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God Does Not Exist Because... (3)

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In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 13:38:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jul 2012 13:38:54 BDT
Hi Caroline,

It's commonly used as a modifier in English eg.;

"Poet manque" or "Artist manque".

It fits Mr. Paul Davidson, to a T.


In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 13:42:03 BDT
I am familiar with the word, I just like to check on these things.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 14:06:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jul 2012 21:42:13 BDT
K. Moss says:
Yep, that's the one. For some reason, I couldn't locate it - so I gave some suitably alpine alternatives.

I actually have TWO books of Caspar David Freidrich's artwork at home, which must make me something of a geek.

I quite like the idea of handbags at dawn, or perhaps (slipping into lowbrow) a Harry Hill "Fight...fight..." moment.

Nietzsche would stride into the room, twirling his magnificent moustaches and vehemently expressing all his "feelings of revenge and resentment" against God, whilst Paul would fire an apparently inexhaustible stream of doggerel bullets at him. In Pokemon terms, they'd be evenly matched. Nietzsche may be the Ubermensch, but Paul would simply keep repeating the same questions and a kind of eternal stasis would result. People passing by would freeze, powerless to move. Birds would hover motionless in the air. The sun would stop in its passage across the sky. The whole of creation would hold its breath whilst the great ones were locked in mortal combat....

Dammit, brain's gone into overdrive. I need some lunch.


In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 16:50:08 BDT
(The sound of wild applause greets Kevin's post!!!)



In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 17:50:19 BDT
Shakepen says:
Occam: I wrote some time ago: I will make this point one last time, and then leave the subject. If you have the flu and you are given a placebo, in many cases symptoms will show an improvement. The virus cannot be killed by a placebo. Now, you may make a claim that somehow your "belief" in the cure spurred your immune system, but if you do, please do not compare a belief in God tantamount to believing in fairies! You are making the same argument in a secular setting.

When I wrote the above some days ago, I granted that the immune system might be stimulated. But how in the heck do you test for this effect. How does one separate the possible stimulation of the immune system by the placebo effect from, say, spontaneous remission as in some cancer cases or some other factor?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 21:41:48 BDT
K. Moss says:
Wot? What sound? Just how wild?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 21:47:50 BDT
K. Moss says:

I'm afraid that I broke all my own rules, and consulted Wikipedia. The article was merely (I think) suggesting that the word may have formed the basis for our slang term 'manky', a word with which I have a depressingly high degree of familiarity.


In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 21:51:18 BDT
K. Moss says:

According to a paper I read a couple of years ago, something like one third of all prescription drugs have no discernible clinical effect - which takes the placebo implications to a whole new level.

And no, I can't recall the title of the paper.


In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 22:00:10 BDT
Withnail says:
What would be the purpose of prescribing a medication with no clinical effect? Shame you can't remember the name of the paper, perhaps you could google it?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 22:07:43 BDT
By running a large double blinded controlled study. Which has been done. Positive belief in treatment can show a statistically significant measured effect in immune response. As can other things, such as viewing images of sick people and calming music.

The way you test for the effect of something is to control as much else as possible over as large a number of cases as possible. And placebos have been shown in some cases to increase immune response. Although the conditions of delivery, IIRC, played a more significant art than the act of giving the placebo. I haven't read anything on it in a long time.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 22:35:15 BDT
I'd be surprised if that figure were true. I was under the impression that placebos weren't allowed to be prescribed.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 00:20:07 BDT
Shakepen says:
KM: If you read the disclaimers in magazines and listen to drug disclaimers on television about side-effects of drugs on American television, you might begin to doubt what you've read.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 00:23:43 BDT
Shakepen says:
Occam: I've been involved in a couple of studies involving heart medicines. I was told up front that half of us would get a placebo; the other half, the experimental drug. Even after contacting the manufacturer, I never discovered which I received. It is hard for me to feel that people could suddenly have their conditions disappear after being told upfront that placeboes were involved.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 00:42:00 BDT
The deafening sound of applause. Positively feral in its wildness.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 08:28:19 BDT
True, but it turns out that most people in those studies see the first random improvement as a sign the drug is working and then believe they were getting the real drug and so the placebo effect works.

It may be hard for you to believe, it was hard for doctors to believe when it was discovered. People's beliefs about getting better affect there chances of getting better. And stimulate the production of hormones and chemotransmitters in their body.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 09:32:54 BDT
K. Moss says:
Hi Sam.

I was surprised too. Then I heard a similar figure from the lips of friends who are GPs, and clearly spend a lot of their time prescribing. The actual figure - and I've encountered it a few times, since I read the original article (and yes, Withnail, I did try googling it) - is 35%.

A few years ago, I became a bit obsessive with collecting papers and articles on the subject of mainstream medicine - partly because I'd developed an interest in alternatives. It was an interesting phase, and I've kind of 'grown out of it' a bit (married a nurse, and that soon puts paid to any faith in alternative medicine!), and - unfortunately - cannot now find my hoard of documentation, ever since we moved house.


In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 09:39:53 BDT
K. Moss says:
Hi Shakepen.

Yep, I was given a prescription for 'alpha-blockers' to treat a rather painful, uniquely male condition. Unusually, I took the time to read the accompanying paperwork that went with the packet (very small print) and made the decision that, whatever the discomfort I was feeling, it was nothing compared to the almost total physical meltdown that would occur if I took the drug.

In the end, I shovelled down cranberries, and drank tea made from nettle root and saw palmetto (revolting), and the 'problem' kind of cured itself. I think I'd have to be far gone before I would countenance taking the prescription drug. In this instance, I did check to see if the threatened side effects were merely hypothetical possibilities, and was told that, no, they were very likely to occur.


Posted on 11 Jul 2012 10:00:53 BDT
I'm also sometimes unnerved by reading the little slip of paper you get with prescription drugs, if you do. The claim has long been that western medicine is superior to eastern for instance because we know why things work, whereas although acupuncture has been observed to apparently work it isn't known to us why it does. I had some migraine relief tablets however which said that they 'are thought to block the pain pathways'. Are thought to?

Posted on 11 Jul 2012 10:05:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 10:05:54 BDT
Actually, I complained to my GP that they didn't seem to work any better than Ibuprofen, so she said 'Well take Ibuprofen, then.' She was probably glad as these tablets would have been expensive.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 10:46:41 BDT
Withnail says:
Are you sure you are not talking about numbers needed to treat? As opposed to a third of meds having no effect?

Btw - DB can you guess where I am? Will give my hands and iPhone a good wash.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 10:49:50 BDT
G. Heron says:
C.E. Statham

Alternative medicine has solved the problem of unwanted side effects; they don't include the slip of paper.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 11:04:39 BDT
K. Moss says:

No-one else has guessed, so...deep breath...are/were you in the Lav?


In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 11:39:44 BDT
Withnail says:
Not any more. I'm regular as clock work. Phone given rub down with alcohol gel.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 11:50:10 BDT
K. Moss says:
Well, we all needed to know that, I guess. I seem to spend my life surrounded by medics, and as far as I can see, the only topic for conversation is bowels, and the movements thereof. I had never before thought of the smartphone implications, but I can see why the fecally-fixated might need to be perpetually disinfecting their handsets. Perhaps there's an App for that...

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jul 2012 01:52:07 BDT
Shakepen says:
GH: I'm quite suspicious of alternative meds, the principal advocate in the U.S. being Dr. Weil. Steve Jobs went on alternative therapies for his pancreatic cancer. He was on the regime for 8 months. When he finally went to a traditional surgeon, the cancer had metastisized. Even a liver transplant was of no use, and he died a couple of years later.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  182
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Initial post:  6 Mar 2012
Latest post:  10 Jan 2013

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