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Faith and Pain

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posted on Jan, 12 2005 @ 07:52 AM
I found this article very interesting.

"Volunteers are to undergo torture to see if faith eases pain.
Oxford University scientists will carry out experiments on hundreds of people in a bid to understand how the brain works during states of consciousness.
One aspect of the two-year study will involve followers of both religious and secular faiths being burnt to see if they can handle more pain than others."

According to the Church of England, it is all in favour of these experiments. But what will the ramifications be if Faith is proven to reduce physical pain? My personal belief is that Faith will prove to reduce pain - this does seem to be borne out through history. But if it becomes officially recognised? Will it be a case of "Jesus - Your Best Headache Cure"? Will it be a new way of "selling" religion?

posted on Jan, 12 2005 @ 11:42 AM
While I don't think that Faith will reduce pain I do think that it may help to deal with it. I can only speak from personal experience of chronic pain conditions -- that while I don't think my pain is less because of it I do feel that there have been times that having Faith has been all that has kept me going. (that and just plain cussedness as DH would say) And while I am Presbyterian I feel that any Faith would do the same for the individual person.


posted on Jan, 12 2005 @ 12:08 PM
faith has to ease pain, how else can you really explain those indians who put hooks in their bodies, or the Christians who wear crowns of thorns and relive the "passion", or those other people who whip themselves into a religious frenzy? I can't find any other explanation except that their faith allows them to endure the physical pain that they inflict upon themselves.

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 04:55 PM
The mind is an extremely powerful tool. I think that if a person believes that their faith will help them deal with pain, it will do so.

The mind can do amazing things. We know from other experiments that people who are given sugar pills can feel relief from a disease or experience side effects they are told to expect, so long as these people don't realize they are only taking sugar pills.

I am not about to say that some Higher Power would not actually ease someone's pain, but I think that the power of the human mind is what would really be tested if this pain experiment is conducted.

They didn't say exactly what religions would be tested in this article. As for your question about this helping to "sell" Jesus, well I wouldn't worry about that too much.

I do hope they use volunteers from varied religions, not just Christianity. The real problem with this experiment is if they use only Christians and people who are non-spiritual. I would give anything to see the average scores of a group of Buddhist Monks compared to the overall scores of other groups. I can think of many such comparisons that would be interesting.

[edit on 16-1-2005 by wellwhatnow]

[edit on 16-1-2005 by wellwhatnow]

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 07:49 PM
Flowers love the sunshine but its the rain that makes them grow. To put it mildly we need pain or we become complacent and really don't get much out of life.

Does faith ease pain. To be honest no two people will look at the results of this and see the exact same thing. Where faith is concerned we have a tendency to see the results we want to see. This experiment will prove nothing.

Still, I have a kinky side. Pass me a whip and lets find out what faith can do here...hehehehehe

Love and light to each of you,


posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 08:24 PM
Are those mystics practing mind over matter or faith?
Are we saying the faith has to be religion-based?
I definitely believe in mind over matter.

However, nothing would touch the three day headacahes I would get almost every month. Except sleep, quiet and darkness.
But, wait, I had faith they would be gone on the fourth day. It didn't really make the pain more bearable though. I also knew nothing would stop the next headache from happening.

posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 07:30 AM
mrwupy -- I don't think I need pain every day to make me non-complacent and really would get more out of life without it-- I also don't think that pain makes me stronger (as in what doesn't kill you makes you stronger) or I would be among the strongest people in the world along with lots of others on the forum here. But I do understand what you are saying in theory.

worldwatcher -- there are people who walk across coals and people who do the hanging from hooks who don't do it as part of a religion -- but as a test of themselves -- so is there a religious based fath working there that we may not know about or is it just a faith in being able to do it?

I actually don't think the study is worth a lot because no matter what faiths they use and even if they use athesists as a control everyone involved in the study knows that the pain will end if they tell them to stop. I have always thought that if you know there is an end to the pain you can endure more of it. I have broken a few bones in my life and while that is an exquisite pain I was always able to tell myself that everyday it would be getting less because it was healing.


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