View Active Topics          Latest 100 Topics          View Your Posts          Switch to Mobile

Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medicine

Discussions about Holistic Health and Alternative Medicine.

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby NormanD » 30 Oct 2011, 03:40

Arouet wrote:Because they make a profit? :)

Even though you're just a spammer, I'll answer the question: alternative medicine is "alternative" simply because they don't go through proper scietific testing prior to being administered to the public. I have no issue with Reiki, or Homeopathy, or acupuncture in principle. Just show that it works! And do so by using the same techniques that we use for every other medical practice. I don't care if it was discovered 1000 years ago or last week: just show that it works as intended, and is safe.


Spammer? Because I have an interest in Reiki and alternative medicine?

Let's look at the other side of the equation. How many times have wonder drugs, developed by the pharmaceutical companies just as you described (through proper scientific testing), ended up being withdrawn because of unforeseen complications after causing grave harm and death? Too often. Conventional medicine has become "big business" and care "best practices" are forcing doctors to over-prescribe in order to shelter themselves from lawsuits. I would suggest that the label alternative medicine is more because the drug companies and the regulators who make lots of money off them have every interest in down-playing the benefits.
User avatar
NormanD
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Oct 2011, 02:11






Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 30 Oct 2011, 04:31

Wow, shocker! No offence, but when you come into a forum make two short posts each with the same link in it, the presumption is that you are one of the endless stream of spammers who come in make one comment with a link to try and drive traffic to their site. Ninja clearly thought the same since your first two posts were deleted!

Ok, to answer your question: it is indeed true that sometimes conventional medications cause unforeseen consequences, and even cause harm. No doubt about it: when medications work, it's because they have an effect on your body. That's why we have a system in place designed to ensure that medications and treatments are safe. It's hardly perfect.

But I don't see how the fact that sometimes conventional medicine causes harm means that alternative medicine should not be tested? Why would we conclude that?

Re: big business: let me ask you: that site you linked to (it's gone now): was it for a for-profit site? I always find it funny to here alt-med proponents talk about big business. Hate to break it to you, but alt-med is also big business.

Re: the law: over prescribing as an effective avoider of lawsuits? Overprescribing causes overdoses. Not exactly desirable.

I have no conceptual problem with any alternative medicine: I only ask that it be put through the same kind of testing as conventional medicine. Of course, then it's no longer alternative - it's just medicine.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby craig weiler » 30 Oct 2011, 08:22

The objective of regulation of medicines is safety. Since many, if not most prescription medications have a lot of side effects, some of them very bad, they require testing to show that the positives outweigh the negatives. There is a substantial risk in using many of them.

Alternative medicines do not carry the same health risks and therefore do not require the same testing.

Alternative medicine spending per year: $34 billion, prescription medication: $227 billion. One market is almost seven times larger than the other. And prescription meds margins are higher. So they are making more money off of the drugs that they sell. That should put that argument in perspective.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 30 Oct 2011, 10:24

$34 billion a year and you don't consider that big business? You know its often the same companies produces both types of treatments right?

The reason many alternative medicines are not harmful is because they don't actually do anything in the body. Medications can be harmful because they are doing something. But the thing is, unless something is properly tested, you can't properly evaluate whether it is harmful or not. Herbal remedies can have interactions with conventional medications. Some people take alternative medications thinking they are effective and therefore neglect conventional medications - resulting in harm. Further: whether or not they are harmful, alternative medicines are often packaged in official looking trappings, and they make certain claims - without proper testing one has no idea whether those claims are justified.


I find it hard to believe you wouldn't advocate proper testing for alt med.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby NinjaPuppy » 30 Oct 2011, 22:30

Arouet wrote:Wow, shocker! No offence, but when you come into a forum make two short posts each with the same link in it, the presumption is that you are one of the endless stream of spammers who come in make one comment with a link to try and drive traffic to their site. Ninja clearly thought the same since your first two posts were deleted!

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. We've had a never ending stream of people who have been doing that exact thing. Usually I just delete the link and leave the post information but the last two weeks have been hell with this sort of thing and I had the flu so it was easier to hit the delete key than go thru the motions of moderating.

I blame the high fever (and my crappy attitude toward spam) for this temporary change in forum policy but I think everyone here has grown a little tired of wading through the eternal revolving door of 'one hit wonders'. Hopefully my current medical malady is heading toward the getting better stage and I will be back to eternally posting [link removed by Moderator] soon.
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby craig weiler » 30 Oct 2011, 23:40

Arouet,
Regarding the size of the businesses: I believe that I pointed out that the prescription business is disproportionately larger and that the profit margins are higher. Drug companies will defend their most profitable businesses while hedging their bets. Duh?

You are making a claim that alternative medicines do no good. You cannot possibly prove your claim. Because you cannot prove that, the rest of your argument falls apart.

If you want to make an accurate statement it will go something like this: "Alternative medicines, by and large, have not undergone extensive testing and therefore their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven to my satisfaction."

I never said I don't advocate testing, I merely said that regulations are for safety. Since most alternative meds are safe, they do not need to be regulated. The harm you're describing is so infrequent as to be irrelevant. You can just about count the number of documented cases on one hand.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby ProfWag » 31 Oct 2011, 00:30

Arouet wrote: Some people take alternative medications thinking they are effective and therefore neglect conventional medications - resulting in harm.

craig weiler wrote: Since most alternative meds are safe, they do not need to be regulated. The harm you're describing is so infrequent as to be irrelevant. You can just about count the number of documented cases on one hand.


I'm sorry CW, but I think I must disagree with you on this statement. Here are eight cases where a life could potentially have been saved or at least prolonged if they did not put their faith in alt-med:

Steve Jobs
Peter Sellers
Warren Harding
Bob Marley
Steve Bechler
Doug Henning
Coretta Scott King
Sarah Parkinson

These are famous people that number more than the fingers on my hand. Imagine how many more there are that we've never heard of...
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2011, 00:49

craig weiler wrote:You are making a claim that alternative medicines do no good. You cannot possibly prove your claim. Because you cannot prove that, the rest of your argument falls apart.


I am really starting to wonder whether you actually read the posts that you respond to. At best you can be doing no more than the most cursory skim. Please point me to a post where I said anything on the lines of alternative medicines do no good? Some surely don't, some probably do. My comments are about properly testing the claims. ]

If you want to make an accurate statement it will go something like this: "Alternative medicines, by and large, have not undergone extensive testing and therefore their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven to my satisfaction."


That's a pretty good paraphrase of exactly what I wrote.

I never said I don't advocate testing, I merely said that regulations are for safety. Since most alternative meds are safe, they do not need to be regulated.

We regulate for more than just safety. But you're begging the question: how does one know whether these herbs are safe, for example, without proper testing?

The harm you're describing is so infrequent as to be irrelevant. You can just about count the number of documented cases on one hand.


You don't think there should be regulation to ensure that these procedures do what they claim? People hear about these treatments and just assume that they are safe and effective. They spend a lot of money on them ($34 billion according to your stats).

Anyhow, you're barely going to read what I wrote so not sure what the point is in continuing to deal with your straw men.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby craig weiler » 31 Oct 2011, 03:09

craig weiler wrote:You are making a claim that alternative medicines do no good. You cannot possibly prove your claim. Because you cannot prove that, the rest of your argument falls apart.




I am really starting to wonder whether you actually read the posts that you respond to. At best you can be doing no more than the most cursory skim. Please point me to a post where I said anything on the lines of alternative medicines do no good? Some surely don't, some probably do. My comments are about properly testing the claims. ]

If you want to make an accurate statement it will go something like this: "Alternative medicines, by and large, have not undergone extensive testing and therefore their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven to my satisfaction."



That's a pretty good paraphrase of exactly what I wrote.


You wrote:
The reason many alternative medicines are not harmful is because they don't actually do anything in the body.


I fail to see my error.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2011, 03:26

You missed the word "many", and ignored my other posts saying that I had no problem with alternative medicines so long as they were properly tested. You reduced my comments to writing off any alternative medicine a priori.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby craig weiler » 31 Oct 2011, 05:51

Prove that many alternative medicines don't do anything.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2011, 07:22

Actually, the trick is to demonstrate that they actually DO something!
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby craig weiler » 31 Oct 2011, 09:28

No. You are claiming that many alternative medicines don't do anything. That is a claim. That's why I reject it. It's my opinion that you're not paying enough attention to the inaccuracy of your statement.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2011, 10:03

Yes: the entire wall of homeopathic "medicines" at my local pharmacy don't do anything - well at least not anything that they claim, the homeopathic cough medicine my wife bought would probably have some hydrating effect I imagine. The reason being that there is not enough active ingredient in them to affect the body. Along with the fact that these treatments have not passed scientific scrutiny we can assume that they are ineffective.

Now, of course there is a possibility that there is something about them that is actually effective. I'd say we should get into this topic but I know how you don't like discussing issues in depth.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby craig weiler » 31 Oct 2011, 11:40

You cannot possibly substantiate your claim that homeopathic medicine doesn't do anything. You are blowing smoke.

You are making statements that are purely opinion. This is why I don't discuss anything with you at length. What's the point if you can't tell the difference between your opinions and actual facts?
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

PreviousNext

Return to Holistic Health / Alternative Medicine

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest