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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 22nd, 2018, 11:38 pm

This sentence should read, "since it's mechanisms are electrically and not chemically based" (as is the regeneration of limbs by amphibians).
"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 23rd, 2018, 1:42 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 5:11 am
LuckyR wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 3:59 am


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.
A couple of things.

If it is your observation that the public is not reprimanded for seeing their physicians too frequently, then our experiences differ. No harm, no foul. But you err in calling my observation: my "claim", since I don't personally believe that this description (which I have heard routinely, even in this thread) is correct.

It is one thing to correctly note that medicine (like practically every facet of modern life) has profit incentives baked into the fabric of it's construction. But it is a giant leap to assume that compared to business, education, government, the clergy and the military that medicine compares unfavorably in the fraction of interactions that adhere to ethical standards (as opposed to profit generating ones).
"As usual... it depends."

Eduk
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 23rd, 2018, 3:15 am

You didn't really answer my point Felix. I understand that you dont have a high scientific literacy. There is no need for us to go back and forth saying 'oh yes I do' and me saying 'oh no you don't'.
What I am asking is what gives you this confidence? I'm not a scientist. And I've not studied acupuncture. I do know that the consensus of expert opinion is that acupuncture has no effect (beyond placebo). I do know that some scientists disagree. But some scientists think vaccines cause auticism so personally I have to go with the consensus.
Now I don't claim this to be fool proof. Ideally I would devote ten years of my life studying acupuncture but I don't really have the inclination. In the absence of my own expertise I have to trust others (to an extent). So I trust the scientific process which has after all provided almost everything that I do on a daily basis.
I don't believe I know more about acupuncture than doctors. Why do you? This is not a rhetorical question.
Unknown means unknown.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 23rd, 2018, 5:28 am

LuckyR wrote:
August 23rd, 2018, 1:42 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 5:11 am



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.
A couple of things.

If it is your observation that the public is not reprimanded for seeing their physicians too frequently, then our experiences differ. No harm, no foul. But you err in calling my observation: my "claim", since I don't personally believe that this description (which I have heard routinely, even in this thread) is correct.

It is one thing to correctly note that medicine (like practically every facet of modern life) has profit incentives baked into the fabric of it's construction. But it is a giant leap to assume that compared to business, education, government, the clergy and the military that medicine compares unfavorably in the fraction of interactions that adhere to ethical standards (as opposed to profit generating ones).
Philosophy is about clear thinking, and you invoked a claim about "logic".
Nothing in your response begins to deal with my comment, and the fact remains that you logic was faulty.
You have either failed to understand the rather straightforward observation I made, or have chosen to ignore it.
To repeat:
I said; "
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."

You have compared a claim Felix made about the nature of medicine with that "fact" that people go to the doctor to often.
There is no link here. The two ideas can go hand in hand perfectly well and perfectly separately.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 23rd, 2018, 5:30 am

Felix wrote:
August 22nd, 2018, 11:38 pm
This sentence should read, "since it's mechanisms are electrically and not chemically based" (as is the regeneration of limbs by amphibians).
This is so bad it is not even wrong.
It's just a collection of disconnected ideas.

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Felix
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Felix » August 23rd, 2018, 2:33 pm

Eduk: I don't believe I know more about acupuncture than doctors. Why do you?
Which doctors? Most physicians have never researched acupuncture and simply accept the consensus view of it without question. Other physicians have studied it and decided that it was efficacious enough to incorporate it into their practice. I trust the educated opinion of those who understand a subject over those who have not studied it and whose opinion about it is based on the same sort of misinformation presented in that online opinion piece you linked to.
ThomasHobbes: This is so bad it is not even wrong. It's just a collection of disconnected ideas.
That was just a sound-bite. It's a very complicated biological process that would take me a few pages to explain in layman's terms, but nervous system currents which are electrical in nature play a primary role in it.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Felix
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Felix » August 23rd, 2018, 3:14 pm

P.S. - In keeping with the thread title, I am agnostic about acupuncture, the theory of how it works makes sense but I can't say whether it works that way in practice.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Aragwen
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Aragwen » August 23rd, 2018, 3:26 pm

As someone who is a registered nurse and have had acupuncture I am still an 'agnostic'. I researched acupuncture before I had it and there are verified accounts of women who have had caesarean sections using only acupuncture i.e. no anaesthetic-but it didn't work on my painful back!!

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 23rd, 2018, 3:53 pm

Aragwen wrote:
August 23rd, 2018, 3:26 pm
and there are verified accounts of women who have had caesarean sections using only acupuncture ...
Any reliable links or references to this?

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LuckyR
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by LuckyR » August 23rd, 2018, 3:55 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 23rd, 2018, 5:28 am
LuckyR wrote:
August 23rd, 2018, 1:42 am


A couple of things.

If it is your observation that the public is not reprimanded for seeing their physicians too frequently, then our experiences differ. No harm, no foul. But you err in calling my observation: my "claim", since I don't personally believe that this description (which I have heard routinely, even in this thread) is correct.

It is one thing to correctly note that medicine (like practically every facet of modern life) has profit incentives baked into the fabric of it's construction. But it is a giant leap to assume that compared to business, education, government, the clergy and the military that medicine compares unfavorably in the fraction of interactions that adhere to ethical standards (as opposed to profit generating ones).
Philosophy is about clear thinking, and you invoked a claim about "logic".
Nothing in your response begins to deal with my comment, and the fact remains that you logic was faulty.
You have either failed to understand the rather straightforward observation I made, or have chosen to ignore it.
To repeat:
I said; "
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."

You have compared a claim Felix made about the nature of medicine with that "fact" that people go to the doctor to often.
There is no link here. The two ideas can go hand in hand perfectly well and perfectly separately.
You are correct, I erred in assuming that my original post was clear. Your post tells me that I am failing to communicate. Allow me to back the truck up (since my most recent posting addressed some "down the line" issues).

OK. The comment (Felix's) that Modern Medicine is corrupt, implies that the money churning fault with the current system lies with either it's design (currently blameless) or it's practitioners (who are to blame). The consumers of the care (patients) are the victims of this system.

So if patients are normally using the corrupt system, they are blameless victims as above. OTOH, if they are overusing the system, they are: A) to blame for at least part and perhaps most of the money churning and incidentally B) feel that the care has value (as opposed to just snake oil lining the pockets of various entities). On that note (and this I addressed in my response to you) when compared to other domains where money or power is exchanged, Modern Medicine compared favorably to others in the realm of ethics and fidelity. Thus comments on the known shortfalls of Modern Medicine can be logically addressed with: "compared to what?"

I was not trying to imply that one made the other impossible, rather that one opposes the other in a universe where inconsistencies are common and expected (as you pointed out)
"As usual... it depends."

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 23rd, 2018, 4:27 pm

LuckyR wrote:
August 23rd, 2018, 3:55 pm
. Thus comments on the known shortfalls of Modern Medicine can be logically addressed with: "compared to what?"

I was not trying to imply that one made the other impossible, rather that one opposes the other in a universe where inconsistencies are common and expected (as you pointed out)
As you presented it, could be implied that there was a break down in logic as if it would be impossible for a corrupt health system to be oversubscribed by those wishing to use it.

My view is that there are many aspect of the system which are corrupt. And alongside that are some of the most brilliant, altruistic, loving and giving humans you could ever hope to meet working in that system. In some ways those paragons of duty and service we call nurses and doctors are in part unwittingly supporting money grabbing wankers whose main aim is to screw as much money out of sick and vulnerable people, and these wankers are not only exploiting suffering patients but the good people who genuinely care for the sick.

I think the claim that health care is exploited by people over using it is poor. Obviously there will always be a minority of hypochondriacs visiting the doctor for minor ailments but I do not think this is significant.
In the US visiting the GP is not fully covered by insurance. If it were then people might want to visit for piffling ailments to get their money's worth. In the UK I can't imagine many would sit in a busy waiting room for no reason at all, - and it can be a bitch to get a convenient appointment.
You might want to argue that A&E is oversubscribed by self inflicted idiots on a Saturday night - true. And little boys with saucepans stuck on their heads - but triage tends to to take care of oversubscription with serious cases getting the care they need.
Many could do with staying away and letting their common cold run its course, but people get genuinely worried about persistent symptoms and a visit can have a reassuring effect. Medicine is all about making people feel better.

You can talk about drugs all day - over prescribed, over designed, under engineered, and aggressively advertised. Pharma does not tend to meet suffering patients face to face. They are money making enterprises, and the move to make really expensive palliative drugs for the cancer "market" rather than work on cheaper curative solutions is scandal.

On the matter of vaccinations. Anti-vaccers and basically idiots, goaded on by the most disgraceful irresponsible media.

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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 23rd, 2018, 4:34 pm

Nonetheless. There are thousands of really useful drugs, that are perfectly effective and work exactly are expected, being life saving and of vital importance to those properly prescribed to use them.
I use Allopurinol against gout; a inherited condition which if untreated leads to the build up of crystals of nitric acid in the joints, especially in the extremities. Without Alloprinol I could be rendered immobile.

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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 23rd, 2018, 4:50 pm

Exactly Felix you think you know more about acupuncture than trained medical professionals (even going so far as to use the no true Scotsman fallacy). Ie they can't be a professional unless they agree with you. Welcome to the 30% Felix.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 23rd, 2018, 6:52 pm

Eduk wrote:
August 23rd, 2018, 4:50 pm
Exactly Felix you think you know more about acupuncture than trained medical professionals
Is acupuncture a professional medical practice is a moot point.

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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » August 23rd, 2018, 7:45 pm

Is acupuncture a professional medical practice is a moot point.
Not sure what your point is? I said it is the scientific consensus that acupuncture has no effect. I'm saying that medical professionals (on the whole) understand the scientific consensus (and the science behind the consensus) better than me, or you, or the vast majority of non medical professionals. Of course there are exceptions and very few fields have zero controversy (some obviously have a lot more than others though) so it's not a perfect heuristic. But it is a heuristic. All I am doing is recognising the worth of the scientific method as an epistemological tool which has, so far, more than proven to the best such tool we have access too. And also recognising the worth of experts, in particular the consensus of experts. I can't think of a single subject where I am at odds with scientific consensus, can you think of one?
Again to be clear this is one heuristic, it's not going to be 100% in all cases at all times. I would judge that the chances of acupuncture actually turning out to be real all along approach zero to the point where they may as well be zero. Who knows maybe when I next drop my pen it will stick in mid-air and I will have discovered a new physics and become world famous, I predict the chances approach zero though.
I may as well go further. It's not the only heuristic which leads me to believe acupuncture is woo. This is from the British Acupuncture Council (the second hit after the NHS when I google).
Traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years.
Ignoring the fallacy, I don't trust ancient medicine. They used to practice blood letting and trepanation (spuriously). Medicine has improved year on year. Survival rates have improved year on year. Life expectancy has improved year on year. Quality of life has improved year on year. I don't want cancer treatment from ten years ago let alone two thousand years ago. I can think of no medical science unchanged for two thousand years except something like don't cut your hand off or it will bleed (not sure that counts as medical science?).
and looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of acupuncture treatment, then, is to restore the body's equilibrium.
Too vague. This could mean anything. Certainly I couldn't test for equilibrium, except maybe with a balance bar but I don't think that's what they mean.
Traditional acupuncturists believe that the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely.
Again what the hell is qi. How would I test for qi? Much too vague. You get similar vagueness if you wonder how needles are supposed to allow the qi to flow. Needles aren't renowned for making things flow? Also the magical points and exactly where they are is vague. This overall huge vagueness is to be expected, seen as it's all made up and has no effect (beyond placebo).
[quoteAs a consequence of this there are many different styles of acupuncture which share a common root but are distinct and different in their emphasis. You may read of TCM, Five Elements, Stems and Branches, Japanese Meridian Therapy, and many others, all of which have their passionate devotees. The BAcC, though, has long embraced this plurality under the heading "unity in diversity" and sees the variety of approaches as the mark of a healthy profession.[/quote]
Acupuncturists can't even tell you what acupuncture is. It doesn't seem to matter which modality is used, they are all good. Seems unlikely that they would all be as successful as each other unless they all did nothing.
the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health conditions. A lot of people have acupuncture to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems like an overactive bladder. Other people choose acupuncture when they can feel their bodily functions are out of balance, but they have no obvious diagnosis. And many have regular treatments because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.
Again so vague. They can't even tell you what it cures. Other than lots of things, from headaches to overactive bladders. This is another warning sign. When treatments claim to fix a 'wide range' of unrelated things then chances of it being woo rise exponentially with each thing you add to the list. Can anyone think of another treatment which benefits so many things?

Also I can legally perform acupuncture tomorrow. I can't legally perform heart surgery tomorrow. This is because heart surgery has a rather large effect whereas acupuncture does not.

And finally acupuncture is self regulated. Which again makes sense as it has no effect.
Unknown means unknown.

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