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Never Ask Us if We're Hungry -- The Answer's Always No
There are three of us here and for many years, none of us ever got hungry. When our brains would turn to mush, when our faces would go numb, and we would start the invisible vibration which is the signature dance of ME/CFS, we knew we needed to eat.
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Kind of a miracle

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by thefreeprisoner, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    Well put, Kurt. I'd like to point out that spirituality is not just the province of Christianity, which most sensible Christians I know are quite aware of. Western European civilization is, I think, in the baby stage of understanding things spiritual and energetic. I'm glad Rachel got the healing. Do we have to argue over how it happened?
  2. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    [Kurt puts on moderator hat]

    WARNING - please everyone skip the insults. Brenda, I appreciate what you are trying to say and think that spiritual healing is a valid topic for discussion on this or any forum. There will be skeptics, but please do not insult them. I have not seen anyone here be hysterical.

    And that warning goes both ways, please if you are skeptical be diplomatic in your disagreement and do not write things that are put-downs on any group or obviously offensive to them.

    Talk about ideas and disagree without writing insults, that's all that we ask here. Thank-you.

    [/Moderator hat tossed aside]
  3. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    Kurt,

    If I can understand the core of your argument to be this; "Every approach someone takes.." "... will have an element of belief and faith." Then I agree, but feel there is more to it than that.

    It is true that we can be sure of nothing. And as we go through life it is helpful, if not necessary to believe in things we can't be sure of.

    But when faced with such uncertainty, it is not useful to hold that belief with great, impenetrable zeal. It is important for one to be able to say "I don't know". The best evidence suggests this to be the correct answer, and I will work on the assumption that it is, for now, but ultimately I don't know.

    All of the systems you mention (Science, Atheism, Religion, Medicine) can be of great value insofar as one accepts they are imperfect, and not all knowing. The same systems can be dangerous, and indeed devastating if one approaches them with absolute zeal and certainty that "I know".

    Having said that, it seems to me that Rachel was saying she believes in her 'miracle', but ultimately doesn't 'know for sure'. Others, however have not been so careful in their responses.
  4. Advocate

    Advocate Senior Member

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    Knackered, don't go.

    Hey, Knackered. If this thread is a Christian healing thread, so be it. :worried: But the whole forum won't be a Christian healing forum.

    So sure, leave this thread if you want to but don't leave the forum. Just go to a different thread, or stay on this thread and scroll on by the posts that you know will be unhelpful to you. I've been doing that for years. ;)

    We are all going to benefit from free and open discussion of a lot of different issues by people with a lot of different points of view. And for what it's worth, I've enjoyed your posts, as well as many others. :D
  5. kat0465

    kat0465 Senior Member

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    Seroiusly??! one post and your saying this forum is turning into a christian Forum! noone has to put up with one Post about being healed, if you dont want to read about it then dont Push the Button! everyone is entitled to thier own Opinion
    EVEN atheists, Buddhists, or whatever you choose to believe. This isnt a Christian Forum.... It's a HUMAN forum.Get over it.

  6. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    Kurt

    Have you heard about the two emerging branches of science called neurotheology and quantum entanglement? Some interesting experiments in both areas, although it's very early days. Fascinating areas of study though.
  7. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    Absolutely right, Sunday. My spiritual director is a Catholic priest who spent some time studying Eastern Religions. He has immense respect for Buddhism. He naturally doesn't agree with aspects of it, but sometimes teaches from Buddhist wisdom, which meshes quite well with some Christian mysticism.
  8. Lelvina

    Lelvina ex-Bookworm

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    *sputters*

    If that's true (and I believe it is), the 'Wessely School' is _really_ nuts.

    Oh, wait. That is what I've learned from lurking here >.> *sigh*

    This reminds me of someone who had a fever for a week (the heat) and recovered from CFS.... I can't find the link/story right now though.


    A bit off topic, but 'stories of healings' makes me think of sudden cancer remissions. Would Wessley & co claim those are from 'abnormal thinking behavior' too? Probably.



    Congratulations Rachel, I hope you make the most of it :D
  9. valia

    valia Senior Member

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    I am very happy for Rachel, anyone that recovers or goes into remission by whatever means is very lucky indeed.

    But I have to admit that although I am a Catholic, this thread didn’t sit well with me, it could be as Matlet said, we Brits don’t like discussions about our religious beliefs or at least not in an open forum like this.

    My first thought was, this is just the sort of thing the psyches want to read from nuts like us.

    Then I was struck with the similarity between the guilt we are meant to feel when we fail to recover with CBT/GET, it is our fault, we are not trying, we don’t want to get well etc....

    Similarly it could effect some with religious beliefs when their prayers are not answered ie: their faith is not strong enough, they are not worthy, they don’t deserve to be well?

    Anyway the strong reaction from people proves this is not the place.
  10. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    There are people using this thread both to evangalise (which I am most uncomfortable with) as well as to insult other people's beliefs and nationalities. I wish they would either keep it to themselves or take it elsewhere.
  11. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Kat, I understand what you're saying but I'm going to reiterate Kurt's post and ask you to say it nicely.

    Advocate's post (#88) is a great example about how to make a point civilly.
  12. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Yes, I have heard about those ideas about consciousness and the nature of reality, although not the term Neurotheology before. Anyway there are many different scientific views of what causes conscious experience. I think the idea that consciousness is simply an emergent property of some biological process is pretty hard to support given the complexity of lived human spiritual experience, things such as the so-called 'near death experience' of someone leaving their body behind while dead then coming back when revived. Or sudden healings, premonitions that turn out to be true, spiritual sensations and elevated awareness from reading spiritual texts, etc. NDE skeptics point out that similar experiences can be evoked by stimulating certain parts of the brain but that can not explain the entire phenomenon as some people who have lived through a real NDE have reported events that they observed that they could not have known about if this were simply a subjective brain stimulation experience.

    There is a reality and we are immersed in it, and there is a truth about these things, someday maybe science and religion will find some points of agreement there.

    There is a difference between science and skepticism and a lot of skeptics try to base their views on science, which I actually believe stems from a poor understanding of what science is really about. In fact science is not inherently skeptical, it is rather curious, and there are scientific methods for measuring objective experiences such as spirituality, we use them all the time, ethnographic methods.

    Anyway, back to your comment, from a non-spiritual perspective, the 'Neurotheology' idea that there is an evolutionary purpose for spiritual and religious experience makes perfect sense to me as a scientist. To preserve a human society during primitive eras we clearly need some means of maintaining social order, so we would then have a DNA proclivity towards some type of positive belief system. So for instance, the brain would be designed to believe that behaviors that preserve society and lead to continual reproduction and family survival are good and behaviors that seek to oppress and destroy society and damage reproduction and family structure are bad/evil. Evolutionary survival would not care about exactly what people believed, only that they would have a sense of what are good beliefs and what are bad beliefs, so on average humans would believe something positive in common, that would lead to a survival advantage.

    NOTE: I have removed an earlier statement where I observed that the XMRV discussion here often appears to be a type of belief system and not very scientific as it was poorly worded and did not communicate the intent well. Some follow-up comments below refer to the deleted section.
  13. anne

    anne Guest

    I'm sorry, Kurt, but that post really bothers me. I'm having trouble coming up with words that aren't going to get me in trouble for criticizing a moderator, but I find this patronizing. I understand you are skeptical about XMRV; however I don't think it's fair to put yourself in a position of being objective and those who disagree with you as irrational. I think there is as much irrationality and entrenchment in the "disbelief" system as the "belief system" on this board--people seem very happy to credit obviously less rigorous studies. You're essentially implying that believing in XMRV is irrational. I argue that giving the WPI study credit is the rational thing to do, given the rigors of Science and the statements of John Coffin about its quality. Your opinion may differ, but that doesn't mean mine is less rational. I also find it uncomfortable that a moderator is making ethnographic observations about this board, and implying members are being irrational. It's a position of judgement that I think makes for a less comfortable place.

    I understand that we are to be careful about the mods, and I very much appreciate the job you do, and the hard careful work you put in your posts. But I am uncomfortable with your statements here.

    Let me add, as well, that I am XMRV+, as are others here.
  14. rebecca1995

    rebecca1995 Apple, anyone?

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    Anne, I agree with these sentiments.

    Those of us who do not believe in faith healing have been careful not to act in a patronizing way toward those who do. We ask, in return, that those who have questions about the scientific data presented by the WPI not act in a patronizing way toward us.
  15. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Please forget about the 'mods' thing. The only time I am a moderator is when someone is writing insults and I have to step in. You are welcome to disagree with my personal opinions that I write as much as you like. If I make a mistake I want to know about that and will correct it if I can.

    If that statement I made offended you and seemed patronizing, I am sorry for that. Maybe I was not careful enough in wording and I do not think that it is irrational to hope that XMRV will be an answer. What I am trying to say is that I see some elements of a belief system in the response to XMRV. The only application of hard scientific reasoning I see is in the defense of the XMRV hypothesis. That shows a lack of objectivity.

    If you count up the number of supportive posts vs. questioning posts the ratio is probably more than 10:1 in support. If people do not ask questions here there may be important points missed. Being objective means to seriously look at both sides of a situation, and I have done that.

    I'm not sure I agree that I am skeptical about XMRV, what I am skeptical about is whether we are getting the full story. What I am most concerned about is that it appears that the information in the Science article was not clear enough about the difficulty of finding XMRV. In fact Mikovitz has now revealed new information about testing that was NOT in the Science article but is required to get a positive result. I am willing to suspend judgement and see if other labs can find XMRV, this situation must rest on the science and not this or that opinion. But I do not see any reason to be as supportive of WPI as people generally are here, that is my opinion and it is based on many factors, not just what I have written in this post.

    WPI is a business and I realize they have to work hard to gain enough financial support and market share to survive. But if they really cared about the CFS world as they say they do, they should have revealed everything that was required to run their tests and not let other labs waste their CFS funding running tests that could not find the virus, based on belief in the literal words WPI wrote in the Science article. For example, it was not clear in the Science article that ALL PCR tests of old samples might have to be run multiple times, or that multiple draws could be necessary. It was not clear in the Science article that pre-amplification was required for all PCR tests. And it is still not clear exactly how the samples were selected and why WPI/VIP has pulled their PCR test off the market. There are many more issues and questions, many are more technical than I understand, but based on comments backchannel with outside researchers there is a lot of frustration right now in the research world over WPI and their handling of this situation.

    So I think there is enough evidence both for and also against the XMRV hypothesis to justify some serious discussion of both sides of the issue. And I just don't see that objectivity. What I see is defense of XMRV based on a hope that this will be the answer rather than based on a careful analysis of the entire picture of what is happening here. You are welcome to prove me wrong, just point me to any seriously objective posts, yours or someone else's, about WPI and the chance that this just might NOT be the answer we had all hoped it was....
  16. anne

    anne Guest

    I'm not going to go through this forum and attempt to prove you wrong. What I am saying is that you are falling prey to the easy fallacy of deifying your own process as objective when it is as fraught with personal bias as any else's. I think any time you (one) find yourself exhorting people to be objective in order to take your position, you (one) has to take a big step back. My faith in the XMRV study, personally, has nothing to do with hope. I don't particularly hope anyone's infected with this thing. I believe we need to give it credit because people who know a hell of a lot more than I do have said that the study is a very good one. And because it simply makes sense, it does all of the things David Bell said a causal agent of CFS had to do. You are simply assuming that it's hope, that it can't be "seriously objective." Just because you disagree does not make it any less rational. You may ask that we ignore the mod beside your name, but its still there, and I argue that speaking of your ethnographic view that paints a large number of people in this forum as irrational is inappropriate and insulting.
  17. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    Dear Freeprisoner, Rachel, I hope you are feeling well, that you are enjoying that precious gift. Got any to spare? lol
    IMHO, if it works, don't knock it :cool:
    I'm an agnostic, personally. And it takes all sorts :hug:
  18. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    You made me smile. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) said something along the lines of that when we look deeply enough into our belief, maturity leads the believer and unbeliever to the same place of not knowing. The difference being that the believer says, "There probably is," while the unbeliever says "There probably isn't."
  19. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Agnostics Prayer

    Hi Jace,

    I was wondering if you've heard the following "Agnostic's Prayer".

    Dear God (if there is a God), please save my Soul (if there is a Soul).

    Kinda covers all bases. :Retro smile:

    Wayne
  20. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    Wayne, you always inject a bit of sanity wherever you go!

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