Empiricism is the heart of science, and it is the reason I love homeopathy and a few other straightforward natural therapies.
They work, because they work…
Empiricism is just a description of what works or doesn’t, without becoming the answer of a (why?).
I don’t mean to state there is no room for hypothesis and theory at all. Holding a hypothesis, a (why?) as a question, is a great state to be in while exploring and looking for what works. You’ll notice my use of questions throughout most of this website. Searching for what is healthy for each individual is always… a question…
Yes, holding a theory as a model of what is known to work now, but not the truth, can be very functional.
But, why something works is a dangerous justification for it’s use, especially concerning health. It can be incredibly brutal!
In fact, I assert that our healthcare maintains therapies that do more harm than good for the long term health of individuals based on a lot of sales pitches carefully represented as an answer to a (why?). The so called answers are mechanisms of action, which change like the wind because they are mostly fabricated by the expert rationalization of the moment.
I further assert, how we face a dangerous addiction to our current health system perpetuated by our fear to let go of the answers to (why?).
And, I assert that we miss many of the best opportunities for healthy choices to heal ourselves especially in all forms of medicine, because there is no investment to create a story about (why?) for natural remedies or therapies where there is no financial gain. As an example:
Anything natural cannot be patented or owned outright. Any investment in research or studies for a natural item then gives everyone the opportunity to utilize the natural substance. If you know Chia Seeds are good for you, you can eat them. No single entity can stop you or charge you for their hard earned discovery.
This does not happen with a patented medication or medical procedure. With medical procedures and medications there is a sole owner who invested and gains all the return. Which would you invest in?
I strongly assert that the only justification for something’s use in health is solely because it works and works safely to improve health.
However, as we’ve discussed in a prior blog article “Are You Confused by Scientific Studies and Their Contradictions?“, we too often desire to be sold the story of why to allay our fear. I want to know that drug is going to kill the cancer in my colon now!
Feeling that we know the answer to something does seem to reduce our fear and make us feel confident about our decisions, but it can also become dangerous in a health choice. If we believe we understand something because of knowing why, then any other possibility is quite often immediately lost, and so is the potential for science, or common sense. Unsolicited therapies which may have more value are not even on the radar of most individuals to consider.
Cancer is currently being considered a mitochondrial disease or metabolic disorder. If this theory is true, then the sole use of that cancer drug killing the tumor will only lead to more tumors and eventual death…
Competition becomes what drives the popularity of medications based on who has the resources to create the better story and expert rationalization. It also becomes who can scare you best into their rationalizations. We lose the best health choices based on actual validity of the medicine, remedy, procedure, or therapy in use. I can’t imagine a more dangerous situation in a healthcare system.
But, this is what has happened.
It is why throughout my website that I emphasize there is no effectiveness without safety first!
Stories about why something works currently are being used to sell us on health therapies, procedures, and medications. Even dangerous ones. It is these paid for expert rationalizations and theories which need to be rigorously confirmed by empirical data or we have no-science (i.e.. just nonsense). This is blatantly seen in the successful advertising about anti-depressants being needed because depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Who thought that up? We discussed those results of how children commit more suicides and adults commit more murder in our previously article listed above. Saying the drug was being used to balance an imbalance in the brain is a fabrication. Blatantly obvious, when the drug creates even more imbalance by these brutally deadly results. What balance would that be?
I am sorry to say this burden of distinguishing the truth about what works or is fabricated now very brutally relies on the person in the greatest fear going through a health crisis. My heartfelt appreciation for your situation if this is you. It most likely will be all of us at some point.
Not a good situation…
Considering again the class of drugs, mentioned in the previous article linked above, where empirical data showed a direct increase for dementia with medications used over time and how it seems to be irreversible:
What is it exactly we are waiting for if not the direct empirical data to base our health choices on?
Knowing these drugs create a greater probability for causing dementia by increased use, what should we do about them? Plus, knowing the shocking information that the damage appears irreversible, then how should we relate to them? At the very least, wouldn’t we need to label these medications with this information, or even consider stopping the use of those drugs until further empirical data was reviewed? I very much like the doctrine of “First… do no harm!” It holds accountable these kinds of concerns.
Maybe, eventually, these drugs themselves should no longer be available over the counter without these direct warnings being attributed to them strongly on their labels? What do you think?
Instead we get an article that reduces our concern by saying empirical data is not enough to do anything about it. Ugh!
Are we needing to have a story, expert opinion, or outright fabrication describing why the empirical data is this way before we make those decisions? Who will make up that story?
How about if we start this story with preaching how we need to understand this better before coming to any conclusions. Okay… sounds rationale… and I might agree…
Then, should that story describe the dangers vehemently, or soften them with showing the relief these drugs cause for people?
Personally, I find all of this fairly absurd!
The information just needs to be presented. How many people have read that article compared to how many are taking those class of drugs and are currently unaware at the potential risk?
We have to understand and expect companies to protect their profits. Do we think the companies who profit from these medications are not going to fund their own studies in response? And, what will they find with their expert rationalizations? What will they present to us especially if they are concerned over liability? Any CEO would protect the company first. It’s their job. Have you ever not seen this be the case?
How many people have already suffered from the incredible damage these drugs seem to cause before allowing the public to question the use of these medications? Benadryl is one of these medications and I saw yesterday a person touting the use of this drug indiscriminately over Facebook for other people’s children who face a potentially fearful situation. Is this a correct attitude for us to have? No, the person is not a doctor, but how can we blame them when this is an acceptable over the counter medication without any of these warnings clearly and immediately on the label?
Danger! Warning Will Robinson!
What is the cost of using theory and rationalization (story), (sales pitch) to base our health choices on?
1. The story becomes all consuming. The story limits our perspective and removes any potential for other possibilities. The invested interest heavily influences the results of the studies usually by proclaiming a (why). Consider this, to get drugs on the path to being tested the (why) has to be proclaimed to sell the cost of doing the study on the drug in the first place. It’s inherently flawed even before the study is created.
2. We may defend our theory, story, rationalization fervently. (The money invested to learn or get it approved could have us do this.) Medically speaking anything outside the rationalized story would occur in the medical world as quackery to us because of the huge investment. Alternative perspectives would be discounted or attacked before even being considered, or tried. Competition would come into play. If you have anything to do with alternative or natural healthcare, this is life. I’ve lost many remedies for periods of time lasting years for no other reason than a new therapy or medication in direct competition coming on the market. After the new therapy becomes fully established, all of a sudden my remedy returns. Hardly a coincidence…
3. Medical science would become a belief and rationalizations about (mechanisms of action). The best (mechanism of action) like a popularity contest would give us our selection of therapy. The more money and publicity used to create the popularity (fad) wins. Indeed 75% of publicity dollars today are pharmaceutical dollars. How about that purple pill you should ask your doctor about?
By the way… why is it you need to ask your doctor about any drug mentioned on TV? Wouldn’t your doctor make recommendations she believes you need based on science? Or, would you expect her to make her decision based on expert rationalization on the TV add with the butterflies showing you how great your sleep would be by taking it?
4. Tragically the Hippocratic oath of, “first do no harm,” would go completely out the door for a rationalization of why (sales pitch). We would see death from iatrogenic causes (medically induced death) become one of the leading causes of death in our society. And, unfortunately, iatrogenic causes of death are currently the third leading cause of death in the U.S… Think… Vioxx with 60,000 plus dead, and the risk was known but not reported. Consider, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) harming millions of women for the same conditions these medications were touted to protect them from, such as; heart disease, stroke, and cancer. HRT harm wasn’t discovered for over 30 years. And, Fen-Phen/Redux used for weight loss destroying our hearts like Vioxx did. These examples tragically could go on for a very long time…
They are happening right now.
That’s brutal. And, this is hardly an all inclusive list of detriments from choosing rationalization and theory as our guides for choices in our health. It is hardly a representation of the damages caused by allowing unlimited resources to promote and sway our choices for health.
On TV? Really?
Our society is now stuck and justifying spending more than any other country on medical care and yet being way behind in the results…
There are many more results from choosing rationalization over empiricism which are just as brutal, but for the sake of health, and my time, I would like to distinguish even more clearly in a less brutal article what empiricism actually is. That’s what gets me up in the morning!
My final brutal questions…
I’m going to leave you with a few questions to consider:
Can we consider trusting alternative therapies without understanding why they work because no sales pitch has been highly bought and paid for?
Can we trust ourselves to avoid medical therapies just because the empirical data says we should, even with a strongly publicized sales pitch to us and our doctors?
Can we be wary and allow warnings on items that are used frequently in our society because empirical data is beginning to reverse expert rationalization supported by expensive advertising?
I’m hoping, with distinguishing the difference between empiricism and expert rationalization funded by unlimited resources, some individuals may be able to realistically be responsible for their health.
Please mull this over for awhile. Empiricism actually dictates trusting what is, without demanding to know, why it is.
Empiricism is asking us to trust therapies for our health without a story about why they work. Now, I consider this very difficult. But, I certainly do not want to be sold my medication by a sales pitch. I want it to work because … it works!
Can we do this?
Can we do this while facing a fearful crisis in our health or the health of our loved ones?
What would it even look like trusting just what is?
Empiricism will ask us to consider not trusting therapies sometimes with wonderful people (doctors) having recommended them to us for decades.
Empiricism is also asking us not to trust our health to therapies having a great story backing them up with lots of expensive adds on TV. Because the empirical data may show that regular use greatly increases the occurrence of devastating problems like dementia, suicide, or murder. It also shows some of this is irreversible.
By the way empirical data also shows that what we trust is now the third leading cause of our deaths in the US.
Can we do this?
Can we not treat our hay fever with that doctor recommended antihistamine and all the smiley people on TV feeling better surrounded by butterflies, because when we are older there’s a greater chance we won’t even recognize our own children?
I sure hope we can…
I love my kids… and I want to live healthfully recognizing and appreciating as much about them as I can…
This is the previous article mentioned a few times and is designed to help discern between reality of science vs sales pitch non-science, “Are You Confused by Scientific Studies and Their Contradictions?”