The Instigator
InVinoVeritas
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Magicr
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The practice of homeopathy should be made illegal in the US

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Magicr
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/9/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,676 times Debate No: 25516
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

InVinoVeritas

Pro

Resolution: The practice of homeopathy should be made illegal in the United States.

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Homeopathy: a form of alternative medicine, originated by Samuel Hahnemann in Germany more than 200 years ago.

Illegal: forbidden by law

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The first round is for acceptance.

Thank you.
Magicr

Con

Accepted. BoP is on Pro.

Additional definitions:

Should- used to express obligation or duty.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

Illegal in the US- referring to federal law in the United States.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Does homeopathy work?

All in all, studies suggest that homeopathy does not have effects beyond those of a placebo. [1] [2] [3]

Moreover, the methods used have no scientific basis, as well. The concept of "the more a substance is diluted in water, the more substantial its medicinal qualities" is unfounded. [4] And here is a list of homeopathic preparations that are used to cure real diseases. [5] The use of a majority of these has no modern scientific basis.

If my opponent wishes to contest this, I will surely expand on my objections to the validity of homeopathy.

What is alternative medicine?

Homeopathy is a form of "alternative medicine," which is a "practice claiming to heal 'that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine.'" [6]

Why should the practice of homeopathic medicine be made illegal?

If a company were selling a type of toaster that they claimed functioned perfectly and then the toasters were actually all broken and not functional, then that company would be held accountable. A business cannot make a false, unfounded claim about its product that is not supported by any rational basis. In the United States, we believe that customers have the right to know what they are buying; when products are misrepresented by a company, it is considered "false advertising." [7]

Homeopathy, by being an institution of alternative medicine, makes the claim that it has the ability to heal (i.e., to restore health), despite its disassociation from conventional medicine. However, in reality, there is no scientific evidence that homeopathic medicine is more effective than placebo. The claims made by those who practice homeopathy are simply untrue, and this misleads the public.

In conclusion, the practice of homeopathy should be made illegal in the United States, since it is clearly deceptive.

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[1] https://www.mja.com.au...
[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...
[3] http://nccam.nih.gov...
[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Magicr

Con

Definitions

Pro has not questioned my definitions, so they shall be the definitions I will use.

Does homeopathy work?

For the purpose of this debate I will concede that the scientific evidence goes against the practice of homeopathy.

Why should the practice of homeopathic medicine be made illegal?

My opponent makes the case that claiming to be able to heal someone through homeopathy is like claiming that a toaster works, even if it doesn't. All that is necessary to remedy this problem is to require homeopathic practitioners to inform their clients that homeopathy is not supported by scientific evidence. Thus, it is no longer "false advertising."

Even if homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo, if people find that they notice less allergy symptoms because of homeopathy's placebo effect, then it will have had a positive impact on that person.

But really, this debate boils down to one big idea: Does our federal government have the right to make something illegal, even if people feel that it helps them. The answer is no. There are two ways the government can make homeopathy illegal.

The first way is to have Congress pass a law rendering the practice illegal. The powers of Congress are enumerated in the Constitution, however, and the power to make a law banning a certain medical practice, mainstream or alternative, is not included in this list [1]. Congress does not have the power to ban the practice of homeopathy.

The other option is to create a Constitutional amendment banning homeopathy. The purpose of the Constitution is to lay down the foundations of our society. Homeopathy is not an issue that the Constitution should be concerned with.

Conclusion

My opponent has not shown that homeopathy is harmful. At worst, it does nothing to a person. At best, it may relieve their symptoms for certain ailments.

In the United States, we allow many things that are not proven by science to be practiced: Tarot reading, astrology, and religion. People have the freedom to choose whether they wish to partake in these activities, and the government should not infringe on that freedom.

Source:

[1]- http://www.archives.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Does homeopathy work?

Conceded.

Why should the practice of homeopathic medicine be made illegal?

My opponent claims, "All that is necessary to remedy this problem is to require homeopathic practitioners to inform clients that homeopathy is not supported by scientific evidence." So, if a car dealership representative were to sell a car and say, "Although this car's functionality has not been tested, we assure you that it works ideally," then the car dealership should not be held responsible? Although it is admitted that formal testing does not evidence it, the claim that it works still exists, and it is misleading and not excusable.

Moreover, the basis of homeopathy is that there IS that there is evidence that homeopathic treatments work and that they are effective. Theories of "water memory" and other pseudo-scientific bases have been established, though they have been debunked by the mainstream scientific community. According to the National Center of Homeopathy: "It has a laudable and extensively-documented clinical record and there are literally hundreds of high-quality, peer-reviewed basic science, pre-clinical and clinical studies showing it works." [1] A homeopathic practitioner who does not uphold the scientific validity of his field is, by definition, not practicing true homeopathy.

"The manufacture and sale of homeopathic medicines is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States was written into federal law in 1938 under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, making the manufacture and sale of homeopathic medicines legal in this country." [2]

The FDA should not approve homeopathic treatments, and Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia should be erased from federal law. By having the treatments be not FDA approved, homeopathy would no longer be a government-approved institution of alternative medicine. And its role as a provider of alternative medicine would no longer be upheld or allowed.

[1] http://nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org...
[2] http://nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org...
Magicr

Con

Pro begins by writing:

"If a car dealership representative were to sell a car and say, 'Although this car's functionality has not been tested, we assure you that it works ideally,' then the car dealership should not be held responsible? Although it is admitted that formal testing does not evidence it, the claim that it works still exists, and it is misleading and not excusable."

I contend that as long as the consumer is properly informed of the nature of the scientific knowledge on the product, they have the ability to make a good decision. All the government should be responsible to do is to make sure that people are properly informed.

My opponent continues by committing the fallacy of composition, which uses information about parts of something to make a claim about the thing as a whole [1]. He provides evidence that a certain group of homeopaths claim that homeopathy is scientifically valid, and then all homeopathic practioners must uphold this claim. There is no reason that someone who practices homeopathy must believe in their work as anything more than a placebo. Many do, but it is not necessary.

Pro's final argument is that all that must be done to make the practice of homeopathy illegal is for congress to reverse a provision in the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. This, however, is not the case. While reversing his part of the law would mean that homeopathy would have no official status as a form of medicine, as the law merely recognized homeopathy [2]. People would still be allowed to practice homeopathy. My argument that the practice of homeopathy cannot be made illegal without violating the Constitution has not been refuted, and therefore stands.

Additionally, my argument that homeopathy can helpful, even if its impact is limited to that of a placebo, has not been refuted, and also stands.

My opponent has not proven that it is necessary to make the practice of homeopathy illegal, even though it does positive things for some people. Therefore, the resolution is negated.

Sources:

[1]- http://www.nizkor.org...

[2]- http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
InVinoVeritas

Pro

"I contend that as long as the consumer is properly informed of the nature of the scientific knowledge on the product, they have the ability to make a good decision. All the government should be responsible to do is to make sure that people are properly informed."

When the institution of homeopathy misleads people, even by defining itself as a form of "medicine," it is in the wrong. The government should not allow such unlawful, deceptive practices to go on in the first place. Regulation of quackery does not effectively null the lies passed on to the public from the institution of homeopathy itself.

"My opponent continues by committing the fallacy of composition, which uses information about parts of something to make a claim about the thing as a whole."

Anyone who prescribes homeopathic treatments and claims that they are only as effective as placebo is not practicing homeopathic medicine; such practice would not be approved by any major homeopathic organization or regulatory service, which all uphold "evidence" for homeopathy's more-than-placebo effects on health. Moreover, I have never heard of a homeopathic practitioner who does not claim that his treatments work; this may be because no one would ever go to a practitioner and pay for treatments that he claims do not work.

Moreover, the FDA can certainly ban homeopathic treatments, thereby precluding the further (legal and medicinal) practice of homeopathy in the country. An example is the FDA's ban of HCG diet products, a homeopathic weight loss treatment that clearly posed a threat due to its lack of a scientific basis. [1] The FDA can simply not approve of the medicinal sale of any homeopathic products. Doing so, the currently accepted, medicinal practice of homeopathy would be banned, pretty much.

"Even if homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo, if people find that they notice less allergy symptoms because of homeopathy's placebo effect, then it will have had a positive impact on that person."

The absence of allergy symptoms will have a positive impact on the person? What makes a treatment effective is the existence of effects, not the absence of effects. If it were the absence of effects, then we could call the consumption of gasoline a valid remedy for the common cold, since it does not cause acne--among the infinite number of things that remain absent after its consumption.

[1] http://www.fda.gov...
Magicr

Con

As this is the final round, I will be providing a summary of the arguments that have taken place during this debate as well as a few rebuttals of the arguments Pro made in the preceding round.

My opponent writes:

"When the institution of homeopathy misleads people, even by defining itself as a form of 'medicine,' it is in the wrong. The government should not allow such unlawful, deceptive practices to go on in the first place."

This contention that homeopathy is "unlawful" is without a foundation. Homeopathy is clearly lawful as it is permitted by law.

Pro continues by arguing that since he has never heard of a homeopathic practitioner who did not believe in what they were doing, such a person cannot exist.

Next, he writes that the FDA can ban homeopathy as a medicine, however the resolution is not limited to the use of homeopathy when it is called a medicine, but rather the practice of homeopathy regardless of name. So the FDA could not ban homeopathy all together as the resolution calls for, but rather could only dictate that it cannot be sold as a medicine.

Finally, Pro straw mans one of my strongest arguments. I will summarize this argument, and then explain his straw man.

My argument was that if people experienced positive effects from homeopathy, they should be allowed to continue to practice it, regardless of whether it is supported by traditional scientific evidence. I first presented this argument in Round 2 where I wrote: "My opponent has not shown that homeopathy is harmful. At worst, it does nothing to a person. At best, it may relieve their symptoms for certain ailments."

The argument was not challenged and was reiterated in R3 when I even gave a specific example of how homeopathy could help someone by writing ""Even if homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo, if people find that they notice less allergy symptoms because of homeopathy's placebo effect, then it will have had a positive impact on that person."

The argument is simple: If someone notices that something helps them, should they be denied access to that thing? In the specific example from R3, I used the example of allergy symptoms, saying that if someone noticed a decrease in allergy symptoms after being on homeopathy, should they be denied it?

My opponents response to this argument was that the effectiveness of a treatment should not be measured by the absence of symptoms, but rather by the positive effects. In my example, however, an absence of symptoms that were previously present is a positive effect. Therefore, based on his own standard of measuring the effectiveness of a treatment, homeopathy could be seen as an effective treatment for some people because it has a positive impact on them.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that my opponent has shown that homeopathy has a negative impact on people. At the very worst, it will not do anything. At the best, people may experience positive impacts on their health. Should people be denied access to these positive impacts? No. People are not forced to use homeopathy, it is something that they choose to do. If they want to make this choice it should be available.

The BOP rested solely on Pro and he has failed to show that making homeopathy illegal is the course of action that should be taken. I would like to thank him for this debate, as well as all of the people who are reading and voting this debate.

Vote Con!!
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Pathatlon 4 years ago
Pathatlon
I agree with Pro

Is it OK to cheat other people? - No
Is it OK to make money on cheated people? -No
Is it OK to pay tax of money you've gotten from cheating people? - No

It's necessary for companies to clearly point out that their products is not validated

However, people are easily misled and we should strive towards a society based on "truths".

Placebo IS REAL. But the products still doesn't work as described. As such, the placebo could as well come from something else. This means that the companies are still cheating people.

One should not just accept the attitude that "if it works it works", because the individual person loses a lot of money on a sham. If they could use the money on a therapist and find out more about themselves it would be more productive, but that's another discussion.
Posted by Lordknukle 4 years ago
Lordknukle
I read "The practice of homosexuality should be made illegal in the US."

lol...
Posted by adontimasu 4 years ago
adontimasu
It's funny that Con's definition for "illegal in the US" is more complicated than the phrase itself.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
That's generally what happens whenever you plagiarize. You get voted down for stupidity. Make your own arguments.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
I could destroy you at this but last time I tried to someone on this I got voted down for copying.
Posted by Yep 4 years ago
Yep
Interesting... Hopefully someone accepts soon
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by t-man 4 years ago
t-man
InVinoVeritasMagicrTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not defend banning homeopathy completely
Vote Placed by Sojourner 4 years ago
Sojourner
InVinoVeritasMagicrTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I didn't feel that Pro made a compelling case for making homeopathy illegal. Had he focused more on the inherent dangers and harms caused by the nature of the practice, I may have been swayed. Con's libertarian arguments successfully countered Pro.