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Is faith healing unscientific?

 
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Originally posted by Marilyn de Queiroz:
I have less faith in email, that when I send it the recipient will actually receive it.



Kinda sounds like we're saying the same thing
 
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:


I'm not sure everyone has this kind of faith.

In every day situations there isn't much practical difference between the views - both the faith based dualistic true-or-false and the statistical probability positions will probably result in the same actions being taken, but perhaps the latter view will allow for more flexibility in situations where the unexpected happens.


Failure to get anticipated results in any given situation is not due to lack of faith or the absence of it. It is more because of the limitations of present knowledge to extrapolate the accurate outcome.
[ March 08, 2005: Message edited by: Neeru Misra ]
 
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Originally posted by Neeru Misra:
Failure to get anticipated results in any given situation is not due to lack of faith or the absence of it. It is more because of the limitations of present knowledge to extrapolate the accurate outcome.



I totally agree. This is where a faith based view point can have problems. If a person has faith that an event will occur, and that event does not occur, then that person may be quite upset. One example is one particular religious denomination a centaury or two ago who thought that the world was about to end. On the allotted day they sold a lot of their stuff, went outside and waited. When nothing happened, they got a bit upset and confused. The problem was that they held the end of the world to be a 100% certainty rather than a possibility.

There are smaller examples as well - people may have faith that their child is well behaved. If they exclude from their mind the possibility that their child may actually do bad things, then when that child is caught stealing another child's pencil case the parent goes into a kind of upset denial.

While it may be comforting to hold something totally on faith, to think that something is certain, it may be a good idea to consider alternatives and the possibilities of a given view point being incorrect. But then I guess that's the point when it stops being faith.
 
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:


I totally agree. This is where a faith based view point can have problems. If a person has faith that an event will occur, and that event does not occur, then that person may be quite upset.
While it may be comforting to hold something totally on faith, to think that something is certain, it may be a good idea to consider alternatives and the possibilities of a given view point being incorrect. But then I guess that's the point when it stops being faith.



A flickering faith seeks refuge in the possibility of an alternative and transcends to the realms of doubt.
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Marianne Robinson:
A flickering faith seeks refuge in the possibility of an alternative and transcends to the realms of doubt.



Is that a bad thing though? Consideration of alternatives allows people the flexibility to adapt to new and changing situations. While too much doubt can lead to over-cautiousness, to little doubt can lead to stubborn refusal to adapt. Adaptation is probably mankind's most useful skill - without it we'd still be living in caves wondering what cooked meat would taste like
 
Neeru Misra
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:


Is that a bad thing though? Consideration of alternatives allows people the flexibility to adapt to new and changing situations. While too much doubt can lead to over-cautiousness, to little doubt can lead to stubborn refusal to adapt. Adaptation is probably mankind's most useful skill - without it we'd still be living in caves wondering what cooked meat would taste like


Adptability is another expression for faith. A high faith index would mean a higher degree of flexibility to adapt. Stubbornness prevents on the other hand flexibility. It is faith that has led to changes.
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Neeru Misra:
Adptability is another expression for faith. A high faith index would mean a higher degree of flexibility to adapt. Stubbornness prevents on the other hand flexibility. It is faith that has led to changes.



This depends upon where the flexibility is - some people are flexible in what truth they accept, but totally inflexible in their item of faith.

Lets take a hypothetical situation of a particular religion, the Earwiggians, who worship Holy Earwig. The have a holy book, the Wiggle. The Earwiggians have faith that everything in the Wiggle is completely true, and they take this book as a sign of Holy Earwig. The Wiggle says that the entire earth was created from a lump of mud 300 years ago.

After years of telling everyone that the Wiggle is completely true, and therefore Holy Earwig's message in it is entirely true, some Earwiggian archaeologists find some human remains that are proven to be 600 years old.

The Earwiggians are now split into two groups. Group one are flexible in that they change their minds about the Wiggle, and accept that some of it may not be true. Group two are flexible in that they decide that the proof offered by the scientists must be wrong - they change their outlook on science because it does not match their faith in the Wiggle.

Which one has been truly flexible though? Group one has adapted, but in doing so have changed their faith - they now longer have faith in the 100% truth of the Wiggle. Group two, on the other hand, have not really been flexible in their faith - they have taken the view that their faith remains unchanged, and any evidence against it must be (flexibly) re-evaluated until it matches their faith.

Both sides claim that the other hasn't been flexible. Group one says "Group two are not being flexible in their faith". Group two says "Group one isn't being flexible in their interpretation of science".
 
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