When God brings an “unwelcome disturbance” into our lives, He never asks if it is convenient. The Lord expects to be trusted. –Joyce
My friend has cancer and this is the comments posted on her facebook. 

Views: 205

Comment by Unseen on April 15, 2013 at 1:00pm

Do what you do for you and your friend. Don't let third parties run your life. Me, I say things like "Thank heavens" all the time, which may have religious meaning for others, but also has non-religious meanings (e.g., "the heavens" can simply mean "the sky"). Anyway, only the person saying something knows what they really mean by it.

Psychology seems to be able to improve outcomes to a measurable degree. Sometimes it's belief in God and sometimes it's just being pissed off at the situation they're in to fight like hell, working with all the treatments, and visualizing being healed. It can work. 

Comment by archaeopteryx on April 15, 2013 at 3:42pm

I see nothing wrong with what you're doing, and your friend certainly needs your support. Just ground your comments in reality, and tell her real things that she needs to hear, such as she has done nothing wrong, and has certainly not brought this awful disease upon herself. Dying is bad enough, she doesn't need to die feeling guilty.

Of course I would phrase your words a little less contemptuously than I have, as I'm sure you will, but I'm talking to you now, not her, and I can express my contempt for the crap these others are loading on her.

Comment by Ron V on April 15, 2013 at 10:01pm

@unseen

"I think the evidence is that some sort of belief, however irrational, CAN have a measurable effect on outcome"

What is the evidence you have?

http://www.managedcaremag.com/content/youve-got-believe-evidence-po...

Comment by Ray R. on April 15, 2013 at 10:15pm
There is absolutely NO evidence that any belief in any deity or even so called " positive thinking " , has any effect whatsoever on clinical outcome .
Comment by Ron V on April 15, 2013 at 10:21pm
Comment by Unseen on April 15, 2013 at 10:21pm

Okay, so I guess that positive attitude doesn't really affect outcomes. However, I imagine that having some hope DOES improve the attitude of the afflicted, which can have them taking medications on schedule, watching their diet, etc., which should affect outcomes indirectly. If not, then what follows? Letting them slip into a deep nihilistic depression by telling them "You know, you might as well just give up and die. It'll make it easier on the rest of us to just get it over with. Would you like a bottle of hemlock, perhaps?"

Comment by Ron V on April 15, 2013 at 10:26pm

Are you creating a false dilemma?

If I recall correctly, the book Half Empty may provide an interesting perspective on this topic (it's been some time since I read it, though).

Comment by Unseen on April 15, 2013 at 10:31pm

No, I'm raising the issue of whether believing that believing helps has positive placebo value.

Comment by Suzanne Olson-Hyde on April 16, 2013 at 1:34am
@Ron V - Conclusion - Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.

Who would have thought :)
Comment by Unseen on April 16, 2013 at 7:59am

I think one needs to think about the word "outcome." If one means, "Does a positive attitude, for whatever reason, result in a cure or postponement of death?," perhaps it doesn't. However, if the outcome is a more pleasant dying, because the afflicted feels they have something to do or some control, perhaps misplaced faith and optimism helps to reduce some of the misery. And that has to be seen as a good outcome even if it is something similar to a placebo effect.

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