients who knew they were the targets of the study’s intercessory prayer team actually had more post-operative complications, Dr. Benson admitted he failed to prevent friends and relatives from praying for the “no prayer” control group.

“It really burns me up that we worked so hard, only to be undermined by an anonymous army of intellectual weaklings on their knees,” he said.

Dr. Benson said he would now seek $10 million in grants to explore whether fire can be called down from heaven to kindle a pile of wood. The control group’s wood will be drenched in water to prevent combustion.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: leftwingagenda; science; scientists; scottott; scrappleface
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Scrappleface...
1 posted on 03/31/2006 9:10:00 AM PST by Tarkin
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To: Tarkin

Outstanding.


2 posted on 03/31/2006 9:13:34 AM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
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To: Tarkin

AMEN!


3 posted on 03/31/2006 9:14:15 AM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: Tarkin
The target of Scrappleface's jab.
4 posted on 03/31/2006 9:14:59 AM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
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To: lexington minuteman 1775
Humans Fail to Manipulate God

In other news, water has been declared wet.

5 posted on 03/31/2006 9:18:42 AM PST by phil1750 (Love like you've never been hurt;Dance like nobody's watching;PRAY like it's your last prayer)
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To: Tarkin

The problem with any scientific study of God's reaction is that it assumes God doesn't know he's being studied.


6 posted on 03/31/2006 9:23:51 AM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: Tarkin

"Dr. Benson said he would now seek $10 million in grants to explore whether fire can be called down from heaven to kindle a pile of wood. The control group’s wood will be drenched in water to prevent combustion."

Nah. Just go to th Witch of Endor and have her call on Elijah. He'll call fire down from heaven...


7 posted on 03/31/2006 9:24:37 AM PST by Mrs. Darla Ruth Schwerin
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To: phil1750

The weather report for tonight is dark - moving to lightly scattered light in the morning.


8 posted on 03/31/2006 9:25:43 AM PST by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: Tarkin
“I get the feeling we just spent 10 years looking through the wrong end of the telescope proctoscope.”

I thought this was another article on the original study, not scrappleface's take on it. Fooled me completely.

9 posted on 03/31/2006 9:25:43 AM PST by KarlInOhio (If you have a leaking pipe, you shut off the water valve before deciding on amnesty for the puddles.)
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To: Celtjew Libertarian

...and the assumption that the scientists were on good enough terms with Him for Him to answer their prayers...


10 posted on 03/31/2006 9:25:55 AM PST by woollyone (...a closed mouth gathers no feet...)
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To: Tarkin

:-)


11 posted on 03/31/2006 9:27:21 AM PST by manwiththehands (I will remember in November.)
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To: Tarkin

LOL, great article.


12 posted on 03/31/2006 9:29:42 AM PST by Protagoras (The world is full of successful idiots and genius failures.)
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To: joanie-f

Any comments on the title alone, or the article that follows? (I'm holding onto my hat because I feel a strom brewing.) :-)


13 posted on 03/31/2006 9:33:58 AM PST by Minuteman23
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To: Tarkin

wow ... i could have answered that without a lengthy study ... how can you manipulate an imaginary being?


14 posted on 03/31/2006 9:44:45 AM PST by Element187
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To: Tarkin

How would they even know if they failed or didn't?


15 posted on 03/31/2006 9:49:35 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: My2Cents

Ausgezeichnet!


16 posted on 03/31/2006 9:51:30 AM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Element187
how can you manipulate an imaginary being?

Quite easily. Judging from your gullibility you're easily manipulable and you are a figment of God's imagination.

17 posted on 03/31/2006 10:00:02 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
Quite easily. Judging from your gullibility you're easily manipulable and you are a figment of God's imagination.

No I consider it as not allowing myself to be brainwashed by tribal stories told around a camp fire 2000 years ago.
18 posted on 03/31/2006 10:03:37 AM PST by Element187
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To: Element187
No I consider it as not allowing myself to be brainwashed by tribal stories told around a camp fire 2000 years ago.

Your history and anthropology are way off.

Which is consistent with your willingness to be brainwashed by the nostrums of postmodern pop culture.

19 posted on 03/31/2006 10:06:22 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

keep living in that closed minded existance.


20 posted on 03/31/2006 10:08:32 AM PST by Element187
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To: Element187
keep living in that closed minded existance.

Your mind is closed - closed off from the infinite and confined to the narrow constraints of the here and now.

Your existence is blinkered and impoverished by your decision to cut yourself off from the 4,000 year history of Western culture in exchange for the philosophical depth and complexity that underpins the NBC weeknight comedy lineup.

The Scriptures are always new, but nothing is as old as this morning's newspaper.

21 posted on 03/31/2006 10:17:37 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

thanks Pat Robertson ... But I'll stick with science over fairy tales anyday.


22 posted on 03/31/2006 10:22:22 AM PST by Element187
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To: Element187
thanks Pat Robertson .

Oh, a snide insult - nice argument! You self-proclaimed "rationalists" always demonstrate such solid, intricate reasoning when you are desperately defending your unjustifiable prejudices. Bravo!

But I'll stick with science over fairy tales anyday.

When you are confronted with a decision and must choose between the morally right and morally wrong thing to do, do you solve your dilemma by using the quadratic equation? Or do you apply Le Chatelier's principle?

For amateur atheists like yourself "science" is just a buzzword, a slogan - not a serious concern.

It's clear that you hold to a kneejerk position you've never spent a reflective moment on.

23 posted on 03/31/2006 10:39:04 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Element187
I consider it as not allowing myself to be brainwashed by tribal stories told around a camp fire 2000 years ago.

So what modern-day tribal stories around the camp fire have you been brainwashed by?

24 posted on 03/31/2006 11:13:58 AM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
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To: Tarkin

John
14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Matthew
21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

I guess not


25 posted on 03/31/2006 11:17:17 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: wideawake
For amateur atheists like yourself "science" is just a buzzword, a slogan - not a serious concern.

The fact that there are a significant number of serious scientists who believe in God makes this guy's proclamation a sham. The fact that the Bible presents a God who is knowable, and creator of a universe that is open to rational inquiry, is the foundation of western science. The "science" he pretends to defer to, would not exist were it not for belief in the God of the Bible.

26 posted on 03/31/2006 11:18:37 AM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
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To: qam1
I guess not

Which of the apostles whom Jesus was addressing in the cited examples participated in the study?

27 posted on 03/31/2006 11:28:53 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

What part of anyone don't you understand?

28 posted on 03/31/2006 11:46:24 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1
What part of anyone don't you understand?

I like the sleight of hand you're attempting between the third person of "anyone" in verse 12 and the second person of "you" in verse 13.

And you demonstrate the fallacy of tearing random quotes from their context.

What does "having faith" mean? The level of faith required is illustrated in Matthew 17:20.

After all, as the Epistle of James points out later, even the demons believe.

29 posted on 03/31/2006 11:53:32 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
Oh, a snide insult - nice argument!


You attempted to insult my beliefs with your first reply... nice way to keep the tolerance train running.. i know how it is with you fanatics ... your beliefs are always right and nobody is allowed to have their own opinions about religion... the proof is in your holier than thou self-proclaimed righteousness bible thumper replies.

When you are confronted with a decision and must choose between the morally right and morally wrong thing to do,

I do not need a scary magical boogeyman in the skies to know the difference between right and wrong.

For amateur atheists like yourself "science" is just a buzzword, a slogan - not a serious concern.

typical leftie response, just assume i'm an athiest ... i never said i dont believe in something.. but say any religion is right or wrong just makes that entire religion look close minded and foolish.

It's clear that you hold to a kneejerk position you've never spent a reflective moment on.

because i dont believe in your god??? you bible fanatics need to be a little more respectful towards everyone elses beliefs... believe it or not, your religion is just as insane and violent as islam.
30 posted on 03/31/2006 11:54:25 AM PST by Element187
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To: Element187
You attempted to insult my beliefs with your first reply... nice way to keep the tolerance train running..

Your first post was an insult, so thank you for telling me how black I am, Mr. Pot.

i know how it is with you fanatics ...

LOL! I see this sudden change of heart you've had about insulting people is something you take very seriously.

your beliefs are always right

What a meaningless statement. I take it, then, you hold your own beliefs to be wrong? Or are you a hypocrite, who thinks that my beliefs are wrong and yours are right?

and nobody is allowed to have their own opinions about religion...

I'm not contesting anyone's right to an opinion - it seems like you're contesting my right to punch holes in someone's clearly poorly-though-out opinion.

the proof is in your holier than thou self-proclaimed righteousness bible thumper replies.

Maybe you're reading a different thread - at what point did I say that I was righteous?

I do not need a scary magical boogeyman in the skies to know the difference between right and wrong.

LOL! Not only does this response make your protestations about being insulted look even more ridiculous, you're clumsily dodging the point.

I ask again: since you feel that "science" holds the same place in your life that magical boogeymen hold in mine, how do you utilize science in making moral judgments? In a boogeyman-free scenario, how do you establish criteria? Using Boyle's Law?

typical leftie response, just assume i'm an athiest ...

LOL! Yes, it's the leftists who usually take a negative view of atheism. Like those devoutly Christian leftists Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Che Guevara, etc.

i never said i dont believe in something..

One can believe in "something" and still be an atheist. I know you're not strong on definitions, so I'll just point out that an atheist is a person who disbelieves in the existence of a God. If we were discussing people who do not believe in "something" I would have used the appropriate term for such a person - a nihilist.

but say any religion is right or wrong just makes that entire religion look close minded and foolish.

In other words, unless a religion specifically denies its own tenets to be true, then it is foolish?

It is the act of a fool to say that he believes in things for which there are no compelling motives of belief.

because i dont believe in your god???

No, because you can't reason your way out of a wet paper bag. There are serious arguments to be made for disbelief - but none of them involve discussing campfires or boogeymen.

That's the rhetoric of unlearned twits, not serious interlocutors.

you bible fanatics need to be a little more respectful towards everyone elses beliefs...

Think very hard before you answer this question: Was your first post to this thread one that could be characterized as having an attitude "respectful towards everyone elses [sic] beliefs"? Or are you just indulging in hypocritical whining?

believe it or not, your religion is just as insane and violent as islam.

LOL! It's a weak mind that confuses absurd statements for provocative ones.

But please - give us the names of all the Methodist suicide bombers you're aware of. Oh, and what was the address of the towers that those planes hijacked by suicidal Congregationalists destroyed?

31 posted on 03/31/2006 12:29:18 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

ok, getting you to respect other peoples beliefs is about as pointless as having George Bush moderate a spelling bee.


32 posted on 03/31/2006 12:52:41 PM PST by Element187
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To: Element187
ok, getting you to respect other peoples beliefs is about as pointless as having George Bush moderate a spelling bee.

(1) You initiated this thread with an insulting comment so you are a complete and utter hypocrite.

(2) If there is a more rote leftist MSM/Daily Kos/Michael Moore trope than insulting the President's intellect it certainly isn't coming to mind. Your mask is now fully off.

(3) I note for the record that you still cannot explain how you use science to arrive at moral criteria for life decisions. You have had a perfect opportunity to defend your belief in "science" and you've failed miserably.

33 posted on 03/31/2006 12:57:21 PM PST by wideawake
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no the failure seems to be on your part, you obviously cannot get a clear and objective thinker such as myself to believe in a magic man in the sky.... face it your religion is bullshit tribal stories told around a campfire... you can continue to believe stories made up by neanderthals 2000 years ago... you know, back when the world was flat... if you bathe too much your skin will fall off ... and you want to take their words for gospel??? shows how you have no problem believing whatever mommy and daddy tell you ... you are a closed minded bible thumper and will follow lemmings off of a cliff as long as it tells you to do so in the bible... Jesus was no more the son of god than David Koresh or Jim Jones.. keep following this dangerous cult that leads to nothing but violence.


34 posted on 04/03/2006 8:23:05 AM PDT by Element187
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To: Tarkin

Good stuff.


35 posted on 04/03/2006 8:23:59 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings............Modesty hides my thighs in her wings......)
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To: wideawake

Looks like post #34 was aimed your way, but the poster lacked the intellectual courage to actually address it to you.


Have fun.


36 posted on 04/03/2006 8:45:41 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings............Modesty hides my thighs in her wings......)
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To: Element187; Skooz
no the failure seems to be on your part, you obviously cannot get a clear and objective thinker such as myself to believe in a magic man in the sky....

You claim to be a clear and objective thinker - but a truly clear and objective thinker knows that using buzzwords, slogans and epithets does not constitute a coherent argument.

face it your religion is bullshit tribal stories told around a campfire...

I'd ping the moderator for your profanity, but I would much prefer that your response be kept on the board because it illustrates the childishness of your thinking.

Just for your edification: Archimedes was a member of a tribe (specifically the Archian clan of Corinthian Syracuse), and he came up with some of his key insights into geometry and mechanics while scratching ideas in the dirt in front of a fire.

So would you agree that mechanical curvatures and the equilibrium of fluids, as well as the differentiation of mass and density are to be disbelieved as well?

Is that truly the level at which you are arguing?

you can continue to believe stories made up by neanderthals 2000 years ago...

Interesting display of ignorance:

Are you saying that you are unaware that anthropologists agree that Neanderthals ceased to exist 29,000 years ago?

Or are you saying that Jews are Neanderthals?

Or are you unaware that the Christian Scriptures written 2,000 years ago were written by educated multilingual Jewish professionals in the most advanced urban environments of their day?

you know, back when the world was flat...

The earliest Christians knew the world was round - they were well-acquainted with the work of Eratosthenes. The early Church fathers referred to the world's roundness quite frequently. At this point you're just making stuff up.

if you bathe too much your skin will fall off ...

Now you reveal your utter cluelessness - ancient Judaism was known for its frequent ritual bathings and washings. And quite famously, one is intiated into Christianity through baptism. Do you know what baptism is?

Start discussing facts, instead of fabrications.

and you want to take their words for gospel???

Are you even aware of the etymology of the word "gospel"?

shows how you have no problem believing whatever mommy and daddy tell you ...

If I believed only what my parents taught me, I wouldn't be a Christian right now.

Of course - you don't realize how silly what you are saying is. To follow your logic, if someone's parents are scientific humanists then it is wrong to agree with them and scientific humanism is false because someone, somehere learned it from their parents.

you are a closed minded bible thumper and will follow lemmings off of a cliff as long as it tells you to do so in the bible...

As I said before, you can level as many personal insults as you like - I really don't mind in the slightest - but they will never prove your case.

If my viewpoint is so lemminglike and yours is so vastly intellectually superior, please enlighten my ignorance: make a case for "science" as you imagine it.

On the merits.

Jesus was no more the son of god than David Koresh or Jim Jones..

Again, just because you assert something doesn't mean you have proved it.

Since you're such an accomplished scientist, why don't you prove for us - scientifically, of course - that Jesus of Nazareth was not the only begotten Son of God?

We'd all love to hear it.

keep following this dangerous cult that leads to nothing but violence.

LOL!

Ah yes, those vicious, violent souls like Mother Theresa. And Dietrich Bonhoffer. And Albert Schweitzer. And Raoul Wallenberg. And Charles de Foucauld. My, how horrible if I were to become as bloodthirsty as such dangerous role models!

Shall I adopt the cult of science instead? And profess the peaceful scientific atheism of Lenin (5 million slaughtered), Hitler (12 million slaughtered), Stalin (25 million slaughtered), Mao (60 million slaughtered), Pol Pot (2 million slaughtered), etc.?

What a joke you are.

More people were killed in the name of science from 1920-1960 that were killed in the name of Christ from 33 AD to the present time.

Number of believers in "science" killed by Christians: 0.

Number of believers in Christ killed by believers in "science": at least 50 million.

BTW, thanks to Skooz for pinging me to your cowardly post in the first place, you gutless wonder.

37 posted on 04/03/2006 9:37:30 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake
Great stuff. However I'd just like to interject here and point out that using Stalin and co. as an alternative to religion isn't quite analgous. They were similar to Inquisition era Catholics in that there was an orthodoxy and those who didn't follow it were dealt with harshly. Therefore they were also following a religion so to speak. Their religion just didn't have a theology.

The wisdom of contemporary Christianity is the realization that you can't force someone to come to a certain set of beliefs. Something not practiced by adherents of Torquemada, Calvin's Geneva or the other dictators you mentioned.
38 posted on 04/03/2006 9:57:25 AM PDT by Borges
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To: wideawake

Correction: Modern Soviet scholars put the number of those killed by Stain at 40 million. The best estimates of those killed by Mao are around 45 - 60 million.


39 posted on 04/03/2006 10:05:37 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings............Modesty hides my thighs in her wings......)
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To: wideawake

BTW, that is a major league butt whoopin'.

Well done.


40 posted on 04/03/2006 10:11:02 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings............Modesty hides my thighs in her wings......)
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To: Borges; Element187
They were similar to Inquisition era Catholics in that there was an orthodoxy and those who didn't follow it were dealt with harshly.

I would argue that they were far worse for two reasons: dissension from orthodoxy in Inqusition Spain was not illegal - dissension was accompanied by unconscionable disabilities (being forbidden to own real property except in certain restricted areas, ineligibility for various offices and honors, disqualification from numerous professions, exile, etc.) but torture and death were circumscribed to dissenters who concealed their dissent.

And of those accused, more than 75% were acquitted by Inquisition courts and freed by their own recognizance.

A disgustingly brutal and immoral system - but enlightened compared to Stalinist Russia, where the very fact of dissent was fatal and every trial ended in an execution.

Their religion just didn't have a theology.

At this point we're begging the question - since professing, as Element187 does, a "belief in science" is a religious profession as well by the vaguest definition.

But your larger point is well taken.

41 posted on 04/03/2006 10:11:49 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Element187
keep following this dangerous cult that leads to nothing but violence.

You seem to imply that if everybody would just think scientifically world peace would erupt all over.

I would expect such a rigorous thinker as yourself would have arrived at that conclusion by independently evaluating vidence, not by taking someone else's word for it.

Or maybe you're just John Lennon.

42 posted on 04/03/2006 10:16:41 AM PDT by Taliesan (What you allow into the data set is the whole game.)
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To: Taliesan

Science didn't start any crusades to force people to believe anything by a sword.... Science is continously proving religions wrong... wow adam and eve never existed, this earth has been here for billions of years, dinosaurs have existed long before humans. Virgin Mary was banged by her husband, there is no such thing as immaculate conception... Moses didn't split any water.... all the stories in the bible are complete foolish .. perfectly fine for a 5 year old to believe. If there was a 'God' why is there no proof of it in todays world?? Why is there no more miracles? Why did the only priveledged people in this world lived 2000 years ago to 'witness' ... Simple answer, there is no such thing as miracles .. Jesus was merely just a talented illusionist like David Copperfield, but you don't see anybody worshipping him.... But what do I know, I don't allow myself to be worshipped by a book written by cavemen.


43 posted on 04/03/2006 10:23:24 AM PDT by Element187
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To: Taliesan; Element187

Now look what you did, Taliesan. You made E187 so angry he forgot English.


44 posted on 04/03/2006 11:03:17 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake
I define religious beliefs as those taken purely on faith. So ideally, scientific beliefs should not be religious...in that sense anyway. Of course this is shaky territory these days. Thanks for info about the Inquisition. No one expects the...oh never mind.

But have you read a lot about Calvin's Geneva? Martin Seymour Smith in his '100 Most Influential Books of all time' refers to it as a blueprint for the Third Reich. Ironically, the Calvinists were quite welcoming to the Jews, compared to the way they were treated by the established Church at the time anyway.
45 posted on 04/03/2006 11:12:06 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

There actually has been a study along the lines of this article. It was done by studying the health of European monarchs, who by tradition have had millions of people praying for them every day and every week.

The attempt to excuse the Inquisition as less evil (by numeric count) than communisiom is amusing. It ignores the question of what a religion founded by Jesus was doing murdering and torturing people, and it ignores the question of why the religion itself didn't prevent it from happening.

Obviously theocracies can be evil, regardless of the nominal religion they spring from.


46 posted on 04/03/2006 11:20:37 AM PDT by js1138 (~()):~)>)
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To: js1138

The attempt to excuse the Inquisition as less evil (by numeric count) than communisiom is amusing. It ignores the question of what a religion founded by Jesus was doing murdering and torturing people, and it ignores the question of why the religion itself didn't prevent it from happening.

Obviously theocracies can be evil, regardless of the nominal religion they spring from.

You asked and answered your own question. By definition, a non-coercive religion cannot "prevent" theocracies.

47 posted on 04/03/2006 12:20:16 PM PDT by Taliesan (What you allow into the data set is the whole game.)
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To: wideawake
Hitler (12 million slaughtered)

Nice try, but Hitler was a fellow believer of bible, just like you.
48 posted on 04/03/2006 12:25:49 PM PDT by Element187
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To: Taliesan

What do you mean by a non-coersive religion? I would say that a religion that threatens eternal punishment for incorrect beliefs is being coersive.


49 posted on 04/03/2006 12:27:26 PM PDT by js1138 (~()):~)>)
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To: js1138
The attempt to excuse the Inquisition as less evil (by numeric count) than communisiom is amusing.

It's not a matter of count, but of the principles at work.

The idea driving the inquisition was that there was such a thing as a Christian commonwealth and that Christian profession was a requirement for full citizenship.

Lying about your religious profession in 16th century Spain was like sneaking over a border fence in 21st century America.

Illegally claiming citizenship under false pretenses.

In Stalin's Russia, simply disagreeing with the state's ideology was grounds for immediate execution, as was simply being inconvenient (i.e. being a kulak).

In inquisitorial Spain an openly professing Jew or Protestant was not subject to execution, but deportation instead. Servetus was deported from inquisitorial Spain - even though he openly denied the Trinity he was not executed but exiled. He was burned in Protestant Geneva.

Concealing one's religious allegiances was the capital crime.

Of course the numbers of murdered victims are far higher in the Stalinist regime, because the principles behind the punishment are different.

I don't think people should be tortured or hung for faking US citizenship, but that doesn't mean that I think it is wrong to have sanctions. Some will say it is cruel and arbitrary to sanction someone because they happen to have been born outside US territory, but all societies have to have limits for the sake of preserving public order.

And, to be clear, I am not justifying inqusitorial Spain. Good riddance to it. Just pointing out that there are different varieties of injustice.

I would also point out that inquisitorial Spain is a limit case among professing Christians for very specific historical reasons, whereas pretty much every officially atheist country in history has been awash in the blood of innocents.

50 posted on 04/03/2006 12:43:23 PM PDT by wideawake
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