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Posts Tagged ‘Society of Homeopaths’

Mirrors on the wail

Friday, October 19th, 2007

“Truth is the shattered mirror strewn in myriad bits; while each believes his little bit the whole to own.”
Robert Burton

Seems the Earth isn’t the only thing that’s hotting up these days. Fierce passions all around the UK are stirring themselves and firing off into the blogosphere on the subject of conventional medicine vs homeopathy. (See last month‘s posts.) The self-proclaimed “sceptics”, convinced they’re championing “the truth”, are becoming more and more outspoken in their self-righteous posturing and attacks on “woo”, prompting the Society of Homeopaths to target one particular piece and have the blogger’s ISP force him to remove the article on threat of prosecution under Britain’s libel laws. Predictably, this has spawned a rash of sympathetic repostings and cries of “thuggery” from the ranks of the sceptics. So much hot air … Jung was so very very right.

Don’t get me wrong, rational scepticism is a healthy and intelligent response to phenomena that challenge our accepted ways of seeing things. But it can also become very easily conflated with personal shadow dynamics, which is when it tends to be adopted as some personal badge, “I”dentified with, and rammed down others’ throats with crusading zeal. Taking a look around some of these blogs is an education. Following the author’s thought and emotional processes, it’s instantly obvious that I could no more convince him (usually) of the strength and “truth” of my “reality” than he could me of his (although having in the past lived something very close to his “reality” as if it were real, I maybe have a bit more understanding of it than he might of mine). It also gave me a real good laugh. And not (for a change!) because I was revelling in some self-righteous superiority of my own and denouncing the lot of them as complete idiots, but because I recognised so much of my own writing in theirs.

It’s that Mirror again … So perhaps the sceptics in turn should read a little Jung and reflect on this knee-jerk compulsion they have to jump on and react to anything that hints at a suprapersonal or metaphysical dimension to existence. And just who are they imagining they’re doing this for? Can’t be for themselves surely, as they’re already convinced of the rightness of their ways. No, they’re the knights in white labcoats championing the cause of some mythical Jo(e) Public who’s supposedly too stupid to be able to differentiate between “pseudoscience” and the “truth” for themselves! Oh mirror, mirror …

A higher level of truth here, taking a leaf out of Gentzen’s Theorem, is that we’re all complete idiots, as thoroughly deserving of the absolute contempt we so delight in heaping on people who don’t see things quite the same we we do as we think they are. How on Earth can we delude ourselves into thinking we’re an intelligent species if, after all these millenia, we still haven’t taken on board that the substrate of “reality” is largely a massive feedback loop returning to us the nature of nothing more and nothing less than ourselves? There is no “truth” “out there” that we don’t have a hand in creating, so arguments about “proof” become merely muscle-flexing, testosterone-fueled demonstrations of the collective strength of belief in any one way of seeing things. (See the essay Unscientific Attachment for more on this.)

Think how much more could be achieved if, instead of this continual tilting at windmills, we stopped defending our corners in the interests of finding out what it’s really all about? Not just in medicine, but in all walks of life. With the way things are going, we’ll have to do this sooner or there’ll be no later. At least, not one that involves humankind.

“Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his own image.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Then they fight you

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

“Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.”
Democritus of Abdera

It really is extraordinary, the lengths some people will go to to try and make reality conform to how they think it ‘should’ be. Or perhaps it’s merely a simple case of trying to destroy that which appears to present a threat to their profits?

I just heard today that there are now a group of people searching out British homeopaths via the internet with the deliberate intent of leading them into an entrapment scenario. They telephone and ask for advice on what the homeopath would recommend they do as they’ve just had a diagnosis of cancer/TB/MS/etc, hoping to draw them into making some claim about the ability of homeopathy to treat such conditions. They then contact the Society of Homeopaths’ Professional Conduct Department citing a breach in their Code of Ethics and Practice, which the Society is then obliged to investigate. Evidence they provide is often selective, so that the quotes misrepresent what has been written or said. Good game, eh?

Well I would like to thank these people most sincerely for their wholehearted endorsement of homeopathy! After all, if it were really just the pure nonsense and woo-woo they publicly claim it to be, such actions on their part would be incomprehensible as well as totally unnecessary. The ‘general public’, for all the scorn heaped on its collective mental prowess by those who consider themselves to be ‘authorities’, is a pretty discerning animal. If something doesn’t work, people soon find out and word gets around, so health fads with no substance (pun intended!) don’t tend to last long, let alone for over 200 years. For someone to go to such lengths to try and discredit homeopathy and the people who practice it, they really must be worried. And dirty tricks departments, by their very nature, don’t get past ‘go’ when it comes to claiming the moral high ground, so they can forget this business about what they’re doing being in the ‘public good’. Isn’t the general idea of good science to encourage the search for truth?

(This is only my opinion, you understand, which is of course an inferior opinion to the opinions of the medical establishment, because they said so.)

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
Giordano Bruno

Thanks to the current insanity revolving around homeopathy in this country, in both media and blogosphere, it's become necessary to insult your intelligence by explicitly drawing your attention to the obvious fact that any views or advice in this weblog/website are, unless stated otherwise, the opinions of the author alone and should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you choose to take anything from here that might be construed as advice, you do so entirely under your own recognisance and responsibility.

smeddum.net - Blog: Confessions of a Serial Prover. Weblog on homeopathy, health and related subjects by homeopathic practitioner Wendy Howard