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Who's Really Wounded by Woo?

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Mefiante
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« on: January 24, 2007, 13:35:22 PM »

Dr Luthon64's brother was diagnosed several years ago with an incurable hereditary muscle-wasting disease, and has been largely confined to a wheelchair for the past six years.  Genetic tests were undertaken by three independent authorities to confirm the diagnosis but in each case the expected genetic deletion was not observed.  It was explained that this anomaly is actually quite common, appearing in about 30 per cent of cases.

About two years ago, a different approach suggested that the original diagnosis was in fact erroneous, and that the cause was a metabolic disorder that prevented certain proteins and essential amino acids from being effectively delivered to where they were needed.

A tailor-made cocktail of these nutrients was prescribed together with a regimen of exercises, and improvements in muscle mass and strength were soon evident, although progress has been slower than anticipated, indicating that the proper agent(s) behind the metabolic blockages remain(s) unknown.  New tests designed to eliminate suspects continue to be made.

None of the diagnostic protocols and methodologies involved anything other than well-grounded empirical science and good sense.

Sadly, Dr Luthon64's brother has a strong proclivity for all things woo: chakras, TM, crystals, the kabbalah / kabbala / kabala / cabala / qabala / qabalah (anything with six possible spellings, red string and a Madonna merits a considerable deal of caution), astrology, reiki and so on.  He excuses this on the basis of "having been in a dark place" at the time the wheelchair became essential, but he will not relinquish these guff notions.

His writings reflect his attachment to such humbug, which, really, provides only easy glibness, slick trickery and ready vacuity posing as meaningful answers.  He writes of "divine hands intervening" and "exploring transcendent paths" and such, but refuses to accept that anything worth pursuing usually involves much intense effort - certainly much more than the woo-artist's usual fee.

But by far the worst of it is simply this: the help, involvement, indulgence and efforts of close family members falls through the woo cracks in his head without touching sides.  Instead of acknowledging and appreciating these endeavours by others, he'd rather sing high praises of things that have done less than nothing materially to ease his predicament, and thereby trivialise others' contributions to his improving state of health.

And that is something I can neither abide nor fathom.

'Luthon64
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kennyg
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 18:25:55 PM »

So you're offended by your brother's interest in matters occult?

The question is, does he get fulfilment from such pursuits?  If he does, then shame on you for begrudging him that on account of your lack of understanding and general scepticism about anything that you consider to be unscientific.  Science does not provide every person with a sense of meaning in their life, as perhaps it does to you.

As for the spelling of Kabbalah, it's just one of those words that does not have a direct transliteration from Hebrew to English, so all of the spellings are acceptable.  The same happens with the Arabic word for Q'uran or Koran for example.  It's not translatable or transliteratable directly because the Semitic languages have phonemes that do not have a direct equivalent in English.

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Mefiante
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 07:30:30 AM »

So you're offended by your brother's interest in matters occult?
No, I'm offended by my brother-in-law's propensity for crediting improvements in his condition to woo-woo forces at the expense of recognising the efforts of his friends and family.


The question is, does he get fulfilment from such pursuits?  If he does, then shame on you for begrudging him that on account of your lack of understanding and general scepticism about anything that you consider to be unscientific.  Science does not provide every person with a sense of meaning in their life, as perhaps it does to you.
And shame on you for supporting, on the grounds of expediency, his questionable beliefs.  Taking your reasoning to the extreme, it's okay to let people believe, if it gives them "fulfilment," that raping virgins cures HIV/AIDS.

But please, explain to me what it is that I do not understand?


As for the spelling of Kabbalah, ...
Yes, you would know, wouldn't you?

'Luthon64
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kennyg
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2007, 16:33:10 PM »

Taking your reasoning to the extreme, it's okay to let people believe, if it gives them "fulfilment," that raping virgins cures HIV/AIDS.

No.  The extreme position of freedom, as the Existentialists found, is not tenable.  It's ok to believe what you will, but not ok to cause harm in the process.

But please, explain to me what it is that I do not understand?

That would take a lot longer than I have available.
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2007, 10:24:28 AM »

No.  The extreme position of freedom, as the Existentialists found, is not tenable.
At least we can agree on this.


It's ok to believe what you will, but not ok to cause harm in the process.
But the harm has been demonstrated, or hadn't you noticed?  Perhaps you'd like to restrict your PoV to material harm?  We can discuss that too.


That would take a lot longer than I have available.
See, that's the trouble debating with woo-woos: eventually, their true nature leaks out as in the above resort to mealy-mouthed condescension as a substitute for reason.  I wonder who's fooling who?

'Luthon64
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