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Nurses and woo
Posted: 06 January 2010 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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McKenzieVMD-

Being a skeptic is not just a fun philosophical hobby, it is a way to live better and make fewer mistakes (though we all still make plenty!).

This is an opinion. This isn’t a rule, or a law of nature. Nor is it an operation guideline for better living, and better rational living.
In fact skepticism can easily cross over the boundaries of curmudgeonly living, and stubbornness. Close-mindedness as well often.
We can extrapolate that Skepticism is a way to make fewer mistakes only because with skepticism we are limiting actions, or trials. Therefore the mean number of mistakes is inherently less than someone who tries more things and experiences far more input. In the end, what do mistakes add up to? In relation to total experience output. Trial and Error?

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Posted: 06 January 2010 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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McKenzieVMD-

This is normal and human, but unfortunately it leads to a lot of unecessary suffering and poor judgements about medical therapies. I think the project of promoting skepticism, which I believe means being willing to make the hard effort of giving up cherished beliefs when the evidence against them is strong enough, is a worthwhile one.

How was it we are supposed to rationalize the unnecessary suffering and poor judgement of the Traditional, hard science Medicine again? I forgot?
And also, did you mean give up all cherished beliefs, or only the ones that are deemed harmful to people and pets?
Or is it good to just ban all cherished alternative medicinal beliefs so as to lower the Gross Amount of damage in total from both Traditional Hard Meds and Alternative Meds combined?

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Posted: 06 January 2010 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Sure it’s an opinion. But it’s an opinion that I think can be solidly defended by reference to experiences in the real world. The less blind faith and the more skeptical, scientific thinking there is, the fewer dumb things we are likely to do. It’s not that skeptics don’t do as much (“limiting actions, or trials”), it’s that I firmly believe that a higher percentage of the decisions made using scientific reasoning are correct than those made using opinion, obedience to authority or tradition, faith, and the opposite kinds of approaches. I can’t prove it absolutely, of course, because the world’s too complicated, but within the domain of medicine as an example I can show you evidence that evidence-based medical decisions have better outcome than opinion or faith-based decisions, so I think the reasoning is sound.

The fact that skeptics can go too far into blind belief isn’t really an argument against skepticism, just against going too far. And what do you propose as a better approach than skepticism? Faith? A postmodern pilosophy that all knowledge is just opinion? I don’t see a lot of strong contenders. I’ve written before, here and elsewhere about open-mindedness, which I thnk is a feature of skepticism, not an alternative to it. I’m all for being open-minded. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to make judgements and decisions, and when we make them I think we are right more often if we use scientific and skeptical reasoning than faith, intuition, etc.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Vyazma, I wish we could talk about these things without all the sarcasm and hostility I see in your posts. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but I don’t get why you seem so pissed off.

Once agai, scientific medicine is not perfect, but the mistakes it makes are not evidence that the alternative is better. All I’m saying is that blind faith, trust in gurus, intuition, and reliance on personal experience leads to more mistakes and more suffering overall than reliance on solid scientific evidence where it is available. And the history of human health in the last 200 years offers dozens of examples that demonstrate this. We live longer and better now than ever before because we rely more on science than these other ways of deciding what works and what doesn’t.

As for giving up beliefs, I think any time we are demonstrated to be wrong about something we ought to try and have the humility and courage to admit we’re wrong and let go of the mistaken belief. I apply that to all areas, but of course I talk most about medicine becaue it’s what I know the most about. Not all mistaken beliefs are harmful, but in medicine they easily can be, and I still think it is clear that scientific, evidence-based medicine does more good and less harm than faith-based medicine.

And no one’s talking about “banning” anything, that’s just the hyperbolic language you also attached to what I’m saying. I believe in tellling people what the evidence says, and as an advocate for my patients I believe in teling people what I think it means because that’s the only ethical way to practice medicine. I’m not arguing for the banning of beliefs, so please don’t try to imply I am.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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mckenzievmd - 06 January 2010 02:09 PM

Vyazma, I wish we could talk about these things without all the sarcasm and hostility I see in your posts. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but I don’t get why you seem so pissed off.

Because I just can’t help but think your assertions are based more on a specific Interest Support, an advocacy of more than just rationality. I’m sorry, but I think you are biased for your industry.
I am sorry. I just read your posts on these issues and I can’t get my head around how someone could be so fervent, so rigid in one direction just for the sake of wanting people to get the most rational medicine. Especially when the numbers have been put up which suggests it’s all a crap shoot anyways-no matter what treatments someone chooses. We’ve been through it all before.
As such, I see you as a supreme advocate, and a rigid promoter of industries which I view as sometimes suspect. Sometimes corrupt. And totally money driven. Industries which have heavily worked against getting this nation getting it’s healthcare industry in order.
Now before you possibly bring up the “Crapshoot” comment above let me say it was just a quip. I know that Traditional, Hard Scientific Medicines outweigh, and outperform Alt Meds, or Comp. Meds anyday. But those figures aren’t skewing enough to justify your total Rigidity in this discussion-unless you had “Interests” in these industries.
In otherwords, give it a break! Let people have some of their CAM. Is it ok for people to take some comfort in some salves, or teas? Or rubdowns? I’m not talking about the dangerous stuff-whatever that is. I’m just talking about what you coined above-peoples “cherished” ideas. Just the harmless ones.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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VYAZMA - 06 January 2010 03:00 PM
mckenzievmd - 06 January 2010 02:09 PM

Vyazma, I wish we could talk about these things without all the sarcasm and hostility I see in your posts. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but I don’t get why you seem so pissed off.

Because I just can’t help but think your assertions are based more on a specific Interest Support, an advocacy of more than just rationality. I’m sorry, but I think you are biased for your industry.
I am sorry. I just read your posts on these issues and I can’t get my head around how someone could be so fervent, so rigid in one direction just for the sake of wanting people to get the most rational medicine. Especially when the numbers have been put up which suggests it’s all a crap shoot anyways-no matter what treatments someone chooses. We’ve been through it all before.
As such, I see you as a supreme advocate, and a rigid promoter of industries which I view as sometimes suspect. Sometimes corrupt. And totally money driven. Industries which have heavily worked against getting this nation getting it’s healthcare industry in order.
Now before you possibly bring up the “Crapshoot” comment above let me say it was just a quip. I know that Traditional, Hard Scientific Medicines outweigh, and outperform Alt Meds, or Comp. Meds anyday. But those figures aren’t skewing enough to justify your total Rigidity in this discussion-unless you had “Interests” in these industries.
In otherwords, give it a break! Let people have some of their CAM. Is it ok for people to take some comfort in some salves, or teas? Or rubdowns? I’m not talking about the dangerous stuff-whatever that is. I’m just talking about what you coined above-peoples “cherished” ideas. Just the harmless ones.

Er, Vyazma, we’ve been through all the personal attacks from you in the past on this. FWIW I am not in that industry and agree with 100% of what Brennen says about it, all of which is eminently documented. The bias arguments are a smokescreen, and I suggest we stick to arguing the facts rather than ad hominem.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Well, VYAZMA, then we really can’t have a useful discussion about any of this. If you assume bias on my part and have all these notion of what you think I “really” represent, then you’re not arguing with me, you’re not even aware of me. You’re just arguing with a vision in your head that you’ve attached to me. Really a waste of both our time and energy, so the most useful thing we can probbably do is try not to respond to each other.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Is that a yes or a no on-“all CAM should be banished”?

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Posted: 06 January 2010 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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VYAZMA - 06 January 2010 04:39 PM

Is that a yes or a no on-“all CAM should be banished”?

He already answered that question in #34. Give it up, Vyazma.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Doug-

Er, Vyazma, we’ve been through all the personal attacks from you in the past on this. FWIW I am not in that industry and agree with 100% of what Brennen says about it, all of which is eminently documented. The bias arguments are a smokescreen, and I suggest we stick to arguing the facts rather than ad hominem.

Doug, seeing as how you’ve stated “we have” -“we’ve been through personal attacks”- I fail to see the personal side of any “attack”. In any case I don’t intend for these to be attacks on anyones character, or semblance here on the Forum.
Labeling these as “personal attacks” seems like more of a smokescreen, than me arguing a case for McKenzie’s Bias in this matter.
Truly!
Stick to what facts? My comments are in direct reply to McKenzie’s opinion piece on the value of skepticism, and how they can be applied to resist all forms of CAM.
I apologize if you guys are taking my direct arguments against healthcare and the supporters of it status-quo personally.

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Posted: 06 January 2010 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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I don’t know if this applies here, and I certainly wouldn’t want to direct it at either side.  However, I’ve found that whenever I argue strongly with someone, I’m always logical, objective, reasonable, humble, and fact based, but, they quite often are irrational, pompous, dogmatic, and have a very weak factual basis.  the strange thing is that their evaluation of each of us is just the opposite of mine.  This goes for groups as well as individuals.  LOL

Occam

P.S. How much do you want to bet that eveyone involved will be annoyed at this message because they will see it as attacking them?  smile

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Posted: 06 January 2010 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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VYAZMA - 06 January 2010 06:12 AM
Jackson - 05 January 2010 07:45 PM
asanta - 30 December 2009 04:02 AM

This is mostly venting, but any comments would be appreciated.

Asanta over Xmas we were visiting my sister-in-law who works for a pharmaceutical company, and she mentioned that a large number of the research scientists were reluctant to have their kids vaccinated!  (!@!@!@!)  I couldn’t believe it….I’d be interested if anyone sees anything published in this regard.

They probably weren’t real research scientists Jackson.

Thanks for the skeptical perspective on reality.  I thought they were M.D.s/Ph.D.s and I’ll ask again when I get the chance.  This is a 2nd-hand observation unlike Asanta’s which is face-to-face with anti-vaccine folks…

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Posted: 31 January 2010 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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asanta,

I am currently about to finish nursing school.  I can tell you, unfortunately they are teaching alternative treatments in school now.  They talk about acupuncture and chiropractic treatments as alternative and acceptable treatments for some.  They do not teach it as a replacement to standard medical care but in collaboration with as acceptable and advisable.  Everything is about “holistic” treatments, treating the body, mind, and spirit of the patients.  So, maybe this nurse that you started this thread about is using the knowledge that was given her in school.  At least that is what is in the current nursing manuals and classes I have been taking for the last few years.  They are really pushing the “holistic” thing.  I have been called out a few times in clinicals by our instructors for not recommending alternative treatments while doing my patient education.

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Posted: 31 January 2010 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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rbess71 - 31 January 2010 07:29 AM

asanta,

I am currently about to finish nursing school.  I can tell you, unfortunately they are teaching alternative treatments in school now.  They talk about acupuncture and chiropractic treatments as alternative and acceptable treatments for some.  They do not teach it as a replacement to standard medical care but in collaboration with as acceptable and advisable.  Everything is about “holistic” treatments, treating the body, mind, and spirit of the patients.  So, maybe this nurse that you started this thread about is using the knowledge that was given her in school.  At least that is what is in the current nursing manuals and classes I have been taking for the last few years.  They are really pushing the “holistic” thing.  I have been called out a few times in clinicals by our instructors for not recommending alternative treatments while doing my patient education.

This trend is very disturbing.

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Posted: 31 January 2010 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Asanta, you need to start a skeptic nursing society! It would have an annual week-long meeting (somewhere tropical) where nurses could get REAL continuing ed credits. Membership would include an awesome skeptic nurse newsletter with watchdog articles on bogus nurse woo and praise for non-woo happenings. Members would get the honor of putting the skeptic nurse logo on their resume. They’d get a cool membership button and t-shirt. And your chief administrative officer would be me of course, so I could help organize and join you at the annual tropical vacation… er… I mean tax-deductible educational learning seminar. (Which would end promptly at 5:00 p.m. each day so everyone could get fruity drinks with umbrellas at the pool-bar.)

cheese

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