Study fails to show healing power of prayer | Reuters.com

A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact, researchers said on Thursday.

In fact, the study found some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed for — though those who did the study said they could not explain why.

Study fails to show healing power of prayer | Reuters.com

I can explain why, prayer is as meaningless as hope. Prayer is just hope with a religious wrapper on it. It does nothing to cause any particular action. The only thing that actually impacted these patients was the doctors that worked on them.

The authors said one possible limitation to their study was that those doing the special praying had no connection or acquaintance with the subjects of their prayer, which would not usually be the norm.

“Private or family prayer is widely believed to influence recovery from illness, and the results of this study do not challenge this belief,” the report concluded.

This is easily explained as well and I don’t need a study to do it, just some common sense. Family and friends showing love and care towards a patient is what helps them. Nonbelievers with lots of hope and love will have the same effect on a person as believers with prayer and love. The key ingredient to the influence is human caring. If there was truly power in prayer then having a congregation of believers that don’t know you, but that pray for you, should have a powerful effect anyway. Obviously, this study proved that prayer is useless.

Survey: U.S. trust lowest for atheists – Minnesota Daily

Based on a telephone survey of more than 2,000 households and in-depth interviews with more than 140 people, researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, homosexuals and other groups as ?sharing their vision of American society.? Americans are also least willing to let their children marry atheists.

?It tells us about how Americans view religion,? said Penny Edgell, an associate sociology professor and the study?s lead researcher. ?Many Americans seem to believe some kind of religious faith is central to being a good American and a good person.?

Survey: U.S. trust lowest for atheists – Minnesota Daily

This is sad… very sad. Humanity just hasn’t progressed very much at all in the grand scheme of things. I wonder if these people trust a Christian murderer over an Atheist?

Edgell said Americans traditionally have been a religious people and associate faith with being a good citizen. The survey results indicate that this belief hasn?t changed, Edgell said.

Those surveyed tended to view people who don?t believe in a god as the ?ultimate self-interested actor who doesn?t care about anyone but themselves,? Edgell said.

This is usually not true at all. Most people, religious or not, are interested in the good of society and care about others regardless of their religion or lack of religion.

Cole Ries, the president of the Maranatha Christian Fellowship said he does not agree with that perception.

?Atheists seem to be concerned with the human good,? he said. ?Where I differ as a Christian is that I?m more concerned with God?s will than man?s will.?

Still, Ries said, ?I don?t believe that anybody is really an atheist. I believe that deep down everyone knows there is a god.?

Ries saddens me for many reasons. Yes, he acknowledges that Atheists are concerned with the human good. But, he places “God’s will” over “man’s will” when nobody knows what the heck “God’s will” actually is. If he thinks God wants death to X type of people then it appears he’ll give God what God wants. He is also disillusioned enough to think that we all believe in God even if we don’t. I believe he’s an Atheist deep down inside since everyone knows the god everyone talks about doesn’t really exist. This blanket statement can work both ways.

?I know atheists aren?t studied that much as a sociological group, but I guess atheists are one of the last groups remaining that it?s still socially acceptable to hate,? Foley said.

First-year pharmacy student Amanda Wawrzynia, however, found the study reasonable.

She said she would have ranked atheists at the bottom of the list of those sharing the same vision of American society.

?I would rather have my kids marry someone of a different religion than someone who has none,? she said.

Once again I just have to say this whole idea is very sad and is born from ignorance. The people in the survey probably know people that are Agnostics and Atheists and just don’t realize it because we don’t often share our beliefs with others. A belief in God alone does not make good people, but apparently many think this is one of the more important factors for being “good”.

This is the prime example for why many of us remain “hidden” amongst society. How can I openly say to someone “Yes, I’m Agnostic” if their first reaction is to drop me to the bottom of their list for trustworthiness as a good American?

Universist Movement Forum Closed

“This forum is closed. We host chats on Sundays at Universist.net”

Board Message

…and thus ends Universism. It’s an interesting idea of a religion of freethought so check it out if you want. It still exists even though they’ve closed down the online forum. Now the only way to meet other Universists will be to meet them in person. There’s the main problem: very few local Universist groups have been formed and chances are there is NOT one in your area.

I firmly believe shutting down the online forum is definitely a shot in the foot (and maybe the head) and this will stop Universism before it really has a chance to take hold. They may think a real world grassroots effort will make it flourish, but I think freethought grows best online and their movement will die away without that virtual connection.

Personally, I like the main idea of it and the few principles that make up Universism. It’s a religion for freethinkers that rejects dogma and faith and is much more appealing than Unitarian Universalism. But in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t actually necessary for me as an Agnostic.

I guess I will just remain an individual that has found my belief and will remain true to that idea. I don’t need Universism or the Universist Movement and am quite content with the religious philosophy and viewpoint that I’ve found: Agnosticism.

Atheist Spirituality

The following article excerpt on Athiest spirituality actually speaks more to the Agnostic I think, since the Agnostic mindset is what a spiritual Atheist would really identify with more. Simply, an Atheist does not believe in a god mostly because he does not know of a god. An Agnostic takes this a step further to say that such concepts and the true nature of the universe are beyond our understanding, but that we cannot dismiss the entire god concept completely because we do not know.

The Atheist says “nope, don’t see it.” The Agnostic says “there is a tremendous unknown that is beyond me. It may be nothing but it also could be something.” So which one do you think lends themselves the most to being a spiritual Atheist as the article speaks of?

An atheist simply doesn’t believe in a god. There isn’t sufficient evidence, so there is no belief. Contrary to what many think, there is no need for an atheist to disprove that a god exists, anymore than a Christian needs to disprove that the world is ruled by intelligent termites. The burden of proof is always with the person making a positive assertion.

An atheist can recognize the mystery of life, and marvel at how everything learned deepens that mystery, pushing “final” causes further into the distance. An atheist can recognize his or her own limitations, and seek to grow, perhaps even by developing contact with “higher powers.” This is an atheist spirituality. How is it different from “regular” spirituality?

The difference is that an atheist feels no need to pretend to understand the mysteries – no need to create gods and religions to explain them. Contacting “higher powers” can simply be tuning into subconscious resources through meditation or other means. Are these “higher powers” nothing more than electrical patterns in our brains? We don’t know, and we don’t have to know to tap into them.

Is it that atheists don’t want to know? It is the opposite. “Understanding” by forcing religious explanations on things short circuits any search for the truth. How can you understand and integrate new evidence when you are no longer questioning? Better to simply use spiritual tools like “intuition” and let them be understood – or not – with time and real evidence.

Look to the past, and we see how narrow-minded people were, and how little they understood compared to us. We will appear that way to people in the future, as they will to people further into the future.

How To Be A Spiritual Atheist – DailyIndia.com

Free Thought Radio

“The #1 Internet Radio Station for Freethinkers, Skeptics, Humanists, Liberals, Brights, Universists, Religion Critics and Historians, Atheists, Conservative Atheists, Agnostics, and Naturalists.”

Free Thought Radio :: Blog

Christian media has long become a growing force in this country. It speaks to their beliefs and gives them news and information concerning their faith. But what about us?

Well, I’ve discovered an excellent professional sounding 24 hour internet radio station called Free Thought Radio. You can find it at www.freethoughtradio.com or just click on the logo on the main page here. What I’ve heard so far is entertaining and informative. If you hear any religious preaching, it’s only because it’s from a wacky fundamentalist for the humor value of it.

I wanted to share this rare gem of work with anyone that reads this and I would recommend you check it out. I know I am right now and I’m enjoying it.