TED Conversations

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: The planet would benefit more from us asking Who Am I. Questions, ideas, and debate on God lead to further and further fragmentation of human thought as is evidenced in the world. See the God/Religion debate for what it Actually Is and it will fall away. Then turn inward. Death waits for us all. Do your work
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      Apr 9 2013: Who am I. The most important question to answer for yourself. However, some are not ready to ask these questions as they believe it's answered by their religion or faith.

      I enjoyed this question so much but I figured I should move on to the next question. Once you know who you are, what do you do with with knowledge? I had this debate with a friend of mine and he thinks the next question to be answered is "What constitutes and good life?".

      Death awaits us all. Lets make our waking conscious period count. Ask many questions :)

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