View Poll Results: Should homeopathy be banned?

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Thread: Should homeopathy be banned?

  1. #1
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Should homeopathy be banned?

    Because I'm dissatisfied with the current level of SS-rage in support of science, let's discuss whether the practice of homeopathy should be banned, given it does no good and can acutally be dangerous.

    To be clear, I'm not talking about any other kind of alternative remedy, some of which probably do work (albeit on a scientific basis that we simply haven't identified yet, or as a placebo), but specifically talking about homeopathy - the process defined in Wikipedia (for want of a readily accessible definition) as:
    first proposed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796, that attempts to treat patients with heavily diluted preparations. Based on an ipse dixit axiom formulated by Hahnemann which he called the law of similars, preparations which cause certain symptoms in healthy individuals are given as the treatment for patients exhibiting similar symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are prepared by serial dilution with shaking by forceful striking, which homeopaths term succussion, after each dilution under the assumption that this increases the effect of the treatment. Homeopaths call this process potentization.

    I'd say yes, because you're essentially bilking people with a confidence scam. If I was caught sellig bottled water to people telling them it cured headaches or whatever, I'd get done for a scam. But because homeopaths go through a process that, according to everything we know about how chemistry works, would have no measurable affect on the water, and wrap in some pseudo-science babble, they are protected.
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    What consenting homopaths do behind closed doors is their own business, surely?

    In all seriousness, it's conceivably of placebo use, but just snake oil tho, essentially.
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  4. #4
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Well it's certainly deceitful and it's definitely a scam. However, adults have the right to do what they want with their bodies and if they want to drink water - go right ahead. However, if they want to advertise that their product cures X, or Y, they should have to go through the appropriate scientific justification by national authorities like the normal drugs do. It's ridiculous that homeopathy is exempt from having to prove their claims. You can't market a medicine for a condition as a drug company if you haven't been approved to do so - but you can as a homeopathic remedy - which is unfair and should be stopped.

    On the other hand, if your kid has cancer, do you, as parents have the right to give homeopathic medicine to your children? For children, there have been cases where using only prayer and denying traditional chemotherapy for cancers with a high rate of remission has been ruled by the courts as illegal (in the US). I think the same rationale has to apply.

    I would ban the advertising and false claims, but if adults want to do whatever they want with thier bodies - it's up to them. For children with serious conditions (e.g, not a cold, but cancer, HIV, etc), I'd step in if the parents want to use only homeopathy.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    In all seriousness, it's conceivably of placebo use, but just snake oil tho, essentially.
    So is a placebo. But I can't sell sugar pills by saying they can cure HIV. As you say, it's snake oil but adults can do what they want, as far as I'm concerned. As long as they don't do any false advertising, and don't force it on children, I'm fine.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 19-06-2010 at 10:10 AM.
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  5. #5
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Ben Goldacre makes a pretty convincing case itbt.
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  6. #6
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    So is a placebo. But I can't sell sugar pills by saying they can cure HIV. As you say, it's snake oil but adults can do what they want, as far as I'm concerned. As long as they don't do any false advertising, and don't force it on children, I'm fine.
    Pretty much the definition of a placebo, is it? If it had any active ingredients it wouldn't be just a placebo.

    Obviously the science behind homeopathy is bollox, but if people believe it's going to work sometimes it does, which, again, is the definition of a placebo, I guess.

  8. #8
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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  9. #9
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Pretty much the definition of a placebo, is it? If it had any active ingredients it wouldn't be just a placebo.

    Obviously the science behind homeopathy is bollox, but if people believe it's going to work sometimes it does, which, again, is the definition of a placebo, I guess.
    Right, but I can't sell sugar pills to cure cancer. I'd get shut down for fraud. But if I label those pills homeopathic, I can. That's unfair.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 19-06-2010 at 11:18 AM.

  10. #10
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Right, but if I can't sell sugar pills to cure cancer. I'd get shut down for fraud. But if I label those pills homeopathic, I can. That's unfair.
    Agreed.

    Have you seen Dawkins's tv series The Enemies of Reason? He's very damning of homeopathy in it.

  11. #11
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Last edited by silentstriker; 19-06-2010 at 11:21 AM.

  12. #12
    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    What consenting homopaths do behind closed doors is their own business, surely?
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  13. #13
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
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  14. #14
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    I have faith that my faith is correct because my faith tells me so. And my faith is the only cure for all disease, not homeopathy.

    The faith being IPU obv.

  15. #15
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Well it's certainly deceitful and it's definitely a scam. However, adults have the right to do what they want with their bodies and if they want to drink water - go right ahead. However, if they want to advertise that their product cures X, or Y, they should have to go through the appropriate scientific justification by national authorities like the normal drugs do. It's ridiculous that homeopathy is exempt from having to prove their claims. You can't market a medicine for a condition as a drug company if you haven't been approved to do so - but you can as a homeopathic remedy - which is unfair and should be stopped.

    ...

    I would ban the advertising and false claims, but if adults want to do whatever they want with thier bodies - it's up to them. For children with serious conditions (e.g, not a cold, but cancer, HIV, etc), I'd step in if the parents want to use only homeopathy.
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