Does Bieng Optimistic and religious help with Ilness(tuberculosis)?

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Code-Beta1234's picture
Does Bieng Optimistic and religious help with Ilness(tuberculosis)?

Hello.This os my first post here.I am a athiest for 2 years.But in last few weeks I am doubting my atheism.I am not native speaker,so my post will maybie be incopliete.Reading the title,you know what are we going to talk about.Here is a claim.It is not a creationist site.Here it goes:

Also,there is a persional story.My grandfather was form a small vilage in Europe.He tood stories of people with tuberculosis who got healed without any medical treatment.He didn't describe "stage" but he described people having problems walking,always coughting...They werent having good hygiene then.It was WW2 and Germans set a fire in one of houses.A litle 12-13 year (weak and light) boy got tuberculosis.He was biebg at other people's houses during rest of war.Some Ill people were taking cows and pigs at field to grase...Granpa (50) also got ill and recovered wothout any medicine.They were all relgious people...I dont know how many people died(willage was no more than 150-200) and it didn't lose much of population)

And there is another sotry,I will link it if I manage to get more information

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boomer47's picture
Welcome to the the forum,I

Welcome to the the forum,I hope you enjoy your time here.

Can faith and optimism cure illness, even infections and chronic diseases?

So far, I've never seen any credible evidence of such things . Unfortunately, the claims you have made are only that; claims . Such are called 'anecdotal evidence' and are not accepted in courts of law (or by me)

The history of Christianity and its saints are littered with such testimony from the faithful. I have never seen any credible evidence for any miracle anywhere. Shown me some proof that an amputated limb has regrown or a missing eye has been renewed and I will be thrilled to have a much closer look.

My favourite example of an unlikely miracle accepted by the Church and believers (after the resurrection, which takes the biscuit, imo) is that of the levitating saint Joseph of Cupertino:

"Saint Joseph of Cupertino, O.F.M. Conv. (Italian: Giuseppe da Copertino; 17 June 1603 – 18 September 1663) was an Italian Conventual Franciscan friar who is honored as a Christian mystic and saint. He was said to have been remarkably unclever, but prone to miraculous levitation and intense ecstatic visions that left him gaping.[1]:iii"

Mikhael's picture
We are only beginning to

We are only beginning to understand the mind body connection, psychosomatic illness, and the like.

There are things called conversion disorders, where the vodyd can trick itself into being paralyzed, blind, deaf, etc. A woman can believe she is pregnant and her body will mimic the signs of pregnancy.

Is it being religious that helped some people recover and not others? No, or else no non Christian would have ever recovered from tb, which is not the case. But if someone's faith creates in them calm, rest, and those around them have the same mentality, it can benefit the body and immune system.

Also, keep in mind that with recovery from severe illness, sudden remissions, etc, you are only going to hear about the stories being promoted with a reason, such as those "caused" by beliefe.

LogicFTW's picture


Look up the term "placebo effect" Or, use google translate, to translate that term to your native language, then look it up.

The power of suggestion and its effectiveness on people continues to astound me to this day.

David Killens's picture
Welcome to Atheist Republic

Welcome to Atheist Republic Code-Beta1234

First off, that article is from an English tabloid, thus it's accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The entire article only discussed optimism, there was zero mention of religion.

Yes, religion can add a positive note to a person, thus adding to the placebo effect. But please remember that religion also harms many people psychologically. They feel guilt, shame, and less than what they are just because religion told them. We will probably never get any hard data from any poll, but I do wonder how many people were "saved" by religion, an dhow many perished because of it. I am omitting wars and crime caused by religion, because that deals with millions of deaths.

As far as the tuberculosis story, the first question was: were they diagnosed by medical professionals and TB was definitely at play? For many people TB infection waxes and wanes. Those stories may be true, but what your grandfather only observed some people with TB who were in a slight recovery.

Tuberculosis was finally beaten back from being the massive killer by .. science. Science, not religion.

Now my little personal story. I am now 69 years old, and my days of perfect health are a distant memory. In the last ten years I have had to deal with some major health issues, I am aging. But despite that, I have a VERY positive outlook, all self-generated. because every day is wonderful to me, I have far less aches and pains as before, and I relish every moment.

Cognostic's picture
@Code-B: You Asked:

@Code-B: You Asked: "Does Being Optimistic and religious help with Illness (tuberculosis)? "

It depends. There is optimism and then there is delusion / denial and the belief that God will make it all turn out okay while the body rots away. People put their faith, (evidence for things not seen / proved / evidenced in all sorts of bullshit. Yes, it can help them cope. It can help them feel like they have some control or are doing something positive about their situation. The real question is this; "Is there any evidence at all that what they are doing is doing any good at all?" We know that prayer fails. A recent PEW study demonstrated this. In fact, it was shown that when cancer patients know that they are being prayed for, they do significantly worse.

Here is a study on heart bypass patients with the same results:

HOW DID YOUR GRANDFATHER DIAGNOSE TB? Just because someone is coughing does not mean they have TB. Our best medical evidence suggests that "Without treatment, 1/3 of patients with active tuberculosis die within 1 year of diagnosis, and more than 50% die during the first 5 years. With early diagnosis and optimal medical therapy, M. tuberculosis infections have a good prognosis."

The short answer is ---- There is no reason at all to believe your grandfather's claims without facts or evidence backing them up. Were they true, he might win a Nobel prize.,_complica...

RE: The headline of the Article you posted.
"Optimism can fend off cancer, heart disease and infection for EIGHT years. "
UTTER AND COMPLETE BULLSHIT! A positive attitude can do a whole lot of things but "fend off cancer" Where is the research? It can help people deal with their cancer. It can keep them exercising, eating right, going to treatment, and more. I seriously doubt that a positive attitude is going to "fend it off." Horseshit.

The study's most optimistic women had a nearly 30 per cent lower risk of death from major diseases than its least optimistic women.

What is the difference between people who are optimistic and those who are pessimistic?
Definition of optimist. : a person who is inclined to be hopeful and to expect good outcomes. This person is likely to be more active and take better care of themselves. They are less likely to worry about problems and more likely to do something about the problems they do have.

Pessimist: A person who tends to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen. This person has a "Why me?" attitude. Nothing ever works out for the good. Why bother trying? They are less likely to care for themselves, exercise or even eat right. After all, why bother, in the end we all die anyway.

OF COURSE OPTIMISTS ARE IN BETTER CONDITION. THAT JUST MAKES COMMON SENSE. Is that going to cure TB? HELL NO. Will a positive attitude help you to take your meds, seek treatment, follow the doctor's orders, exercise, make sure you get the rest you need, etc....... HELL YES!

Nyarlathotep's picture
David Killens - First off,

David Killens - First off, that article is from an English tabloid...

LOL, yeah that is where I stopped reading, when I saw dailymail in the URL.

Calilasseia's picture
Oh dear.

Oh dear.

Those of us with functioning brain cells in the UK, refer to this as the Scaly Mail, the Daily Hate Mail or the Daily Heil.

This tabloid has what can be described as a colourful history. A past owner openly expressed support for the Blackshirts on the front page of this organ, hired a Nazi spy as part of his entourage (none other than Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe, I might add, who herself had a history that was not so much colourful as outright psychedelic), and wrote fan letters to Adolf Hitler, including one urging him to invade Romania. Though of course, as part of the Establishment, he managed to escape the charges of treason that a less gilded mortal would have attracted via the same conduct.

More recently, this expensively printed toilet paper, has counted among its "contributors", the venomous little hate troll known as Katie Hopkins. She it was who openly espoused taking a machine gun to child refugees in the Mediterranean, and whose career has included ties with out and out fascists. Under the editorship of Paul Dacre, this pestilential publication became a beacon for the dissemination of xenophobia and outright racism.

When not indulging that favourite pastime, of whipping up hatred against foreigners, the assorted hacks working for this sleazy little pretence at a newspaper, have exhibited a tendency to indulge in assorted brands of woo. Another notable feature is their idolatrous fawning over the Royal Family, to the point where one is tempted to imagine some of them jizzing their pants every time Kate Middleton shows even the slightest hint that she's popping another privileged sprog. Though their treatment of Meghan Markle showed their true colours, and it would surprise no one familiar with the track record of said hacks, to imagine some of them experiencing an aneurysm upon discovering that Harry had chosen to marry a "darkie".

If this skidmark on the underpants of journalism ceased to exist tomorrow, the cheers that would emanate from sizeable sections of British society would be audible on Mars, though of course the Little Englander racists and Gammons would have to turn elsewhere for their daily dose of right-wing indoctrination.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cali

@ Cali

They would always have the Daily Express....

algebe's picture
@Calilasseia: this skidmark

@Calilasseia: this skidmark on the underpants of journalism

But it's also the only newspaper mentioned in a Beatles song.

boomer47's picture


Nice post.

On visiting the UK,Ii was dazzled by the number of print newspapers.

Here in South Australia we have ONE daily paper, owned by Murdoch, I think. I stopped buying the daily paper years ago. Today I rely on the public broadcasting channels, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) and SBS (Special Broadcasting service) a bit more rarified, proving news in foreign languages for example and often excellent foreign language series and films(dubbed).

If you have not seen it, I recommend this 'Yes Prime Minster ' clip on "Who reads the papers"

Mutorc S'yriah's picture
No doubt having a positive

No doubt having a positive attitude can help with overcoming illness. I also have no trouble accepting that being a religious believer can give certain individuals a positive attitude towards getting well. However, that does nothing to reassure me that anything spiritual, (whatever that is), or any god, had anything whatsoever to do with it. It's quite possible that it's ONLY the positive attitude which had the positive effect, and nothing else.

It might be more convincing, if religious conviction and prayer led to an amputee growing a new limb. As far as I know, that's never happened. I wonder why? Could it be that a positive attitude and~or~prayer can only help, where the usual medical treatments, or natural body defences (sans treatment regimes), can cure the malady anyway? I'd say yes to that.


Sheldon's picture


What you're describing is no more than a placebo effect, and how effective this can e is entirely subjective.

There is no objective evidence for any deity, or anything supernatural. So speculating that such beliefs produce a more optimistic or even beneficial mindset, even if it were true, doesn't remotely validate such beliefs.

David Killens's picture
@ Sheldon

@ Sheldon

"So speculating that such beliefs produce a more optimistic or even beneficial mindset"

And as we are all aware, religion also causes negative emotional conditions. Maybe religion can help some people through rough times, but it has driven people into deep depression, even suicide.

Sheldon's picture
David Killens " Maybe

David Killens " Maybe religion can help some people through rough times, but it has driven people into deep depression, even suicide."

Indeed so, and of course most established religions have a lot of pernicious baggage in the form of doctrine and dogma.

algebe's picture
Optimism helps with recovery

Optimism helps with recovery from illness, if for no other reason than the fact that optimistic people are more likely to persist with treatment regimes because they expect to get better. This is especially true for cancer sufferers. The treatment is long and fraught with side-effects. Patients need to be optimistic, and they need lots of encouragement from those around them. For some people, I suppose being prayed for as a part of a religious community might help. But really that's an insult to all the brilliance and heroic efforts behind modern medical science.

During plague outbreaks in Europe, large numbers of people crowded into churches to pray for divine help, share air heated by lots of candles, and swap the various interesting vermin that infested their bodies and clothing. Interestingly, religion is still a vector for disease, as shown by the spread of COVID-19 into South Korea.

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