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October 2017

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Boobquake and "Skeptics"

Jen McCreight compares her Boobquake action to the homeopathy overdose by the Merseyside Skeptics Society.

First, taking an "overdose" of homeopathic remedies to protest their sale is like defiantly eating vegetables to protest PETA. It just doesn't make sense. Any homeopath will tell you that you can't overdose on homeopathic remedies, unless you are a diabetic.

Second, a "skeptic" is a person who has doubts. Someone who is certain is a fundamentalist. The Merseyside Skeptics Society are not skeptical about homeopathy, they are certain about it. They have the faith of fundamentalists.

I support the Boobquake because I support freedom against tyranny.

By demanding that women "dress modestly" to prevent earthquakes Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi wants to force his beliefs on others. By protesting the sale of homeopathic remedies the The Merseyside Skeptics Society are trying to force their beliefs on others. If you don't believe in homeopathy don't do it. No one is forcing you.

Comments

You are misguided, and my emotions on the matter are raised to the point where I cannot formulate a coherent rebuttal.

Before I believe in homeopathy, I wish to see evidence that it works better than a placebo. I have seen plenty of evidence that it doesn't.

I wish the law in the US to be changed such that homeopathic remedies were not exempt from the requirements of testing for efficacy and safety before being sold as drugs for the treatment of specific diseases or symptoms.

The point of view of the Merseyside Skeptics is that it is unethical for a licensed pharmacist to sell remedies which are known, through repeated study, to be no better than a placebo as if they were known effective drugs, or for Boots, a chain pharmacy similar to CVS, to put their name and logo on such remedies thus lending their reputation behind them. The head of Boots admitted to a Parliamentary committee that he knows there is no evidence they work, but sells them anyway because people buy them.

The point of view of the Merseyside Skeptics is that it is a waste of taxpayer money for the NHS to pay for homeopathic treatments which have been shown to be no better than a placebo.

If you think that the Merseyside Skeptics are trying to force their beliefs on others, how would you describe the actions of the homeopaths who are trying to sell their remedies? If you are only hearing the advertising of the homeopaths, reading the claims on the packages of homeopathic remedies, and seeing the pharmacists brand name on the package, why shouldn't you believe in the effectiveness of homeopathy? And what actions can someone who has looked at the studies that have shown the remedy to be no better than placebo take to disabuse you of that belief?

Skeptics in Australia have had a reasonable amount of success going into privately-owned pharmacists, explaining to the owner that the counter display of homeopathic remedies placed there by the vendor carried an implicit endorsement by the pharmacist and that there was no scientific evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy, and asking them to stop selling homeopathic remedies or at least remove the counter display. Many of the pharmacists they approached in this manner saw the problem of the implicit endorsement, admitted they hadn't considered the issue and didn't know much about homeopathy, and once shown the evidence, voluntarily removed the implicit endorsement.

Second, Are you allowed to define what a "witch" is, or by calling yourself a witch do you mean to state that you use magic to harm others? If the former, why can't the modern skeptical movement choose the definition of "skeptic" to use for their purposes?
I pretty much knew where you would be on this issue.
"Second, Are you allowed to define what a "witch" is, or by calling yourself a witch do you mean to state that you use magic to harm others? If the former, why can't the modern skeptical movement choose the definition of "skeptic" to use for their purposes?"

I'm really surprised you went this way.

First, the word "witch" was morally neutral before Protestant Christians re-framed it as demonic. And survived in that morally neutral way in such terms as "Water Witch" and "Wort Witch". So I'm just going back to the root usage.

Second, I have no problem with people defining their own terms as long as they are clear about it. If you want to use the word "skeptic" to mean "someone who is sure of the falsity of other people's beliefs" that is fine with me.
If you don't look to see how they define themselves and impose your own definition, then you don't get to complain when others do the same to you.
Their definition does fit their action.
Then what do you think their definition is? And for that matter, what actions are they allowed to take meeting that definition? Or are skeptics not allowed to be politically active?
They can be politically active and Muslim clerics can denounce immodest behavior. I just won't support them when they do.