Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Rewriting Professional Ethics

The paranoid have all the facts ((paraphrase) William S. Burroughs).

And the wise never will.

So often our hindsight lays clear what the better approach should have been, or at least what might not be worth repeating. This isn't unusual and is expressed and experienced so often in our lives, often to the point of exasperation. So it's a truth to say that significant discoveries are 'obvious' only with hindsight, that we wonder why on earth we never saw it. It's plain but common self deception (this 'curse of knowledge'), that many things simply appear easy to comprehend even though, when asked to expand, most are unclear of what it is they say they know is true. It just is apparently. The mind never evolved to be an epistemologist only a survivor, and it takes a great deal of effort, initially, to quiet that strong tendency to simply stop thinking altogether and revert to what we understand best - our own ignorance. If we bother to dispense with our preferences and study evolution honestly, without the need to inject cherished beliefs (whatever they might be) - the process that built us and our nature is clear for all to see. It was one of humanities greatest ideas, discoveries, facts. To attempt to understand most things without the desire to know, and just pretend to, is to repeat the error.

My focus over the past 5 or so years has been to deal with a profusion of information in an attempt to better grasp it and teach it with simplicity and clarity, and the question, although there have been so many, boiled down to this - why do we think and behave in this manner? It does not, or rather should not, dwell on the appearances of behavior as so many of the social sciences have done. It is not a problem to observe (and they do this very well), but to do so without knowledge of evolution is to have 'one hand tied behind our backs'. Reflexes, thinking, the way we make philosophy and science and social dynamics are only comprehensible by referring back to evolution, in itself revised but only to find it more robust than before. To think otherwise is to think it rational to claim that tomorrow, who knows, the earth may be flat again. And the only groups which view evolution as a threat are those built on faith, who not only have a different narrative but one built upon little but anecdote, popularity, the ease with which errors are perceived as true and the non sequitur, upon the minds own 'faith thinking'. Even the various faiths disagree most vehemently with each other, to the point of ultimate absurdity. Why any should believe that science has anything to do with any ones gods is the symptom of dogmatism generally - they all have all their own facts which are only distinguishable from each other by how far each is prepared to leap backwards into it's past.

Traditional Chiropractors, those who view their work as the opportunity, their mission or service to spread the faith of chiropractic philosophy do so within an ethical void. Even the US Central Command contains within it's rules the directive to avoid using the services to "proselytize any religion, faith or practice..." even though the rule is often broken. In Australia however, the current ethics codes are being re scrutinized and in my opinion the simple adoption of this phrase would achieve two things simply. It is easy to insert while revision is largely waste and it sends a simple message - in democratic countries, anyone has the right to practice and believe any of the thousands of faiths (such as the faith of Universal Intelligence, the Major Premise of Stephenson's Green Books), but that no one in a professional capacity has such a right.

Where I sit in my office I see no stained glass, no crucifix, no Dreamtime, no statue of Buddha but I admire and respect a secular law which allows all to be practiced personally, tribally. Those objects and images might matter to me in some way but my office is it's own sanctuary of professional ethics, and here the rules are clear. In the Australian code it says that while I may "hold personal beliefs and values" they do not transfer over to those held by a professional. The state has no right to demand that I stop believing in a Dreamtime for example but neither do I have the right to recast, revise or rework professional ethics to suit my own personal Universal one. Giving humans so much philosophical leash only leads to them feathering their own nests, we see our worst. As a result, Vitalism has morphed into a distinctly fundamentalist and repellent US style evangelism. If it were ethical to dispense with rules altogether (which is what a chiropractic faith desires) so then all rules of professional conduct are reduced to anecdote. If, in principle, it were philosophically moral to use cultural preference as profession and science then it would be ethical to allow a child to die if I thought it best to administer dance instead of proper care. No one would be offended if culture accompanied, but not informed, modern professional practice, but this is never the objective of fundamentalists. Theirs is a particularly Trojan horse, complete with it's own parasites, it's merchants and charlatans, and it is for them that the codes of conduct must state the obvious, not be indifferent to the fatuous comeback of "That's about personal belief" as if it was just fine and dandy that a professional used the same epistemology. And this comment came directly from the keyboard, to me, from the minister for health. If I can use cultural anecdote as professional collateral then why do we believe that such a rule applied 'equitably' doesn't allow the professional to manufacture lies relabelled as expert opinion? It happens all the time. Anecdote is not a measure of a professional standard but something which must be understood as a potential, and commonly significant, bias. But what if I claim my anecdote to be truth? Then we have the rule of anarchy posing as profession. A dunces cap on a well dressed person, the emperor with new clothes.

The code is not direct enough. We have a significant problem in my profession because humans easily confuse their own tribes with what a fact is and then foist it, their own unwillingness to know, only to pretend, upon an unsuspecting public. And with this lack of interest in knowledge, their credulity, consequently comes a low standard of care. Predatory behavior, clutching at children and families 'for life', taking advantage of fear and uncertainty to trigger a lifetimes 'need' for care. No one ever suggested that a chiropractor not practice in a 'family' setting but this is not that. To the evangelist a family is not people, just a flock for the faith - to feed or fleece or fuck. People who hold political positions advertise themselves as miracle workers and teach others that they too can perform miracles through faith alone, directing them away from, never towards, learning only some illiterate imitation. Their 'miracles' are not some colloquial aside but as an article of their faith in the UI, as a professional service. Professional development points are awarded to people known to be conspiracy theorists, taking donations from some of the worlds most credulous and paranoid ringmasters who believe that subluxations are Satan's work, the proceeds of which have funded a hijacked research body, now a vehicle for creationism, for the teaching of vitalism (spirit worship) as if it still represented a science which it failed to do over 300 years before. It is fraud and the ethical codes have allowed it to happen because ethics (a subject I still manage to teach) is, if taught well, offensive to frauds. Other professionals still have quite the tendency to deal with corruption by shooting it's whistle blowers, not correcting the problem. I even had the CEO of the board advise me that it was "my job" to correct the damage done to students (who attend a publicly funded University) by offering basement level external 'education' which included indoctrination into the faith of UI, sealed by the implementing of the siege mentality. A major tactic of  fundamentalist 'education' is to repeat the same thing, play music, and try to generate a few tears, basically invigorate the individuals desire to intellectually masturbate and stop thinking altogether. People demand 'rights!' as professionals while the bulk of the profession chooses to remain indifferent and the only expansion in the profession has gone along legitimate lines - by publicly stating that the past belongs to itself, by releasing ourselves from the ideological servitude of paranoia.

We are professionals.

We are neither religions, faiths or practises.

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