Anaximperator blog

Blogging against alternative cancer treatments

Category Archives: Magical thinking

There is no time to wait for alternative cancer therapy to work err… fail

The reason that this blog came to be is the existence of cancer quackery, sometimes called alternative cancer treatments.

Many websites including this blog explain what is wrong with alternative cancer treatments and why they are dangerous and there are horrible examples of what happens to patients who chose to forgo conventional treatment and opt for some kind of alternative treatment instead. But the internet is littered with testimonials touting the successes of miraculous alternative cancer cures that are often claimed to be suppressed. Such testimonials can be very persuasive, especially if the reader/video viewer is afraid and not aware of what to look for, so it is no wonder that people get confused.

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Why It Is Morally Wrong To Believe Something Without Good Evidence: Arthur Schafer on The Ethics of Belief

Some time ago we blogged about the “ethics of belief”, in which we discussed the question whether a person’s sincere belief can exonerate him when something goes wrong due to the consequences of his belief.

In October 2010, Professor Arthur Schafer, Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba, gave a presentation for the  Winnipeg Skeptics, on the “Ethics of Belief” which we are happy to post here:

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Marion lost her father to the “German New Medicine” of Ryke Geerd Hamer

Marion Piat, who lost her father to the German New Medicine of Ryke Geerd Hamer, has decided to tell her story and start a blog to warn people for this dangerous sect. We have translated her story and posted it here:

“It started in October 2007 when my father was on a mission in Guatemala. One morning he was no longer able to urinate, a kidney stone blocked the bladder: emergency operation. The urologist who operated on him noticed the prostate had an abnormal shape and appearance. Following were: biopsy, blood tests, pessimistic diagnosis, prostate cancer.

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Flora’s Death from Cervical Cancer: How Belief in Macrobiotics Killed my Wife

By Dutch ex-politician Roel van Duijn. Originally published by Stichting Skepsis.

How Belief in Macrobiotics Killed my Wife

sun-in-roomRecently I saw my ex-wife again. She was dying. The hot August sun shone through the thin curtains, just as it had done when our daughter was born, eight years ago

We were just married then. An exciting dream. The atmosphere in our home had been sweet and victorious the day that she came up the stairs with the results of a cervical smear. It was PAP-5, unquiet cells in situ. Right away the doctor called too, to make it clear to me. ‘Immediate danger of cancer’, he said, ‘but no reason for panic. Cervical cancer can be effectively prevented in this stage by removing a conical piece of tissue from the cervix. That’s called conisation. I can recommend a good gynaecologist’.

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Alternative Cancer Treatments: The Deadly Dangers of Magical Thinking

the_lorelei6Magical thinking is the assumption that if I do this, then that will happen. It is an illogical thought pattern that involves linking unrelated actions or events.

Things like emotional stress and events of great personal significance can push us toward magical meaning-making.

Magical thinking is widespread and most of the time it’s harmless, such as the use of mascots in sports. But there is a tipping point, beyond which it can become quite sinister and even deadly.

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