Healing and the Power of Faith

Paisley
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Healing and the Power of Faith

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

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

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

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

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

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

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

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

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

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

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

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

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

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

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

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

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


Paisley
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thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
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.

I have argued in the OP that the placebo effect demonstrates the healing power of faith. It's fairly simple. The placebo effect works soley on the basis of the individual's belief in the perceived effectiveness of the placebo. That's not conjecture. That's not speculation. That's simply stating the facts.

thatonedude wrote:
Your disgression about "mind over matter" seems to indicate that you think that a mind is not a result of physical processes.

That's not my digression, that's yours. And this digression is simply  a diversionary tactic in order to obfuscate the fact that you cannot refute the argument in the OP - namely, that faith heals.

thatonedude wrote:
You assume that faith is an immaterial force.

I believe faith is. However, this is not the argument. The argument is that the placebo effect demonstrates that faith heals. Whether you believe faith is physical or not is...well...immaterial (pun intended to drive the point home).

Just FYI, metaphysical physicalism (a.k.a. materialism) holds that there are non-material (i.e. immaterial) forces. But now I am really digressing here. There's really no reason to rehash an argument that I have already won except to reinforce this point.

Quote:
Physicalism is also called "materialism", but the term "physicalism" is preferable because it has evolved with the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicality than matter, for example wave/particle relationships and non-material forces produced by particles.

(source: Wikipedia: Physicalism)

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

thatonedude wrote:
You make connections between placebos and miracles supposedly performed by Jesus. Start by proving those if you want to be taken seriously.

Jesus' teaching that one's faith can lead to healing is a teaching that has been substantiated by the scientific evidence in the form of the placebo effect. That's the connection!

"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:I have argued

Paisley wrote:

I have argued in the OP that the placebo effect demonstrates the healing power of faith. It's fairly simple. The placebo effect works soley on the basis of the individual's belief in the perceived effectiveness of the placebo. That's not conjecture. That's not speculation. That's simply stating the facts.

*sigh*

Hey look, I'm not repeating what I just posted. You have misinterpreted the facts. Go back and read how.

And btw, you keep mentioning this argument you've supposed to have won. Can I have the link to the thread where that went down, please ?

If you're telling the truth, then you shall have a cookie.


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To this thread

To this thread originator...

Next time you and yours would like a vaccination, a cast for a broken bone, a bandaid,
or are in "need" of EMS if your head's split open in a car accident, or you're having a heart attack...

Take a sugar pill and have a nice time with your bible.

Aside from the already proven medical basis for the effects of a positiveattitude, i.e. not faith in gods, this topic has been beaten to death, and you're free to consume as many sugar pills as you like.

Enjoy!


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 You are equivocating two

 You are equivocating two different definitions of faith Paisley and this can't continue until you admit it.

 

The placebo effect, on some level, seems to reduce pain by changing chemistry in the brain's pain messaging pathways. 

 

All you have done is shown the obvious, that a change in mental state coincides with a change in physical state (note that I'm not saying mental state comes before the physical either, it's proven that the physical state has to change before the mental becomes apperent but the feedback of consciousness lets us change future mental states by influencing the physical to change first). Not that this will matter since you continue to reject any idea of emergence and feedback.

 

 

This is no different than an adrenaline rush that comes from the excitement over winning some money in a casino. Do you have to have faith that you will recieve money to justify the excitement? Faith in this instance is a belief based off of previous evidence that people who win money in a casino are payed out. The general population is under the impression that if you take a medication, you're going to get better; a commonly held belief. Under this definition of course belief in a religious faith could be the same as a belief in a medication because they're effectively doing the same thing through different reasons. Both temporarily relieve pain though known psychological and chemical means. Your usage of faith is no different than belief.

 

In a vacuum, faith is the same as belief, but we're not in a vacuum and things are verifiable. Having faith in something because it's all you've ever been told and you have no way of verifying it would be a vacuum where faith and belief based on evidence are the same. The religious traditional definition of faith is a belief in the absense of and/or to the contrary of evidence. The religious definition of faith would in this instance, have me popping 5,000 calories worth of M&Ms a day to cure my obesity (which I'm not) because I have "faith" it would because it makes me feel better. 

 

All you're saying is that a belief can elicit an emotional change which can affect and is effected by the physical state of the brain. Deny emergence and feedback all you want but your definition of faith is a belief in this context, not nearly the same in the epistemological (or lack there of) religious sense which you want to equivocate it to.


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Paisley wrote:I have argued

Paisley wrote:

I have argued in the OP that the placebo effect demonstrates the healing power of faith. It's fairly simple. The placebo effect works soley on the basis of the individual's belief in the perceived effectiveness of the placebo. That's not conjecture. That's not speculation. That's simply stating the facts.

You are underhandedly attempting to link the placebo effect, a physical effect based on a brain feedback loop, with your concept of religious faith. You linked the two in the first fucking post, in case it's slipped your tiny mind. Philosophical hand waving won't save your argument.

Quote:

That's not my digression, that's yours. And this digression is simply  a diversionary tactic in order to obfuscate the fact that you cannot refute the argument in the OP - namely, that faith heals.

Nope, wrong again. You brought up "mind over matter" on the first page.

Quote:

I believe faith is. However, this is not the argument. The argument is that the placebo effect demonstrates that faith heals. Whether you believe faith is physical or not is...well...immaterial (pun intended to drive the point home).

This is entirely the fucking argument. If the placebo effect is entirely a biochemical event, then it leaves no room for your fairy tale driven beliefs. Your whole point breaks down.

Quote:

Just FYI, metaphysical physicalism (a.k.a. materialism) holds that there are non-material (i.e. immaterial) forces. But now I am really digressing here. There's really no reason to rehash an argument that I have already won except to reinforce this point.

When quote mining in the future, I recommend reading the page:

wiki wrote:

The ontology of physicalism ultimately includes whatever is described by physics — not just matter but energy, space, time, physical forces, structure, physical processes, information, state, etc. Because it claims that only physical things exist, physicalism is generally a form of monism.

When I use the word "immaterial," I am using it in the sense of something not part of the material world. All of the above are. I expected that you understood that, but obviously expecting basic comprehension is expecting too much

 

Quote:

Jesus' teaching that one's faith can lead to healing is a teaching that has been substantiated by the scientific evidence in the form of the placebo effect. That's the connection!

No, it hasn't. It's proven that the brain has feedback loops. There's not a shred of evidence that some spiritual or supernatural event is occuring at all. Certainly no one being healed of a hemmorage, or being raised from the dead. Your failed attempt to link the two is pathetic.

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


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I got one for you then

I got one for you then Theist.

 

http://whatstheharm.net/christianscience.html

 

http://whatstheharm.net/religiousfundamentalism.html

 

Religion heals alright, the pockets of pastors and priests never felt so much healing before.


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Well, I guess the challenge

Well, I guess the challenge in these Paisly threads isn't so much to prove him wrong, since pretty much everybody has done that already, it's to find a way to explain it to him in a way he understands and can't dance around for another 500 posts.

I can think of another three ways to do that, but let's try the basics again :

Faith=believe without evidence ? Then you're done. Period. The placebo-effect doesn't work without evidence. Every single person in those trials has experienced being healed by doctors and medicine many, many times. Enough times to elicit a conditioned response every time a doctor gives them medicine. Pay attention now : When we have facts first, and belief second, do we have faith ? No, we don't.

Now if you want, we can draw this out a little and talk about how you yourself don't even believe that faith heals, and have in fact been knowingly wasting everybody's time from the very start.

Personally though, I'm already anticipating your next threads :

"The devil is real, and I have his phone number !"

"Faith & Cosmetic Surgery : Grow, boobies ! Grow ! The power of Christ compels you !"

 


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Anonymouse wrote:Well, I

Anonymouse wrote:
Well, I guess the challenge in these Paisly threads isn't so much to prove him wrong, since pretty much everybody has done that already, it's to find a way to explain it to him in a way he understands and can't dance around for another 500 posts.
Reminds me of a task given to Sisyphus.


 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


Paisley
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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Everything I have stated has been supported by cited sources. On the other hand, you have provided absolutely nothing except your sobbing and whining.

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

I'm not responsible for what people may or may not do. I don't have that kind of power. Also, I would like to point out that I am not the one here advising people with major depression to seek electroconvulsive therapy.

Anonymouse wrote:
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?

I have never argued here for the legitimacy of faith healers. What I have argued is that an individual's belief or faith plays a significant role in healing. And I have substantiated that assertion with scientific evidence. Now, if you think I have violated the law in any way, then I suggest you file a law suit. But I can assure you that I am not about to be deterred by empty bluster.

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

The placebo effect is based soley on the individual's belief (i.e. FAITH) in the effectiveness of the treatment. And I have cited sources ad nauseum to support this claim.

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Actually, you were contending that I was irresponsible for mentioning the efficacy of the placebo because the lives of those suffering from depression were at stake. The truth is that the placebo has been effective in reducing suicide rates in groups suffering from depression. I have cited the source which validates this claim.

It would appear that you either do no understand what the placebo effect is or you are hell-bent on remaining willfully ignorant. Either way, I don't give a damn. I have already provided sources that demonstrate that the placebo effect is based solely on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of a placebo.

Anonymouse wrote:
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 ?

You can make the same argument for drug antidepressants.

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


Paisley
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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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 don't see anything in the foregoing that refutes the reality of the placebo effect. You score points by making them. Hitherto, you have not made one. And based on your track record, I seriously doubt that we will see you make one anytime soon.

"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:
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 don't see anything in the foregoing that refutes the reality of the placebo effect. You score points by making them. Hitherto, you have not made one. And based on your track record, I seriously doubt that we will see you make one anytime soon.

The placebo effect is not faith healing. This has been pointed out to you repeatedly.

You've also seen (if you've elected to look) scientific information that indicates a closer link to the placebo effect and brain chemistry than your sky daddy.

Since you've decided to ignore and insult instead of rebut arguments (which puts me in the majority here), I accept your surrender.

 

 

"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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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.

Yes, I did mention the nocebo. The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo effect. 

MichaelMcF wrote:
I alone will ignore your ridiculous ignorance of the definitions of faith.

The placebo effect is based solely on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo. Please explain to me how that does not entail faith?

Incidentally, others who have particpated in this thread have already gone on record and concur that the placebo effect entails faith.

MichaelMcF wrote:
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.

Where have I stated in this thread that "faith makes people sick and can kill them?" The nocebo effect?

The nocebo effect is not based on faith. Au contraire. It's based on the lack of faith or lack of  trust in a treatment. More specifically, if an individual believes that a treatment will be harmful, then it may indeed be harmful.

However, if your argument is that beliefs (in and of themselves) can be detrimental to one's well-being, then I will agree. Certainly, negative thinking or beliefs can lead to a negative state of mind and therefore to illness. But the converse holds true for positve thinking or beliefs.

"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:Everything I

Paisley wrote:
Everything I have stated has been supported by cited sources.

Your statement that faith heals is not supported by any of the sources you have cited.

Paisley wrote:
On the other hand, you have provided absolutely nothing except your sobbing and whining.

I have provided you with a simple question : Please show us proof of your claim that faith heals. You have not done so.

Paisley wrote:
I'm not responsible for what people may or may not do.

Like I said, you are very careful to avoid responsibility, because you know that what you say is simply not true.

Paisley wrote:
I don't have that kind of power.

You don't have any power at all. That's more or less the point.

Paisley wrote:
Also, I would like to point out that I am not the one here advising people with major depression to seek electroconvulsive therapy.

Of course not. That one can actually work. Also, why not try to actually read my posts instead of just skimming them ?

Paisley wrote:
I have never argued here for the legitimacy of faith healers.

You have argued that faith heals. How is that not argueing for their legitimacy ?

Paisley wrote:
What I have argued is that an individual's belief or faith plays a significant role in healing.

No, you have argued that faith heals. Belief plays a role in the placebo-effect, faith does not, as I have already explained to you.

Paisley wrote:
And I have substantiated that assertion with scientific evidence.

No, you have provided examples of the placebo-effect. You did not provide evidence that faith is in any way involved.

Paisley wrote:
Now, if you think I have violated the law in any way, then I suggest you file a law suit. But I can assure you that I am not about to be deterred by empty bluster.

As I have already explained to you, you do not believe in faith healing, so you will never put yourself in a position where your "faith" will force you to break the law.

Paisley wrote:
The placebo effect is based soley on the individual's belief (i.e. FAITH) in the effectiveness of the treatment.

No, the placebo-effect is based on the fact that everyone has already experienced being healed by doctors and medicine many times before, leading to a conditioned response, every time someone takes a pill or is treated by doctors. No faith is required for this to happen. Faith will get you absolutely nowhere. In fact, it can get you killed.

Paisley wrote:
And I have cited sources ad nauseum to support this claim.

You have ad nauseam cited sources that do not support your claim one little bit.

Paisley wrote:
Actually, you were contending that I was irresponsible for mentioning the efficacy of the placebo because the lives of those suffering from depression were at stake.

I was ? Well, good for me then. I was right to do so.

Paisley wrote:
The truth is that the placebo has been effective in reducing suicide rates in groups suffering from depression. I have cited the source which validates this claim.

And your sources are less than useless. Do I really have to explain why ? Are you that dense ?

Paisley wrote:
It would appear that you either do no understand what the placebo effect is

I have described it quite accurately, leaving out the word "faith" because it has no place in it's definition.

Paisley wrote:
or you are hell-bent on remaining willfully ignorant.

It's quite difficult to remain willfully ignorant when you have to deal with reality. Still, I don't think I'll join you in magic-land, if it's all the same to you.

Paisley wrote:
Either way, I don't give a damn.

Of course you don't. This is all just a game to you. You don't actually believe any of the idiotic things you say.

Paisley wrote:
I have already provided sources that demonstrate that the placebo effect is based solely on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of a placebo.

Er...hello ? Where did the word "faith" go ? Did you just backpedal all the way out of your own thread ?

Paisley wrote:
You can make the same argument for drug antidepressants.

Nope, you can't. They sometimes work.


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Paisley wrote:The placebo

Paisley wrote:
The placebo effect is based solely on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo. Please explain to me how that does not entail faith?

It's already been explained to you. Because it's not belief without evidence.

 


 


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Paisley wrote:MichaelMcF

Paisley wrote:

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.

Yes, I did mention the nocebo. The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo effect. 

MichaelMcF wrote:
I alone will ignore your ridiculous ignorance of the definitions of faith.

The placebo effect is based solely on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo. Please explain to me how that does not entail faith?

Incidentally, others who have particpated in this thread have already gone on record and concur that the placebo effect entails faith.

MichaelMcF wrote:
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.

Where have I stated in this thread that "faith makes people sick and can kill them?" The nocebo effect?

The nocebo effect is not based on faith. Au contraire. It's based on the lack of faith or lack of  trust in a treatment. More specifically, if an individual believes that a treatment will be harmful, then it may indeed be harmful.

However, if your argument is that beliefs (in and of themselves) can be detrimental to one's well-being, then I will agree. Certainly, negative thinking or beliefs can lead to a negative state of mind and therefore to illness. But the converse holds true for positve thinking or beliefs.

Except it's not solely on faith/trust - changes in brain chemistry are involved.

The only way you'd not know that is if you ignored posts contrary to your view. Again, I thank you for your concession.

"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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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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'.

And I never said it was! You are taking one of my posts out of context. I was responding to another forum member who was arguing that relieving pain is not that impressive. But relieving pain is impressive to those who are suffering from it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
The scientific evidence against actual healing from placebo is mounting

No, the evidence is not mounting. You are simply making a naked assertion. You have no evidence...none, zilch, nada! I cite sources to support my claims; you simply make naked assertions. This is why my posts speak with more authority than yours.

BobSpence1 wrote:
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.

It would appear that you are operating under the false notion that the placebo effect has only been established in placebo-controlled studies in which a new treatment is evaluated by comparing it with a sham treatment (i.e. a placebo) designed to have no real effect. While it is true that the placebo effect has been observed in these studies, there have been numerous studies that have specifically tested for and validated the placebo effect. Also, it must be pointed out that in placebo-controlled studies the placebo effect is weaker because the subjects do not know whether they are receiving the active treatment or the sham treatment (the placebo effect is based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment). Moreover, a new treatment is often evaluated in placebo-controlled studies by not only comparing it with a placebo-controlled group but also with a "natural history" group that receives no treatment whatsoever (active or sham). And in these cases the placebo shows to be more effective than the natural history group.

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


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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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 ?

Multi-million dollar business? Try multi-BILLION dollar business. Anti-depressant drugs are the most prescribed drugs in the U.S.

Quote:
In 2005, anti-depressants became the most prescribed drug in the United States, causing more debate over the issue. Some doctors believe this is a positive sign that people are finally seeking help for their issues. Others disagree, saying that this shows that people are becoming too dependent on anti-depressants.[113]

(source: Wikipedia: Antidepressants)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidepressants#Controversy

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Yeah, let's talk about reality.

How much better are antidepressant drugs over placebos?

Quote:
A review of all antidepressant trials submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1987 to 2004 has shown that around half of the trials failed to show any benefit over placebo. All but one of the successful trial results were published in scientific journals, while nearly all the unsuccessful trials were either not published or were presented in a misleadingly positive light (compared to the FDA's own evaluation of the data).

(source: Wikipedia: Antidepressant)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidepressants#Controversy

"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 placebo

Paisley wrote:

The placebo effect is based solely on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo. Please explain to me how that does not entail faith?...

...The nocebo effect is not based on faith. Au contraire. It's based on the lack of faith or lack of  trust in a treatment. More specifically, if an individual believes that a treatment will be harmful, then it may indeed be harmful.

However, if your argument is that beliefs (in and of themselves) can be detrimental to one's well-being, then I will agree. Certainly, negative thinking or beliefs can lead to a negative state of mind and therefore to illness. But the converse holds true for positve thinking or beliefs.

 

So when belief is a good thing it equals faith, but when its a bad thing it doesn't equal faith?  Which is it Paisley?

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Paisley wrote:Multi-million

Paisley wrote:
Multi-million dollar business? Try multi-BILLION dollar business. Anti-depressant drugs are the most prescribed drugs in the U.S.

Yes indeed , they are. I just don't live there. Over here, it's multi-million. Anyway, the question you avoided answering was trying to make you reconsider your claim that "placebo's have cured depression". Placebo's don't cure. It's important to remember that.

Quote:
In 2005, anti-depressants became the most prescribed drug in the United States, causing more debate over the issue. Some doctors believe this is a positive sign that people are finally seeking help for their issues. Others disagree, saying that this shows that people are becoming too dependent on anti-depressants.[113]

(source: Wikipedia: Antidepressants)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidepressants#Controversy

True. Dependence on anti-depressants can be a problem. This doesn't change , however,  that there are very few viable alternatives. Some day, an effective treatment may be found, but it won't involve placebos, and it certainly won't involve faith.

Paisley wrote:
Yeah, let's talk about reality.

About bloody time.

Paisley wrote:
How much better are antidepressant drugs over placebos?

Quote:
A review of all antidepressant trials submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1987 to 2004 has shown that around half of the trials failed to show any benefit over placebo. All but one of the successful trial results were published in scientific journals, while nearly all the unsuccessful trials were either not published or were presented in a misleadingly positive light (compared to the FDA's own evaluation of the data).

(source: Wikipedia: Antidepressant)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidepressants#Controversy

Glad to see you're reading up on the subject. Don't get me started on misleading data, though, we're already getting too far of track. So before we get into more details, let me put it like this : Depression is too complicated a condition for you to use it as an example here. It's unknown what exactly causes it, and it's unknown how best to treat it. People treat the symptoms as best as they can, but so far it's an uphill struggle. The natural progression of depression differs from patient to patient, and is completely unpredictable in most cases. The most frustrating aspect of this is that a seemingly recovered patient can often fall into a full remission without warning. So pronouncing a depression "cured" is guesswork at best. It was your "placebos have cured depression" statement that I was taking issue with here.

 

Now, as for your "faith heals" statement, that one might end up being all about your definition of "faith" and "heals" in this context, I suppose.

We'll see when you get here, I guess, as you seem to be working your way down the list of replies. Might take a while. Oh well...

My apologies to everyone still reading this for dragging this out.


 


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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'.

And I never said it was! You are taking one of my posts out of context. I was responding to another forum member who was arguing that relieving pain is not that impressive. But relieving pain is impressive to those who are suffering from it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
The scientific evidence against actual healing from placebo is mounting

No, the evidence is not mounting. You are simply making a naked assertion. You have no evidence...none, zilch, nada! I cite sources to support my claims; you simply make naked assertions. This is why my posts speak with more authority than yours.

BobSpence1 wrote:
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.

It would appear that you are operating under the false notion that the placebo effect has only been established in placebo-controlled studies in which a new treatment is evaluated by comparing it with a sham treatment (i.e. a placebo) designed to have no real effect. While it is true that the placebo effect has been observed in these studies, there have been numerous studies that have specifically tested for and validated the placebo effect. Also, it must be pointed out that in placebo-controlled studies the placebo effect is weaker because the subjects do not know whether they are receiving the active treatment or the sham treatment (the placebo effect is based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment). Moreover, a new treatment is often evaluated in placebo-controlled studies by not only comparing it with a placebo-controlled group but also with a "natural history" group that receives no treatment whatsoever (active or sham). And in these cases the placebo shows to be more effective than the natural history group.

Others have cited sources - you've cited wikipedia (at least as far as I've seen).

Given your track record, I wouldn't be surprised if you wrote the entries before you cited them.

Brain chemistry + belief in the efficacy of a treatment != faith in your sky-father (no matter how badly you'd like that to be true)

"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:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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'.

And I never said it was! You are taking one of my posts out of context. I was responding to another forum member who was arguing that relieving pain is not that impressive. But relieving pain is impressive to those who are suffering from it.

But you say 'Faith Heals", and 'justify' it by claiming placebo works!!

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

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

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

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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Placebos can in fact heal. Below is the evidence to support the claim. And if you really want to return the favor, then I expect you to provide evidence that refutes this. Simply saying that "placebos do not cure" will not do. Either you produce the evidence to the contrary or I win this point. It's that simple.

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

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

I have just provided evidence that the placebo can indeed lead to healing. And below I will once again provide evidence that the placebo effect is based on the individual's BELIEF in the effectiveness of the treatment. The STRONGER the belief the stronger the effect. That's faith! Now, unless you can provide some kind of evidence to counter this, then this debate is over.

Quote:
Related to this power of expectation is the person’s belief that the treatment that they are taking is real: in both those taking real drugs and those taking placebos, those people who believe they are taking the real treatment (whether they in fact are or not) show a stronger effect, and vice versa....Those who think a treatment will work display a stronger placebo effect than those who do not

(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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Anonymouse wrote:You want us

Anonymouse wrote:
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".

Let me know when you actually have something substantial to refute the argument I posed in the OP. Until then, quit wasting my precious time.

"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:
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.

I have successfully argued that Jesus' teaching that one's faith can lead to healing has been scientifically validated in the form of the placebo effect. Now, unless you can provide evidence to contrary, this debate is over.

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

I have established by reliable sources that the placebo effect is based on an individual's belief (i.e. faith) in the effectiveness of the placebo. To reiterate, either you provide evidence to the contrary or this debate is over.

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

I have supported my argument with cited sources. I'm not making baseless assertions.

Because this forum lacks a panel of neutral judges, this game (debate) must be played on the honor system. I am a fair guy. If you substantiate your argument with cited studies, then I am willing to hear you out. By the same token, I expect you to acknowledge when I have provided evidence to support my argument. Unfortunately, you are refusing to do either. As a result, I must conclude that you are not a person of integrity and therefore I cannot continue this debate because you cannot debate an individual on the honor system when that individual doesn't have any honor.

"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:
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.

They succumb to the placebo effect? I will take this as your way of saying the placebo effect is based on faith. IOW, I win this point.

Also, you are making a straw-man argument here because I am not defending faith healers in this thread. What I have argued is that the placebo effect gives us the basis to say that faith healers (even if they are truly religious racketeers) may be acting as a placebo (it has already been established that physicians can act as a placebo). IOW, people may actually experience healing during a faith healing service because it is their faith (not the evangelist's or minister's faith) that is healing them.

thatonedude wrote:
The placebo effect can not do anything more than affect brain chemistry to a small degree.

This is tantamount to saying that a drug cannot do anything more than affect the brain's (or body's) chemistry. And the term "degree" is a relative one. IOW, affecting the body's  chemistry (even in small degrees) is how drugs work!

thatonedude wrote:
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.

The placebo effect is part of the effectiveness of any active medication.

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

Gastric or duodenal ulcers have been healed (cured) by the placebo. Below is the cited source.

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

Your arguments are nothing more than baseless assertions. Now, unless you can actually provide some evidence to back your assertions, don't bother replying.

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


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Bulldog wrote:Let's just cut

Bulldog wrote:
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.

I have simply argued in the OP of this thread that the placebo effect is based on faith. And it would appear by your foregoing response that you agree.

Bulldog wrote:
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!

Correction! The placebo effect is based on faith. In fact, you have gone on record and stated this much in your post. Perhaps I should remind you what you have explicitly stated: "Beacuse FAITH in placebos WORK" (emphasis mine).

Bulldog wrote:
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

I can see that you are impressed with your own mind chatter. Unfortunately, nothing in the foregoing is relevant to the argument I have posed in the OP of this thread. In fact, you have already gone on record and stated that "faith in placebos work." IOW, you concur with my argument. Thank you very much.

"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:IOW, you

Paisley wrote:

IOW, you concur with my argument. Thank you very much.

This reminds me so much of Steven Colbert. I almost want to call Poe, but that would probably just be wishful thinking.

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

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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jcgadfly wrote:The brain

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

What I call faith? Are you disputing that the placebo effect is not based on belief?

Also, whatever biochemical processes that accompany the faith is really irrelevant - irrelevant in the sense that it does not diminish the reality that faith produces whatever biochemical processes are necessary to achieve success.

jcgadfly wrote:
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 don't believe that faith is physical. Certainly, it doesn't have any known physical attribute. That being said, whether faith is physical or non-physical is really immaterial (pun intended) to the argument that I posed in the OP of this thread. The bottom line is that faith heals and this has been scientifically-established in the form of the placebo effect.

Incidentally, I have never argued in this thread that God is the source of the healing power of faith. I have simply argued that faith has the power to heal. Do you care to fix that (i.e. your mischaracterization of my argument)?

"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:Correlations,

jcgadfly wrote:
Correlations, assumptions, studies, pictures (well MRIs)...

In post #178....you stated...

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

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

Where did I say that?

jcgadfly wrote:
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.

The only faith that is pertinent to the subject matter of this thread is the faith the individual must have in order to produce the placebo effect. And it would appear that you have already gone on record stating that faith is not really in dispute.

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


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

My family doctor is an internist (specialty in infectious diseases) who believes in the healing power of faith. Does it count if I quote him?

I have provided you with clinical studies that have validated my argument. You have provided me with some amateurish skeptical podcaster (who happens to be a medical doctor) simply making the argument that he doesn't believe in the placebo effect. His reason? Well, because he doesn't believe in it. I'm afraid that doesn't count!

Whether you like it or not, the fact is that placebos are widely used in medicine. Why? Because they work!

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

BobSpence1 wrote:
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.

How many times do I have to quote the same Wikipedia article on placebos stating that they are efficacious? In fact, I have just quoted an excerpt that says the placebo effect is "part of the response to any active medication!!" Now, what aren't you getting? Or, are you so intellectually dishonest that it precludes you from acknowledging the source?!

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


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:3

Paisley lost this argument on the first page. He is just running in circles now. :3

 

I think it's best if we just all back away slowly and let him keep going.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Paisley wrote:Placebos can

Paisley wrote:
Placebos can in fact heal. Below is the evidence to support the claim. And if you really want to return the favor, then I expect you to provide evidence that refutes this. Simply saying that "placebos do not cure" will not do. Either you produce the evidence to the contrary or I win this point. It's that simple.

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

One of the things you seem to keep forgetting when you keep quoting these articles, is that you are not qualified to interpret those studies in any meaningful way whatsoever.

What exactly do you know about ulcers and the natural progression of that condition ? Do you know what other causes can adversely influence it ? Do you know exactly why it used to be thought it was caused by stress ? Have you in fact, studied this medical subject in any way at all ? No.

I'll repeat it for you : You are not qualified to interpret medical trials. If I want to know where to find a bible verse, I'll come to you. If I want to know what kind of real-life conclusions to draw from a medical trial, I'll ask a doctor who actually deals with real patients, thank you very much.

Produce evidence to the contrary of what ? You didn't prove anything yet. It's that simple.

Paisley wrote:
I have just provided evidence that the placebo can indeed lead to healing.

No, you have amused us with your personal interpretation of a clinical trial. Oh, and you left out the quote marks. They were there for a reason.

Paisley wrote:
And below I will once again provide evidence that the placebo effect is based on the individual's BELIEF in the effectiveness of the treatment. The STRONGER the belief the stronger the effect.

Here it comes !

Paisley wrote:
That's faith!

Nope, it isn't.  Unless you define faith as belief based on evidence, in which case you've been wasting my time from the start.

Paisley wrote:
Now, unless you can provide some kind of evidence to counter this,

You don't have any evidence to counter. I just have to point out your mistakes, which I did.

Paisley wrote:
then this debate is over.

Boy, I wish. You don't read your own threads, do you ? Not having evidence doesn't slow you down in the slightest.

Quote:
Related to this power of expectation is the person’s belief that the treatment that they are taking is real: in both those taking real drugs and those taking placebos, those people who believe they are taking the real treatment (whether they in fact are or not) show a stronger effect, and vice versa....Those who think a treatment will work display a stronger placebo effect than those who do not

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

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

 

Notice the word "faith" in there ? Yeah, me neither.

 

 


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Paisley wrote:Let me know

Paisley wrote:
Let me know when you actually have something substantial to refute the argument I posed in the OP.

That's been done to death, so we're just passing the time discussing your general insanity. I notice you didn't answer the question. Gosh.

Paisley wrote:
Until then, quit wasting my precious time.

I'm sure there's a wiki article somewhere that proves your time is more precious than mine, but you didn't quote it here, so I don't believe you.


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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:

Paisley wrote:
Let me know when you actually have something substantial to refute the argument I posed in the OP.

That's been done to death, so we're just passing the time discussing your general insanity. I notice you didn't answer the question. Gosh.

Paisley wrote:
Until then, quit wasting my precious time.

I'm sure there's a wiki article somewhere that proves your time is more precious than mine, but you didn't quote it here, so I don't believe you.

He hasn't written it yet - give him time.

"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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ClockCat wrote:Paisley

ClockCat wrote:
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.
 

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.

No, it doesn't because the placebo effect is based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment. The stronger the belief the stronger the placebo effect. I have repeatedly cited sources to support this claim. Now, unless you have any evidence to indicate otherwise, then you have no argument and this debate is over.

"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:
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.

It would appear that you are seeking to argue that there is no such thing as faith. Is that your argument?

Whether you believe faith is merely a biochemical process or not does not diminish the reality that faith has the power to heal. Now, unless you have any evidence that refutes the placebo effect or that the placebo effect is not based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment, then this debate is over.

"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:
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.

No, it doesn't because the placebo effect is based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment. The stronger the belief the stronger the placebo effect. I have repeatedly cited sources to support this claim. Now, unless you have any evidence to indicate otherwise, then you have no argument and this debate is over.

Please quit trying to leap from the placebo effect to a faith in God. You've been shown studies that the placebo effect is not belief alone and certainly is not faith in your God.

Unless you have peer-reviewed work behind you, quoting Wikipedia entries that you probably contributed to isn't a source.

What I have argued is that what you call faith in God has biochemical origins. This has been shown in studies using MRIs and PET scans.

 

"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:I have

Paisley wrote:

I have successfully argued that Jesus' teaching that one's faith can lead to healing has been scientifically validated in the form of the placebo effect. Now, unless you can provide evidence to contrary, this debate is over.

Nope, it hasn't. Again, you are attempting to link the biblical stories of healing with the placebo effect. These are two different things. I agree the debate is over, but largely because it never really began in the first place.

Quote:

I have established by reliable sources that the placebo effect is based on an individual's belief (i.e. faith) in the effectiveness of the placebo. To reiterate, either you provide evidence to the contrary or this debate is over.

First, you equate the religious idea  of "Christian faith" with a belief in a medicine's efficacy. These are two different things. Second, you equate the placebo effect(which only affects brain chemistry at best) with the faith healings supposedly performed by Jesus(which range from curing blindness to raising the dead). Finally, you are making the assumption that "faith" and thus the placebo effect are things that are not part of the physical universe. You haven't proven a damned thing about faith and actual healing. Can you not wrap your pea brain around this, or is it a deliberate effort?

Quote:

I have supported my argument with cited sources. I'm not making baseless assertions.

Not only are they baseless, they are wild assumptions that don't even make logical sense.

Quote:

Because this forum lacks a panel of neutral judges, this game (debate) must be played on the honor system. I am a fair guy. If you substantiate your argument with cited studies, then I am willing to hear you out. By the same token, I expect you to acknowledge when I have provided evidence to support my argument. Unfortunately, you are refusing to do either. As a result, I must conclude that you are not a person of integrity and therefore I cannot continue this debate because you cannot debate an individual on the honor system when that individual doesn't have any honor.

Oh, my, Paisley doesn't think I'm a person of integrity because I don't let him get away with groundless assertions and underhanded attempts at philosophical handwaving. BOO HOO!

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Paisley wrote:Whether you

Paisley wrote:

Whether you believe faith is merely a biochemical process or not does not diminish the reality that faith has the power to heal. Now, unless you have any evidence that refutes the placebo effect or that the placebo effect is not based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment, then this debate is over.

I've stayed out of this because it's a ridiculous argument that centers on semantics, rather than non-naturalistic processes. But there seems to be a difference between belief and faith.

It isn't the power of faith, it's the power of belief.

"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: Paisley

nigelTheBold wrote:

Paisley wrote:

Whether you believe faith is merely a biochemical process or not does not diminish the reality that faith has the power to heal. Now, unless you have any evidence that refutes the placebo effect or that the placebo effect is not based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment, then this debate is over.

I've stayed out of this because it's a ridiculous argument that centers on semantics, rather than non-naturalistic processes. But there seems to be a difference between belief and faith.

It isn't the power of faith, it's the power of belief.

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Paisley wrote:They succumb

Paisley wrote:

They succumb to the placebo effect? I will take this as your way of saying the placebo effect is based on faith. IOW, I win this point.

If you don't equate "faith" with the concept of religous faith(an equation you made starting in your first post).

Quote:

Also, you are making a straw-man argument here because I am not defending faith healers in this thread.

Liar. Your first post was an attempt to link the placebo effect to the story of a faith healer(Jesus).

Quote:

What I have argued is that the placebo effect gives us the basis to say that faith healers (even if they are truly religious racketeers) may be acting as a placebo (it has already been established that physicians can act as a placebo). IOW, people may actually experience healing during a faith healing service because it is their faith (not the evangelist's or minister's faith) that is healing them.

They aren't experiencing healing. That's the fucking point.

Quote:

This is tantamount to saying that a drug cannot do anything more than affect the brain's (or body's) chemistry. And the term "degree" is a relative one. IOW, affecting the body's  chemistry (even in small degrees) is how drugs work!

The term "degree" is radically important. Changing brain chemistry will not result in the likes of biblical healings, or even the healing reported by contemporary faith healers. You are making a false connection.

Quote:

The placebo effect is part of the effectiveness of any active medication.

No shit.

Quote:

Gastric or duodenal ulcers have been healed (cured) by the placebo. Below is the cited source.

Indirectly. Those types of ulcers are commonly treated with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics(as in 80% of the cases, it's associated with a colony of Helicobacter pylori), and the placebo effect is linked with the body's anti-infammation systems(see: acute phase response). Again, nothing magical going on, just physical systems interacting. No one insta-healing blood flows, curing blindness with spit and dirt or raising people from the dead.

 

Quote:

Your arguments are nothing more than baseless assertions. Now, unless you can actually provide some evidence to back your assertions, don't bother replying.

Back at you, moron.

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todangst wrote:Paisley

todangst wrote:
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?

Either you are deliberately playing stupid or you really don't comprehend basic English terms.

"Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Quote:
faith: something that is believed especially with strong conviction

(source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary) 

The placebo effect is based on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment (i.e. the placebo).1

Now, let's slowly walk through this:

1) Does the placebo effect depend on the subject's belief or conviction in the effectiveness of the treatment (i.e. the placebo)?

Answer: Yes. Why? Because I have provided documentation that supports the claim.

2) Does the subject's belief or conviction in the effectiveness of the treatment entail hope?

Answer: Yes. Why? Because if I have the belief or conviction that a treatment will be effective, then it logically follows that I am hopeful that it will be effective. Do you see how this works?

3) Now, does the subject's belief or conviciton in the effectiveness of the treatment entail faith?

Answer: Yes. Why? Because if I have the belief or conviction that a treament will be effective, then it logically follows that I am hopeful that it will be effective and therefore trust that it will be effective. This is faith. Now, do you see how belief, hope, and faith work together?

Hopefully this vocabulary lesson in some basic English terms will clarify things for you.

Just some basic trivia. R. D. Laing was a staunch critic of biological psychiatry and challenged the notion that it was a real science. Also, he viewed mental illness as a transformative journey analogous to the shamanic journey. 2 (I thought you might find this interesting.)

Wikipedia's article entitled "Placebo" 

2 Wikipedia's article entitled "R. D. Laing"

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


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spike.barnett wrote:Paisley

spike.barnett wrote:
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?

They were irrelevant to argument that I made in the OP of this thread. Perhaps, if you actually read the OP, then you may have discovered this fact. As it is, you are simply content to remain in your role as a drive-by pest.  You're not a real player and reflections on your past track record would indicate that nothing will change in the foreseeable future.

"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:I do not

thatonedude wrote:
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.

I have successfully argued in the OP of this thread that faith has the power to heal because it has been scientifically-established in the form of the placebo effect. Now, unless you can provide me some kind of evidence to the contrary, then you can expect your future responses to be given short shrift.

"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

Paisley wrote:

thatonedude wrote:
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.

I have successfully argued in the OP of this thread that faith has the power to heal because it has been scientifically-established in the form of the placebo effect. Now, unless you can provide me some kind of evidence to the contrary, then you can expect your future responses to be given short shrift.

And you've been proven wrong repeatedly. Evidence to the contrary or evidence that the placebo effect is not solely faith (as you insist it is) has also been provided to you.

You consistently disregard it. Do you only cite Wikipedia articles that you've written yourself or what?

"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

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.).

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 am correct. New Thought (e.g. Unity, Religious Science, Christian Science, etc.) has influenced the entire religious or spiritual spectrum from the New Age movement to the Prosperity Gospel, and it is especially influential in business (marketing to be precise). And I could care less if you are impressed with it or not. The whole point is that PMA (positive mental attitude) is implicit in faith and it forms the basis for the placebo effect. And conversely, NMA (negative mental attitude) is implicit in a lack of faith and it forms the basis for the nocebo effect. Both are the hallmarks of the New Thought movement.

"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:
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.).

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 am correct. New Thought (e.g. Unity, Religious Science, Christian Science, etc.) has influenced the entire religious or spiritual spectrum from the New Age movement to the Prosperity Gospel, and it is especially influential in business (marketing to be precise). And I could care less if you are impressed with it or not. The whole point is that PMA (positive mental attitude) is implicit in faith and it forms the basis for the placebo effect. And conversely, NMA (negative mental attitude) is implicit in a lack of faith and it forms the basis for the nocebo effect. Both are the hallmarks of the New Thought movement.

Yep - that would be like theists. Claimng full credit for what is partially (if not mostly) the physical self-repair ability.

Next, they'll be saying God created Band-Aids

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

Paisley wrote:

I have successfully argued in the OP of this thread that faith has the power to heal because it has been scientifically-established in the form of the placebo effect. Now, unless you can provide me some kind of evidence to the contrary, then you can expect your future responses to be given short shrift.

No need. Your childish foolishness and bad logic have exhausted what little patience I had for you.

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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

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.

Carol and Richard Eustice (the source you cited) state, and I quote, "Positive thinking, faith, mind over matter - all elicit good results."1

Let's break it down for you. The authors of the blog you quoted state:

1) POSITIVE THINKING

2) FAITH

3) MIND OVER MATTER

all ELICIT GOOD RESULTS!

Also, the Wikipedia article on the placebo effect which I have repeatedly quoted in this thread discusses some of the biochemical processes involved in the placebo effect. (You seem to be operating under the false impression that you are presenting me with some kind of newsflash. Tell me something new that I don't already know!) But how does this diminish in any way the fact that faith heals? The whole point of the placebo effect is that the placebo is an inert substance or sham treatment that cannot alter biochemistry. This is the whole point! The mystery (if you will) is how does "positive thinking, faith, mind over matter" alter biochemistry? And even if you insist that faith is somehow physical, this does not change the fact that FAITH heals! So, you have no argument.

1 About.com article's entitled "Placebo Effect Linked to Brain Chemistry" by Carol and Richard Eustice

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


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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

The placebo effect is based on the subject's BELIEF in the effectiveness in the treatment. How that belief or faith is elicited is really irrelevant. I have already cited the source to support my argument. You have provided nothing. Therefore, this debate is over.

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