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James van der Walt

Social Entrepreneur, Ugesi Gold

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Does religion cause the placebo effect?

I'm not an atheist. I choose not to be. I have a believe system that guides me and gives me strength. Is the strength real or part of the divine? Who knows. I can however say that it's made an impact on my life purely because I believe in it. Does my conviction give me power? I believe it does.

The placebo effect is well documented and researched. It is very real even though it's only in your head. I wish to propose that it is belief that makes the benefits real. A woman believes that God will cure her so she has a higher change of getting better just because she believes it will.

Blind believe is one of the things that separate us from most animals. We can believe something without proof and let it guide our entire life. We should use this human quality to our advantage. Made that's the power behind positive thinking too?

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    Mar 27 2013: Belief in the non-existent God, and that which quantum physics demonstrates is highly improbable (IF there is a god, it bears no resemblance to the God of Abraham), is a choice. Unless one was raised in a family of atheists, atheism is not a choice. It's a realization.

    This said, Christianity has a track record that is opposite of all that it says it stands for. Is that mayhem and cruelty a placebo effect that you can live with? You could call it a placebo effect. You could also call it denial or delusion. Whatever works for you works for you. But as soon as you use your "placebo effect" to turn against all who are different than you (as is happening in the USA), and a religion of love and peace becomes a religion of abuse and tyranny, then it's time for eyes to open and behaviors to be seen for what they are.
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      Mar 27 2013: Consciousness can alter reality. This quantum experiments have shown. By merely expecting a result that result will be produced. Sounds familiar? Lovely topic ;)

      In essence I agree with you. The old image of god with a white beard is redundant. However the fact remain that people are accomplishing extraordinary acts (both good and bad) in the name of their religion/believes. No matter how naive this might seem the effect cannot be ignored. The good thing is, for those who realize that the old believes are irrelevant and drop them are free to choose a new believe system. We have to believe something. Is this denial or delusion? I don't think so. Else everything is a delusion, because the question of the existence of a greater purpose or god can never be answered. So to decided there's no-god is the same as deciding there is one/many gods. It comes down to what do you want to accomplish in your life and does your believes push those ideals.

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