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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:D

Oh look, a whole list of success stories for you Paisley!

 

 

http://whatstheharm.net/faithhealing.html

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly 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?

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).

The believer doesn't define faith as the atheist does. Besides, how an individual acquires his faith is irrelevant to the subject at hand. The only criterion for the placebo effect to occur is that the individual must believe the treatment will work. And I would also add that the health benefits are commensurate with the amount of faith.

Just FYI, you misquoted the Scriptural reference on faith.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 KJV

"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 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.

 

I posted this earlier... it seems to have been ignored in all the bickering.

 


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Paisley wrote:The

Paisley wrote:

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.


It would seem you missed the relevant conclusion. I'll underline it for you : Outside the setting of clinical trials,there is no justification for the use of placebos.



 


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No, it wasn't ignored by us. Paisley ignores everything that contradicts his views, so he can shout "I win" until no one talks to him anymore, and left by himself he obviously believes he won.

 

 

Faith healing: 368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Paisley wrote:Anonymouse

Paisley wrote:

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

 

 

Translated - "Oh shit! A study that doesn't conform to my views! It must be invalid!"

Still doesn't change the fact that the placebo effect, faith and comsiousnes all have biochemical origins.

No God required.

"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


Paisley
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ClockCat wrote:Paisley

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I have little patience for juvenile stupidity.

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.

Agreed. The physical effects are pyschologically driven (it's called faith).

"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:ClockCat

Paisley wrote:

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I have little patience for juvenile stupidity.

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.

Agreed. The physical effects are pyschologically driven (it's called faith).

And the psychological effects are physically driven (it's called biochemistry).

"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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jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

ClockCat wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I have little patience for juvenile stupidity.

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.

Agreed. The physical effects are pyschologically driven (it's called faith).

And the psychological effects are physically driven (it's called biochemistry).

 

Don't bring your complicated sciences in here! This is a no thinking zone! It's faith! FAITH!

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

My thesis is not that parents should solely rely on prayer as a means to cure their newborn from a case a pneumonia. This was nothing more than a lame attempt at juvenile humor using a straw-man argument.

"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:

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

My thesis is not that parents should solely rely on prayer as a means to cure their newborn from a case a pneumonia. This was nothing more than a lame attempt at juvenile humor using a straw-man argument.

 

Your thesis is that faith heals. This is what happens when people believe that.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Paisley

Kevin R Brown 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.

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.

Stop your whining. Either make a valid argument or shut the fuck up. Hopefully, I have spoken in terms that your pubescent mind will understand.

"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:Kevin R Brown

Paisley wrote:

Kevin R Brown 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.

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.

Stop your whining. Either make a valid argument or shut the fuck up. Hopefully, I have spoken in terms that your pubescent mind will understand.

I'm still waiting on a valid argument from you .

"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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jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Kevin R Brown 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.

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.

Stop your whining. Either make a valid argument or shut the fuck up. Hopefully, I have spoken in terms that your pubescent mind will understand.

I'm still waiting on a valid argument from you .

 

 

Stop feeding the Paisley. He isn't interested in arguing or debating.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:jcgadfly

ClockCat wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Kevin R Brown 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.

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.

Stop your whining. Either make a valid argument or shut the fuck up. Hopefully, I have spoken in terms that your pubescent mind will understand.

I'm still waiting on a valid argument from you .


 

Stop feeding the Paisley. He isn't interested in arguing or debating.

I wasn't quite through with the chew toy - sorry.

 

"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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jcgadfly wrote:ClockCat

jcgadfly wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Kevin R Brown 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.

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.

Stop your whining. Either make a valid argument or shut the fuck up. Hopefully, I have spoken in terms that your pubescent mind will understand.

I'm still waiting on a valid argument from you .

 

 

Stop feeding the Paisley. He isn't interested in arguing or debating.

I wasn't quite through with the chew toy - sorry.

 

 

Okay, just make sure you put it up when you are done.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Paisley
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thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
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.

The placebo effect is not simply limited to pain blockage. I suggest you go back and read the article. Also, the number one priority for those who are suffering from pain is relief. It's not a trivial matter. This is why there are morphine addicts.

thatonedude wrote:
It does, however, explain the experiences of those poor saps who flock to those healing services by Benny Hinn and his ilk.

The placebo effect is based on and commensurate with the individual's belief (i.e. faith or trust) in the causal efficacy of the treatment. Now, if one accepts the reality of the placebo effect (which one is compelled to do so because it is backed by the scientific evidence), then it only stands to reason that an ostensible faith healer (e.g. Benny Hinn) may actually be playing a pivotal role by acting as the mediator or facilitator who elicits the faith of his followers in order to bring about healing.

Disclaimer: I am in no way endorsing Benny Hinn and his methods.

"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:My thesis is

Paisley wrote:

My thesis is not that parents should solely rely on prayer as a means to cure their newborn from a case a pneumonia. This was nothing more than a lame attempt at juvenile humor using a straw-man argument.

You make references to the biblical stories of healing and attempt to tie them into the placebo effect. Those people take your thesis(faith can heal things) to it's conclusion(use faith to heal my family). Where did they go wrong? Did they actually not have faith, even though they thought they did? Did they pray the wrong way? Is their god only good at healing certain illnesses? If it's true that faith healings work, why is their approach not the logical conclusion?

And it is not an attempt at humor. There is nothing humorous about people embracing faith to the detriment of their health, and it is all too common.

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 is not simply limited to pain blockage. I suggest you go back and read the article. Also, the number one priority for those who are suffering from pain is relief. It's not a trivial matter. This is why there are morphine addicts.

I did. It did not invalidate a thing I wrote. Equating pain relief to the actual correction of biological defects, however, is an entirely different matter.

Quote:

 

The placebo effect is based on and commensurate with the individual's belief (i.e. faith or trust) in the causal efficacy of the treatment. Now, if one accepts the reality of the placebo effect (which one is compelled to do so because it is backed by the scientific evidence), then it only stands to reason that an ostensible faith healer (e.g. Benny Hinn) may actually be playing a pivotal role by acting as the mediator or facilitator who elicits the faith of his followers in order to bring about healing.

Disclaimer: I am in no way endorsing Benny Hinn and his methods.

It stands to reason that the placebo effect will cause people to assume that they have been healed when they haven't. There are many examples of people at those faith healing services, believing themselves cured, throwing their medicine out, to the detriment of their health. This is the entire point. A placebo is not a cure, and the lack of distinction kills people.

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


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Um, Paisley, isn't faith

Um, Paisley, isn't faith supposed to be magical..........not, the placebo effect?!

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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thatonedude wrote: A

thatonedude wrote:

 A placebo is not a cure, and the lack of distinction kills people.

Underlined it for him. Maybe it'll sink in.


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theotherguy wrote:Paisley

theotherguy wrote:
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.

No, I am not eqauating faith with the placebo effect. I am saying that the placebo effect is due to faith. And the science bears this out.

theotherguy wrote:
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.

No, I have never stated that faith is "no better than a placebo." However, you have gone on record and stated above that you "can certainly make the leap that faith heals." I trust you will take ownership of your words.

theotherguy wrote:
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.

It's fairly simple. Faith is not a material thing. And if you believe that it is, then you have the onus of proving it. Moreover, science has never proven that there are any material things PERIOD.

theotherguy wrote:
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.

I am afraid you have already went on record and made this leap from the placebo effect to faith-healing. Hopefully, you will take ownership of your words. If not, then you are not a person of integrity.

Science has never established that the mind is identical with the brain. This is simply an assumption on your part. And as far as I am concerned, I have already successfully argued (in my preceding thread) that materialism entails either eliminativism or panpsychism. There is no need to rehash an argument that I have already won.

theotherguy wrote:
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.

I did not mention prayer or prayer-healing in my OP and I have never argued for its causal efficacy. This should not be misconstrued that I am denying it. However, this is not the subject matter of this thread and I do not wish to go off on a tangent. Besides, I am not about to pre-empt a potential future thread with a premature discussion.

 

 

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


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Faith can make people feel

Faith can make people feel better and sometimes have a positive effect on conditions which are susceptible to the mental state of the individual.

It also kills, when it leads people to not apply known efficacious medical treatment to themselves or their dependents for potentially serious conditions. This includes Benny Hinn - their is significant evidence of people dying after weeks or months after having been 'cured' at one of his bogus scam sessions.

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

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I can certainly make the

I can certainly make the leap to "faith heals,"

theotherguy wrote:
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.

I have argued in the OP that faith heals and I have provided scientific evidence to support this argument. Now, you either agree with it or you don't. If you don't, then you have to make a counter-argument. This is the way the game is played. Hopefully, you have the intellectual capacity to grasp this simple concept.

theotherguy wrote:
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?

To reiterate, you have already gone on record and stated that you "can certainly make the leap to faith heals" (post #62).

Also, whatever criteria you use to determine healing for the placebo applies equally to other therapies. IOW, you can't have it both ways.

theotherguy wrote:
All you have shown is that your faith is no more than a well-documented psychological condition.

A well-documented psychological condition? You almost make faith sound like the sickness when in fact it is the cure. Besides, you have already conceded that faith heals.

theotherguy wrote:
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.

I am not making the assumptions here. You are. I have simply argued that faith heals. I neither mentioned God nor magic or voodoo. However, now that you have broached the subjects of magic and voodoo, perhaps we should address that. As I see it, we actually have the basis to explain magic (based on the placebo effect) and voodoo (based on the nocebo effect), and we can do this without completely diminishing the reality of each.

On the other hand, we can also argue (at least to some degree) that physicians in our society are nothing more than witch doctors and medicine men (or women to be politically correct). The implications are certainly there.

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


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Fish wrote:Paisley

Fish wrote:
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.

No, I believe you are confused. It's called "mind over matter" because when you don't mind it doesn't f*cking matter!

(The expletive was warranted because the point had to be driven home. This is not simply a play on words; it reveals a basic truth.)

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


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Kevin R Brown wrote:But

Kevin R Brown wrote:
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.

I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make. But the fact is that the placebo has been proven effective in reducing pain (which I would think would apply to any kind of injury).

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_effect#Placebo_effect 

Kevin R Brown wrote:
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?

The placebo effect has been scientifically established. No one here is really disputing this. Next time, do your homework before commenting. 

"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:Kevin R Brown

Paisley wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:
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.

I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make. But the fact is that the placebo has been proven effective in reducing pain (which I would think would apply to any kind of injury).

But even when patients report significant pain reduction in pain from some physical disease or injury, due to placebo or 'faith' effects, careful investigations have typically failed to reveal any actual physical improvement or 'healing' to match the reduction in pain.

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

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Paisley wrote:It's fairly

Paisley wrote:

It's fairly simple. Faith is not a material thing.

Sure it is. It is a brain state. Again, it is not unexpected to find feedback loops in a self-regulating organ.

Quote:

And if you believe that it is, then you have the onus of proving it.

We have plenty of evidence that religious experiences are tied to brain states. Why would faith be any different? And, as you are the one postulating an immaterial force, it is you who are required to show proof that this is not a manifestation of a simple biochemical feedback loop. It's not rational to assume that every crackpot idea lacking clear cut evidence is worth believing.

Quote:

Moreover, science has never proven that there are any material things PERIOD.

Ah, retreating to some Cartesian level of philosophical skepticism to avoid uncomfortable conclusions? I wonder why I should take you seriously when I can't even prove that you exist?

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Tycoon

Tycoon wrote:
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.

No, what I have successfully established is that the placebo effect demonstrates that faith heals. 

Tycoon wrote:
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.

What it proves is that faith heals. And not only that, but also that skepticism can be harmful to your health. 

"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:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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...

You're not very good at this debating thing. I suggest you give it up and find another pastime.

"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:Paisley

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

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

Marx's quote is "Religion is the opiate of the masses." And I might add that the revolutionary is required to place his faith in the Marxist ideology (which has atheistic materialism as a core tenet) and be willing to die for the cause.

"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: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!

This is what makes me howl: That militant atheists have to concede that faith has healing power. Eye-wink

"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:
Paisley wrote:
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...

You're not very good at this debating thing. I suggest you give it up and find another pastime.

Considering your "argument" is exactly the same as his.

 

"Just admit faith has healing power. The placebo effect proves it!"

 

"Just admit biochemical processes of the brain have healing power. The placebo effect proves it!"


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I just listened again to the

I just listened again to the Quackcast podcast episode dealing with placebo: QuackCast 5

Neither placebo or faith actually heal. The evidence continues to accumulate against placebo having anything more than a modest reduction in experienced pain, maybe 5-6%.

As with many such things, early, sketchy evidence leaves open the possibility that there is something significant happening, but as repeated studies add to the total evidence available, the results have become more certain, and the best estimate of the likely magnitude of the effect fades towards zero.

Bottom line, Paisley: Faith does not heal.

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

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Paisley wrote:Marx's quote

Paisley wrote:

Marx's quote is "Religion is the opiate of the masses." And I might add that the revolutionary is required to place his faith in the Marxist ideology (which has atheistic materialism as a core tenet) and be willing to die for the cause.

I am well aware of the correct quote. I was paraphrasing, as we weren't specifically talking about religion, but rather, faith. And don't mistake me for a moment as a communist.

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Paisley wrote:This is what

Paisley wrote:

This is what makes me howl: That militant atheists have to concede that faith has healing power. Eye-wink

Apparently you read and comprehend about as well as that OrdinaryClay fellow.

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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
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).

Yeah, the power (a.k.a. love) involves an exchange mediated by faith. And you're interpreting this passage from the perspective of the ego (the carnal mind in NT terms), not the Spirit. IOW, you really don't understand that it is better to give than to receive. You can't from the ego perspective. It makes no sense. So you interpret this as if the woman was some kind of vampire sucking the blood out of Jesus.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
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.

This thread is not about proving the historical veracity of the New Testament or about Bible study. I was using the scriptural narrative as an intuition pump to illustrate a point. And the point I argued in the OP of this thread is that faith heals, which I supported with scientific evidence.

You have the same problem as fundamentalists: you attempt to interpret metaphorical language literally and in the process fail to obtain other insights. The fact of the matter is that healing is a holistic proposition. That is, the healing of the body also invovles the healing of the soul. So the physician metaphor is apt. Christ was a healer of both the soul and the body.

"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

Paisley wrote:

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

When testing a Placebo,
a double-blind study is the only reliable way to produce results which are not subject to the influence of the administrator of the Placebo.

Don't confuse "faith" with a positive mental attitude. Your post suggests you make no distinctio, and a an Atheist, I've no faith in a deity, but may have as much a positive mental attitude as a Theist.

Lastly, whereas a positive mental attitude is concerned with the outcoe of a varety of diseases, there's no reputable Physician that would disagree that a positive mental attitude can not only be life-extending, but ASSIST and be helpful in overcoming a variety of diseases. The evidence of it has been clearly demonstrated .
However, a positive mental attitude is NOT dependent upon the belief or disbelief in gods.


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Um.... am I the only person

Um.... am I the only person that's beginning to think Paisley and OrdinaryClay are the same person?  Same obfuscation behind a misuse of the meanings of faith, same derisory "I've dealt with that / you suck at debate" attitude....

 

And why is the debate here about the Placebo effect, rather than Paisley's misuse of the word "faith"?  I honestly don't  think Paisley is playing this one straight.  He's doing this for shits and giggles.  If he can get an atheist to say "faith heals", regardless of the definition of faith, he gets to run home and giggle with glee.

 

M

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:3

MichaelMcF wrote:

Um.... am I the only person that's beginning to think Paisley and OrdinaryClay are the same person?  Same obfuscation behind a misuse of the meanings of faith, same derisory "I've dealt with that / you suck at debate" attitude....

 

And why is the debate here about the Placebo effect, rather than Paisley's misuse of the word "faith"?  I honestly don't  think Paisley is playing this one straight.  He's doing this for shits and giggles.  If he can get an atheist to say "faith heals", regardless of the definition of faith, he gets to run home and giggle with glee.

 

M

 

I think they are the same person, along with possibly treat2.

 

 

Hilariously bad! Laughing out loud

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theotherguy wrote:Paisley

theotherguy wrote:

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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...

You're not very good at this debating thing. I suggest you give it up and find another pastime.

Considering your "argument" is exactly the same as his.

 

"Just admit faith has healing power. The placebo effect proves it!"

 

"Just admit biochemical processes of the brain have healing power. The placebo effect proves it!"

Uh...no. Perhaps I wasn't being clear. My apologies.

Chemicals in the brain have effects on the body.

Paisley wants to call it faith and wants to claim a magical/divine origin for it. All I want him to do is acknowledge the body's ability to heal itself lies within the body and needs no sky daddy to make it work. That will probably never happen - Paisley needs to believe in magic.

The placebo effect is an example of brain chemistry at work and the body's capability to heal itself- not a proof.

Paisley believes that because he doesn't understand the physical origins of a thing said thing has no physical origins. He needs to believe that no healing happens unless it is divine. That keeps his house (should I say church?) of cards standing.

"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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Paisley wrote:And the point

Paisley wrote:

And the point I argued in the OP of this thread is that faith heals, which I supported with scientific evidence.

No, you did not.

The only thing supported by the examples you gave, is that there is such a thing as the placebo effect. Nobody here disputes that.

You have not provided proof for your claim that faith heals.

 

 


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Anonymouse wrote:You have

Anonymouse wrote:

You have not provided proof for your claim that faith heals.

You need proof that faith heals? Here you go.

Proof that faith heals

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:You need

nigelTheBold wrote:

You need proof that faith heals? Here you go.

Proof that faith heals

That better be a parody site, or I'm going to throw up.


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Anonymouse wrote:That better

Anonymouse wrote:

That better be a parody site, or I'm going to throw up.

I think they might be truly serious. They aren't as overtly satirical as Landover Baptist, for instance. They don't try too hard to give the illusion of respectability Paisley strives for, of course, but it's essentially the same kind of woo.

It's funny, whether they are serious are not. And it just goes to show: Poe applies to non-Christian wackiness as well as the Christian wackiness.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Paisley wrote:Fish

Paisley wrote:

Fish wrote:
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.

No, I believe you are confused. It's called "mind over matter" because when you don't mind it doesn't f*cking matter!

(The expletive was warranted because the point had to be driven home. This is not simply a play on words; it reveals a basic truth.)

Your response in no way addresses the fact that your argument about faith healing fails to realize that matter affecting matter is not in any way an unexpected or unexplainable occurance. 

As other posters have pointed out, you seem to be trying to prove that people have some degree of control over their bodies.  This is something that's obvious to pretty much everyone.


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Fish wrote:Paisley

Fish wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Fish wrote:
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.

No, I believe you are confused. It's called "mind over matter" because when you don't mind it doesn't f*cking matter!

(The expletive was warranted because the point had to be driven home. This is not simply a play on words; it reveals a basic truth.)

Your response in no way addresses the fact that your argument about faith healing fails to realize that matter affecting matter is not in any way an unexpected or unexplainable occurance. 

As other posters have pointed out, you seem to be trying to prove that people have some degree of control over their bodies.  This is something that's obvious to pretty much everyone.

He just adds that said control can only come from faith in his god.

"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:Severe

Anonymouse wrote:
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. 

Why are you getting so uptight? I'm not asking anyone here to stop their anti-depressant medication. I am simply stating that the placebo effect has been scientifically established.  

Quote:
Another meta-analysis in 2002 found a 30% reduction in suicide and attempted suicide in the placebo groups compared to a 40% reduction in the treated groups.[130]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

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

"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:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

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

I define winning an argument when no one is able to provide a logical rebuttal to my argument.

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