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Si el amor es guerra, no quiero paz.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Do your chances at winning the lottery, getting an A on an exam, becoming a superhero etc. increase with prayer? Or is it all just luck? Atheist would say that its simply luck/chance but most Christians would believe that its God's blessing, having nothing to do with luck. But what about crosses, medallions of saints, or any other type of religious symbol, couldn't these be considered "lucky charms" such as a rabbits foot?
So are all events determined by random chance? Or if God really did set this world in motion does he predetermine what we do not leaving any room for chance?


  1. Super deep - Okay well I do not think that God answers prayers about the lottery, just because someone prays who really wants to win it. We would like to think that God answers prayers based on good deeds, needs, what people deserve.. etc. On the topic of God being visible in any prayers - you see all of the testimonies of people not able to walk/see, even in modern times, who pray to God and are miraculously and unexplainably healed. This is pretty good evidence that God was in the works. However, then you say - why would God answer a prayer such as to see, when there are horrible things happening everyday. A mom, whose child was kidnapped prays for their safe return, and this pray is not always answered. Basically, it all goes back to the huge factor of FAITH, which is basically that we don't have any clue what God is doing or why, and just have to trust. I am definitely a B on you chart, but just not based on the Lottery Winnings factor. I am not the biggest believer by any means, buttt this is my response to your blog.

    ps. : i'm on cvp analysis of multiple products

  2. What constitutes a good deed though? And with your example of people that are unexplainably healed, could this also be up to chance? Out of the 7 billion people in the world there is a probability that there will be a random unexplainable event happen. With this being said, I am a B too because I have faith although I think that it can be up to chance. (Have you not learned anything in stats 309? You could do a z test.)

    weighted avg unit contribution margin!!

  3. haha p-value it eh, and then compare it to the alpha? What will we make our level of significance though? It is less likely that a CRAZY coincidence will NOT occur than one actually occurring. And yeah a "good deed" is biased to what we think - which is usually determined by society/upbringing, this further tell us that we still know nothing in the great scheme of things so to say, as why or why not God answers prayers.

    Chapter 9. i'm thirsty.

  4. /begin ramble
    Trick question :)

    'They' did a study on this:

    So what about guys like us, who have coordinates of (100000,0)? Eh? *shakes fist @ heavens*

    People pray every day, and the same people hurt without deserving it every day. That being said, there's at least something to be said for the placebo effect of prayer. Even if it doesn't cure your cancer, bring your kid back, etc, I think that hope brought about through prayer or any other means MEASURABLY improves quality of life.

    So then...if praying doesn't influence any outcome, and we are at the whim of the power that is, then riddle me this: why do we pray? Why do we tell people we will pray for them? Hope, I guess. We're responsible to our evolutionary upbringing to be hopeful. Look at what happened when Obama many hopeful, euphoric people loving one another. How could we not get off on hope? Prayer is a hope machine.
    /end ramble

  5. In a population of almost 7 billion people, it's no wonder that there are unexplainable, "miraculous" events. What amazes me is how biased Christians can be in thinking that when a "miracle" happens that it is the act of God. Yet when a travesty happens, they admit that it was due to random chance or bad luck.

    Another point:

    Six friends agree to roll a dice to see who will get to eat the last piece of pizza. They all say their prayers, and when the winner is chosen she thanks God. Why is it that in a game in which someone must win it's an act of God when in fact as required someone wins? It's naive to attribute random chance that happens to benefit you to an act of God.

  6. I agree that prayer most probably has a placebo effect, but I think the significant question to analyze is not whether or not it has a placebo effect, but ceteris paribus (all things being equal) does the act of prayer in itself increase the likelihood that some person P gets what she wants (is praying for)?

    Setting aside the question of whether or not God exists, it seems fairly unlikely to me that he would respond to such prayers for three reasons:

    1. Firstly, in the premise of the question person B is praying to win the lottery. Greed is defined as the desire to possess more than one needs or deserves:

    -God is perfectly just.
    -A being A is perfectly just if and only if A does many just actions and no unjust actions.
    -An action is just if and only if there exists a person P who gives a person Q that which Q deserves to get from P.
    -God is perfectly merciful.
    -A being A is perfectly merciful if and only if A does many merciful actions and no unmerciful actions.
    -An action is merciful if and only if there exists a person P who gives something good A to person Q such that P does not owe A to Q.

    1. Nobody needs or deserves to win the lottery.
    2. So, Person B does not need or deserve to win the lottery.
    3. Person B desires to win the lottery.
    4. So, Person B is being greedy.
    5. To be greedy is to sin.
    6. Person B is sinning.
    7. If a person sins, then there exist people that deserve more than her.
    8. So, There exist people that deserve more than her.

    If God were to answer person B's prayers, then he would be mercifully doing so. (Assuming that winning the lottery is a good thing) In the process, he is denying those people that exist that deserve more than her. It is unjust to treat people independently of each other in the same situation differently; however, God is perfectly just and thus cannot commit an unjust action. Reductio ad absurdum, God will not answer person B's prayers. (At least in the sense of granting them)

    2. This is in relation to my last point. Consider the case of two terminal patients in a hospital who have liver cancer. Patient A is a healthy person who has taken care of her body for the better part of her life, but contracted a disease and is now in the need of a new live. Patient B is a struggling alcoholic that destroyed her liver of her own doing. Patient B and her family are Christian and pray that she will receive a transplant liver. (Note, I am not portraying Christians as drunks ) For God to give patient B a liver, he must deny that liver to Patient A who deserved the liver. Were he to grant Patient B and her family's prayers he would be committing an unjust action. My point is that often for a person to receive something it must then be denied to a different person. What then happens if two people pray for the same thing? Does God flip a 3-headed coin: help A, help B, do nothing?

    3. The doctrine of Christianity has 5 stages:

    I. God created man good.
    II. Man did not give God what he was owed, namely Obedience.
    III. In being disobedient, the world and man was radically changed.
    IV. Humans owe nothing of their own to repay God.
    V. God became a man in order to repay the debt that man owed.

    My focus is on (II). Anselm of Canterbury argues that man owes God supreme devotion and that by praying man is simply giving God that which he is already owed. The fact that Person B is praying to God does not make God indebted to her, for humans are totally dependent on God. That is to say without God, humans would not exist.

  7. gag me. i feel like i just read a research paper......

  8. Well, If we are going to discuss a religious philosophical topic, then it only seems fair that I get to bombard yall with what I just crammed in my head before I forget it.