Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


RELIGION AS THEATRICAL PLACEBO

Religion is a placebo or more accurately a theatrical placebo.

Placebos cause a good feeling and that releases natural pain-relieving endorphins in the brain. But you do not need a placebo pill for that. A heartwarming film can do it too.

A theatrical placebo works for:

It makes you think some arcane ancient magic is going to work for you. We tend to think magically about old tripe as if magic happened in the past as a normal event and can intrude today in exceptional circumstances if you have the right invocation or formula..

The ritual and the performer will impress you.

You get personal attention and “concern”.

The manner of the therapist and the anecdotes about the effectiveness of their deliberations will increase your feel good expectations and that will make you feel better.

If you knew of people wasting time and money – that they really needed you should be disgusted at the charlatan.

If you knew of people misled by the therapy and who missed out on real treatments it would be a worse story.

If you knew of people actually harmed by the treatment you would want to thump the therapist! You would hopefully do the right thing and debunk the person.

If you knew you were being lied to make you feel better you should feel the placebo reverse and you will feel hurt and demeaned. You would know you have been treated unethically for medical ethics insists that placebos are immoral and unethical for it involves lying to the patient.

If you knew that if the treatment uses magic then sterility of needles or whatever does not matter you would have to see a real doctor.

A placebo is not a cure or meant to be. It should not be sought instead of medical advice. Placebos help you feel better but they are not a cure in any sense. It is dangerous to treat them as if they are. You feel bad when you are sick. You will be unhappy. It is that that a placebo will deal with. It deals with your negative response to being sick. Getting rid of your negative feelings about being sick simply have to make you feel better. Period.

The placebo or if you like the effectiveness of the placebo comes from trust in the person not in the tablet. Using a placebo is unethical and won't work for long anyway. It is an irresponsible quick fix.