Are vaccinations bad? And homeopathy.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 12:21
powertotheimagination wrote:
Can you show some evidence to show that all of homopathy dosent work

you're not a fan of logic then? asking people to prove a negative and all that. OK you prove you're not a witch with all your homeopathic sorcery, or we'll stick you on the ducking stool wink

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Nov 27 2006 12:23
Thora wrote:
If something helps someone, I don't think it particularly matters whether it is 'scientifically proven' or not.

You can say that when thankfully the voodoo medicine types are small and marginalised, but as the "alternative" medicine industry gets bigger it's going to start draining more and more money from desperate people, and the NHS. Stopping people and taking resources away from treatments that actually work.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 12:26

Grace: the thing is, yes at any given some time effective treatments will be as-yet-unproven and so considered 'alternative'. but homeopathy has been extensively researched and last time we had this debate it's supporters couldn't offer up much (or any?) empirical support. glad you got better though, and of course theres all sorts of medico-patriarchal knowledge-power bullshit that goes on with doctors, i've heard lots about it (anecdotes wink), which doesn't however invalidate evidence-based healthcare itself.

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 12:27
John. wrote:
Thora wrote:
If something helps someone, I don't think it particularly matters whether it is 'scientifically proven' or not.

You can say that when thankfully the voodoo medicine types are small and marginalised, but as the "alternative" medicine industry gets bigger it's going to start draining more and more money from desperate people, and the NHS. Stopping people and taking resources away from treatments that actually work.

Homeopathy actually worked for Grace and powertotheimagination though.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 12:27
John. wrote:
Thora wrote:
If something helps someone, I don't think it particularly matters whether it is 'scientifically proven' or not.

You can say that when thankfully the voodoo medicine types are small and marginalised, but as the "alternative" medicine industry gets bigger it's going to start draining more and more money from desperate people, and the NHS.

I think you have a point here. One of the main benefits (and if you don't believe that the substances themselves 'work', the only benefit), as I say, is the fact of having a more personal treatment, and once it becomes a large 'industry' it can only become more clinical and detatched, which is of course the main problem with conventional medicine.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 12:28

it's depressing but there seems a clear gender divide on the issue of empirical evidence vs anecdotal evidence sad

i'm going to lunch neutral

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 12:30
Joseph K. wrote:
Grace: the thing is, yes at any given some time effective treatments will be as-yet-unproven and so considered 'alternative'. but homeopathy has been extensively researched and last time we had this debate it's supporters couldn't offer up much (or any?) empirical support. glad you got better though, and of course theres all sorts of medico-patriarchal knowledge-power bullshit that goes on with doctors, i've heard lots about it (anecdotes wink), which doesn't however invalidate evidence-based healthcare itself.

I'm not suggesting "evidence-based" healthcare is invalid, but I do think that there are a lot of things science can't explain.

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:30
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you're not a fan of logic then?

Not your sort.

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asking people to prove a negative and all that. OK you prove you're not a witch with all your homeopathic sorcery, or we'll stick you on the ducking stool

If John wants to say all hompathy is a lie/rubbish/BS/stupid etc thats fine, he can also say we were created in a day by flying monsters from Mars but at least show some solid evidence to back it up. If I said all conventional medicine is rubbish then you would expect me to back this comment up. Thats my sort of logic.

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Nov 27 2006 12:34
powertotheimagination wrote:
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Power, you ever heard the saying "The plural of anecdote is not data"?

No, but I work on what I have close experience of.

Do you think that's how the health service should be run?

"Well we could give him a heart transplant, but you know my mate had this last year. He just rubbed meat on it and buried it in the garden - it cleared right up"

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At its root though homopathy [sic ] is not valid, it does not work

Can you show some evidence to show that all of homopathy dosent work, dismissing a very large field out of hand is, well as you would say, stupid.

Er, no it's not "stupid", because it's true. Firstly, the burden of proof for medical treatments is on the person saying they work - if you were supporting trepanning you couldn't demand me to prove it doesn't work. This is homeopathy (wikipedia):

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Homeopathy rests on the premise of treating sick persons with extremely diluted agents that - in undiluted doses - are deemed to produce similar symptoms in a healthy individual.

This article is a short review of lots of reviews of homeopathy, including meta-analytic studies - which are studies of large numbers of studies. They all show pretty much no benefits, and the ones which did show benefits were shown to be flawed studies

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We all know there are dodgy homopathic practiciners, dodgy 'miracle' cures and such, but why should this be the tester for the whole homopathic field? You wouldnt dismiss the whole conventional medical field by a few dodgy drug reactions or dead surgery patients, or would you?

yes but most conventional medicine is shown to work in practice, no homeopathy is field. The entire field is based on lies. You would think that this would be obvious since it is based on giving people water as a treatment.

Do you actually think pure water is going to cure anything? (apart from thirstiness?)

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The dilution factor at each stage is traditionally 1:10 ('D' or 'X' potencies) or 1:100 ('C' potencies). Hahnemann advocated 30C dilutions for most purposes, i.e. dilution by a factor of 10030 = 1060. As Avogadro's number is only 6.02 × 1023 particles/mole, the chance of any molecule of the original substance being present in a 15C solution is small, and it is extremely unlikely that one molecule of the original solution would be present in a 30C dilution. For a perspective on these numbers, there are in the order of 1032 molecules of water in an Olympic size swimming pool; to expect to get one molecule of a 15C solution, one would need to take 1% of the volume of such a pool, or roughly 25 metric tons of water. Thus, even homeopathic remedies of a high "potency" contain, with overwhelming probability, only water. Practitioners of homeopathy believe that this water retains some 'essential property' of one of the substances that it has contacted in the past.

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:34
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Stopping people and taking resources away from treatments that actually work.

I find that really patronising. So it didnt work for the people I have examples of, it didnt work for Grace, it didnt work for me?

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:37
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Do you actually think pure water is going to cure anything? (apart from thirstiness?)

No it wont cure anything. Neither will many other alternative forms of medicine such as tuning into earth vibes or eating dangerous foods.

I should of been more clear as to what I was discussing, I mean homopathy from herbs, flowers, roots etc and also evalutation of peoples homes/lifestyles to try to eradicate the causes of many illnesses and discomfort, such as allergies.

But i'm not nieve enough to transplant the fact that some of the stuff that passes for homopathy and some of the people that pass for homopathic practicioners is rubbish to all homopathy, just as I wont pass the fact that there are some really crappy GPs out there to the whole field of conventional medicine.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 12:38
Joseph K. wrote:
Grace: the thing is, yes at any given some time effective treatments will be as-yet-unproven and so considered 'alternative'. but homeopathy has been extensively researched and last time we had this debate it's supporters couldn't offer up much (or any?) empirical support. glad you got better though, and of course theres all sorts of medico-patriarchal knowledge-power bullshit that goes on with doctors, i've heard lots about it (anecdotes wink), which doesn't however invalidate evidence-based healthcare itself.

It depends what you mean by empirical support. I assume you mean conventional clinical tests, tissue samples, animal-based research and so on. That's fair enough, that has its place and has certainly been very effective in many cases; I'm not going to try and argue with you on this point because not only do I think that clinical trials are valuable but I personally have no knowledge of the tests that have been conducted on homeopathic remedies and methods. But I think dismissing anecdotal evidence of people actually getting better or not (in the case of both 'alternative' and conventional treatments, both work in some cases and don't in others) is quite unproductive. The real proof, I think, comes ultimately not from an isolated piece of tissue in a test tube or a rat in a cage, but from the effect that a treatment has on a whole person who is ill, and as such I don't think it's possible to create a binary of "conventional = good, alternative = bad" or indeed vice versa. I'd never advise someone to totally distrust conventional medicine, because it is in many cases the only effective solution (I wouldn't let a crystal therapist remove my tonsils, for example), but equally I'd advise against having a closed mind in the other direction since alternative therapies can often cite real anecdotal evidence of people getting better as a result, (whether that's due to placebo or otherwise) and as I said before, surely that's the main objective?

Disclaimer - I do think the money aspect of alternative medicine is shite and do recognise that vulnerable people can be manipulated into spending too much by unscrupulous practitioners, but I'm talking about the efficacy or otherwise of the methods themselves.

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Nov 27 2006 12:42
Thora wrote:
Homeopathy actually worked for Grace and powertotheimagination though.

No it didn't. You think that power's back problems were solved by someone giving her water, really?

Anecdotes don't work because there's no control. You can't know if it was the water they were given, the placebo effect, that the problem just got better on its own, that the homeopath gave them some good advice, that they changed the thing that caused the problem, etc.

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:44
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No it didn't. You think that power's back problems were solved by someone giving her water, really?

Yes it did (its like a bloody panto). And it didnt involve water either, except for the small water dispenser in their office, if you want to count that.

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Anecdotes don't work because there's no control

So I take it your against vivisection then? There is exceedingly little full control over any animal tests, and even room temperature can affect results, along with stress, sex and age.

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You can't know if it was the water they were given

John come on, its not all about water roll eyes

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Nov 27 2006 12:46
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I find that really patronising.

But you don't find it patronising that you're attempting to use anecdotal evidence to supercede that of peer-reviewed testing of thousands of people in controlled conditions by (in at least some cases) neutral parties?

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 12:47
John. wrote:
Thora wrote:
Homeopathy actually worked for Grace and powertotheimagination though.

No it didn't. You think that power's back problems were solved by someone giving her water, really?

Anecdotes don't work because there's no control. You can't know if it was the water they were given, the placebo effect, that the problem just got better on its own, that the homeopath gave them some good advice, that they changed the thing that caused the problem, etc.

So I'm still ill?

Not that I don't question the scientific validity of homeopathy; I certainly do, but I also think that at some point you need to get your head out of the detatched, theoretical mindset you appear to be locked in and actually acknowledge what happens to real people because you just cannot make such sweeping generalisations.

Materialism or ideology, comrade?

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Nov 27 2006 12:47
powertotheimagination wrote:
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No it didn't. You think that power's back problems were solved by someone giving her water, really?

Yes it did (its like a bloody panto). And it didnt involve water either, except for the small water dispenser in their office, if you want to count that.

Did you get given homeopathic liquid remedy? Because that stuff is just water, and it doesn't do anything.

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Do you actually think pure water is going to cure anything? (apart from thirstiness?)

No it wont cure anything. Neither will many other alternative forms of medicine such as tuning into earth vibes or eating dangerous foods.

Right, well maybe there's no real disagreement then. But you know that's what homeopathy actually is right? The whole "treating like with like" thing and the super-diluted potions right?

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I should of been more clear as to what I was discussing, I mean homopathy from herbs, flowers, roots etc and also evalutation of peoples homes/lifestyles to try to eradicate the causes of many illnesses and discomfort, such as allergies.

That latter stuff is of course good, and the former is too if there's evidence that it works.

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:47
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But you don't find it patronising that you're attempting to use anecdotal evidence to supercede that of peer-reviewed testing of thousands of people in controlled conditions by (in at least some cases) neutral parties?

No, because im not refuting in any way, shape or form the support for conventional medicine in treating peoples illnesses, im merely saying that to refute my own experience, and the experience of others close to me, solely because we were helped by homopathy is patronising.

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 12:49
Grace wrote:
It depends what you mean by empirical support. I assume you mean conventional clinical tests, tissue samples, animal-based research and so on. That's fair enough, that has its place and has certainly been very effective in many cases; I'm not going to try and argue with you on this point because not only do I think that clinical trials are valuable but I personally have no knowledge of the tests that have been conducted on homeopathic remedies and methods. But I think dismissing anecdotal evidence of people actually getting better or not (in the case of both 'alternative' and conventional treatments, both work in some cases and don't in others) is quite unproductive. The real proof, I think, comes ultimately not from an isolated piece of tissue in a test tube or a rat in a cage, but from the effect that a treatment has on a whole person who is ill, and as such I don't think it's possible to create a binary of "conventional = good, alternative = bad" or indeed vice versa. I'd never advise someone to totally distrust conventional medicine, because it is in many cases the only effective solution (I wouldn't let a crystal therapist remove my tonsils, for example), but equally I'd advise against having a closed mind in the other direction since alternative therapies can often cite real anecdotal evidence of people getting better as a result, (whether that's due to placebo or otherwise) and as I said before, surely that's the main objective?

Disclaimer - I do think the money aspect of alternative medicine is shite and do recognise that vulnerable people can be manipulated into spending too much by unscrupulous practitioners, but I'm talking about the efficacy or otherwise of the methods themselves.

I totally agree with all of this, I think Grace has put it very well.

John - they believe it worked for them, so who am I to disagree? I'm pretty sure they know their own bodies better than I do.

powertotheimagi...
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Nov 27 2006 12:50
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Did you get given homeopathic liquid remedy? Because that stuff is just water, and it doesn't do anything

No it wasen't liquid. If you want to I can contact her and get the ingredients (she makes alot of them herself).

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Right, well maybe there's no real disagreement then. But you know that's what homeopathy actually is right? The whole "treating like with like" thing and the super-diluted potions right?

Homopathy is just a cover all term, like conventional medicine, I use it to mean lots of things, from eating horse balls to using herbs/roots etc to help your health with a practioner.

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Nov 27 2006 12:52
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I'm pretty sure they know their own bodies better than I do.

I'm always pretty sceptical of that, particularly as lots of people die because they don't know their own bodies very well (eg. not recognising meningitis symptoms). There are also lots of cases of people doing themselves damage because they think they're cured of something when actually they've just convinced themselves of a fallacy - I've done this myself, thinking my broken arm is fine now when actually it's still knitting together.

Please note, that's not to say Grace is still ill.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 12:53
powertotheimagination wrote:
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Right, well maybe there's no real disagreement then. But you know that's what homeopathy actually is right? The whole "treating like with like" thing and the super-diluted potions right?

Homeopathy is just a cover all term, like conventional medicine, I use it to mean lots of things, from eating horse balls to using herbs/roots etc to help your health with a practioner.

Actually, it's not. Homeopathy is a highly specific branch of the umbrella term 'complementary therapy' or 'alternative medicine' - this ranges from herbs to pills to acupuncture to stone therapies and so on. Not that it matters really, just me being a pedant and trying to clarify what we're actually talking about.

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Nov 27 2006 12:53
powertotheimagination wrote:
Homopathy is just a cover all term, like conventional medicine, I use it to mean lots of things, from eating horse balls to using herbs/roots etc to help your health with a practioner.

Ah well there were are - you're using the wrong word. Homeopathy is this:

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Homeopathy (also spelled homœopathy or homoeopathy) from the Greek words όμοιος, hómoios (similar) and πάθος, páthos (suffering)[1], is a form of alternative medicine that attempts to treat "like with like." The term "homeopathy" was coined by the German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) and first appeared in print in 1807,[2] although he had previously outlined his axiom of medical similars in a series of articles and monographs commencing in 1796.[3]

Homeopathy rests on the premise of treating sick persons with extremely diluted agents that - in undiluted doses - are deemed to produce similar symptoms in a healthy individual. Its adherents and practitioners assert that the therapeutic potency of a remedy can be increased by serial dilution of the drug, combined with succussion or vigorous shaking. In common with conventional medicine, homeopathy regards diseases as morbid derangements of the organism.[4] However, homeopathy states that instances of disease in different people differ fundamentally.[5] Homeopathy views a sick person as having a dynamic disturbance in a hypothetical "vital force," and so rejects the standard medical diagnoses of named diseases.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy
And it's bullshit.

If you've had a look at that, do you view my posts differently now?

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 12:54
Saii wrote:
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I find that really patronising.

But you don't find it patronising that you're attempting to use anecdotal evidence to supercede that of peer-reviewed testing of thousands of people in controlled conditions by (in at least some cases) neutral parties?

Is there not room for both though - why does it have to be either/or? I can accept a lot of science is valid, while still recognising that alternative therapies help people too.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 13:00
Joseph K. wrote:
it's depressing but there seems a clear gender divide on the issue of empirical evidence vs anecdotal evidence :(

Thing is, none of 'us' have dismissed empirical evidence at all.

So what is this divide?

men = rational, women = irrational ?

men = staunch and conventional, women = open minded ?

men = stuck in journals and articles, women = observe the real world ?

men = blindly believe what science tells them, women = think for themselves ?

men = know the facts, women = blindly believe what hippies tell them ?

or is it just women = stupid liars ?

[/devil's advocate] wink

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 13:04
Saii wrote:
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I'm pretty sure they know their own bodies better than I do.

I'm always pretty sceptical of that, particularly as lots of people die because they don't know their own bodies very well (eg. not recognising meningitis symptoms). There are also lots of cases of people doing themselves damage because they think they're cured of something when actually they've just convinced themselves of a fallacy - I've done this myself, thinking my broken arm is fine now when actually it's still knitting together.

Please note, that's not to say Grace is still ill.

Well, when I had meningitis, I KNEW I was really, really seriously ill and that something was very wrong with me, but my GP examined me and told I was fine, had flu at worst, and should go home and take some paracetamol. Luckily I don't have blind faith in doctors, and trusted my body enough not to let it go and instead went to casualty.

One of the criticisms I have of conventional/science-based medicine is that it takes away our ability to listen to what our bodies tell us, we should just trust in god - sorry, I mean doctors - instead.

Now, that's not to say I think conventional medicine is invalid.

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Nov 27 2006 13:07
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Is there not room for both though

The premis of talking about homeopathy was it's problem with vaccination.

TBH I have very little interest in alternative medicines as they stand but whatever anyone else wants to do is fine by me and if it's offered to me by someone I trust (ie. sensible with a great deal of experience) then fair enough I might have a go at it.

However I have absolutely no truck with with non-medical people using personal experiences to try and 'prove' their efficiacy, in the same way as I'd have no truck with someone who'd taken an easyjet to spain once flying a plane.

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Rob Ray
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Nov 27 2006 13:11

There is a qualitative difference between a poor doctor fucking up and a peer-reviewed scientific study, which is what we're talking about here.

edit: Also, your example doesn't invalidate my point. All it says is that you should listen when you're in pain and go to more doctors, not less. You didn't try and cure yourself of meningitis, you went to a different doctor (in casualty).

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Nov 27 2006 13:13
Thora wrote:
Is there not room for both though - why does it have to be either/or? I can accept a lot of science is valid, while still recognising that alternative therapies help people too.

Lots of religious nuts claim Christian faith healers cured them. As you seem to not be able to see any problems in abstract in society as a whole, how about if it was a member of your family who didn't have much money, and was really ill. They didn't have much money, but they believed that maybe a faith healer could help them. So they re-mortgage their house, or go further into debt so they can pay them. Do you think this would be a good thing? If not why not? Because there's no evidence (only anecdotes) that it works?

In that case, why is one unproven method (faith) better than another (water)?

Thora
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Nov 27 2006 13:21
John. wrote:
Thora wrote:
Is there not room for both though - why does it have to be either/or? I can accept a lot of science is valid, while still recognising that alternative therapies help people too.

Lots of religious nuts claim Christian faith healers cured them. As you seem to not be able to see any problems in abstract in society as a whole, how about if it was a member of your family who didn't have much money, and was really ill. They didn't have much money, but they believed that maybe a faith healer could help them. So they re-mortgage their house, or go further into debt so they can pay them. Do you think this would be a good thing? If not why not? Because there's no evidence (only anecdotes) that it works?

In that case, why is one unproven method (faith) better than another (water)?

The issue of having to pay for medical care/healing is separate to whether it works or not.