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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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    Apr 12 2013: "You choose to accept God, correct? There for it must be conscious. You choose to believe that your faith will help you in life. Maybe god exist, maybe not. Just like the sugar pill you will get the benefits regardless."

    1. A lot of people are given 'God' through indoctrination. I do not necessarily accept 'God' until God is defined.
    2. Yes, but the consciousness of God existed before I did, thus 1. and thousands of years of documents of information relating to an idea of 'God' or many ideas.
    3. People do believe the faith does assist them in life, yes, but this does not inference to the fact it is a 'placebo effect', therefore there exist a physical substance which an individual believes will help them in such a cognitive reaction.
    3.a. As the below will summarize - calling it a 'placebo effect' ignores a lot of relative reasoning behind faith-based conformism and practice.

    It's not that the faith makes people happy or feel enlightened, necessarily. It's that the refusal of the faith will cause dysphoria. If the faith is never challenged they are happy, but there are no sugar pills there is environment and education. This isn't about tricking the brain, this is about straight out brain chemistry relating to social and group-thinking.

    What effects the final cause of both 'placebo effect' and 'faith-based states of mind' may be ontologically similar but the exact nature of the cause, goes beyond even those two concepts. What causes someone to feel better on false premises? (To simplify it to such a simplistic answer (placebo effect) shows disregard for the nature in which humans think, a complex activation of evolutionary factors and cultural responses PLUS more)

    Let me put it this way. Religious belief or faith, is not at the extent of taking a red pill or the blue pill, lol.

    Faith in anything develops overtime with communal and cultural interactions. The reasoning one would believe to take a pill and feel better, is a cultural+individual causality.

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