Discussion by: Enkidu90046
My wife, an atheist and very intelligent woman, regularly gets acupuncture despite the fact I have repeatedly informed her that the best evidence is that the pain relieving aspects of acupuncture are entirely placebo effects. As a martial artist, I often run into people who believe in chi and meridians. Such people may actually pay good sums of money to learn ineffective self-defense moves from hucksters or they will seek treatment for various ailments from people who Eastern religion teaches false nonsense about Chi manipulation. One wonders how many people have sought ineffective treatments based on Eastern religious philosophies instead of getting treatment from a real doctor. How much harm or how many deaths this has caused, I do not know, but I do not doubt it is as real as the anti-vaccination crowd in its effects.
I realize that the monotheistic religions seem to take up the vast majority of the attention of the contributors to this site and discussion participants, but the horrible influence of Eastern religious mysticism seems to be largely overlooked. Perhaps it is a case of picking and choosing battles (and thus, leaving the battle against Chi practitioners and the like to others like JREF and various skeptic societies. That said, I feel that some focus should be brought on the harm caused by Eastern religious nonsense.
Perhaps my view on this is governed by the fact that I live in Los Angeles, where the vast majority of people I encounter who profess a belief in God really are functioning atheists, even if they don’t admit it. Yet, these same functioning atheists will flock to pseudo-scientific nonsense so long as it is steeped in Eastern religious mysticism.
I am curious to hear the thoughts of others as to whether the fight against Eastern religious mysticism is a fight that the atheist community should be paying more attention, or whether it is a “bridge too far” at this point.