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Old 11-01-2011, 04:56 PM
 
2,447 posts, read 2,680,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan2008 View Post
As an atheist in Texas I run into quite a few Christians who make claims that their lives have been transformed by their "relationship" with God and Jesus. The common thread is that their lives have been changed for the better and that in some cases there is a belief that certain things would not have happened to them if they had not become Christian. Is there anyone who believes that there is some kind of "placebo effect" going on here? Are they ignoring all the people for whom their lives do NOT change appreciably or who still suffer and die in misery after converting. We can imagine this scenario I would think in certain very poor parts of the world.

BTW, one of the best "atheist prayers" I have ever seen on the internet is the one below. Quite moving and powerful if you ask me.

Please Forgive Me? - Ex-Christian.Net
Of course, this is one of the main arguments against religion. If you've ever been to the Carribbean, it's common to see this outside of the resorts. All you see is poor people that need religion to pretty much prevent themselves from comitting suicide. It's sad, but if they need it in their situation, I don't really care.

There are all kinds of studies showing that it is not actually religion helping them, but basic things like community ('Secret ingredient' in religion makes people happier). This is not a surprise and just shows how religion keeps making its way towards the back burner.

World survey links religion and happiness -- for some

If people just realize what the religion is doing to them, they can find solutions to for their problems other than religion.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: USA
1,589 posts, read 1,734,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan2008 View Post
As an atheist in Texas I run into quite a few Christians who make claims that their lives have been transformed by their "relationship" with God and Jesus. The common thread is that their lives have been changed for the better and that in some cases there is a belief that certain things would not have happened to them if they had not become Christian. Is there anyone who believes that there is some kind of "placebo effect" going on here? Are they ignoring all the people for whom their lives do NOT change appreciably or who still suffer and die in misery after converting. We can imagine this scenario I would think in certain very poor parts of the world.

BTW, one of the best "atheist prayers" I have ever seen on the internet is the one below. Quite moving and powerful if you ask me.

Please Forgive Me? - Ex-Christian.Net

I agree with the placebo effect. It's the belief in something that changes lives. You can see people of different beliefs who change their lives according to those beliefs (not even religious people). It's the Faith that moves mountains.

People say: when I came to God, I felt so happy. Well, if you believed that you were a bad person and then you believed that you were considered a good person (because of something like forgiveness) this emotional roll o coaster would also leave you feeling happy at the end.

And why do people who become Christians (or in other beliefs) become more loving? Because they become happy. Good people who are happy tend to be loving to others. They tend to want to embrace all and wish everybody good will. Because they are happy. So the belief in something good makes you happy. And as a result, you become more loving. And all this happens regardless of whether there is a god or not, as long as the belief is there in something

So here are two logical explanations for some things that happen...
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I've heard a couple of Christians state that it doesn't matter whether God and Jesus are real or not, but that it makes them happy to think so and that it is good for society.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,303 posts, read 1,855,278 times
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If one can convince themself that all the good things about being a christian are indeed true, then of course the result can be a placebo-like effect. Even if they end up being wrong and there is no God/afterlife, it won't matter when they're dead.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:16 AM
 
39,168 posts, read 10,865,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
I've heard a couple of Christians state that it doesn't matter whether God and Jesus are real or not, but that it makes them happy to think so and that it is good for society.
Yep and, as Boxcar said, there are some who become 'better people' through religious Faith. I've also known some who became worse. I think its also possible for someone to become a better person through disbelief.

The bottom line is that many of the arguments why religion is necessary as a social glue or to stop us going anarchic or totalitarian are more to do with prejudice than fact.

I do believe that there could be many improvements in society if it went rational and non - religious and even if there were not or even some increase in social problems, that does not justify promulgating tosh on a global basis.

People deserve to know the truth. I have Faith that they can handle it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,204,425 times
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Default God,Jesus and faith as the "placebo effect"

The thing about placebo effect is that upon hearing the phrase we automatically write it off as a bogus false effect.

We never seem to notice the placebo effect "worked"; it made someone feel better.

That's because everything essentially *is* in our minds. Our state of being is by and large determined by what we believe our state of being is. We see the world from too much of a physical "cause & effect" perspective, but forget our conscious world is simply a model assembled in our brains from various stimuli translated by sensory organs and compared to past experience. How brains interpret and compile that information determines the outcome, not necessarily the stimuli itself.

Belief is the most powerful human force there is; whether that belief is technically accurate or not is not as important as how that belief is acted upon by the believer(s) in the real world.

Last edited by Chango; 11-03-2011 at 09:33 AM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,986,990 times
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The "placebo effect" is quite real. Otherwise, there would be no such phrase.

Some justify religion (usually, a particular religion) as being the source of morality, and state that it is impossible to have it without religion. That is false, and the dogma of religion simply gets in the way of treating those who believe differenly as equals. (Catma is far better.)
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:05 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,807,884 times
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Let's for arguments sake say that love does not exist at all.
Would it than be better or worse to believe in love?
Even when there was no actual evidence of love having ever existed?

Heck, would we than call it 'love' or just another 'placebo effect'?
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,571,893 times
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Love doesn't objectively exist. It's a chemical reaction in our brains and a socially constructed value. It has meaning only because we as human beings assign meaning to it -- it doesn't "exist" "out there" as a force, despite what religions teach. Love IS a placebo effect, along with everything that does not have a basis in physical reality.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:32 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,807,884 times
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Originally Posted by northstar22
Quote:
It's a chemical reaction in our brains and a socially constructed value.
So you're saying that it would make life hell if you believe in love?
Or that it would make life hell if you don't believe in love?

According to your logic morality doesn't exist either so why try to lead a moral life, right?
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