Faith Healing
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02-08-2013, 10:52 PM
RE: Faith Healing
(02-08-2013 07:45 PM)Derek Hammar Wrote:  So I'm currently debating this theist about faith healing/miricals. He brought up something that I really don't know what to say to it. Using this site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lourdes_Med...le_cases), he claims that there is documented evidence of the healing of incurable diseases. Thanks all sure that there's an explanation!
http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Healers-Jame...andi+books

Humans arrived on Earth on 22 October 4004 B.C. A few of us are still trying to repair the ship.
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03-08-2013, 01:50 AM
RE: Faith Healing
(02-08-2013 08:32 PM)Derek Hammar Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 08:29 PM)Chas Wrote:  So am I.

...
Not really very helpful. How am I to refute this?

Faith healing claims rely primarily on not publishing their failure rate. The scientific method uses control groups for a reason. Control groups help eliminate possible variables allowing the experimenter to examine the effects of a single or small number of variables. Correlation does not prove causality.
Almost all conditions have a small percentage of cases that go into remission for unknown reasons. Faith healers prey on desperate people who are often out of options. When they happen upon the anomalous remissions they call it "healing" when it's really just coincidence.
Legitimate medical studies compare results from large groups of patients. They compare the experimental treatment against other equally large groups which receive placebo, other known treatments, or no treatment at all. Faith healers, by comparison, only publish their "successes".

My advice is to do some research on the scientific method. This will help you understand why scientists can make claims of knowledge. Faith healers will tell you "we don't know how it works, it just does. It's faith". If they don't KNOW how it works they certainly can't KNOW it's NOT a coincidence.
I hope this was helpful.
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03-08-2013, 02:11 AM
RE: Faith Healing
^^^
This. Also remember hundreds of thousands of people make the trek to Lourdes each year -- for a long freaking time. They go because they're desperate. Because of a handful of completely specious stories retold like a game of Chinese Whispers.

There can be completely rational reasons for some and other so-called results can be overblown.

Maybe I should head there and see if it can fix my iPad thumb -- I shouldn't be typing here at all...but had to check into this thread. Smile


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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03-08-2013, 09:13 AM
RE: Faith Healing
You should also read the book: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. He takes to task faith healers, nutritionalists, alternative medicine, and the pharma industry for not following the scientific method.

You can lead a theist to reason, but, you cannot make him think.
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