Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reason Why Alternative Medicine is Bad #2753

I'm not a fan of alternative medicine in the sense that I don't think there is any such thing. If it works, it's medicine. If it doesn't work, it's nonsense. But you sometimes get this argument from proponents: "If it seems like it is helping the person taking it, and it isn't harming them, why not let them take it?" Well, one of the main reasons stems from their taking some type of alternative medicine to begin with. The average partaker of alternative medicine never looks at a plant and says to themselves, I should ingest this to help with my shin splints. No, they get testimonials from others- word of mouth leads them to believe that x will help with y. But once you start believing in testimonials as a good reason for trying a certain *cough* treatment *cough* then you are more likely to rely on this in other cases than your shin splints.

This leads to problems such as believing that the bones, skin, hair... of albinos will help cure what ails you because others claim it does. Yes, in Tanzania, witch-doctors are kidnapping and killing and/or mutilating albino people to use their body parts for medicine. The government of Tanzania has banned the practice, but when your dealing with people who (not completely at their own fault) believe this alternative medicine works you should not be surprised when the witch-doctors ignore the ban. If you have the testimonial of your neighbors and from those who are supposed to be an authority on the matter (witch-doctors) and you are in the habit of not critically thinking about the problems of blindingly believing such things, or of the errors of reasoning that people are prone to about their own experiences, then you shouldn't be suprised when you end up with this kind of horror show. 

The Rational Moderate

1 comment:

Pete said...

That's so messed up. But hey, Saudi Arabia still executes people for practicing witchcraft and sorcery.