Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Testable and untestable magical or religious claims

Energy in the universe pursues the path of least resistance. It should do that. And experiments show it does that. If God is energy even spiritual energy you would have to say it also takes the quickest and easiest road. You cannot experiment but you donít need to for a smart God will naturally do things that way. This casts suspicion but not logical disproof on the notion that God really does work in the world to bring order out of disorder. When one thing is ordered something else falls apart.

Energy that does not follow the easiest route or the most direct route is not energy by anybody's understanding.

If somebody is said to rise from the dead that kind of claim asks for testing.  The pious will discourage you from testing or checking.  They will not give you any materials to help you. This neither respects the miracle or you.  What are they afraid of? 

If the miracle orders you to believe it needs testing even more for why is it ordering you as if it wants to force or manipulate you and has something to hide? It is not a claim then but a dogma. Its propaganda. So we should refuse to believe unless we have good tests. If you believe somebody who says they have done the testing you are in a sense testing them or accessing that they are telling the truth and have done a good job. The question is, is your testing enough? It is not. You need more than a mere feeling of trust. Refuse to believe until there is testing and while testing don't believe too easily. A healthy reluctance is in order.

The conversation about miracles is tied to the conversation about prayer.  Prayers are seen a about showing a relationship with God.  So if miracles don't care about prayer or if prayer is nonsense then the miracle is just interesting perhaps but not really important.

If people were not expecting some results - even if it is just to feel they tried to help with a prayer they would not pray.

Praying for others to treat you better or respect you is clearly trying to send forces to them to manipulate what you believe is their free will.  It is odd to argue that we should be allowed by God to be Hitlers for free will is so vital and then say that prayer can control it.

Prayer is not testable for even when prayer is not answered they say, "But God did not do what you asked but gave you something better so it is answered but not handled in the way you expected."  Why test miracles if the more important teaching, prayer is untestable?  It makes no sense.

A miracle is half-tested if prayer is left out.  Testing is totally unscientific.  A half-test is not a test at all.

What you mean by testable is subject to what results you expect. Something may be considered effective if you get one good enough result among many failures or if the results seem to come 20% or whatever of the time. If you want to fool yourself, you will lower the bar of what passes the test. Sometimes you just want the feeling of being helped even if you are not and you will consider that a result.

Despite prayer being untestable some people pretend it is.  They lie that they don't test by it.

Nobody would be doing spells or praying for others unless they expected reasonable results. That is making them testable. Just because the testable is a bit fluffy does not mean it is not a test. Testable is not about looking at the results you want. It is equally about looking at failures.

Testing has two sides. When spells or prayers fail that is another test. The results I want test and the results I don't want
 
You never know if a failure is a failure. It may be the result but not the result you expected.
If I say a man rose from the dead supernaturally then I am saying that the evidence has to be beyond reasonable doubt. I am demanding that it be checked out for evidence by its nature asks to be assessed. Evidence needs and demands assessment. But what if I say the man rose and there is no way to test it? I am being incoherent. To make a claim that demands testing and that cannot be tested is to be incoherent.
 
A supernatural claim needs to pass all reasonable tests.
 
A non-testable one still needs to pass all reasonable tests.
We are talking about the same claim except in one scenario its testable and in another it is not.
 
It does not seem to make sense to say that a non-testable claim should be checked to see if it is beyond all reasonable doubt. It seems incoherent to ask for evidence for a non-testable claim. It would be looking for evidence when you know there is none. But we are not saying you should look. We are saying the claim still demands tests. A test that cannot be tested is not the same as one that should not be testable.  To demand tests does not mean they are possible. A non-testable supernatural claim is even bigger and more demanding of tests and suspension of belief than a testable supernatural claim. An a supernatural claim needs testing far more than a natural one would.
 
Do not believe in untestable supernatural claims for they are tricks and insults to evidence.