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Theodore A. Hoppe

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Is prayer a form of placebo or is there evidence of divine intervention in the answering of prayers?

It was recently suggested to me that I conduct an experiment on whether prayer "works." The suggestion was that I keep a journal , direct my prayers to Jesus, and keep track of whether my prayers get answered. This is hardly qualities as an experiment in a scientific sense, but it does raise interesting questions.
My question, which prompted the suggestion, was "Which god would one pray to since every religion has (or has had) a god(s)." Clearly, people pray to all gods, and they might even claim their prayers get answered.
Considering this question further seems to indicate that there must be a mental aspect to prayer, irrespective of religions.

Therefore, this is not a debate about religion, rather it is a discuss about the brain and the mind, and whether a placebo effect is a part of praying.
Why does prayer "seem" to work?
Hopefully, this debate can explore praying in a scientific way.

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    Jan 17 2013: I have a question for the atheist.

    I know many fellows of some religions are fanatical about persuading none believers or scouring them.
    And I thought the reasoning for this was because the religion’s leaders told them to do so.

    BUT many atheist are also fanatical about persuading and scouring none believers and yet to my limit knowledge atheist has no leaders that are telling them to behave that way.

    To me if someone is being civil/good because they believe something that I don’t believe, I’m not going to try to have them stop believing.

    So way are many atheist fanatical about persuading and scouring none believers.
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      Jan 17 2013: Great question, why bring it here? You're free to start a different discussion on TED.

      Re: "In that prayers are not answered in that same manner as a placebo effect could account for."

      The confusion here seems to be about your understanding to the topic, so allow me to suggest that you Google "Prayer as placebo" and see what pops up.
      Irrespective of whether there is a god, or whether prays are answered, there may still be a measurable effect in the brain when a person engages in the act of praying.
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        Jan 17 2013: Besides my own natural desire for understanding, I thought you would find self-analyses helpful much like I have found in my own searches for understanding. In that the level of belief in a belief would affect the outcome, understanding the cause and effects of your own levels of belief could help your search for understanding.

        I know changing others’ beliefs is a common desire people have, that was and is not my desire.

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