Healing and the Power of Faith

Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
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


thatonedude
Superfan
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-01-15
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:I define

Paisley wrote:

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

It requires a logical argument first. You make the assumption that the placebo effect is something more than a feedback loop. Your disgression about "mind over matter" seems to indicate that you think that a mind is not a result of physical processes. You assume that faith is an immaterial force. You make connections between placebos and miracles supposedly performed by Jesus. Start by proving those if you want to be taken seriously.

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


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:Why are you

Paisley wrote:
Why are you getting so uptight?

That would be because of the staggeringly stupid things you keep saying. Shall I list them for you ? You seem to have forgotten already.

Paisley wrote:
I'm not asking anyone here to stop their anti-depressant medication.

Of course you didn't. Like most people who believe in faith healing, you're quite careful to avoid saying anything that might make you responsible for what happens next.

Btw, as we speak, a faith healer is being sued by the family of one of her deceased victims. Shall I inform the defense they can call you as an expert witness ?

Paisley wrote:
I am simply stating that the placebo effect has been scientifically established. 

No, you are saying that faith heals. A statement for which you have not provided proof.

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

 

Once again, nobody is asking for proof that there is such a thing as the placebo-effect. We would like proof for your claim that faith heals.

And FYI, those statistics you quoted are useless. A "reduction in suicide" for a certain period of time ? I suppose what happened afterwards is irrelevant ?


ClockCat
ClockCat's picture
Posts: 2265
Joined: 2009-03-26
User is offlineOffline

ClockCat
ClockCat's picture
Posts: 2265
Joined: 2009-03-26
User is offlineOffline
:3

"Terrance Cottrell Jr., an autistic 8-year-old, died on the floor of a hot, dingy storefront church in a forgotten strip mall.

His shirt was drenched in sweat when the congregants who were holding him down, saying they wanted to rid him of demons, finally noticed that he was dead. He had urinated on himself, and his small brown face had a bluish cast.

Terrance, who was supposed to start third-grade special-education classes at 65th Street Elementary School next Tuesday morning, will instead be buried here on Friday, exactly a week after he died of asphyxiation, a victim of the prayer service intended to save him. The medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide."

 

------------------

 

"Even as her 11-year-old daughter lay dying on a mattress on the floor of the family dining room on Easter Sunday, Leilani Neumann never wavered in her belief in the power of prayer.

"We just thought it was a spiritual attack and we prayed for her," Neumann said, according to a police report. "My husband, Dale, was crying and mentioned taking Kara to the doctor, and I said the Lord's going to heal her and we continued to pray."

Prayer didn't save Madeline Kara Neumann, who died of untreated diabetes March 23."

 

------------------

 

Yes, faith healing is WONDERFUL!

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

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.

As you have ignored all counter arguments in every thread you've started to this point, you seem to be very well practiced in calling "wins". Do Scientology much? They're also good at calling wins.

As others have said, I'm waiting on you to give an argument. You've given assertions aplenty and been countered repeatedly.

"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


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:I have simply

Paisley wrote:

I have simply argued that faith heals

 

Wait a moment.  You've been arguing all this time that faith heals because of the placebo effect.  Yet you also mentioned the nocebo.

 

I alone will ignore your ridiculous ignorance of the definitions of faith.  I alone will accept your premise Paisley but only if you accept my assertion that, according to your own argument, faith makes people sick and can kill them.

 

M

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

I have cited sources. That's what separates my posts from yours.

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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. 

The bottom line is that the placebo effect is real. I realize that this may be a source of contention for you. But quite honestly, I don't give a damn.

 



 

 

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
ClockCat wrote:Paisley

ClockCat wrote:
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.

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

The placebo effect (which is solely based on the believer's faith in the treatment) is a scientifically-established fact. Bombarding this thread with your irrelevant posts does not change this fact.

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
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.

It was one biblical quote, not stories. And the placebo effect is based on the individual's belief or FAITH in the effectiveness of the treatment.

thatonedude wrote:
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?

Where did they go wrong? I never argued in this thread the causal efficacy of intercessory prayer. It's a straw-man argument.

thatonedude wrote:
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.

It was not only a lame attempt at humor but it is also a lame argument. In fact, you have no argument. Faith does heal. This is not conjecture or speculation. It's a scientifically-established fact.

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

What a ridiculous argument. The reason they go to faith healers is because conventional medicine has failed them!

 

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:Um,

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

The placebo effect is based on the individual's belief (i.e. faith) in the effectiveneness of the treatment.

 

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:thatonedude

Anonymouse wrote:
thatonedude wrote:
 A placebo is not a cure, and the lack of distinction kills people.

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

I have underlined the following for you. Placebos can heal.

Quote:
When an inert substance makes a patient better, that effect is called the placebo effect. The phenomenon is related to the perception and expectation which the patient has; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo_effect#Placebo_effect

 

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:Faith can

BobSpence1 wrote:
Faith can make people feel better and sometimes have a positive effect on conditions which are susceptible to the mental state of the individual.

The placebo can heal. This is a scientifically-established fact.

BobSpence1 wrote:
It also kills

Yeah, it's called the NOCEBO effect. If an individual believes the treatment will be harmful, then the treatment can harm the individual.

BobSpence1 wrote:
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.

This doesn't preclude a faith healer (or a religious racketeer for that matter) from acting as a placebo.

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

Does morphine cure the underlying disease or injury causing the pain? 

The purpose of a placebo analgesic is to relieve pain!

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


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5907
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

Does morphine cure the underlying disease or injury causing the pain? 

The purpose of a placebo analgesic is to relieve pain!

Reducing pain is not 'healing'. The scientific evidence against actual healing from placebo is mounting, 

Some cases where a treatment performed  poorly compared to a placebo have been shown to be due to previously unknown negative side-effects of the treatment being tested, rather than any positive effect of the placebo, which simply 'benefited' from the natural recovery processes.

The real picture on the benefits of placebos is actual becoming more uncertain, rather than being more firmly established.

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

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


crazymonkie
Silver Member
crazymonkie's picture
Posts: 336
Joined: 2009-03-09
User is offlineOffline
Spam, spam, spam eggs

Spam, spam, spam eggs sausage and spam.... oh wait, Bob actually posted here too. Sorry Bob!


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:Anonymouse

Paisley wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

I have cited sources. That's what separates my posts from yours.

Your sources contradict each other. If the placebo effect has cured depression, why are anti-depressants still a multi-million dollar business ?

It would seem that all those patients sufferring from depression are unaware of the fact that they've already been cured. If only they'd known, they wouldn't have committed suicide.

I'm talking about reality. That's what separates my posts from yours.


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:The bottom

Paisley wrote:

The bottom line is that the placebo effect is real. I realize that this may be a source of contention for you.

Once again, for the extremely hard of hearing, nobody is denying the existence of the placebo-effect. What we are all waiting for is for you to produce proof that faith heals.

Paisley wrote:
But quite honestly, I don't give a damn.

This is supposed to surprise me ?

Funny you used the word "honestly". You claim to believe the "faith heals", but of course you believe no such thing. When you yourself are diagnosed with cancer, and the choice between Benny Hinn and chemo presents itself, you will quickly trade your "faith" for a healthy dose of reality.

When that happens, you will most certainly give a damn.


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:I have

Paisley wrote:
I have underlined the following for you.

So you did. How very nice of you. See, you do give a damn.

Paisley wrote:
Placebos can heal.

Here, let me return the favor :

The placebo effect can alleviate a patient's symptoms. Physical conditions do not improve with placebos. Placebos do not cure, as many people mistakenly believe; it is the perceived improvement of symptoms that characterizes the placebo effect.

The point is, it's still not fully understood what exactly causes the placebo effect, so your claim that faith heals remains to be proven, as does every other single claim you've made on this board.

 

 

 

 


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:thatonedude

Paisley wrote:

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

What a ridiculous argument. The reason they go to faith healers is because conventional medicine has failed them!

 

You want us to list every single case where a faith healer convinced a patient to quit their conventional treatment before it was even done ?

The reason they go to faith healers is because they're desperate and/or gullible.

You don't wish to endorse Benny Hinn and his ilk ? Fine. Then stop saying that "faith heals".


thatonedude
Superfan
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-01-15
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:It was one

Paisley wrote:

It was one biblical quote, not stories. And the placebo effect is based on the individual's belief or FAITH in the effectiveness of the treatment.

And that is the point. You are attempting to tie the placebo effect to that story.

Quote:

Where did they go wrong? I never argued in this thread the causal efficacy of intercessory prayer. It's a straw-man argument.

No, you are attempting to build a case for faith healing based on the placebo effect. Placebos are nothing more than a feedback loop.

Quote:

It was not only a lame attempt at humor but it is also a lame argument. In fact, you have no argument. Faith does heal. This is not conjecture or speculation. It's a scientifically-established fact.

You keep saying this, but it's wrong. At best, the placebo effect is an example of the brain regulating itself. The end. It does not correct underlying physical problems. It does not heal anything. It certainly can't do anything remotely like healing a woman of a blood flow.

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


thatonedude
Superfan
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-01-15
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:What a

Paisley wrote:

What a ridiculous argument. The reason they go to faith healers is because conventional medicine has failed them!

Are you deliberately obtuse, or just daft? They are being treated for incurable diseases, and they flock to these "healers" thinking that their god will be able to heal them. They succumb to the placebo effect, and throw away the medicine that is keeping them alive. They have complete faith that they are being healed. That healing is not actually occurring. And that is the problem. The placebo effect can not do anything more than affect brain chemistry to a small degree. No immaterial force, no amazing "faith based" healing. Just a biochemical feedback loop. You can have faith all goddamned day long, and it won't cure the smallest scratch.

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Paisley is so desperate to

Paisley is so desperate to work his God into things he doesn't understand.

Isn't the universe impressive enough without having to add Canaanite woo-woo?

"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


thatonedude
Superfan
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-01-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Paisley is so

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley is so desperate to work his God into things he doesn't understand.

Isn't the universe impressive enough without having to add Canaanite woo-woo?

It makes him feel better to believe in his god. It doesn't mean his god exists, and it doesn't change reality one iota. You know, exactly like a placebo.

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


Bulldog
Superfan
Bulldog's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: 2007-08-04
User is offlineOffline
Let's just cut to the chase

Let's just cut to the chase here.  Paisley is simply trying to get the door open another crack to argue faith in god works because faith in placebos work.  The difference between the two.  1) There is something tangible and physical in a medical placebo, the sugar pill, a doctor actually trained in a physical science (the science of medicine) that is demonstrably effective in healing. 2) Faith healing requires only one thing; faith! Faith in a god, an imaginary friend, something that the only proof for it's existence is the questionable text of a handful of papyrus prossibly written as popular fiction, that was cherry picked over by a bunch of greedy old bastards looking for ways to control all the power and wealth in the world (at least what they knew of it) more than a thousand years ago.  A time when the human species was at about the same level of knowledge and superstition as South American Indians today who have never seen any of our modern "wonders" except possibly for an occasional glimpse of an airplane high in the sky.

It just doesn't work.  That doesn't say that I nor anyone else will ever convince a christian of that.  Take a look at the town in Ohio(?) (some midwestern state) last year I think it was, whose citizens all stood outside praying to god to end the drought.  A few days later about an 1/8 of an inch fell and they were all beside themselves that god answered their prayers.  christians can put a spin on anything.  It doesn't necessarily have to make sense, hell, it can be bloody obvious to anyone that it's bullshit but they'll continue to believe what they were taught as children and never get over it.

You all might like to peruse the article in the Washington Post from 2006.  I was unable to locate the full study from the American Heart Journal, maybe someone else can.  It's intersting but I can see all sorts of ways to spin this study when you believe in imaginary things.  None of the physical laws we all live with constantly apply in fantasyland.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032302177.html

 

"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." Thomas Jefferson
www.myspace.com/kenhill5150


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:I just

BobSpence1 wrote:
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%.

The opinion of an amateurish skeptical podcaster does not qualify as evidence. Get real!

BobSpence1 wrote:
Bottom line, Paisley: Faith does not heal.

The placebo effect is a scientifically-established fact. I'm afraid you don't have the luxury of discounting the scientific evidence simply because it does not comport with your beliefs.

Quote:
Placebos are widely used in medicine, and the placebo effect is a pervasive phenomenon;[2] in fact, it is part of the response to any active medication.[3]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#cite_note-H_Norup-1

 

 

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
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%.

The opinion of an amateurish skeptical podcaster does not qualify as evidence. Get real!

BobSpence1 wrote:
Bottom line, Paisley: Faith does not heal.

The placebo effect is a scientifically-established fact. I'm afraid you don't have the luxury of discounting the scientific evidence simply because it does not comport with your beliefs.

Quote:
Placebos are widely used in medicine, and the placebo effect is a pervasive phenomenon;[2] in fact, it is part of the response to any active medication.[3]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#cite_note-H_Norup-1


 

The brain process of the placebo effect has been established. The biochemical processes that accompany what you call faith are not in dispute.

What is in dispute is the "nonphysical" attribute you call faith that you claim can heal and needs a god or gods to work. Care to fix that?

 

"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
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

No, you have no evidence whatsoever that experiences (regardless of the experience) are identical to brain states. All you have are correlations and assumptions.

Also, dualism has a privileged status over materialism because duality is how we actually experience the world. Conventionally, we say that there is an external, physical world and an internal, mental world. And if you believe that the internal world of mental phenomena is completely reducible to the external world of physical phenomena, then the onus is upon you to prove it. Until then, you have no real argument, just dogma.

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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?

The true skeptic must be skeptical of his own position. This is the dismantling of skepticism. The bottom line is that all metaphysical positions (including materialism) are interpretative systems which are ultimately based on faith. Faith is not a problem for the believer (i.e. the theist). I fully embrace faith. However, faith is anathema to the unbeliever (i.e. the atheist).

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Correlations, assumptions,

Correlations, assumptions, studies, pictures (well MRIs)...

Paisley, are you saying that the only way I can be skeptical of my position is to accept yours?

Only faith I have a problem with is faith in a god or gods. You seem to have faith in whatever you don't bother to understand.

"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


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5907
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
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%.

The opinion of an amateurish skeptical podcaster does not qualify as evidence. Get real!

Who does happen to be a qualified medical doctor working (in the field of infectious diseases). I hope you noted that.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Bottom line, Paisley: Faith does not heal.

The placebo effect is a scientifically-established fact. I'm afraid you don't have the luxury of discounting the scientific evidence simply because it does not comport with your beliefs.

Quote:
Placebos are widely used in medicine, and the placebo effect is a pervasive phenomenon;[2] in fact, it is part of the response to any active medication.[3]

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#cite_note-H_Norup-1

How many times do we have to hit you over the head with the fact that no-one is denying there is a placebo effect, just that its efficacy in 'healing' of physical symptoms is marginal to non-existant.

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

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
theotherguy wrote:Paisley

theotherguy wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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!"

Saying that faith increases a certain biochemical process in the brain does not in any way diminish the fact that faith has healing power. 

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


ClockCat
ClockCat's picture
Posts: 2265
Joined: 2009-03-26
User is offlineOffline
:3

Paisley wrote:

theotherguy wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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!"

Saying that faith increases a certain biochemical process in the brain does not in any way diminish the fact that faith has healing power. 

 

Actually, that pretty much does destroy the idea of faith having healing powers.

 

It means that anything you would attribute to faith healing is within the realm of normal recovery without faith.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:theotherguy

Paisley wrote:

theotherguy wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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!"

Saying that faith increases a certain biochemical process in the brain does not in any way diminish the fact that faith has healing power. 

If only I'd said that - what I said was what you perceive outwardly as faith is a biochemical process. The brain and the body are amazing enough without adding divine woo-woo.

"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


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:Saying that

Paisley wrote:


Saying that faith increases a certain biochemical process in the brain does not in any way diminish the fact that faith has healing power. 

 

I see you are still equivocating 'faith' with hope in the efficacy of a medication or medical procedure. Hasn't this logical fallacy been pointed out to you yet. And if so, why do you persist in repeating what has already been refuted?

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


spike.barnett
Superfan
spike.barnett's picture
Posts: 1018
Joined: 2008-10-24
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:I have cited

Paisley wrote:

I have cited sources. That's what separates my posts from yours.

Speaking of. ClockCat has cited many sources that you have failed address. Faith didn't heal those people.

Were they undeserving? Did they not prey hard enough? Was it just their time? Or do you prefer to make up your own cop-out?

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.
MySpace


thatonedude
Superfan
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-01-15
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:No, you have

Paisley wrote:

No, you have no evidence whatsoever that experiences (regardless of the experience) are identical to brain states. All you have are correlations and assumptions.

It is you who lack evidence. I am not the one making wild claims about immaterial beings and forces. I suggest you start reading up on neural imaging as it relates to subjective religious experience.

Quote:

Also, dualism has a privileged status over materialism because duality is how we actually experience the world. Conventionally, we say that there is an external, physical world and an internal, mental world. And if you believe that the internal world of mental phenomena is completely reducible to the external world of physical phenomena, then the onus is upon you to prove it. Until then, you have no real argument, just dogma.

Again, wild assumptions are all you have. There is no evidence at all to suggest that consciousness is anything but a neurological phenomenon. You are the one assuming that self awareness is indicative of some immaterial reality. Feel free to chime in with your proof anytime.

Quote:

The true skeptic must be skeptical of his own position. This is the dismantling of skepticism. The bottom line is that all metaphysical positions (including materialism) are interpretative systems which are ultimately based on faith. Faith is not a problem for the believer (i.e. the theist). I fully embrace faith. However, faith is anathema to the unbeliever (i.e. the atheist).

I do not claim philosophical skepticism. Throwing metaphysical labels around does not absolve you of the responsibility to prove your claims, which involve immaterial beings and forces. If you think that your conception of faith is real, then by all means, demonstrate your proofs.

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


thatonedude
Superfan
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-01-15
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:Saying that

Paisley wrote:

Saying that faith increases a certain biochemical process in the brain does not in any way diminish the fact that faith has healing power. 

It has no power at all. A placebo effect can not cure anything that is not a simple biochemical disorder in the first place. There is no evidence to support it as a cure for anything else, and no evidence that there is any non-physical action at all. Especially not any supernaturual action.

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


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:Faith is not a

Paisley wrote:
Faith is not a problem for the believer (i.e. the theist).

Killing someone, or being killed because you believe in faith healing is not a problem ?

Paisley wrote:
I fully embrace faith.

No, you do not. You will never risk your life on faith healing when a conventional treatment is available. Not unless you're looking for a god-approved way to commit suicide.

 


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
MichaelMcF wrote:Paisley

MichaelMcF wrote:

Paisley wrote:

I have simply argued that faith heals

 

Wait a moment.  You've been arguing all this time that faith heals because of the placebo effect.  Yet you also mentioned the nocebo.

 

I alone will ignore your ridiculous ignorance of the definitions of faith.  I alone will accept your premise Paisley but only if you accept my assertion that, according to your own argument, faith makes people sick and can kill them.

 

M

 

Any response on this at all? ...

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
treat2 wrote:Paisley wrote:

treat2 wrote:
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.

And?

treat2 wrote:
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.

A positive mental attitude is implicit in faith. Also, the "power of positive thinking" is the hallmark of the New Thought Movement, which has influenced notable preachers/televangelists (e.g. Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, etc.).

Quote:
The New Thought Movement or New Thought is a spiritual movement which developed in the United States during the late 19th century and emphasizes metaphysical beliefs. It consists of a loosely allied group of religious denominations, secular membership organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of metaphysical beliefs concerning the effects of positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization and personal power.[1] It promotes the ideas that God is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, all sickness originates in the mind, and 'right thinking' has a healing effect.

(source: Wikipedia: New Thought)

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

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
MichaelMcF wrote:And why is

MichaelMcF wrote:
And why is the debate here about the Placebo effect, rather than Paisley's misuse of the word "faith"?

How am I misuing faith?

MichaelMcF wrote:
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.

Too late. I have already accomplished this. And the placebo effect is based on faith. If the individual believes that the placebo will be effective, then it will be effective. How is that not faith?

 

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:treat2

Paisley wrote:

treat2 wrote:
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.

And?

treat2 wrote:
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.

A positive mental attitude is implicit in faith. Also, the "power of positive thinking" is the hallmark of the New Thought Movement, which has influenced notable preachers/televangelists (e.g. Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, etc.).

Quote:
The New Thought Movement or New Thought is a spiritual movement which developed in the United States during the late 19th century and emphasizes metaphysical beliefs. It consists of a loosely allied group of religious denominations, secular membership organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of metaphysical beliefs concerning the effects of positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization and personal power.[1] It promotes the ideas that God is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, all sickness originates in the mind, and 'right thinking' has a healing effect.

(source: Wikipedia: New Thought)

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

If you are correct that New Thought influenced the Prosperity Theology that Schuller, Osteen and Kenneth Copeland teach, you have not engendered in me great love for the New Thought movement.

I know too many people that have been screwed over by the "It's God's will that you be rich - give me money and God's power will flow through me to you" crap those schmucks preach.

"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
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:The placebo

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

The placebo effect is based on the individual's belief (i.e. faith) in the effectiveness of placebo. Spin doctoring will not alter this fact.

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

If you accept the placebo effect, then you accept that faith heals by default because the placebo effect is based soley on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo. To argue otherwise is to talk nonsense.

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

If you accept the placebo effect, then you accept that faith heals by default because the placebo effect is based soley on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo. To argue otherwise is to talk nonsense.

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


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
nigelTheBold wrote:You need

nigelTheBold wrote:
You need proof that faith heals? Here you go.

This is your way of attempting to save face. Obviously, you can't refute my argument.

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

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

The placebo effect is based on the individual's belief (i.e. faith) in the effectiveness of placebo. Spin doctoring will not alter this fact.

And what you call faith is the result of brain chemicals - quit trying to make your God fit despite information to the contrary.

LIke:

http://arthritis.about.com/b/2006/08/21/placebo-effect-linked-to-changes-in-brain-chemistry.htm

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=placebo-effect-a-cure-in-the-mind

The brain and the body are amazing enough without the need for woo-woo mysticism.

"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
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
Fish wrote:Paisley wrote:No,

Fish wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

I fail to see how you have proven that belief or faith is physical. You are simply making an assertion. You have no evidence whatsoever.

Fish wrote:
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.

My argument is that faith heals. And irrespective of whether you believe that faith is physical or not does not change the fact that faith heals! So, if you continue to argue that faith is physical, then I will assume you concede the fact that faith heals.

And I agree.  We do have some degree of control over our bodies. This is self-evident and this is a major reason why dualism has precedence over materialism. However, I am not making this argument in this thread. That's an argument that I have already made and won.

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


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Paisley wrote:If you accept

Paisley wrote:

If you accept the placebo effect, then you accept that faith heals by default because the placebo effect is based soley on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo. To argue otherwise is to talk nonsense.

Getting a wee bit tired of repeating myself here, but since it's you, I'll do my darndest to keep it fresh.

Anyhoo, despite your assertions, it is still not fully understood what causes the placebo effect. But what actually happens, can be accurately described as a conditioned response. We are conditioned to expect that doctors and medicine make us better when we're sick, so any treatment we receive makes us psychologically confirm this.

So tell me, what do we need before we can get a conditioned response ? I should think we would need the condition to be met at least once. IOW, there would have to have been a moment when doctors and medecine did indeed make us better.

And I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but does faith work like that ? No, it doesn't. End of story.