“The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
How do we decide what is correct and what is false in medicine and dentistry? In other words, how do we decide who or what to believe when it comes to healthcare, integrative orWestern medicine? With so many opposing points of view on the same health topic how do we know which one to believe?
If you are more inclined to prefer a more natural approach to medicine does that mean discarding everything that allopathic medicine has to offer? Conversely, if one chooses to follow a predominately mainstream medicine approach, then should all natural alternatives be discarded as useless? Naturally, the answer is, ‘of course not.’ There are good and bad in both camps. But how do you distinguish the good from the bad – the correct from incorrect?
How to protect your health by using ‘first principles’
You do this by first distilling any conclusion down to the fundamental principles upon which the conclusion is based and reason up from there.
When either accepting or challenging current belief systems, it is imperative that all reasoning and conclusions be drawn from the level of established science, and not on assumptions, preconceived prejudices, or analogy. This is the concept of first principles. Fundamental truths upon which any hypothesis or theory is based must conform to both rational consistency and empirical observation. Any deviation from these principles will often lead to false conclusions.
If any of the parameters upon which a theory is based fails to conform to both rational consistency and empirical observation, then this theory must be discarded as incorrect.
So what does that mean? It means that all conclusions must be first based on rational consistency of what can be possible as defined by the accepted laws of physics, chemistry and biology. That doesn’t mean that it is possible, only that it can be possible. Is it rational? Can it happen? If so, then the first condition of establishing correctness is satisfied. If not, then we can immediately dismiss it as incorrect.