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The placebo effect is an act of faith. Pure and simple faith.

 

First of all, your positive assertion has no supporting links.

It doesn't need any.

 

It is as well accepted in the medical community as the air you breath.

 

Just Google it.

 

Regarding your "references"......and the Flat Earth Society Believes that the earth is flat. Others have written articles that the moon is hollow and that the inside of it is actually a base for space aliens. I even saw a picture that was described as a bottle on the lunar surface. Since I have never been anywhere in the wilderness where I couldn't find a few empty beer bottles, it must have been a beer bottle.

 

 

 

I would certainly assert that anytime faith overrides the natural will to survive it could be legitimately labeled as a mental disorder.

I'm interested in how this relates to faith in general and or the placebo effect specifically. Could you go into more detail about this?

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Your argument doesn't hold water.

In a double blind study, even the experimenter doesn't know. So there is no lying involved.

The placebo effect doesn't rely on being double blind.

 

Well. I'm old and they are not tenuous.

Take the argument you just gave me as an example. You discount that lying can work when it facilitates a placebo effect because sometimes the placebo effect doesn't involve lying (other times it does). If you critically examined your own point before you made it I would hope that you couldn't help but notice how flawed it is.

 

Either you didn't notice, you thought I wouldn't notice, or you didn't care that it made no sense. I think, and I hope, that you didn't notice because you aren't willing to question your own arguments in favor of religious beliefs.

 

I'm sorry that you lost your beliefs.

I didn't lose my beliefs. I came to believe different things when I passed the age of wishful thinking and reached the age of intellectual honesty. I still have beliefs about religion -- they are just more honest and better informed.

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If you created a simulated reality on a computer with artificially intelligent programs occupying it and you wanted to make yourself known to the simulated world how would you go about it?

 

Are you saying that there is nothing you could do? You want to make yourself known to your creations, but the fact that the simulation exists is the only way you can think to do that?

 

Or, are you saying that religion is the best God could do to make himself known -- revealing himself to a few members of an illiterate population cut off from the wider world in the form of a burning bush?

 

If God is powerful enough to create the universe and wants to make himself known then of course he could. Those two assumptions don't match up at all with reality.

 

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I could only guarantee my 'knowness' if I did not afford them the ability of free choice. With free choice the program can choose how to interpret the information that is presented to it as proof of me. I could appear in a 'dream', but the program would have to choose whether the subject of the dream was real or not. I could appear fully in it's reality but the program would have to assign 'creator' to me even if I tell it that I am and do all sorts of 'miracles' to prove it. Once you understand that choice is the biggest problem with it recognising you as creator or not, the need to present evidence to the program subsides. What kind of 'miracles' could ever prove creation and not just different? That is why I have said that there is no evidence that can prove the creator's existence to those that choose or believe that the creator doesn't exist.

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Inow,

 

Well, you know me well enough to know that I believe that if you find the Easter Bunny, and think about how and why a conception of the Easter Bunny could exist in your brain, which is evidently just a rather complicated, but standandly arranged bunch of chemical elements, you might indeed find some clues as to where and why other conceptions are possible.

 

And it is certainly complicated. The "ideas" we hold, are usually referenced in some way to our body. This is what makes them "real" to us, perhaps, because we HAVE this body to reference all thoughts to. So my first assumption, is that I exist. My body/brain/heart group exists. I can alway reference things to it, and be substaintially correct. I need no further corroberation from anybody, or any body else. However, I also have learned that there are "other" bod/brain/heart groups that exist. In fact my mother and my father were both body/brain/heart groups, and they brought me into the world, and taught me about it, and protected me from its dangers, and showed me its beauties, and instructed me, as to how to best respect it. And how to properly get along, how to properly live.

 

If religion says "honor your mother and father" I can take that as sound logic, and true and understandable advice.

 

So, is there not a reason to accept that the wisdom of your parents, and the human form that your parents passed on to you, are both valid and evidentially true realities? I don't have to "wait" 'til I Find the equation for "Easter Bunny" to know what one is, and what portions of it must be valid to me, and valid to others.

 

Regards, TAR2

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I could only guarantee my 'knowness' if I did not afford them the ability of free choice.

Knowledge gives you the ability to chose between the truth and a falsity. It does not take away the ability of free choice. Knowing that the sun rises each day doesn't take away your free will. The information provides you with a basis for a reasoned, rational, and knowledgeable belief regarding when the sun will rise.

 

Our lack of knowledge of a creator does not provide us with the freedom to chose to believe. The only choice lack of knowledge provides is uninformed belief.

 

With free choice the program can choose how to interpret the information that is presented to it as proof of me. I could appear in a 'dream', but the program would have to choose whether the subject of the dream was real or not. I could appear fully in it's reality but the program would have to assign 'creator' to me even if I tell it that I am and do all sorts of 'miracles' to prove it.

If God wanted to make himself known, as you assume, he could be open and honest.

 

I'm having to think twice about my rejection of this thread's title. If God wanted to make himself known he could show up when people asked for him and be open and honest. That is how you make yourself known. God would hopefully be smart enough not to suffer an insurmountable failure of imagination on the question of how to meet someone.

 

What kind of 'miracles' could ever prove creation and not just different?

This is a new idea. Earlier you said "we must assume that said creator would make themselves known to us". Do I understand correctly now that he would only make himself known to us if he could prove to everyone that he is the creator.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think miracles would be nice -- especially answering prayers of the innocent and helpless cried to God in desperation and torment. That would go a long way toward establishing credibility. But, just showing up and answering some straightforward questions would be a good move toward making yourself known.

 

That is why I have said that there is no evidence that can prove the creator's existence to those that choose or believe that the creator doesn't exist.

There are plenty of people that are perfectly willing to believe if there were any sort of verification. There isn't.

 

The corollary question is what possible evidence -- anything conceivable -- might be uncovered tomorrow that would make you believe your god (god as you would define him) does not exist? Certainly there is none. Your definition of God is completely unfalsifiable.

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Is this a personal opinion or do you have anything to support this assertion?

What's to support? Are you saying the will to survive is not natural? That anything that suppresses it could be normal?

 

The placebo effect is an act of faith. Pure and simple faith.

 

 

It doesn't need any.

Wrong answer. The placebo effect has lots of unanswered questions as to all of it's causes and you certainly haven't supported yours. Then again, it's unsupportable but I'll leave you to support your invalid claim.

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Are you saying that it's "creative and intellectually open" to look at that great variety of phenomena and, to all of them, say there's just 1 answer and the answer is "God did it"?

If so you seem to be using a rather unorthodox definition.

 

Perhaps you're not aware of the amount of literature that is available from various religious scholars across different cultures over centuries of time who dedicated their whole life to gain knowledge of god , there is so much to know about the pleroma of God, we hardly know a thing, god is one of the possible supernatural explanation to those phenomena which is based on a testable philosophy of religion of neutral monism which says the fundamental thing in the universe is neither matter nor mind.

 

 

If you are thinking that theists just say "God did it" without giving an explanation of how god works then you're mistaken. Their scholarly works is itself enough to show that they are creative apart from the creative methods that they use to know God, as a scientist you keep ignoring such reports from various cultures at different timelines.

 

I could only guarantee my 'knowness' if I did not afford them the ability of free choice. With free choice the program can choose how to interpret the information that is presented to it as proof of me. I could appear in a 'dream', but the program would have to choose whether the subject of the dream was real or not. I could appear fully in it's reality but the program would have to assign 'creator' to me even if I tell it that I am and do all sorts of 'miracles' to prove it. Once you understand that choice is the biggest problem with it recognising you as creator or not, the need to present evidence to the program subsides. What kind of 'miracles' could ever prove creation and not just different? That is why I have said that there is no evidence that can prove the creator's existence to those that choose or believe that the creator doesn't exist.

 

May be we are not prepared enough to communicate with him even though he wants to communicate with us, so he is preparing us, religion teaches us that the tools required to communicate with him exists in each and everyone of us so there is nothing stopping you from communicating with God. There are projects going on to make you completely unaware of the empirical world and to experience only the virtual world if you don't have any prior memory of the real world then for you the real empirical world does not exist which is exactly what you have said for those who think that God does not exist there is no evidence of God and for those who step up to his realm and doubt his existence they might conquer that doubt with their agnostic faith and have absolute faith in God and for the God indeed exists but for us he does not exist.

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What's to support? Are you saying the will to survive is not natural? That anything that suppresses it could be normal?

You did not directly answer my question but instead asked me three questions in return, so I'll try to infer your position.

 

Are you saying that it is not personal opinion, and that there is no supporting evidence, due to the fact that it is obvious to any reasonable person?

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1. Knowledge gives you the ability to chose between the truth and a falsity. It does not take away the ability of free choice. Knowing that the sun rises each day doesn't take away your free will. The information provides you with a basis for a reasoned, rational, and knowledgeable belief regarding when the sun will rise.

 

Our lack of knowledge of a creator does not provide us with the freedom to chose to believe. The only choice lack of knowledge provides is uninformed belief.

 

 

2. If God wanted to make himself known, as you assume, he could be open and honest.

 

I'm having to think twice about my rejection of this thread's title. If God wanted to make himself known he could show up when people asked for him and be open and honest. That is how you make yourself known. God would hopefully be smart enough not to suffer an insurmountable failure of imagination on the question of how to meet someone.

 

 

3. This is a new idea. Earlier you said "we must assume that said creator would make themselves known to us". Do I understand correctly now that he would only make himself known to us if he could prove to everyone that he is the creator.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think miracles would be nice -- especially answering prayers of the innocent and helpless cried to God in desperation and torment. That would go a long way toward establishing credibility. But, just showing up and answering some straightforward questions would be a good move toward making yourself known.

 

 

4. There are plenty of people that are perfectly willing to believe if there were any sort of verification. There isn't.

 

The corollary question is what possible evidence -- anything conceivable -- might be uncovered tomorrow that would make you believe your god (god as you would define him) does not exist? Certainly there is none. Your definition of God is completely unfalsifiable.

 

1. I think you have miss understood my concept of free choice. If they were not able to choose whether or not I existed then they would be forced to know me. Which would mean that they would have to be insane not to do as I told them and where does freedom come into all this? Only my letting them choose to find me and giving them the ability to find me if they wished to do so, do I allow them free choice in this regard. This is why love is talked about in religion, it is a desire to know the creator. What would be the point of making a program that had to submit to me? You are assuming there is no knowledge but you are looking in the wrong place, as I have already mentioned science cannot prove a creator or god.

 

2. The real question is: are we smart enough to understand the way in which a god might communicate with us? What is the difference with written word and spoken word? Do you judge the content of someone by the sound of their voice? Or do you try to understand the truth of their words, be they written or spoken.

 

 

3. This ties in with the above answers in so much as 'miracles' should not be necessary and would be hard to actually define as a miracle.

 

4. If you think people make the decision to believe and that's that then you are mistaken. We are not robots.

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I believe that if you find the Easter Bunny, and think about how and why a conception of the Easter Bunny could exist in your brain, which is evidently just a rather complicated, but standandly arranged bunch of chemical elements, you might indeed find some clues as to where and why other conceptions are possible.

 

And it is certainly complicated. The "ideas" we hold, are usually referenced in some way to our body. This is what makes them "real" to us, perhaps, because we HAVE this body to reference all thoughts to.

I have a background in neuroscience, so am quite comfortable on this topic and how it translates. My point stands, though. You were conflating "belief in existence god(s)" with "belief in the existence of god concepts." You were arguing (and continue to argue) against a point nobody is making.

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The placebo effect is an act of faith. Pure and simple faith.

 

We can design clinical trials in which we can administer a placebo and no treatment at all. We can statistically analyze the results, repeat the experiment, apply probability values to the results, conduct meta-analyses of multiple trials, etc and so on.

 

The placebo effect is a phenomenon which the existence of is verified by empirical, experimental evidence. No faith required.

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You did not directly answer my question but instead asked me three questions in return, so I'll try to infer your position.

 

Are you saying that it is not personal opinion, and that there is no supporting evidence, due to the fact that it is obvious to any reasonable person?

doG's point seems to be that faith sometimes overrides the natural will to survive. When that occurs, it does not seem to be a rational nor reasonable approach to any rational or reasonable human being.

 

1. I think you have miss understood my concept of free choice.

Please take your free will discussion elsewhere. That's a rat hole I really would rather we avoid.

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May be we are not prepared enough to communicate with him even though he wants to communicate with us, so he is preparing us, religion teaches us that the tools required to communicate with him exists in each and everyone of us so there is nothing stopping you from communicating with God. There are projects going on to make you completely unaware of the empirical world and to experience only the virtual world if you don't have any prior memory of the real world then for you the real empirical world does not exist which is exactly what you have said for those who think that God does not exist there is no evidence of God and for those who step up to his realm and doubt his existence they might conquer that doubt with their agnostic faith and have absolute faith in God and for the God indeed exists but for us he does not exist.

 

 

I got a little lost in the italic section, would you mind trying to word it again. I'm not sure what is meant by empirical world, virtual world, real world, real empirical world. I assume that agnostic faith would be faith that a god exists but that we are unable to personally know said god.

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The placebo effect is a phenomenon which the existence of is verified by empirical, experimental evidence. No faith required.

Indeed. DrDNA has introduced yet another conflation of the term faith. The challenge is the fact that faith alone is not good enough to support the existence of some super-uber-god-like being. He's now trying to use a bit of a bait and switch... smoke and mirrors... "Hey, what's that over there!!" ... argument that has nothing to do with that. He's now talking about how we sometimes see a result that appears to come from faith...

 

That's different. Sure, faith has effects that can be measured. That's part of the problem many of us have with those who base their decisions on truth proposals based on faith. That, however, is not the same as saying that faith is good enough to support an affirmative believe in the existence of a deity.

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I got a little lost in the italic section, would you mind trying to word it again. I'm not sure what is meant by empirical world, virtual world, real world, real empirical world. I assume that agnostic faith would be faith that a god exists but that we are unable to personally know said god.

 

Empirical world - the observable world, the world which we see through our biological natural eyes.

 

Virtual world - the virtual immersive world, the world which we see through our avatar or through the eyes of a virtual body.

 

Real (empirical) world - assuming our observable natural world is real.

 

As long as you cannot know god the default position is that you're an agnostic, once you know god you're a gnostic.

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doG's point seems to be that faith sometimes overrides the natural will to survive. When that occurs, it does not seem to be a rational nor reasonable approach to any rational or reasonable human being.

One of the things doG said was that "it could be legitimately labeled as a mental disorder". That sounds like his position may have have the support of some portion of the medical establishment. If that were true I'd be interested in what they had to say.

 

There are also plenty of examples of people making conscious decision to die for the benefit of others. Secret Service agents will take a bullet for the President. Soldiers will lay on a grenade to protect their friends or ensure the success of a mission. Parents running into a burning house to save a child. And of course suicide bombers because they believe it is the will of God. In all these cases people's faith or love or dedication are overriding the natural will to survive.

 

Are people who override the natural will to survive for love of dedication the the job/mission also not rational or reasonable human beings? Would the medical authorities legitimately label them mentally disturbed? Or is it only people who do so for faith?

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My bad.

 

Are people who override the natural will to survive for love of dedication the the job/mission also not rational or reasonable human beings? Would the medical authorities legitimately label them mentally disturbed as having a mental disorder? Or is it only people who do so for faith?

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Interesting question, and I'm unsure, but I think it's peripheral to the conversation. Those people override their will to survive for other reasons... They want to help their kin (or see the world at large as within their kin-group)... Or they have been trained to value self-sacrifice, or have been taught to value others more than self. These are all possible reasons for those types of actions wherein they might override their will to survive and not be subject to a mental disorder.

 

I suspect it's similar for those who believe in god(s). They have been taught to value these arbitrary religious instructions. They have been taught to prioritize the teachings of the bible or the preacher or the nuns or imams or yogis or whatever over their personal will to survive. They may ignore the will to survive for the same reasons as a first responder or neighbor who saves a child at their own peril... It's part of their self-identity, and part of their overall worldview. Sacrifice and selflessness being prized are how I see this.

 

I just think that's moot. This is about those that have an affirmative belief in god(s). The idea for them is that faith is a valid reason for accepting ANYTHING as true, let alone the extraordinary claim of deities, and it's simply not. At the very least, those who affirmatively believe in god are expressing broken logic, reason, and rationality since all god belief distills back down to faith... and faith alone. Since faith could equally be used to claim the existence of silly things like unicorns or leprechauns or easter bunnies, it cannot validly be used to claim the existence of god(s).

 

That's my immediate thought. I didn't make the argument, though. doG did, and I will let him respond for himself.

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One of the things doG said was that "it could be legitimately labeled as a mental disorder".

Could be is the key. A father jumping in front of a car to save his child's life is actually committing a natural act IMO. A father that stands there and prays the car won't hit him when he has the ability to get out of the way has a mental disorder that has let faith poison his natural will to survive. IOW, faith is sometimes a mental disorder that prevents someone from using reason to survive and they end up dead or injured because of it.

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1. I think you have miss understood my concept of free choice. If they were not able to choose whether or not I existed then they would be forced to know me. Which would mean that they would have to be insane not to do as I told them and where does freedom come into all this? Only my letting them choose to find me and giving them the ability to find me if they wished to do so, do I allow them free choice in this regard. This is why love is talked about in religion, it is a desire to know the creator. What would be the point of making a program that had to submit to me? You are assuming there is no knowledge but you are looking in the wrong place, as I have already mentioned science cannot prove a creator or god.

 

I can't make any real sense of this, what does free choice have to do with believing in something with no evidence?

 

God however is quite capable of providing evidence of his existence with out violating freewill.

 

As for god being love... wow... I'd like to see some proof of that but it would have to be in another thread.

 

 

 

2. The real question is: are we smart enough to understand the way in which a god might communicate with us? What is the difference with written word and spoken word? Do you judge the content of someone by the sound of their voice? Or do you try to understand the truth of their words, be they written or spoken.

 

I require evidence to believe in something someone tells me...

 

 

3. This ties in with the above answers in so much as 'miracles' should not be necessary and would be hard to actually define as a miracle.

 

God has preformed miracles in the past, why not now? Stopping the sun in the sky would be pretty impressive, he did for one group of sheep shaggers so they could kill another group of sheep shaggers. Why not do something impressive now? Swap the orbits of Mars and Venus, take over all our satellite broadcasts to tell us all what is really needed or demanded by him. Why is it up to the confused and contradictory writings of a group of bronze age primitives?

 

4. If you think people make the decision to believe and that's that then you are mistaken. We are not robots.

 

No we are brain washed almost from birth by the society around us, the decision to believe is drilled into us from an early age. In a very real way we are robots that have been programmed to believe something not real...

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Wrong answer. The placebo effect has lots of unanswered questions as to all of it's causes and you certainly haven't supported yours. Then again, it's unsupportable but I'll leave you to support your invalid claim.

No. Right answer.

I'm not going to waste my time looking up references to affirm that the sky is blue. Wiki it.

 

Of course there are a lot of unanswered questions about the placebo effect.

Because it is an act of faith.

Science can measure it. But they can't explain it.

 

It doesn't fit neatly into a box so you would rather dismiss it or say that it is not supportable.

Edited by DrDNA
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No. Right answer.

I'm not going to waste my time looking up references to affirm that the sky is blue. Wiki it.

 

Of course there are a lot of unanswered questions about the placebo effect.

Because it is an act of faith.

Science can measure it. But they can't explain it.

 

It doesn't fit neatly into a box so you would rather dismiss it or say that it is not supportable.

 

Mods? Will you please point out the rules to DrDNA here and demand some proof of his/her unsupportable assertion?

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@ moontanman #321

This is a follow-on from a number of posts discussing the idea and should be read with the previous posts in order to make sense.

 

The brain wash part is a little dramatic, I'm not much of a humanist but would give people more credit than what you are suggesting. People might be unwilling to question things but are not incapable of doing so.

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We can design clinical trials in which we can administer a placebo and no treatment at all. We can statistically analyze the results, repeat the experiment, apply probability values to the results, conduct meta-analyses of multiple trials, etc and so on.

 

The placebo effect is a phenomenon which the existence of is verified by empirical, experimental evidence. No faith required.

 

Huh?

 

You are confused.

I am arguing why the placebo effect is scientific AND an act of faith.

It is measurable and observable and repeatable.

 

Without the act of faith, nothing happens.

Then, there is nothing to measure.

Faith on the part of patient is a requirement.

 

What are you saying?

 

Huh?

 

You are confused.

I am arguing why the placebo effect is scientific AND an act of faith.

It is measurable and observable and repeatable.

 

 

Without the act of faith, nothing happens.

Then, there is nothing to measure.

Faith on the part of patient is a requirement.

Maybe some faith on the part of the experimenter also.

 

What are you saying?

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