Atheism and unscientific medical practices

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In the Traditional Chinese medicine practice of gua sha, the skin is abraded until red spots then bruising cover the area to which it is performed.

Razib Khanm wrote at Discover Magazine:

...the most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian...

This is not to say that East Asia is necessarily a haven for a critical rationalist perspective, what with the prominence of Chinese medicine, geomancy, Korean shamanism...[1]

See also: Asian atheism and Atheist population

China has the world's largest atheist population (see: China and atheism).[2][3] China is a communist state which practices state atheism (see: Atheism and communism).

East Asia contains about 25 percent of the world’s population. China’s population represents 20 percent of the people on earth.[4]

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a type of traditional medicine based on 2,500+ years of Chinese medical practices which includes various types of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy, but recently has also incorporated modern Western medicine. The efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine is poorly researched and supported.[5]

The Chinese government's National People’s Congress Standing Committee regulates TCM.[6]

The atheist, communist dictator Mao Zedong revived and heavily promoted Traditional Chinese medicine in China. He didn't believe in it himself, but pushed it as a cheap alternative to real medicine.[7]

Steven Salzberg wrote in Forbes magazine concerning TCM:

The Nature writer, David Cyranoski, presents this news in a classic two-sides-of-the-story format, describing the "endless hours" that TCM proponents spent on such important topics as the "correct location of acupuncture points and less commonly known concepts such as ‘triple energizer meridian’ syndrome." Later in the article (but much later), he points out that scientists have argued that qi and meridians simply don't exist.

Were you thinking this was about health care? Afraid not. Cyranoski goes on to point out some serious problems with TCM, for example:

"Critics view TCM practices as unscientific, unsupported by clinical trials, and sometimes dangerous: China’s drug regulator gets more than 230,000 reports of adverse effects from TCM each year."

Actually, it's much worse than this. Here's what TCM really looks like: the horrific slaughter of the last remaining rhinoceroses in Africa in order to hack off their horns, which are sold to become part of elixirs that some people mistakenly think confer strength, virility, or other health benefits. Last year, National Geographic ran a heart-wrenching photo essay showing some of the awful results of rhinoceros poaching in Africa; take a look at these photos here.

TCM also looks like this: black bears kept in grotesquely cruel "farms" with a permanent tube inserted into their abdomens so that their bile can be harvested. Despite a growing movement to end this inhumane practice (see this NY Times story), it persists today, with thousands of bears kept in cages so small they can barely move. No one can view photos such as these and say that TCM is a good thing...

Well put. On the other hand, Cyranoski does point out that the major motivation for TCM is money:

"[China] has been aggressively promoting TCM on the international stage both for expanding its global influence and for a share of the estimated US$50-billion global market."...

As the Nature article points out, TCM has been a scam for decades: it was revived and heavily promoted in China by former dictator Mao Zedong, who didn't believe in it himself, but pushed it as a cheap alternative to real medicine.[8]

Atheist hospitals

See also: Atheist hospitals

Atheist hospitals, meaning hospitals created by people who believe there is no creator God, do indeed exist although their quality tends to be lower than those created by agnostics and the religious. Particularly substandard are those in Cuba, which are perennially underfunded, poorly stocked and often are unsanitary. Mental hospitals in the Soviet Union were used to persecute believers.[9]

Even though many hospitals do not actively push a religious viewpoint on their patients and staff, almost all of them were funded and founded by those whose faith and religious beliefs pushed them to help those in need.

Atheist doctors

See also: Irreligion and recovery from illnesses

The Christian apologist Gary Habermas wrote: "Double-blind prayer experiments: where people pray for others with terminal illness. Habermas admitted that most such experiments have not worked, but the three that he knows of that have indeed worked were cases of orthodox-Christians praying for the sick."[10] See also: Studies on prayer

CBS News reported: "According to a mail-in survey of nearly 4,000 British doctors, those who were atheist or agnostic were almost twice as willing to take actions designed to hasten the end of life."[11]

MSNBC reported concerning United States doctors: "In the survey of 1,044 doctors nationwide, 76 percent said they believe in God, 59 percent said they believe in some sort of afterlife, and 55 percent said their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine.[12]

The atheist and American medical doctor David Mann, MD wrote about telling his patient he was an atheist while the patient's doctor prayed before a surgery:

It was not a good time to bring up the fact that I was an atheist. So I just went along with it, only briefly and mildly discomforted. Religion gives strength and comfort to people in life and death situations that doctors often deal with. I rationalized that my silent participation was helping my patient and the family psychologically. Besides, how would they feel about my performing complicated heart procedures on their loved one if they thought I was an unbelieving heathen incapable of accepting God’s guiding hand?

It’s uncomfortable to be an atheist and a doctor, just as it uncomfortable in America to be an atheist in general...[13]

See also: Distrust of atheists and Views on atheists

The Christian apologist Gary Habermas wrote: "Double-blind prayer experiments: where people pray for others with terminal illness. Habermas admitted that most such experiments have not worked, but the three that he knows of that have indeed worked were cases of orthodox-Christians praying for the sick."[14]

See also: Studies on prayer and Atheism and the supernatural

According to the American Cancer Society:

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 69% of cancer patients say they pray for their health. A recent study published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, suggests a link between religious or spiritual beliefs and better physical health reported among patients with cancer.[15]

See also: Atheism and cancer

Evolutionism and a poor back treatment

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.[16]

See: Back problems: how Darwinism misled researchers by Jerry Bergman

See also

References

  1. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales By Razib Khanm, Discover Magazine
  2. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  3. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  4. The Growth of Christianity in East Asia
  5. Shang, A.; Huwiler, K.; Nartey, L.; Jüni, P.; Egger, M. (2007). "Placebo-controlled trials of Chinese herbal medicine and conventional medicine comparative study". International Journal of Epidemiology. 36 (5): 1086–92. doi:10.1093/ije/dym119. PMID 17602184.
  6. China passes first law on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). WebMD China (December 28, 2016).
  7. WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise by Steven Salzberg, Forbes magazine
  8. WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise by Steven Salzberg, Forbes magazine
  9. The Cry of the New Martyrs - Psychiatric “Treatment” of Christians
  10. Christian Apologist: 10 Reasons for the Fall of Atheism by Gary Habermas
  11. https://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20014770-10391704.html
  12. Survey: Most doctors believe in God, afterlife
  13. Atheist doctors must come out of the closet by David Mann, MD
  14. Christian Apologist: 10 Reasons for the Fall of Atheism by Gary Habermas
  15. Study: Cancer Patients with Strong Religious or Spiritual Beliefs Report Better Health, American Cancer Society