September 13, 2007

Placebo Paradise

Posted in church, culture, mythology, philosophy, psychology of religion, theodicy at 8:51 am by Jerry

More dialogue with fellow blogger that makes me want to record some of the responses. Although, due to either technical difficulties or censoring, this response has yet to be published on Ryan’s blog… [Edit: It was in fact a technical difficulty. And I assumed censoring my comments was an option Ryan might consider (lumping him with others who have indeed blocked my comments). My apologies to Ryan.]


You said, “Affirming a strong connection between goodness and truth doesn’t change the fact that the world is not yet as it ought to be, nor is this affirmation invalidated, from my perspective, by specific instances where good results come through less than ideal means or sources.”

I think it has been a consistent characteristic within the history of humanity to want to know that the trouble in our lives will be resolved in the end and everybody (at least, everybody that ultimately matters) will live happily ever after.

And when an individual/community cannot find strength and hope in the present goodness of life, false hope (like a placebo of “illusion or the projection of human fantasies”) is a life saver, providing badly needed comfort and security.

These fantasies of salvation may require a lot of mythical/philosophical abstractions – which can be a great exercise for the mind – as Freud pointed out. Although, ideally, I think people should outgrow the need for a placebo. But until then, trying to reveal the placebo may be detrimental to their overall health. Perhaps, Freud knew this as well.

A pleasure as always,

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