Skip to comments.Of Medicine, Magic and Original Sin
Posted on 10/05/2001 9:24:14 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
Of Medicine, Magic and Original Sin
By Brian J. Kopp, DPM
From The Wanderer Issue Date of 3-8-2001
With the dawn of the Third Millennium, Western society is experiencing a period of economic prosperity and material wealth that is unequaled in the history of mankind. Americans have a standard of living greater than most men who ever lived. New technologies arise at an astonishing rate, previously untreatable diseases are now not only cured but eradicated, and much physical suffering is being alleviated. With this affluence has come a longer life expectancy, as well as increased rates of previously rare diseases. Unfortunately, an unhealthy obsession with health in general accompanies this affluence, and an uneasy realization is settling over the West. All the promise of our technology, and all the money of our booming economy spent on new treatments and cures, has failed keep pace with our demands. In the back of our collective psyche, it is dawning on the world that all these advances are failing to resolve the basic problem of the suffering and death of man.
In reality, there have truly been enormous advances. Life expectancy climbs steadily, despite the perceived "dangers" of our technological world, from industrial chemicals to pollution, to new sources of ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields. Life expectancy alone is the best gage of true advance in the life sciences. Its increase is primarily a result of modern medicine, despite its synthetic and "unnatural" chemicals and techniques, and overall improvement in diet, which has been achieved by farming techniques with heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Yet the public perceives that medicine and science has failed them. They rightfully point out rising cancer rates, increases in heart diseases, drug resistant infections, and new and deadly viruses. As questions build, no true answers are forthcoming, at least from science. Thus, as mans modern knowledge fails to fulfill its promise of solutions for all the worlds ills, the public is turning, en masse, to alternatives to mainstream medicine and science. If penicillin fails, an herb may help. If chemotherapy fails, acupuncture and meditation and vegetarian diets are embraced.
Much of this "new" medicine comes from the "old" religions. American Indian and Chinese herbology, eastern religious meditation techniques, vegetarian Hindu diets, acupuncture, and a myriad other old healing techniques are "rediscovered," and advanced as an alternative for the failure of modern science to cure all the suffering in the world.
Yet how can the west forget so quickly the roots of western medicine itself? Traditional western medicine has grown alongside traditional western culture. That culture, the culture of Europe, and to a certain degree the Americas, is the culture of the Church that formed it and from which it received its principles of scientific investigation. Those principles are, boiled down to their basics, derived from the rational approaches of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Granted, St. Thomas Aquinas dealt with theology and philosophy. Yet it was Thomistic thought, the rational, reasoned examination of concepts and ideas, from which grew the methods of scientific investigation and by which was discovered the evidence upon which modern western medicine and science is based. The Church was the incubator of the scientific process, and its universities were the seed from which has grown Western scientific thought.
Furthermore, western medicine and science have grown within a fundamentally Catholic understanding of reality. That reality is that God made the created world, along with the Laws of Nature by which it is governed. God, of course, is the infinite omnipresent power in the universe. He also made angels, man, and the lower animals. Demons are fallen angels. All His creation must obey His Laws of Nature, which are described and codified by scientific inquiry, as well as the Natural Law, which is written on our souls, summed up in the Ten commandments and the Great commendment of Jesus Christ, and codified within the sciences of philosophy and theology. Of course, we were created perfect, but disease and death entered the system with the Original Sin of Adam and Eve.
That is a simplistic summary of the reality of our existence, properly understood by science and philosophy and theology. We are created physical bodies, imbued by God with an eternal soul, living a finite Earthly life. We are forced to live according to the Laws of Nature and the Natural Law, and we cope daily with disease and death, the price of sin.
Western medicine grew up with a fundamental understanding of this reality, and works within its finite framework. As such, it examines the body in a rational scientific Jesuitical manner, with its (sometimes limited) understanding of the Laws of Nature, and attempts to apply remedies to the body based on this reality and the diseases present.
There are biochemical, electrical, and other forces acting within the body, any disruption of which can lead to the diseased state. Investigation of disease entails the use of all the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, etc. Treatment may be a chemical to restore function to an injured or malfunctioning organ, surgery to remove a diseased organ, vitamins and nutrients to restore proper function, or any of the thousands of treatments available to modern medicine.
They all have, as common denominator, at least an attempt to understand structure and body function through rational scientific thought within the framework of created reality, or in other words, Catholic reality. Even the early herbal remedies of modern western medicine were attempts at treating the body within the realm of reality. If remedies were found to be without merit, they were relegated to the dustbin with the other snake oils of history. As herbal remedies stood up to scientific investigation, the active ingredients were codified, formalized, and purified into the modern medicines we use today.
The failure of Western medicine today is that in its absolute pursuit of human knowledge, it has forgotten the fact of the immortal soul and the effects of Original Sin. It has so formalized itself that the patient has become a case number to be "objectively" evaluated, probed, prodded, sliced, medicated, and placated. Killing unborn babies, to use their cells to cure the current living case number, is the perfect example of the pit into which western medicine has fallen.
It is no wonder then, that men and women are sensing this something that is now missing. Western medicine has divorced itself from this spiritual side in the name of some mistaken "scientific objectivity." Unfortunately, when the patient takes the seemingly logical next step, from a soulless western medicine into the world of alternative, holistic, or eastern medicine, and the admission of the spiritual aspects of man these alternative philosophies embrace, he often steps from the relatively known to the unknown.
For all its failings, western medicine attempts to treat the body using rational scientific concepts. Alternative medicine largely refrains from making any such claims. Instead, remedies are couched in terms of balancing the "powers" within the body, or opening energy channels, or bringing "harmony" within. Anecdotal evidence replaces double-blind, standardized, and reproducible studies. Concepts of healing are drawn from eastern mysticism or ancient spiritualism, or other old world religious traditions such as Wicca and Earth worship, in a belief that "Mother Earth" provides all the cures necessary for the healing of her children. Many common maladies are believed not to be biochemical or genetic errors from a fallen human nature, but an unbalance of energies or powers, or bad karma from a previous life.
The public, in essence, is turning away from science, and returning to that which so much of early man embraced, namely superstition and gnostic paganism. These "new" alternative techniques rarely have scientific basis, but rely on mystical interpretations of the body and soul which are inherently foreign to the Catholic understanding of reality.
Despite the dangers and traps of western science noted above, these "powers" or "energies" of the body, which form the fundamental basis of these alternative remedies and techniques, still must be examined objectively. Are they "real?" Do they indeed exist? Can they be quantified or measured? If not, why? Are they part of that Nature God created? Of course, if they do exist, they must be made to "fit" into the realm of Gods creation, best understood by western philosophy and theology.
However, our western understanding of Gods creation has no place for powers or energies freely floating around for us to tap into, use and manipulate. Western tradition has a simple word for the tapping into and manipulation of energies or life forces. That word is "Magic." Magic, in the western Christian world view, is a forbidden art.
God did not make energies freely floating around into which we may tap and which we may manipulate by our will, like some cosmic Star Wars "Force." Any religion or "medicine" that promises its adherents such power is a dishonest or sinister one, for such is forbidden by God. Such "knowledge" is Gnostic, or forbidden or hidden knowledge, and it is antithetical to Christian belief.
What of so-called healings brought about by practitioners of eastern or New Age mysticism based medicine? Are there other "powers" by which we may be healed? The only force or power in the universe is the power of God. We are not permitted to attempt to conjure up Gods power by herbs, potions, incantations, yoga, "Healing Touch," Reiki, or any other technique.
We can indeed use intercessory prayer to ask God for true healing by His power. Saints have done so. Jesus our Lord healed multitudes by His power. Angels are credited with healings in Scripture, but only through Gods power.
However, we cannot conjure up God by an act of our own will or by ritual or incantation or transcendental meditation. Therefore, in the Catholic understanding of reality, these healings can at best only come from forces which God never intended us to understand or attempt to manipulate. Two thousand years of Christian thought and proper scientific investigation have not revealed any such powers. At worst, and more likely, they come from demonic forces, and magic is always and only the conjuring of demonic forces. Even when a "cure" is documented in alternative methods, the nagging question remains, "What profit it a man to gain the whole world yet lose his Eternal soul?"
For the typical individual who walks into a local alternative medicine shop, the herbal remedies they sell are not likely to open him up to demonic influence. However, the attraction of further advance into these gnostic healing arts that are the next logical step are hard to ignore. Power over physical reality, even the reality of our fallen physical nature, even if pursued to help and heal, is not a power to be grasped at by Christians. It is another attractive yet forbidden fruit so very much like that first one of which Adam and Eve tasted.
In western medicine, the patient has become naked to science, and their personhood is often run over roughshod. In an industry called "health care," they are no longer a face and a name and there may be very little care at all. In leaving behind this fundamental truth, that a patient is a human created in the image and likeness of God with innate dignity and that the end simply does not justify the means, western medicine has lost its roots and its soul.
So has western society and culture. Both have walked away from the Church that raised both from infancy, and still offers the only true hope for modern medicine and the culture at large. What is the solution to this malaise that has taken over the mind of modern man, this obsession with health and healing?
The root problem is a fundamental fear of death. Disease is simply a stage on the road to that death introduced by original sin. So man must come to terms with his own death. All the chemical compounds of all the plants of the world will never provide a cure for original sin, and therefore, disease will always be present. The sooner modern man grasps this reality, including the men and woman of science and medicine, the sooner man will truly be healthy in body and soul.
This can only come with a return to that concrete reality that tells us that God exists, He made us, and because of Original Sin and our sin, we must suffer and eventually die. The reality is that the only "cure" from this suffering and death is the embrace of the Cross, and the Savior who hung there and died for us. This reality must be proclaimed by all who would seek to heal his fellow man and himself. The cure is the Good News, and the sooner modern man takes His medicine, the sooner our world will be truly Healed.
Unfortunately, this post would indicate you understand neither either free will nor Original Sin.
Without going into to much detail, could you tell me how a baby can be born with sins? I'm not trying to pick on your religion or debate you on it, as I'm not into that kind of thing. I am just curious, being Southern Baptist, I'm not familiar with Catholicism.
If it will take up to much of your time, don't worry about it. Like I said earlier, I'm just curious.
BAPTISM SAVES US FROM SLAVERY TO SIN
Pope John Paul II
On feast of the Lord's Baptism Holy Father baptizes 19 infants at Mass in Sistine Chapel
"Baptism frees man from original sin and forgives his sins, saves him from slavery to evil and is a sign of his rebirth in the Holy Spirit, it imparts to him a new life", the Holy Father said during the Mass he celebrated in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, 12 January before baptizing 19 babies of various nationalities. Here is a translation of his homily, which was given in Italian.
1. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19).
Today the Church is celebrating the feast of the Baptism of Christ, and this year too I have the joy of administering the sacrament of Baptism to several newborn babies: 10 girls and nine boys 14 of whom are Italian, two Polish, one Spanish, one Mexican and one Indian. Welcome, dear parents, who have come here with your little ones. I also greet the godparents, as well as all of you who are present.
2. Dear brothers and sisters, before administering this sacrament to these newborn children I would like to reflect with you on the word of God we have just heard. The Gospel according to Mark, like the other synoptics, recounts Jesus' Baptism in the River Jordan. The liturgy of Epiphany recalls this event in a triptych that includes the adoration of the Magi from the East and the wedding at Canal Each of these three moments in the life of Jesus of Nazareth is a particular revelation of his divine sonship. The Eastern Churches give particular emphasis to today's feast, calling it in short, "Jordan". They consider it a moment in the manifestation of Christ closely connected with Christmas. Indeed, more than his birth in Bethlehem, the Eastern liturgy highlights the revelation of Jesus as Son of God, which took place with extraordinary intensity precisely during his Baptism in the Jordan.
What John the Baptist was conferring on the banks of the Jordan was a baptism of repentance for conversion and the forgiveness of sins. But he announced: "After me comes one who is mightier than I.... I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:7-8). He proclaimed this to a multitude of penitents who flocked to him confessing their sins, repenting and preparing to correct their lives.
The Baptism given by Jesus, which the Church, faithful to his command does not cease to administer, is quite different. This Baptism frees man from original sin and forgives his sins, saves him from slavery to evil and is a sign of his rebirth in the Holy Spirit; it imparts to him a new life, which is participation in the life of God the Father, Only-Begotten Son who became man, died and rose again.
3. As Jesus comes out of the water, the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove, the heavens open and the Father's voice is heard from on high: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" (Mk 1:11). Thus the event of Christ's Baptism is not only a revelation of his divine sonship, but at the same time a revelation of the whole Blessed Trinity. The Fatherthe voice from on highreveals in Jesus the Only-Begotten Son consubstantial with him and all this comes about by virtue of the Holy Spirit who, in the form of a dove descends on Christ, the Lord's Anointed.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we read of the Baptism administered by the Apostle Peter to the centurion Cornelius and his family. Thus Peter carries out the risen Christ's command to his disciples: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19). Baptism by water and the Holy Spirit is the first and basic sacrament of the Church, the sacrament of new life in Christ.
4. Dear brothers and sisters, in a few moments these children will also receive Baptism and become living members of the Church. They will first be anointed with the oil of catechumens, a sign of Christ's gentle strength given to them to fight against evil. Then blessed water will be poured on them, a sign of their interior purification through the gift of the Holy Spirit, poured out by Jesus as he was dying on the Cross. They are then immediately given a second and more important anointing with "chrism", to show that they are consecrated in the image of Jesus, the Father's Anointed. Then each child's father receives a candle to be lit from the paschal candle, a symbol of the light of faith which the parents and godparents must continue to safeguard and nourish with the life-giving grace of the Spirit.
Dear parents and godparents, let us entrust these little ones to the Virgin Mary's motherly intercession. Let us ask her to make them, dressed in their white garments, a sign of their new dignity as children of God, true Christians and courageous witnesses to the Gospel throughout their lives.
Weekly Edition in English
22 January 1997
If you are Roman Catholic, you are misinformed.
Yes, what an awesome God indeed. He loved us enough to give us the right to CHOOSE whether to love Him in return. Actually your line here is a superb summary of an awesome reality, if you only stopped your cynicism and sarcasm long enough to look at the big picture.
If you were "god" you could "create" a being from nothing and pre-program it to "love" you. It would go about its days "loving" you as any obedient pre-programmed robot would. It would not have, however, the option of loving you. It would not be free to choose not to love you. So its "love" really would not be love at all, for Love implies a choice.
For God, a robot just was not good enough. He wanted man to be able to choose to love Him. Therefore He gave man the greatest gift of any of His created souls, namely Free Will. At any moment man may choose to love God or not to love God. God dwells in the heart of those who love Him (sanctifying grace) and respects those who choose NOT to love Him so much that He removes Himself from them when they refuse His love (by mortal sin and knowing rejection of God's existence.)
You have the basics. Add faith to those basics and you will have joy and peace.
Continue in your rejection of that God, and you already know the fruits, i.e., the cynicism, anger and despair you have displayed already on your brief posts on this thread. God is patient, He is waiting for you to decide for him.
Free will GUARANTEES that conscious man will cure the disease of death for all human beings...
Death will become optional and biological immortality will be the natural state for conscious beings...
We will achieve this through business demands for longer lives by the public...
Free enterprise business will bring forth this knowledge for the benefit of all humans...
Chorus from a song from RUSH...
We are young...
learning the things of the earth...
learning what our dreams might be worth...
learning that we are only mortal for a limited time...
Just like the human race is too stupid to fly, make a nuclear reactor, build a computer, etc... The only thing that separates humans from immortality is knowledge... The only thing that separates us from that knowledge is time...
Consciousness has the power to understand anything in existence when presented with the facts in context...
Humans possess consciousness, so there is nothing we can't understand once we figure it out...
In a couple generations after our population increases expodentially, we'll have filled the earth and be required to move elsewhere if no one dies to keep population stable.
The human population is not increasing exponentially... Not even close... In fact, there is evidence that world population is decreasing...
Even if the population was growing exponentially, the technology to solve overpopulation "problems" would easily be invented...
Not exactly the best plan there. Also don't want to give immortality to elite, due to the fact it allows corruption to live much to long.
Only if corruption is allowed...
Keep in mind, once humans get to choose if they die or not, all the power gets shifted to the individual from the central power collective...
That guarantees that all government entities and faux religious authorities who have ruled and controlled conscious humans will be discovered for the worthless nothings they are, and the world will become infinitely better....
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