Friday, 14 August 2009

Does it really need to be said?

"A Christian faith-healing clinic has opened in Christchurch offering to cure cancer, broken bones and mental illness through prayer."

Faith healers attack cancer with prayer.

Really? Of course "Patients were not charged and were counselled to not stop regular medical treatment." (We won't mention 'donations are encouraged'.) Well, that's convenient. If the science works, guess who woudl still get the credit? Not to mention the easy escape clause of 'it's God's will'.

The only way to test this is with science. But that would involve people not receiving regular treatment, which is unethical.

Interestingly "The patient did not have to convert to Christianity and did not even have to be a believer, he said." Which raises question like: what else doesn't have to be true for this to work? What if the treatment was only 'enthusiastic' instead of "aggresive"? Do you need every healer involved to pray? Does the length of the prayer matter? What if the person being healed actively prayed against being healed?

Scientific studies have should NO EVIDENCE of prayer helping. The best you get out of this is hope, which can aid recovery, but let's not pretend that anything is actually being cured here...


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