Monday, September 16, 2019

price per prayer

All things have a price – and if not, economists will find one. Researchers have calculated the going rate for thoughts and prayers offered in hard times.
This article left me utterly -- and I mean utterly -- flummoxed. What did it mean? What was its point? Why should I care? At what juncture could I find purchase and loll along in the lull of argument? Who thought up the thesis and then, by God, turned it into a "study?"  I desperately want to understand, but just plain don't.

Yes, OK ... I'm an old fart with dwindling capacities but, but, but .... what the fuck is going on?

Is there a cheat sheet that goes with this essay -- something to guide and support me? I'm lost, lost, lost.

Would it help if I asked for prayers... or eschewed them ... or something?

At least "Alice's Restaurant" makes some sense ....

I mean....
I mean .....



  1. LOL!

    Never would have occurred to me to do the study.

    The results are quite meaningful. Christians really put little stock in prayer. However I do think the researchers should have had a larger study with groups with different budgets (Eg $5, $25, $100, $1000). Consider:

    “Prayers from a priest were worth $7.17 to the average Christian in need. Prayers from less exalted Christians were valued at $4.36, while mere thoughts from another Christian were cheaper still at $3.27. The researchers used statistical models to estimate prices people would pay above the $5 they had.”

    I wonder how different groups and religions would respond. I know many Buddhists leaders expect much higher “contributions.” I read that a Rinzai Zen Master said this helps the petitioner. Something like “Expensive medicine is more likely to work.” Atended a Talk by a Chan Nun who claimed Chinese Buddhists can be very generous minimum donations starting in the thousands.

    I once wanted some prayers said by some Tibetan Buddhist Rimpoche located in Nepal and was given an exorbitant (for me) price. I passed on the Rimpoche and got the cheap nuns’s prayer instead. (Didn’t work.)


  2. On a related note, we would be totally stupid to rule out the “Power of Prayer.”

    First we should accept some common sense notions, and it may be necessary to widen our notion of prayer.

    Medical Science has accepted the following as a basic tenant of medicine for about 2,500 years: "The physician must be ready, not only to do his duty himself, but also to secure the co-operation of the patient, of the attendants and of externals." — Hippocrates, The Father of Western Medicine

    We should recognize that some environmental factors are more (or less) conducive to healing
    Kinds of Lighting, sounds (from silence to soothing to energetic), scents, foods, temperature. The emotional state of those around impact healing. As do conditions of security and comfort. .Clearly a loving presence is helpful

    Even apart from nutrition certain foods are conducive to healing.

    While scientists continue trying to discover adequate methodology to determine how to measure the effects of meditation and visualization on healing; there is much anecdotal evidence to consider.

    Second we must take into account the “Placebo Effect”:

    “Fast facts on placebos

    “The placebo effect has been measured in thousands of medical experiments, and many doctors admit to regularly prescribing placebos.

    “Drug companies must show that their new drugs work better than a placebo before the drugs are approved.
    Placebos have been shown to affect a range of health conditions.

    “The color of a tablet can alter the strength of its placebo effect, and larger pills induce a stronger effect than smaller pills.

    “Some believe the self-healing properties of the placebo effect can be explained by evolutionary biology.”