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Christianity &Science Johnson on 08 Oct 2008 09:27 am

Comparing Christianity to Homeopathy

In this video, James Randi explains the fraudulent practice known as homeopathy:

The basic idea behind homeopathy is that you can take a very dilute mixture of a poison and use it to heal. How dilute? Like one part in a trillion billion, or less. The video goes into detail about how ridiculous this claim is.

Here is an analogy. Imagine taking a bucket of water, and putting one molecule of a poison in that water, and then giving a teaspoon of water from the bucket to a patient. According to the principles of homeopathy, that teaspoon of water would have a healing effect. You can see, if you are rational, that the teaspoon of water would contain nothing but water, or possibly nothing but water and a single molecule. According to homeopathy, that teaspoon of water would provide a beneficial effect. But every rational person knows that this claim is fraudulent.

If you were to confront a homeopath and claim that he is a fraud, what would he say? He would probably use a defense like this: “You can’t prove a negative. Just because science can’t explain why homeopathy works, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work.”

To any rational person standing outside the bubble of delusion known as homeopathy, that is a ridiculous defense. All that we have to do is perform a series of double-blind tests comparing the effects of a homeopathic solution with plain water. We will find that homeopathic solutions are identical to water in their effects. In that way, homeopathy can be completely debunked. Any rational person would agree with this approach.

Where else have we heard that “you can’t prove a negative” defense? Yes, with Christianity! This is how Christians explain “the power of prayer”. It is also how they explain God’s existence. A typical Christian statement: “Just because there is no evidence for God, that does not mean that he doesn’t exist! You can’t prove a negative!”

Of course you can prove that God is imaginary. You take the Bible, which, supposedly, is the God-produced book and the only source of knowledge about God and Christ. You read the book looking for claims made by God/Jesus. You note all the claims that Jesus makes about prayer, as summarized on this page. Then you test to see if prayer works as described in the Bible. Of course it does not.

A very simple test: Pray to God to heal an amputee. According to many different verses in the Bible, this prayer should work. See this page for details.

Faced with reality, a true Christian will ignore the scientific evidence. He/she will branch out into a thousand rationalizations to explain why God won’t heal amputees, and why all other prayers show no effects.

It is obvious to any rational person that “god” and “prayer” are just as imaginary as homeopathy.

Here is something else to try. Watch the video. In the video, Randi talks about the four principles of homeopathy. By the end of the video you are laughing out loud at the silliness of homeopathy. Now, with that laughing-out-loud mindset, look at this page and its four principles that “explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ”:

How to Know God Personally

You will find that page to have the same laughing-out-loud sort of effect.

If you are a Christian and you would like to break your addiction to an imaginary God, this web site will help:

- Whywontgodhealamputees.com

17 Responses to “Comparing Christianity to Homeopathy”

  1. on 08 Oct 2008 at 1:56 pm 1.Dan Florien said …

    I like this blog, but I thought I’d mention that for your regular readers, it seems every post is an advertisement for WWGHA. It makes me feel almost spammy every time I read a post. I’m guessing you’re doing this for SEO reasons, but it seems a little much. Anyway, thought you might want to know how it comes off.

  2. on 08 Oct 2008 at 2:36 pm 2.SteveK said …

    A typical Christian statement: “Just because there is no evidence for God, that does not mean that he doesn’t exist! You can’t prove a negative!”

    Jeepers, creepers, this isn’t a typical Christian statement at all. Figuratively, I bet you can count the number of Christians on one hand who think there is NO evidence for God. The search to find such odd people must be a long and arduous one.

  3. on 08 Oct 2008 at 3:32 pm 3.SteveK said …

    Randi is an entertaining speaker. First time I’ve seen him speak.

  4. on 08 Oct 2008 at 4:44 pm 4.something said …

    SteveK, What is the evidence for God?

  5. on 08 Oct 2008 at 4:59 pm 5.SteveK said …

    One piece of evidence that I find persuasive is the non-contingent nature of logic which governs reason.

  6. on 08 Oct 2008 at 7:13 pm 6.something said …

    SteveK, What does that mean, and why do you find it compelling?

    What evidence do you think Joe Sixpack uses?

  7. on 08 Oct 2008 at 7:57 pm 7.SteveK said …

    “SteveK, What does that mean, and why do you find it compelling?”

    It means the nature of logic isn’t casually dependent on the nature of something else. It is immutable. I find this persuasive (not compelling) because it points toward a transcendent, eternal mind with the same nature.

    “What evidence do you think Joe Sixpack uses?”

    People give all kinds of examples. Some are persuasive, some are not. Such is life.

  8. on 09 Oct 2008 at 12:18 am 8.Hermes said …

    A typical Christian statement: “Just because there is no evidence for God, that does not mean that he doesn’t exist! You can’t prove a negative!”

    Jeepers, creepers, this isn’t a typical Christian statement at all. Figuratively, I bet you can count the number of Christians on one hand who think there is NO evidence for God. The search to find such odd people must be a long and arduous one.

    Well, from the forums the Christians who start out with saying there is evidence — usually “Look around you!” — end up with “you must have faith”. That is; evidence does not matter.

    So, the blog comment is correct for most Christians — they just don’t start there.

  9. on 09 Oct 2008 at 12:23 am 9.Hermes said …

    One piece of evidence that I find persuasive is the non-contingent nature of logic which governs reason.

    Abstractions don’t determine reality.

  10. on 09 Oct 2008 at 12:28 am 10.Hermes said …

    Dan, SEO is I am sure part of the intent. If you don’t put your name out there, fewer people will know about you at all. Consider the blurb to be an advertisement — on an add free blog.

  11. on 09 Oct 2008 at 11:50 am 11.something said …

    SteveK, I don’t get it. Math is immutable. It isn’t dependent on anything else. It is universal and timeless. But so what? 2 + 2 = 4. Big deal. 2+2=4 does not prove anything about God.

  12. on 09 Oct 2008 at 2:49 pm 12.SteveK said …

    “Abstractions don’t determine reality.”

    I agree. Our connection to extra-mental reality is made through these mental abstractions so we can’t discount them completely. Reality determines our mental abstractions.

  13. on 09 Oct 2008 at 3:04 pm 13.SteveK said …

    “Well, from the forums the Christians who start out with saying there is evidence — usually “Look around you!” — end up with “you must have faith”. That is; evidence does not matter.”

    Here’s how I look at it…belief of any kind is binary – you either believe (1) or you don’t (0). A tenative, or shaky belief is still a belief with a binary value of 1, however more faith is required to get to that position. That said, Christian faith IS applied to evidence (historical evidence being one example) that’s found to be persuasive, though not entirely compelling.

    The primary point of dispute in most discussions seems to be what constitues ‘valid evidence’ for some conclusion. An element of faith is involved there too – faith in the reliability of your own senses and the ability to reason to the proper conclusion – though most don’t think of it that way.

  14. on 09 Oct 2008 at 3:18 pm 14.SteveK said …

    “SteveK, I don’t get it. Math is immutable. It isn’t dependent on anything else. It is universal and timeless. But so what? 2 + 2 = 4. Big deal. 2+2=4 does not prove anything about God. “

    The tenents of math rely on logic so your example is contingent on my example being true. If logic is contingent on *anything* then it follows that there exists a time, a place, a situation – a whatever – where the law of non-contradiction doesn’t hold true. You can say this doesn’t prove anything – and you’re right, it doesn’t – but to accept that the law of non-contradiction doesn’t hold true somewhere *to me* is a reduction to the absurd (reductio ad absurdum).

  15. on 14 Oct 2008 at 5:15 am 15.god said …

    I exist and you cannot prove or disprove this! neener neener neener!

    never mind that I regress into infinitely or that no two people on earth can agree as to who or what I am. never mind that all religions contradict each other. or that the majority of people who believe in me commit violent acts in my name. please ignore the fact that wars are fought over who’s people are the copyright holder of me.
    oh, good luck guessing which one of the millions of religions is the one that is really the one I approve of, sucker! because if you *think* you’ve got it right and you get that warm, fuzzy feeling, well you know…. that could very well be the devil fooling you into believing in the wrong one simply to lure you into his web and eventually his eternal hell!
    I mean, how else would people all over the world be so CERTAIN that their religion was the right one?
    unfortunately for you, I’m the only one who knows the number of jelly beans in the cosmos. you silly fools. all you can do is guess, because there is hardly time in one lifetime to read a fraction of the religious texts of the world. and you know what happens if you get it wrong!
    I’ve always been a big fan of the lottery, you know…
    I’m loving that way. I abandon my children and then leave them to guess who their father is. why can’t humans seem to see what a great role model I am?

  16. on 14 Oct 2008 at 6:18 am 16.god said …

    oh and don’t you DARE comment on a single one of my typos because I’m infallible! it is simply the fingers of the man I inspired movement in that are errant. so zip it!

  17. on 14 Oct 2008 at 9:48 am 17.Mary said …

    “Prepare thyself, he who reads this, to tremble and sob before the Wonderful Words of The Lady Madonna, as written by The Blessed Virgin Mary herself!

    Shalom! Shalom everyone! It’s me, the Blessed Virgin Mary. I thought I’d take a break from appearing to you all in grilled cheese sandwiches and restaurant drains to give you my perspective on God.

    Now listen up bubbalas, you would think that being nailed by the Omnipotent Jehovah would have been the thrill of my life. Well I’m here to tell you, not so much. Oye. Truth be told, the whole immaculate conception experience was terribly overrated. …”

    http://stuffgodhates.com/?p=365

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