Monday, November 26, 2007

More Delusional Nonsense

According to a recent poll conducted on behalf of the proselytizing Xtian charity Tearfund, two in five adults say prayers and one in three believes that God is watching over them, whilst a third think that God will answer their prayers, but interestingly enough the poll does not indicate what respondents meant by this entity they all refer to as 'God', and Tearfund chooses not to enlighten us either.

However, since Tearfund proclaims itself to be a Xtian charity, whose 10-year mission is...
"...to see 50 million people released from material and spiritual poverty through a worldwide network of 100,000 local churches."
... presumably their glib answer would be that everyone who took part in the survey had the Xtian model of 'God' in mind, as if that answered the question adequately. Well, I've got some news for you: It doesn't.

For a start, the Bible, which many claim contains the inerrant words of this Xtian God, makes it quite clear that only those who adopt 'His' commandments and rules have any hope of having their prayers answered, yet only
one in five adults participating in the poll admit to attending church at least once a month despite the fact that the Xtian God of the Bible demands a greater commitment at his altar than this. Consequently, these sporadic church-goers who hope that their prayers will be answered must have a different 'God' in mind to the one referred to in the Bible, since 'He' makes it clear that their prayers simply will not be answered.

Not so, says Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland professor of the exegesis of holy scripture at the University of Oxford, for we can all pick and choose which parts of the Bible we are prepared to pay lip-service to - or to put it in his own words quoted directly from his article in 'The Guardian' :
"Too much study of the Bible is either completely dismissive of it, or excessively reverential. It doesn't allow for creative, imaginative engagement with it, recognising its limitations and delighting in it as a resource through which to stimulate understanding, rather than a book of moral precepts."
In other words, the faithful can simply use their faculties of 'creative, imaginative engagement' to ignore the parts of the Bible which they don't care for or which are just too inconvenient to adopt in the modern world.

But that still begs the question: Who or what is this so-called 'God' these people are praying to?

More importantly, what credible evidence do those who claimed to 'believe' that their prayers will be answered have to substantiate that claim, for without such evidence their claim is not a justified true belief but simply wishful thinking and delusion.

But then again, I suggest that the whole poll was a fraudulently based exercise using highly biased questioning in order to load the responses in favour of the results wanted by the organisers.

Why else would Tearfund's Chief Execuive, Matthew Frost, claim that this clearly flawed poll:
"...demonstrates the prevalence and potential of prayer."
Or that the results:
"...fly in the face of the view that faith is increasingly irrelevant in today's secular society."
As Professor Ronald Weiers used to say:
"Researchers have a moral and a professional obligation not to distort he principles of market research and statistical inference in order to produce the result they might wish for...one must take especial care in the design of questions asked of respondents...words or concepts used should be free from bias or mis-interpretation...."
Frankly, I doubt whether Tearfund or their pollsters either explained to their respondents what they meant by the word 'God' nor quizzed their respondents on their own interpretation of it.

In conclusion, it's just another piece of worthless, so-called, research, produced with the sole intention of complementing Tearfund's proselytizing role and fulfilling the delusional psychopathology of theists.

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