The Instigator
sparky00137
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Smithereens
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Alternative medicine is better than Western medicine

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Smithereens
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/9/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,372 times Debate No: 32302
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (3)

 

sparky00137

Con

I would like to thank my opponent in advance for accepting this debate, and will allow him/her to give arguments for this, before offering my rebuttal.
Smithereens

Pro

Introduction:
Hello Con, I see you have a debate set up for an easy win. So allow me to provide you with a headache.

To start, while we have a resolution to work with, defintions are rather lacking. When it comes to medicine, the country you are in and your culture largely determines what the medicine is. So to start, universal agreements on what constitues as medicine is as follows:

Definitions:
Medicine: a substance (as a drug or potion) used to treat something other than disease. [1]
Western: <-- That way (when facing north. (America)) Also applies to countries who the term 'Western Civilisation' can apply to, including Aus/NZ, Europe and the USA.
Alternative medicine: For this debate, arguing in favour of alternative medicine means also arguing for complementary medicine. So the two will go together. Alternative medicine shall be defined as: Any medicine not considered conventional by the medical community.[2] Complementary medicine is any alternative medicine taken with conventional medicine.
Better: having pleasing qualities or properties[3]

To win this debate, I, pro, must establish that Altnernative/Complementary medicine is more desirable than Western medicine. BoP is shared, since Con is the instigator, which makes no sense.

Affirmative Case:
Argument 1: Desirability.
A 2007 survey conducted by the US Department of Health and Human services approximted 38% of American adults actively use Complementary/Alternative medicine (CAM).[4] This does not include the amount who have used it in the past or the ones who don't use medicine at all. So it can be said that the percentage is slightly higher. The figure provided indicates an extremely wide use of CAM, I provide my argument now in syllogism:
P1: 'Better,' is that which is more desirable.
P2: People do things which they find desirable
P3: Many people use CAM
P4: Therefore many people find CAM desirable as opposed to conventional medicine.
C: CAM is desirable

Premises 1, 2 and 3 will be considered axioms, which leaves P4. In justification of the premise to prove its soundness, I quote Dr. Gerald Neuberg, associate clinical professor of medicine. In regards to Alternative medicine, he concedes that: "Patients probably do feel better..."[5]
In regards to the conclusion, CAM is considered desirable by many doctors. The Atlantic reports: 'More and more physicians are recommending alternative therapies to their patients and many now say that acupuncture and meditation work better than expensive drugs at treating major chronic diseases.' [6]
The above argument is not enough to establish my case, since it doesn't compare itself with conventional medicine. therefore I also argue that the majority of peope who use conventional medicine do so not because they find it more desirable, but because they feel obliged to. The average person when sick will see a doctor and ask for recomendations for treatment and medicine. My argument is simply that the patient does what the doctor says regardless of wanting to or not. The doctor perscribes a certain conventional medicine and that will be that. I am sure everyone has experience the displeasure of taking medicine at regular intervals. This sort of undesirability would usually be called subjective, but since it is a negative experience for everyone, we can call it objectively undesirable. Compare this with peoples free-will choice to take alternative medicine as opposed to conventional medicine.

CAM is therefore more desirable than Western medicine and is therefore better.

Argument 2: 'positive willpower medicine.'
In this argument I will further support my previous argument by establishing that CAM is desirable. I will then postulate a well-supported scientific theory that positive will-power and the will to survive greatly increase recovery chances.

To begin, we must recognise the fact that in general, people find CAM more desirable than Western medicine. I have already grounded the position of conventional medicine being undesirable compared to CAM medicine, so I will now also provide evidence that CAM medicine is found to be preferable desirebility wise.
The use of CAM has seen an increase over the past years[7] This is mainly explained by their relative low cost compared to conventional medicine. It is also explained by CAM's level of satisfaction it can boast to give to its patients. Many people now seek out CAM's like acupuncture and meditation not as a cure, but as a leisure activity.

Subargument 2.1
Before I move on to the main Argument 2, I will elaborate on the price differences between conventional and CAM treatments.
14 studies have found CAM treatments to be cost-effective,that is, worth their money.[8] BMC also says the studies: '[were]comparable to the quality found by systematic reviews of economic evaluations in conventional medicine.' So in relation to money, Pro cannot argue that conventional methods are cost preferable to CAM, therefore this debate falls down to which method is prefered.

And now the argument 2 that joins onto argument 1, a patient who really wants to live will have better chances of living than one that doesn't. This argument will be short and sweet, it follows that a person who has undergone a treatment that has put them in a joyful mindset of surviving their illness will do more to attempt to cure it than someone who has admitted defeat and is waiting to die. Someone who actually believes they will survive will see the chance and go to rather large lengths in responce to the natural, human survival drive.

Conclusion:
That is my case for this round, next round will include, defenses and rebuttals. Might I mention that I have absolutely no motivation to do this debate except in the hope that one day, people who set up easy wins don't get them. The amount of effort Pro will have to put into this debate should be around the same I put in. So I'll put it as much as possible in order to make this debate tied or even a Con win.

State your case Pro.

Sources:

[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2]http://nccam.nih.gov...
[3]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4]http://nccam.nih.gov...
[5]http://www.columbia.edu...
[6]http://www.theatlantic.com...
[7]http://www.newsworks.org...
[8]http://www.biomedcentral.com...
Debate Round No. 1
sparky00137

Con

Hello Pro, I see you have set up a debate for a interesting win. I recieved your headache well, I will now provide you with a migraine. Hope you enjoy it.

Rebuttal
The majority of people who use conventional medicine do so not because they find it more desirable, but because they feel obliged to.
"People often don"t know what is good for them. People feel obliged because they know that it is good for them. Besides, for small things like headaches, colds, flu's, it's probably better to go to your nearest doctor, get an antibiotic and save yourself considering that alternative medicine isn't a quick fix, it's something you have to be patient with.

Alternative medicine is considered more desirable because of their relative low cost compared to conventional medicine.
"Not all alternative medicine costs a small amount
"The accumulated cost of continued use of alternative medicines over a long period of time can become more than the cost of conventional medicine.

A patient who really wants to live will have better chances of living than one that doesn"t.
"Even if people have the will to live, if they don"t have the right treatment they won"t get better. Because alternative medicine takes so long to take effect, it would take quite a long time to be able to find out if your treatment was the correct one, whereas with conventional medicine it wouldn"t take so long.

Negating Points:
Alternative medicine takes too long. If you use alternative medicine, you have to have patience for it to work. Not all families have the flexibility of paying for costs over the long period of using alternative medicine (because it does take a while to heal).

Alternative medicine carries with it some risk. Even though herbs have been used since ancient times, not all of them have been studied regarding whether or not they are safe or efficient to use. There are issues concerning the environment they grew in, as well as their interactions with other species that may cause them to be unpure. Many people assume that herbal medicines are better just because they are natural, but they are not risk free.

Just because alternative medicines seem natural, doesn't mean there aren't any consequences.
Users of natural medicines may abuse it the same way they do in the case of using synthetic drugs.
People think that because medicine that isn't conventional consists of herbs, it mustn't do any harm if they triple the dosage or more. Little do they know, they are completely wrong. Take vitamins for example. They are just vitamins, right? How could they do any damage to our body? But they do. Vitamin overdosing can lead to unpleasant effects depending on the vitamin that has been taken too many times.

Vitamin A over dosage can cause liver problems, osteoporosis, hair loss and other dangerous effects and leads to dehydration, vomiting, anorexia and even kidney stones. The same thing is true about herbal medicines, they may seem harmless but they really aren't if we abuse them, which is what we will do because we'd think that they are completely natural and good for our bodies.
I would like to mention, that I also have absolutely no motivation to do this debate except that I need this for school, and if you don"t like the debate you didn"t have to accept it.

Sources:
http://ezinearticles.com...
Smithereens

Pro

Affirmative Round 2
Thats the spirit, pain all around. I just realised you were new to the site so it was rude of me to enter this debate with the explcit purpose of trying to make you lose... Meh. Just to let you know, it is frowned upon to make debates which gaurenttee you an easy win.

Before I start, I recognise Con's structure, and must conclude that he/she has experience is debating in real life, where you speak instead of typing. The problem is that speeches lack everything a written debate needs, like coherency, lay-out and sources. I would recommend reading debates first before making them.

Defence of the Affirmative Case:
I recognise 3 objections Con has played against my case, I will state the parts of my arguments that were attacked in bold and then explain Con's rebuttal underneath and a rebuttal underneath that. That way, everyone wins except for me.

1. Conventional medicine is not as desirable as Alternative medicine.

Con's Objection: People often don"t know what is good for them. People feel obliged because they know that it is good for them. Besides, for small things like headaches, colds, flu's, it's probably better to go to your nearest doctor, get an antibiotic and save yourself considering that alternative medicine isn't a quick fix, it's something you have to be patient with.
There are a few things that are wrong with Con's argument:
  • "People don't often know what is good for them," is purely irrelevant. If someone wanted to wash their face in a pond to cure a foot sore, we have no right to comment. For that person, whichever method he/she wants is better for him. To say that one person can choose what is better for everyone is to assume Con has already won the debate, which is not true.
  • People feel obliged because they know that it is good for them. This sentence contradicts the one that came before it. But anyways, its false never-the-less. People feel obliged not because they know it to be true, no one knows medicine to work with 100% success, instead, people go to the doctor because they either think it will make them better, or because everyone else does that. The socio-cultural interferences in our everyday decision making is so great that there is even a perspective of psychology dedicated to it. [1]
  • it's probably better to go to your nearest doctor Unfounded claim, unsupported, unsourced, unjustified, not cited, ungrounded, not founded and not at all in support of your case.
So that was the entire Pro objection in 3 sentences. The gist of the affirmative argument here was that patients -even though they don't know it, and even though they do know it- would take Conventional medicine because it is better for them. This objection is as a whole, invalid due to its illigitimancy in pre-suppossing that the motion is negated.

2. Alternative medicine is prefered due to relative low cost compared to conventional Medicine.
My opponent's only objection to this argument is that there are exceptions to the rule. I agree. But the argument still stands.

3. A patient who wants to live has better chances of survival as opposed to one that doesn't.
Again, Con assumes the resolution is defeated in order to make her claims. Con says: 'If they don"t have the right treatment they won't get better.' What, may I ask, is the right treatment? It's Alternative medicine, definitely.
  • Because alternative medicine takes so long to take effect, it would take quite a long time to be able to find out if your treatment was the correct one, whereas with conventional medicine it wouldn't take so long. So here we see an actual argument being made by Con. However, its not sourced etc. Putting that aside, let's investigate why the claim is wrong. To start, Con thinks that alternative medicine takes a long time to take effect. To disprove this, go get acupuncture and see how you feel. It's not that slow is it? That basically undermines the entire argument, so I'll leave it at that.
Well, ladies and gents, that was all that was attacked by Con, please notice the lack of success in the negative objections. Moving on to my rebuttals now, Con makes 2 points, 1 of them is simply subjective, the other is irrelevant.

Deconstruction of the Negative Case:
Objection 1: Alternative medicine takes too long. Depeding on what type of CAM you use, it would be suprising to know that results start as soon as the method is implimented, chiropractors move bones into place, massages relax muscles, Meditation calms the mind. The contention that is raised by Con occurrs because it is well known that people who start a CAM won't stop for a very long time. You don't have to be sick to take CAM.

Objection 2: Alternative medicine carries with it some risk. What Con forgot to point out was how this arguments supports the resolution. Saying that a certain method of medicine is risky does not make it less better as that assumes a definition of 'better,' different to the one already agreed upon in the debate.
Furthermore, This argument is self defeating. As with a previous Con point, the first sentence disagrees with the second: Alternative medicine carries with it some risk. vs not all of them have been studied regarding whether or not they are safe How does Con know that they bear negative risk if no one knows if they can even cause harm? To be fair, stepping into the unknown is a form of risk, but the risk in question is safety risk. If Con can provide an example of a potentially dangerous CAM, I will concede this point. When one sits back and thinks about it however, it is easy to realise that I won't need to concede anything, as methods like meditation and acupuncture are not at all dangerous.

On the contrary, it is actually medicine we should be worried about, as mis-perscribed or abuse of artificial drugs may kill you. [Source: see medicine bottle lids]

To illustrate the outstanding safeness of CAM, I will explain the lack of danger present in each of the most commonly used CAM methods.


http://nccam.nih.gov...
The most common CAM is natural products, crushing leaves to make a soap is harmless.
Next is deep breathing. Harmless? NOOooOOo. You see, its completely harmless.
Meditation, harmless
Chiropractic, sometimes uncomfortable, but harmless.
Massages, pleasant and harmless.
Yoga, fun and harmless
Diets, controlled eating is harmless
Progressive relaxation, harmless
Guided imagry, harmless
homeopathic treatment. I personally do not believe this to be possible, but harmless never-the-less (where someone focuses their mind's energy on healing a disease)
I didn't really have to point out why most of these methods are completely harmless. So to Conclude:
Alternative medicine is better than Western medicine.

Source:
[1]http://healthandfitnessbay.blogspot.com.au...;
Debate Round No. 2
sparky00137

Con


Defence of the Negating Case:


Because alternative medicine takes so long to take effect, it would take quite a long time to be able to find out if your treatment was the correct one, whereas with conventional medicine it wouldn't take so long.



  • Go get acupuncture and see how you feel. It's not that slow is it? That basically undermines the entire argument, so I'll leave it at that. My opponents rebuttal is good, but not so great in terms of facts. Acupuncture actually takes more than 5-6 visits to see results. For more serious cases, it takes more than that. Using conventional medicine means getting results in a few days. Might want to reconsider your argument on that. Further more, acupuncture is not the only form of alternative medicine. There are many more so focusing solely on one does not prove anything in this debate. For example, using alternative medicine for the skin disease, 'Vitiligo' actually takes up to up to 3 years or more depending on how much you actually have (this is from personal experience so of course it's valid). Hence, it actually is that slow and I'll leave it at that.


People often don't know what is good for them. People feel obliged because they know that it is good for them.



  • If someone wanted to wash their face in a pond to cure a foot sore, we have no right to comment. For that person, whichever method he/she wants is better for him. People feel obliged because they know that it is good for them. This sentence contradicts the one that came before it. But anyways, its false never-the-less. People feel obliged not because they know it to be true, no one knows medicine to work with 100% success, instead, people go to the doctor because they either think it will make them better, or because everyone else does that. The socio-cultural interferences in our everyday decision making is so great that there is even a perspective of psychology dedicated to it. [1]

  • 'For that person, whichever method he/she wants is better for him', this isn't necessarily true. If someone wanted to jump off a cliff to get rid of height fears, that's not a good method because it endangers their life. It is an exaggerated example, but you get what I mean. I have never indicated that one person can choose what is best for everyone at any point in this debate, so that is an invalid statement on its own, pointless.

  • 'People go to the doctor because they either think it will make them better, or because everyone else does that' Yes, I agree that people go to the doctor because they think it will make them better. Usually, that is what happens. They feel better after a visit to the doctor because the doctor ensures them that they will cure or they give medicines that ensure that their illness will cure OR they provide an explanation and sometimes we think the worst of our symptoms but a trip to the doctor means we are able to understand that what we have may not actually be that serious, as a result, we feel better. People definitely do not go to the doctors because everyone else does that. When you talk about socio-cultural influence, yes it does have impact on our lives but with something as serious as our health most people do what they feel is best for them not what everyone else is doing. Before doctors can become who they are, they take a series of courses and study in-depth about doctoring before they have the chance to even find a job as a doctor. If there's any society influence on people's decision to the doctors, it's the fact that everyone knows how hard it is to accomplish being a doctor therefore they are reliable for our needs. I rest my case, sometimes general knowledge is all it requires to understand these things.

  • 'It's probably better to go to your nearest doctor' I agree, it is unfounded, unsourced and whatever un-something you would like to type at me. However, let's just use our common sense and not over think this very simple statement. Loads of people go to the doctor every single day, every single hour, every single minute, every single second. A trip to the doctor means you can find out what is wrong with you and how to solve that issue, I cannot stress this any more than I already have. You don't need statistics to prove that a doctor helps or any other evidence. It's just simple. A doctor is a doctor, they are there to be our first choice when it comes to curing our illnesses, don't you ever go to the doctors? I thought so.


Deconstruction of Affirmative's Rebuttal:


Objection 1: Depending on what type of CAM you use, it would be surprising to know that results start as soon as the method is implemented, chiropractors move bones into place, massages relax muscles, Meditation calms the mind.


I see that you are focusing on meditation, chiropractors and massages. Might I mention that there are also other types of alternative medicine, take Ayurvedic Medicines for example, have you ever thought how long they take to work? Never the less, we'll do this your way because it still has flaws that are important to point out. You stated, 'it would be surprising to know that results start as soon as the method is implemented'. That's fine. What we're saying is that it takes long to work, so although it may start working now it may not finish for a long period of time. I think you have either misunderstood that or diverted the statement to your advantages, yet not succeeded.


Objection 2: You talk about how Alternative medicine is not risky at all.


I do not have the energy to keep on proving that alternative medicine is risky. All medicines have the potential to be risky, there's no doubt. Here are some risks of Alternative Medicine:


Herbal Supplements: Cancer, poisoning,


Acupuncture (your favourite): collapsed lungs which can lead to death


Chiropractic Manipulations: Stroke, meningitis


Homeopathy: Malaria, permanent skin disfigurement


ALL CAM: can result in delay of effective care, thus worsening outcomes for cancer patients and others.


For specifications on all of the above, visit this source: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org...


Smithereens

Pro

Con has dropped the majority of my arguments, prefering instead to attack via quotes; so they by default count as concessions and stand in favour of affirming the resolution. T'was a pleasure taking the hard side of the debate and fighting for that, thank you Con for instigating the argument.

As I started with the opening case as Pro. I cannot end with the last argument. So I will conclude the debate.

Arguments 1 for CAM desirability and Argument/subargument 2/2.1 from cost and positive will-power all stand in favour of the resolution in this closing round. As such, I urge a Pro win.

Well done Con on your first debate.



HAIL SMITHIS!

Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
not noob sniping since my position is extremely hard to defend. Plus ima noob too, you also by the looks of it.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Noob sniping.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
conduct point usually goes to me as penalty for the other person setting up these sorts of debates which are considered bad etiquette. But if you really want to give it to con.. I guess that's your choice.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
As this was Cons first debate, and Pro (in the 98.73% percentile) admitted to stepping in to prevent a win, I'd say regardless of all else the conduct point on each vote should go to con.
Posted by makhdoom5 4 years ago
makhdoom5
i think food should be use to treat any disease.
and its possible.
Posted by makhdoom5 4 years ago
makhdoom5
no medicine for flue. cold for fever. for diherea.

which doctor if give me medicine for this i will punch and broke his nose.

idiots are they.
they do not do any thing but experiments on patients.

your immune become like shiit if you.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
I had a strange feeling that you created your entire last post in mimicry of my style.. :|
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
There is no other life apart from debating.. one day you too will become one of us in this here cult. But yeah, have your 15 imaginary dollars.
Posted by sparky00137 4 years ago
sparky00137
nah, i just have stuff other than debating to do with my life. i would like my 15 imaginary dollars now :D
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
I bet $15 imaginary dollars that you will forfeit the final round...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Pennington 4 years ago
Pennington
sparky00137SmithereensTied
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: I think Con started out condescending, conduct Pro. Though through the reading Con has obviously made a much stronger case. He did structure his debate well and showed the proper debate format for writing but he attacked his opponent to much considering being new, so S/G goes to Pro as well. I must give sources to Con.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
sparky00137SmithereensTied
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: There are actually some things which don't warrant wasting a doctors time on... But Con makes the great point: "ALL CAM: can result in delay of effective care, thus worsening outcomes for cancer patients and others." Conduct: Con's first argument, and doing a decent job emulating the format seen around here. Vs pro stepping in to prevent a win for a first time debator (noob sniping, which he argues he's also a noob since he's only only had seven months of debates, which is a definition of noob I disagree with).
Vote Placed by Misterscruffles 4 years ago
Misterscruffles
sparky00137SmithereensTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's assertions, despite being completely wrong, were sourced better than con's. "I just realised you were new to the site so it was rude of me to enter this debate with the explcit purpose of trying to make you lose" Pro loses conduct for this. Re-read round two, in my opinion, both parties arguments were roughly as strong. Pro gets s/g point.