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Reply #22: Fleecing [View All]

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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 10:36 AM
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22. Fleecing
Edited on Sat Jul-16-05 10:48 AM by davekriss
In western science, a hypothesis to be accepted as "true" needs to be demonstrable and repeatable, so it is perfectly reasonable to set up an experiment to test the hypothesis that prayer heals. However, the religious literalist would reply that this is an example of fleecing, and under the new covenant God will not be fleeced.

Fleecing: Some old testament figure, I think Gideon, tested the veracity of what he was being told by challenging the angel before him, 'If what you say is the word of God, then let this fleece be dry tomorrow morning when all the ground is damp with dew.' Next morning, the fleece was dry as a stone in the sun. But that wasn't good enough for Gideon, so the next day he challenged the angel again and asked that the fleece be damp and the ground around it dry, and it was so.

Unfortunately for us I think Jesus tells us God will not respond to crass requests for fleecing. God will not be tested. So running a test, an experiment, seems at cross-purposes and is likely to be defeated. Instead, I think the new covenant says we are to test our theories against the word (the bible), and the word tells us that we are healed by the stripes of Christ (the whip marks Jesus received on his way to the cross). But none of the blessings of Christ are received without faith. Believe, and it will be done; ask, and you shall receive; knock and the door will be opened.

(At least that's how I think it goes, I'm hardly a scholar on these matters.)

    Whatever we leave to God, God does and blesses us; the work we choose should be our own, God lets alone.
    -- Thoreau

I think I've seen pass through here a number of links to statistical studies that show a positive effect on survival, healing, and quality of life for those with faith vs. those without. A difference between those studies and the experiment here is that the former are not examples of fleecing, they were statistical studies after the fact, observations of uncontrived outcomes (not isolated into the experimental petri dish of the scientific method).

Of course, on this subject, there is no reason for any of you to listen to me, an anarcho-syndicalist-neo-buddhist-charismatic-christian, or blissfully-confused for short! ;)


On edit: To sum up, I think the religious literalist would assert that there is a spiritual Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in effect here. The exact position/time of quantum events cannot be known because the attempt to measure changes the course of events, or something along those lines.
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