Questions to an agnostic

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Felix
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Felix » August 20th, 2018, 7:53 pm

Eduk: Your view of modern medicine is also depressing as hell.
Acupuncture might help you with that. :)
Without a care in the world you lambaste the entire world wide medical profession. With nothing to back up your 'opinion'. Doesn't it shame you to draw such simple conclusions with nothing to back those conclusions up?
o.k., o.k, sorry for exaggerating the trend of modern medical organizations, I think my biorhythms were off when I wrote that spiel.
I dare say that the NHS is so complex that there isn't a single human being alive who could safely say that they understood it (except of course yourself).
Wouldn't know, I don't live in the UK, but the HMO's here are a lot like what I described in my previous post.
puncturing vital organs like the heart! or infection.
The practitioner would have to be completely untrained, and quite ignorant about human anatomy, to push a needle in that deeply.
Acupuncture has been tested many times and it has failed to prove effective. Also it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is entirely implausible.
There is a plausible explanation for how acupuncture works, Dr. Robert Becker M.D. explains it in detail his book, The Body Electric (which is over 30 years old now).
Thinking critical: none of them could say with any confidence whether or not anything was gained or not from going (i.e., to the acupuncturist).
I am nearsighted and I once had an acupuncture treatment that made my eyesight become crystal clear. Unfortunately it only lasted about 20 minutes or so, which was long enough to drive home without my eye glasses on. With them on, everything was too blurry to see. That was interesting....
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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LuckyR
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by LuckyR » August 21st, 2018, 3:59 am

Felix wrote:
August 19th, 2018, 6:05 pm
Karpel Tunnel: Sure you can. You stick them (acupuncture needles) in random places, not according to TCM.
That would be unethical, because if acupuncture actually works, sticking needles in the wrong places could harm someone.
Greta: The media has long reported that doctors are grossly overused and that many visits are avoidable, and that too many tests being done, and these are draining public resources more than need be.
As medicine has become industrialized, there has been a trend towards doctors becoming mere cashiers for the medical laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Gone is the lengthy interview with a patient to make a medical diagnosis, with a lab test or two ordered to confirm it. Now the protocol is to spend just enough time with the patient to be able to assess what lab tests to order to diagnose biochemical imbalances and what drug to use to correct that imbalance. I suppose the end goal is to eventually replace medical doctors with computers and tell them "your services will no longer be needed."
Cynical much? But seriously, your description of Modern Medicine is a very common one, especially among folks blessed with good health. Yet in the same breath the rabble usually are chided for going to see their physicians too frequently. Anyone detect a problem with the logic?
"As usual... it depends."

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 21st, 2018, 5:11 am

LuckyR wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 3:59 am
Felix wrote:
August 19th, 2018, 6:05 pm


That would be unethical, because if acupuncture actually works, sticking needles in the wrong places could harm someone.



As medicine has become industrialized, there has been a trend towards doctors becoming mere cashiers for the medical laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Gone is the lengthy interview with a patient to make a medical diagnosis, with a lab test or two ordered to confirm it. Now the protocol is to spend just enough time with the patient to be able to assess what lab tests to order to diagnose biochemical imbalances and what drug to use to correct that imbalance. I suppose the end goal is to eventually replace medical doctors with computers and tell them "your services will no longer be needed."
Cynical much? But seriously, your description of Modern Medicine is a very common one, especially among folks blessed with good health. Yet in the same breath the rabble usually are chided for going to see their physicians too frequently. Anyone detect a problem with the logic?

Just because Felix has this view on modern medicine in NO WAY impinges on your claim that the 'rabble' are accused of too frequent visits to the GP.
SO, yes, I do in fact detect a problem with logic ; your logic.

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Felix
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Felix » August 21st, 2018, 1:37 pm

I'm not the one who made the "too frequent doctor visits" comment but it's obvious that when financial considerations and the profit motive become more important than providing competent service, the tendency is to regard anything beyond essential or urgent care as "medically unnecessary" treatment.

Re: acupuncture, this is from page 236 of Dr. Robert Becker's book, the Body Electric, free pdf copies of which can be found online:
Our readings also indicated that the acupuncture meridians were conducting current, and its polarity, matching the input side of the two-way system we'd charted in amphibians, showed a flow into the central nervous system. Each point was positive compared to its environs, and each one had a field surrounding it, with its own characteristic shape. We even found a fifteen-minute rhythm in the current strength at the points, superimposed on the circadian ("about a day") rhythm we'd found a decade earlier in the overall DC system. It was obvious by then that at least the major parts of the acupuncture charts had, as the jargon goes, "an objective basis in reality."

Electrical Conductivity Maps of Skin at Acupuncture Points

We began a more sophisticated series of tests. We planned to record from six major points along one meridian as a needle was inserted into the outermost point. If the DC theory was valid, a change in potential should travel from point to point along the line. However, just as we were entering this second phase, the NIH canceled our grant, even though we'd published four papers in a year. Supposedly it had lost interest in acupuncture, at least in the kind of basic research we were doing on it. Even so, I was fairly satisfied. The input system worked as I'd predicted.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Eduk
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 21st, 2018, 2:05 pm

I was reading an interesting survey the other day. Roughly 36% of people, of those polled, believe that they knew more about the causes of autism than scientists and doctors. This unsurprisingly correlated well with anti vaccine. By the way the anti vaccine crowd also has a few outlier scientists supporting it and a massive conspiracy theory mindset against mainstream medicine.
Imagine if you believed you knew more than doctors. And had a couple of scientists you could link. And believed in grand conspricacy theories. How would you get out of this mindset? And there is no use in using logic because your logic is compromised. Plus you dont want to get out of it. Plus you can't rely on the government because you vote for them. It's a pretty hard lock, I see no easy way out.
Unknown means unknown.

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Thinking critical
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Thinking critical » August 22nd, 2018, 6:34 am

Eduk wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 2:05 pm
I was reading an interesting survey the other day. Roughly 36% of people, of those polled, believe that they knew more about the causes of autism than scientists and doctors. This unsurprisingly correlated well with anti vaccine. By the way the anti vaccine crowd also has a few outlier scientists supporting it and a massive conspiracy theory mindset against mainstream medicine.
Imagine if you believed you knew more than doctors. And had a couple of scientists you could link. And believed in grand conspricacy theories. How would you get out of this mindset? And there is no use in using logic because your logic is compromised. Plus you dont want to get out of it. Plus you can't rely on the government because you vote for them. It's a pretty hard lock, I see no easy way out.
I find it quite amusing that so many people these days would rather live in ignorance, deluded by their own misconceived beliefs all because they like or dislike the reality of one truth over another. Conspiracy theorists are certainly a special breed, they are quick to reject emperical scientific evidence yet are happy to believe in aliens, astrology and psycics who all provide zero conclusive evidence.
I garuntee all those sceptics would sooner trust an anaesthetist to provide pre op care prior to major surgery as opposed to relying on fairy powder, unicorn juice and Chinese pins to prevent them from feeling any pain.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 22nd, 2018, 9:18 am

Felix wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 1:37 pm
Electrical Conductivity Maps of Skin at Acupuncture Points

We began a more sophisticated series of tests. We planned to record from six major points along one meridian as a needle was inserted into the outermost point. If the DC theory was valid, a change in potential should travel from point to point along the line. However, just as we were entering this second phase, the NIH canceled our grant, even though we'd published four papers in a year..
[/quote]

They cancelled the grant BECAUSE of the papers they published - obviously.

Eduk
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 22nd, 2018, 9:24 am

lol that seems obvious from the outside, but totally inexplicable on the inside.
Unknown means unknown.

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Felix
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Felix » August 22nd, 2018, 3:43 pm

I think many people are skeptical about conventional medicine becuase its track record on treating modern diseases is not all that good: it has no effective treatment for many common ailments, cannot combat antibiotic resistant infections, etc.
Thomas Hobbes: They cancelled the grant BECAUSE of the papers they published - obviously.
Yes, because their research were producing important but unorthodox results.

From the last postscript of Dr. Becker's book (entitled 'Political Science'), which opens with this quote by Max Planck:

"An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning."
The present system is in effect a dogmatic religion with a self-perpetuating priesthood dedicated only to preserving the current orthodoxies. The system rewards the sycophant and punishes the visionary to a degree unparalleled in the four-hundred-year history of modern science.

This situation has come about because research is now so expensive that only governments and multinational corporations can pay for it. The funds are dispensed by agencies staffed and run by bureaucrats who aren't scientists themselves. As this system developed after World War II, the question naturally arose as to how these scientifically ignorant officials were to choose among competing grant applications. The logical solution was to set up panels of scientists to evaluate requests in their fields and then advise the bureaucrats.

This method is based on the naive assumption that scientists really are more impartial than other people, so the result could have been predicted decades ago. In general, projects that propose a search for evidence in support of new ideas aren't funded. Most review committees approve nothing that would challenge the findings their members made when they were struggling young researchers who created the current theories, whereas projects that pander to these elder egos receive lavish support. Eventually those who play the game become the new members of the peer group, and thus the system perpetuates itself.

As Erwin Chargaff has remarked, "This continual turning off and on of the financial faucets produces Pavlovian effects," and most research becomes mere water treading aimed at getting paid rather than finding anything new. The intuitive "lunatic twinge," the urge to test a hunch, which is the source of all scientific breakthroughs, is systematically excluded.
He gives a few examples of hypotheses that were scorned and rejected: cellular dedifferentiation, the electroencephalogram, vitamin deficiency diseases, et. al.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Eduk
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 22nd, 2018, 4:01 pm

I was reading the other day about the effects of small pox. I for one am very pleased with the advances of medical science.
I suppose the people who complain that medical science can't cure absolutely everything have roughly zero perspective.
Also acupuncture has been around for a long time. More than long enough to win over any entrenched naysayers.
Unknown means unknown.

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Mark1955
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Mark1955 » August 22nd, 2018, 4:02 pm

Felix wrote:
August 16th, 2018, 2:17 am
I've had experiences similar to what Greta described, and they were totally unlike any physical pleasure, felt more like I had no body at all. Matter of fact, probably the most dramatic experience of this sort happened in the company of a so-called spiritual healer (that was actually his occupation, although he seemed reluctant to charge people for his services). If I was more credulous, I probably would have been quite willing to put him on a guru pedestal, but the idea seemed blasphemous to me.
So it's important to you that a religious experience comes wrapped in the correct sectarian garb and from an approved supplier otherwsie it cvna't be religious experience however much it feels like one.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Felix
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Felix » August 22nd, 2018, 4:13 pm

Eduk: Also acupuncture has been around for a long time. More than long enough to win over any entrenched naysayers.
So? Many things we do not understand nor have made a genuine effort to understand have been around a long time.
Mark1955: So it's important to you that a religious experience comes wrapped in the correct sectarian garb and from an approved supplier otherwise it can't be religious experience however much it feels like one.
I never called it a religious experience, do religious experiences arrive with a label on them?
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Eduk
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 22nd, 2018, 4:37 pm

Make your mind up. Either Dr. Robert Becker was
producing important but unorthodox results.
and it is the unorthodoxy which you complained meant
An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents
or he wasn't producing important results in which case
So? Many things we do not understand nor have made a genuine effort to understand have been around a long time.
isn't true.
Do you have success with logic in your day to day life? I mean did you do well in maths? Or physics? Are you a professional programmer? Is there anything you do with leads you to believe that logic is one of your strong points? For example if I didn't do so well at maths, physics, programming but say excelled in other disciplines such as art or sports then I'd conclude I was good at logic because I'd lack the logical skills necessary to gauge my own performance.
Unknown means unknown.

Eduk
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 22nd, 2018, 4:43 pm

So it's important to you that a religious experience comes wrapped in the correct sectarian garb and from an approved supplier otherwise it can't be religious experience however much it feels like one.
Given that many of the major religions are mutually exclusive then I'd have to say yes. Or to put it another way. Can you have a religious experience without it being tied to a specific religion? Isn't that the definition of religion?
Unknown means unknown.

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Felix
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Felix » August 22nd, 2018, 11:31 pm

Eduk, I am not the one making illogical statements in this thread....
You said: Also acupuncture has been around for a long time. More than long enough to win over any entrenched naysayers.
Logically, the amount of time acupuncture has been around has nothing to do with whether it is accepted it or not.

In a previous post you linked to a "scientific" article on acupuncture that was replete with false and misleading information. For example, it stated: "There is no more reason to believe in the reality of chi than there is in the four humors, or in the effectiveness of acupuncture than the effectiveness of bloodletting."

Wrong. Chi is the Chinese term for bio-electrical energy, which has been found to be the same sort of electrical energy measured by EEG & EKG machines. The article goes on to say that no biochemical basis has been found for acupuncture. Well Duh!, since it's mechanisms are electrically and and chemically based.

No biochemical basis has been found for amphibians ability to regenerate severed limbs and yet they do it. Must be a placebo effect, huh? Woah, who knew that salamanders are the original Jedi masters!
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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