Alternative Medicine and Human Nature

 

I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine. I’ve also been fascinated by the fact that there are no alternative dentists. Regardless, I’ve noted that most people who are interested in alternative medicine tend to be (a) those who find their diseases to be non-threatening, or (b) those who find their situation to be utterly hopeless. Those in between, those who have a disease that is threatening, but potentially fixable – those people want a real doctor who is using modern treatments with placebo-controlled data proving their effectiveness. Groups (a) and (b), however, are often comfortable with therapies with no research supporting their use, and are unconcerned with the consequences of untested treatments, because they are either completely secure or utterly hopeless.

If you’re perfectly healthy, you might take an herbal supplement to “support good prostate health”, with packaging that makes vague claims about “holistic balance” or some such.  Why not, right?  But if you develop prostate cancer, you don’t want to die a slow painful death from metastatic disease, so you want the latest chemotherapy, and you want to know precisely how effective it is, and exactly what percentage of patients experience side effects.  If the chemotherapy fails, and the cancer spreads all over your body, and your doctor tells you that further treatments are not worth the risk, then you’re back to herbal supplements which make vague claims.  I’ve seen this progression for years.  And it sort of makes sense, if you don’t understand statistics but you do understand human nature.

I think there are parallels in politics.  Many wealthy people vote Democrat, because they think their wealth and social standing insulate them from the consequences of leftist policies.  And the very poor often vote Democrat, because they have no hope for a better tomorrow, and if they can get some extra cash through some government program, then great.  They don’t care about the consequences of leftist policies, either.  That leaves the people in between – the middle class, essentially – who are trying to build better lives for their families, and who care very much about the consequences of leftist policies.

The difference, of course, is the nature of those consequences.  Also, of course, their scale.

If a healthy person takes an herbal supplement to “support good prostate health” and it has no impact on anything, who cares?  They were healthy before, they’re healthy afterward, and they’re just out a few bucks.  Even if it causes a side effect, it affects only that one person.  They tried a treatment with no proven record of success because they didn’t care about the consequences (because they were healthy).  They’re still healthy now.  So no big deal.

But if enough people vote Democrat because they don’t care about the consequences of leftist policies for whatever reasons, then everyone – and I mean everyone – suffers.  It affects all of American society and much of the world.  It’s a big deal.

When you’re making decisions about your health, you should study your options, and consider only solid data from reputable sources in your decision making.

When you’re making decisions about the health of our nation, you should do the same thing.

Some people do – those who think that the problems we face are threatening, but potentially fixable.

Others are unconcerned with the consequences of therapies with no data supporting their use.  Like leftist policies, for example.

In medicine and in politics, those who feel completely secure and those who feel utterly hopeless tend to be less concerned with long-term consequences.  Which can lead them to make careless, even dangerous, decisions.

I hope that as the consequences of leftist policies come into clearer focus during the Biden administration, more people will realize that the problems facing us are threatening, but potentially fixable.

Then, and only then, those people will become concerned about the consequences of the leftist policies they have supported in the past.

Then, and only then, those people will put more effort into avoiding careless, even dangerous, decisions.

Then, and only then, things can change.

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  1. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Dr. Bastiat: and those who feel utterly hopeless tend to be less concerned with long term consequences.  Which can lead them to make careless, even dangerous, decisions.

    Perfectly applies to those on the right whining that our decline cannot be stopped, and want to throw up their hands and do nothing.  The “pox on both parties” types need to grow a pair.

    Oh, and despair is a sin.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Oh, and despair is a sin.

    I’ve never claimed that I don’t sin.

    I think the metaphor is slightly off. The hopeless are not the lower classes who keep voting Democrat for goodies. The hopeless are the middle class who see nobody coming to their rescue. Both parties soak them for everything they’ve got and redistribute the wealth of the middle class to the very poor and the very rich.

    That’s where the hopelessness is. Right smack dab in the middle.

    And that’s why the middle voted for Trump. And that’s why they’ll vote for the next Trump-like figure. 

     

    • #2
  3. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    One of the few aspects of The Kinsey Reports on human sexuality I find that rings true is that the most casual attitudes towards sex lie in the economic fringes – the very, very rich and the very, very poor. And both for the same reasons – entertainment. And I fear that translates into a lot of other aspects of life such as drugs, alcohol and politics.

    Alfred Kinsey may be the most destructive person in history. And that says a lot from a century that saw the likes of Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I am a lifelong fan of Ayn Rand because, at least in my reading, she described the psychological effects of living in a socialist society better than anyone else.

    It’s the paperwork and the bureaucratic attitude that forces smart people into drinking their lives away, as we saw happen in the Soviet Union and fascist Italy. Greece too. And Cuba.

    My mother-in-law’s family fled dying Naples, Italy, after World War I when the Fascists had taken over and turned once-beautiful Naples into a city of want and starvation. The Fascists destroyed entire industries–fishing, agriculture.

    Republicans need to focus on describing in painful detail how socialism has crippled other countries. This is life-saving information the electorate needs to have.

    Today’s Democrats have a very false sense of security.

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think socialism has a lot in common with heroin addiction. 

    I consider myself to be a nonviolent person. But it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to put me in a room with a heroin dealer. That’s because I had a conversation with a local police officer years ago in which we were discussing the growing heroin problem in Cape Cod’s high schools. I said, “I just don’t understand how this can happen here.” And he said, “The first dose is free.” I’ve never gotten over that. 

    I think the socialists are just like the heroin dealers. They hand out a couple of things, and pretty soon people are addicted to it. 

    • #5
  6. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Oh, and despair is a sin.

    I’ve never claimed that I don’t sin.

    I think the metaphor is slightly off. The hopeless are not the lower classes who keep voting Democrat for goodies. The hopeless are the middle class who see nobody coming to their rescue. Both parties soak them for everything they’ve got and redistribute the wealth of the middle class to the very poor and the very rich.

    That’s where the hopelessness is. Right smack dab in the middle.

    And that’s why the middle voted for Trump. And that’s why they’ll vote for the next Trump-like figure.

     

    I think his metaphor works, but that you might be making a different point.  Those with nothing are often happy for any extra government benefit and really don’t care about the long-term consequences of the policy.  The middle you speak of see the manifold corruption and flaws of the “system” but see no cure, absent burning it all down and starting from scratch.  It seems to me you’re making different points from Dr. Bastiat.

    Re: the problems with the current system, I agree with you the problems are severe, but despair is unhelpful.  As a Christian, I am to be faithful in my callings, cheerful in well-doing, loving to my persecutors, in prayer for my enemies, etc. (full disclosure, I fail regularly at all of these).  But I am absolutely not to fear or despair.  The Lord is sovereign.

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I am a lifelong fan of Ayn Rand because, at least in my reading, she described the psychological effects of living in a socialist society better than anyone else.

    It’s the paperwork and the bureaucratic attitude that forces smart people into drinking their lives away, as we saw happen in the Soviet Union and fascist Italy. Greece too. And Cuba.

    My mother-in-law’s family fled dying Naples, Italy, after World War I when the Fascists had taken over and turned once-beautiful Naples into a city of want and starvation. The Fascists destroyed entire industries–fishing, agriculture.

    Republicans need to focus on describing in painful detail how socialism has crippled other countries. This is life-saving information the electorate needs to have.

    Today’s Democrats have a very false sense of security.

    Ayn Rand would have fit right in with Kinsy

    • #7
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    When I rage against the GOPe, it is because they have shown their utter contempt for me over and over. I refuse to be gaslighted. 

    By the same token, I am not (despite what some at R> have said) taken with despair. If I thought it were hopeless, I’d act a lot differently. However, to ignore that there has been little to no victories on our side (maybe guns, but the ATF is getting ready to call any chunk of metal that might be turned into a gun a gun, so maybe not). The hour is late, the time runs short, and the last election was corrupt. How do we get from here to winning?

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I think the OP is spot on BTW

    • #9
  10. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Oh, and despair is a sin.

    I’ve never claimed that I don’t sin.

    I think the metaphor is slightly off. The hopeless are not the lower classes who keep voting Democrat for goodies. The hopeless are the middle class who see nobody coming to their rescue. Both parties soak them for everything they’ve got and redistribute the wealth of the middle class to the very poor and the very rich.

    That’s where the hopelessness is. Right smack dab in the middle.

    And that’s why the middle voted for Trump. And that’s why they’ll vote for the next Trump-like figure.

     

    I think his metaphor works, but that you might be making a different point.

    This occurred to me as well.

    • #10
  11. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I am a lifelong fan of Ayn Rand because, at least in my reading, she described the psychological effects of living in a socialist society better than anyone else.

    It’s the paperwork and the bureaucratic attitude that forces smart people into drinking their lives away, as we saw happen in the Soviet Union and fascist Italy. Greece too. And Cuba.

    My mother-in-law’s family fled dying Naples, Italy, after World War I when the Fascists had taken over and turned once-beautiful Naples into a city of want and starvation. The Fascists destroyed entire industries–fishing, agriculture.

    Republicans need to focus on describing in painful detail how socialism has crippled other countries. This is life-saving information the electorate needs to have.

    Today’s Democrats have a very false sense of security.

    Not just paperwork and bureaucracy, also the prioritization of ideological conformity over competence: Party hacks get promoted into positions of power and responsibility with catastrophic results. And speaking of Fascist Italy, a lot of the generals and decision makers in the military were party hacks chosen for political reliability, which proved disastrous when Italy went to war.

    • #11
  12. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I am a lifelong fan of Ayn Rand because, at least in my reading, she described the psychological effects of living in a socialist society better than anyone else.

    It’s the paperwork and the bureaucratic attitude that forces smart people into drinking their lives away, as we saw happen in the Soviet Union and fascist Italy. Greece too. And Cuba.

    My mother-in-law’s family fled dying Naples, Italy, after World War I when the Fascists had taken over and turned once-beautiful Naples into a city of want and starvation. The Fascists destroyed entire industries–fishing, agriculture.

    Republicans need to focus on describing in painful detail how socialism has crippled other countries. This is life-saving information the electorate needs to have.

    Today’s Democrats have a very false sense of security.

    That may be the only good thing the Biden administration has done; it demonstrates how badly the Democrats foul up everything they touch. Maybe even the politically uninvolved can see that.

    • #12
  13. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine.  I’ve also been fascinated by the fact that there are no alternative dentists.

    Nailed it. Best opening line ever. 

    Dr. Bastiat: I think there are parallels in politics.  Many wealthy people vote Democrat, because they think their wealth and social standing insulate them from the consequences of leftist policies.

    Mrs. Chowderhead often asks me why do these rich leftists advocate for more regulations and higher taxes? I can’t come up with a good answer other than more power is worth a little extra taxes. Perhaps they do think they are immune.

     

    • #13
  14. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    Chowderhead (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine. I’ve also been fascinated by the fact that there are no alternative dentists.

    Nailed it. Best opening line ever.

    Dr. Bastiat: I think there are parallels in politics. Many wealthy people vote Democrat, because they think their wealth and social standing insulate them from the consequences of leftist policies.

    Mrs. Chowderhead often asks me why do these rich leftists advocate for more regulations and higher taxes? I can’t come up with a good answer other than more power is worth a little extra taxes. Perhaps they do think they are immune.

     

    Here’s my hypothesis as to why: there’s a fairly high degree of arrogance among rich leftists, along with a low degree of respect for the Constitution and limited government.  The arrogance breeds a type of paternalism that is convinced that they know better how to do things (you know–small things like saving the planet), and the lack of respect for the Constitution and limited government means that they’re not constrained by any particular means to their desired ends.  It really is a toxic combination.  

    • #14
  15. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Dr. Bastiat:

    When you’re making decisions about your health, you should study your options, and consider only solid data from reputable sources in your decision making

    When you’re making decisions about the health of our nation, you should do the same thing.

    The problem is in both cases I no longer have confidence in where I can go for solid data for my decision making.  The “reputable sources” have shown themselves to be corrupt and self serving which puts the data I have seen in question.   It is difficult to evaluate information outside one’s sphere of expertise.

    • #15
  16. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Chowderhead (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine. I’ve also been fascinated by the fact that there are no alternative dentists.

    Nailed it. Best opening line ever.

    Dr. Bastiat: I think there are parallels in politics. Many wealthy people vote Democrat, because they think their wealth and social standing insulate them from the consequences of leftist policies.

    Mrs. Chowderhead often asks me why do these rich leftists advocate for more regulations and higher taxes? I can’t come up with a good answer other than more power is worth a little extra taxes. Perhaps they do think they are immune.

     

    Here’s my hypothesis as to why: there’s a fairly high degree of arrogance among rich leftists, along with a low degree of respect for the Constitution and limited government. The arrogance breeds a type of paternalism that is convinced that they know better how to do things (you know–small things like saving the planet), and the lack of respect for the Constitution and limited government means that they’re not constrained by any particular means to their desired ends. It really is a toxic combination.

    I think that, like so much of Leftism, it is primarily fueled by narcissism. In taking my money and spending it on their favorite cause, they see themselves as being charitable and generous. Great for the self image.

    • #16
  17. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Chowderhead (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine. I’ve also been fascinated by the fact that there are no alternative dentists.

    Nailed it. Best opening line ever.

    Dr. Bastiat: I think there are parallels in politics. Many wealthy people vote Democrat, because they think their wealth and social standing insulate them from the consequences of leftist policies.

    Mrs. Chowderhead often asks me why do these rich leftists advocate for more regulations and higher taxes? I can’t come up with a good answer other than more power is worth a little extra taxes. Perhaps they do think they are immune.

     

    Here’s my hypothesis as to why: there’s a fairly high degree of arrogance among rich leftists, along with a low degree of respect for the Constitution and limited government. The arrogance breeds a type of paternalism that is convinced that they know better how to do things (you know–small things like saving the planet), and the lack of respect for the Constitution and limited government means that they’re not constrained by any particular means to their desired ends. It really is a toxic combination.

    I think that, like so much of Leftism, it is primarily fueled by narcissism. In taking my money and spending it on their favorite cause, they see themselves as being charitable and generous. Great for the self image.

    I don’t disagree, but I am sometimes appalled by the arrogance.  I hear comments like “people don’t need that many/kind of gun(s)”; “teachers are trained to know better than parents”; “why does that person need a pick-up truck anyway”; etc.  They’ve adopted, unironically, the Reagan aphorism, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

    • #17
  18. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Let’s elect more dentists. 

    • #18
  19. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Let’s elect more dentists.

    That could work.  On the other hand, they’re ripe for other kinds of jokes.  I had a law prof who used dentists in each hypothetical that called for someone making a bad investment, like investing in a citrus farm in Minnesota.

    • #19
  20. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Although I agree about your logical statement that people need to examine the real world results of their  political beliefs, I feel a need to point out a few  things about medical realities.

    Perhaps the biggest problem of a physician who sets out to write about the world of Establishment Medicine vs The Alternative World of Medicine is that most physicians experience medical treatment differently than the average person does.

    If that doctor or a family member gets sick, or has some excruciatingly painful condition that is on going, he or she knows the top people in the field of medicine that would be pertinent to helping the patient out. Not only that, they might be friends with that doctor or specialist. And on top  of that, maybe the specialist in question owes them a favor.

    For the rest of us, medicine doesn’t work out like that. My extraordinarily gifted GP retired in 2015. It took me 18 months before he could be replaced, as in Calif the only clinics taking on new patients were being pressured into only seeing pregnant women, women with children, or children.

    So forgive us if during some 18 month wait to see a new doctor, we then turn to alt practitioners.

    The other thing is that “Alt Medicine” was at one time the real medicine. The Rockefeller Mindset on Medicine has replaced so much of what used to be medicine that these days, it is enforcing ludicrous  med protocols. One such ludicrous protocol in the 2 hospitals local to my needs  is  that ER doctors must not diagnose a patient, but order up tests. Of course the tests they order up often are read by someone in a 3rd world clinic who has to process 15K to 30K worth of tests a day. So who knows if the tests are even read right? If your condition exists but your test states it doesn’t, you can be sent home to die.

    I cannot imagine my great aunt’s reaction to what the world of medicine is right now. She was an eye surgeon, taught at the University of Chicago, and schooled in a world gestalt where  medicine was always combined with logic. I know her view on masks was that if they were to be worn, it made sense during the first six weeks of an outbreak. She also held to a belief that validly made observations by hundreds and thousands of her colleagues out in the field counted for more than randomized clinical trials that were conducted by an inner circle of “scientists” who were on the pre-approved lists of health “expert” Bill Gates and Tony “Mr Science” Fauci.

    • #20
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Chowderhead (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine. I’ve also been fascinated by the fact that there are no alternative dentists.

    Nailed it. Best opening line ever.

    Dr. Bastiat: I think there are parallels in politics. Many wealthy people vote Democrat, because they think their wealth and social standing insulate them from the consequences of leftist policies.

    Mrs. Chowderhead often asks me why do these rich leftists advocate for more regulations and higher taxes? I can’t come up with a good answer other than more power is worth a little extra taxes. Perhaps they do think they are immune.

     

    Here’s my hypothesis as to why: there’s a fairly high degree of arrogance among rich leftists, along with a low degree of respect for the Constitution and limited government. The arrogance breeds a type of paternalism that is convinced that they know better how to do things (you know–small things like saving the planet), and the lack of respect for the Constitution and limited government means that they’re not constrained by any particular means to their desired ends. It really is a toxic combination.

    I think that, like so much of Leftism, it is primarily fueled by narcissism. In taking my money and spending it on their favorite cause, they see themselves as being charitable and generous. Great for the self image.

    I don’t disagree, but I am sometimes appalled by the arrogance. I hear comments like “people don’t need that…

    It is an odd thing to be concerned about, as opposed to what someone does need and doesn’t have. 

    The virtue of Minding One’s Own Business is sadly lacking in people. 

    • #21
  22. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine. I’ve also been fascinated by the fact that there are no alternative dentists.

    Best opening lines ever.

    Also, this is a sound argument.  People need to feel the real impact of their choices to really decide.  Another great Dr. B post!

    Edit: Chowderhead beat me to it!

    • #22
  23. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Let’s elect more dentists.

    That could work. On the other hand, they’re ripe for other kinds of jokes. I had a law prof who used dentists in each hypothetical that called for someone making a bad investment, like investing in a citrus farm in Minnesota.

    Maybe they were just wisely investing in Climate Change.

    • #23
  24. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Dental examples?   Dubious teeth whitening.  Home methods of pulling teeth?  Mouth wash with painful alcohol?  

    I used to trust doctors implicitly.  But I’ve had two surgeries that turned out to be completely unnecessary and lately doctors giving me drugs that don’t work and make me worse.  I’ve also had doctors help me tremendously when I didn’t even know I could be helped.  

    After the past two years of a fraudulent corona scare and extreme over reactions led by the medical community, I am quite reluctant to trust doctors. 

    Dentists haven’t become politicized, yet, so I still trust them.  

    • #24
  25. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I am a lifelong fan of Ayn Rand because, at least in my reading, she described the psychological effects of living in a socialist society better than anyone else.

    It’s the paperwork and the bureaucratic attitude that forces smart people into drinking their lives away, as we saw happen in the Soviet Union and fascist Italy. Greece too. And Cuba.

    This comes across most strongly in We the Living, which IMO is her best novel from a literary standpoint.  See especially the description of the Marxist Club meeting (attendance is mandatory if you want to keep your job), excerpted at my post Life in the Fully Politicized Society.

    • #25
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Of note, people who believe in alternative medicine often also believe in evil corporations hiding the easy cures from them, and feel elite by knowing ‘the truth’ in opposition to those they know to be corrupt. 

    • #26
  27. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine.

    “Alternative medicine” is an alternative name for “medicines not proven to be effective.”

    • #27
  28. jorge espinha Lincoln
    jorge espinha
    @jorgeespinha

    Very good. Very insightful. Like rich actors that claim to believe that the rich should pay more taxes. But those actors aren’t paid a salary per se, the money is paid to a company(that they own) that pays much lower taxes. Steve Jobs tried an alternative treatment and died. At some point, reality will pay them a visit.

    • #28
  29. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    TBA (View Comment):

    Of note, people who believe in alternative medicine often also believe in evil corporations hiding the easy cures from them, and feel elite by knowing ‘the truth’ in opposition to those they know to be corrupt.

    This has been something I’ve tried to explain to my children when the topic has come up from time to time. If [fill in the blank with a given homeopathic substance that is 99.9% inert like water, with a trace element of something like silver] were actually effective, wouldn’t the profit seeking big pharmaceutical companies jump at the chance to sell it? They’re already set up to process and package products like that on a large scale, and adding trace elements of something to water would be much less expensive than processing more conventional medicines. They would put the herbal market folks out of business in a flash if they “knew” the alternatives were actually effective.

    • #29
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’ve long been fascinated by alternative medicine.

    “Alternative medicine” is an alternative name for “medicines not proven to be effective.”

    And pharmaceuticals are medicines that have not yet been proven to kill you.  Now where’s my so very benign Propulsid.

    • #30
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