Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dear Mr Mellor

Below is an open letter sent to John Mellor, a faith healer from Australia:

Dear Mr Mellor,

If you can heal people, or if God somehow requires your intervention in people's lives to heal them, or by virtue of your ability to muster faith people are healed, I implore you to provide proof of the efficacy of your treatment, or desist.

The placebo effect is not enough to justify how much money is parted with by innocent people in the most desperate of conditions, not to mention the danger of those same people foregoing normal medical treatment to participate in your spiritual treatment.

Please visit and respond.


Ryan Hinshelwood

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tabula Rasa?

Each of us is not born a blank slate onto which knowledge is imprinted. The cultural and experiential knowledge we gain in our lives interacts with those parts of us which are inherent - our urges, our strengths and weaknesses, our genetic predispositions - to form the rich tapestry that we call our personalities. Some of these interactions are to our benefit, and some of them are decidedly not. Compare the fiction of Santa Claus, which kickstarts the process of long-term goal-oriented planning in children, with the fiction that a member of one race is somehow less human than a member of another.