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


jcgadfly
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Paisley wrote:jcgadfly

Paisley wrote:

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

You're the one saying the placebo faith is solely on faith - If you only just now started to read the stuff you cite then I've accomplished something.

The point is that the biochemistry of the belief triggers the biochemistry of the healing - a fact you haven't refuted and now don't seem to be denying.

"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:

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.

 

They were entirely relevant to the OP. Provide evidence of a placebo effect raising someone from the dead and I'll give you props. Otherwise, the only things it has shown is that if a person believes they are being treated by a medicine they know of, then some will say they feel better when asked after treated.

 

Also, you obviously didn't watch the video.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Paisley
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treat2 wrote:To this thread

treat2 wrote:
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!

Translation: "I cannot refute the argument as presented in the OP of this thread. Therefore, I will attempt to save face by employing a diversionary tactic."

 

"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:treat2

Paisley wrote:

treat2 wrote:
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!

Translation: "I cannot refute the argument as presented in the OP of this thread. Therefore, I will attempt to save face by employing a diversionary tactic."

 

Nah. More like "There is no meat left on the carcass of this argument so I may as well make a xylophone out of the bones and play a tune."

"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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Di66en6ion wrote:This is no

Di66en6ion wrote:
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.

The bottom line is the placebo effect based soley on the subject's belief (i.e. FAITH or TRUST) in the effectiveness of the treatment. How that belief, faith, or trust is really irrelevant. It doesn't change the fact that faith can lead to healing.

Di66en6ion wrote:
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.

Blah, blah, blah, blah...ad nauseum. Now, since you have not been able to refute the argument that I have posed in the OP of this thread, then this debate is over. IOW, I win and you lose.

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


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Paisley, you don't have to whine and cry just because you can't win a debate.

 

There are OTHER things out there you can try to be good at. Really. Take a deep breath.

 

 

 

 

It's all okay.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Anonymouse wrote:I can think

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

What a pathetic act of desperation! Whether the faith is based on evidence or not has no bearing on the efficacy of the faith to produce the placebo effect. All that is required is that the individual must believe in the effectiveness of the treatment. How exactly that beleif is elicited is irrelevant. IOW, if an individual truly believes that placing a twisted horn-shaped amulet (a placebo) around his neck by a qualified folk healer will remove a dreaded illness caused by the evil eye, then it is more likely to work! Why? Because the placebo effect is based soley on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment.

By the way, how is it really possible to believe in something without any evidence whatsoever? Clearly, this type of faith must be something very mysterious. The atheist's definition of faith lends more credence to the idea that faith is a divine gift.

"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:Di66en6ion

Paisley wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:
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.

The bottom line is the placebo effect based soley on the subject's belief (i.e. FAITH or TRUST) in the effectiveness of the treatment. How that belief, faith, or trust is really irrelevant. It doesn't change the fact that faith can lead to healing.

Di66en6ion wrote:
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.

Blah, blah, blah, blah...ad nauseum. Now, since you have not been able to refute the argument that I have posed in the OP of this thread, then this debate is over. IOW, I win and you lose.

Only if you count self-contradiction as a win. Do you not read what you write to people?

"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:

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

What a pathetic act of desperation! Whether the faith is based on evidence or not has no bearing on the efficacy of the faith to produce the placebo effect. All that is required is that the individual must believe in the effectiveness of the treatment. How exactly that beleif is elicited is irrelevant. IOW, if an individual truly believes that placing a twisted horn-shaped amulet (a placebo) around his neck by a qualified folk healer will remove a dreaded illness caused by the evil eye, then it is more likely to work! Why? Because the placebo effect is based soley on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment.

By the way, how is it really possible to believe in something without any evidence whatsoever? Clearly, this type of faith must be something very mysterious. The atheist's definition of faith lends more credence to the idea that faith is a divine gift.

 

Obviously you didn't watch the video.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Paisley
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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Belief plays a role in the placebo-effect, faith does not? LOL!

This debate is over. I win; you lose. I can only hope that you will learn form this experience.

"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 on the subject's BELIEF in the effectiveness in the treatment.How that belief or faith is elicited is really irrelevant.

I'm sure that by now you mentioned your definition of "faith" somewhere. I'll go have a look at that further down and see if you wasted my time or not.

And the relevant question here is wether or not you can call it "faith" if it's belief with evidence. Since your OP is all about squeezing the word "faith' in there, it is most certainly very relevant indeed.

Paisley wrote:
I have already cited the source to support my argument.

Just exactly what you're argueing here becomes less clear the more you post, so that remains to be seen.

Paisley wrote:
You have provided nothing.

I tried to make you face the reality of the consequences of your claims. Like you said, you "don't give a damn". I think that provides an insight in your character at least.

Paisley wrote:
Therefore, this debate is over.

You call what you're doing "debating" ?

 


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Paisley wrote:What a

Paisley wrote:
What a pathetic act of desperation!

All that hot air, just for me ? Why, I'm touched.

Paisley wrote:
Whether the faith is based on evidence or not has no bearing on the efficacy of the faith to produce the placebo effect.

It has bearing on wether you can call it faith or not.

Paisley wrote:
All that is required is that the individual must believe in the effectiveness of the treatment.

Well, no, that's not all that's required. As I explained, for a conditioned response to work, the condition would need to be met at least once.

Paisley wrote:
How exactly that beleif is elicited is irrelevant.
 

No, it's not. This is about wether you can justifiably call it faith or not. Actually, since it's your claims we're talking about here, it's about how you personally define faith.

Paisley wrote:
IOW, if an individual truly believes that placing a twisted horn-shaped amulet (a placebo) around his neck by a qualified folk healer will remove a dreaded illness caused by the evil eye, then it is more likely to work!
 

Got clinical trial results for that too, right ? Btw, how did he get "qualified" ? Did he actually produce results ? Which would give the individual the evidence needed to believe and trigger the placebo-effect ? Thanks for proving my point again.

Paisley wrote:
Why? Because the placebo effect is based soley on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment.
 

This is the second time you dropped "faith". Are you saying that to you, faith, and belief supported by evidence are the same thing ?

Paisley wrote:
By the way, how is it really possible to believe in something without any evidence whatsoever?
 

Lol ! You tell me ! You're the theist ! Seriously, it's called "kidding yourself".

Paisley wrote:
Clearly, this type of faith must be something very mysterious.
  

People kid themselves all the time. Others are conned. Not a lot of mystery there.

Paisley wrote:
The atheist's definition of faith lends more credence to the idea that faith is a divine gift.

Er..no, it doesn't. It kind of makes you look like gullible idiots or devious liars.


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Paisley wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Belief plays a role in the placebo-effect, faith does not? LOL!

This debate is over. I win; you lose. I can only hope that you will learn form this experience.

 

Obviously, you didn't watch the video.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Paisley wrote:Belief plays a

Paisley wrote:
Belief plays a role in the placebo-effect, faith does not?

Belief supported by evidence, yup. I'm thinking that's not how you define faith, or is it ?

Paisley wrote:
LOL!

Good to see you don't take yourself too seriously.

Paisley wrote:
This debate is over.

Huh ? So "faith" = belief supported by evidence ? And you proved you are somehow qualified to interpret medical data ? And you would indeed choose faith healing instead of conventional treatment when your life was on the line ? Gee, looks like I missed a few posts.

Paisley wrote:
I win

If all that happened, then you sure did.

Paisley wrote:
you lose.

Well, no, see, if all the above is true, then we actually agree with each other, so we both win ! Yay for us !

Paisley wrote:
I can only hope that you will learn form this experience.

I'm certainly learning some things about you, that's for darn sure.


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Paisley wrote:Anonymouse

Paisley wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Belief plays a role in the placebo-effect, faith does not? LOL!

This debate is over. I win; you lose. I can only hope that you will learn form this experience.

Belief is based on at least some evidence (the patient believes the doctor won't harm him, the woman with the issue of blood probably heard of or perhaps even saw Jesus heal - the Bible is conveniently vague on that point). Faith is based on no evidence (if you go by Paul's definition) and indeed, often exists in the face of contrary evidence.

As your definition of a "win" is being completely and utterly refuted - enjoy your victory.

 

 

"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:
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?

No, that is not what I said. Certainly, faith can be misplaced and lead to something that is detrimental to your well-being. For example, you can place your faith or trust in an unscrupulus lawyer who is not looking out for your best interest. However, the point is that faith itself is a positive belief, not a negative one. And the nocebo effect is not based on a positive belief, but a negative one.

"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:They were

Paisley wrote:

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.

I'm really hurt. That means a lot coming from you...

I think it's about time you give up and end this. Just admit that it's nothing more than placebo and that religion is irrelevant here, or provide evidence that it's substantially better than the placebo effect. Otherwise your just showing that placebos work.

ClockCat wrote:

Also, you obviously didn't watch the video.

He apparently didn't read the OP either.

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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Paisley, all beliefs are

Paisley, all beliefs are considered faith under your definition then. Give ONE example where I couldn't possibly redefine a belief as "faith" under your rhetorical rouse. With anything you say I could just cite the person's lack of knowledge about how things work on a more micro scale and call it faith. Or for that matter I could just throw out some mumbo-jumbo about it taking "faith" to "know" if there even such a thing as truth at all.

 

You have no argument, all you're doing is saying belief = belief and trying to sidetrack it to give religion some sort of legitimacy (yes, we know that's what you're trying to do). I've stated before that in a general sense, faith and belief are the exact same thing, it's just that faith is a socially demoted term used to sort out faulty concepts. The people taking the placebo have evidence in the form of doctors and medication (whether it's the legit stuff or not). Religious people have there own form of evidence in the form of written scripture and the social networks of churches. Trying to link the faith you're using to a faith in a particular god is so far out of context that you simply aren't smart enough for this debate if you can't see why.

The only argument that can be logically derived from the placibo effect at all is that it might be better to believe a lie (whatever the perceived positive outcome is) as long as it does more good than harm. It's this sort of psychological mechanism that gives a small glimpse at why religioin has such a hold on people.

Would you condone the use of lies as long as it makes people feel better? Is this really the road you think is morally acceptable to take?

 

It's commonly known that things like chronic anxiety can causes illness as well, not just in humans either. I just want to know if you think it's the belief itself that's healing/hurting people or the physical reactions to things like fear that are hardwired into the brain to produce stress that are doing the work?


Paisley
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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

Placebos have worked as well or even better than antidepressant drugs. A recent study has demonstrated that placebos had a higher CURE rate of depression (32%) than Zoloft (25%). It's important to remember that I am citing a source that supports these claims. 1

1 "Against Depression a Sugar Pill Is Hard to Beat" by Shankar Vedantam, Staff Writer for the Washington Post

Anonymouse wrote:
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.

It's important to remember that in your previous post you were asking why the antidepressant drug business is such a huge business. One answer may be that "people are becoming dependent on anti-depressants" (I believe the same reason applies to the tobacco and cigarette business). And it's important to remember that I cited a source to support this claim!

Also, there are effective treatments for depression that involve faith. It's called the placebo effect. And it's important to remember that I cited a source to support this claim!

Moreover, there already was an effective treatment for depression prior to advent of antidepressant drugs in the 1980's. It was called psychotherapy - a term which literally means "treatment of the soul." And psychotherapy is based on a relationship between the therapist and patient which (like any relationship) definitely involves trust and faith!

"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:

BobSpence1 wrote:
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!!

True, I did say that faith heals. And I cited sources to support my claim that the placebo works, which you are simply refusing to acknowledge and thereby revealing your intellectual dishonesty. However, I have never argued that relieving pain in and of itself constituted healing. What I have argued that relieving pain is a big deal to those who are suffering from pain!

 

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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
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!!

True, I did say that faith heals. And I cited sources to support my claim that the placebo works, which you are simply refusing to acknowledge and thereby revealing your intellectual dishonesty. However, I have never argued that relieving pain in and of itself constituted healing. What I have argued that relieving pain is a big deal to those who are suffering from pain!

 

Placebo effect works != faith heals as the placebo effect is not solely faith which you admitted to me earlier.

Intellectual dishonesty? Thy name is Paisley.

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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
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!!

True, I did say that faith heals. And I cited sources to support my claim that the placebo works, which you are simply refusing to acknowledge and thereby revealing your intellectual dishonesty. However, I have never argued that relieving pain in and of itself constituted healing. What I have argued that relieving pain is a big deal to those who are suffering from pain!

 

Placebo effect works != faith heals as the placebo effect is not solely faith which you admitted to me earlier.

Intellectual dishonesty? Thy name is Paisley.

And of course I don't think anyone is 'refusing to acknowledge' the reality of the placebo effect, just that beyond clearly subjective things like experience of pain and depression, we are arguing that its effects are quite limited.

You then admit that "relieving pain [does not] in and of itself constituted healing", but refuse to accept that that makes your argument from 'placebo works' to 'faith heals' very tenuous in the extreme.

 

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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:

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 a lame argument. The bottom line is that you have no evidence to the contrary and therefore you have no counterargument.

Anonymouse wrote:
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 know that most ulcers are not due to stress or gastric secretion, but to the bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. In fact, the Wiki article stresses this very point in order to highlight the significance of the placebo effect in healing ulcers.

Quote:
(It is now known gastic secretion is irrelevant since most ulcers are due to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori). 

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

The honorable thing for you to do now is to simply say "touche," therby humbly conceding the point and the argument. Unfortunately, it does not appear that you 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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jcgadfly wrote:Paisley

jcgadfly wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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.

I never mentioned God in the argument I posed in the OP. IOW, you're making a straw-man argument.

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

The Wikipedia article  has cited sources (professional medical journals). Attacking Wikipedia is not a very good ruse. Why? Because it is the greatest repository of human knowledge and is growing exponentially even as I write this statement. If you actually have a problem with a claim in the Wikipedia article, then the onus is upon you to state why it is in error and to provide documentation to support your claim. Certainly, no source is free from error. However, simply saying that it is in error without backing it up doesn't mean anything.

jcgadfly wrote:
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.

This is a ridiculous argument. I have never denied that belief leads to biochemical changes. In fact, the Wikipedia explicilty discusses some of the biochemical processes that may be involve in certain instances. However, what does this prove? Or more specifically, how does this diminish the fact that the placebo effect is based on the individual's belief in the effectiveness of the placebo? Answer: It doesn't! Of course belief in the placebo (which in itself is physically inert) leads to bodily changes and therefore to the healing of the body. This is the WHOLE POINT!

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Paisley wrote:What a lame

Paisley wrote:
What a lame argument.

I don't hear you denying this "lame argument". In your world, that can only mean one thing : you lose.

Paisley wrote:
The bottom line is that you have no evidence to the contrary and therefore you have no counterargument.

The bottom line is that no evidence to the contrary is needed, since all those examples prove is that there is such a thing as the placebo-effect.

The conclusions you draw from these articles, however, are what this is all about, so the simple fact that you are not in the least qualified to draw any kind of conclusions from any kind of medical data, is only one of the many arguments that completly destroys your case.

Paisley wrote:
I know that most ulcers are not due to stress or gastric secretion, but to the bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. In fact, the Wiki article stresses this very point in order to highlight the significance of the placebo effect in healing ulcers.

Quote:
(It is now known gastic secretion is irrelevant since most ulcers are due to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori). 

(source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

This is hilarious. You underlined the question, and yet you appear to not even have read it. I asked you if you knew what other causes could influence the natural progression of the condition.I asked you if you knew why it used to be thought it was caused by stress. I'm trying to make you do some of your own thinking, so you can save some of your shredded dignity from this embarassing mess you've made.

The only thing you have underlined here is my point that you are not qualified to interpret medical data. Would you like another hint, or are you finally going to actually start studying the things you talk about ?

Paisley wrote:
The honorable thing for you to do now is to simply say "touche," therby humbly conceding the point and the argument. Unfortunately, it does not appear that you have any honor.

For putting up with your juvenile nonsense, the honourable thing to happen would be for me to get some kind of medal.

 


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thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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!

Boo hoo...no cited sources to support your counterarguments (and I am using this term very loosely)...you lose!

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thatonedude wrote:Paisley

thatonedude wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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!

Boo hoo...no cited sources to support your counterarguments (and I am using this term very loosely)...you lose!

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


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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.

It isn't the power of faith, it's the power of belief? And you have the audacity to make the accusation that my argument centers on semantics? LOL!

Okay, have it your way: The power of BELIEF has the power to heal!

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


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Where both placebo and

Where both placebo and 'faith' can affect physiological symptoms is indirectly via reduction of chronic stress, which is know to have direct effects on health.

This is a good discussion from a reputable source about the effects of stress.

We need to keep track of the actual causal chain to really understand what is going on - it is far more likely that placebo and faith act NOT directly on physical symptoms or effects of the health problem, but only have an effect to the extent that the problems are due to things like stress, which are directly affected by changes in one's mental state.

IOW if the problems are due to things like infectious agents which have been able to get past a healthy immune system, in someone with no obvious symptoms of mental stress or disturbance, it is unlikely that placebos etc will have much effect.

Ignoring this distinction leads to the worst effects of belief in the 'healing power of faith', where underlying physical problems are not addressed

 

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

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Sorry, almost missed this

Sorry, almost missed this one.

Paisley wrote:
Placebos have worked as well or even better than antidepressant drugs. A recent study has demonstrated that placebos had a higher CURE rate of depression (32%) than Zoloft (25%). It's important to remember that I am citing a source that supports these claims. 1

Oh great, looks like I'll have to repeat myself again. Okay then : First of all, you are stil not qualified to interpret medical data.

And neither is this Shankar fellow.

I'll try to make it as simple as possible for you : Do you consider a patient cured when his symptoms are dulled for a while, only to return in full force a few days after he gets kicked out of the hospital ? There is not a single psychiatrist quoted in that article who can guarantee a recovery will last, and if someone does manage to get rid of all his symptoms for the rest of their natural life, they haven't got the foggiest idea how that might have happened (Some are more than happy to take the credit, of course).

But you do ? You figured it all out ? I have a list of patients for you to "cure". Better stock up on sugar pills, cuz it's a long one. If you're too busy, I'll send 'em over to Shankar, shall I ?

There isn't a single doctor or psychiatrist in the world who can cure a case of depression that doesn't cure itself. This is a fact that some people find out the hard way.

Oh yeah, I forgot, facts are "lame arguments".

Paisley wrote:
It's important to remember that in your previous post you were asking why the antidepressant drug business is such a huge business.One answer may be that "people are becoming dependent on anti-depressants" (I believe the same reason applies to the tobacco and cigarette business). And it's important to remember that I cited a source to support this claim!

That's a waste of a perfectly good exclamation mark. Read what I wrote. Where exactly do I disagree with you on the dependence thing ? It's only one of the many negative side-effects, but the point is, anti-depressants are still the only working tool we have to control the symptoms, which is all anyone can do at this point.

Paisley wrote:
Also, there are effective treatments for depression that involve faith. It's called the placebo effect.

Effective treatment, you say ? Millions and millions of patients are heading to your front door right now. Gee, think of all the lives you'll save, all the money you'll make. You're gonna be rich and famous beyond your wildest dreams.

Paisley wrote:
And it's important to remember that I cited a source to support this claim!

Lemme guess, could it have been one of those medical trials that you're not qualified to interpret ? You know what, I think it could be.

Paisley wrote:
Moreover, there already was an effective treatment for depression prior to advent of antidepressant drugs in the 1980's. It was called psychotherapy - a term which literally means "treatment of the soul." And psychotherapy is based on a relationship between the therapist and patient which (like any relationship) definitely involves trust and faith!

You know all those millions and millions of patients I just mentioned ? The ones heading to your door right now ? Guess what, they had psychotherapy. Lots of it. Many multi-billion dollars worth of the stuff. And it didn't work. Gee, I guess they didn't invest enough "faith" in their relationship with the therapist.

Now are you going to educate yourself on this subject or not ? Granted, it's going to take a lot of time and effort, but at least you'll know what you're talking about.

No ? Don't wanna ?

Oh well, I tried.


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Paisely, the 'nocebo' effect

Paisely, the 'nocebo' effect is at least as strong as the placebo effect - people have died from beliefs, such as belief that they had a fatal tumor, which autopsy revealed had not grown at all, or belief they had been 'cursed' by a witchdoctor, etc. 

So to be logical and consistent ( why does the thought of applying those terms to your discussion make me want to LOL? ) you have to incorporate this fact into your 'argument' - 'faith' harms as well as heals. The mind affects the body, a fact that is apparent every time we move a finger...

Positive healing is much more difficult than harming, since there are far more ways to disrupt a complex system like the human body than help it. So placebo effects on physical symptoms are far less likely than nocebo effects.

Do you really have an actual real point after all this, apart from the non sequiter chant "faith heals"?

 

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

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Ouch. I guess I'm not good

Ouch. I guess I'm not good enough to get an ill informed and tortured logic response. Maybe next round?

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spike.barnett wrote:Ouch. I

spike.barnett wrote:

Ouch. I guess I'm not good enough to get an ill informed and tortured logic response. Maybe next round?

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 I think a serious point

 I think a serious point that I have so far not seen addressed two pages into this debate (and that by all means should be) is that you're acting on faith by making this post at all. IOW you believe that

1. Jesus existed.

-So far this is up for major debate.

2. An anonymous woman touched Jesus believing it would heal her unspecified "blood condition."

-Please provide some evidence that this ever occurred. 

3. The woman was actually cured.

-The parable ends there. Can you prove that she was cured.

 

By addressing these points and these points only can you prove emphatically that your definition of Christian faith heals. ClockCat among others has proven quite vigorously proven that faith-healing in a modern context is hog-wash. Furthermore, the semantic games that have been played here have proven that the "faith" you're trying to mush into your definition of christian faith is just the placebo effect, which another poster has shown to be potentially statistically insignificant, regardless of the fact that it doesn't even apply to what you're really saying. 

 

So could we please hear your arguments with regards to the three previously listed points.

Thanks.

"Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven. Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. And recks not his own rede."


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cervello_marcio wrote:1.

cervello_marcio wrote:

1. Jesus existed.

-So far this is up for major debate.

2. An anonymous woman touched Jesus believing it would heal her unspecified "blood condition."

-Please provide some evidence that this ever occurred. 

3. The woman was actually cured.

-The parable ends there. Can you prove that she was cured.

Well stated. I doubt he'll take the time to respond though. He'll probably claim it doesn't pertain to the OP.

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spike.barnett wrote:Well

spike.barnett wrote:
Well stated. I doubt he'll take the time to respond though. He'll probably claim it doesn't pertain to the OP.

Well stated. It doesn't to pertain to the argument that I made in the OP.

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ClockCat wrote:nigelTheBold

ClockCat wrote:
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.

This is in response to your "When Belief Becomes Faith" YouTube video.

The speaker in the video argued that belief becomes faith when the individual is willing to put his belief into action. How does this support my claim that the placebo effet is based on faith? Answer: The subject believes that the placebo (e.g. the sugar pill) has healing properties and he demonstates his faith in this belief by actually taking the sugar pill.

"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:
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

You're the one saying the placebo faith is solely on faith - If you only just now started to read the stuff you cite then I've accomplished something.

Correction. A source that you had recently cited in your last post in order to refute my argument says the same thing - namely, that faith has the power to heal! And since you refused to acknowledge this or address this in your foregoing post, then I can safely assume that you concede the point.

jcgadfly wrote:
The point is that the biochemistry of the belief triggers the biochemistry of the healing - a fact you haven't refuted and now don't seem to be denying.

Simply defining "belief" as a biochemical process does not change or alter the fact that belief TRIGGERS what you call the biochemistry of the healing process.

Incidentally, belief does not only "trigger" one biochemical process. The expectancy effect has a similar effect to the actual drug (i.e. to whatever type of drug that the individual believes the placebo to be.)1

1 (source: Wikipedia: Placebo)

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In my opinion, Paisley is

In my opinion, Paisley is analogous to a bathroom stall with an opinionated statement written on the door. You can write whatever reply you wish, but the original statement is not going to change in response to your argument.

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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
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'm sure that by now you mentioned your definition of "faith" somewhere. I'll go have a look at that further down and see if you wasted my time or not.

And the relevant question here is wether or not you can call it "faith" if it's belief with evidence. Since your OP is all about squeezing the word "faith' in there, it is most certainly very relevant indeed.

What evidence or proof is there (besides the scientific evidence that belief in and of itself has the ability to heal) that the placebo (e.g. an inert sugar pill) will work?

Also, would an individual who believes, as you say - "without any evidence," obtain the same results as an individual who believes with evidence. If not, why not?

"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:
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'm sure that by now you mentioned your definition of "faith" somewhere. I'll go have a look at that further down and see if you wasted my time or not.

Yes, I have. And I used a dictionary definition of the term. (I am happy to help the vocabulary-challenged. Although, I must admit it becomes pointless to engage in debates with thoses who cannot grasp the most basic of terms.)

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

(source: Webster-Online Definition)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith 

Anonymouse wrote:
And the relevant question here is wether or not you can call it "faith" if it's belief with evidence. Since your OP is all about squeezing the word "faith' in there, it is most certainly very relevant indeed.

Okay. Would an individual who believes without any evidence whatsover (as you are inclined to say) yield the same results as an individual who believes only with evidence? If not, why not?

Also, what proof or evidence does the subject have that the placebo (e.g. an inert sugar pill) will work?

Finally, please explain to me how one believes without any evidence whatsoever. How does that work exactly?

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I have already cited the source to support my argument.

Just exactly what you're argueing here becomes less clear the more you post, so that remains to be seen.

What is beginning to become abundantly clear is that you're seeking to obfuscate the issue in order to evade the issue.

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


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New Oxford American

New Oxford American Dictionary wrote:

faith |fāθ|

noun

complete trust or confidence in someone or something this restores one's faith in politicians.

strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

• a system of religious belief the Christian faith.

• a strongly held belief or theory the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe.

My underlining.

Paisley, you are clearly conflating meaning 1 and 2. That is the point you keep evading.

 

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

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Paisley
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Anonymouse wrote:Paisley

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
All that is required is that the individual must believe in the effectiveness of the treatment.

Well, no, that's not all that's required. As I explained, for a conditioned response to work, the condition would need to be met at least once.

So, what is the condition that must be met in order for the placebo to yield positive results?

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
How exactly that beleif is elicited is irrelevant.
 

No, it's not. This is about wether you can justifiably call it faith or not. Actually, since it's your claims we're talking about here, it's about how you personally define faith.

I have already provided a dictionary definition of faith.

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
IOW, if an individual truly believes that placing a twisted horn-shaped amulet (a placebo) around his neck by a qualified folk healer will remove a dreaded illness caused by the evil eye, then it is more likely to work!
 

Got clinical trial results for that too, right ? Btw, how did he get "qualified"? Did he actually produce results? Which would give the individual the evidence needed to believe and trigger the placebo-effect ? Thanks for proving my point again.

Your declaration of victory is slightly premature. The question here is whether or not there are individuals who believe in the power of healers and their treatment (even if that treatment consists of nothing more than the waving of a magic wand). And if there are, then why wouldn't the placebo (i.e. the healers and their treatment) achieve the same results for these individuals?

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Why? Because the placebo effect is based soley on the subject's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment.
 

This is the second time you dropped "faith". Are you saying that to you, faith, and belief supported by evidence are the same thing?

I don't subscribe to the atheist's definition of faith (i.e. that faith is belief without evidence). And I don't know many believers who do. The believer sees evidence for God in everything. The unbeliever does not. That's the difference. It's not a question of evidence, but an interpretation of the evidence. And in regards to the the placebo effect, it doesn't matter how the subject obtains the belief in the effectiveness of the treatment. It only matters that he has it. And you have failed to provide a rationale for why it does matter.

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
By the way, how is it really possible to believe in something without any evidence whatsoever?
 

Lol ! You tell me ! You're the theist! Seriously, it's called "kidding yourself".

But the point is that they really believe. And that's all that is required!

Anonymouse wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Clearly, this type of faith must be something very mysterious.
  

People kid themselves all the time. Others are conned. Not a lot of mystery there.

Paisley wrote:
The atheist's definition of faith lends more credence to the idea that faith is a divine gift.

Er..no, it doesn't. It kind of makes you look like gullible idiots or devious liars.

Just like the individuals who are conned or duped by the physicians who employ the placebo effect?

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


Paisley
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BobSpence1 wrote:New Oxford

BobSpence1 wrote:

New Oxford American Dictionary wrote:

faith |fāθ|

noun

complete trust or confidence in someone or something this restores one's faith in politicians.

strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

• a system of religious belief the Christian faith.

• a strongly held belief or theory the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe.

My underlining.

Paisley, you are clearly conflating meaning 1 and 2. That is the point you keep evading.

No, I am not conflating the two. And definition 2 is not incompatible with definition 1. Obviously, definition 1 qualifies as a definition of faith. If it did not, then it would not be in the dictionary! And more to the point, this is the very faith that I am referring to. Also, this qualifies as religious faith because there are definitely religions that promote this kind of faith (e.g. Christianity). Ask any born-again Christian if he has "complete confidence or trust in someone or something." I will guarantee you that he will say "yes!" Ask a Christian Scientist if he believes in the healing power of faith and of the mind. I guarantee he will say "yes!"

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


Paisley
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Anonymouse wrote:There isn't

Anonymouse wrote:
There isn't a single doctor or psychiatrist in the world who can cure a case of depression that doesn't cure itself. This is a fact that some people find out the hard way.

You haven't provided any medical data to support your argument. And even if you did, you would not be qualified to interpret the medical data (I'm simply using your own argument against you. By the way, I wasn't interpreting the medical data. I was simply stating the conclusions of medical researchers). Also, your argument is tantamount to saying that antidepressant drugs are no better than placebos. Why? Because your argument implies that antidepressant drugs cannot cure depression. Nothing cures depression. Right?

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


Paisley
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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisely,

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisely, the 'nocebo' effect is at least as strong as the placebo effect - people have died from beliefs, such as belief that they had a fatal tumor, which autopsy revealed had not grown at all, or belief they had been 'cursed' by a witchdoctor, etc. 

So to be logical and consistent ( why does the thought of applying those terms to your discussion make me want to LOL? ) you have to incorporate this fact into your 'argument' - 'faith' harms as well as heals.

I discussed the nocebo effect in the OP of this thread. If you had actually bothered to read it,  then you would not have embarrassed yourself with your foregoing post.

Paisley (Original Post) wrote:
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.

Faith is a positive belief, not a negative one. If I have faith in someone or something, then I trust in that individual or in that thing. (Certainly, I can misplace my faith. But faith itself is a positive belief.) This is not difficult to grasp and I suspect you really do comprehend it. Unfortunately, you are hell-bent on playing semantical games in order to save face from admitting the power of faith. 

BobSpence1 wrote:
The mind affects the body, a fact that is apparent every time we move a finger...

I know. It's called free will. And our first-person perpsective furnishes us with compelling evidence that the mind is separate from the body. But wait, I have already argued this point in other threads. Therefore, I see no reason to rehash an argument I have already won.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Positive healing is much more difficult than harming, since there are far more ways to disrupt a complex system like the human body than help it. So placebo effects on physical symptoms are far less likely than nocebo effects.

I don't necessarily disagree with this. However, I never argued that cultivating faith (or a positive mental attitude) was easy.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Do you really have an actual real point after all this, apart from the non sequiter chant "faith heals"?

Yes and you have just made it by arguing for the power of belief (i.e. positive beliefs can lead  to healings and negative beliefs to illnesses). That's basically the point I made in the OP of this thread! LOL 

"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:Yes, I have.

Paisley wrote:
Yes, I have. And I used a dictionary definition of the term. (I am happy to help the vocabulary-challenged. Although, I must admit it becomes pointless to engage in debates with thoses who cannot grasp the most basic of terms.)

No need to get so prissy about it. I only asked so as not to make any assumptions about you.

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

(source: Webster-Online Definition)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith 

Ah, I see the problem. This is where it all gets really annoying and semantic. The word faith has a strong religous connotation that simply doesn't belong in any scientific definition.


Paisley wrote:
Okay. Would an individual who believes without any evidence whatsover (as you are inclined to say) yield the same results as an individual who believes only with evidence?

Are you seriously suggesting that any person in those trials never ever had a real positive and effective experience with doctors and medicine ?

Paisley wrote:
If not, why not?

For a placebo-effect to be triggered, there would always have to be prior evidence of the effectiveness of doctors and medicine. You're asking me to imagine someone who believes in doctors and medicine without ever having had a real and positive experience with either ? Why would that person believe and trust if he lacked the evidence ? It just makes no sense at all. He simply wouldn't have the motivation to do so.

Paisley wrote:
Also, what proof or evidence does the subject have that the placebo (e.g. an inert sugar pill) will work?

He has his prior experience with the very real effectiveness of doctors and medicine. That's all that's needed to trigger the conditioned response we call the placebo efffect.

Paisley wrote:
Finally, please explain to me how one believes without any evidence whatsoever. How does that work exactly?

It doesn't, that's the whole point. Anyway, that's my question. Give it back !

Paisley wrote:
What is beginning to become abundantly clear is that you're seeking to obfuscate the issue in order to evade the issue.

The issue was already obfuscated when I got here. This is just about figuring out how your brain works.


Anonymouse
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Paisley wrote:So, what is

Paisley wrote:
So, what is the condition that must be met in order for the placebo to yield positive results?

The patient would have to have experienced being effectively treated by doctors and medicine.

Paisley wrote:
I have already provided a dictionary definition of faith.

So you did. Thanks.

Paisley wrote:
Your declaration of victory is slightly premature.

Annoying, isn't it ? Gee, I wonder where I picked that up.

Paisley wrote:
The question here is whether or not there are individuals who believe in the power of healers and their treatment (even if that treatment consists of nothing more than the waving of a magic wand). And if there are, then why wouldn't the placebo (i.e. the healers and their treatment) achieve the same results for these individuals?

If there are people who believe in the power of a witch-doctor, then they do so because he gets real results. If he just went around waving his wand about the place without any real and positive results, then he wouldn't be a witch-doctor, would he ? He'd be the village idiot.

Paisley wrote:
I don't subscribe to the atheist's definition of faith (i.e. that faith is belief without evidence).

Yeah, I guessed as much. If I ask you for evidence of your belief, you're going to link me to one of your 1000+ threads, aren't you ?

Paisley wrote:
And I don't know many believers who do.

All depends on what they believe, I suppose. It's very hard to find out if people really believe something, or if they're just all talk.

Fortunately, in this case, it's really quite easy. Just answer the following question : If your life was on the line, would you choose faith healing over conventional treatment ? Just checking to see if you really believe that faith heals.

Paisley wrote:
The believer sees evidence for God in everything.

We only have their word for that. That's not proof.

Paisley wrote:
The unbeliever does not.

Yup. That's why unbelievers don't get killed by faith healers. Just one of the many advantages.

Paisley wrote:
That's the difference. It's not a question of evidence, but an interpretation of the evidence.

You start out with something you have no proof of, and then you work it into the interpretation of the evidence you do have ? That's a lame trick. I'm telling you, people are gonna catch on to that sooner or later.

Paisley wrote:
And in regards to the the placebo effect, it doesn't matter how the subject obtains the belief in the effectiveness of the treatment. It only matters that he has it.

How can the subject obtain belief in the effectiveness of the treatment if he didn't actually experience effective treatment ever before ? Like I said, it just doesn't work.

Paisley wrote:
And you have failed to provide a rationale for why it does matter.

How is that even an issue here ? Like I said, every single person in the trials mentioned in your OP has already experienced being healed by doctors and medicine.

Paisley wrote:
But the point is that they really believe. And that's all that is required!

They say they really believe. What that actually means is another matter entirely.

Paisley wrote:
Just like the individuals who are conned or duped by the physicians who employ the placebo effect?

No, because the doctors earned the belief of the patients by actually curing them. Facts come first. Belief in those facts comes second.


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Paisley wrote:spike.barnett

Paisley wrote:

spike.barnett wrote:
Well stated. I doubt he'll take the time to respond though. He'll probably claim it doesn't pertain to the OP.

Well stated. It doesn't to pertain to the argument that I made in the OP.

 

Really? Because you're making an argument with (what I believe to be) a flawed premise. If you can't even speak for the validity of your example, as all your other attempts to provide evidence have been refuted, how can you expect anyone to take your argument seriously? This applies directly to the example you gave in your post, how could it possibly not pertain?

Whoever compared you to the writing in a bathroom stall was spot on. 

"Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven. Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. And recks not his own rede."


Anonymouse
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Paisley wrote:You haven't

Paisley wrote:
You haven't provided any medical data to support your argument.

Neither have you. You're arguing that faith heals, but all your data supports is that the placebo-effect exists.

Btw, guess what supports my data ? Reality. Have you found a psychiatrist who can guarantee his treatment is a 100% succesful ? Heck, have you even found one who can claim a single complete succes, and can he tell you exactly how he did it, so the treatment can be used on other patients as well, just as effectively ? No and no.

Paisley wrote:
And even if you did, you would not be qualified to interpret the medical data

Guess what : I know people who are.

Anyways, you're the one doing the interpreting. Didn't you read the OP ?

Paisley wrote:
(I'm simply using your own argument against you.

Oh, you're so sneaky !

Paisley wrote:
By the way, I wasn't interpreting the medical data. I was simply stating the conclusions of medical researchers).

Oh really ? I thought your conclusion was that "faith heals" ? Where in the trial results does it say that ?

And even if they used those words, their definition of them wouldn't match yours. When they say "heal" for example, an experienced doctor would know that doesn't necessarily mean the symptoms won't return. There are too many nuances you would have no way of understanding the significance of.

So I'm sorry, but the argument still stands. And unless you're going to produce a medical degree, it still completely destroys your claim that "faith heals".

Paisley wrote:
Also, your argument is tantamount to saying that antidepressant drugs are no better than placebos. Why? Because your argument implies that antidepressant drugs cannot cure depression. Nothing cures depression. Right?

I said they can't cure it, I didn't say they can't keep the symptoms from getting out of control, wich is something entirely different. The drugs are still more effective at doing that than the placebos, because they have certain effects  that placebos can't duplicate. For example, some antidepressants will dull the emotions of the patient to the point where the depression becomes bearable.

And btw, it's not just an argument, it's also a fact. Why not step out into the real word and check it ?