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Posted by Scott Abernathy on April 22, 2002 17:18:44 UTC

Hi Chuck -

I am also enjoying our dialogue. I can't remember the author’s name, but I read a book called "Letters from a Skeptic". It was about a pastor and his father discussing religion, belief, and faith. It seems the dad was an atheist and the son was a man of God. By the end the son had convinced the old man to buy into the story of Christ and everlasting salvation. I thought it was a great book until the end when he was converted. The only thing the son had to offer the old man was circular logic based on the bible. God exists because the bible says so and you have to have faith. I wasn't convinced by what the son had said so I was upset that the old man was. Selfish of me, isn't it?

You wrote -
"For example, the answer to my prayer that I posted easily falls outside of what would be expected by chance, the chances seem to be somewhere between 1 in 100 and 1 in 10,000. At this point it is more difficult to defend the position that the answer was due to chance."

1. Is your sample large enough? Shouldn't you have prayed several times and then seen whether or not it was chance or divine intervention. You made one prayer and you got the response you were looking for. If you pray again and the response is different, what does that prove? Don't you need several instances of answered prayers to start applying statistics to it? Maybe I am wrong, but I think you need to broaden your base of experimentation.

2. When you flip a coin you have a 50/50 chance that it will come up heads. If you flip it once and it comes up heads, which is not proof, that it will come up heads every time. I understand my analogy does not take into account the extraordinary circumstances that your prayer was "answered" under, but I think it strengthens my thoughts that your sample wasn't large enough.

You wrote -
"And then there's the case of a woman I know who was healed of brain cancer after praying."

I am sure the family was jubilant after hearing that news, but I am afraid that story is anecdotal
and does not support the validity of prayer.

You wrote -
"if you love someone, set them free" (from Sting's song). "

Sting also said, "Every move you make, every breath you take, I'll be watching you".
Sounds like a classic case of stalkers syndrome.

You wrote -
"If one believes that all possible worlds exist in the creative mind of God then it's logically necessary that there will be evil in some of those worlds yet God would not be responsible for it since in God's infinite creativity all possible outcomes exist in God's mind. "

Then why doesn't God cut out the middleman, and save us already!! Is God a fan of soap opera's? Do you think God sits back with a cold one and watches the human drama play out before is holy eyes. I don't know, but it all seems too much like an after school special.


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