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Tags atheism , prayer , psychology , religion

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Old 4th August 2020, 02:46 PM   #81
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Just to clarify that too, we're talking about a woman who was spectacularly good at finding the dumbest imaginable reasons for not dumping the abusive idiot, even when help was offered. E.g., and I swear I'm not making any of this up:
I totally believe you. Do you know what kind of talk therapy she was getting, and if she was on any medication? It sounds like her thoughts were ... disordered, to put it mildly.

Maybe if she'd been in a therapy group something might have broken through. Something maybe combined with cognitive-behavioral interventions (countering irrational thoughts with new thoughts). These interventions are initiated by ... talking.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Most even used the information that she's vulnerable and gullible to take advantage of her.
Of course they did.

Look, I know a little pop-psych is a dangerous thing. But dysfunctional people find each other all the time, and if they're reasonably healthy the points of friction can even serve as tools to chip away at the causes for discord. My ex and I learned how not to fight on our third trip to the UK together, when we'd been divorced for 20 years. It doesn't really work if one of the partners is a psychopath though, so it's all on her.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So, yeah, that's how good humans can be at rationalizing nonsense, when they're the ones doing all the talking. As in, not listening to anyone who asks uncomfortable questions, and only talking to gods, ancestors, and therapists that don't ask any uncomfortable questions.
I don't know where you get the idea that therapists never ask uncomfortable questions. IMO a therapist would be remiss if they didn't ask, "So what's the payoff? What are you getting out of this situation?"

If she spends 17 years on a couch talking about Daddy, only hearing the occasional "Hmm," yes, that's ineffective by definition.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Also, just for the record, I dunno what gave you the idea that my lack of trust in psychotherapy is based on just and solely that case I had the (mis)fortune of obverving first hand. Kinda like being the guest star to observe a train wreck in slow motion. That's just supposed to be an illustration. Just jumping to the conclusion that that's the only reason for a hypothesis, is like seeing someone use Mercury's orbit as evidence for GR (General Relativity), and concluding that that's the ONLY evidence ever for GR.
Because you didn't provide any other examples but fell back on the position that you don't have to do jack; it's up to me to support my claim, but when I did, you apparently developed a problem with your eyesight.
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Old 4th August 2020, 02:49 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Clutch Cargo View Post
Thinking is inaudible talking.
Not always. Some people think in pictures.
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Old 4th August 2020, 03:16 PM   #83
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To answer the OP,
I would pray more and just naturally rise above the people who aren't praying, by doing nothing other than praying.
I'm not sure that works.
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Old 4th August 2020, 03:27 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I totally believe you. Do you know what kind of talk therapy she was getting, and if she was on any medication? It sounds like her thoughts were ... disordered, to put it mildly.
I know that at some point she was on Lyogen, which IIRC is an antipsychotic, but other than that -- and the fact that she pretty much role-played being my little sister, and in fact CLONE, for some reason -- I really have no idea. I also know that she ditched at least one therapist for, tadah, asking questions that make her really uncomfortable. Really, I'm just a guy who some people thought to be the perfect therapist for some reason, but probably just because I used to shut the <bleep> up, never offered any advice, etc, though in all fairness, mostly because of not giving nearly enough of a screw. Yeah, you wouldn't guess it from my current ass hole persona but people used to pretty much do their confession to me instead of to a proper priest.

But yeah, we're talking a woman which, as far as she was concerned, she'd get testicular cancer if I ever got that (which, thank the elder gods was never the case), if I ever had it. Because she was somehow a clone of me. Don't ask me whatever the hell sense that made, it sure didn't to me. Which also explains, I suppose, hearing about how said hubby punches the pillow next to her to make her scared crap-less enough to accept sex. (Read: rape.)

Mind you, I could have probably gotten even further, if I wanted to. At least one guy scored some sweet sex by preying on her distress. So when I say that she only cultivated relationships with ass holes, yeah, you get the flipping idea, right?`

It still gives me nightmares. But you never heard that from me. I still have an ass hole persona to maintain

If that makes any flippin' difference, it was around the time I had read just Freud, and actually believed that letting someone talk, without "barging in" with uncomfortable question or advice or anything, will actually let them sort out their thoughts. Especially, I wouldn't offer just "barging in for advice" to someone who wasn't ready to get advice, nor so something as heinous as getting someone's kids taken from her by callling the cops, when that was her biggest fear in the first place.

Yeah, I'm not saying it was the RIGHT course of action or train of though, but then I'm just an ass hole anyway. She drove away everyone who wasn't one. Not flippin' me. Haven't you been paying attention?


That said, much like the whole episode makes for a rather emotional illustration, rest assured that it's NOT why or when I started having doubts about the efficiency of just being an enabler for someone's cognitive dissonance rationalizations. In fact, at the time I was a VERY FIRM believer in Freud and Jung and all, to even consider that "barging in with advice" might actually be the RIGHT thing to do, and that acting as an enabler for people's cognitive dissonance might be the WRONG thing to do-

In fact, it took reading many many nonsense, wishful-thinking, ode-to-cognitive-dissonance defences of it -- in fact, that every single person tying to defend it, was just writing an ode to cognitive dissonance; and even in more than one way -- to start suspecting it is just that: a defence of keeping one's cognitive dissonance.
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Old 4th August 2020, 03:54 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Because you didn't provide any other examples but fell back on the position that you don't have to do jack; it's up to me to support my claim, but when I did, you apparently developed a problem with your eyesight.
No. YOU really didn't. Other people may have, but YOUR didn't. YOU offered exactly ZERO support for your claims. You
Edited by Agatha:  Edited breach of rule 0 and rule 12
postulated that someone is personally accusing you of being delusional if they dare not instantly believe whatever you want to believe. AKA, just offering yourself as a practical example of cognitive disonace, aka, wishful magical thinking. Whenever you see someone feel personally attacked if you don't instantly believe whatever they really like to believe, yeah, that's textbook cognitive dissonance.

So, anyway, yes, it's still up to you to support your claim, silly. And no, my not just believing your postulates is not MY developping some kind of eyesight problem, silly. It's just you being irrational, as usual.

Mind you, that doesn't preclude you from being COINCIDENTALLY right.
Edited by Agatha:  Edited breach of rule 0 and rule 12
It's still YOUR burden to support it, IF you're doing the positive claim. It's really that simple. It's some 2500 years too late to pretend you have the logical high ground just because you play the victim. It's literally THAT late for the rules of logic to be up for debate.
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Old 4th August 2020, 05:35 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
No. YOU really didn't. Other people may have, but YOUR didn't. YOU offered exactly ZERO support for your claims.
You seem incapable of recognizing the link I provided, which I will link to once again in case anyone is interested in evidence, which you obviously aren't, as far as I can tell.

Research Again Finds That Talk Therapy Can Change The Brain

But whatever, OK? If you're not willing to take a look I can at least demonstrate that you will ignore anything that does not jibe with your intuition or personal experience.
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Old 4th August 2020, 05:45 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
To answer the OP,
I would pray more and just naturally rise above the people who aren't praying, by doing nothing other than praying.
I'm not sure that works.
I'm not either. Maybe that depends on what you mean by "rise above other people." That was never a concern of mine. I'm talking about doing better relative to my past self. And never did I say "nothing other than praying." There's all kinds of other stuff I can be doing as well.
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Old 4th August 2020, 06:05 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I know that at some point she was on Lyogen, which IIRC is an antipsychotic, but other than that -- and the fact that she pretty much role-played being my little sister, and in fact CLONE, for some reason -- I really have no idea. I also know that she ditched at least one therapist for, tadah, asking questions that make her really uncomfortable. Really, I'm just a guy who some people thought to be the perfect therapist for some reason, but probably just because I used to shut the <bleep> up, never offered any advice, etc, though in all fairness, mostly because of not giving nearly enough of a screw. Yeah, you wouldn't guess it from my current ass hole persona but people used to pretty much do their confession to me instead of to a proper priest.

But yeah, we're talking a woman which, as far as she was concerned, she'd get testicular cancer if I ever got that (which, thank the elder gods was never the case), if I ever had it. Because she was somehow a clone of me. Don't ask me whatever the hell sense that made, it sure didn't to me. Which also explains, I suppose, hearing about how said hubby punches the pillow next to her to make her scared crap-less enough to accept sex. (Read: rape.)

Mind you, I could have probably gotten even further, if I wanted to. At least one guy scored some sweet sex by preying on her distress. So when I say that she only cultivated relationships with ass holes, yeah, you get the flipping idea, right?`

It still gives me nightmares. But you never heard that from me. I still have an ass hole persona to maintain

If that makes any flippin' difference, it was around the time I had read just Freud, and actually believed that letting someone talk, without "barging in" with uncomfortable question or advice or anything, will actually let them sort out their thoughts. Especially, I wouldn't offer just "barging in for advice" to someone who wasn't ready to get advice, nor so something as heinous as getting someone's kids taken from her by callling the cops, when that was her biggest fear in the first place.

Yeah, I'm not saying it was the RIGHT course of action or train of though, but then I'm just an ass hole anyway. She drove away everyone who wasn't one. Not flippin' me. Haven't you been paying attention?


That said, much like the whole episode makes for a rather emotional illustration, rest assured that it's NOT why or when I started having doubts about the efficiency of just being an enabler for someone's cognitive dissonance rationalizations. In fact, at the time I was a VERY FIRM believer in Freud and Jung and all, to even consider that "barging in with advice" might actually be the RIGHT thing to do, and that acting as an enabler for people's cognitive dissonance might be the WRONG thing to do-

In fact, it took reading many many nonsense, wishful-thinking, ode-to-cognitive-dissonance defences of it -- in fact, that every single person tying to defend it, was just writing an ode to cognitive dissonance; and even in more than one way -- to start suspecting it is just that: a defence of keeping one's cognitive dissonance.
I don't know what you're trying to say here.

I've never been a firm believer in Freud/Jung/etc. Not being sure about anything to begin with maybe affects my degree of cognitive dissonance. If I had absolute faith in something that's been thoroughly debunked I might understand you better.

One thing I can tell, you care about her. I can't tell you if that will ever make a difference. But it might.
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Old 4th August 2020, 06:33 PM   #89
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Very few modern psychologists consider Freud or Jung to be of anything but historical interest.
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Old 5th August 2020, 09:34 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
You seem incapable of recognizing the link I provided, which I will link to once again in case anyone is interested in evidence, which you obviously aren't, as far as I can tell.

Research Again Finds That Talk Therapy Can Change The Brain

But whatever, OK? If you're not willing to take a look I can at least demonstrate that you will ignore anything that does not jibe with your intuition or personal experience.
It's an article in a business magazine, rather light on details, and it DOESN'T actually say that any change in the chemical baseline of the brain actually happened. Not the least because it's talking about MRI imaging, which can't in fact measure that.

Also all the link to the supposed actual studies are broken. So essentially it's not even possible to actually go to the source and see what the actual doctors said there, as opposed to what some business journalist understood from it.

The rest of it is a lot of "might" and "could" and "possibly", and it's not especially clear if anyone actually put those guys in an MRI too. The social anxiety study for example falls back to it being self-reported again, so again indistinguishable from placebo. The article does say that anxiety correlates with the amygdala, but doesn't actually say that anyone actually measured that with an MRI.

In fact the only study where they say anything was measured (again, with the caveat that they don't actually have a working link to the actual study) is about schizophrenia, or rather apparently some forms of it where differences in brain activity can actually be picked on an MRI. It also was in conjunction with taking actual medication.

For specifically depression we're back to that big fat "might work", rather than any actual data.

And it's also only really supported for CBT, which is kinda the opposite of not asking uncomfortable topics. It's a VERY different kind of therapy than most other forms of therapy, such as for example IPT. It's actually more like specifically problem and action focused. Two of the phases in it are specifically about teaching you skills for dealing with your problems and making you practice them. (Which, incidentally also explains why it's not unexpected to find differences on an MRI. Everything you ever learn IS in the form of brain wiring.) And for anything else basically we're back to that "might work" instead of any actual study data. It doesn't mean that you can automatically take the results for CBT and extrapolate that the same applies to any other form of therapy.

But the most important part is just what I started with: it doesn't actually say that anyone measured the chemical balance before and after. Which was what I was talking about.

I.e., as a way of contradicting that which you quoted from my message back then, it was utterly irrelevant.

So, yeah, I decided to ignore it instead of just calling BS, since it didn't seem worth the effort. But I guess that's the problem with not calling BS: people end up imagining that they delivered some kind of killer evidence, when it fact it was not even on the right topic.
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Old 5th August 2020, 10:05 AM   #91
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But to return to the topic of the thread, basically the problem there is: you can't do CBT with an imaginary therapist. No matter if it's God, your imaginary cat, or whatever. It actually involves someone challenging warped beliefs and teaching you some skills for dealing with your problem.

Now to various extents this CAN be a book or an online course, but some imaginary friend that's essentially also in your head is not it. That one isn't going to tell you anything you didn't already know. It's not like whatever imaginary therapist in your head has a diploma in that kind of stuff, when you don't.

So whatever brain changes can be supported for CBT, yeah, no, it doesn't mean you're getting the same from prayer instead.
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Old 5th August 2020, 08:57 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It's an article in a business magazine, rather light on details, and it DOESN'T actually say that any change in the chemical baseline of the brain actually happened. Not the least because it's talking about MRI imaging, which can't in fact measure that.
Is there a test to measure serotonin levels in the human brain? Because I'm not finding it. I looked. I found promising evidence of experimental techniques for real-time tests of serotonin levels in rats and pigs.

From Healthline:

Quote:
There are no reliable tests available to find out if you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. ...

The most common evidence used to support the chemical imbalance theory is the effectiveness of antidepressant medications.
From Harvard Medical School, "What causes depression?"

Quote:
It's often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn't capture how complex the disease is.
Why do you suppose Harvard calls it a "figure of speech"?


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
In fact the only study where they say anything was measured (again, with the caveat that they don't actually have a working link to the actual study) is about schizophrenia, or rather apparently some forms of it where differences in brain activity can actually be picked on an MRI. It also was in conjunction with taking actual medication.
There were two groups: Both of them took medication. The changes that showed up on MRI's were found only in the group that also had CBT.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And it's also only really supported for CBT, which is kinda the opposite of not asking uncomfortable topics.
And whoosh go the goalposts.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It doesn't mean that you can automatically take the results for CBT and extrapolate that the same applies to any other form of therapy.
I never said you could.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But the most important part is just what I started with: it doesn't actually say that anyone measured the chemical balance before and after.
Because at present, there is no such test.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But to return to the topic of the thread,
Now that the side trip isn't working out?

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
... you can't do CBT with an imaginary therapist.
I'm not sure about that.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Now to various extents this CAN be a book or an online course, but some imaginary friend that's essentially also in your head is not it. That one isn't going to tell you anything you didn't already know. It's not like whatever imaginary therapist in your head has a diploma in that kind of stuff, when you don't.
You are the world's expert on how it feels to be you, right? Do you have a psych diploma? The stuff that's going on your conscious mind is not the sum total of your brain's activity.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So whatever brain changes can be supported for CBT, yeah, no, it doesn't mean you're getting the same from prayer instead.
Who said anything about "instead"?

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Old 5th August 2020, 10:18 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Not always. Some people think in pictures.
Pictures are proxy talking.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:14 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Is there a test to measure serotonin levels in the human brain?
You can measure it in the cerebrospinal fluid, or even in the blood, though the latter is much less of an indicator of actual brain levels than the former.

But frankly, all you seem to be saying there is that it's ok to believe that something happens, just because (you think) it's unfalsifiable at the moment. Which is just as nonsense when it's about medicine as when it's about gods.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
From Harvard Medical School, "What causes depression?"


Why do you suppose Harvard calls it a "figure of speech"?
I'm not sure YOU understand why. Because even the text involved does say black on white that such chemical reactions ARE involved, and that the medication DOES produce an improvement. What the text you linked says is that it's (generally) not as simple as just one chemical being off, and getting an effect does take some time. Which, yes, it usually is the case.

So maybe try to understand before going on the offensive

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
There were two groups: Both of them took medication. The changes that showed up on MRI's were found only in the group that also had CBT.
Which would imply that either they were not taking the right medicine, if the changes associated with healing didn't have anything to do with taking it, or the journalist didn't really understand what was actually being said by the actual doctors who did the study.

And what you would see is not that new connections have formed per se, since MRI doesn't image the individual neurons. And ALL of the neural columns in your brain are connected by a high speed hub, so saying that the amygdala is any more or less connected than before is 100% nonsense. What you can actually image on an MRI is that when asked to think about certain things, there is activity in one or more areas of the brain. (Or rather, blood flow, which is a proxy for brain activity in that general area.) So you can say that activity in one area now also involves more or less activity in another area, but saying that that means they're somehow more physically connected is nonsense.

And for that matter, it's not very clear how more activity being triggered in the amygdala for those schizophrenia sufferers is a good thing. Since, you know, more activity in the amygdala is associated with things like depression. I suspect it could be taken as an improvement in simple schizophrenia, since that one is associated with flat affect, but I'd be curious to see what the doctors doing the study were actually saying there. I'm sure they have SOME reason for why it's a good thing, but the article is lacking it.

And basically that's why I wanted to see the original studies and what the actual doctors said. But, as I was saying, the links seem to be broken.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
And whoosh go the goalposts.
Actually, it's you who's trying to move the goalposts, with an article that addresses something completely different than the my statement which it was supposed to refute. In fact what you're demanding is that if you can't touch my goalpost, I should accept whatever your googling turned up as a goalpost.

So: project much?

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I never said you could.

Because at present, there is no such test.
Yet you accused me of covering my ears and whatnot if I don't accept that link as refutation of my claim. If you didn't claim anyone could actually do what I said couldn't be done, then on what basis do you accuse me of not accepting evidence? How is it then even a refutation? Or was just the slinging accusations that was supposed to be the refuting evidence in your world?

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Now that the side trip isn't working out?
I wasn't aware I was supposed to justify posting on topic. Or that I'd actually get any OP actually asking me to stay on a tangent instead of the topic. But I suppose sometimes keeping your own thread derailed is the best thing you can do to avoid actually supporting anything, eh?

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
You are the world's expert on how it feels to be you, right? Do you have a psych diploma? The stuff that's going on your conscious mind is not the sum total of your brain's activity.
Never said only the conscious stuff is happening in the brain, but I AM saying that your brain can't pull expert knowledge (medical or otherwise) out of nowhere. Unless you want to claim telepathy of some sort, that is. If you didn't actually learn some information, nor all the study data it's been deduced from, expecting that some imaginary entity produced by your brain will somehow have that information anyway and teach it to you (which is what CBT involves,) is rather misplaced.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:18 PM   #95
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Or, as the shorter version, Dara O'Briain said it best: "Science knows it doesn't know everything; otherwise, it'd stop. But just because science doesn't know everything doesn't mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you."

The same applies to neurology or any other domain. Just because something isn't yet possible to measure in real-time in humans (but we can measure it just fine in lab rats) yet, or there are more details still being studied about medication, etc, doesn't mean that one can just use an imaginary friend instead and it will work just as well
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:27 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The argument wasn't just that prayer is useless - Hans said talking to therapists was also useless.
But therapy is not useless for everyone.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:33 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Not always. Some people think in pictures.


Schizophrenia is a unique case. It should be discussed by itself. But if there is evidence therapy enhances drug treatment, that's great.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:37 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Very few modern psychologists consider Freud or Jung to be of anything but historical interest.
Plus one. This is my understanding as well.

I was surprised to hear the UK still promoted Freud. It was decades ago. I hope they are no longer using Freud's concepts.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:43 PM   #99
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I'm to tired right now to hunt for the sources but there is evidence prayer helps believers when the person knows they are being prayed about but not when they don't know.

The implication is obvious. But so what if it helps someone?
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:45 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I'm to tired right now to hunt for the sources but there is evidence prayer helps believers when the person knows they are being prayed about but not when they don't know.

The implication is obvious. But so what if it helps someone?
Just don't do it exclusively instead of treatment.

The other thing to note is that placebos - and prayer, if they person knows they are being prayed for, is a placebo - increase self-reported outcomes, but when outcomes are actually objectively measured, there is no increase. In other words, they think they're getting better but they're not.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:46 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I'm to tired right now to hunt for the sources but there is evidence prayer helps believers when the person knows they are being prayed about but not when they don't know.
Actually, funnily enough, the correlation was inverse. Telling people that others are praying for them actually was a bad thing. Possibly because now it put extra pressure on them to fulfil the expectations of those praying for them.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:55 PM   #102
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Actually, I found an article about it: https://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/h...of-prayer.html

In a little over 1800 patients undergoing heart surgery, they studied the complications afterwards:

- actually being prayed for or not made absolutely no difference
- being TOLD that others are praying for them (whether it was actually the case or not) produced an increase in complications: 59% in those who thought they're being prayed for, vs 51% in those who didn't.

That's a 15% or so increase in the risk of getting complications after heart surgery, so it's a rather significant harm on the whole, I would say.

So yeah, the implications ARE obvious, but not what most people expect. The implication is that if a friend is undergoing surgery, the best thing you can do is NOT tell them that everyone's praying for them

Edit: or a link to a slightly more reputable source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...-prescription/
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Old 6th August 2020, 12:01 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, funnily enough, the correlation was inverse. Telling people that others are praying for them actually was a bad thing. Possibly because now it put extra pressure on them to fulfil the expectations of those praying for them.
When I first read about that I wondered if it was just that it depressed the patients by reminding them how serious their illness was. If people are actually praying for them, things must be pretty bad. So people who might have been quite positive about their chances (which there is evidence does help recovery rates) were suddenly less so.
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Old 6th August 2020, 12:04 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
When I first read about that I wondered if it was just that it depressed the patients by reminding them how serious their illness was. If people are actually praying for them, things must be pretty bad. So people who might have been quite positive about their chances (which there is evidence does help recovery rates) were suddenly less so.
It is certainly plausible. After all, according to the article in the Scientific American, they were told that a chaplain and no less than SEVENTY people were gathered to pray for their surgery. It would certainly make me wonder exactly how bad it is that they have to resort to such extreme measures.
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Old 6th August 2020, 12:45 AM   #105
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Q

Edited by Agatha:  Edited to remove quoted breaches of rule 0 and rule 12, and response to same


I'm sorry if the crack about eyesight offended you, it was snarky. But you persisted in ignoring at least 4 key posts:

- My original link to the Forbes story.
- Another poster, an atheist, saying you shared the burden of proof.
- A meta-study linked to by another poster.
- A nurse with a lot of of psych experience, also atheist, who said therapy did help some people.

It sure looked like you were ignoring any posts that did not support your claim. I had not talked about therapy until you stated it was useless.

Edited by Agatha:  Edited to remove quoted breaches of rule 0 and rule 12, and response to same



Incidentally, from Wikipedia:

Quote:
The burden of proof is usually on the person who brings a claim in a dispute. It is often associated with the Latin maxim semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, a translation of which in this context is: "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges."[17]
Of course, it's Wikipedia, but there are cites. I din't bring up the subject of the usefulness of therapy. And even if I could potentially win on a technicality, I'd still want to post my evidence, to compare positions head to head. I learn more that way; it makes the discussion more illuminating. But that's just me. Always wanting to understand things. How silly of me!

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Old 6th August 2020, 01:51 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Can you cite the post where you decided I felt personally attacked?
By all means. This is from your message #16, on the very first page of the thread:
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
This thread is sincere, but I also was curious if I could talk about it without notes of ridicule arising. It didn’t take long. [... snip ...] (Useless according to another poster, and if I think therapy ever helped me, I must be deluded, but that’s a given anyway
My highlight. Nobody was actually ridiculing anything at that point, nor saying anyone is delusional. And it was in answer to Thermal, who seemed to be actually quite serious about I Ching as a tool to focus your thoughts.

So yes, it was you who jumped straight to feeling personally called deluded when nobody was doing so.
Edited by Agatha:  Edited further response to original rule breach and response


Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I'm sorry if the crack about eyesight offended you, it was snarky. But you persisted in ignoring at least 4 key posts:

- My original link to the Forbes story.
Which still isn't a refutation to what I was actually saying. Not the least because the only part that was actually including a (broken) link to a study, wasn't even talking about depression, but about schizophrenia. Which is a completely different dish. Nor even about imaging the areas which would be more relevant to depression. So it wasn't even remotely addressing what you were contesting, even if I'm to be as generous as I can possibly be with what counts as evidence.

So yeah, boo-hoo, there must be something wrong about my eyesight or my beliefs if I don't let you move the goalposts

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
- Another poster, an atheist, saying you shared the burden of proof.
Appeal to false authority much? Since when does someone's being an atheist make one an expert on anything?

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
- A meta-study linked to by another poster.
Which is why I said that OTHER people may have tried to meet that burden of proof, but YOU didn't. So, sorry, YOU're not in a position to say that I'm having eyesight problems if I don't just accept whatever irrelevant stuff your googling turned up.

That said, I did ask them how that was tested against placebo effect, far as I noticed, I got no answer. I'm willing to be educated, but it means just that. I'm not under any obligation to accept an answer that wasn't actually given.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
- A nurse with a lot of of psych experience, also atheist, who said therapy did help some people.
Again, being an atheist isn't some kind of psych qualification.

And appeal to authority is a fallacy in any case in formal logic, but even in informal logic it is only as relevant as how much of an authority they are and what they are actually saying. With all due respect to their work and profession and all, "a nurse believes X" is hardly definitive proof of anything.

I mean I knew a (medical) doctor who believed in straight-up magic and fortunetelling, but that's no reason to take it as ok, it's been proven, magic is real if a doctor says so.

I am willing to read any actual information that they post in support of that belief, and even trust their judgment in selecting that information as relevant. But until that happens, I have no obligation to believe anything just on someone's word for it. Someone just saying it's so is NOT evidence.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
It sure looked like you were ignoring any posts that did not support your claim. I had not talked about therapy until you stated it was useless.
It had been already mentioned, and explicitly the connection to using it as a substitute for therapy in messages #4 and #5 before I even first clicked on the thread at all. And believe it or not, not all answers in the thread are to you or about you. I can jolly well answer to what other people are saying.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Incidentally, from Wikipedia:



Of course, it's Wikipedia, but there are cites. I din't bring up the subject of the usefulness of therapy. And even if I could potentially win on a technicality, I'd still want to post my evidence, to compare positions head to head. I learn more that way; it makes the discussion more illuminating. But that's just me. Always wanting to understand things. How silly of me!
Even down the same page it has a section with a huge title called "Proving a negative". Which tells you exactly what I've been saying, namely that it's impossible to prove that something never ever happened. Even if I could dissect the brain of every single human currently alive to see if talking altered their serotonin levels, it still wouldn't disprove that maybe, say, some guy in 200 BC in China was cured of depression by talking to a priest. Yet that kind of proving a negative is exactly what you've been demanding.

But even if you understood the very first praragraph on that page, it tells youit's shortened from "Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat", i.e., the burden of proof belongs to the one who affirms, not the one who denies. Or that when it talks about sufficient evidence to warrant a position, different positions need different amounts of evidence to be warranted. Not believing that a flying pig exists doesn't in fact need any more evidence than not having evidence that it does exist.

But, yes, there are better sources than Wikipedia. E.g., without even getting into the more serious philosophy pages, there's this one: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof

Which tells you point blank, "The person claiming something is possible or has happened needs to produce evidence to refute the null hypothesis."
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Old 6th August 2020, 02:29 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You can measure it in the cerebrospinal fluid, or even in the blood, though the latter is much less of an indicator of actual brain levels than the former.
Cite? In human subjects?

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But frankly, all you seem to be saying there is that it's ok to believe that something happens, just because (you think) it's unfalsifiable at the moment. Which is just as nonsense when it's about medicine as when it's about gods.
This sentence is so convoluted I can't tell what you're saying.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
m not sure YOU understand why. Because even the text involved does say black on white that such chemical reactions ARE involved, and that the medication DOES produce an improvement.
Chemical reactions are involved, but that's true whether the chemicals are exogenous or not.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Which would imply that either they were not taking the right medicine, if the changes associated with healing didn't have anything to do with taking it, or the journalist didn't really understand what was actually being said by the actual doctors who did the study.
Or, you know, that schizophrenics can benefit from talk therapy.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And what you would see is not that new connections have formed per se, since MRI doesn't image the individual neurons. And ALL of the neural columns in your brain are connected by a high speed hub, so saying that the amygdala is any more or less connected than before is 100% nonsense.
PubMed (From NIH)
Cognitive behavioral therapy increases amygdala connectivity with the cognitive control network in both MDD and PTSD


Neuroplasticity in response to cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder

So, two more sets of researchers hoodwinked into thinking they can measure neural connections.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And for that matter, it's not very clear how more activity being triggered in the amygdala for those schizophrenia sufferers is a good thing.
So talk therapy can't change the brain in measurable ways, but it if could, it might be bad.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Since, you know, more activity in the amygdala is associated with things like depression.
I wonder if it's possible that neuroscientists know more that you do.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, it's you who's trying to move the goalposts, with an article that addresses something completely different than the my statement which it was supposed to refute.
I posted an article saying that CBT caused changes in the brain. This was in response to your claim that talk therapy could not change the brain.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Yet you accused me of covering my ears and whatnot if I don't accept that link as refutation of my claim. If you didn't claim anyone could actually do what I said couldn't be done, then on what basis do you accuse me of not accepting evidence? How is it then even a refutation? Or was just the slinging accusations that was supposed to be the refuting evidence in your world?
What accusations did I sling? You did ignore posts that did not reinforce your point of view.

The rest of this, I couldn't tell what you were saying.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I wasn't aware I was supposed to justify posting on topic. [Or that I'd actually get any OP actually asking me to stay on a tangent instead of the topic.
Where did I ask you to justify posting on topic?

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But I suppose sometimes keeping your own thread derailed is the best thing you can do to avoid actually supporting anything, eh?
You're the won who started the "derail." You made a rather extraordinary claim, and I wondered what evidence, if any, informed your thinking. You did not appear to have any, except for a family anecdote.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Never said only the conscious stuff is happening in the brain, but I AM saying that your brain can't pull expert knowledge (medical or otherwise) out of nowhere.
Your subconscious it not nowhere.
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Old 6th August 2020, 02:37 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Your subconscious it not nowhere.
Your subconscious also doesn't just produce expert knowledge (medical or otherwise) out of thin air. Which is what would be involved in order to be getting competent CBT therapy from it. (Which is what I was talking about.) If you didn't actually learn that knowledge, nor all the studies from which it was deduced, that information won't just pop up into your subconscious.

Nor will whatever your subsconscious came up with have been through peer review, nor studies trying to disprove it, nor the rest of the scientific method. So you have no reason to believe that whatever wild idea popped into your head (conscious or subconscious alike) is actual medical knowledge, as opposed to just wishful thinking.

Again, unless you wish to claim telepathy.
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Old 6th August 2020, 02:44 AM   #109
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That said, about the burden of proof: we don't even need to debate generalities about it.

If it's about medical stuff, the null hypothesis in any medical trial is that whatever effect (healing or otherwise) you wish to show, it didn't happen. The one wishing to say that method X produced result Y has the burden of proof. You don't start from postulating that it works, and then act as if it's true unless someone disproves it.

Not the least, because it pretty much just boils down to statistics. Where the null hypothesis for ANY correlation is, basically, "nope, that's just coincidence." Showing that any correlation exists involves presenting enough statistical evidence to disprove that specific null hypothesis, beyond a certain threshold. At the very least it has to be less than 5% probable that the correlation observed was just a coincidence, though for various fields you may be held to a stricter standard than that.

So regardless of what one may argue about the burden of proof on other domains, we already have a pretty clear standard for medicine.
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Old 6th August 2020, 02:50 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I wonder if it's possible that neuroscientists know more that you do.
It's not only possible, but actually probable. But you'd first have to show exactly what that knowledge is. It doesn't mean that one can believe whatever one wishes, just because some unspecified experts MIGHT possibly know some unspecified thing that MIGHT justify that belief.

The notion that some belief is justified just because SOMEONE out there might be a bigger expert and have a good way to refute the guys you disagree with, even has a name when it's about religion: the sophisticated theology defence. It's actually an ironic and sarcastic name, because it's for a theology so sophisticated that it doesn't actually exist.

And frankly, I see no reason to take it any more seriously in other domains either. If you know some experts whose knowledge supports your point, by all means, please show it. But just the possibility of such support existing isn't worth much.
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Old 6th August 2020, 02:59 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Or, you know, that schizophrenics can benefit from talk therapy.
No. From specifically CBT, not from any kind of talk therapy. More importantly, CBT is not the kind of therapy you get from talking to God in your head.

I'm more than willing to accept that I generalized too much, and CBT does have merits. But that's still not the kind of therapy you'll get by talking to God in your head.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Or, as I see it, you finally got around to actually showing some evidence. Would have been nice if you got to it BEFORE deciding that someone has eyesight problems if they don't believe whatever irrelevant stuff popped up on Google

Of course, it would also help if you understood what "functional connectivity" actually means, or that the second link above talks about grey matter volume, not about actually observing the actual neural connections -- even when shown actual images of what they saw on that MRI -- but I guess baby steps
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Old 6th August 2020, 07:14 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, funnily enough, the correlation was inverse. Telling people that others are praying for them actually was a bad thing. Possibly because now it put extra pressure on them to fulfil the expectations of those praying for them.
Just guessing here, but I'd imagine also that it depends on what the circumstances are. A lot of people will tell you they're praying when there's no other option left. If you've just told a person that you're in some bind, and he says "I'll pray for you," it means "I'm not going to help you." If you're sick, it can mean you're in worse trouble than you thought. I recall my mom, who always had some stock of comforting things to say, and if she cheerfully said "your color is good," it was pretty certain that it meant "you're as good as dead."
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Old 6th August 2020, 07:37 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Just guessing here, but I'd imagine also that it depends on what the circumstances are. A lot of people will tell you they're praying when there's no other option left. If you've just told a person that you're in some bind, and he says "I'll pray for you," it means "I'm not going to help you."
Especially the part I highlighted was my impression so far too, but then some people in this thread tell me that's not true. (Apparently they're also willing to put up an obituary for you. Well, after seeing if nobody else does it first, anyway)

But anyway, I'd say it does say something about how much people actually believe in the power of prayer, when it's about THEM, doesn't it?

Everyone seems willing to think that when THEY'RE the ones praying for someone, it means they're actually doing something useful. There, they threw a 30 second prayer up, that means they did SOMETHING, they can start feeling better about themselves. Even IF someone's not at the level of considering that the prayer means their job is done in full, they seem to think it did SOMETHING.

You'd think that when someone offers to do the same job for them -- in fact, a whole church squad AND a minister -- they'd also expect it to do SOMETHING. I mean, for any other task, if 71 people (including the priest) show up to help, and you actually believe that it's actually possible to help in whatever way they're offering, that's just it: you expect it to help. I mean, if for some study 71 people showed up to help me move, or to mow my lawn, or even just to babysit the cat, you'd expect it to actually help, not to mean you're boned. Even by sheer chance alone, out of 71 guys, at least one of those is going to actually help carry a box, or push the lawnmower, or remember to feed the cat, right?

But anyway, you'd expect some kind of being more optimistic about it (which, as Pixel42 said, actually does seem to improve outcomes), have less stress (which definitely improves outcomes,) or generally that kinda thing. After all, someone mobilized a whole 71 people to do a helpful job, including one licensed and experienced guy on exactly that kind of job. (The minister.) Hooray. It's going to do SOMETHING positive, right?

Nope, doesn't seem like there's a lot of trust in it when someone ELSE offers that kind of service
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Old 6th August 2020, 08:27 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The same applies to neurology or any other domain. Just because something isn't yet possible to measure in real-time in humans (but we can measure it just fine in lab rats) yet, ...
So the answer is no ... no test available for humans.
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Old 6th August 2020, 08:37 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
So the answer is no ... no test available for humans.
Which would still mean you can't just believe any non-falsifiable nonsense instead. I mean, we also don't have a test for the existence of Odin, but we don't default to believing that he does exist
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Old 6th August 2020, 08:57 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm more than willing to accept that I generalized too much, and CBT does have merits.
You've withdrawn your claim that talk therapy is useless. I'm satisfied with that result.
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Old 6th August 2020, 09:03 AM   #117
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In as much as we're talking specifically CBT, not any talk therapy. Just because they're all involving some talking doesn't mean they're all the same.
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Old 6th August 2020, 09:03 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Which would still mean you can't just believe any non-falsifiable nonsense instead. I mean, we also don't have a test for the existence of Odin, but we don't default to believing that he does exist
Thanks for conceding that at the present, no test for measuring neurotransmitters in humans is available.
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Old 6th August 2020, 09:06 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
In as much as we're talking specifically CBT, not any talk therapy. Just because they're all involving some talking doesn't mean they're all the same.
No one ever said they were all the same. Thanks for acknowledging that CBT is talk therapy.

ETA: I'd still be interested in your answer to several questions I posed.

Last edited by Minoosh; 6th August 2020 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 6th August 2020, 09:25 AM   #120
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Which tells you point blank, "The person claiming something is possible or has happened needs to produce evidence to refute the null hypothesis."
What was my positive claim?

ETA: Hans, I don't react well to your repetitive, insulting, browbeating walls of words. It might be better if I stop engaging with you on this issue. You've already conceded that psychotherapy can be helpful. That's enough for me.

Last edited by Minoosh; 6th August 2020 at 09:36 AM.
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