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Everything posted by Prometheus

  1. In itself that's fine. If a majority of people had heart failure, we'd still call them sick. However, this is slightly different. If everyone had sickle cell disease, would we still call them sick? No, it'd be a norm, something we just grew up with (as a species), but lowers our chance of catching malaria, i.e. an evolutionary trait. We have evolved to believe in god, whether it be by genes or memes (now that'd be an interesting discussion). For better or worse it's a human trait, for now. It was, and still is, the norm. Broken suggests deviation from this norm. Broken suggests we once had reason, then lost it.
  2. The loss of function in a given lifestyle is often attributed to significant changes in in thinking, feelings or behaviour (from http://ispsuk.org/?p=312 ,international society for psychology...), so my definition similar in some regards (i.e. mental causes). If you all agreed to accept 'broken' as a mental defect in the ability to reason rationally, then fair enough, but i would take issue with it. Utmost is the term 'broken' implies that rational reasoning is the norm for humans. I would argue it is the exception, and so the vast majority of us are broken. If belief in god(s) renders one broken, then the vast majority of humans are broken. I would say a definition for some kind of mental disability which renders the vast majority broken, is itself broken. Edit note: Sorry if this discussion's already been had, just point me there.
  3. I will try to argue that people who believe in god(s) are not broken, by using means not yet used (at least as far as i can tell). This argument will take the existence of god(s) to be irrelevant, and so a definition of belief or god is not required. A definition of broken, though, is required. If we take 'being normal' as being the ability to function in a given lifestyle, then to be broken is the inability to function in a given lifestyle. The given lifestyle here refers to whatever society brought you up. For whatever reasons our species, and society, have evolved beliefs in gods. This is normal, and certainly does not hinder people who believe in god from functioning in any given society i can think of. An ability to function, here, is the crux.
  4. I'm Prometheus. Interested in science, currently learning some maths. Want to hone my debating skills.
  5. As i understand it there are two theories bandied around as top why acupuncture works (both, of course, assume it works). One, it works on the gate-control theory of pain (the generally accepted theory of pain in medicine). By this theory acupuncture should work about as well as rubbing an injury (which does work). Two, acupuncture somehow releases endorphins and enkephalins, natural opiates. I've not looked into either, but can try to dig out some articles if you like. But as i understand it, most studies suggest it doesn't work beyond placebo (is there a cochrane review?).
  6. It would depend on how death is defined. In the UK, and most western countries i assume, it is defined as brain stem death. Japan has it as cessation of cardio-respiratory function. By these differing definitions one might have been kept alive in the UK but was brought back to life in Japan, both via CPR. Timo answered the rest. Kind of related, found this article arguing individuals should be allowed to define death for themselves: http://jme.bmj.com/c.../3/146.abstract Interesting implications for organ donation and 'do not attempt resus' orders.
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