Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Millionaire worth one penny

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, London reported on Professor Michael King's research on measurement of Religious and Spiritual Beliefs by saying: "He suggested that one could measure the strength of belief without knowing of its content". A bit like saying you can have one penny but if you believe that it means you are a millionaire it is OK to do so. It is the strength of that belief that is measured but you do not need to know even that. In fact, as we find out from the article, you can live the life without knowing anything which is paradoxical if you are doing research i.e. living as a researcher. Perhaps, the purpose of research is not so much to find out but just to say you believe you did. The next step with these results is to let politicians use it as evidence for the policy of pushing religion into clinical care (much cheaper than training scientists). Further Professor Michael King of The Royal Free Hospital is quoted as saying that philosophy and religion meet full circle, but later on we learn that he had to discard philosophical elements of his research as it was chaotic; "The philosophical questions were also reliable but more chaotic in affiliations and have now been dropped". Oops! When I was at school as a little girl I learned that logic has something to do with philosophy. It also has something to do with research. However, when not convenient it is discarded on daily basis by human beings. I went to The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine. It brings different memories for me: of proper research in the department of psychiatry. Religion and spirituality can be studied using scientific methods like anything else. There is no point doing something reliably if it is not valid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No idea what the Royal College are doing. Bunch of God Squad leaders - they obviously read the bible for convenience and then end up in confession when they snitch on their fellow colleagues.

Double standards at the RCPSych all the way. Anyway, they won't exist soon as the Scientologists are coming to get them.