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Still Waters

The Atheist Prayer Experiment

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Seventy one atheists and agnostics signed up to take part in the Atheist Prayer Experiment.

Each person was asked to pray for a few minutes per day for forty days during September and October 2012. They were praying for God to reveal himself to them. The experiment was based on the academic paper by Oxford philosopher Tim Mawson called Praying to Stop Being an Atheist which argues that it is in the best interests of atheists to pray to God.

http://www.premier.o...rayerexperiment

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I do not see as to how this validates/invalidates the existence of god. Frankly, I think the experiment was poorly carried out.

Personally, I think the Harvard Prayer Experiment was much better than this.

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I do not see as to how this validates/invalidates the existence of god. Frankly, I think the experiment was poorly carried out.

Personally, I think the Harvard Prayer Experiment was much better than this.

How would you have done it better if given the chance? how does the Harvard Prayer experiment differ?

i havent read the artical yet but gunna check it out in a mo, would you ever consider doing either of these experiments ?

Edited by Armchair Educated

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52 have said they did not receive any revelation of God's existence through prayer. Some of these stopped praying at an early or later point in the experiment, or failed to pray on some days, and some prayed for the entire duration.

I think this is a pointless exercise for many .. From the result, all they got was 2 positive results.. 15 didn't care to come back.. the rest still have no belief in god.. I do not think it matters how many prayers or for how many days an atheist prays for. I think that with a persons state of mind and how they open up is what matters, and not how many prayers they say ..All it takes is just one prayer.... .If nothing happens for you after the one prayer? The going on and on and on is not going to be any different

In all fairness to the atheists that took part, they still tried to open up by allowing themselves to give it a go.. So I am guessing they went in with some sort of hope and wonder ?

2 turned believers out of 71.. It is a poor result, but it is better than nothing for the people that laid hope to change them into believers

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How would you have done it better if given the chance? how does the Harvard Prayer experiment differ?

i havent read the artical yet but gunna check it out in a mo, would you ever consider doing either of these experiments ?

No, because I believe that anything affiliated with religion is nonsense.

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No, because I believe that anything affiliated with religion is nonsense.

why did you spend your time reading the artical?

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why did you spend your time reading the artical?

Because I was interested in seeing what kind of results were yielded as a result of this experiment.

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And this is why i beleive you get no results out of these experiments. I mean people have a veiw point before going ahead with the task. and this is why it fails.

Like Beckys mum says its a state of mind. and atheist that is so against religious activitys will NEVER find god, because they are not letting themselves.

Im more of a spiritualist, and hence me also do not like religion however as you say you do not like things that are apart of religion that spiritualism is kind of apart of that as the same 'supernatural' beleifs can me the same. I beleive in a cosmic consiousness or aka god(in my veiw)... this stems from religion in a sense. But we can not see what we choose not to see.

Reminds me of a Buddhist Koan,

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!" "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

I feel its the same thing here, you go into these subjects with an opinion already formed - now this opinion can be based of what you seem valid as facts, however the above still applys.

Our current understanding of the universe would not be what it is, if people didnt empty there cup.

Kind Regards.

Me :)

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Like Beckys mum says its a state of mind. and atheist that is so against religious activitys will NEVER find god, because they are not letting themselves.

Well, I cannot say if that is the case .. If the atheist is willing to allow themselves to take part and see what happens? then obviously they have decided to allow their minds to open to give it a whirl and see what comes of it.... I see no point in allowing yourself take part in ANY experiment, if you are not opened minded to try something, even if it is just once

Many atheists I have read about did find god in their own way... So I am sorry, but I cannot agree with you fully on that note

WOW I am being a tad extra polite tonight....Lack of sleep lol..

Edited by Beckys_Mom
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Well, I cannot say if that is the case .. If the atheist is willing to allow themselves to take part and see what happens? then obviously they have decided to allow their minds to open to give it a whirl and see what comes of it.... I see no point in allowing yourself take part in ANY experiment, if you are not opened minded to try something, even if it is just once

Many atheists I have read about did find god in their own way... So I am sorry, but I cannot agree with you fully on that note

WOW I am being a tad extra polite tonight....Lack of sleep lol..

Maybe its just me and my opinion, haha hypocrit much? I need to empty the cup maybe hahah.

I beleive (maybe my negative mind here :P) they are still no open minded, some maybe, but not all - I would have to say some of them are doing the experiement for the reverse. they are doing the experiement so they can say, well I tried and still no god.... told you I was right..

but hey they may all have had the open mind and the experiement spoke for itself.

Just because you partake doesnt really mean you are open to the idea. just that you are looking for more answers to continue with your own view on the situation.

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Just because you partake doesnt really mean you are open to the idea. just that you are looking for more answers to continue with your own view on the situation.

So basically if one (a non-believer) was to be "open minded" in the way you think they should be then they would find "your" god?

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Just because you partake doesnt really mean you are open to the idea. just that you are looking for more answers to continue with your own view on the situation.

It would be a bit pointless participating in any experiment if you are not open to it to try and see what may come..

The atheists that allowed themselves to give it a go, didn't have to...But they did ..So that says to me they were willing to open up and try...

Cannot fault anyone for trying, even if it doesn't pan out, at least they can say - Well, we gave it a shot

Edited by Beckys_Mom
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Wonder if they pay you to do these experiments.

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so really, this wasn't a scientific test at all. certainly not one that can give any accurate results, considering some of them didn't even bother to finish it.

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It is confusing to me why a Chrisitan would encourage people to pray that God would reveal himself to them. I thought the point of Christianity was that he already had.

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  • They shall not temped the lord thy God

Isn't the standard response from several branches of Christianity that you need to pray and open your heart for god to reveal himself?

Seems they tried, and didn't get the result (save the two who did, of course.)

There seems to be a bias in viewing atheists as being people innately against religion.

I only know of two types of atheists, those who are because they were never exposed to religion, and those who are because they were raised religious and became dissatisfied with it (my own case.)

I long ago recognized that just as I became an atheist, it's well possible that I could become religious again. In fact, while I am satisfied with life as I know it, I would welcome the chance of eternity.

But being the person I am, I require evidence for it.

Originally by JGirl

so really, this wasn't a scientific test at all. certainly not one that can give any accurate results, considering some of them didn't even bother to finish it.

No, the people who don't report back are also important. All studies generally have a dropout rate, and higher rates tend to point towards whatever they are testing as being ineffective.

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So basically if one (a non-believer) was to be "open minded" in the way you think they should be then they would find "your" god?

Of course not. You answered your own question.

its my god.... thats the point. im not in any way shape or form implying my god is everyones god. everyone sees it in there own way.

however I dont beleive in a god per say, I beleive in myself, I am my god as I am what I seek..

This is not narrcism as people have said in the past, I just beleive that I need to help me, not some guy in the sky.

However I beleive that the universe isnt just a black nothing, I have encountered spirits during mediations etc in which make me beleive there is other dimensions to existence.

I just beleive there is more out there than what we perceive, however I know that what ever is out there doesnt govern the universe, it itself is apart of it, just as I am now.

Hope that clarrifys a little.

Kind Regards,

Me :)

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It would be a bit pointless participating in any experiment if you are not open to it to try and see what may come..

The atheists that allowed themselves to give it a go, didn't have to...But they did ..So that says to me they were willing to open up and try...

Cannot fault anyone for trying, even if it doesn't pan out, at least they can say - Well, we gave it a shot

Point taken, and agreed - to many people say and dont do...

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Isn't the standard response from several branches of Christianity that you need to pray and open your heart for god to reveal himself?

Seems they tried, and didn't get the result (save the two who did, of course.)

There seems to be a bias in viewing atheists as being people innately against religion.

I only know of two types of atheists, those who are because they were never exposed to religion, and those who are because they were raised religious and became dissatisfied with it (my own case.)

I long ago recognized that just as I became an atheist, it's well possible that I could become religious again. In fact, while I am satisfied with life as I know it, I would welcome the chance of eternity.

But being the person I am, I require evidence for it.

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No, the people who don't report back are also important. All studies generally have a dropout rate, and higher rates tend to point towards whatever they are testing as being ineffective.

Well, now you can know three kinds of atheists. I am an atheist because I was raised in a family that has a multitude of different religions represented. I can never remember a time that I believed in god and it was because I exposed to so many different religions so young and realized they could not all be right and they are most likely all wrong. Could you believe that your wonderful orthodox Jewish grandparents were going to hell because your pentecostal aunt said so? Or that your mother was evil because she is a Jew for Jesus like your grandparents told you? Or that your atheist father must be possed by demons because your Roman catholic grandmother thinks so? I will not even get into what I heard about my Hindu aunt, my Muslim uncle, or my brother becoming a pagan.

Edited by FurthurBB
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