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The problem of 'or'Edit
What the source says: "we find remarkable agreement among virtually all philosophers and scientists that fields like...faith healing...are either pseudosciences or at least lack the epistemic warrant to be taken seriously."
What the Wikipedia article says: "Virtually all scientists and philosophers dismiss faith healing as pseudoscience."
One of these things is not like the other. We simply cannot take a source that says faith healing is either red or blue, and then use it to support a statement that it's red, red, red! Doing so would be a violation of WP:NOR.
How can we re-write this to accurately reflect the cited source? ("Lacking an epistemic warrant" means something approximately like "no reasonable person would expect that to work".) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:38, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- That is one of the several sources cited. Jytdog (talk) 15:43, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- (edit conflict) It currently reflects the source accurately as we reached consensus on earlier. In short, it would be WP:UNDUE and violate OR as you mention to claim the source source is making an excluding either or statement rather than a complimentary one. There's a lot of text to sort through on the talk page, but the idea you're bringing up here never really gained any traction and would contradict the source, sources the source cites, and sources that cite the source. Kingofaces43 (talk) 15:48, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- This is a bit off topic, and I am not suggesting any change to the article, but I believe that there is a special case where faith healing is not, technically, pseudoscience -- the curing of completely imaginary ailments. Let me draw an analogy.
- "These magic beans will protect you from being attacked by weasels" would be pseudoscience, because one could do a controlled experiment to demonstrate or fail to demonstrate the alleged benefit of the beans.
- "These magic beans will protect you from being attacked by unicorns" cannot be tested. In a sense, the unicorn bullshit cancels the magic beans bullshit, leaving nothing. It is also interesting that, as worded, the statement about weasel protection is false and the statement about the unicorn protection is technically true, as is the statement "eating tacos will protect you from being attacked by unicorns".
- Again just a philosophical digression. The article is fine the way it ... AAAAARGH!! (Hi! this is Guy's wife. Sorry about this but he couldn't finish writing the above due to an unfortunate unicorn attack. I told him to buy the magic beans...) --Guy Macon's Wife (talk) 16:35, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- You can build an experiment on both, although only one is falsifiable. However, if in the second case, they reported merely that no participants were attacked by unicorns, as if that verifies the effectiveness of the beans, then that's pseudoscience, because the meaningful result is that (obviously) there would be no difference in the rate of unicorn attacks between the experimental group and the control group, since both would presumably be at zero. I don't know why you would do that experiment, but you can still test the question in a way that is methodologically sound...if objectively silly and pointless. GMGtalk 17:05, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- "These magic beans will protect you from being attacked by weasels" is not pseudoscience. It's nonsense, and it's demonstrably wrong, but it's not pseudoscience. Something can't be pseudoscience when nobody even pretends that it's scientific in the first place. (Note that I'm assuming here that Guy's Magic Beans™ isn't a trade name for predator urine pellets.)
- Now, if you'd written, "I have followed accepted scientific methods and standards to develop these beans, which will protect you against weasel attacks because of their quantum resonance with the weasel's nervous system" – that is pure pseudoscience. Merely claiming that something is magical isn't sufficient. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:29, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- Well yeah, my imaginary example assumes imaginary proponents who publish sciency-looking material on websites that make claims like that. It isn't fair to criticize a made-up example for not having a sufficient number of real-life batshit supporters claiming that it is science. We have all seen far sillier claims than my example with boatloads of those sort of proponents and multiple websites that full of "research papers". In world full of "shroud researchers", "bigfoot hunters" and "perpetual motion inventors" are magic bean researchers really that implausible? --Guy Macon (talk) 17:45, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- Kingofaces43, I'm not sure that this sentence accurately implements the results of the discussion above. What is it about "either...or" that makes you think it should be interpreted as "both...and"?
- (I think that Jytdog's addition is appropriate, but it doesn't directly address the problem of quoting a sentence that says "either...or" while ignoring the "or". There are, after all, quite a number of philosophers quoted elsewhere on this page and in the archives who explicitly say that it's not pseudoscience, on the grounds that it doesn't pretend to be any kind of science at all. Presumably those sources are the ones that fall into the "or" half of the quotes "either...or" statement). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:34, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
- The discussion ended after I asked for what I thought was a much more than fair and reasonable compromise, which was initially agreed but then not followed through (thus consensus was never established from my perspective) because it was claimed that the source did not mean what the source said; I just gave up at that point as it was a rerun of the argument about the source before that not meaning what it said, and the source before that not meaning what it said, etc. With a couple of people using the same argument that sources don't mean what they say and accusing me of engaging in original research for wanting to summarise sources per what they actually say, I just gave up. Although a fun debate at the start, the article subject was not important enough to me to justify the large amount of time it was eventually exhausting me of. Really WAID the only solution, sadly, is to have another RfC, this time about interpretation and application of sources, or else just accept that the sources have been misused and move on to other things. There is no way of gaining consensus when people don't reply to you.--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 00:10, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
It should be made clear that this is entirely a topic of modern American Protestantism, it is disingenious to try to connect this with Roman Catholicism, let alone healing magic in a comparative sense. An article about healing charms in anthropology or comparative religious studies would be set out completely differently, it would describe the intimate connection of religious ritual and healing magic since the Bronze Age, and stretching back into prehistory, and treat the American phenomenon as a section under "modern history". This would be a valid topic, but it would be a different article, not entitled "faith healing".
Informed criticism or examination of "faith healing" should obviously be aware that this is just a culture-specific expression of a human universal. If your "criticism" is too naive to treat the phenomenon in this light, it may just be advisable to look for a better reference. It is still fair to scientifically test falsifiable claims made by proponents, of course, but it is naive to think that the phenomenon is exhausted by disproving a bunch of falsifiable claims. The interest in the topic is not in the claims made by proponents, but in their actions. Nobody tries to cover, idk, African witchcraft in terms of trying to do a bunch of studies disproving claims made by random African witches, that's not where the interest lies. The interest is in the fact that this is an ineradicable part of human behavior in spite of the absence of any measurable effect under double-blind laboratory conditions (the entire point being, of course, that the exercise only has meaning where participants aren't double-blinded but actively communicating whatever collective group phenomena are conjured up by these things).
tldr, "faith healing" is an American Protestant phenomenon, and you should leave Catholic intercession of saints or Bronze Age healing magic out of it unless you want to write an entirely different article. --dab (𒁳) 11:07, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- The problem with the above is that you are simply asserting "The scope of this article is X" without giving us any particular reason other than your "disingenious"[sic] insult. That doesn't mean you are wrong, but unless you give some explanation other than "I don't like it" or "obviously" for why your preferred scope should be used, we can't discuss the merits of your proposal. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:38, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Christian Science practitioner merge in Faith healingEdit
My impression is that the other article is about the same topic as this one but has weight issues. Most of its important material could easily be merged in the existing section of this article about the same topic. There's also of course the eternal "christian science" issue (which claims to be science but is not), so if not merged perhaps a rename discussion would result (i.e. "Christian science (faith healing)"). Input welcome, —PaleoNeonate – 23:52, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
- No, I do not support this proposal. Since it is about a narrow aspect of the Christian Science subject, it should either be merged into Christian Science article or deleted or left as it is. We already mention Christian Science in this article and I feel it would be WP:UNDUE to merge into this article. I suspect it was originally forked out of the Christian Science article when a section got too big.--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 17:34, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
Proposed removal of "Religious Text Primary" tag from "New Testament" sectionEdit
I propose removing the "Religious Text Primary" tag from the "New Testament" section on the grounds that the section does not currently do anything that the related policy is intended to prevent.
If someone wrote in a Wikipedia article that "The world was created by the Dao giving birth to the One, which gave birth to the Two, which gave birth to the Three, which created the universe" and cited chapter 42 of the Daodejing as the source for that claim, then of course the "Religious Text Primary" tag would apply to that, because there are much more reliable scientific, secondary, sources that give other explanations of how the universe came into existence.
However, if someone wrote, "The Daoist text Daodejing states that the world was created...(etc.)," then the tag would not apply, because it is an objective fact, undeniable by anyone of any religion or no religion, that the Daodejing does actually state that claim about the origin of the universe. It is no more controversial than saying "Mark Twain wrote such-and-such" and citing one of his novels as the source to support that claim. No religious belief of any kind is necessary to accept either the claim about the Daodejing or the claim about Mark Twain.
The claims about the Christian scriptures that are made in this section appear to be of that second type. The current wording of the article doesn't say that "Jesus supernaturally healed someone"; the claims are that "the New Testament says such-and-such," a literary (not religious or scientific) claim that can be accepted by any person of any faith or none. Therefore the tag in question would seem not to be appropriate. Bruce Tindall (talk) 18:38, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
"miracles for sale"Edit
I was considering removing the section on "Miracles for Sale" as it doesn't seem to add that much to the article and seems somewhat irrelevant? It definitely would belong in a different section if we were to keep it, perhaps merged into "Fraud." There's not enough there to warrant its own section. OrangeYoshi99 (talk) 17:14, 30 April 2019 (UTC)