Healing and the Power of Faith

Paisley
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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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Paisley wrote:Manageri

Paisley wrote:

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."

Faith by who, in what, and with what results. LIke I said, if you're simply claiming that the patient believing he's being given a drug, which for whatever reason then boosts the body's own healing mechanisms, I accept that.

But if you claim that the parents of a child that's been struck by some nasty lethal illness that the body has no chance of curing having faith in Jesus can actually miraculously heal that child, I think you're insane.

So would you stop flipflopping back and forth between definitions of faith and tell us what you mean exactly when you say "faith heals".


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:3

Paisley wrote:

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.

 

 

I have no idea what you mean. I was just showing an example of how well the faith placebo works in healing.

 

 

...That is what this thread is about right?

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Paisley wrote:HisWillness

Paisley wrote:

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

Note that the placebo effect does not "heal" in those cases, the patient simply feels better. The article you cite also suggests that the effect only works on about a third of the population, and there's no way to tell if it will work. I'm not suggesting that the patient feeling better isn't a good thing, but it's not to be compared to healing, especially with neurological disorders like Parkinson's, MS, and depression. With viral infections like herpes, the virus is still there, but the patient may feel better about it. The same could be said for Crohn's.

I mean to say that the placebo effect is great and everything, but to say that it "heals" is a great exaggeration.

 

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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?

 

Funny I define faith as  "Belief in spite of contrary evidence" The definition of faith you attribute to atheists is the Christian definition (the substance of things unknown and the evidence of things unseen).

"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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Kevin R Brown wrote:Yeah.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
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.

The placebo effect has measurable physical effects.

Hopefully the day will soon arrive when you finally dispense with adolescent regressions and display the emotional and intellectual maturity to actually contribute to a discussion. Until then, you will continue to embarrass yourself and your cause.

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


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ClockCat wrote:Paisley

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

I have no idea what you mean. I was just showing an example of how well the faith placebo works in healing. 

...That is what this thread is about right?

I have little patience for juvenile stupidity.

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


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:3

Paisley wrote:

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

I have no idea what you mean. I was just showing an example of how well the faith placebo works in healing. 

...That is what this thread is about right?

I have little patience for juvenile stupidity.

 

 

You would not do well in a world comprised of yourself then.

 

 

The physical effects you are trying to insult Kevin over? They are psychologically driven. That is the whole point of the placebo effect. Sidestepping doesn't help whatever case you are trying to make. You already proved that faith is worthless, and even compared it to a placebo. Let alone faith healing, which I provided ample evidence as to how much THAT helps.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Paisley wrote: But you're

Paisley wrote:

 

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

 

Think so ? Then I invite you to spend a few weeks in the company of a severly depressed person who's just had their pills switched to m&ms. Their faith will be of no use whatsoever, and neither will yours.


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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:

Paisley wrote:

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

Think so ? Then I invite you to spend a few weeks in the company of a severly depressed person who's just had their pills switched to m&ms. Their faith will be of no use whatsoever, and neither will yours.

Yeah, that's a good call.

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Paisley wrote:ClockCat

Paisley wrote:

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

I have no idea what you mean. I was just showing an example of how well the faith placebo works in healing. 

...That is what this thread is about right?

I have little patience for juvenile stupidity.

Offering examples of people who take your thesis to it's logical conclusion, actually implement it in their lives and then suffer the horrific consequences is "juvenile stupidity?" I agree that there is some juvenile stupidity going on here, but I don't think that ClockCat is the one guilty of it.

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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Paisley wrote:The placebo

Paisley wrote:

The placebo effect has measurable physical effects.

Of course. It's entirely expected that a self-regulating organ will experience some level of feedback. There is a very limited scope in which the placebo effect will occur, almost entirely limited to pain blockage. Imagining that this effect is an indication that the type of faith healing that Christians often claim they perform is just silly. It does, however, explain the experiences of those poor saps who flock to those healing services by Benny Hinn and his ilk.

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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Paisley wrote:I'm saying

Paisley wrote:

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

Here you are equating faith with the placebo effect; which is understandable.

Yes, the placebo effect can have an affect on health. That is why we do controlled studies for it. The fact of the matter is, people who believe they are receiving a treatment that works tend to release more opiods, like dopamine, into the  bloodstream. This can have many positive effects on health.

However, without your heavily biased lenses of dualism, I can't make the leap you are making from the placebo effect to "faith heals" to "immaterial overcoming the material." I can certainly make the leap to "faith heals," since faith is, and as you have admitted, no better than a placebo. I cannot make the leap to "immaterial overcoming the material," because I don't see the immaterial in this. I don't see the magic in the placebo effect.

You might as well say "friendship heals," or "having pets heals", or "laughter heals," since all of these release comparable amounts of dopamine and can have a similar effect on health. Does this mean there is some "magic brain energy" associated with faith, friendship, pets and laughter? Of course not. It simply confirms our understanding of the brain, a physical organ, having an effect on the physical body. To make a leap from the placebo effect to faith-healing mumbo-jumbo requires the nonsensical dualism that you so happily ascribe to.

Now, what we know does not "heal" is the faith of others. Many double-blind studies of prayer-healing have been done. It turns out, when a "prayer team" comes into your room and prays for you, it makes you less likely to recover. While, if a prayer team does it outside of the room without your knowledge or consent, it does nothing for you. Again, this confirms that the patients conscious awareness and expectation of the event (ie, the placebo effect, or in this case the nocebo effect) affects health, while the faith-healing mumbo-jumbo of prayer has no effect on health.

 

 

 


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

Whatever. For the purposes of this thread, it really doesn't matter how the faith or trust in the physician/treatment was derived. The bottom line is that there is compelling scientific evidence 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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thatonedude wrote:Can't

thatonedude wrote:

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

Translation: "I really can't argue with the fact 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:Translation:

Paisley wrote:

Translation: "I really can't argue with the fact that faith heals."

 

Translation: "I like to put words into people's mouths instead of coming up with a well reasoned counter-argument."

 

You seem to think if you can make us say your equivalent of "faith heals," then you've won the argument. You're playing some kind of semantic game, just to get us to say your irrelevant ad nauseum slogan.

 

Yes, if we define "placebo effect" to be "faith," and we define "noticible statistically significantly greater chance of recovery" as being "healed" then "faith heals." So what?

 

All you have shown is that your faith is no more than a well-documented psychological condition. Where does your God come into this? Where does the leap from psychological condition to magical, spiritual voodoo come in? That is what we would like to hear. You seem to be taking this leap for granted and assuming that we're taking it along with you. We're not. You're assuming something that you should prove.

 

Your argument so far:

P1.The placebo effect is a well documented psychological condition which can improve the health of a patient.

P2. Let "placebo effect"="faith healing."

C. Therefore faith heals.

And therefore ????

 

Therefore what paisely? Therefore Jesus made the faith heal? Therefore God made the faith heal? Therefore, specifically, your faith heals? Therefore, some magical, spiritual force is at work?

 

What is it that you find so relevant about this conclusion?

 


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Paisley wrote:It's a

Paisley wrote:

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

 

Mind has power over matter.  The mind is matter.  Matter has power over matter.

This is hardly a novel concept.


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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.  Words have meaning, Paisley.  If you ignore the meaning of the words, then what you say is useless.

You believe in the reality of angels? Interesting.

The reason that I am the most annoying theist on this forum is because I am systematically dismantling the worldview of atheistic materialism.

Hambydammit wrote:
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.
 

The woman's faith in the scriptural narrative was based on evidence. She had learned of Jesus' reputation as a healer and believed and hope that if she could but touch the hem of his garment she would be healed. And I'm sure that there are individuals who go to faith healers today using the same line of reasoning. So, you have no argument. Besides, how an individual acquires faith is really irrelevant here. The bottom line is that faith heals. That's the point. And all your ranting and raving will not change this fact. 

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


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Brian37 wrote:"Think

Brian37 wrote:
"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.

The bottom line is that faith heals. The scientific evidence bears this out. And if Richard Dawkins believes that it is some kind of trait naturally selected by evolution, then it stands to reason that faith has already proven its worth. IOW, you're making my case!

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


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Quote:The placebo effect has

Quote:

The placebo effect has measurable physical effects.

Hopefully the day will soon arrive when you finally dispense with adolescent regressions and display the emotional and intellectual maturity to actually contribute to a discussion. Until then, you will continue to embarrass yourself and your cause.

If what you're suggesting is true, then not one single person should ever be conscious and fully mobile (and be quite used to being mobile), then get into a vehicle accident, and then wake-up in the hospital as a paraplegic. They had no reason to believe that they would wake-up with grotesquely limited mobility, and every reason to believe (and want to believe) that they would have full mobility upon regaining consciousness.

 

But guess what? It happens all of the time. A person's belief and 'the placebo effect' have no impact at all on the physical matter of their spinal injury.

 

Is that just an 'adolescent regression' now? Pointing out facts that contradict what your theory predicts? Proposing blind trials to test your proposals? Or just maybe, Paisley, is it not me who needs to start displaying some intellectual maturity and grab a reality check here?

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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."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I am 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.

Then you agree with Jesus that an individual's faith can heal him. Feel free to say "Amen Brother!"

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


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Congratulations. You've

Congratulations. You've proved that faith can act as a placebo. I'm not going to argue against that in the way that a lot of people seem to have tried in this thread.

I just don't see how this proves anything beyond that some people use their religious belief to comfort themselves and strengthen their will to live. This doesn't prove that religious belief is in any way true. It also doesn't prove that it's better than secular ideals. People can find the will to live from many different aspects of life, and while religion can be one of them it is by far not the biggest.

And anyways, I love the analogy you made with this whole thread anyways. You know that placebos don't actually have a medical reason for helping anybody other than that the people who receive them believe that they do. You basically made a comparison suggesting that religious faith isn't true, it just comforts people who believe that it is. One I completely agree with.


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Hambydammit wrote: I've got

Hambydammit wrote:
 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.

Please provide source and link.

Hambydammit wrote:
 I don't know what people find so extraordinary about the placebo effect.

What so extraordinary about the placebo? I believe at the top of your post you said that a study of the placebo "indicated something REMARKABLE." Perhaps you're being slightly disingenuous.

Hambydammit wrote:
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?

No, it's a simple way to say that faith heals. You're merely attempting to obscure this fact. Why? Because the idea that faith heals is anathema to atheism. I know it; you know it; we all know it.

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


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HisWillness wrote:Paisley

HisWillness wrote:
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.

Translation: That faith heals is nothing new. Agreed. It's ancient.

Also, I'm glad to see that a materialist believes in "mind over matter." How exactly do you explain "downward causation" on the materialist worldview? IOW, how does an effect (the mind) change it's causal chain (the brain and nervous system)?

HisWillness wrote:
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.

Jesus is like the physician (not the nurse) in this analogy.

"They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." Matthew 9:15 KJV

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


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Quote:You believe in the

Quote:

You believe in the reality of angels? Interesting.

The reason that I am the most annoying theist on this forum is because I am systematically dismantling the worldview of atheistic materialism.

Paisley, if anything, you're 'the most annoying theist on this forum' because regular posters like Hamby, DeludedGod, etc (I can't even believe the amount of valuable time Bob has wasted on you. Aussies must be a patient bunch) see you posting the dumb shit that you do but have to restrain themselves from engaging in rebuttal because they know it would only enable/encourage your behavior. You'd get to gloat (likely mostly to yourself) about how you went toe to toe with 'the experts', they'd waste their time.

Here's the thing, boss:

 

That's a visual of our current level of intellectual discourse (and I'm being pretty cruel to bricks with that one). Arguing that you're just kicking experts' asses all over the place is laughable, because...

 

 

...It's not even that they're a league up from you. They're entire orders of magnitude above and away from anything you've ever demonstrated the capacity for conveying. Saying that you're 'dismantling' them is like claiming that your BB gun carries the same punch as Krakatoa. It's not just inaccurate; it's so silly that not a single person with an inkling of what the words you're using mean is going to take you seriously.

Quote:
"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."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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:3

The point of this thread as far as I can tell is to equate faith to a placebo to show how useless it is.

 

 

Are you becoming an atheist Paisley?

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:


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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 

 

 

Wait. Looking closer...is Paisley negative? I do believe he is below the base line.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:Kevin R Brown

ClockCat wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 

 

 

Wait. Looking closer...is Paisley negative? I do believe he is below the base line.

*Squints*

Why yes, I do believe you're right. The black line at the bottom of the bar graph is officially smarter than Paisley.

You'd better watch yourself, Kevin- that black line's coming up on you pretty fast!

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If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:I hope

Kevin R Brown wrote:

I hope this isn't drawn to scale. Being only twice as smart as paisley is comparable to being the smartest kid with down syndrome. Not to mention you'd have the combined intelligence of 4 bricks.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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Researchers Question Placebo

Researchers Question Placebo Effect May 24,2001

The Associated Press

One of the most strongly held beliefs in medicine - that dummy pills or other sham treatments greatly help many patients - has been called into question by Danish researchers who found little or no ``placebo effect'' in dozens of studies.

That led the researchers and other doctors to recommend that for ethical reasons, placebos, or inactive substances, no longer be given to patients outside of controlled medical experiments.

``The shoe is on the other foot now. The people who claim there are placebo effects are going to have to show it,'' said Dr. John C. Bailar III, a just-retired professor of health studies at the University of Chicago who wrote an editorial accompanying the research in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said: ``I was shocked by this study. This just goes completely against the grain.''

In many medical studies, patients in one group receive an experimental new treatment, while a comparison group gets a lookalike dummy pill or other placebo. Neither the patients nor the doctors know who is getting what. The goal is to see if medicines being tested do more good than people's will to get better.

Studies occasionally include a third group not getting a placebo. Those patients receive nothing, or just get the standard treatment for a condition if the study is testing whether combining a new treatment with the current one is better.

The Danish researchers combined the findings of 114 such studies from around the world, involving dozens of conditions ranging from colds and seasickness to Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, to see how the sham treatment stacked up to no treatment.

In most of the studies, the placebo group fared about the same as the group getting no treatment. The exceptions were studies of pain treatments and some others with subjective results, meaning patients reported how much symptoms bothered them, rather than having an objective measure such as blood pressure.

Placebo recipients in the pain studies averaged a 15 percent reduction in pain, and patients in the other subjective studies had even smaller improvements.

Many past studies and textbooks suggest that about one-third of patients given placebos in medical experiments get better, presumably because they believe they are getting an effective treatment. But the new research casts doubt on this long-held belief.

``The high levels of placebo effect which have been repeatedly reported in many articles, in our mind are the result of flawed research methodology,'' said Dr. Asbjorn Hrobjartsson, a professor of medical philosophy and research methodology at University of Copenhagen who ran the study with colleagues at the Nordic Cochran Center there.

The researchers and other experts said the improvements in subjective measures might be explained by ``reporting bias,'' where patients, thinking they are getting a powerful treatment, incorrectly judge their condition or overstate any improvement to please their doctor.

Dr. Stephen Schneider, a professor of medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick, has worked on many trials where patients on placebo improved. He said some of those patients would have gotten better with no treatment. In addition, he said, simply participating in a medical study induces patients to eat better, exercise more or otherwise pay more attention to their health.


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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I am 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.

Then you agree with Jesus that an individual's faith can heal him. Feel free to say "Amen Brother!"

Right after you read my post and agree that the body can heal itself thanks to the biochemical processes in the brain (that you decided to give the name "faith&quotEye-wink and acknowledge that Jesus has nothing to do with it.

If Jesus was the placebo, Benny Hinn, et al. would have a documented 100% success rate.

Waiting on your Amen...

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Paisley seems to be using

Paisley seems to be using the placebo effect as evidence of 'downward causation', ie that mental states can produce measurable physical effects.

Why he is bothering with such a marginal thing as the placebo effect is weird, since it is far more clearly demonstrated every time I decide to raise my arm, or move my body in any way.

It has been explained to him ad nauseum that mental states are the subjective manifestation of physical processes taking place in the brain, not some separate process, so when we make a decision, or adopt a positive mental state based on faith or other equivalent reason, that is what that particular process, physically manifested by a particular pattern of neuron interaction, 'feels like' from the 'inside'. There is no separate 'mental' process 'causing' some effect in another, 'physical', process. This integrated, ie, non-dualistic, model is supported by countless experiments.

The objective and the subjective are different viewpoints on, or aspects of, the one process, which easily has direct physical effects on the body, because it is inextricably tied to underlying physical processes.

The thoroughly demonstrated bothway coupling between detectable, measurable physical processes in the brain and body, and subjective experience, supports this model, but is less consistent with the dualistic viewpoint, which seems to assume a separate mental entity or 'soul' communicating with the physical body.

 

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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In conclusion, carrots.


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Paisley wrote:thatonedude

Paisley wrote:

thatonedude wrote:

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

Translation: "I really can't argue with the fact that faith heals."

No, no. Translation: "Faith is the opiate of the masses."

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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Paisley wrote:The reason

Paisley wrote:

The reason that I am the most annoying theist on this forum is because I am systematically dismantling the worldview of atheistic materialism.

You actually made me laugh out loud with this statement. Good job!

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:

Paisley wrote:

The reason that I am the most annoying theist on this forum is because I am systematically dismantling the worldview of atheistic materialism.

You actually made me laugh out loud with this statement. Good job!

I guess he thinks if he agrees with it while acting like he doesn't long enough, he'll take it out when his head explodes.

"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:"And, behold,

Paisley wrote:

"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

Or in Mark 5:25-34 where the real reason for the cure is explained. V30 "And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (power) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press and said, ' who touched my clothes?'" Also in Luke 8:46, "And Jesus said, 'Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue (power) is gone out of me.'" The woman sucked power from Jesus which supposedly cured her bleeding (hemophilia). 

No followup visit is mentioned which indicated she was still cured after a period of time.

This is not admissible as proof of 'faith healing'. It is best only a story that was propagated. No names are mentioned to provide verification and no expert examination occurs at the Mao Clinic as it was 2000 years before it was established. 

Paisley wrote:

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.

 

This in no way refers to healing sick people at all. In context it means Jesus has come not for the righteous but to call sinners to repentance.

You can try to use other legends that are included in the Gospels but they have as much merit and verification as Xena Warrior giving CPR.

 

 

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Paisley wrote:Translation:

Paisley wrote:
Translation: That faith heals is nothing new. Agreed. It's ancient.

Okay, you're a troll. I guess it was justification of effort that kept me going this long.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:

Paisley wrote:

thatonedude wrote:

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

Translation: "I really can't argue with the fact that faith heals."

No, no. Translation: "Faith is the opiate of the masses."

Or, "I can't deny the solely physical origins of faith and consiousness but if I keep ignoring everyone and yelling "Then you agree with me and Jesus!" maybe they'l give up and I'll actually win for once."

"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


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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
But you're probably better off taking a sugar pill than zoloft.
 

Think so? Then I invite you to spend a few weeks in the company of a severly depressed person who's just had their pills switched to m&ms. Their faith will be of no use whatsoever, and neither will yours.

Clinical studies have demonstrated that placebos have done as well or even better than antidepressant drugs. Moreover, the placebos have shown to have cause the same changes in brain chemistry as the antidepressant drugs.

One recent study concluded that St. John Wort (an herb) had a 24% depression cure rate, Zoloft had a 25%  depression cure rate, while the placebo had a 32% depression cure rate. So yeah, you probably are better off taking a sugar pill than Zoloft (providing of course, that you have the pre-requisite faith).*

* (source: "Against Depression, a Sugar Pill is Hard to Beat: Placebos Improve Mood, Change Brain Chemistry in Majority of Trials of Antidepressants" by Shankar Vedantam (Washington Post staff writer) originally published in JAMA)

http://www.chelationtherapyonline.com/technical/p58.htm

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Paisley wrote:Anonymouse

Paisley wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
But you're probably better off taking a sugar pill than zoloft.
 

Think so? Then I invite you to spend a few weeks in the company of a severly depressed person who's just had their pills switched to m&ms. Their faith will be of no use whatsoever, and neither will yours.

Clinical studies have demonstrated that placebos have done as well or even better than antidepressant drugs. Moreover, the placebos have shown to have cause the same changes in brain chemistry as the antidepressant drugs.

One recent study concluded that St. John Wort (an herb) had a 24% depression cure rate, Zoloft had a 25%  depression cure rate, while the placebo had a 32% depression cure rate. So yeah, you probably are better off taking a sugar pill than Zoloft (providing of course, that you have the pre-requisite faith).*

* (source: "Against Depression, a Sugar Pill is Hard to Beat: Placebos Improve Mood, Change Brain Chemistry in Majority of Trials of Antidepressants" by Shankar Vedantam (Washington Post staff writer) originally published in JAMA)

http://www.chelationtherapyonline.com/technical/p58.htm

 

You may want to check who exactly payed for those studies.

 

And the invitation still stands by the way.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley seems to be using the placebo effect as evidence of 'downward causation', ie that mental states can produce measurable physical effects.

No, I am employing the placebo effect to prove that faith heals. I have clearly stated this in the OP. Having said that, it is true that mental states can produce measurable physical effects.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Why he is bothering with such a marginal thing as the placebo effect is weird, since it is far more clearly demonstrated every time I decide to raise my arm, or move my body in any way.

You're right. And I have already successfully argued that our first-person experience of free will demonstrates that the mind is not identical to the brain.  I won that argument. Now, I am moving on. I suggest you do the same.

"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:One recent

Paisley wrote:

One recent study concluded that St. John Wort (an herb) had a 24% depression cure rate, Zoloft had a 25%  depression cure rate, while the placebo had a 32% depression cure rate. So yeah, you probably are better off taking a sugar pill than Zoloft (providing of course, that you have the pre-requisite faith).*

* (source: "Against Depression, a Sugar Pill is Hard to Beat: Placebos Improve Mood, Change Brain Chemistry in Majority of Trials of Antidepressants" by Shankar Vedantam (Washington Post staff writer) originally published in JAMA)

http://www.chelationtherapyonline.com/technical/p58.htm

 

Seriously, you need to think before you quote nonsense like this. Depression is extremely hard to diagnose and gets confused with hundreds of different conditions. Anything that can get cured with St John Wort barely qualifies as a bad mood.

Severe clinical depression can only be kept from turning into suicide with a complicated cocktail of several different anti-depressants. Electroshock can sometimes help as well, but the effect only lasts for a few weeks and can have terrible side-effects. Imagine feeling so depressed that you would willingly consider such a treatment, and you'll get an inkling of what this is about.

Not a single person who suffers from severe clinical depression has ever been cured by a placebo. Not. A. Single. One.

Having the "pre-requisite faith" doesn't help either. Would you like me to introduce you to a few extremely faithful, and extremely depressed catholic nuns ?

 


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HisWillness wrote:Paisley

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:

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

Note that the placebo effect does not "heal" in those cases, the patient simply feels better. The article you cite also suggests that the effect only works on about a third of the population, and there's no way to tell if it will work. I'm not suggesting that the patient feeling better isn't a good thing, but it's not to be compared to healing, especially with neurological disorders like Parkinson's, MS, and depression. With viral infections like herpes, the virus is still there, but the patient may feel better about it. The same could be said for Crohn's.

The placebo effect has cured depression. In fact, 75% of the causal-efficacy of antidepressants is attributed to the placebo effect! Also, the placebo effect has cured gastric and duodenal uclers (which is known to be cause by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori).

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

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HisWillness wrote:Paisley

HisWillness wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Translation: That faith heals is nothing new. Agreed. It's ancient.

Okay, you're a troll. I guess it was justification of effort that kept me going this long.

You said..."When I type, it's "mind over matter". That's just a platitude. Someone's mind affecting her health is nothing new."

How is that any differ from saying that faith heals is nothing new? Answer: It isn't. Besides, you have already conceded this point in an earlier post.

I'm a troll? Translation: "I'm losing this debate and it's time to cut my losses and run."

 

 

"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:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley seems to be using the placebo effect as evidence of 'downward causation', ie that mental states can produce measurable physical effects.

No, I am employing the placebo effect to prove that faith heals. I have clearly stated this in the OP. Having said that, it is true that mental states can produce measurable physical effects.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Why he is bothering with such a marginal thing as the placebo effect is weird, since it is far more clearly demonstrated every time I decide to raise my arm, or move my body in any way.

You're right. And I have already successfully argued that our first-person experience of free will demonstrates that the mind is not identical to the brain.  I won that argument. Now, I am moving on. I suggest you do the same.

Now you're stealing from the physical and claiming it to be non-physical.

How do you come up with (brain chemicals + physiological reactions) = magic man's woo-woo?

Do you define winning an argument as being the last to repeat an assertion?

"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:The placebo

Paisley wrote:

The placebo effect has cured depression.

Really, this is so incredibly stupid, I'm convinced you don't even believe it yourself. I wonder if you would be prepared to treat a severely depressed patient with a bag of skittles, and then take responsibility for what happens next.


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Stop feeding the Paisley.

 

He doesn't want to debate, he only wants to shout "I win" again and again and thinks that if he does it enough someone might believe him.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:Stop feeding

ClockCat wrote:

Stop feeding the Paisley.

 

 

I'm sorry, man, but the brand of stupid he's chosen to champion this time can actually kill people, and I happen to know some of the people it's killed. This is just really, really pissing me off.


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Anonymouse wrote:Researchers

Anonymouse wrote:

Researchers Question Placebo Effect

May 24,2001

The Associated Press

One of the most strongly held beliefs in medicine - that dummy pills or other sham treatments greatly help many patients - has been called into question by Danish researchers who found little or no ``placebo effect'' in dozens of studies.

The conclusions of the Danish researchers (Hrobjartsonn and Gotzsche) have been criticized in the scientific community. The placebo effect only works if the patients believe they are receiving bonafide treatment. In clinical trials, the patient does not know whether he is receiving a real treatment or a sham one. So the Danish research proves nothing. It's irrelevant.

Quote:
Hróbjartsson and Gøtzsche's conclusion has been criticised on several grounds...

Placebos also do not work as strongly in clinical trials because the subjects do not know whether they might be getting a real treatment or a sham one. Where studies are made of placebos in which people think they are receiving actual treatment (rather than merely its possibility) the placebo effect has been observed.[96] Other writers have argued that the placebo effect can be reliably demonstrated under appropriate conditions.[97]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#cite_note-Hrobjartsson2001-90

 

 

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