Monday, December 24, 2012

Blind Experiment on Prayer

OK_ I know it has been done before. Lots of times. But I want to do it. So I can have real, incontrovertible proof that yeah, I have "tried" it, and I am not just resorting to other people's interpretations.

I am crafting a blind experiment studying the efficacy of prayer. I love Pinterest, but one of the things I really hate about that site is all of the ignorant repins of so-called "prayer cures" for everything, but especially for misbehaving husbands (the site is heavily female dominated). I saw yet another of those pins show up on my front page today, so I decided to take action.

This is the pin I am responding to. I think I have the perfect test subject- my husband. He's male, he does stupid stuff on occasion, and he doesn't take well to constructive criticism from me on the subject of changing his ways. He certainly isn't a "godly" husband; even though he is nominally Lutheran, I, his Atheist wife, know more about the bible than he does.

So, I'll be praying for him every day for 31 days starting January 1st. I won't let him know I'm doing it. I'll watch him for any signs of change- this should be relatively easy to note, as many of the prayers ask him to exhibit qualities or partake in actions that are very abnormal for him.

I will "earnestly" pray- in order to satisfy the objections many religionists have to double-blind prayer experiments- that prayer, in the context of experiments is often not "sincere" enough since it comes from strangers or is simply a rote prayer recited for the purpose of the experiment. Of course, I find this all to be balderdash on face- religionists are always soliciting prayers from strangers for people in need, and rote prayers are the stock-in-trade of most pastors, priests, etc. who formally invoke the same prayers day after day, service after service. However, I want to tie up all loose ends, so I will be praying for someone I personally know, using the prompts from the site above to guide my spontaneous words to god on each subject.

As far as other objections- god doesn't care to be known, etc.- well, there is nothing I can do about that, except to say this- if I note any real, perceptible change in my husband after 31 days of prayer, I will gladly- and willingly- practice Christian faith from that time forward. Surely, god would wish to return this "prodigal daughter" to the fold.

So stay tuned. I'll be posting updates here about the experiment.


ChristineRose said...

Hmm. Found you on Thunderdome. You don't state what behaviors (presumably because you are blinding) you're aiming for, but I can see how this will come out.

The believers will say something like "But hubby thought very seriously about it before he popped that second root beer." Or they'll say "Prayer changed you! Then there's the old standby, "You wouldn't actually have converted anyhow."