Notices
Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Is Religion a Placebo?

  1. #1 Is Religion a Placebo? 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    6,089
    Ok, ok....before some of you get your knickers in a knot let me suggest that everyone take the time to visit a religion forum and read some of the stuff that's in there. If you don't think we need more psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers then maybe a site visit will change your mind.

    It won't take long before you realize a lot of people are in serious trouble mentally. I visited the Crosswalk forum earlier today and they have a column there where people get to say what God has done for them lately. I found some of the responses disturbing and my usually insensitive heart went out to one in particular. A woman who is so obviously distraught and at wit's end that she believes her daughter has died 6 times. She thanks God for a pacemaker for her child. She later describes a traffic accident her husband was in where the other guy came thru the windshield and clobbered him on impact nearly killing him. Thank God he will make it, albeit with possible permanent injuries. No mention if the guy coming thru the windshield survived.

    Bad luck is bad luck. There's not much you can do to prevent it although the same forum has stories in it where God is invoked to change people's luck. Random events & coincidences, especially if they're deemed unlucky as in life threatening, lifestyle, and financial, seem to be the catalyst that propels people towards seeking God's help. Anxiety and depression seem to go hand in hand with bad luck.

    Is it just me or do churches prey on misfortune? There lies the crux of the matter. People who are already mentally exhausted are subject to a form of healing that is more or less a bandaid solution. Are they just substituting one neuroses for another and thus never ever cured of their original depression? Does it cloud people's ability to logic and reason or does religion free them from the mental pressures of dealing with adversity? Does religion provide a protective shell for people who otherwise couldn't handle the daily pressure of everyday living.

    Those who manage to beat depression without turning to religion, are they tougher mentally? Intelligence you are born with but are logic and reason included in that package? As I said earlier I felt genuinely sorry for that woman. She has suffered enough to be sure and I'm sure somewhere in her religion's thinking that was necessary. I think what really concerned me was the impairment of her mental state and the fact that nothing is really being done about it.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    The placebo effect is real, so I do not find this comparison offensive at all. Yes some people do really need the attentions of a psychiatrist, but for most a bandaid really is the best solution. But your presumption that religion is a result of some deficiency that religious people have that others do not, is offensive. It is the observation of psychiatrists that those who come to them for help are not the people who are most mentally ill, for the fact that they reach out for help at all is a sign of mental health. Therefore psychiatrists often refer to the "designated patient", because those they treat are most often just the victims of people who are far more mentally ill than those they can ever hope to treat with any success.

    Therefore just because the religious recognize in themselves a problem which religion addresses but which you do not see in yourself, does not necessarily mean that you are healthy where they are ill. Just because you do not see something does not necessarily mean that it isn't there. On the other hand, just because someone is under treatment for cancer does not mean they are qualified to diagnose cancer in other people, or that everyone can benefit from the same treatment which they are receiving.


    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    6,089
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But your presumption that religion is a result of some deficiency that religious people have that others do not, is offensive.
    When a person defends something they staunchly believe in it is a natural reaction to undermine those who contradict them. To suggest that I find religious people devoid of something, whatever it is, I find offensive. I don't consider suffering from anxiety and depression as having less than the other guy. Mental illness doesn't mean you are not equipped as other human beings. As for logic & reason I only asked if religion clouds that ability.

    I'm really taken aback by that comment and I see it as a prejudicial remark based on much of what I write being perceived as anti-religion. My signature says it all, I try to pose questions. Is that wrong?

    Upon further reflection I cannot include those who have had religion drilled into them since they were able to comprehend as being affected. There is no placebo effect here but perhaps being equipped with a religious upbringing as one ventures into life is beneficial. Does anyone know of any studies or research conducted that shows being schooled in religion from an early age actually lowers a person's risk of susceptibility to mental illness?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Guest
    Back to the woman in the car, did she ever think that her God might have hurled the geezer through the window? - If I was God and the victim said 'thankyou' I'd tend to think if they like this I'll do it again!.

    I seem to remember losing my first wife in a particularly distressful way, when a religious relative of mine tried to comfort me with some 'religious words' I replied "If there is an effin god I hope the bastard leaves me alone when I die or 'll clock the c**t" - I was then told my my long term rejection of religion might have been the cause - that resulted in the relative leaving my house in somewhat of a hurry.....

    God is nothing more than a crutch for the weak and feeble - in the sense that they simply believe they cannot exist, or will be doomed without one.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    6,089
    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    If I was God and the victim said 'thankyou' I'd tend to think if they like this I'll do it again!.
    Interesting, perhaps God helps us like we help monkeys in a zoo.

    I seem to remember losing my first wife in a particularly distressful way, when a religious relative of mine tried to comfort me with some 'religious words' I replied "If there is an effin god I hope the bastard leaves me alone when I die or 'll clock the c**t" - I was then told my my long term rejection of religion might have been the cause - that resulted in the relative leaving my house in somewhat of a hurry.....
    Your relative was not thinking logically. Sorry about your wife and your subsequent hit of the reject button. I wonder if the relative's thought process was impaired by religion? If you believe it so then have you tried to reconcile or would you expect more of the same?

    When JC is up there on that cross and asks for his father to 'forgive them for they know not what they do' maybe he wasn't referring to all of humanity?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    I think if you just went into a restarant or bar and sat evesdropping on the conversations around you, you would find the same stories.

    All kinds of people have "situations." And they seem to deal with them in different ways. I don't think there is any substantial evidence relating to what percentage of those people end up turning to God for solutions or comfort.

    Some turn to alcohol, some to illegal drugs, some to professional help.

    My point is not to deny that people who suffer misfortune sometimes end up seeking spiritual ways of dealing with it. But that is not the ONLY solution people seek out nor is it just "the church" which preys on such people. The local tavern gets many more of them attempting to drown their sorrows. The local drug gang finds new customers. And the medical world has become expert at treating people without ever curing them.

    If some people find consolation from some spiritual experience, why is that negated by those who don't?

    Is ANYONE cured at the local bar? Or do illicit drugs ever solve problems? And what is the percentage of succesful treatment by the medical profession? All of these entities require monetary commitment by the person. Most churches would never "charge" for spirtual help (although they may hope the person becomes a giving member of their congregation).


    I have both friends and relatives who have suffered depression and anxiety for years with no cure either from medication or the church.

    So -- why does only the church come under criticism here? I think your displeasure is somewhat misdirected.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    daytonturner wrote:
    So -- why does only the church come under criticism here? I think your displeasure is somewhat misdirected
    Because only the church claims with authority that it is the only way, the only truth, the only life to salvation. Others do not.

    __________________________________________________ _________
    It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but has expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

    - Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8 Re: Is Religion a Placebo? 
    Forum Masters Degree geezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    london
    Posts
    540
    The Voice oF God

    it's been said on many occasions, by the religious that god spoke to them and then they wonder why that get called delusional.

    When a man speaks to God that is called prayer. When God speaks to a man that is usually known as a delusion. Usually but not always. For some reason many people are prepared to accept that there are exceptional people who God talks to directly.

    When God does choose to speak through a man for some strange reason he contradicts himself. For a supreme being with omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and a beneficent character this is very strange behaviour.

    I cannot help thinking that if God wanted to save the world by sending down his only son he rather cocked up his strategy. Why did he send Jesus when he did? That is, after thousands of generations of men had died without the chance to be saved and yet before mass communications had been fully developed. It seems rather a mystery. If leaving millions of men's souls unsaved is not a problem why didn't he wait until say, 1990/2000, to send his son, then the whole world would be in a position to hear his words today on the world-wide media that an omniscient God must have predicted? God must have written off the souls of millions of people before deciding to send in his boy. That strikes me as rather dumb for an omniscient God.

    OK, let us grant that God cocked up the timing but he got the rest right, didn't he? No. He talks to his prophets such as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, the Mormons, Moonies and the rest and gives them conflicting messages. Or perhaps he only speaks to some of them and the others are evil manipulators. It strikes me as terrible strategy. If mere mortals are going around pretending to spread your holy word why don't you turn them into pillars of salt or smite them with a thunderbolt? If you want your message delivered by men and to be understood by men why not tell several men the same message, at the same time, across the whole world? That would convince me, if the same story about the will of God emerged from four or five cultures at once, met up, got translated and were found to agree. That would have in church like a shot. But God has missed his chance. If such a thing happened today everyone would think it was a conspiracy.

    Naturally the believer answers this scepticism by chastising me for even daring to consider the motives of God. I cannot help it, I have been educated to question everything, I make no apologies for extending that questioning, even into the mind of God. Or more accurately into the mind of a hypothetical God.

    My beliefs in the supernatural are quite clear. The supernatural is an oxymoron. There is the natural world, natural laws operate, these are knowable but not yet fully known. The extent of our ignorance of natural laws is impossible to measure. Two hundred years ago scientists would probably estimate that they understood half of what was knowable, I guess today's scientists might guess the same, in another two hundred years they still might guess the same. The more science learns the more the extent of the unknown. But there is nothing that is unknowable. That is my faith, or more respectably, that is my working hypothesis.

    God is an invention of man, a social construct. All human societies have some form of religion, from simple animism and ancestor worship through polytheism, monotheism and deism. From the earliest periods of history there have also been a growing minority of atheists. Many atheists have seen through religions and found them hollow. Others have seen how they operate and propagate themselves and have come to reject them because they can see why they exist. I reject religion on both grounds. I know there is no God. I know why we invented him.

    I understand what other people are perceiving when they say they feel the presence of God, it is a common illusion. My brain knows that my vision has a hole in the middle of it, where the optic nerve leaves the eye from the wrong side, there is a gap in my perception, I can prove it to myself logically with "magic tricks" but my brain also "knows" that my vision is perfect. One form of knowledge is learned, one is instinctive and not open to logic. The religious believer knows there is a God in the non logical way I know my vision is perfect. Both are wrong.

    There is a hole in my vision because my distant ancestors in the Cambrian era evolved a pit of light sensitive cells with the nerve fibres in front of the light sensitive parts. Any sensible God or digital camera designer would have started again, putting the light sensitive parts of the cell next to the clear liquid filled reservoir and put the wiring round the back. But all fish, reptiles, birds and mammals have to put up with this design fault, wiring on the inside of the eye, and a great big bunch of unseeing nerve fibres right in the middle where the eye really wants to focus. This is a fact that many teachers will gloss over, they will tell you that there is a "blind-spot" in the middle of your vision, they will show you how to demonstrate it to yourself, they will not point out the implications.

    The implications are that it is not possible to come up with any argument from design to explain this fact. Only evolution explains it. Once a simple eye had emerged wired up in this way it was not possible to invert it without making it work less well in the short term. Evolution cannot go backwards, even half a step, just as a river only ever flows downhill even if it meanders for miles. Evolution can only make our eyes better by making subtle changes, turning our eyes inside out, to be the right way round, was only an option for a brief period of time in chordate evolution. No such mutation happened at this time. It is now too late.

    It may be of some comfort to know that squid and octopuses have eyes that are very similar to ours but with the nerves where they belong, behind the photoreceptors. They were evolved completely separately, we have no common ancestor with eyes. This is to my mind one piece of evidence for the non existence of God that will outweigh every weeping statue, every vision of the virgin and every tomato with the message "there is no God but Allah" in its pips. It is proof every animal was not created from scratch, made perfectly by an all wise God, it is very strong evidence for evolution. Evolution cannot start again from a blank design, evolution turned a second rate basic design into the beautifully functioning eyes we chordates use today.
    What is the difference between a prophet and a lunatic?

    Prophets hear the voice of God and talk with him. God reveals himself to prophets and they do his work. Lunatics hear voices in their heads. The difference is only good public relations. "God told me to kill my son" has been used as an excuse in courts a few times, but usually the defence lawyers use it as evidence of insanity. What is different about Abraham and Isaac? To me there is no difference. We have been told that Abraham did hear the voice of God, that his claim is legitimate. or Just good public relations.

    MJW
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    6,089
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner


    My point is not to deny that people who suffer misfortune sometimes end up seeking spiritual ways of dealing with it. But that is not the ONLY solution people seek out nor is it just "the church" which preys on such people. The local tavern gets many more of them attempting to drown their sorrows. The local drug gang finds new customers. And the medical world has become expert at treating people without ever curing them.

    If some people find consolation from some spiritual experience, why is that negated by those who don't?
    I don't think drug and alcohol abuse and a myriad of other social problems originate in the church but occur prior to religious treatment. Kudos for that. The church usually is a last resort for those who cannot deal with it. And kudos for that. The afflicted person is seeking help. That may be why one might suggest that religion is a placebo. Its not medicine in the strictest sense of the word but in some ways it is therapeutic.

    The real questions might be whether a religious placebo is harmful, beneficial, long term, or only temporary and is the cure worse than the disease?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    prasit says:
    . . . [O]nly the church claims with authority that it is the only way, the only truth, the only life to salvation. Others do not.
    It has not quite been defined which church we are talking about here, but I am assuming that prasit is disturbed by the Christian church. It is not clear how Islam fits into his objections, since Islam also has some claims of exclusivity.

    Whatever the "authority" prasit is thinking about, it only impacts those who respond to it. I am not quite sure I understand what prasit has in mind in "with authority."

    I would not agree that Christianity claims to be the only truth. It does claim the Bible represents 100 percent truth in what it addresses, but does not claim that Christianity harbors 100 percent of the truth known to man. As I have said on many occasions, if I were in need of brain surgery, it would be comforting to know the surgeon was familiar with the Bible, but I would sure hope he had read some books on neurosurgery, too.

    I think where prasit said the "only life to salvation," he actually meant "only way to salvation."

    I do not find this concept strange. A claim of exclusivity is certainly not unique to religion. Anyone can claim exclusivity. It is not the claim which should be objectionable, but whether there is a basis for the claim.

    No religion other than Christianity claims that God sent his own son to become the ultimate sacrifice to end all sacrifices to reconcile God and men. Christianity is the only religion which claims the way into God's favor is accomplished not by doing something, but rather by merely believing and trusting in something God Himself did. Every other religion with a god requires you do something for god. Christianity is the only religion which claims God did something for you!

    If the claims of Christianity are true, then it would be intrinsically exclusive to all other ways. One could not believe the claims of Christianity and also believe that you can gain God's favor by doing something else.

    So it is not really the apparent claim of exclusivity by Christianity which can be objectionable and rejected by some, but rather it is the validity of the claims which in themselves make it exclusive.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman wonkothesane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    47
    The real questions might be whether a religious placebo is harmful, beneficial, long term, or only temporary and is the cure worse than the disease?
    There is a certain amount of comfort many people get from religion. But there are significant side effects too, such as fear for their "immortal souls", shame for perfectly natural human characteristics and susceptibility to pressure to conform to their particular churches ideas.

    I wouldn't say religion is an illness but it often leaves people bereft of objectivity. There are limitless objective arguments against the truth of religion but you can argue until you are blue in the face and it won't have any effect on most religious people. I've found that the more you disprove Christianity the happier Christians are. They tend to see faith as something profound that, if you don't have it, makes you an incomplete person and they pity you. This righteous pity is what I find most offensive about religion (or Christianity at least I must admit I am not very familiar with other religions).
    Fry me a kipper skipper, I'll be back for breakfast!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    wackothesane said:

    But there are significant side effects [of religion] too, such as fear for their "immortal souls"
    Cannot speak for other religions. But as to Christians, of all the things they might fear, the one thing they do not fear in the least is loss of their immortal souls. Even Arminian Christians, who sort of believe in a doctrine of theoretical loss of salvation, have very strong teaching concerning the assurance of salvation.

    And as with many complaints against religion you seem to castgate religion for something that is prevalent in almost all social groups -- peer pressure. I know of no social group on earth which does not in some way use peer pressure to attempt to control its members. If religion was the only place where this took place, your complaint would be legitimate.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman wonkothesane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    47
    I wasn't clear about what I meant for fear for one's soul so I should elaborate. I was brought up with Christianity and as a child had believed whole heartedly that if I accepted God and salvation through Christ I would be rewarded with an eternity in Heaven and if not would be damned to eternity in Hell. Maybe many Christians today have a less "fire and brimstone" view than this?? simplistic and clear cut view but nonetheless this remains a central dogma of Christianity. As I grew older and began to question my beliefs if I suggested to friends and family that maybe there wasn't a God the usual reply was along the lines of "Yes but what if you are wrong, isn't it safer to believe just in case it turns out to be true?" I'm not saying this is representative of all or even most Christians but I do honestly believe that some people cling to Christianity to hedge their bets.

    I accept your comment about peer pressure not being confined to religion. I stand corrected. My view is obviously skewed by my own personal experience in which I found the church the most restrictive and insistent on conformity of any peer group I have been a part of.
    Fry me a kipper skipper, I'll be back for breakfast!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    daytonturner wrote:
    I think where prasit said the "only life to salvation," he actually meant "only way to salvation."
    I just paraphrase the bible:
    Jesus said , "I AM the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me."

    Christianity is the only religion which claims the way into God's favor is accomplished not by doing something, but rather by merely believing and trusting in something God Himself did.
    It usually follows that if you believe in God you must do certain things as preached by God and Jesus, duly recorded in the Bilbe, or else you do not really believe.

    Christianity is the only religion which claims God did something for you!
    Sending an alter ego to die on the cross so that the sin of mankind can be absolved by Him? Looks like a self-inflicted pain to me.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Sadly, wonko’s experience is not unique to him. Many people are turned off when they find themselves in a religious environment with which they are not intellectually compatible.

    I don’t think there is a great emphasis on the hellfire and brimstone damnation today, but I do think most of Christianity would feel there is a probably a big difference between spending eternity in the presence of God as opposed to spending eternity out of the presence of God.

    It is also unfortunate that wonka was not in an environment which understood that we all question our beliefs at times. There is a recent book by Dr. Timothy Johnson who regularly appears on ABC news as a medical commentator entitled “Finding God in the Questions.” The gist of the first half of his book is that people need to be able to question their faith and beliefs and that by doing so, they can strengthen both.

    It does remain, however, that certain beliefs are essential to being a Christian. Certainly, not believing in God would be somewhat of a disqualification!

    When wonko asks about people saying "Yes but what if you are wrong, isn't it safer to believe just in case it turns out to be true?" it sounds like a lame version of Pascal’s Wager. You cannot hedge your bets by feigning belief. Either one believes, or one does not believe. It would seem to me that one who “believes” just because it might be true, does not really believe.

    I would agree that there is sometimes considerable pressure within church groups that people should conform to their beliefs and practices. This is greater within some groups than within others. It may be greater within some of the fringe Christian groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons as well as in the more conservative denominations and, also, in conservative congregations of the liturgical churches.

    Prasit said:

    It usually follows that if you believe in God you must do certain things as preached by God and Jesus, duly recorded in the Bilbe, or else you do not really believe.
    Soooooo? No matter what social group you align yourself with, there are certain things which you are expected to do. If you join a street gang, there are things you will be expected to do as directed by the leaders of the gang. If you don’t do those things, you aren’t really a member. I have no idea why it should be any other way. A Christian is going to try to do the things Christians do because they do believe. How is that different from any other social group?

    Prasit also said:

    Sending an alter ego to die on the cross so that the sin of mankind can be absolved by Him? Looks like a self-inflicted pain to me.
    Well, since you basically quoted a Bible verse earlier in your post, I feel justified in quoting one in response to this statement:

    “[T]he preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing, foolishness; but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God.” I Cor. 1:18.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    daytonturner wrote:
    A Christian is going to try to do the things Christians do because they do believe. How is that different from any other social group?
    I agree. It is you who wrote that it is different:
    Every other religion with a god requires you do something for god. Christianity is the only religion which claims God did something for you!
    Well, since you basically quoted a Bible verse earlier in your post, I feel justified in quoting one in response to this statement:

    “[T]he preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing, foolishness; but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God.” I Cor. 1:18.
    Different context: I quoted (paraphrased) the bible to point out what the church thinks, as you seem to believe in the bible. You quoted the bible to answer my question, but I do not believe in it. The quote does not make things clearer to me. It just say- if you don't understand you are a fool.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Many people are turned off when they find themselves in a religious environment with which they are not intellectually compatible.
    Yeah I agree, somhow removing 98% of one's brain to achieve intellectual compatibility seems a nonstarter... :wink:
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Prasit said (of my use of a Bible verse):

    Different context: I quoted (paraphrased) the bible to point out what the church thinks, as you seem to believe in the bible. You quoted the bible to answer my question, but I do not believe in it. The quote does not make things clearer to me. It just say- if you don't understand you are a fool.
    This is really a problem on this forum in that it seem perfectly OK for atheists who do not believe the Bible to use it for their purposes while it is objectionable for Christians who believe in it to use it for their purposes.

    But since prasit says the verse I quoted does not make things clearer, I feel compelled to elucidate. The verse said: “[T]he preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing, foolishness; but unto us which are being saved it is the power of God.” I Cor. 1:18.

    The verse clearly and concisely says that the preaching of the cross and all that it entails – Jesus’ atoning death, His resurrection from the dead and His ascension – is viewed as foolishness by those who do not believe. Meanwhile, these same events show the power of God to those who do believe. It does not call non-believers fools, but says that non-believers call believers fools.

    I have no idea why that is difficult to understand. Nor why it would be found offensive to non-believers in view of the fact that they consistently prove the truth of the verse by deriding and making fun of believers.

    This seems so obvious by the posts on this forum that it seems the truth of this verse would even be disputed. I mean other than by non-believers who seem to think that since it is in the Bible, it must not be true. If there is any verse in the Bible which accurately portrays the different views of believers and non-believers in relation to the gospel, this is it.

    It can even be seen in the subsequent post of megabrain who says:

    Yeah I agree, somhow removing 98% of one's brain to achieve intellectual compatibility seems a nonstarter
    At first I thought megabrain was commenting on believers, but on second thought, I wondered if megabrain was referring to prasit’s inability to understand the verse I had quoted.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Many people are turned off when they find themselves in a religious environment with which they are not intellectually compatible.
    Zat clear it up?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    No, megabrain. One is unable to determine if you are saying the religious have had 98 percent of their brain removed or if you are saying the non-religious have had 98 percent of their brain removed which is why they do not understand the Bible.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I'm really taken aback by that comment and I see it as a prejudicial remark based on much of what I write being perceived as anti-religion. My signature says it all, I try to pose questions. Is that wrong?
    Well I can say that I dissapointed. You have seen through my postures of rhetoric before. Please remember that I see myself in the role of a peacemaker trying to bridge the gap between diverse points of view. According to that objective it is often neccessary to throw what someone says into less than a sympathetic light in order construct a way of thinking that mediates between the different points of view.

    The vast majority of Christianity would indeed be offended by your labeling it as a placebo, for it insinuates that it is a fake and fraud. Clearly I do not agree that Christianity is any such thing. Therefore it is only reaonable that I should balance taking the unexpected (non-hostile) perspective on that idea, with a contrasting perspective that sheds light on some of the differences between these differing points of view.

    I do not expect you to agree with everything I say. I only hope to shed light on things in some manner. Yes the religion of Christianity is a cure for a disability of the people who avail themselves of it. They believe you (and everyone else) suffers from the same disability. My post mediates because it suggest that both may be wrong. You may think you are not so disabled when you are and Christians may think you are so disabled when you are not. Is this not reasonable?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    6,089
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    You may think you are not so disabled when you are and Christians may think you are so disabled when you are not. Is this not reasonable?
    This could be another thread starter but do you think real religious fanatics need professional help? If religion is a placebo for a person suffering from depression then is there a trained professional willing to offer assistance?

    Religion is protected by constitution and if people turn to it because of some form of mental illness then their affliction becomes damn near untouchable. We're talking a very hot political football. I have no statistics to back me up but I'd wager more people are allowed to remain untreated because no trained professional is willing to take on the religion, the constitution, as well as the illness. I wonder how many people end up on a psychiatrist's couch wanting to be cured of religious obsession. Very few I would suspect.

    If religion is a placebo then wouldn't it be proper to conclude there is a form of illness associated with it? If something is bothering someone so much does religion become the painless substitute?

    I know I'm venturing into dangerous ground and the feeling I get is probably very similar to anyone who dares challenge the religious right even it means doing so would help get to the root of an emotional or mental problem for someone, possibly curing them of a real affliction.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    This could be another thread starter but do you think real religious fanatics need professional help? If religion is a placebo for a person suffering from depression then is there a trained professional willing to offer assistance?
    In the case of depression, it may be that the "placebo effect" is far more effective than chemical treatment, when the quality of their whole life is considered. I ask you to recall the film "A Beautiful Mind" based on a true story where the man suffering from schizophrenia found the drugs unbearable but found that he could live with his illness by shear determination. Admittedly that is an extreme and unlikely case but it shows why you cannot force everyone to be treated the same.

    The vast majority of fanatics are not mentally ill. People behave in a fanatical manner about all sorts of things they feel strongly about (including atheism) and this is just human nature not mental illness. Having watched all 76 episodes of the anime "Hikaru no Go" eight times in less than two years makes me something of a fanatic about it, but that does not consitute mental illness. We don't want a world like "Brave New World" or THX 1138 where every human being is forced with drugs and behavior modification like square pegs into round holes.

    Even in the rare cases that mental illness is involved the treatment most often requires the cooperation of the patient. There really is very few people capable of passing judgement on this sort of thing such that the supposed medical opinion is distinguishable from bigotry and prejudice. A properly trained clergy in recognizing symptoms of compulsion, mania and obsession may the best placed person to redirect a parishoner to psychiatric counceling, if that parishoner is even willing to listen, which they are often not. Getting the patient to listen to advice and take the necessary steps (like stop smoking) is a universal problem in all areas of medicine, and it is particularly difficult in the case of mental illness. As I said before, there is every indication that those who are the most mentally ill of all never get treatment, and for all we know you could be one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I know I'm venturing into dangerous ground and the feeling I get is probably very similar to anyone who dares challenge the religious right even it means doing so would help get to the root of an emotional or mental problem for someone, possibly curing them of a real affliction.
    Yes it is dangerous ground but the biggest danger isn't from getting religious organizations upset, the biggest danger is the kind of tyranny that used to be found in communist countries.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    6,089
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    As I said before, there is every indication that those who are the most mentally ill of all never get treatment, and for all we know you could be one of them.
    Hey, you never know. Great stuff.

    I think I'll go find a harmless peace loving guy who preaches love, make him a god, kill him to save humanity and call it Good Friday.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •