A discussion which came about in another thread. I rmade a remark on some other fellow posters who said they'd will for Martina Navratilova to recover from cancer.
Ah, yes, it's sedative and soothing to occupy yourself with delusions. Then again, who am I to point at others? I can be superstitious when I follow my favourites in sport, telling myself I totally have a say on proceedings on something happening hundreds of miles away with nothing but my willpower, but I keep a certain distance to my delusions.
Again, I hope that Martina now takes the best possible care of herself and comes through, but the belief in fairytales is only cute when it involves kids.
Fairytale or not, there is a base of rigorous scientific research, including double-blind, randomized controlled trials that have yielded statistically significant results suggesting prayer to have positive effects on physical health.
A classic example can be found here: http://journals.lww.com/smajournalonline/toc/1988/07000
where patients in a coronary care unit were prayed for (unknown to them or the treating physicians). The prayer group required less antibiotics, diuretics, and intubation than those in the control group.
Byrd, R. C. (1988) Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population. Southern Medical Journal, 81, 826-29.
Thus, science suggests that it may be safe to close the gap between one and his or her delusions
Naturally the belief in something you find to be a steadfast and great guidance can be of great help to you (in this instance when the goings get rough, but it stretches further than that. Look at athletes who are thankful to their "God" and are convinced that that very supreme being is with them and behind them. Surely that would mean God would be against the other team, indirect
, and so God would be both for and against both teams when people on both ends clash.
It would boil down to who's more in the good graces of God, I guess
). It needn't be truthful. It's all about believing and staying strong, and you will reap the psychosomatic rewards. Positive thinking, you know.
And I'm sure there is a logical explanation to your example, other than what I just went through, as I presume that your main point with it was that those who were treated did supposedly not know about those precious others who sent them positive vibes. We just haven't seen it yet. That's usually the way it goes.
I find the notion of any almighty, omnipotent supreme being, who heeds prayers whatever they'd be about, rather than spot the "problems" or issues by itself and go to work on them, ludicrous(, but then again, I don't believe in childish terms like good or evil either. There is no good or evil. There are only different ways of seeing things, spawned by individual experiences.
I do believe in that you can be constructive and encouraging, compared to destructive and discouraging, though) if that being indeed is all-seeing and all-powerful.
In fact I wouldn't even bother with such an omnipotent presence from the start even if I believed everything about it to be true, cause a supreme being who's that banal is anything but supreme and mature, and isn't worth my time.
All in all, of course pros and cons come from believing in fairytales, but I believe in that you sooner or later have to realize that there's a very good chance Santa doesn't exist (and Lord do I miss the days when I believed in him. Life was so much simpler). As you grow up, you should be able to take that the world gets more intricate, and let go of the one illusion after the other. Not for the sake of happiness, though. You can be happy without challenging yourself.