Archive for June, 2009

Religion is a Placebo

June 27, 2009

Religious beliefs can make life better.  The belief that there is a big Sky-Daddy who cares about your life, and who will step in to rescue you (or, more frequently preached these days, “give you the strength to go through” what he will not change) can make you feel better no matter what is going on.

It doesn’t matter if it is all in your head.  The effects can be real.  Just like with placebos in medicine.  The effects there are real, too, even if the “drug” is a sugar pill.  Or accupuncture.

Recognizing that the placebo is nonsense neutralizes this effect.  That means that knowing you are on your own without supernatural help takes away the psychological benefits of praying or being prayed for… to some extent.  It is still nice to know that other people care enough to waste their time talking to themselves about your situation.  Maybe that will “help” in some way. 

Of course, One person “doing” helps more than a million people praying.