I saw a commercial on TV today. Some guy (I didn’t get his name, and it’s not really important) was selling a book that he claimed contained his secret to overcoming any addition. You see things like this all the time. Someone has a cure-all for whatever might ail you.
I’m not going to talk about the details of this guy’s supposed cure. I’m not going to analyze the efficacy of him claims. I want to look at the idea of selling hope; why it is a sign of selfishness and perhaps even sociopathic.
There are plenty of reasons why dubious claims are harmful, just browse the what’s the harm website for a plethora of details. There are many examples there of people who have died because the chose to follow programs that promised a cure for a medical condition. These stories are sad and unnecessarily so.
What what I can’t help but wonder about guys like the one I’ve mentioned here is, if they truly have cure or treatment that is revolutionary and that does what they say it does, then why do they always insist on charging for it? Sure, I know people have to make a living, but I can tell you that if I came up with a treatment that could cure and help a lot of people, I’d want to help as many as I could.
To have a treatment, a real cure, for a disease like MS or cancer, or a treatment that will get people off their addiction and keep them off, would be an amazing thing. The ethical, the moral, thing to do would be to share this with the medical community, to allow others to test it and perfect it, so that it can benefit everyone.
Sure, get compensated. After all, you worked for it. You discovered it. Drug companies would pay millions for something like this. But to horde it, to sell it only to those who could afford your asking price, it the ultimate in selfishness and immorality.
When skeptics point out the fact that alternative medicine like homeopathy and naturopathy don’t work, people ask, “What’s the harm?” Brian Dunning from skeptiod.com has a very sad and poignant example of just what the harm can be. He opines that Steve Jobs might still be with us if he had pursued modern medical treatment earlier rather than naturopathy. Go read the article.
If you want to read many more stories about the harm of alternative medical treatments, go to What’s the Harm.