You know, I'm getting rather disgusted with this thread. Someone question the function of religion. I gave examples and had my beliefs ripped apart by being told it was all in my head. I don't remember trying to convert anyone...
I think you're misinterpreting the discussion. I take it you're referring to Jude's posts, and to that, I can give you one quote from him from one of the first few pages that should put it to rest--
For the record, I do not want to destroy anyone's faith in god.
The point of this thread isn't to convince each other to change their mind regarding faith and religion -- I believe it was all simply a dialogue to get you thinking; you could just as easily fire back your own points, it's an open discussion, after all.
If you really feel threatened and if you truly don't want to hear a dialogue that questions what you believe, then I would caution against posting in threads like these where it's bound to happen.
As for this little bit:
There are reasons I believe what I do, and I don't appreciate being told over and over again no matter what I say that it's just a placebo effect. You can't prove that, and when you can, then you can open your mouth.
That's awfully rude of you. It would be just as easy for me to say "you can't prove it's NOT the placebo effect, and when you can, you can open your mouth."
Nonetheless, here's my take.
It's easy enough. Google 'placebo effect' and you'll come up with a plethora of reports (such as this
) and research done that acknowledge the power of the right kind of thought and the effect it has on the body, especially in terms of healing and recovery. It's just as simple to carry over the theory that if somebody prays for something positive or believes that something will help them heal or recover, it could very well be a placebo effect that gets them through based on pre-existing patterns.
Scientifically speaking, there is nothing there to prove that any higher power has anything to do with it, simply because science is not a realm in which any higher power is present. Science can tell you how you function and the way your body works and responds, but it does not tell you for what purpose it exists. For some people, religion fills that role. Science does not exist to give purpose, simply to explain.
Do I truly believe religion is one giant placebo effect? Honestly, I have no idea. I'm a solid agnostic, everything is pretty much a giant question mark in my world, but I wouldn't rule it out...but then again, I don't rule out the existence of a higher being, either. I still seek to see both sides of the debate, however. Looking to develop your understanding of other perspectives has little to do with tearing beliefs apart -- you don't have to buy into what everybody tells you, but it's rarely a bad thing to expand your thinking.
And Noelle, your windshield getting cracked was an unfortunate thing, but not something you can compare to someone getting cancer.
I wasn't comparing it directly, but the similarity is there.
Kid gets cancer, his parents are only doing what they feel is right by praying for their son, and then he dies. It was a good deed in their eyes, doesn't that make it good, by your logic?
I guess my point in bringing up this particular example is to say that good deeds are subjective and what you want done to you is not necessarily what I want for me -- it's akin to trying to convert other people, isn't it? My line of thinking is that I don't want people meddling in my affairs without my permission, but somebody insists because they think I should be grateful and happy about random acts of kindness -- that is a blatant breech of my wishes, despite what their intentions were. My wishes have been disrespected and on top of it, I would probably be labeled as weird or skewed simply because I don't feel the same way.
As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same. Even Hitler thought he was doing something positive.