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Author Topic: Spiritual Healing  (Read 5968 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Spiritual Healing
« on: April 17, 2011, 05:06:27 AM »
Okay, let me start by saying I'm pretty tolerant of modern religion and I'm also a believer of some paranormal things... and this extends to the ability to heal others through mental stimulation. So, no, I have no problem with believing that there are men and women out who channel their faith in a higher power as a conduit for their gifts.

But what I DO take issue with is when people hail these UNPROVEN abilities as a substitute for good old fashioned medicine. Any televised faith healer with a crowd full of cancer patients begging him to touch them so they can get excited and have a seizure is nothing short of a despicable snake oil salesmen. Hell, swindlers like the old snake oil peddlers were just after your money, this kind of sensationalist trickery is KILLING PEOPLE, people who could be saved easily by modern medicine.

And even if a faith healer TRULY believes they have the power (I won't assume all of them are charismatic swindlers) that doesn't get them off the hook. Since when did the Church and the Hospital become oil and water? They're not mutually exclusive people... take your dying relative to the doctor for surgery, and THEN go to church and pray that that surgery works. I doubt God would want you to drag that poor person to Church and chant at the roof to magic their tumor away, when right down the street theres a trained surgeon who wants to help you.

This doesn't just extend to healers though, I also find the people who buy into it just as deplorable... Take for instance a young couple with a little girl, who had diabetes. They hadn't taken their daughter to the doctor in 8 years, because they were of the belief that prayer was all they needed for good health. Then she started complaining of pain. They didn't take her then, they kept on praying.

That little girl died, and it was completely treatable...

Those parents, and any others like them, and any teaching this rot need to be held legally responsible for the pain, suffering and loss they cause. A parent knowingly denying their child important medical help should be charged criminally.

I can understand this with a 'religion' like Scientology, since those fruits seem to think that hospitals are some money grabbing underworld (HAH!) but with something like Christianity, I can't for the life of me understand this demonizing of modern medicine... Why? Why pray for healing and just that? Why not take your loved one to the doctors and pray for them then? Why are they mutually exclusive? I want to understand :/

Sorry if my wording has come off as provocative or insensitive. It has nothing to do with the religious topic, just the behavior of the individuals involved. It really does boil my blood.

Offline Jude

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 06:28:43 AM »
People definitely need to be charged with criminal child neglect when they decide not to bring their children to the hospital when they should and as a result the child suffers a permanent, damaging fate (whether that is death or something that is merely debilitating).  Freedom of religion is all about how you practice your religion in relation to yourself, it's not about how you force your religion onto other people and make them suffer for your idiotic beliefs.

But that that is a rather extreme case which very few people will disagree with, and all spirit healers do harm.  So many people have been tricked into stopping cancer treatment by religious shysters who believe that their unprovable, BS powers give them the capacity to save lives.  Whether the person is sincere in their beliefs or not it doesn't matter.  Human life is an extremely precious thing, people shouldn't be losing their loved ones to treatable diseases because of any belief forced upon them externally.

Now, if you want to pray or hold a candlelight vigil with your coven after the child or person is in the custody of medical expert, do what you gotta do.  I still think that's an exercise in confirmation bias and self-delusion, but there's no victim, so who cares?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 12:33:49 PM by Jude »

Offline Brandon

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 06:56:56 AM »
There is a lot to cover in this topic, and I mean a lot but let me start by asking the most provacative question i think is in the entire subject you brought up. When a child dies who pays for that more then the parents who did nothing to save them? I have no children of my own, or at least none that I know of, so maybe I romanticize the role of a parent but I wonder how either of them can live with themselves knowing they caused their kids death? Im sorry but I cant imagine a worse punishment then that. Im not going to say charges shouldnt be filed for criminal negligence but I have to wonder if its really neccessary considering the mental trauma a parent has to go through after they loose a child.

Moving on, I dont think the lines between faith and traditional medicine are parted at all. Did you know that groups within the catholic church spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (it may even be millions by now) each year just to educate people in actual medicine? Yes, many groups are responsible for the education of doctors, psyciatrists, and surgeons so that they can get out in the world and help people. They might be missionaries at first off in the most remote locations but eventually those men and women return home to practice medicine in richer countries. Neither one is mutually exclusive and in fact as I pointed out above one religion actually promotes the other. Whats getting in the way here isnt to much faith its stupidity, unfortunately theres no cure for that.

Now lets talk about a problem we have in these richer countries. Money or lack there of. If a person cant afford a life saving procedure and can not get aid through medicare, obama-care, medicade, or some other goverment paid program where do they turn? I suppose you could go to a foriegn country and have an illegal procedure done while simultaneously hoping they dont kill you and harvest your organs to sell on the black market. I dont see another alternative except faith to fall back on, nor do I see a problem with falling back on faith when all other avenues have failed a person.

Now we get into the right to refuse treatment. I dont know about other countries but in the US we can refuse to have any procedure done for any reason. When I was just a kid I remember my dad falling off our roof when he was putting new boarding on it and he messed his back up bad. I didnt find out till years later but I guess the doctors wanted to do some major surgery which he said no too. Today he doesnt have anymore aches and pains then your normal 60ish year old man. So tell me now, if a persons faith says they cant have blood transfusions done (yes this is a real religious practice). They believe it will poison their soul if you do it, it doesnt matter to them if they live or die without it being done, its still their choice. So should we force the needle into their arm against their wishes when they know full well the risks and accept them?

Prayer. I recall a study awhile back that noted the effects of prayer when the subject knew it was happening. It worked similar to the placdebo effect in that subjects who knew that other were praying for their recovery made faster recovery's as they got medical treatment. However the study also encompassed prayer done without the subjects knowledge which yeilded no beneficial results.

FInally those selling false cures. I agree with you. Throw the lot of them in jail for taking advantage of peoples misery, they may inspire hope for a fleeting moment but that doesnt change the fact that theyre nothing short of evil and their cures sometimes do more harm then good.

Offline Yanagrl

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 11:54:13 AM »
This is a fun topic. I like all of your points so far.  I personally like the idea of interweaving spiritual healing (from whatever religion) with modern medicine.  I'm actually a person that has to rely heavily on modern medicines, but I also would like to participate in a drum circle healing that's coming up.  Why not have both and see if they can work together, right? Or if one doesn't work then maybe the other will.  I'm not sure, because that's just something a person can never really be sure of.

The ability to deny any kind of treatment is the right of an adult.  It gets tough when said adults have to be responsible for their children.  I agree that neglect charges should be brought up, and I also agree that they would be the ones to suffer most when their child is lost.  I do think, though, that a lot of times religious fanatics are the ones that usually take things like this too far. And they're the type of people to rationalize away the choices they made based on religion.  I'm not saying everyone is like this, just the fanatics.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 12:03:30 PM »
Yeah, this is the thing with any group that appears in the media, their 'ambassadors' aren't usually flattering examples... with how sensationalist the news is these days, no ones going to listen to a meek Priest going for his MD laying out his ideal world view where science and religion can get along, it won't get ratings, so they end up with fucking morons like Benny Hicks or the Westboro guys instead.

Hell, I'll confess I usually click a link on a news website when its provocative or uses a name I hate. But you'd be almost as stupid as the news casters to judge any group based off of their loud TV personalities, whether it be Muslims, Militant Athiests, Vegans, or Faith Healers.

Just thought I'd add that in there...

Offline Jude

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2011, 12:47:52 PM »
Trying a spiritual approach to healing alongside scientifically acceptable treatments is usually not a good thing for your overall health.  Most do not do damage on their own, but they offer nothing beneficial aside from a modest placebo effect which you could receive from caring human interaction.  The resources which are wasted on spiritual treatments -- whether they be time or money -- are much better spent on just about anything.  Buy a hooker, that's gonna do much more for your quality of life than 'clearing your chakras.'  That isn't to say that all spiritual treatments are equally as bad.

Prayer requires so few resources that it isn't worth stressing about.  Meditation has actual health benefits because it's a pathway to a scientifically recognized altered state of consciousness which aids in stress reduction (it's just too bad that it has a spiritual bent to it when it's clearly just a physical, bodily process).

Best I advice I can give is skip the drum healing circle -- listen to a clip of it on youtube and you'll get the same effect.  Turn around and use the time that you would've wasted on that to visit a family member you haven't seen for awhile.  Or better yet, watch your favorite movie.  Or, hey, masturbate -- that has tangible health benefits.

EDIT:  By the way, the Placebo Effect?  It is not statistically significant, if it exists at all, for anything but subjective symptoms.  Aka, it may help you cope with pain to some degree (mind over matter), but it's not gonna give a terminal cancer patient another month to live.  It better to adopt a positive attitude than to try and delude yourself for the sake of "health."
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 12:54:18 PM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2011, 12:57:08 PM »
If you want to refuse treatment because you believe that imbibing 10mg of powdered seahorse dick is going to cure your colon cancer, by all means. However, parents who have legal control over over another human being are essentially forcing that human being to live with decisions beyond their control.

I don't care about guilt -- people who stab people in the heat of the moment after an argument probably feel guilty too, but we still give them a first-class ticket to prison. Parents aren't magic, infallible entities. They're not a special class of citizen -- they're human beings. If you are deluded to the point you let your faith take your child's life, you don't deserve the chance to procreate again, you deserve to go to prison for your bad decision, just as other people go to prison for THEIR bad decisions.

If you think including prayer or some other "spiritual" activity along side your medical treatment is going to help, feel free to do it personally and on your time. If it's not hurting anyone else or interfering with any medicine or treatment you're getting from the hospital, have at it.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2011, 01:00:23 PM »
And there in your last paragraph is summed up the only real sane way of life in this world. Do what makes you happy, as long as it doesn't impose on someone else's happiness.

Offline Jude

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2011, 01:07:38 PM »
That may be a great way to live, but spiritual healing is still a waste of time.  It doesn't work.  Spiritual healing is complete and utter bunk.

I don't have a problem with it being legal for them to do it, I don't think it's an immoral thing to do, but facts are facts.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 01:12:54 PM »
If a grown person, above the legal age of consent, refuses medical treatment, that's their business.  I've actually seen an episode of one of those non-fictional hospital shows where a Jehovah's Witness refused life-saving blood transfusions and chose to die instead.  (That's the belief that Brandon posted about, by the way.)  The thing that tweaks me is when a child who is not allowed to make their own medical decisions is involved.  I know I've seen a few cases mentioned on my court shows - I can't remember what the verdicts were, off the top of my head, but the trials were gut-wrenching.

Brandon - you mentioned this:

There is a lot to cover in this topic, and I mean a lot but let me start by asking the most provacative question i think is in the entire subject you brought up. When a child dies who pays for that more then the parents who did nothing to save them? I have no children of my own, or at least none that I know of, so maybe I romanticize the role of a parent but I wonder how either of them can live with themselves knowing they caused their kids death? Im sorry but I cant imagine a worse punishment then that. Im not going to say charges shouldnt be filed for criminal negligence but I have to wonder if its really neccessary considering the mental trauma a parent has to go through after they loose a child.

When I was watching these trials, the parents honestly believed that they hadn't done anything wrong by refusing treatment.  There was no guilt there - they didn't cause the child's death; God chose to take the child from them.  If anything, they were indignant at the legal system for implying that they should feel bad.  Relatives that were outside that particular religious branch were beating themselves up - although there was nothing they could have legally done to get the child care (thanks to the fact that parental consent is needed for anything short of emergency room stuff - and I'm not too sure about that.)

As for faith healing in general - I'm divided on that.  I saw an episode of House yesterday where the 'faith healer' was revealed as a fake - his 'cancer cure' was a result of a fortuitous (and probably fictional) interaction between a herpes virus and the other person's tumor.  I've also watched Reiki practitioners five feet away from me do little more than laying on of hands (no massage motions!) and alleviate pain and muscle tension.  Would I go to a Reiki practitioner (or other faith-based healer) if I found I had cancer?  Probably not for the main treatment, but possibly as an adjunct for some of the side effects.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 02:10:52 PM »
As someone who actually does Reiki (only level 1 admittedly), my first port of call would still be a doctor if I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. The Gods gave me a brain for a reason :)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 02:16:46 PM »
However, you might use it to deal with pain and fatigue (some side effects of chemo), yes?  That's the sort of situation I was thinking of. 

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2011, 02:28:08 PM »
For minor stuff, yes.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2011, 03:09:43 PM »
Why pick on the minor players how many miracle sites are there in the Roman Catholic faith and how many big time ministers are faith healers taking donations for these services?

I will make an opinion if one follows traditional medicine AND also calls on ones faith to heal and many religions do this (native american, indiginous, pagan faith, christian, jewish and muslim etc.) its not by its nature bad. And of one is dying anyway it may be your only hope left.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2011, 03:16:35 PM »
I know very few mainstream groups that say 'Don't go to doctors EVAR, RAWR!'  My mother went to a Roman Catholic-sponsored faith healing demonstration once, but your major players are more likely to advocated prayer as an adjunct (although they won't hesitate to claim credit when a 'terminal' patient makes a sudden unexpected recovery.)

Offline Brandon

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2011, 06:46:38 PM »
Seems I need to clear up a point as people have put some words into my mouth. At no time did I say a child was under the rights and restrictions of an individual denying themselves medical care. I only spoke about adult indivuduals who understood the risks and chose to refuse treatment because of their beliefs. Considering that its common sense that a child has to rely on the parent for medical treatment I didnt think I needed to talk about how wrong those parents were. Those parents were stupid and as I said stupidity can not be cured


Offline Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2011, 06:53:10 PM »
Sorry if I made it seem that way - I was actually agreeing with you on the first bit (about adults making decisions for themselves) and pointing out a slight misconception about how 'traumatized' the stupid parents were as far as I'd seen.

Offline Yanagrl

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2011, 10:27:02 PM »
That may be a great way to live, but spiritual healing is still a waste of time.  It doesn't work.  Spiritual healing is complete and utter bunk.

I don't have a problem with it being legal for them to do it, I don't think it's an immoral thing to do, but facts are facts.

Spritual healing is a waste of time to you.  It might not be a waste of time to someone else that really believes in it, or appreciates it.  It's not necessarily a fact that it's a waste of time; that can still be a matter of opinion, really.

Offline Jude

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2011, 10:28:35 PM »
If your goal is to get better, it is an ineffective way to achieve that goal.  This is not my opinion -- the best available evidence says that, not me.  I can respect your qualm with how I put it initially however, I think that was a little insensitive, I'm sorry.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 10:31:16 PM by Jude »

Offline Serephino

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2011, 07:49:38 AM »
I'm going with the majority here and agreeing that one should use common sense.  I do believe in spiritual healing.  I wouldn't pay for it, but I've had people do long distance Reiki on me for free, and it helped.  Placebo effect?  Maybe...  However, I never agreed on a certain time with any of them, so I never knew exactly when it was going to be done.  But at some point I would feel something, and take note of the time.  Then the person would contact me the next day to ask how I was feeling.  I would ask when they did it, and wouldn't you know, it's always the same time I felt something happening.  So no, it's not a waste of time.  Just because it can't be seen with scientific instruments and proven with scientific experiments doesn't mean it's BS.

I remember my Psychology teacher telling us about how when she was going through treatment for breast cancer she was offered Reiki; not as an alternative to chemo, but in addition to.  She said what the hell and tried it.  She didn't expect it to do much, but ended up amazed at how much it helped her feel better afterward.  After that she learned how to do it, and started doing it for other chemo patients.  So it can be helpful when used along side modern medicine.

Then there are the poor and uninsured.  What if you can't go down the street to a doctor?  If you can't pay them, you'll find doctors not all that eager to help you.  I can see how a person in a bad situation could get desperate.  I usually try alternative medicine first.  If I don't get any better in a reasonable matter of time, or I get worse, then I scrape together the money to go to the doctor.  That's where the common sense part comes in. 

All that being said, people who fake having gifts to exploit people really do piss me off.  It doesn't matter if they're claiming to be a spiritual healer, or a psychic, they all deserve to be shot.  They give those who aren't faking it a bad name. 

Adults who refuse medical treatment for serious ailments for religious reasons are idiots in my opinion, but they have the right to be idiots.  It's a little different when kids are involved though.  The parents of that poor girl do deserve to be charged with neglect because she didn't have a choice.           

Offline Silk

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2011, 03:38:41 PM »
This whole situation just reminds me of this Joke

 A man was sitting on his front porch during a flood and the flood was up to the porch. As the man prayed for the Lord to save him from the flood, a neighbor rowing to higher ground paused, told the man to hop in the boat and he would take him to higher ground. The man on the porch replied, “No thank you! I have faith that the Lord is going to save me!” With that, the man in the boat rowed away.

The water kept rising and while the man was standing on his roof, praying for God to save him, a sheriff’s boat came by, the deputy yelled for the man to hop into his boat, and he would take him to higher ground. The man on the roof replied, “No thank you! I have faith that the Lord is going to save me!” With that, the sheriff’s deputy in the boat sped away to search for others who needed rescuing.

The man was now standing on top of his chimney, the floodwaters were up to his knees, and he was praying fervently for God to rescue him. A helicopter spotted the man standing in the water on top of his chimney, and flew down. The pilot yelled at him to grab on to the helicopter and he would take him to higher ground. The man, again, replied, “No thank you! I have faith that the Lord is going to save me!” The helicopter pilot then sped away looking for others who would be willing to be rescued.
The man drowned in the flood and was standing before the Lord. The Lord was looking at the man, shrugging His shoulder with His hands held out wide; with a perplexed look on His face, the Lord saying, “Why are you here?”
The man replied to the Lord, “I had faith that you would rescue me, and you didn’t.” Jesus replied with frustration, “I sent two boats and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

Offline Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2011, 06:15:39 PM »
Or the other one:  There's a man who is always complaining about his lot in life.  His clothes are too shabby, his boss takes him for granted, his house is falling apart.  He says 'Lord, if only I could win the lottery.  Please, just let me win the lottery!'

And a voice comes down from the clouds.

'My child, every week you ask me to let you win the lottery.  Is that truly what you desire?'

'Yes, Lord.  If you only let me win the lottery, I'll never ask for anything ever again!  I'll build churches in your honor!  I'll donate half of it to the poor!'

'My child, I do not ask any of these things.  I would like you to do me a simple favor, though.'

And the man says 'Yes, Lord, yes!  I'll do anything!'

And the voice says:  'Buy a ticket for a change!'

Offline Hotaru37

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2011, 01:16:08 PM »
I do believe that spirit healing can be helpful to people and such.  I have seen it and also have had it help me, but doctors and nurses in the med field are there for a reason. 

If God didn't want people to go to doctors and such to get better why would he put the people on earth that eventually become the doctors and nurses to help us? 

Being of the Christian religion there is one question I can never figure out.

Where is it said that people shouldn't seek help from people that can relieve pains and save our lives in the bible?

As far as I know God never said anything like that.  "Those that help themselves get help from God."  Is something that sticks out in my head.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2011, 03:09:38 PM »
I believe there is a prohibition back in the OT about consorting with magicians of any kind. That'd be my guess.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2011, 03:27:30 PM »
I believe there is a prohibition back in the OT about consorting with magicians of any kind. That'd be my guess.

And since germs are not mentioned in the Bible, some die-hard groups insist that they don't exist.