the trailboss abuses his CodeRanch power for his other stuff (power corrupts. absolute power corrupts absolutely is kinda neat!)
permaculture light bulbs permaculture electric heat permaculture cast iron permaculture wood burning stove permaculture solar food dehydrators
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Is faith healing unscientific? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Is faith healing unscientific?" Watch "Is faith healing unscientific?" New topic
Author

Is faith healing unscientific?

Neeru Misra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 03, 2005
Posts: 78
World today is pluralistic with freedom of speech act and lifestyle. The limit of my liberty is the liberty of my friend. Every individual has the freedom to accept or reject any approach so far it is not affecting others, and falls within the prescribed social norms. However, at some places, it is held that no person or organisation, citing the right to freedom of religion or otherwise, can claim Constitutional validity for faith healing.

Since it concerns the larger issues of liberty and conformity, I am interested to know what is the general stand at different places in this context.
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

By definition faith healing is unscientific. Science is empirical and built round the well understood concept of rational argument. Faith healing is in the domain of belief, belief is what you need when you can't supply a rational arguement, and so is diametrically opposed to science.


JavaRanch FAQ HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Faith healers in general are dangerous quacks.

They're responsible for many deaths each year as they keep "patients" believing that they'll get cured of anything from infectious diseases to terminal cancer if only they'll forego all real doctors and just believe fervently enough.

In the end the patient dies of course, but the faith "healer" doesn't see this as a failure of their techniques. Instead they blame it on lack of faith (which is usually measured in donations...) instead and go on practicing like before.

It's only when a case is brought against them for causing the deaths of the patient or impersonating a medical professional that they're stopped, and then only for a short while.


42
Jayesh Lalwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
Originally posted by Dr Neeru Misra:
World today is pluralistic with freedom of speech act and lifestyle. The limit of my liberty is the liberty of my friend. Every individual has the freedom to accept or reject any approach so far it is not affecting others, and falls within the prescribed social norms. However, at some places, it is held that no person or organisation, citing the right to freedom of religion or otherwise, can claim Constitutional validity for faith healing.

Since it concerns the larger issues of liberty and conformity, I am interested to know what is the general stand at different places in this context.


Your entire post sounds like a bunch of non-sequiturs to me. I think you have to explain what do you mean by "Constitutional validity".

Do you mean scientific validity? Well, Scientific validity has nothing to do with liberty. What is scientificly proven to be true is true. You cannot have a vote on it. You have the liberty to challenge scientifically proven theories on the basis of your faith, and I have the liberty to laugh. For example:- it is scientifically proven that the Earth is round. You can come up and say that the Earth is flat because your faith says so, but I won't beleive you.
Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Bit heavy for MD, isn't it?


Java API J2EE API Servlet Spec JSP Spec How to ask a question... Simple Servlet Examples jsonf
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

Quite probably. Though I can't help feeling "Faith Healing" is pretty much a cast-iron example of "Meaningless Drivel"...
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Have faith Ben, it'll degenerate into meaningless drivel soon enough.

See, I've already made a start right here
Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Have faith Ben, it'll degenerate into meaningless drivel soon enough.

See, I've already made a start right here


I, having no faith whatsoever, am predicting that it will escalate into something absurd as this type of topic always does.

Carry on...
Marianne Robinson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 04, 2005
Posts: 39
By definition faith healing is unscientific. Science is empirical and built round the well understood concept of rational argument. Faith healing is in the domain of belief, belief is what you need when you can't supply a rational arguement, and so is diametrically opposed to science.

I agree that many countries have not extended legal validity to faith healing, yet many approaches to healing use "good and positive thoughts" and which are claimed to have yielded results. A child and even an adult failing to achieve the desired results has to be motivated for a stronger level of confidence. This regeneration of faith prevents several possible physical ailments, there is no doubt about it. I firmly believe that there are several areas of knowledge yet to be explored, and faith healing is one of them.

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Faith healers in general are dangerous quacks.

They're responsible for many deaths each year as they keep "patients" believing that they'll get cured of anything from infectious diseases to terminal cancer if only they'll forego all real doctors and just believe fervently enough.

In the end the patient dies of course, but the faith "healer" doesn't see this as a failure of their techniques. Instead they blame it on lack of faith (which is usually measured in donations...) instead and go on practicing like before.

It's only when a case is brought against them for causing the deaths of the patient or impersonating a medical professional that they're stopped, and then only for a short while.


So far the quacks are concerened, they are many more in allopathic or homeopathic stratms as well. The most scientific procedures also fail miserably and succeed without explanations.
[ February 11, 2005: Message edited by: Marianne Robinson ]
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
This is often called The Placebo Effect.
Neeru Misra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 03, 2005
Posts: 78
Originally posted by Ben Souther:


I, having no faith whatsoever, am predicting that it will escalate into something absurd as this type of topic always does.

Carry on...


I do not want to carry out the discussion to serious levels and loose the great pleasure MD has always offered. Just a small inquisitiveness - whether approaches like Reiki would fall under "faith" or "scientific."
[ February 11, 2005: Message edited by: Dr Neeru Misra ]
Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Yea, that's a nice light topic for discussion.

Good-Luck with it.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Marianne Robinson:


So far the quacks are concerened, they are many more in allopathic or homeopathic stratms as well. The most scientific procedures also fail miserably and succeed without explanations.


I don't say there are no quacks outside of the circle of faith healers, indeed there are many.
But there's no category of people calling themselves doctors/healers/shamans where every single one of them is a quack...

At least with scientific procedures a reason for the success or failure will be sought and usually found in time.
Faith healers accept success at face value (you had the faith so god healed you) and blame failure on the patient (you didn't have enough faith).
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
faith healing, there is a logical reason for believing in their lies.
Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
One of the definitions of faith commonly accepted is

"Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence"
(from dictionary.com)

By contrast science is dependent on proof, evidence and repeatablity. By these definitions faith healing is not scientific.


SCWCD: Online Course, 50,000+ words and 200+ questions
http://www.examulator.com/moodle/course/view.php?id=5&topic=all
Neeru Misra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 03, 2005
Posts: 78
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
By contrast science is dependent on proof, evidence and repeatablity.


But I am really keen to know by the present definition, whether Reiki would fall under science, if it has evidenced repeatability for atleast some of the disorders?

http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/feb/11msg.htm
[ February 12, 2005: Message edited by: Neeru Misra ]
Jayesh Lalwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
Originally posted by Dr Neeru Misra:


But I am really keen to know by the present definition, whether Reiki would fall under science, if it has evidenced repeatability for atleast some of the disorders?

http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/feb/11msg.htm

[ February 12, 2005: Message edited by: Neeru Misra ]


Because a phoneomenon is repeatable doesn't mean that a theory that explains the phenomenon is scientifically proven. To illustrate, I have a big bell and I have a rock. I throw a rock at the bell, and the impact makes a loud noise. I could keep throwing the same rock at the bell, and it would make the same noise every time. Now,I could claim that this proves that my rock makes a noise every time I throw it, because I have thrown it a hundred times at the bell. But I would be totally wrong because it's the bell that is making the noise.

To scientifically prove my theory that the rock makes noise, I would have to prove that a) the rock makes a loud noise when it's thrown at any object and b) the bell doesnt make noise when struck by any object other than the rock.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
One of the definitions of faith commonly accepted is

"Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence"
(from dictionary.com)

By contrast science is dependent on proof, evidence and repeatablity. By these definitions faith healing is not scientific.


Faith relise on trial and error to eveolve. Meditating all faiths do, so they can get closer to their god. But meditating is scientifically proven to be good for mind and body.

In the Islam and Jewish faith, it is wrong to eat pork. Scientifically, Back in old days, pork contained many diseases.

Fornication (Sex out of marriage) is a sin against god. Scientifically, it does not help social economically because it creates too many singler parents and child poverty.

Faith is very logical, there is a lot to learn from faith
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Gerald Davis:
Faith is very logical, there is a lot to learn from faith


Faith also needs to be renewed like science theories. :roll:


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Dave Lenton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by R K Singh:


Faith also needs to be renewed like science theories. :roll:


Unfortunately quite often people hear the word "faith" and make a connection in their mind that says "faith --> unchanging". Its almost as if they think to themselves that something that needs to be believed without proof must also be believed totally without consideration for accuracy or correctness, perhaps because they think that accuracy and correctness are in the domain of science, not of faith. They may also think that a person who thinks that an item followed through faith is not correct has not got proper faith themselves. This semi-logic says "Item X can only be believed through faith. Faith is unquestioning belief, because questions are about proof, and a proved item is not an item believed in through faith. Therefore X should not be questioned". This leads to people not reassessing items on faith or rethinking their position, which is a shame.


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
Faith is not dependent on trial and error. Faith is not dependent on logic. It may be that some aspects of some faiths can be explained with logic, but that does not make faith dependent on logic or trial and error.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
Faith is not dependent on trial and error. Faith is not dependent on logic. It may be that some aspects of some faiths can be explained with logic, but that does not make faith dependent on logic or trial and error.


Maybe I am saying it all wrong. All faiths come under Darwins law of evelution, servival of the fittest.It isn't mare coincidence that many religons appear very aggresive towards others like tiger protecting his territory.
Dave Lenton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by Gerald Davis:

Maybe I am saying it all wrong. All faiths come under Darwins law of evelution, servival of the fittest.It isn't mare coincidence that many religons appear very aggresive towards others like tiger protecting his territory.


Indeed. Some of the most widespread ideas (both religious and non-religious) have become so at the tip of a blade. Its no coincidence that Islam spread to such a large area when you look at the way it was initially spread through conquest. Similarly Christianity is wide spread because it was passed around the globe by three of the biggest empires in mankind's history - the Roman, British and Spanish empires. Similarly other ideas and ideologies such as communism, capitalism, patterns of architecture, languages, art techniques and even sports have often become widespread as a side effect of aggressive expansion of some kind.
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9053
    
  12
I think that Judaism has persisted a very long time without aggressive expansion.


JavaBeginnersFaq
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Dave Lenton:


Indeed. Some of the most widespread ideas (both religious and non-religious) have become so at the tip of a blade


The power of aggression is amazing, even the woman like the bad boys. I am practicing some bad boy attitude of my own; I even use yohoo chat. I am wandering if there is any classes or books on how to be a hard man.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Marilyn de Queiroz:
I think that Judaism has persisted a very long time without aggressive expansion.


Jerusalem probably is not as violent as the other two because their religion is also a race your either born a Jew or not ; therefore scenario �convert to Jerusalem or die� does not exist. Jewish success has come down to a strict control of breading and marriage; Jewish people have become very intelligent people as a result. However, there numbers are still small compared to other religions.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
A hard man is a stupid man. Being a man isn't about throwing your weight around, it's about sacrifice and steady strength. You'll know a real man because he'll work 14 hours a day to support his family, play with his children when he gets home, and never even think to complain about it.

You'll know a man because he wakes up extra early so he can warm up the car, make some tea for his wife, or get an extra load of laundry done. The real man isn't the idiot picking a fistfight, or talking tough, or any of that none sense: he's making sure that people around him suffers less then he does.

M
[ February 16, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]

Java Regular Expressions
Ellen Zhao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
A hard man is a stupid man. Being a man isn't about throwing your weight around, it's about sacrifice and steady strength. You'll know a real man because he'll work 14 hours a day to support his family, play with his children when he gets home, and never even think to complain about it.

You'll know a man because he wakes up extra early so he can warm up the car, make some tea for his wife, or get an extra load of laundry done. The real man isn't the idiot picking a fistfight, or talking tough, or any of that none sense: he's making sure that people around him suffers less then he does.

M


Such man does exist in fiction....But alas, that's only fiction. Imagining about such a man is hurting herself/himself, don't be misled by Mr. Habibi! I guess a real man in reality is a little bit more human? People are vulnerable, everybody needs a lot of love and care including real men. Just complain when the situation is proper and sacrifice when he really should, that's just good enough, at least for me.
[ February 16, 2005: Message edited by: Ellen Zhao ]
Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
The idea that being jewish is racial is as vague as the idea of race itself. Many people have converted to judaism.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Ellen Zhao:

Such man does exist in fiction....But alas, that's only fiction.
[ February 16, 2005: Message edited by: Ellen Zhao ]


I disagree, based on empirical evidence. My father is man like this, and my mother is his counterpart. They always worked hard to help each in these little ways and these big ways. My wife's parents are also like this. The quality of kindness is not strained. Such men( and women) are role models, and deservedly so.

M
[ February 16, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
The idea that being jewish is racial is as vague as the idea of race itself. Many people have converted to judaism.


I might have guessed that it might be possible to convert to Jerusalem, but they don�t depend on it to get more recruits to fill their numbers. The rule is quality over quantity they don�t want any old Jack The Lad from Croydon to join but people more Jewish like are preferred. Race is not a vague at all if you are into the theory of evolution.
Ellen Zhao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
Originally posted by Max Habibi:


I disagree, based on empirical evidence. My father is man like this, and my mother is his counterpart. They always worked hard to help each in these little ways and these big ways. My wife's parents are also like this. The quality of kindness is not strained. Such men( and women) are role models, and deservedly so.

M

[ February 16, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]

You and your wife are really lucky to have such ideal parents, my sincere congratulations to you! And I really have no slightest doubt that you and your wife are the same role models. All my admirations to you. And I really think I should learn from you as well as I can.

However not everybody is as lucky as you are. For example I am pretty envious on this matter. I guess my parents are always willing to be ideal role models but they are just moody/tired/very irrational/inconsiderate once in a while, they have all the common weaknesses humans have...My dad gets up earlier than my mum and makes breakfast for her most of the time but I clearly remember there were times my mum got up earlier than he did and served him. And they did argue with each other, once in several years, every time I was scared to cry so I remember those. But we are still a happy and warm family, we love each other no matter how many angry/disappointed tears we had had for each other. Giving always coexists with taking. Happiness, anger, disappointment etc. etc are all natural and so surprisingly, necessary; I appreciate all of the happenings in life. C'est la vie. My life is not ideal or perfect, when good thing happens, I'd be happy; When frustration comes, I do complain. I'd really like to learn from role models though.
[ February 16, 2005: Message edited by: Ellen Zhao ]
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Jayesh Lalwani:
What is scientificly proven to be true is true.


Actually not, now - except perhaps for mathematics. Science still has not come up with the true model of the world - if there even can be such a thing. Scientist instead are working with incomplete models of the world, that are known to work reasonably well for many cases, and known to have problems for others.

What distinguishes science from faith is that a scientific model needs to be falsifiable - that is, you need to be able to think up an experiment that would prove that the model is false, if it is false. That's why the existance of god is outside the scope of science - you cannot design an experiment that disproves the existance of god.

So what happens in science is that a scientist comes up with a new model, a new hypothesis or theory that seems to work better than the previous one. Then other scientists all over the world start to come up with experiments that would fail if the theory wasn't true - they actively try to disprove it. If after enough experiments the new theory still didn't show up any significantly stronger problems than the old one, it gets slowly accepted as "the new truth".


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
You'll know a real man because he'll work 14 hours a day to support his family, play with his children when he gets home, and never even think to complain about it.


I am like the man you speek; however, I am not married so I have no children to care about. My loyalties are with my old family and especially my younger sister who I still support even though I now live alone.

So far as complain, I never seem to find anything to complain about; I have to think up stuff, just to add a bit of passion and excitement to the relationship.

Can you guess the disincentive for dating one such as me? Because I am loyal to my old family, they get much of my energy and resources that a wife might want all for her self. She would not get a glass of wine or flowers from me, because that money could immunize 5 children from a third world country from malaria.
Ellen Zhao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
Originally posted by Gerald Davis:

She would not get a glass of wine or flowers from me, because that money could immunize 5 children from a third world country from malaria.

Do you have to get flowers with money? :roll: I always got a handful of really colourful and lovely wild flowers when I was taking a walk in forests (I lived right next to forests a while ago), espeically when it was spring and summer. Then the flowers would be put into a glass, just the most common glass for drinking water. Both of my house mates were delighted from time to time.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:


Scientist instead are working with incomplete models of the world, that are known to work reasonably well for many cases, and known to have problems for others.


Wise man.

The existence of god there might indeed be. What lays beyond this universe or, all the others if there are more then one, might be a god. Be there a god or be there none, the existence of religion is an inevitable, and would happen regardless . Religion is a system for controlling people that has evolved from much trial and error and all the elements of religion, good or bad, has a logical reason for being.

So in most cases you can learn from it. I have already adopted fasting because benefits to the mind and body and if I ever have kids they will have strong Christian style discipline because it is a system that works.
Gerald Davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
A hard man is a stupid man.


However, just like rats they have not died off with the dinosaurs, they must be doing something right.
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Ellen Zhao:

Do you have to get flowers with money? :roll: I always got a handful of really colourful and lovely wild flowers when I was taking a walk in forests (I lived right next to forests a while ago), espeically when it was spring and summer. Then the flowers would be put into a glass, just the most common glass for drinking water. Both of my house mates were delighted from time to time.


Picking of woldflowers is frowned upon in many areas of the world (and illegal in some). Where natural habitats are shrinking the wear and tear from human visitation on forests, wetlands, heathland etc is increasingly a problem. Most natural areas encourage a "Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos" approach.
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Gerald: She would not get a glass of wine or flowers from me, because that money could immunize 5 children from a third world country from malaria.


I find that to be an unusual statement, because then, where would one draw the line?
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Ellen Zhao:

You and your wife are really lucky to have such ideal parents, my sincere congratulations to you!


I appreciate your sincerity ,Ellen. It's not everyone who passes up the opportunity to rude to their neighbors.

But I'm not sure that congratulations are in order: after all it's not like we've won on Jeopardy. But yes, we're lucky to have good role models, as we appreciate that. Of course our parents weren't perfect: but they did sacrifice their own day-to-day comfort for us and for each other, and I think that leads to better things all around.

We all try, of course, to be better people. But it seems, sometimes, that we're inconsistent on who those better people are. In my opinion, if even the ideals you're striving for are less than idealistic, then you're probably not trying as hard as you can. It's a bit like aspiring to a C average in school: probably not the right approach if you want to actually learn something.

M
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
 
subject: Is faith healing unscientific?