The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Homeopathy is scientific.

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Debate Round Forfeited
Slavicthink has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 438 times Debate No: 106105
Debate Rounds (3)
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Round one - Accept and begin your argument.
Round two and three - Rebuttals as well as fresh points.
Time limit is 24 hours and the character limit is 8000.
Con's position: Homeopathy is NOT scientific. It is presented incorrectly as scientific medicine however lacks scientific evidence, therefore falls into the category of pseudoscience.
To Pro, and good luck!


Homeopathy is indeed scientific and it has been proven by the scientific method that it is effective in the land of medicine.
As definition, Homeopathy is based on the affirmation that the similar is cured by the similar. I mean, that if you get poisoned, the infection will be cured with a weakened version of the same poison. There is also the placebo factor that we should consider, which has been proven that is able to cure diseases as easily as it can provoke them.
On example of a famous treatment and prevention medicine that is usually based off the definition of homeopathy, are the first vaccines, in where to prevent illness by smallpox, the person recieving the treatment would be infected with cowpox, which doesn't affect the human body yet teaches the immune system how to fight against smallpox. The reason modern vaccines aren't considered homeopathic is because nowdays the virus is weakened with dangerous elemnts like Mercury which can cause secondary effects. But in its early form, it was an homeopathic treatment.

Interesting debate, I also wish good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, I would like to thank Pro for joining the debate.

Pro makes an unfounded claim that homeopathy has been proven by the scientific method.

The above source shows that homeopathy is indeed not based on evidence from the scientific method.
The affirmation that the similar is cured by the similar is unproven and not been shown to work. To understand where this claim came from, we must go all the way back to the birth of homeopathy.
The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, encountered the claim that cinchona, the bark of a Peruvian tree, was effective in treating malaria because of its astringency. [That was the prevailing hypothesis, today we know this is because of the presence of the Anti-malarial drug quinine] Hahnemann said that other astringent substances are not effective against malaria and began to research cinchona's effect on the human body by self-application. [self application is NOT the scientific method] Noting that the drug induced malaria-LIKE symptoms in himself, he concluded that it would do so in any healthy individual. [Personal experience does not equal well established scientific fact] This is how 'like cures like' was born.

Conclusion from the above : this was not done by the scientific method and the reason for the malaria-LIKE symptoms was coincidental, today we know the cure is due to quinine and quinine does not give such symptoms.

Also, such a claim would have to be supported by testing many more diseases to exhibit the same properties - something that has not been done.

Therefore, "like cures like" is not a scientific affirmation.

"If you get poisoned, the infection will be cured with a weakened version of the same poison"

This statement is false. There is no evidence to show that poison can cure an infection caused by it. Furthermore, homeopathy holds that the "weakened" poison be diluted so much that it has a very small chance of even a molecule of the original poison to remain in the medicine.
*For the sake of argument* - if 'like cures like' was true, in small quantities, it certainly will not work if the original substance isn't even there such that it has been diluted out of existence! Then there are bizarre claims made of the 'energy' of the original substance remaining, which relies on vitalism which has been disproved. Also, the claims that "water has memory" is unscientific and if it did, it would have memory of practically everywhere it's been, including materials like glass, gases in air, and even animal waste.

Moving on to the placebo argument - the placebo effect is well demonstrated and actually exists. Homeopathy is shown to be more effective than basic placebos because the patients do not believe that they are placebos, which benefits the effect (this is explained in the source above). However, homeopathy is still not scientific. It does have a slightly strengthened version of the placebo effect, but does not guarantee anything and is not backed by the scientific method. Furthermore, it is noted that instead of Homeopathy, one could opt for scientific medicine which would work with proven efficacy IN ADDITION TO the placebo effect that patients get in believing that it actually helps (which it does) and doctor's advice. This would make things much better.

Moving on to vaccination, this is a completely false argument. Vaccines have nothing to do with homeopathy, they work on the principles of the immune system and its readiness to prevent the onset of a disease that it has been previously exposed to. Vaccinations cannot be taken after the onset of a disease to cure the disease - that would only make things worse. Homeopathy is taken to cure the disease, Vaccination to prevent the onset of a disease by immunisation, not cure. Any linkage between homeopathy and Vaccination is false. So 'modern' vaccines as well as the ones used earlier are not homeopathic treatments.

Having refuted all of Pro's points, I conclude this argument.


Well, to be honest, you've made a strong point. I see I haven't researched enough into the topic. I concede the victory to Con, even though I would like to continue the debate. Props to Con.
There is one discrepancy though, Vaccines work as both a prevention method and a cure for an existing infection as we can learn here:

And nobody talked that homeopathy can't be used as a prevention method, it's more common application has objectives in curing.

Either way, you've refuted well my other points.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you Pro.

And an interesting claim about vaccines working as a cure for existing infections. My argument was actually made to refute the claim that the vaccine made to prevent infection from smallpox was based on the definition of homeopathy - which is not the case.
As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services puts it,
"A vaccine is made from very small amounts of weak or dead germs that can cause diseases " for example, viruses, bacteria, or toxins. It prepares your body to fight the disease faster and more effectively so you won"t get sick." Not homeopathy, and you take it so that you won't get sick, in other words, prevention.
The principle on which vaccines work is immunisation (this happens due to the presence of our body's immune system.)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines this as : the process of becoming immune to (protected against) a disease.

Now I did open the link that you sent and it certainly was interesting. The source concluded in one of its 'key takeaways' - "Vaccines can boost an individual"s immune response and control viruses, such as Ebola and rabies, before they become deadly."
Note the words here - immune response. This isn't a cure, this is a boost to our immune system. Homeopathy on the other hand claims to cure diseases, not 'initiate immune response'. The working of the immune system was not known during the time homeopathy was developed and there are some woo-woo concepts such as 'imbalance of the life forces' - unscientific, or rather pseudoscientific rubbish.
Homeopathy and vaccination/immunisation are unrelated.

As for homeopathy being used as prevention, also known as homeoprophylaxis, that is actually quite dangerous as it may lead to people avoiding vaccines - something with fatal consequences. Many Homeopaths do not subscribe to this and its proponents usually attack vaccines in some form and it is quite clear that it is not vaccination, even its proponents say so in this report which of course I disagree with

Conclusion: Homeopathy is an unproven, illogical form of medicine that is inaccurately presented as scientific, whilst it is anything but. reports on the efficacy of Homeopathy, by meta-analyses, show it to be no more effective than placebos. It is time to promote real medicine and discourage if not completely remove Homeopathy.

"If Homeopathy really worked, dumping Osama bin Laden's body into the ocean would have cured the world of terrorism"
Do not consider the above as part of the formal debate.

Vote con, and thank you for participating pro. It has been a pleasure.
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Debate Round No. 3
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