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Homeopathy and Alternative medicines do not work

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/5/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 838 times Debate No: 38515
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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I believe that homeopathy, magneto therapy and other alternative medicines do not work. They do not have a strong scientific basis and if they show some results, it is due to the placebo effect.


You have contradicted yourself.

First you classify the idea that alternative medicines not working as a belief. Then, you claim that they do not have a scientific basis - while admitting there are results. Then you resort back to your "belief" that any scientific results are due to a placebo effect!

Science is based on physical observation. It is scientific fact that exercise contributes to greater good health. One of the effects is stress relief. Now although this is caused by a internal chemical reaction, it is not observed by the exerciser.

Just because exercise makes people relaxed as a whole, it does not predict whether this person being relaxed is due to exercising or some outside "placebo effect".

Similarly, since there are results of alternative medicine working. You cannot jump to a conclusion that it is due to a placebo effect without proper testing.
Debate Round No. 1


First of all, it is not my BELIEF that the results shown are due to a placebo effect. It has been proven by respected scientists. A quick Wikipedia search will tell the tale, and you have more than enough good references:

Quote: "The scientific community regards homeopathy as nonsense,[11] quackery[12][13][14] or a sham,[15] and homeopathic practice has been criticized as unethical.[16] The axioms of homeopathy are long refuted[17] and lack any biological plausibility.[18] Although some clinical trials produce positive results,[19][20] systematic reviews reveal that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias.[21][22][23][24] The postulated mechanisms of action of homeopathic remedies are not only scientifically implausible[21][25][26][27] but precluded by the laws of physics.[28]"

I admit I used the word believe wrongly at the beginning. What I meant to say is that I trust today's scientific community's methods of research and if they have proved that homeopathy is quackery, I have no reason to say they are not correct.

Now coming back to the real topic, you see that it is not my belief and that systematic tests by the scientific community have proved that homeopathy is nothing but nonsense. I think its safe to accept the results of the scientific community, don't you think so?


While quoting wikipedia, you neglected the rest of the story:

Because medical practice of the time relied on ineffective and often dangerous treatments, patients of homeopaths often had better outcomes than those of the doctors of the time.[59] ... The relative success of homeopathy in the 19th century may have led to the abandonment of the ineffective and harmful treatments of bloodletting and purging and to have begun the move towards more effective, science-based medicine.[33] One reason for the growing popularity of homeopathy was its apparent success in treating people suffering from infectious disease epidemics.[60] During 19th century epidemics of diseases such as cholera, death rates in homeopathic hospitals were often lower than in conventional hospitals, where the treatments used at the time were often harmful and did little or nothing to combat the diseases.[61]

From the above you can see that there were better results with homeopathy than the greatest medical procedures of the time.

Just because modern medical advancement has outpaced both homeopathy and historic medical procedures does not prove it nonsense!

It was clearly recognised to be very effective at one point. It has merely been outperformed -not disproven.
Debate Round No. 2


You missed out a part of the story too- "Because medical practice of the time relied on ineffective and often dangerous treatments, patients of homeopaths often had better outcomes than those of the doctors of the time.[59] Homeopathic remedies, even if ineffective, would almost surely cause no harm, making the users of homeopathic remedies less likely to be killed by the treatment that was supposed to be helping them.[45]".
You claim that homeopathy was better than the 'greatest' medical procedures of those times. As you can see from the above quote, better does not mean it works. Something that does not work is better than something that does harm.


Mathtwin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by dawndawndawndawn 5 years ago
I look forward to this one
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