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The powerful Nocebo effect!

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  • Arouet
    replied
    Originally posted by porker View Post
    Huh?

    Hardly.

    Very, very, very weak evidence.
    Yes, that's exactly his point. But many people will say its not evidence at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • porker
    replied
    Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
    So if someone reports seeing a pink Unicorn in their back garden, this gives evidence that pink unicorns exist.
    Huh?

    Hardly.

    Very, very, very weak evidence.

    Leave a comment:


  • Interesting Ian
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
    All the time? When someone throws a ball at my face, do I have the ability not to raise my hands? Mostly no.
    No not all the time. But the inability not to raise your hands in that scenario does not mean there's a similar inability to not plunge a dagger in ones heart.

    Again this is an irrelevancy, a red herring, and is going off the subject under discussion.

    No, I'm not. Regardless of metaphysic, my mind has some relation with my brain. There is no pure mental state in living humans.
    If mental states are not identical to brain states, then there are mental states in and of themselves. The fact they are influenced by brain states, or even always follow brain states, doesn't alter that.

    This question?

    "Is the argument that although ones mental state can bring about a disease which ends in ones death, ones mental state in and of itself will not kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease?"

    Since there is no mental state in and of itself, the question is moot. Now, if you want to assume reductionism and ask whether the brain functions that give rise to consciousness could possibly cause me to kill myself in the absence of any brain disease whatsoever, I'd say the answer is yes. For example, I could sacrifice myself for my child. However, we're still not separating disease from genetic predisposition.
    I am not talking about voluntary behaviour! What we're interested in is whether beliefs can either lead to ones death, or prevent ones death. Since being anxious can lead to high blood pressure and therefore can lead to ones death, what is the crucial distinction in the case of beliefs in comparison to whether one is anxious, content etc? Why can the latter have an influence in whether one dies or not, but not the former??

    I'd like JLI's response to this. I'm not interested in your response Paul because I'm not interested in taking this discussion off on a tangent with your red herrings.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
    replied
    Originally posted by Interesting Ian
    Not unless someone threatens you with a more even painful death unless you commit suicide. But we have control over our own limbs.
    All the time? When someone throws a ball at my face, do I have the ability not to raise my hands? Mostly no.

    Ah, you're assuming reductive materialism then.
    No, I'm not. Regardless of metaphysic, my mind has some relation with my brain. There is no pure mental state in living humans.

    Try this then. Those particular physical activities identical to consciousness (a small subset of the brains activity?) can not possibly kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease.

    Now perhaps you can answer the question instead of your stupid games?
    This question?

    "Is the argument that although ones mental state can bring about a disease which ends in ones death, ones mental state in and of itself will not kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease?"

    Since there is no mental state in and of itself, the question is moot. Now, if you want to assume reductionism and ask whether the brain functions that give rise to consciousness could possibly cause me to kill myself in the absence of any brain disease whatsoever, I'd say the answer is yes. For example, I could sacrifice myself for my child. However, we're still not separating disease from genetic predisposition.

    ~~ Paul
    Last edited by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos; November 17th, 2011, 10:01 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Interesting Ian
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
    So you won't acknowledge that severe depression might be a disease and thus suicide could be involuntary? Interesting.
    Not unless someone threatens you with a more even painful death unless you commit suicide. But we have control over our own limbs.

    I'm addressing this question of yours:

    "Is the argument that although ones mental state can bring about a disease which ends in ones death, ones mental state in and of itself will not kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease?"

    There is no mental state in and of itself.

    ~~ Paul
    Ah, you're assuming reductive materialism then.

    Try this then. Those particular physical activities identical to consciousness (a small subset of the brains activity?) can not possibly kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease.

    Now perhaps you can answer the question instead of your stupid games?

    I still want JLI's response though too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
    replied
    Originally posted by Interesting Ian
    That's the result of voluntary activity on ones part! Why do you always introduce irrelevances and red herrings??
    So you won't acknowledge that severe depression might be a disease and thus suicide could be involuntary? Interesting.

    I don't understand what you're saying or how it remotely addresses my post.
    I'm addressing this question of yours:

    "Is the argument that although ones mental state can bring about a disease which ends in ones death, ones mental state in and of itself will not kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease?"

    There is no mental state in and of itself.

    ~~ Paul
    Last edited by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos; November 17th, 2011, 09:07 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Interesting Ian
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
    The problem here is that you are separating mental state from disease. For example, I'll agree that severe depression can result in suicide, which will kill you.
    That's the result of voluntary activity on ones part! Why do you always introduce irrelevances and red herrings??



    However, if that severe depression is an illness, then there is an accompanying disease.

    Not sure what the point of this argument is.

    ~~ Paul
    I don't understand what you're saying or how it remotely addresses my post.

    I'll wait for JLI's response. In all my many thousands of posts "arguing" with you, you've never answered any of my questions. That's not going to ever change and therefore I find it a waste of time discussing anything with you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
    replied
    Originally posted by Interesting Ian
    Is the argument that although ones mental state can bring about a disease which ends in ones death, ones mental state in and of itself will not kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease?
    The problem here is that you are separating mental state from disease. For example, I'll agree that severe depression can result in suicide, which will kill you. However, if that severe depression is an illness, then there is an accompanying disease.

    Not sure what the point of this argument is.

    ~~ Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Interesting Ian
    replied
    Originally posted by Arouet View Post
    I haven't looked into this topic. I don't know.
    OK I'll just wait for JLI's comprehensive reply!

    Leave a comment:


  • Arouet
    replied
    I haven't looked into this topic. I don't know.

    Leave a comment:


  • Interesting Ian
    replied
    Originally posted by Arouet View Post
    You probably have. The problem is there are some particularly loud people over there who don't understand what evidence is and who constantly describe it wrongly. They drown out the correct people. I've had this mini debate a couple times already over there. Some people got it right, and others stuck to the wrong definition. Your definition is essentially correct, though I think JLI was disagreeing with you because he didn't believe it supports the contention at all.
    Nobody over there agreed with my definition of evidence. Most of them think it's the same as proof. And all of them seem to believe that the word evidence is only ever used in the context of science.

    I'm not sure what the contention is? That ones mental states cannot bring about ones death? What about feeling stressed out and hence experiencing a rise in blood pressure which contributes to ones death? So it's obvious that ones mental states can bring about ones death in some instances.

    Is the argument that although ones mental state can bring about a disease which ends in ones death, ones mental state in and of itself will not kill you in the absence of any accompanying disease?

    JLI? Arouet?

    Leave a comment:


  • Arouet
    replied
    Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
    I, on the other hand, have never met a skeptic who agrees with it. And I've talked to plenty. For example I never met one person on the James Randi Education foundation discussion board who agrees with my definition of the word evidence.
    You probably have. The problem is there are some particularly loud people over there who don't understand what evidence is and who constantly describe it wrongly. They drown out the correct people. I've had this mini debate a couple times already over there. Some people got it right, and others stuck to the wrong definition. Your definition is essentially correct, though I think JLI was disagreeing with you because he didn't believe it supports the contention at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Interesting Ian
    replied
    Originally posted by JLI View Post
    Don't think I have met a skeptic who would disagree with you on this point.
    I, on the other hand, have never met a skeptic who agrees with it. And I've talked to plenty. For example I never met one person on the James Randi Education foundation discussion board who agrees with my definition of the word evidence.


    That explains where your anger is coming from, when someone disagrees with you about the 1973 example as evidence of lethal effect of nocebo. Sorry if my disagreement offended you.
    In real life there are multiple causes for a given effect. All of these causes need to transpire for the effect to happen.

    The question here is do our conscious states affect our health. Obviously they do, yes? For example, if I worry about something, or feel tense, this might have some influence in my blood pressure rising.

    Thus if we have all the other causal factors in place then our mental states can be the crucial ingredient which can determine whether we live or die.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Bailey
    replied
    Originally posted by JLI View Post

    Here is a fairly recent systematic review of trials including a placebo group and a no treatment group: Wiley Online Library: Book Article
    202 such trials met their inclusion criteria. And in some of the trials, serious diseases such as asthma and hypertension were studied.
    I only looked at this study in a cursory way, but I did notice that they reported that placebos were found to have no significant effect in treating depression. This seems interesting, because as I understand it, a major recent study found that placebos were at least as effective as prozac!

    I also noticed that this paper had been challenged by another paper by B. E. Wampold, T. Minami, S. C. Tierney, T. W. Baskin, and K. S. Bhati , and that this had in turn been attacked by the original authors!

    I guess this seems to be typical of hotly contested areas of science - it is very, very hard to tell who is telling the whole unvarnished truth!

    David

    Leave a comment:


  • JLI
    replied
    Originally posted by David Bailey View Post
    I mean you can't (I imagine) take a random subset of patients and deliver more pessimistic (or more optimistic) assessments and discover it that affects the course of their illness!
    They did in this study:General practice consultations: is there any point in being positive?
    The patients suffered for minor self limiting conditions. One group was given a firm diagnosis and told they would be better in a couple of days. Another group was given a negative consultation, being told by the doctor, that the diagnosis was uncertain. And sure enough, the patients in the first group recovered quicker.
    Likewise, I wonder if placebo treatments have been tried in a serious way for fundamental medical problems. Again, I would have thought there might be impossible ethical issues in the way.
    Here is a fairly recent systematic review of trials including a placebo group and a no treatment group: Wiley Online Library: Book Article
    202 such trials met their inclusion criteria. And in some of the trials, serious diseases such as asthma and hypertension were studied.
    The authors of the review concluded:
    AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:
    We did not find that placebo interventions have important clinical effects in general. However, in certain settings placebo interventions can influence patient-reported outcomes, especially pain and nausea, though it is difficult to distinguish patient-reported effects of placebo from biased reporting. The effect on pain varied, even among trials with low risk of bias, from negligible to clinically important. Variations in the effect of placebo were partly explained by variations in how trials were conducted and how patients were informed.
    Did you mean, "no evidence" in the sense of experiments have been performed and come out negative, or in the sense, "experiments can't be done for ethical reasons"?
    The latter. We only have anecdotes of:
    1) People who were told they had a short life span and died shortly after being told.
    2) People who were told they had a short lifespan, and lived longer.

    Leave a comment:

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