a lot of people - most in my surroundings - believe in the effectiveness of prayertbieter wrote:Dennett thus looks forward to the day in which members of the clergy can be brought to court for teaching, for example, that prayer is efficacious,
however anyone who said 'well i have lots of people praying for me so maybe i dont need as much modern medical intervention' would generally be regarded as a loony
so the implication here is that prayer is only effective as a complement to medical care rather than a replacement
this is different from the claims of say, homeopaths - who actually promote their wortheless crap as a replacement for actual medicine
homeopaths are obvious frauds
but a preacher who says 'well our brother bob is getting the best medicine available but we should also pray for him to further improve his chances' is not committing any obvious fraud unless he charges money for the prayer and promises specific results
you could reasonably argue that what the preacher is saying is vacuous or wrong - but fraudulent?