Science doesn't give us reality

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by amansour, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. mtf Banned Banned

    I think the other poster meant "the reality of science" as in "the reality of day-to-day life" or "the reality of having diabetes" or "the reality of being married to an alcoholic." Ie. in that context, the word "reality" is taken to mean 'what it's like to ...' -- "what it's like to do scientific work" (it's hard, meticulous work), "what it's like to live the day-to-day life" (it's often filled with strife, surprises, etc.), "what it's like to have diabetes" (the person feels depleted of energy, has a number of health issuesetc.) etc. etc.
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Yes, that was taken into account as a possibility via the "trivial attaching" or vague reference to our deviating usages of the word. But it's still a slight or fringe symptom lead-in to the rest: Our redundancy of reality. IOW, it served as an introductory remark for easing into the broader point of the reply.
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  5. mtf Banned Banned

    I apologize if I misread your post.

    I think it's also a political assumption (and I mean "political" in the broadest sense of the word). He that defines what other people are supposed to consider real or reality, is the one who has power over those people.

    The question is, how come many people can be so vulnerable and susceptible when it comes to knowing what is real and what isn't.

    That "That's just your opinion, that's not how things really are" -- how come people can be vulnerable to this?
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    I agree. There are motives for formulating conceptions of reality that certainly go beyond those interests purely confined to epistemology and philosophy of mind. Or perhaps better put as beyond any genres which might be disinterested in human manipulation and social engineering for the most part.

    The whole range of people from ditch diggers to pointy heads reflexively and intermittently reify our intellectual inventions as if they're concrete. So our thought products (arguments, concepts, models, systematic descriptions) about reality are doing this competing with each other. These do qualify as literal representations or attempts to represent. As such they can drift far away from our everyday or immediate "outer experience" which might be deemed free of these ambitious interpretations (just for the practical sake of having a foundation that is "shown", that is supposedly non-inferential).

    With this tendency of ours to reify the abstract, it's therefore not surprising that assorted ideas about the world, how it exists, etc are treated as if they're as similarly immediate and manifested as the visual scenes, aural noise, polluted air odors, and the tactile feel of a large city -- when being physically present in and observing a large city.

    "Reality" can also be treated entirely as just an acquired way of conceiving outer or extrospective experience (i.e., it is never anything but an idea). But this confuses the average person, commonsense realist or whoever that seems to demand that "reality" or "world" or whatever does signify an empirical situation or given object rather than a theory or construct (even if it is an object that can't be witnessed in its vast entirety). Talk about eliminating the "world" and they become offended that one is eliminating the outer manifestation of the senses (the original inspiration for the concept). So if trying to reduce the number of realities that we are smothered in, these folks (who are probably the majority, no less) need to be accommodated with a literal perception and "showing" of reality rather than it just being about several battling concoctions outputted by intellect or reflective thought. That is, the word needs to reference a "showing of existence" instead of just more ideas / descriptive accounts.
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That is an unfortunate experience you have had.

    But do you sincerely think that your experience is a truism?

    That is not really about science; that is about policy and practice in the health industry.

    Doctors are, for the most part, practitioners - they're businessmen. They have a standard of practice that they adhere to. For a host of reasons, the practices often follow behind the research by decades.

    It is the research scientists that do the science.

    (It'd be kind of like saying splitting the atom is bad science because look what the military did with it.)
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  9. mtf Banned Banned

    Those experiences inform me what to be prepared for. Not all scientists might be like the ones I've spoken to so far, but I know to pace my expectations of them.

    Yeah, try telling yourself that when it's your life that is on the line!

    Of course, it's inevitable that this is so. It's also a brutal arrangement. Pretending that all is fine and that doctors should and can be unconditionally trusted just isn't viable.

    Science -- whether it is theoretical-research science, or applied science -- should not be so alienating toward humans, treating them like they're meat.
  10. mtf Banned Banned

    There are similar problems with the word/concept (?) "truth."

    Both "truth" and "reality" are simultaneously metaconcepts as as well as the designating* and the designated*. I suppose hence the numerous confusions around them.

    * Of course, what term we use here again depends on the particular theory of mind / theory of reality we're working with.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You've been speaking to scientists? Or doctors and healthcare providers?

    I certainly understand, but that's really another discussion. Your life isn't on the line here in this thread.

    Doctors =/= scientists.

    You're talking apples and oranges. The closest you're going to come to science is the dispassionate findings of the research paper in the reference notes of the healthcare provider's standard of care manual.

    Again, Einstein did not drop the bomb on Hiroshima.
  12. mtf Banned Banned

    Both. I spoke to the authors of some scientific articles, for example.

    Ah, what a relief ...

    It's a horror that this inequality is tolerated. Doctors should be scientists.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You have to meet some more scientists.
    I have had the pleasure of knowing scientists at Scripps, UCSD, MIT, Stanford and CU-Boulder - and not one of them told me (or expected me) to "listen, unquestioningly believe what I am told, be quiet, and give them money." Needless to say, I often found it in my best interest to listen to them, believe what they say and give them money - and indeed such an approach has worked well for me.
    Because in the era of evidence-based medicine, doctors only prescribe treatments that have been proven to help, rather than fad diets, snake-oil cures or folk remedies.
    Again, that has not been my experience. My wife is a surgeon, and all the doctors I have met in my life (including those treating me and my family members) have been quite open to questions, alternatives to treatment and refusals by the patient to embark on a course of treatment. Indeed, in my family, me and my sisters are often far more authoritation with my father than his doctor is.
  14. mtf Banned Banned

    Except that they aren't exactly fond of talking to plebeans like myself.

    As in the case of T2D, the regularly prescribed treatment has not been proven to help.

    Good for you, then. I haven't been so fortunate. (Changing doctors also comes with certain risks associated.)
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Why not? They're just people. Go out and have a beer with them.* Go to a talk they are giving and talk to them afterwards.**
    Incorrect. Millions of people in the US are in fact successfully treated via the current standard of care (diet, exercise, Metformin and similar antidiabetics, and injectable insulin.)

    * - In San Diego there's a program called "two scientists walk into a bar" that encourages scientists to go to specific bars/breweries on Thursdays and make themselves available to talk to, as you say, "plebians."

    ** - I spoke to Naomi Oreskes after a talk she gave at Scripps on climate change. She didn't have much time but was happy to answer my questions.
  16. mtf Banned Banned

    Maybe that works in the US, but not here. Here, you have to be a hotshot to talk to hotshots or for hotshots to talk to you.

    And many are getting worse on antidiabetics.

    I myself was treated for eight years for another chronic condition. According to the doctors, it was a successful treatment, but I felt like shit as long as I was taking the medication, and got better after I stopped taking it.
  17. Bells Staff Member

    It depends on the individual and their lifestyle. If someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and continues with the same lifestyle that resulted in their developing the disease, then no amount of medication will help them. Diabetes requires a lifestyle change in what people eat and getting a good amount of exercise. Often, medication is required on top of that to get their blood sugar levels under control. But we now know that eating less processed foods, avoiding large amounts of animal fats and salt as well, avoiding things like white bread and certain types of rice, and things like fruit juices (since you are not getting the benefit of eating the fruit, you are only drinking what is tantamount to large amounts of sugar water) and large portions of some fruits, helps.

    What is often touted as healthy is not always really healthy. Fruit juice is a big one. It is jammed packed with sugar. Sure, it's natural sugar, but it is still sugar. That is the reality. I often tell my kids to eat the fruit and avoid drinking fruit juice and thankfully they have listened, not just because the juices themselves are so loaded with concentrated amounts of natural sugar, but fruit juices are also usually bad for their teeth. The same would apply for someone with diabetes.

    If you have diabetes, you pretty much have to go on a low GI diet, which includes eating unprocessed breads and less processed pastas, basmati rice is better, for example, than the more starchy rices. Eat less protein portions and make them lean. It is simply about maintaining a more balanced diet with reduced portions of fatty foods like butter, deep fried foods, potato chips and the like. I've seen people with T2D chomping down on huge bowls of fried chips or potato in various forms, along with huge steaks, bread rolls with butter and drinking juice and they wonder why their numbers are so high the next morning. Potato is a huge one for people with diabetes and it has to be consumed in moderate servings and balance it so that if you eat it, you don't eat things like white bread with it, or starchy rice. It's about balance and compromises. If you don't do that, then no amount of medication one takes is going to help.

    Perhaps it's the approach?

    Because they aren't changing what they eat and level of exercise they get. There is also the issue of some having a genetic disposition to diabetes, which really means that one has to be careful about one's lifestyle.

    Diabetes medication is not meant to cure diabetes. It's meant to help control it, as is changing one's diet and getting regular exercise.

    Or was the medication successful in treating your condition, allowing you to get better enough to be able to stop taking said medication that made you feel so unwell while you were on it?

    Take chemo as one example. One has cancer, starts chemo and radiotherapy. You feel like hell on earth during the treatment. Eating often becomes difficult, and you feel like absolute shit in ways that I cannot even begin to describe. There are days when even getting out of bed to go to the bathroom becomes impossible. Your quality of life goes completely out the window. Then you stop because the treatment has been successful and you enter remission which means that you have gotten better. And within a week or so, you start to feel better. Within a month, you are able to eat again and tolerate food, and depending on where the radio is, you are even able to pee without sobbing from pain or swallow food without feeling like you have razor blades blocking your throat. So what made you get better to begin with? The treatment got you better.

    Often with treatment, you will feel like death while on it and once it works and you stop the treatment, you feel better again and you are better again. Sure, you feel better once you stopped the treatment, but your condition or illness has improved because you were on the treatment.
  18. mtf Banned Banned

    Take this up with dr. Fung I've linked to earlier.

    Nope. European society is still largely classist in some ways that US society doesn't seem to be. There is a vast societal gap between people with advanced degrees and those with lesser ones or without. Although since the onset of the global crisis in 2008, things have begun to change a bit. And since the publish-or-perish policy has begun to be implemented at universities about a decade ago or so, those with advanced degrees aren't so cocky anymore as they used to be. Still, the differences persist.

    Like I said: I felt like shit as long as I was taking the medication, and got better after I stopped taking it. This has happened several times.
    The tests only measure the presence and ratios of certain substances in the blood, but they don't measure whether those substances actually function as they are expected to.
    And like I said, my condition was classified as chronic; cancer isn't like that.

    Modern Western medicine is great when it comes to treating acute states like fractures and injuries, but much less when it comes to treating chronic conditions.
  19. Bells Staff Member

    Well he provides sound advice. I wouldn't stop taking the medication to help manage one's blood sugar levels, but his comments about diet and exercise is pretty much what people who develop T2D are told. Some take the advice and actually change their diet and end up no longer needing the medication so long as they eat properly (pretty much following a low gi diet) and get regular exercise. It depends on the individual and what changes they are willing to make with their diet. Some, even with all the changes to their lifestyle, are unable to control their levels and the medication helps with that. I wouldn't recommend just going off the reservation and stopping all medication completely and following the advice of someone on the internet though. That can just be dangerous.

    I've never experienced that in Europe nor in Australia or elsewhere, for that matter. Guess it's a matter of perception.

    Is there a possibility that you were misdiagnosed to begin with? I am not disagreeing with what you have felt and how you got better after taking the medication. You say that you got better after stopping the medication? Did your illness get worse with the medication, for example?

    The reason I ask is that my ex-husband's aunt had a chronic illness which made itself known when she suffered what was tantamount to a medical catastrophe during routine surgery. The illness she had had never presented itself. The stress her body was under after the horror that prevailed during the surgery and after, triggered it. Not knowing how to treat it, they plied her with chemo to no effect. She didn't get better, she got worse and the level of chemo they plied her with to treat her chronic illness caused her body to virtually shut down. She got better after stopping the chemo in that the chronic illness improved. She was so ill from the chemo, however, and it caused so many issued with her body in that it destroyed her digestive system that she never actually recovered from it. So we do not know if the large amounts of chemo she was made to endure treated the illness but made her worse in other ways, or if it improved itself once she recovered from the issue with her surgery. She was, by all accounts, given the wrong treatment, but at the time when this occurred and when she was on life support from the error that occurred during her routine day surgery, her doctors did not know what to do and believed the chemo would treat the illness. So your experience is interesting to me in that sense..

    I don't know. I think it does quite well with many chronic conditions, like asthma, for example, in not only treating it, but allowing asthmatics to take medication to prevent attacks to begin with. I guess it depends on the condition.
  20. mtf Banned Banned

    But he is not in favor of antidiabetic medications, and he cites many studies and examples to support his view.

    As an outsider/foreigner, you aren't likely to.

    I was talking about this with an Australian before, and he told me that Australia was a very egalitarian country, different both from the US and Europe (and Asia).

    It's not just me. There are sociologists here who think that traditionally in Europe, people were raised and educated to belong to a particular class; while in the US, people were raised and educated to do a particular work. At least such appear to be the trends.
    In the US, "from rags to riches" is a common cultural meme and considered a real and worthy possibility (and it also happens sometimes). Traditionally in Europe, vertical mobility was minimal, not encouraged, and on principle deemed as deserving some punishment.

    Or mistreated; or the disease isn't sufficiently known, even though a considerable percentage of the female population has it, supposedly for life.

    I didn't feel better with the medication.


    I felt sicker. My bloodwork appeared to be good while on the medication, but I felt sicker.
    Then I stopped taking it, and after a while off the medication, my bloodwork was good, too.

    I think one problem is that doctors sometimes go too mechanically and too aggressively about treating a person's medical problems.
    Maybe something could have cleared up on its own, after a month; but if the doctors go about it aggressively and try to fix it in a week, this can generate a host of problems that can last for years.

    Obviously a fracture or a wound need to be attended to immediately. But what appear to be hormonal imbalances may require a different approach.

    It sure does. T1D is chronic and seems to be treated well with Western medicine. Some other chronic conditions, not so much.
  21. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.
    I suspect that the person you were talking to was somewhat shocked at how you claim to be an expert about things but you don't bother to learn anything about the subjects you claim to be so knowledgeable about.
    Wow. So you really are trying to promote a medical quack. Not surprising.
  22. mtf Banned Banned

    The absence of your critical reading skills is nothing short of amazing, just like your powers of projection.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    Great.. But it's still something a person should do with their doctor's blessing and be able to be followed and closely monitored by their treating physician. I don't agree with everything he has said. I agree that changing what one eats and cutting out starchy foods and bad fats is a good thing, in general, regardless of whether one has T2D or not and cutting back on sugar. I don't agree with fasting as a form of 'cure', as that can cause an increase in blood sugar which can cause issues. I also think changing anything in how a patient with T2D manages it, should be closely followed by their treating physician. I think if people just ignore their doctor's advice and just follows what he says expecting to be cured, could endanger their lives.. As can happen when people listen to anyone they read about online, for example and just follow blindly.

    Not everyone is the same and not everyone will respond to Fung's fasting advice, for example. Some may very well find their blood sugar going up while fasting, which can be dangerous for them.

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