Connect and Conquer
Connect and Conquer
Thought Experiment - Testing God

[00:00:00] Cameron Watson: Alright. So, 

[00:00:02] Hyatt Watson: I have a thought experiment for you. Okay. Um, we were talking about this, me and some friends were talking about the idea of prayer. If you set up your own experiment where you asked, uh, a bunch of people to pray for one hospital and not the other hospital. Um, would you see an increase in statistical, um,

[00:00:37] Hyatt Watson: maybe not success, but, uh, positive outcomes? Yeah, outcome in the hospital that you have big group of people praying for. Um, because you, you are doing it for not, not moral reasons. Right. Right. But the people who you You have asked to pray are doing it with a sincere heart. So would you see a difference between two hospitals if one hospital is receiving lots of prayers and the other one isn’t?

[00:01:14] Hyatt Watson: And would, would those prayers be answered because of the intent of the prayers? 

[00:01:21] Cameron Watson: The people praying as opposed to you who set it up. That is interesting. You know, wow. I like this one because this is very similar to the Ryan, Ryan Hamilton happy face bit where he’s talking about the guy who prays individually for each member of his sports team.

[00:01:41] Cameron Watson: Oh yeah. He’s like, Oh, Oh, that’s just such a classic bit. So let’s, uh, Let’s apply logic to God and to prayer, assuming that our faith is actually spot on and we don’t misunderstand anything. Okay, which is not the case. It is not the case, but just on, like, if, if prayer, prayers get answered and God can be swayed, and I say swayed, but we have scriptural examples of where Abraham bargained or But what if there were only 10?

[00:02:22] Cameron Watson: Right? Yeah, talking about protecting the city. So we know that there’s a, there, there’s some back and forth. So, wow. My instinct says that there could be a statistical increase, but it feels so wrong. 

[00:02:40] Hyatt Watson: It does feel wrong. Moral. Yeah. It feels immoral to, to 

[00:02:45] Cameron Watson: set 


[00:02:45] Hyatt Watson: the experiment. Exactly. Which is why it’s hard to know because you have.

[00:02:52] Hyatt Watson: to compromise your values in order to figure it out. But it’s such an interesting idea because the power of prayer is something I have a testimony of. I think, I think that if a bunch of people prayed for the same hospital, for one hospital and not the other, there would be a difference. You would see numbers change.

[00:03:20] Cameron Watson: Yeah, um, I think that’s true. And scientific people, those who um, are like looking for the underlying cause of God, which I know that that’s not what they’re mentally trying to do, but that’s kind of what science does in my mind, is look for the ways in which God acts. I betcha they could, they would say that the increase in prayer created an increase of awareness that could have caused more people to visit, that those visits, uh, social has such a.

[00:03:53] Cameron Watson: positive impact on the healing process. You know, I could see all of those things happen. It would be interesting to see, to set it up and see testing. God is just so risky. The only place we’re asked to test him on is with tithing. You know, it says prove me prove and pay tithe and then see what happens.

[00:04:16] Cameron Watson: But, um, man, I want to say yeah. And then do it just, you know, just to say, yeah, let’s, It’s not, not really do it, but to have it be a real thing. But every time I go down that path, it, it’s so wrong. It’s impossible. It’s blasphemous. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:04:34] Hyatt Watson: But that’s why it stays. That’s why it stays as a thought experiment.

[00:04:38] Hyatt Watson: Yeah. 

[00:04:39] Cameron Watson: So what, um, what would some of the positive outcomes look like, do you think? 

[00:04:44] Hyatt Watson: Well, it wouldn’t just apply to each patient and their health, I think, you know, because it’s, In the same way you were talking about how scientists try to figure out the underlying things that God is, has his hand in, um, where it’s like, it’s not, not necessarily going to be a miracle that is granted, but a, you know, People receive revelation, maybe, on, you know, maybe somebody is prompted to donate to the hospital.

[00:05:27] Hyatt Watson: Yeah. Um, maybe there’s some extraordinarily fortunate, you know, um, thing where the hospital was able to, to, um, acquire some medical equipment that they, you know, had been trying to, to get, or… Uh, they have a few surgeons come on who, uh, they needed more surgeons, you know? Like, there’s, there’s all kinds of blessings that are, you know, inside.

[00:06:00] Hyatt Watson: And then there’s the general comfort of patients. And when you’re in crisis or when you’re in the hospital, comfort is a huge deal and feeling the comfort of the Holy Ghost. 

[00:06:14] Cameron Watson: Yeah, that makes sense. So, can we talk about why it’s wrong? Sure, yeah. Cause that, I think that might be even more interesting, why it feels so wrong to set up an experiment to essentially put God on trial.

[00:06:32] Cameron Watson: Yeah. 

[00:06:33] Hyatt Watson: Hmm. Well, the

[00:06:34] Cameron Watson: whole purpose of us being down here is to… Learn how to be agents unto ourselves and become more like God, and to exercise faith, have that faith turn into, uh, testimony, or so, so you get, you got faith, turns into action, action proves the faith over time, or.

[00:06:58] Cameron Watson: And then you get to a point where you no longer have, you know, it’s not faith anymore. You have a knowledge, right? Like, I know my life is better with Sarah. I had faith when I asked her to marry me that my life would be better. Well, now I have all this evidence, so it’s not a, um, faith anymore. So in, in doing that experiment, it’s not going to increase faith.

[00:07:23] Cameron Watson: Yeah, 

[00:07:24] Hyatt Watson: because you’re not, you’re not, um, Hmm. Is that true? 

[00:07:30] Cameron Watson: Well, so those who act are acting on faith. Yeah. The evidence you collect, who is that going to go to? It’s going to, is it going to go back to the people who were praying? They would be offended. Mm-hmm. if you, you know, come back to ’em and say, Hey, here are the results of the experiment I didn’t tell you about.

[00:07:51] Cameron Watson: ’cause I needed your faith. Unbiased faith. Yeah. 

[00:07:54] Hyatt Watson: And I guess you but being someone who sets up the experiment, can you have faith that it works? Because if I were to do this experiment, I have faith that. It would help people. 

[00:08:08] Cameron Watson: So would it, so, okay. So for you setting it up, you, you have an expectation and see, this is where that first premise of the assumption that we understand God comes into play.

[00:08:22] Cameron Watson: Cause when I was a kid, I, I used to do tests to God. I used to look at, I remembered so clearly looking at an orange across the table and making a little statement in my head saying, you know what? If God exists, that orange is gonna come to my hand. And then I just kept waiting for it to come to my hand because I knew God existed.

[00:08:50] Cameron Watson: Yeah. And it didn’t happen. I was like, huh. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I wonder why it didn’t work. It never occurred to me that, Oh, God doesn’t exist. It was just assumed that God did exist. And in my little kid mind, that orange should have floated to my hand. And I just kept waiting for it to do it. Yeah. And that’s kind of,

[00:09:12] Cameron Watson: Yeah, it’s, it’s different though, because the principle of prayer working, that’s a Nowhere in scripture does it say you can make an orange float to your hand, but you can move a mountain with the faith of a mustard seed, right? So, oh, this is a good one. And you guys came up with this when? 

[00:09:33] Hyatt Watson: Uh, mutual on Wednesday.

[00:09:35] Hyatt Watson: Okay. 

[00:09:36] Cameron Watson: Huh.

[00:09:37] Cameron Watson: Yeah. I would like to hear what other people think on it. Cause I think, I think overall, If you, if you, there are times where we call from the congregations of our nation, uh, regardless of religion, base, you know, what, what sect do you belong to? We call, uh, everybody will pray for something like for one thing.

[00:10:04] Cameron Watson: And I truly believe that that has a huge impact. Yeah. I, I mean, here in Boise, we, we’ve prayed for a relief of a drought. And I remember that coming and that, that one was like, wow, that was a, that was a quick one. You know, we didn’t have to wait very long. And then other times I remember praying for relief of a drought when I was growing up and it took a long time.

[00:10:32] Cameron Watson: Yeah. But that might have just been my impatient little kid self. So, here’s the problem. When you’re trying to use a trial of faith as a measurement, you have to wait until you die. And you get to the judgment bar and you can find out all the stuff to know if you were right or not. 

[00:10:54] Hyatt Watson: Yeah, because we don’t understand.

[00:10:56] Hyatt Watson: We can’t even come close. And the answer would be so much harder to, you, you wouldn’t be able to pick apart any, any of the results, any of the outcome of this experiment because God works in such a way. I think some prayers would be answered. I think some People’s faith and their faith is strong and is not going to be discounted completely based on the fact that another person has ill intentions or immoral intentions because if, you know, 

[00:11:36] Cameron Watson: that, you know, that

[00:11:37] Cameron Watson: they’re really yucky. But they’ve, they’ve collected or attracted a huge congregation and those, those members of that congregation have, as a whole, have done a good work. And yet, you know, and I’m not going to go into specifics because I think you can find them in every single religion and that’s just not fair to pick out one or two, but we’ll say a leader, I’ll make it as generic as possible, a leader of a group.

[00:12:07] Cameron Watson: Of Religionists ha does something immoral and lives an immoral life while calling upon others to do the right thing and to do, and to lead out in the community and pray and to do good things. Yeah, I don’t think the fact that he’s the leader. Discounts the good work that the individuals who participated in his invitation did.

[00:12:37] Cameron Watson: I don’t think that’s a thing. Because God doesn’t, he’s not a,

[00:12:42] Cameron Watson: If we’re, yeah, see I hate trying to speak for God. Yeah. I don’t want to, but. 

[00:12:48] Hyatt Watson: Can’t, can’t go there, but. Yeah. We, we still have to. We will have consequences. Yeah. If we run that experiment, you know, or if somebody ran that experiment, they are gonna have the consequences of their actions. Yeah. And those consequences…

[00:13:09] Hyatt Watson: Again, we don’t understand God, so we don’t know what that looks like, but you know, there are, you could imagine, you know, maybe, maybe you’re struck dumb in the way that you can’t even, you can’t even get the results, you know, like things happen so that you can’t get the results of your experiment or, you know, things like that.

[00:13:35] Hyatt Watson: Yeah, it’s, it’s hard. You can’t, you can’t speak for God. So, but it is an interesting, very interesting inquiry. 

[00:13:47] Cameron Watson: And, you know, I have friends who like, they’ll send me articles where it’s like, um, proof of the flood. From the Bible and I don’t read it because I don’t, I don’t need scientific proof for my faith.

[00:14:05] Cameron Watson: That’s kind of goes against faith, you know, and then I also have, uh, we have some relatives actually extraordinarily smart. One teaches biology. And, uh, I had a conversation with her a decade or so ago about the relationship between science and faith. And at the time, she said something to the effect of, well, there is no conflict because one is faith and one is knowledge.

[00:14:37] Cameron Watson: And I was like, oh, that’s interesting. And then I pushed back and I said, but doesn’t a scientist have to have faith? In order to act. And she, she was absolutist, like, nope, a scientist does not need faith in order to act and to inquire and to have hypotheses. But I was like, well, why would they, why would they act if they didn’t think they could gain more understanding?

[00:15:04] Cameron Watson: You know, isn’t that faith in their ability to learn? And, you know, it came down to semantics, I think. I, I, uh, I don’t have a problem with not, I, I like science. I love the, the mysteries of the universe, if you will. And I do know that

[00:15:25] Cameron Watson: my understanding of both science and God is limited. So I, I’m not an absolutist at all, except for this statement that I absolutely believe that there’s a God. Yeah. So, that’s, that’s the foundation that I start off with, and I believe God wants us to understand his creations. So I believe that we can gain more insight and knowledge, and I don’t think it’s wrong to think about.

[00:15:59] Cameron Watson: Um, and to figure out how his creations work and I think of our prophet, um, and the work he did with hearts, you know, back then they didn’t do, they, they didn’t have a way to keep the body having, they used to believe that if you touch the heart, it would stop working. 

[00:16:21] Hyatt Watson: Yeah. 

[00:16:23] Cameron Watson: So. Cool. Cool. What, what a blessing to keep striving for more light and knowledge.

[00:16:30] Hyatt Watson: Yeah.

[00:16:31] Cameron Watson: Okay. I’ve got. Go ahead. I’ve got 

[00:16:33] Hyatt Watson: another unrelated, uh, thing and I don’t know where it will go, but I found it. Very interesting and also hilarious. And then I gotta go. Alright. So, Emily asked me the other day, out of nowhere, we’re just sitting on the couch, and she goes, How often do you think about the Roman Empire?

[00:16:57] Hyatt Watson: And, and I sat there, and I, immediately delved into my mind. And I went, Okay, that’s one. That’s two last week. That’s another two. And I said,

[00:17:11] Hyatt Watson: Well, maybe once a week? But then some weeks I’ll think about it twice, and some weeks I won’t think about it at all. So, I eventually came to the outcome that I think about the Roman Empire on average about five times a month. And I said, I finally got to five times a month, and she goes, That is insane! I never think about the Roman Empire!

[00:17:39] Hyatt Watson: And apparently she had seen this video of a girl saying All men think about the Roman Empire, and, and women don’t, and so I was like, Do you think about the Roman Empire? And she says no. And… 

[00:17:55] Cameron Watson: I betcha she does, and she just doesn’t realize she is. 

[00:17:58] Hyatt Watson: Well, here’s the thing. She then asked me… She then said, Well, what do girls think about?

[00:18:05] Hyatt Watson: The Victorian Era. And… Then I was like, yeah, but I think about the Victorian era all the time, even more than I think about the Roman Empire. And then she’s asking, why do I think about the Roman Empire? And that’s, that’s very interesting. So I texted Calem and I said, how often do you think about the Roman Empire?

[00:18:26] Hyatt Watson: And he said, times a week. Yeah. And, and I think he thinks about it more than I do, but me and Caleb have brought up the Roman empire multiple times in our just personal discussions. Cause we like to go, we like to do thought experiments and there’s a lot of things to learn from history. And the Romans did a lot of, um, Did a lot of things that we’re able to reference and compare to, you know, modern day.

[00:18:58] Hyatt Watson: Yeah. And, and so he responded and he said, how does it make you feel? And so I thought for a minute and after about a minute, I texted. I’m stronger and smarter because that’s how it makes me feel when I think about the Roman Empire. I’m stronger and smarter than them, which is interesting because I have, I have more knowledge.

[00:19:21] Hyatt Watson: I know more. I can reference history and I, I said, and he says, me too. Why? And and so I’m thinking why do we think about the Roman Empire and why does it make us feel Stronger and smarter and I also want to know your opinion. How often do you think about the Roman Empire? A lot. 

[00:19:42] Cameron Watson: Yep, and the funny thing is The, when you ask, so the last thing I just thought about and it probably a good, good two hours worth of thought on this one thing.

[00:19:57] Cameron Watson: And it was the fact that Roman numerals, there’s no symbol for zero. So I kept trying to figure out how could they even do math because there’s no representation of zero. How do you, how do you represent nothing? And then that got me thinking about, it is, it’s so foreign to me. How can I, how I could, what is going to happen in another period of time that everyone’s like, well, how could they possibly do X when they didn’t have this simple concept?

[00:20:33] Hyatt Watson: So, yeah, in the future, we, we’ve overlooked something so large, just like the Romans overthought over. No zero. Yeah. Oh, that’s interesting. And so you, you just very recently thought of the Roman Empire. 

[00:20:51] Cameron Watson: Thursday, I had a good two hours of just trying to figure out how they could do, like when they say. Well, I had Roman numeral four sheep, and I sold two, ate one, and I can’t find the other one, so I have, ah, I have wet sheep.

[00:21:17] Cameron Watson: How do, they couldn’t denote zero. So how do they send, how do they communicate that written? You know 

[00:21:26] Hyatt Watson: they say how many you have and that one is gone, so it’s it’s just They basically just do the math. You just have to say, minus one. It’s, it’s, 

[00:21:40] Cameron Watson: Hmm. So, you would do like, Roman numeral one, minus one? You know?

[00:21:47] Cameron Watson: But, I don’t know their, I don’t know how their, their math, right? That’s, 

[00:21:51] Hyatt Watson: that’s hilarious. 

[00:21:53] Cameron Watson: In… In programming, we have a concept, uh, called null, N U L L, where we just say it’s undeclared. Yeah, it’s not zero. We’re saying we haven’t we haven’t assigned a value Yeah, it could have one. It could also not have one and it’s just null.

[00:22:13] Cameron Watson: Mm hmm And that’s that’s as close as I could get with modern 

[00:22:19] Hyatt Watson: day Roman math 

[00:22:20] Cameron Watson: Yeah that they would just have like a null it would just be I have null sheep I have undeclared There’s no Roman numerals of sheep. Yeah. 

[00:22:33] Hyatt Watson: Yeah. So, but they functioned. I mean, the Roman Empire was… Yeah, it was like, revolutionary.

[00:22:42] Hyatt Watson: The, 

[00:22:42] Cameron Watson: the aqueducts and their, the cement and the, the empire and how it expanded. I, yeah. Think about it. multiple times a week. Mm hmm. Just, and I, and you know what? I do think everybody thinks about it, they just don’t trace it back to the Romans. Okay, yeah. The Gregorian calendar, you know, I, I know it’s a religious calendar, but, uh, anyway.

[00:23:11] Cameron Watson: The, the months of the year that, you know, Octavius and, Yeah, there’s just, and I, I say Octavius and that’s not right either, but we, we have the roots of words and it’s just all over the place. 

[00:23:28] Hyatt Watson: So, but, but I think maybe that’s not the point. Yeah. I think, I think the idea is that maybe, how often do you realize you’re thinking about the Roman Empire?

[00:23:39] Hyatt Watson: I realize I’m thinking about the Roman Empire average of five times a month. More depending on the 

[00:23:45] Cameron Watson: month. See, I had not ever thought about it until you asked. Yeah. And I had just had that two hours of thought. So, When 

[00:23:55] Hyatt Watson: we brought it up in our last podcast, we talked, we brought up the Romans and how, how, you know, the concept of, uh, taking away others agency by the command of God.

[00:24:12] Hyatt Watson: And, and you said something about the Roman Empire. I forget what it was, but, but that was one of the ones that I counted. And we, we just, it just, it slipped into our conversation. Yeah. And, and so, yeah, so that, that just got me thinking about. The Roman Empire. So, so here’s the next question. How does it make you feel?

[00:24:35] Hyatt Watson: The go, go down to the base kind of emotions, feelings. Okay. Roman Empire, how do you feel? 

[00:24:43] Cameron Watson: So, um, I actually have two emotions. One is kind of a curiosity or, or, uh, fascination, like, Curiosity. And the other one is kind of a contentment. It makes me feel content that I’m where I’m at compared to the Romans.

[00:25:05] Cameron Watson: So I feel it’s almost like, um, well, at least I’m not in the Roman empire. But then again, you know, one of my, okay. So Man, I think about them a lot. Mm hmm. So, uh, my shoes the other day, my, uh, the, I have King’s H2O sandals that I wear. They’re my daily, my daily wear. Yeah. And I was just thinking how similar these are to the Roman sandals.

[00:25:34] Cameron Watson: Oh, yeah. So, that’s funny. And Emily said, why did this come up? 

[00:25:40] Hyatt Watson: Emily saw a video. And then she was like, is that true? So she, so she asked me and she thought I was insane that it was true. And since then we’ve been asking everyone we come across to, you know, find the, find the answer. We’ve, we’ve talked to one guy out of probably five or six guys who didn’t think about the Roman Empire on and.

[00:26:06] Hyatt Watson: Then there’s the Victorian era, which, which, how, compared to the Roman Empire, from what it sounds like, you don’t think about the Victorian era nearly as 

[00:26:17] Cameron Watson: much as the Roman Empire. No, I would probably say hardly at all, unless I’m in a good book. 

[00:26:23] Hyatt Watson: Okay, yeah, that makes sense. And for me, I think about the Victorian era maybe more than I think about the Roman Empire, but that’s because I’m in a position I’m in a relationship with somebody who thinks about the Victorian era and with somebody I’m writing letters to somebody.

[00:26:45] Hyatt Watson: I’m, uh, dancing with somebody on a regular basis and, you know, you think about the big dresses and you think about going to balls and, and you think about Uh, those kinds of relationships back then in the Victorian era. So that’s why, that’s why it comes up for me. Um, and she also said, do you know what the triangle waistcoat shirt factory fire is?

[00:27:16] Hyatt Watson: Do you know 

[00:27:16] Cameron Watson: of that? So where all the people died because they locked in the workers and the cotton goes up really quick? 

[00:27:23] Hyatt Watson: Yeah, something like that. Yeah, I had never heard of it. But that was another one. Emily was like, I’m pretty sure girls think about that all the time. Because she thinks about it. And I was like, I don’t even know what that is.

[00:27:37] Cameron Watson: You should ask her what the most common way a woman would die outside of childbirth was. It’s horrible. Do you know what is it? Well, okay, so this Now that we have the internet, we should probably look this up, but it was that their dresses would catch on fire From trying to cook Wow, so they would get too close to the open flame.

[00:27:59] Cameron Watson: Mm hmm while they’re cooking Yeah, yeah, I hope that’s false. I hope that’s false 

[00:28:06] Hyatt Watson: That’s an interesting maybe Um, 

[00:28:09] Cameron Watson: fact. So I could totally see my, like, you know, some high school, middle school teacher back, you know, 40 years ago, 30 years ago, it was like, tells my brother who then tells me. Yep. And I just believe it because.

[00:28:26] Cameron Watson: You know, snoops wasn’t a thing. And 

[00:28:28] Hyatt Watson: you also want to believe things that are cool. I mean, I guess, I guess it’s not cool, but, but it’s like, Oh, that makes sense. Right. And so, and so you rationalize that and, and then you know, that’s a very interesting fact. So, you know, who knows how many of those, I know I have some interesting facts in my head that I’m like, Oh yeah, believe it or not.

[00:28:55] Hyatt Watson: Such and such, such and such is probably not true. Yeah. Because it’s like, it’s too… 

[00:29:00] Cameron Watson: Interesting. We used to have an entire TV show series dedicated to… Uh, it was called Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Oh yeah, yeah. And that’s funny. Yeah. Thinking about that. That wouldn’t work today because as soon as they would do the premise, someone would break out their phone and go, Nope, not true.

[00:29:22] Cameron Watson: Or, oh yeah, that’s verified. Mm 

[00:29:24] Hyatt Watson: hmm. We used to grab that book. You know, there was the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and the Guinness World Records. Oh yeah. Just elementary school. Grab that book. Sit on the floor and… We gather around as we flip through it and we see the longest toenails and the, you know, believe it or not, there’s, you know, this fact and yeah, it was, it was fun.

[00:29:47] Hyatt Watson: The Ripley’s 

[00:29:48] Cameron Watson: believe it or not. Yeah. Well, that was fun. Hyatt. Thanks for bringing up the Roman empire and testing the premise of prayer on a hospital. Yeah. There one one last thought on the hospital thing a Lot of it could be things that could have happened that then didn’t happen that were bad So, mm hmm, but yeah, I think it can’t be measured in mortality Correctly.

[00:30:19] Cameron Watson: Mm hmm. So, I think we should pray for those that are in need, but I do also believe that we’re supposed to pray specifically. Yeah. 

[00:30:31] Hyatt Watson: So. Yep. But if somebody asked me to pray, will you please ask a special blessing upon St. Al’s? You 

[00:30:40] Cameron Watson: know, for the next period of time, I wouldn’t even ask why I would just be like, Oh, 

[00:30:45] Hyatt Watson: absolutely.

[00:30:46] Hyatt Watson: You know, whatever reasons you have for asking me that I, I will, you know, with specific intent rather than saying, Oh, please bless everyone who’s struggling in the world. So yeah, it is, I think we can say that it’s not moral to test God with that intent. Yeah. But it is interesting. It 

[00:31:11] Cameron Watson: is. Awesome. Thanks, Hyatt.

[00:31:13] Cameron Watson: Yeah, thank you. 

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