The fear of tobacco is another classic example. Man wants to believe that by making sacrifices, in this case giving up a pleasurable activity, that God will reward him with a longer life, ergo the religious person gets to believe that man is in control of his own mortality.
As usual, the statistics don't back up their theory that smoking reduces life expectancy. Japan is the heaviest smoking industrialized nation and the longest lived. South Europeans smoke dramatically more than Americans do, yet live a little bit longer on average.
I really don't want to get too off topic, and you're right to research lurking variables and point out how much we can't control. But living healthfully increases your statistical chances
for living longer. We remain alive by a balancing act and that balance is what determines health rather than some regimented particular chemical concoction fit perfectly for everyone.
So knowing more about what your body needs, whatever that is, does indeed increase your body's well being, even if one person's poison is another person's mana, probably depending on other stuff they do.
Anyway, closer to the topic at hand, I think it is
reasonable to ask people to live healthfully and make the sacrifices they would want to make for each other. But to enforce
it by law backed by State violence — is this "the answer"? Seeking truths about the health of an ecosystem that includes us is also reasonable. Asking questions about what our system does, as a whole, is a logical intellectual reflection about being participants in it. The government solution is often what feels so unreasonable.
There are people collecting real data about changes in measurements, and these people have the sense they are earnestly trying to take a pulse of the planet. I would really like to know how much is being futzed with and how much remains raw data. When I ask climate scientists, for example at universities, about these subjects, they often give answers in a very compartmentalized way.
One person doesn't collect the data but builds statistical analysis software. Another presents data that was collected by someone else. The actual data is taken by people working for all sorts of places, government or not — like USGS and NOAA — and then I see the nonsensical graphics produced by "climate satellites" — data that is clearly bogus gobbeldygook for advertising the "technological marvels" though they are not in space or possibly anywhere except a NASA bunker — and I wonder how much of that data is fudged for the rest of this intellectual chain of command. Something very fishy is going on with the data. I think we won't be able to access more details about why (though we can guess) unless we can help the people we know, who are involved, to ask better and less faith-based questions of the data being handed them.
Anyway, it seems that — often — when we do get a real "pulse" of the ecosystem, there is still another department of this system and that is for the doctors of spin.
Where we find our individual health is for us to decide. But where we find our collective health, as a species or a huge family on this planet, requires communication and discussion
, as distasteful as recluses find discussion with their fellow human beings to be. It would be nice if the discussion were not dominated by the usual clowns — who are better at devising magic shows than real world reasonable solutions.