Welcome to Atheist Discussion, a new community created by former members of The Thinking Atheist forum.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Experimental Christianity
#1

Experimental Christianity
I have just decided to think a bit about something I will call Experimental Christianity.  Most long time atheists know about medical experiments to test prayer, by praying for persons in hospitals with heart ailments.  This direct experiment did not produce results that demonstrated prayer helped these patients, which Christian theory had hoped for.

I have posted recently my experiments with the "I will pray for you" theists I have dealt with over the years on usenet and various forums.  I challenged them to pray away my atheism as a test of Christianity's promises of great miracle working powers.  But I have no way of knowing, really, how many of these people actually tried this.  It cannot really be called a controlled experiment, but the fact i am still an atheist seems to indicate, at least anecdotally, that such prayers do not work.

I have suggested that on National Prayer day in the US, Christians pray, en masse for an unmistakable theophany from God, to demonstrate his existence unmistakably to one and all. 100 million Christians praying selflessly for a world saving sign should be enough to get such a sign, if such a god who answer prayers exists.  This would make a nice little experiment.

Of course we have anecdotal evidence to suggest in some cases, Christianity isn't true.  Despite promises of Mark 16, snake handlers in churches that handle snakes to demonstrate their faith in Christianity and God, do get bit and die.  And despite big promises such as in the New Testament book of James, praying to God to cure sick children instead of taking such ill children to a doctor seems to not work all that well.

But things like this, though suggestive, are not exactly controlled experiments.

What I suggest then, is we atheists might want to consider Experimental Christianity.  Ways to scientificially test the claims and tenets of Christianity.  To put the burden of evidence firmly on theology's shoulders.  we might extend this to Scientific Theology.

There are entire industries now, of various Christians to reconcile Science and Theology and Christianity.  For examples, Bio Logos Foundation and Templeton Foundations.  if true, if science and God are compatible, we should see evidence of that, besides empty apologisms.  We need a true scientific attitude from these people which involves experiments that demonstrate unmistakably the existence of God.

There are stern pronouncements of various theologians that science does not disprove God.  And in a sense it is true.  Science long ago concerned itself with the natural world, and left religion to the theologians and philosophers.  Could science become a player in this theology world?  If so, it would have to be like in all things science, based on careful experimentation to demonstrate what is real, and what is not.

So any attempt to get science involved in any of this would need the usual scientific, well defined, and meticulously carried out experiments.  Theology cannot claim to be scientifically respectable until it can do science as far as theology is concerned.

I am tossing this out, into the piranha tank to let you chew this over.  How do we get on with theology, if not on a scientific basis with true experimentation?  Cutting through mere metaphysical argle bargle and empty special pleading from theologians?

Praise God and pass the snakes!
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#2

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 07:12 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: I have just decided to think a bit about something I will call Experimental Christianity.  Most long time atheists know about medical experiments to test prayer, by praying for persons in hospitals with heart ailments.  This direct experiment did not produce results that demonstrated prayer helped these patients, which Christian theory had hoped for.

I have posted recently my experiments with the "I will pray for you" theists I have dealt with over the years on usenet and various forums.  I challenged them to pray away my atheism as a test of Christianity's promises of great miracle working powers.  But I have no way of knowing, really, how many of these people actually tried this.  It cannot really be called a controlled experiment, but the fact i am still an atheist seems to indicate, at least anecdotally, that such prayers do not work.

I have suggested that on National Prayer day in the US, Christians pray, en masse for an unmistakable theophany from God, to demonstrate his existence unmistakably to one and all. 100 million Christians praying selflessly for a world saving sign should be enough to get such a sign, if such a god who answer prayers exists.  This would make a nice little experiment.

Of course we have anecdotal evidence to suggest in some cases, Christianity isn't true.  Despite promises of Mark 16, snake handlers in churches that handle snakes to demonstrate their faith in Christianity and God, do get bit and die.  And despite big promises such as in the New Testament book of James, praying to God to cure sick children instead of taking such ill children to a doctor seems to not work all that well.

But things like this, though suggestive, are not exactly controlled experiments.

What I suggest then, is we atheists might want to consider Experimental Christianity.  Ways to scientificially test the claims and tenets of Christianity.  To put the burden of evidence firmly on theology's shoulders.  we might extend this to Scientific Theology.

There are entire industries now, of various Christians to reconcile Science and Theology and Christianity.  For examples, Bio Logos Foundation and Templeton Foundations.  if true, if science and God are compatible, we should see evidence of that, besides empty apologisms.  We need a true scientific attitude from these people which involves experiments that demonstrate unmistakably the existence of God.

There are stern pronouncements of various theologians that science does not disprove God.  And in a sense it is true.  Science long ago concerned itself with the natural world, and left religion to the theologians and philosophers.  Could science become a player in this theology world?  If so, it would have to be like in all things science, based on careful experimentation to demonstrate what is real, and what is not.

So any attempt to get science involved in any of this would need the usual scientific, well defined, and meticulously carried out experiments.  Theology cannot claim to be scientifically respectable until it can do science as far as theology is concerned.

I am tossing this out, into the piranha tank to let you chew this over.  How do we get on with theology, if not on a scientific basis with true experimentation?  Cutting through mere metaphysical argle bargle and empty special pleading from theologians?

Praise God and pass the snakes!

Let there be an experiment. Funded by theists (since they have the wealth of millions of suckers) but organized by scientists (since they have the skills to arrange and analyze an experiment) and see what the results are. Let the details of the experiment be publisized so that all can debate about it. And guarantee that the results be published.

Do you really think any theist would agree to a fair experiment like that? LOL!
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
Reply
#3

Experimental Christianity
Of course many theologians will not like Experimental Theology - Experimental Christianity. But if they peddle the idea that science and theology are reconcilable, they would have to accept the challenge or be noted to not be able or willing to do so.

As Experimental Theologians of the skeptical variety suggest tests, easily carried out, if the so called "accomodationists" balk at doing honest science to support their theologies, they can be called on just that.

And for those theologians that will tell us Science has nothing to say about theology, And there will be those who do so, then we can then say for a fact, that theology is in fact, not according to them, scientific and demonstrable as a scientific fact or truth. It is all argument by assertion and special pleading. Russelll's teapot.

If we are then down to logical examination of assertions, atheism can easily win that argument.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#4

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 08:57 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Of course many theologians will not like Experimental Theology - Experimental Christianity.  But if they peddle the idea that science and theology are reconcilable, they would have to accept the challenge or be noted to not be able or willing to do so.

As Experimental Theologians of the skeptical variety suggest tests, easily carried out, if the so called "accomodationists" balk at doing honest science to support their theologies, they can be called on just that.

And for those theologians that will tell us Science has nothing to say about theology, And there will be those who do so, then we can then say for a fact, that theology is in fact, not according to them, scientific and demonstrable as a scientific fact or truth.   It is all argument by assertion and special pleading.  Russelll's teapot.

If we are then down to logical examination of assertions, atheism can easily win that argument.

If you mare proposing such an experiment, I would be happy to participate.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
Reply
#5

Experimental Christianity
Here! Hold this snake and pray!
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#6

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 01:06 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Here!  Hold this snake and pray!

It better be a garter snake!
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
The following 1 user Likes Cavebear's post:
  • theophilus
Reply
#7

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 07:12 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: ...What I suggest then, is we atheists might want to consider Experimental Christianity.  Ways to scientifically test the claims and tenets of Christianity.  To put the burden of evidence firmly on theology's shoulders.  We might extend this to Scientific Theology.


Doomed from the start, sorry.

Science is unable to "test" the so-called supernatural and/or paranormal.

And "scientific theology" is a major oxymoron!     Big Grin
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
The following 1 user Likes SYZ's post:
  • Cavebear
Reply
#8

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 02:13 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(03-05-2020, 07:12 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: ...What I suggest then, is we atheists might want to consider Experimental Christianity.  Ways to scientifically test the claims and tenets of Christianity.  To put the burden of evidence firmly on theology's shoulders.  We might extend this to Scientific Theology.


Doomed from the start, sorry.

Science is unable to "test" the so-called supernatural and/or paranormal.

And "scientific theology" is a major oxymoron!      Big Grin

Yeah, the idea is unworkable.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
Reply
#9

Experimental Christianity
Some years ago, over at AF, I invited one jesus freak shitwit to fervently pray for his 'god' to strike me dead.  Every day for a couple of weeks I would then show up and post "still here, asshole."  Finally I concluded with "looks like god is inert."

Still here.... many years later.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
Reply
#10

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 02:24 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Some years ago, over at AF, I invited one jesus freak shitwit to fervently pray for his 'god' to strike me dead.  Every day for a couple of weeks I would then show up and post "still here, asshole."  Finally I concluded with "looks like god is inert."

Still here.... many years later.

Are you SURE you are still here? Maybe you are just imagining all of us and this site. Here is a way to check. Send me $20 through PayPal. If it registers on your credit card next month, you are really still here.

Just trying to be helpful...
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
Reply
#11

Experimental Christianity
clicked on thread, hoping for something.
argle bargle
It did not disappoint!
Reply
#12

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 02:13 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(03-05-2020, 07:12 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: ...What I suggest then, is we atheists might want to consider Experimental Christianity.  Ways to scientifically test the claims and tenets of Christianity.  To put the burden of evidence firmly on theology's shoulders.  We might extend this to Scientific Theology.


Doomed from the start, sorry.

Science is unable to "test" the so-called supernatural and/or paranormal.

And "scientific theology" is a major oxymoron!      Big Grin

The point is to demand theology test their claims.  A claim that cannot be tested is not scientific.  If theology cannot be tested (claims theologians) it cannot be scientific and so science and theology  cannot be accommodated, reconciled, or harmonized.  if theologians and christian apologist want to claim that science and theology are not mutually exclusive, they have to do their theology scientifically.

The point is to let the world know that theology has been challenged if they want to claim science as an aspect of Christian belief or theology, they have to put up or shut up.

To start with, how about more experiments where ICU patients are prayed for in a controlled, double blind experiment?  What!?  The Templeton Foundation hasn't been keen on funding such experiments?


And your task will be, to chop down the mightiest tree in the forest wittttth....A herring!
- Knights who say Ni.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



The following 1 user Likes Cheerful Charlie's post:
  • SYZ
Reply
#13

Experimental Christianity
Quote:A claim that cannot be tested is not scientific.

You are completely correct, Charlie.  Except they are proud of the fact that their bullshit can't be tested.  They take solace in the fact that they can make all the idiotic claims they want without having to produce anything beyond their own asinine prejudices and fantasies.

It is the main reason for denouncing them as shitheads and never taking them seriously.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
Reply
#14

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 02:24 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Some years ago, over at AF, I invited one jesus freak shitwit to fervently pray for his 'god' to strike me dead.  Every day for a couple of weeks I would then show up and post "still here, asshole."  Finally I concluded with "looks like god is inert."

Still here.... many years later.

For some years, I have repeatedly challenged my "I'll pray for you" friends on Usenet and forums to pray away my atheism.  I repeatedly posted the great miracle working promises of the Bible. John 12. Mark 11 et al.  My little attempt here at Experimental Christianity didn't seem to work.  I was ever so very polite, and non-confrontational and earnest.

I was surprised to see how little backpedaling my challenge got me, I expected a lot of the "You shall not test the lord God!" guff.

The problem with the confrontational version you post is that it gives these silly people something to focus on to derail the issue and and feel good about ignoring your challenge.  My challenge sometimes went further, "Make me a church project".  Maybe dozens or hundreds of people praying for month to deliver me from atheism might work.  I don't think anybody had the guts to go to their church and try this little experiment.

But, I gave them a fair chance!
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



The following 1 user Likes Cheerful Charlie's post:
  • mordant
Reply
#15

Experimental Christianity
Again, I don't take the assholes seriously at all and I don't really give a single fuck what they do with their time.  If they are going to show up here with a "kick me" sign on their asses I'll gladly oblige.

Fuck them and their god.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
Reply
#16

Experimental Christianity
They have a section of "Sacred Sciences" (LOL) over at Suscipe Domine (Dummy-knee).
They might want to be involved.
Heh heh.
Reply
#17

Experimental Christianity
Really!
(03-05-2020, 05:27 PM)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:A claim that cannot be tested is not scientific.

You are completely correct, Charlie.  Except they are proud of the fact that their bullshit can't be tested.  They take solace in the fact that they can make all the idiotic claims they want without having to produce anything beyond their own asinine prejudices and fantasies.

It is the main reason for denouncing them as shitheads and never taking them seriously.

It is not like I am trying to rub their theologian snouts in that fact. Really!
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#18

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 02:09 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(03-05-2020, 01:06 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Here!  Hold this snake and pray!

It better be a garter snake!

Or maybe a trouser snake.   Whistling
No gods necessary
The following 1 user Likes brunumb's post:
  • SYZ
Reply
#19

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 01:06 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Here!  Hold this snake and pray!

Here, wear this suit made of beefsteak and go preach God's love to that pack of hyenas.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
Reply
#20

Experimental Christianity
(03-05-2020, 05:56 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Again, I don't take the assholes seriously at all and I don't really give a single fuck what they do with their time.  If they are going to show up here with a "kick me" sign on their asses I'll gladly oblige.

Fuck them and their god.

When you have outfits like Templeton Foundation and Bio Logos and others , including rank creationists feeding nonsense to prop up theology and religion, we should give a fuck what they are doing.  For better or worse, we have to live with the results.  Should we let them set the ground rules as to what is intellectually respectable?
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#21

Experimental Christianity
Of course not.  That's why they need to be shit on.

The one thing they think they are entitled to is "respect" for their asinine beliefs.  That must be denied to them.  They need to be told, repeatedly, that they are morons for thinking such shit is real..
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
Reply
#22

Experimental Christianity
I still want to see a faith-based space program.
The following 1 user Likes Paleophyte's post:
  • trdsf
Reply
#23

Experimental Christianity
(03-06-2020, 12:46 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Of course not.  That's why they need to be shit on.

The one thing they think they are entitled to is "respect" for their asinine beliefs.  That must be denied to them.  They need to be told, repeatedly, that they are morons for thinking such shit is real..

This whole idea is not to respect or disrespect theology and religion.  it is about restoring science like rigor to the whole operation.  Science does not allow one the be skeptical and rigorous with say, chemistry, but relax that rigor with respect to say, Bigfoot or parapsychology.  Parapsychology is so riddled with unscientific rigor, most scientists (except a few kooks) regard it as pathological science, pseudo-science.

The study of God has been relegated to theology and metaphysics, philosophy.  While theology tries to lower the bar as far as reasoning about God.

Parapsychologists have long held, parapsychological testing is impossible because rigorous scientific skepticism destroys those abilities in talented subjects that they try to test.  This sort of bad rationalization, special pleading has gotten parapsychology laughed out of the right to call itself a science.

My suggestion is to apply a scientific framework to theology.  If theology can shake off its current lack of vigor and demonstrate anything meaningful.  Fine.  If not, theology needs to be officially pronounced as not science and not acceptable as being on the same empirical level as natural science.

That is, to make theologians dance to science's tune, rigor, rigor, rigorous testing.  And abandonment of metaphysical navel gazing.

The usual claim from theists is that science does not disprove God.  Oh yeah?  Science starts with "Why do you hypothesize X?
What observable things leads you to hypothesize X?".  With theology, we can start here.  Or is this just an ancient and failed idea with no basis to consider true?  Like astrology, and the ancient discredited ideas of the 4 elements of medical humors?
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#24

Experimental Christianity
I think that if I had $10 for every time some theist(s) said they were going to pray for me since the day I came out as an atheist, I'd probably have enough money by now to buy myself a summer home in Florida. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that no Christians have prayed away my atheism over the past 38 years is positive proof that there is no God in heaven, or anywhere else for that matter.  Consider
Reply
#25

Experimental Christianity
Experimental Christianity in Action!

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020...gods-name/

...
Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International and a self-described faith healer who can turn metal into bone, make a grown woman grow taller, and control the weather, has a new way to stop the spread of coronavirus.
She just declared it illegal.
....
We’re going to decree that the coronavirus will cease worldwide. Now what’s gonna happen? I don’t know if everybody will get healed. I don’t know… we’re praying. We prayed for vaccines. We prayed for Israel… They had vaccines. We have people interceding across the face of the Earth. Listen: Intercessors have been going to Wall Street! I mean… all over! I have to tell you: Intercessors are on this! I just want to thank you, intercessors of the world. You haven’t slept through this. You have been very, very active, and we’re gonna ask… God to heal those affected…

Father, in the name of Jesus, You have promised we have all authority, not some authority! You have promised that we are seated with You in heavenly places, so we take Throne Room authority, and we bring that into the situation of the coronavirus, and we say in the name of Jesus, “Virus, you are illegal! This is God’s Earth!”
...

-------
And if this does not work? Or will future scientists puzzle their wits with "COVID-19 just mysteriously vanish from the fact of the Earth! WTF?"

It is amazing how many of these cranks and kooks are coming out of the woodwork to play with the COVID-19 epidemic.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)