Healing and the Power of Faith

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Healing and the Power of Faith

"And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." Matthew 9:20-22 KJV 

Can an individual's faith really lead to healing? The unbeliever says "no." But the scientific evidence says otherwise. Clinical studies have demonstrated that positive belief can lead to healing. It's called the placebo effect. IOW, if you believe a treatment will work, then it is more likely to actually work. Conversely, negative belief or skepticism can lead to harmful effects. This is known as the nocebo effect. Both the placebo effect and the nocebo effect are well known in medicine.

The placebo (typically a sugar pill) has proven successful in a variety of illnesses or disorders - especially in managing pain, treating ulcers and clinical depression.

Quote:
Placebo analgesia is more likely to work the more severe the pain[122] It can be effective: one study found for postoperative pain following the extraction of the third molar, that a saline injected while telling the patient it was a powerful painkiller was as potent as a 6–8 mg dose of morphine.[123]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#cite_note-130

The placebo proved to be almost as effective as the drug "cimetidine" in treating gastric or duodenal ulcers.

Quote:
A meta-study of 31 placebo-controlled trials of the gastric acid secretion inhibitor drug Cimetidine in the treatment of gastric or duodenal ulcers found that placebo treatments, in many cases, were as effective as active drugs: of the 1692 patients treated in the 31 trials, 76% of the 916 treated with the drug were "healed", and 48% of the 776 treated with placebo were "healed".[132]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#cite_note-Moerman_book-131

The placebo accounts for 75% of the causal efficacy of anti-depressant medication.

Quote:
A meta-analysis in 1998 found that 75% of the effectiveness of anti-depressant medication is due to the placebo-effect rather than the treatment itself.[128]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#cite_note-130

This is not a small thing. The anti-depressant drug business is a huge, multi-billion dollar industry. The costs to the healthcare system are staggering.

The bottom line is that faith heals and I have just provided you with the scientific evidence to prove it.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Equivocation much?Ok! So

Equivocation much?

Ok! So positive feelings towards recovery leads to recovery (to certain degrees), but this is not the faith in a magical deity.

 

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The physical brain and the

The physical brain and the physical body do wonderful things together.

Why do you feel the need to add a sky-daddy?

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It could also be because

It could also be because people are overly medicated as well. It is undeniable that some people do need these things, after all.

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Paisley wrote:The bottom

Paisley wrote:

The bottom line is that faith heals and I have just provided you with the scientific evidence to prove it.

 

Sure, if you want define faith as "The patient believing the treatment will help can have a positive influence". You'll also notice those examples were rather lame, and things the body is capable of combatting on its own. Come back when Jesus starts regrowing amputated limbs. Or does his infinite power stop there?


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Manageri wrote:Paisley

Manageri wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The bottom line is that faith heals and I have just provided you with the scientific evidence to prove it.

 

Sure, if you want define faith as "The patient believing the treatment will help can have a positive influence". You'll also notice those examples were rather lame, and things the body is capable of combatting on its own. Come back when Jesus starts regrowing amputated limbs. Or does his infinite power stop there?

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Paisley wrote:.... Wow

Paisley wrote:
....

 

Wow Paisley! You're right! Faith healing is the placebo effect!

 

You really aren't any better off praying to sweet baby jesus than taking a sugar pill!

 

What a relief!


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theotherguy wrote:You really

theotherguy wrote:

You really aren't any better off praying to sweet baby jesus than taking a sugar pill!

 

Agreed, but I think Paisley wants you to take his acknowledgement of that as given and consider whether the placebo effect of itself is extraordinary.

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:3

Paisley didn't think his clever plan all the way through.


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Manageri wrote:Paisley

Manageri wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The bottom line is that faith heals and I have just provided you with the scientific evidence to prove it.

 

Sure, if you want define faith as "The patient believing the treatment will help can have a positive influence".

You can define it as an example of faith applied in a real world situation, yes. The patient has trust in the efficacy of medicine but is blind to the medicinal properties of what they are taking. They have no evidence that the pill is medicinal, they have blind faith that it is.

What's interesting here, I think, is that any given patient is most likely aware of the evidence that medicine works, and given that the placebo effect is seen to occur with more frequency where the patient is properly convinced that they are receiving actual medicine, it seems that the placebo effect is brought on by a hidden disjoint of evidence and faith, not by the faith alone.

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Holy shit, Paisley. You

Holy shit, Paisley. You can't be serious, right?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Yeah. It's a real shame that

Yeah. It's a real shame that the 'placebo effect' is only ever effectual when it comes to psychological, rather than physical, effects on the body.

If you care to contest the matter, I propose the following double blind trial:

Take nine bullet proof kevlar vests, and one vest that looks and feels identical to the rest but is full of only cotton and lead weights. Having them all randomly mixed together, wear each one and have someone fire a low calibre round into your gut. See what your 'placebo effect' does for you then.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

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"Think positive" That might

"Think positive"

That might be a warm fuzzy feeling, but it does not equate to always being right. Alot of bad guesses to the nature of reality were the result of "thinking positive".

Dawkins describes this quite well in the God Delusion as being a evolutionary side effect and described it just like a moth mistaking a lightbulb for natural moonlight. I am sure the moth is "thinking positive" that the lightbulb is the moon, and might induce some physiological comfort, but that would not erase the real danger of nature. How many dead moths and nagts fly into the bug zapper because they are fooled by the REAL bate.

God belief, no matter what false "good feelings" might produce electro-chemical reactions in the brain, does not equate to magical beings. The reality is that wanting something to be real "dreaming", is merely a coping mechinism, but also one that is self indused. Kids get a positive feeling believing that Santa brings them presents, that false belief may produce real feelings, but that does not mean that Santa is real. It merely means that they get positive emotions out of beliefing false things.

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FreeHugMachine

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Equivocation much?

Ok! So positive feelings towards recovery leads to recovery (to certain degrees), but this is not the faith in a magical deity.

I said that if you believe that a pill or treatment (even though it's a sham) will work, then the scientific evidence shows that it is more likely to work.  Faith has the power to heal. That's a fact.

Also, I never said that it was faith in a  deity. So, where's the equivocation?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:FreeHugMachine

Paisley wrote:

FreeHugMachine wrote:
Equivocation much?

Ok! So positive feelings towards recovery leads to recovery (to certain degrees), but this is not the faith in a magical deity.

I said that if you believe that a pill or treatment (even though it's a sham) will work, then the scientific evidence shows that it is more likely to work.  Faith has the power to heal. That's a fact.

Also, I never said that it was faith in a  deity. So, where's the equivocation?

Wow - physical changes in the brain cause physical changes in the body. Faith is just as much of an emergent property as consciousness. You have to have faith in something just like you have to be consious of something. They don't have separate existance from the physical.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Paisley wrote:I said that if

Paisley wrote:
I said that if you believe that a pill or treatment (even though it's a sham) will work, then the scientific evidence shows that it is more likely to work.  Faith has the power to heal. That's a fact.

Haha -- yes, Paisley, the placebo effect works. Here, you're making an argument for the body healing itself by its own convictions, which is more of a testament to the amazing power of the brain in the body than anything else.

The brain is, indeed, a powerful and influential organ in the body.

You'll note, though, that in your examples, people are having faith in physical treatments (pills) or physical people. That wouldn't be the same as faith in something that had no effect on the physical.

For instance, even if the "healing magic" of a voodoo doctor isn't real, the social presence of that doctor is. Having faith in a physical object to heal makes sense psychologically.

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crazymonkie wrote:It could

crazymonkie wrote:
It could also be because people are overly medicated as well. It is undeniable that some people do need these things, after all.

What scientific evidence do you have that invalidates the placebo effect? Or, are you just driving by and making your off-the-cuff comments?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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jcgadfly wrote:The physical

jcgadfly wrote:
The physical brain and the physical body do wonderful things together.

Why do you feel the need to add a sky-daddy?

I happy to see that you concur that faith heals.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
The physical brain and the physical body do wonderful things together.

Why do you feel the need to add a sky-daddy?

I happy to see that you concur that faith heals.

Yep - the physical processes that are perceived as faith have an effect on the body.

Still no need to invoke a god or gods.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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 I've got to dig up a study

 I've got to dig up a study I read recently that indicated something rather remarkable -- in a very small percentage of cases, it appears that the placebo effect works even when the patient doesn't believe it will work!  That is, some patients did not believe that the real medicine would work, and the placebo still worked.

I don't know what people find so extraordinary about the placebo effect.  It's just a fancy way of saying that our mood (a reflection of our beliefs) is a product of the same chemicals naturally released by the brain that improve our self-healing mechanisms' effectiveness.

So what?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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:>

The placebo effect works because of the power of will. People can be convinced they are in horrible pain, and suffer from it, or convinced themselves they are not in pain and numb it mentally. The body can release natural painkillers, just usually not a large amount.

 

Yes, if you give someone a pill and tell them it makes them feel better, then ask them how they feel after they take it they will probably say they will feel better.

 

So, willpower is the placebo effect.

 

It doesn't prove faith healing though, if anything it just shows that faith healing is the same as taking sugar pills, which does nothing.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Manageri wrote:Paisley

Manageri wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The bottom line is that faith heals and I have just provided you with the scientific evidence to prove it.

Sure, if you want define faith as "The patient believing the treatment will help can have a positive influence".

The "patient believing the treatment will help" most definitely implies faith. In fact, I would argue that this even qualifies as the atheistic definition of faith - namely, "belief without sufficient evidence." 

Manageri wrote:
You'll also notice those examples were rather lame, and things the body is capable of combatting on its own.

Why are the examples lame?

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:3

Are you saying that faith healing is human willpower then? Willing yourself better so much you feel better?

 

 

I'm confused exactly as to what point you are trying to make.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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 Goddammit, Paisley.  You

 Goddammit, Paisley.  You are the most aggravating theist since StMichael, and that's saying a damn lot.  Words have meaning, Paisley.  If you ignore the meaning of the words, then what you say is useless.

Faith, defined as "belief despite evidence to the contrary and/or total lack of evidence in the affirmative" is not what a patient has when he takes a sugar pill.  Doctors are people whose job it is to cure disease.  If a doctor says, "I'm giving you this pill because it will cure your disease," then the patient has EVIDENCE that the pill will work.  His belief, while false in the strictest sense, is founded on evidence.  

Faith, defined as "belief without sufficient evidence" is useless in a discussion about religion vs atheism.  "Sufficient" is just a lame attempt to give yourself wiggle room to justify anything you damn well want by shifting the goalposts of "sufficiency."

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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ClockCat wrote:Are you

ClockCat wrote:

Are you saying that faith healing is human willpower then? Willing yourself better so much you feel better?

 

 

I'm confused exactly as to what point you are trying to make.

I think he's trying to establish the placebo effect as an example of something nonphysical (what he calls faith) affecting the physical.

You know - forget all that brain chemistry stuff - it's all magic.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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:3

jcgadfly wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

Are you saying that faith healing is human willpower then? Willing yourself better so much you feel better?

 

 

I'm confused exactly as to what point you are trying to make.

I think he's trying to establish the placebo effect as an example of something nonphysical (what he calls faith) affecting the physical.

You know - forget all that brain chemistry stuff - it's all magic.

 

 

 

Hahahah. You are joking, right?

 

 

 

...Right?

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:jcgadfly

ClockCat wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

Are you saying that faith healing is human willpower then? Willing yourself better so much you feel better?

 

 

I'm confused exactly as to what point you are trying to make.

I think he's trying to establish the placebo effect as an example of something nonphysical (what he calls faith) affecting the physical.

You know - forget all that brain chemistry stuff - it's all magic.

 

 

 

Hahahah. You are joking, right?

 

 

 

...Right?

Would that I were. Paisley's as serious as a heart attack on this one.

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theotherguy wrote:Wow

theotherguy wrote:
Wow Paisley! You're right! Faith healing is the placebo effect!

 

You really aren't any better off praying to sweet baby jesus than taking a sugar pill!

 

What a relief!

But you're probably better off taking a sugar pill than zoloft.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Hambydammit wrote:Goddammit,

Hambydammit wrote:
Goddammit, Paisley.  You are the most aggravating theist since StMichael, and that's saying a damn lot.

Ouch. I remember him. He was very fluid in... everything. This could all be settled when we give Kevin's double blind test a try.


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HisWillness wrote:Paisley

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I said that if you believe that a pill or treatment (even though it's a sham) will work, then the scientific evidence shows that it is more likely to work.  Faith has the power to heal. That's a fact.

Haha -- yes, Paisley, the placebo effect works. Here, you're making an argument for the body healing itself by its own convictions, which is more of a testament to the amazing power of the brain in the body than anything else.

The brain is, indeed, a powerful and influential organ in the body.

It's a testament to the power of faith and mind over matter.

HisWillness wrote:
You'll note, though, that in your examples, people are having faith in physical treatments (pills) or physical people. That wouldn't be the same as faith in something that had no effect on the physical.

For instance, even if the "healing magic" of a voodoo doctor isn't real, the social presence of that doctor is. Having faith in a physical object to heal makes sense psychologically.

Agreed. The physical presence of Jesus and the hem of his garment played a pivotal role in eliciting the woman's faith (i.e. the healing magic) and her subsequent healing. :rolls eyes:

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:The "patient

Paisley wrote:
The "patient believing the treatment will help" most definitely implies faith. In fact, I would argue that this even qualifies as the atheistic definition of faith - namely, "belief without sufficient evidence."

Okay. The patient believes the treatment will help without sufficient evidence" would be an accurate statement.

So the patient has faith in being treated, regardless of the treatment? I don't know if the word can be bent that far, but if you think so, it's fine with me.

The placebo effect is also kind of weak. As Manageri wrote, the examples are a bit lame. They're not exactly life-threatening illnesses, for which faith (or the placebo effect) would be of little help.

Often in the case of "fibromyalgia", any magical treatment works well, and you're actually dealing with a borderline personality disorder, which feeds off of medical attention and hypochondria. It wouldn't be a surprise to find that people who are suffering from all kinds of problems like that are particularly responsive to the placebo effect.

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:3

That ground you are trying to argue from Paisley?

 

 

It isn't there.


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ClockCat wrote:Paisley

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley didn't think his clever plan all the way through.

That faith heals?


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Paisley wrote:ClockCat

Paisley wrote:

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley didn't think his clever plan all the way through.

That faith heals?

 

Willing yourself better makes you feel better? Yes it can happen. It won't cure you of alzheimers, or revive you from the dead, or anything else though.

 

It's just the placebo effect. Subjective results to subjective situations, not binary ones.

 

You are saying, faith is the same thing as the placebo effect? As taking a sugar pill?

 

 

 

..so you are arguing that faith is worthless. I don't understand the point you are trying to make.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Paisley wrote:It's a

Paisley wrote:
It's a testament to the power of faith and mind over matter.

When I slow my rate of breathing down, it's "mind over matter". When I type, it's "mind over matter". That's just a platitude. Someone's mind affecting her health is nothing new.

Paisley wrote:
The physical presence of Jesus and the hem of his garment played a pivotal role in eliciting the woman's faith (i.e. the healing magic) and her subsequent healing.

When the nurse hands out the pills, is she like Jesus? Your argument points to "yes". In one case, the ritual of taking a pill encourages the placebo effect, and Jesus encouraged the placebo effect by telling someone that they could be healed.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
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HisWillness wrote:Paisley

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:
The "patient believing the treatment will help" most definitely implies faith. In fact, I would argue that this even qualifies as the atheistic definition of faith - namely, "belief without sufficient evidence."

Okay. The patient believes the treatment will help without sufficient evidence" would be an accurate statement.

Good. This is refreshing. At least there is one individual on this forum who has a modicum of intellectual honesty to admit that a point has been made.

HisWillness wrote:
So the patient has faith in being treated, regardless of the treatment? I don't know if the word can be bent that far, but if you think so, it's fine with me.

This is the very context in which Jesus used the word: "Your faith has made you whole." Also, Jesus said, "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." (Matthew 9:12 KJV) So, the "patient" and "physician" metaphors or roles are quite apt.
 

HisWillness wrote:
The placebo effect is also kind of weak. As Manageri wrote, the examples are a bit lame. They're not exactly life-threatening illnesses, for which faith (or the placebo effect) would be of little help.

Asthma, Crohn's disease,  congestive heart failure, Herpes simplex, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, rheumatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, and depression are all serious diseases and potentially life-threatening. And all are listed as conditions that have responded to the placebo effect.^1

1 (source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo

HisWillness wrote:
Often in the case of "fibromyalgia", any magical treatment works well, and you're actually dealing with a borderline personality disorder, which feeds off of medical attention and hypochondria. It wouldn't be a surprise to find that people who are suffering from all kinds of problems like that are particularly responsive to the placebo effect.

This is getting off-topic because I never mentioned fibromyalgia. That being said, I think you are simply revealing your ignorance. Fibromyalgia as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are debilitating illnesses and are recognized by the CDC in Atlanta and the Socical Security Administration as such. It is common in medical practice (as well as in any other business) to downplay a problem that no one wants to deal with.

However, this brings up an interesting point. What you're really saying is that fibromyalgia is just a psychosomatic illness - "It's all in their mind." This displays a not-so-subtle tacit admission to dualism. Moreover, this is the whole point: Beliefs can really effect one's health (for the better or worse). It's not an illusion.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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If faith is god's version of

If faith is god's version of a placebo, why do you need it?

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Paisley, you have convinced me that faith is worthless.

 

 

Good job!


Paisley
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ClockCat wrote:Paisley

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley wrote:
That faith heals?
 

Willing yourself better makes you feel better? Yes it can happen. It won't cure you of alzheimers, or revive you from the dead, or anything else though.

It's just the placebo effect. Subjective results to subjective situations, not binary ones.

You're confused. It's a subjective cause that results in an objective effect. For example, scientists can measure the release of dopamine in the brain caused by the placebo effect.

ClockCat wrote:
You are saying, faith is the same thing as the placebo effect? As taking a sugar pill?

I'm saying that faith heals and this has been scientifically established by the placebo effect. 

ClockCat wrote:
..so you are arguing that faith is worthless. I don't understand the point you are trying to make.

I can see that "simplicity" is a difficult concept for you to grasp. Faith is not worthless; it has proven itself effective in healing. What aren't you getting?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley discusses that people believing in lies told to them make them feel better.

 

 

More on this after the break.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Paisley wrote:ClockCat

Paisley wrote:

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley wrote:
That faith heals?
 

Willing yourself better makes you feel better? Yes it can happen. It won't cure you of alzheimers, or revive you from the dead, or anything else though.

It's just the placebo effect. Subjective results to subjective situations, not binary ones.

You're confused. It's a subjective cause that results in an objective effect. For example, scientists can measure the release of dopamine in the brain caused by the placebo effect.

ClockCat wrote:
You are saying, faith is the same thing as the placebo effect? As taking a sugar pill?

I'm saying that faith heals and this has been scientifically established by the placebo effect. 

ClockCat wrote:
..so you are arguing that faith is worthless. I don't understand the point you are trying to make.

I can see that "simplicity" is a difficult concept for you to grasp. Faith is not worthless; it has proven itself effective in healing. What aren't you getting?

Thank you for agreeing that faith has physical origins - care to do the same for consciousness?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ClockCat
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Paisley wrote:

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley wrote:
That faith heals?
 

Willing yourself better makes you feel better? Yes it can happen. It won't cure you of alzheimers, or revive you from the dead, or anything else though.

It's just the placebo effect. Subjective results to subjective situations, not binary ones.

You're confused. It's a subjective cause that results in an objective effect. For example, scientists can measure the release of dopamine in the brain caused by the placebo effect.

Oh, okay. And I know some ways to release dopamine in my brain too. Whether it's sex, eating, taking risks, achieving goals, or drinking water, all increase dopamine. Your point is?

Paisley wrote:
ClockCat wrote:
You are saying, faith is the same thing as the placebo effect? As taking a sugar pill?

I'm saying that faith heals and this has been scientifically established by the placebo effect.

So, you are saying faith is believing in a lie told to you, to make you feel better?

Paisley wrote:
ClockCat wrote:
..so you are arguing that faith is worthless. I don't understand the point you are trying to make.

I can see that "simplicity" is a difficult concept for you to grasp. Faith is not worthless; it has proven itself effective in healing. What aren't you getting?

 

If it is a placebo, then it is worthless. Placebos do nothing. That is the whole point, the body is responding because you think it is doing something. What aren't you getting?

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Can't really argue with the

Can't really argue with the idea of religious faith as a placebo.


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Paisley does make a good point though. Faith sure is useless. Just like a placebo.

 

 

Accept the lie to feel better! Faith SURE IS WORKING.

 

 

It both

1. Does nothing

and

2. Makes people feel better about themselves by creating a fictional world for themselves in their minds where they are cared about by an invisible thing, because they feel lonely an inept in the world. They are SPECIAL to this invisible being.

 

 

 

 

Oh, and

3. Kills people that try and use faith healing instead of conventional medicine for serious illnesses.

 

 

 

 

 

:3

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Here is a recent success story for you Paisley!

 

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=6436872&page=1

 

 

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Paisley
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Eloise wrote:What's

Eloise wrote:
What's interesting here, I think, is that any given patient is most likely aware of the evidence that medicine works, and given that the placebo effect is seen to occur with more frequency where the patient is properly convinced that they are receiving actual medicine, it seems that the placebo effect is brought on by a hidden disjoint of evidence and faith, not by the faith alone.

This depends on how you define faith. The atheist is wont to define faith as "belief with no evidence." But this begs the question: How is it possible to have a belief without any evidence?

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:Eloise

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
What's interesting here, I think, is that any given patient is most likely aware of the evidence that medicine works, and given that the placebo effect is seen to occur with more frequency where the patient is properly convinced that they are receiving actual medicine, it seems that the placebo effect is brought on by a hidden disjoint of evidence and faith, not by the faith alone.

This depends on how you define faith. The atheist is wont to define faith as "belief with no evidence." But this begs the question: How is it possible to have a belief without any evidence?

Yes, people need a reason to believe, but that reason doesn't have to be direct rational appraisal of evidence.

Statements from people the individual regards as authority figures who they trust are a very important reason for belief. It can be argued that the fact that someone who one believes is trustworthy believes something constitutes 'evidence' in itself, but that just means that belief needs only very weak evidence, especially if there are emotional factors involved.

Little or no evidence is required if a suggestion accords very well with the person's intuitive reaction, and intuitions can be completely misleading.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Paisley wrote:

How is it possible to have a belief without any evidence?

 

 

How about being told that if you don't believe you will be tortured for eternity, and everyone around you believes it already?

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:Here is a

ClockCat wrote:

Here is a recent success story for you Paisley!

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=6436872&page=1

The infantile and immature need not apply here. I suggest you find another thread to hijack.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead