12 Illogical Reasons You Might Have For Believing in Acupuncture:
1) “It’s an ancient tradition.” (Appeal to Antiquity fallacy.) Slavery is an ancient tradition, but does being old mean something is good?
2) “Eastern Medicine works when Western Medicine fails.” (Appeal to the Orient. False dichotomy.) There are neurosurgeons in Asia, and cardiologists, obstetricians, radiologists, gynaecologists, and do I have to go on? Your belief is condescending, racist superstition.
3) “I had instant relief.” (White coat syndrome. Confirmation Bias.) People think tinfoil hats instantly stop “mind control.” People feel better when someone says they’re praying for them. They think this will help, so the expectation is enough for them to relax when the ritual starts.
4) “I got better.” (Correlation is not Causation.) Your ailment was mild, vague, ; you may have been using other therapies, ; it was an imaginary ailment “cured” by an imaginary cure, and/or it cleared up of its own accord, and/or it seems better but the underlying condition won’t have changed and will recur.
5) “It works for me”. (The Placebo Effect.) Without proof of its mechanism for healing, you’re expecting me to assume the universal laws of Pphysics rearrange themselves magically in your presence.
6) “Chi pathways are real.” (Bald assertion.) There is no mechanism by which acupuncture works, unless you believe in spirit/Chi/energy against all known laws of Physics, and if you do, then you must believe in Voodoo, since that’s an old tradition of pushing pins into forms to alter spirits. In which case, I have some Bitcoin to sell you.
7) “It helped the Chinese for thousands of years.” (1. 6. & 3.) Mao Zedong exaggerated it mostly from obscure ancient bloodletting superstitions to promote patriotism. The Communist Party suppressed any negative study results about it. Then it waned in favour of modern medicine to aid national health and productivity, and now they’re trying to revive it again because superstitious beliefs make money.
8) “It helped my dog.” (Confirmation Bias. Correlation is not Causation.) Your dog’s ailment was vague, non-acute, you may have been using other therapies, it was an imaginary ailment “cured” by an imaginary cure, and/or it cleared up of its own accord, and/or you think the dog seems better but the underlying condition won’t have changed and will recur.
9) “It helps lots of people.” (Appeal to Popularity.) Lots of people believe throwing spilled salt over their shoulder gives them good luck. Does that mean it works? Kidding oneself isn’t logical no matter how many people do it.
10) “I have been (or I have been seeing) an acupuncturist for 20 years.” (Sunk Cost Fallacy.) Believing and investing in something for a long time isn’t evidence of a cure any more than putting $10 on Black 15 all evening and every Roulette spin for 20 years is any evidence that you should keep doing it.
11) “Alternative Medicine is better because Big Pharma are just after people’s money.” (Diversionary tactic. Missing the point.) I’m not going to say, “Big Alternative Medicine are just after your money”, though it sells billions through supplements, treatments, media. You must give good evidence of any treatment’s mechanism of healing.
12) “Scientific studies show Acupuncture works.” (Appeal to Authority.) Do you understand the scientific method? Quality scientific studies show that there are NO good studies giving evidence for it.
That’s 12 reasons you might believe in acupuncture that are not logical.
Now try to give me 12 different reasons why you still think it is.
PainScience on Acupuncture:
Wikipedia Logical fallacies:
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