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Of Medicine, Magic and Original Sin
The Wanderer National Catholic Weekly/ The Diocese Report ^ | Brian J. Kopp, DPM

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. It’s 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 man’s modern knowledge fails to fulfill its promise of solutions for all the world’s 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 God’s creation, best understood by western philosophy and theology.

However, our western understanding of God’s 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 God’s 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 God’s 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.


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1 posted on 10/05/2001 9:24:14 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: proud2bRC
Bump for a later read.
2 posted on 10/05/2001 11:44:34 PM PDT by Valin
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To: proud2bRC
Excellent read.
3 posted on 10/22/2001 4:51:49 AM PDT by HoweverComma
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To: proud2bRC
so lets see if i understand...uncountable billions of beings have had to suffer illness and death(and the attendant terror) because of 'ORIGONAL SIN...that is... because adam ate an apple, GOD placed this onus on man. hell of a guy this GOD!
4 posted on 10/22/2001 5:52:55 AM PDT by SCARED
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To: SCARED
GOD placed this onus on man

Unfortunately, this post would indicate you understand neither either free will nor Original Sin.

5 posted on 10/22/2001 4:53:17 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: SCARED
Original sin is not an accepted belief in the Catholic church anymore, to the extent that it is no longer believed that if a baby is not baptised before it were to die that it's sins that it was 'born with' would not be forgiven.
6 posted on 10/22/2001 4:57:52 PM PDT by riley1992
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To: *Catholic_list
This may be of interest.
7 posted on 10/22/2001 4:59:47 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: riley1992
Original sin is not an accepted belief in the Catholic church anymore, to the extent that it is no longer believed that if a baby is not baptised before it were to die that it's sins that it was 'born with' would not be forgiven.

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.

8 posted on 10/22/2001 6:44:01 PM PDT by NoCurrentFreeperByThatName
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To: NoCurrentFreeperByThatName; riley1992
The Pope still teaches the doctrine of Original sin, and the Church still teaches it:

BAPTISM SAVES US FROM SLAVERY TO SIN

Pope John Paul II

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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 Father—the voice from on high—reveals 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.

Amen!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
22 January 1997

9 posted on 10/22/2001 7:28:15 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: riley1992
Original sin is not an accepted belief in the Catholic church anymore...


If you are Roman Catholic, you are misinformed.

10 posted on 10/22/2001 7:36:17 PM PDT by It's me
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To: proud2bRC
NO you do not understand. according to this situation, because of one(2) persons "free will" chose, all mankind for as long as it exists, must suffer illness, death degradation and terror of death and illness. Again... some God.
11 posted on 10/22/2001 8:11:02 PM PDT by SCARED
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To: SCARED
because of one(2) persons "free will" chose, all mankind for as long as it exists, must suffer illness, death degradation and terror of death and illness. Again... some God

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.

12 posted on 10/22/2001 8:26:12 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: SCARED
NO you do not understand. according to this situation, because of one(2) persons "free will" chose, all mankind for as long as it exists, must suffer illness, death degradation and terror of death and illness. Again... some God.

Satan slipped in through a back door. Adam and Eve's free will allowed that. And God allowed free will. Because of that, imperfection ruled the world, and the humans of the world, where imperfect man begets imperfect man. Unfortunately, imperfection can not beget perfection without God's intervention. If God intervened and kicked Satan and sin out, we would no longer have the free will to chose our path in life. God would be chosing it for us, and forcing us to take that path by blocking all but one path.

God didn't like to see mankind destroy itself, so He sent a way out. The first was through blood sacrifice, but that only covered sin and didn't get rid of it. So God the Son (Jesus) came down and gave us a better way out: He died for us, allowing our sins to be completely forgiven. It's man's choice if he wants to accept that or not.

It's not God that causes death, but imperfection of sin in the world. You see, for sin to cease in this world, God would have to remove it from the world. And there goes our free will and choice to follow God or not. It's not God that causes pain and suffering, nor evil, but rather that's caused either through the imperfection of the world, or through another man committing evil. God watched as mankind desided to take the hard route, and He suffered and died as Jesus so we'd have another path to follow other then sin, even after man tainted His creation by letting sin in. Now that's what I call some God!

-The Hajman-
13 posted on 10/22/2001 8:27:52 PM PDT by Hajman
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To: It's me
You took what I said out of context. I said that the Church no longer teaches that an infant will not go to Heaven if it were to die without being baptised first, in lieu of original sin. And yes, I am Roman Catholic and this is exactly what we were told when we had both of our children baptised.
14 posted on 10/23/2001 2:29:30 AM PDT by riley1992
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To: proud2bRC
really not interested in a religious argument, but notice both you and"hajman" answered the choice question nicely, but sidestepped the real point. the unbelievibly horrendous vengence for the choice made. "i am a vengeful god". i guess so. hell of an attribute for a perfect being.
15 posted on 10/23/2001 5:25:36 AM PDT by SCARED
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To: SCARED
I've been looking for some original sin, but all I can find are cheap Taiwanese knock-offs.
16 posted on 10/23/2001 5:30:46 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: SCARED
really not interested in a religious argument, but notice both you and"hajman" answered the choice question nicely, but sidestepped the real point. the unbelievibly horrendous vengence for the choice made. "i am a vengeful god". i guess so. hell of an attribute for a perfect being.

We didn't try to sidestep the main point. We tried to explain it. It's not God that creates death, but sin itself. God isn't responsible for the state of sin we live in now. We are. Adam and Eve introduced sin and death and suffering into the world, and mankind ever since has been choosing to take that over God. Whenever someone steals, or murders, or spreads terror, they are desiding to side with the sin that is now part of our world. Nature has also fallen due to sin's influence of imperfection from that day Adam and Eve took a bite of the fruit of good and evil. Our state of suffering isn't due to God's vengence, but rather due to sin existing in our world, and mankind's decision to continue chosing to sin. God has already offered a way out once we leave this world. But it's up to us to accept it.

-The Hajman-
17 posted on 10/23/2001 3:54:00 PM PDT by Hajman
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To: Anyone that has the capability to think outside their world bubble...

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...

18 posted on 10/23/2001 4:09:03 PM PDT by Ferris
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To: Ferris
Death will become optional and biological immortality will be the natural state for conscious beings...

Won't work with a species as stupid as the human race. 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. 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.

-The Hajman-
19 posted on 10/23/2001 4:38:32 PM PDT by Hajman
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To: Hajman
Won't work with a species as stupid as the human race.

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....

20 posted on 10/23/2001 4:57:37 PM PDT by Ferris
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To: JHavard; Havoc; OLD REGGIE; Iowegian; PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain; the808bass; is_is...
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.

If you have assurence of where you are "going" when you die there is no fear..

When I worked with the dying those that knew Christ went "home" in peace.Those that were not sure cried out in fear..

21 posted on 10/23/2001 5:04:43 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
Thanks again for the bump. As a militant Protestant it was nice to read a catholic article that did not encourage to worship Mary. It's a good article. I agreed with almost all of it but the tiny bit of promoting 'catholic' thought as the progenitor of modern science. They held it back and down as long as they could and like the good politicians they were, when they realized they could not beat em they joined em.
22 posted on 10/23/2001 5:19:25 PM PDT by mercy
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To: Ferris
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...


This isn't about knowledge. It's about application of the knowledge once we have it, and the effects from that knowledge. And a global effect would be overpopulation in less time it takes for your grandkids to have grandkids. Humans arn't mature enough to take the kind of responsability needed to insure a stable environment in this kind of situation. Thousands of years we've lived, and we're still no closer to such an end then we were when we started. Human nature has it's consequences.

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...


If you had read what I wrote, you would have seen my statement followed the premise that no one dies. In this case, the population would increase expodentially. We couldn't keep up with population growth fast enough once it reached a certain level. Nature would take over, and people would die due to necessity. We have relatively slow population growth now, with negative growth rate in some areas. Imagine if you will, if those natural boundries...dissapeared. Do you realize how fast expodential growth would rise? What would be your solution?

Only if corruption is allowed...

Corruption doesn't need permission to exist. Take the Clinton's for example. If we can't keep corruption down even when the corrupt do die off, how do we expect to keep it down if they didn't?

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...

This is only true in anarchy. As long as we recognize government, we recognize and accept central power control. This is an effect of government. And our Republic government is the closest we've ever come to keeping that effect to the minimal.

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....

No, it just means they won't die and will control further, if immortality is given only to an elite. Old generation who were against them passes away into dust, and using public schools, they gain a new generation who are with them, and the next generation are their's even further. We have discovered many worthless people out there in power, some have gone down, others have not until death. Death is the great equalizer, especially when you have a race of beings that arn't naturally good. Immortality could be akin to, say, unrestricted Presidential terms. Restriction is necessary to keep corruption from overtaking.

Unintended consequences, my friend. What is your solution to them?

-The Hajman-
23 posted on 10/23/2001 5:34:45 PM PDT by Hajman
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To: proud2bRC
Interesting piece; I have only one comment. It denegrates herbal medicine at the same time it talks about new age-y stuff. What does the author think people used before antibiotics and such? Herbs, right? Does that mean *everyone* born before whenever penicillin became readily available is doomed to hell?

I don't mean to criticize, it just raised a point in my mind that nobody here seems to have addressed.

24 posted on 10/23/2001 5:35:35 PM PDT by JenB
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To: SCARED
"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed that the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."I John 4:15-18

...perfect love casts out fear...

Call on the Lord, my FRiend, and you won't have to be SCARED any more.

25 posted on 10/23/2001 6:34:35 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
I do not want to argue and in this issue one will never convince the other. so... THANK YOU for your good intentions towards me.
26 posted on 10/23/2001 7:05:35 PM PDT by SCARED
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To: SCARED
Oh, you are quite welcome...good night.
27 posted on 10/23/2001 7:13:04 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: JenB
What does the author think people used before antibiotics and such

I think I can speak for the author (since I am the author) and say that the use of herbal medicines is in no way "new age." It has a strong basis in science. Fortunately, most herbal remedies that are actually effective have been made into medicines. Those that do not work have been relegated by science to the snakeoil dustbin. There is tremendous financial incentive in pharmacy science. The pharmaceutical firms have been looking at the claims of herbal medicine for many decades, looking for compounds that have valid use in medicine. When such herbs are discovered they are formalized and sold as pharmaceutical drugs. Those not used most likely have no real practical benefit.

What I have found on occasions too numerous to count is that otherwise decent folks who would never be deceived by New Age medicinal practices are enticed into it by herbal concoctions. Therefore the otherwise innocent herbal remedies become like a "gateway drug." Marijauna is considered a gateway drug in that its use leads to use of more dangerous recreational drugs. This is an imperfect analogy because frankly I don't see marijauna use as "harmless." It is illegal and therefore cannot be "harmless" if only from a legal standpoint.

On the other hand, most herbal remedies are indeed harmless. Although there are many well documented cases of severe reactions and deaths using herbal remedies, by and large they are harmless to the user. The corrolary is that if indeed they are harmless, the chances that they are truly pharmacologically useful to the patient is slim to none.

My final analysis is that though herbal remedies taken by themselves as a group of alternative medicine recommendations are harmless spiritually, they can lead unsuspecting folks into deeper spiritual danger. likewise, while they are relatively safe, they are also relatively useless from a pharmacological standpoint. Which means there is tremendous deception and fraud when remedies are sold as efficacious when in reality they are not. In other words. people waste hard earned money on useless herbs. Therefore those selling them, whether they realize it or not, are engaging in immoral behavior.

This is just my opinion. I have no doubt some will vociferously disagree, and even flame me for stating it so bluntly.

28 posted on 10/23/2001 7:22:40 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: SCARED
but sidestepped the real point. the unbelievibly horrendous vengence for the choice made. "i am a vengeful god". i guess so. hell of an attribute for a perfect being.

How about a JUST God? God's perfection demands justice for disobedience. What you call vengeance, God calls justice. God gave Adam and Eve one command. "Don't eat of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, for in the day you eat of it, you shall surely die." What part of that don't you understand?

In your world, God tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden, and then after they do, God just says, "oh, that's OK...maybe it was a stupid command. I'll just pretend it didn't happen". What kind of god would do that? Not any kind of god that I would want to serve, because he couldn't be trusted. He could change his mind on a whim, and I couldn't believe any promise he made to me, because he could just decide not to fulfill it. Is that the kind of god you want?

God is Holy, and His Holiness cannot abide sin (disobedience or rebellion) in His presence. The Bible says His Holiness will kill you because no sinful flesh can stand in the presence of God. Face it. You are human. That means that Adam was your ancestor, and sin passed onto the whole human race because of Adam's sin. You were literally in Adam (as a potential human being) when he sinned. You want to know how serious sin is? It is so serious that God's imputation of sin to Adam and Eve caused a genetic change, which is passed down to this day. Sin is so serious that when Lucifer sinned and became Satan, He was kicked out of Heaven, along with 1/3 of the angels, those who rebelled with him. Sin is so serious to God that He flooded the whole earth, and only saved 8 people, because the rest of the world was so sinful that it actually caused God to regret that He had made man. Sin is so serious that the only way God could make it possible for man to have fellowship with Him, He had to become a man, in the person of His Son, Jesus, a new race of man, sinless, in order to pay the penalty for sin, in order to reconcile man to God, through faith in the Jesus, and repentance from sin. What you so casually dismiss as the acts of a capricious and petty God are acts of ultimate love and grace for you. He did it even though you don't deserve it. He did it because He loves you that much, that He would suffer death to make it possible for you to experience life with Him.

Now, do you want to reconsider your position?

29 posted on 10/23/2001 7:48:21 PM PDT by nobdysfool
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To: mercy
I agreed with almost all of it but the tiny bit of promoting 'catholic' thought as the progenitor of modern science. They held it back and down as long as they could and like the good politicians they were, when they realized they could not beat em they joined em.

Try reading a book sometime.

30 posted on 10/23/2001 10:49:26 PM PDT by Titanites
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To: proud2bRC
Somehow I missed you wrote the piece, and I sincerely hope my comment did not offend you; it was not meant to. Since you stated your position clearly, I can say I mostly agree with it; I don't use herbs myself, since I feel we have better ways to treat disease now. I was simply interested, as I said, in your position on pre-modern medical treatments in earlier times. I won't address the marijuana issue as I have no real knowledge on the topic.
31 posted on 10/24/2001 4:56:35 AM PDT by JenB
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To: proud2bRC
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.

I gotta subscribe to the Wanderer. Great article. Very insightful.

32 posted on 10/24/2001 5:04:50 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: riley1992
I said that the Church no longer teaches that an infant will not go to Heaven if it were to die without being baptised first, in lieu of original sin.

The Church never taught that dogmatically, so the Church's position cannot have changed. We are permitted to hope that God gives these children, who have died before being baptized, an opportunity to choose for God and hence attain heaven. But even the doctrine of limbo, that these children attain "natural happiness" without attaining heaven, is still a permissible position. It remains an open question, to some extent.

33 posted on 10/24/2001 5:11:59 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: SCARED
"i am a vengeful god". i guess so.

This is the same God who humbled Himself to become a man and die a humiliating death on the cross to atone for our sins. You must counter-balance your criticism with this dogmatic teaching of the Church.

Evil and suffering is a great mystery, there is no doubt about that. But the ultimate "answer" is to be found at Calvary.

34 posted on 10/24/2001 5:15:30 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Aquinasfan
RE: post 33 With all due respect, what a load of sophistic tripe. Your statements remind me of why, after being raised a catholic, I no longer respect most religions.
35 posted on 10/24/2001 5:19:56 AM PDT by US admirer
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To: Titanites
Try reading a book sometime.

I second that motion.

36 posted on 10/24/2001 5:20:00 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: nobdysfool
Very good answer. I have been trying to phrase something along those lines to answer SCARED, but I feel you hit the nail on the head with that one.

We need a God who will keep his word--who will be just and be absolutely holy. Unfortunately, most people these days do not understand what holiness is. They feel it is Mother Theresa, or Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, Jr. turning the other cheek and letting others walk all over them. That is not holiness. Holiness is being perfectly righteous, and not abiding evil (in whatever form) to have a place in your life. Holiness does not even tolerate evil.

37 posted on 10/24/2001 5:22:19 AM PDT by ShadowAce
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To: US admirer
With all due respect, what a load of sophistic tripe.

With all due respect, can you tell me where I'm wrong?

38 posted on 10/24/2001 5:22:20 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: proud2bRC
Have you read Stanley Jaki's book, "Science and Creation"? Jaki contends that Newtonian physics arose soon after the Church's promulgation of the doctrine of creation ex nihilo. He makes a very strong case.
39 posted on 10/24/2001 5:24:36 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Aquinasfan
I'm not debating the accuracy of your statements regarding catholic doctrine. I refer to their absurdity.
40 posted on 10/24/2001 5:26:58 AM PDT by US admirer
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To: US admirer
I refer to their absurdity.

Can you be more specific?

41 posted on 10/24/2001 5:46:50 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: RnMomof7
When I worked with the dying those that knew Christ went "home" in peace. Those that were not sure cried out in fear..

That's as should be. What concerns me is the mass of people, and the pep-talks which enable them, who boldly proclaim that they do not fear death — when they should!

Dan
How Can I Know God?

42 posted on 10/24/2001 7:04:35 AM PDT by BibChr
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To: riley1992
You took what I said out of context. I said that the Church no longer teaches that an infant will not go to Heaven if it were to die without being baptised first, in lieu of original sin. And yes, I am Roman Catholic and this is exactly what we were told when we had both of our children baptised.


No, actually I didn't. Just because you were told that by someone, does not mean that it is true. Some Roman Catholics do not believe in "Limbo" any more, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it does not exist. Limbo is still thought to be where the unbaptised babies go. They do not see the face of God but, are not unhappy.

Please the Catholic Catechism #1257.61 and 1261 for further information.

43 posted on 10/24/2001 3:27:12 PM PDT by It's me
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To: proud2bRC; RnMomof7
Brian, nice post.

Although I think you over emphasize the accomplishments of Thomist thought I will agree that Thomism contributed quite significantly to the development of western culture. Aquinas, as most of the early church fathers did, relied heavily on Greek thought. Aquinas in particular relied on Aristotelian cause and effect theory. Thomist thought mimics Greek thought in it's dualist nature of reality (nature/grace), with nature as a lower form and grace as a higher order. Nature, despite sin, was viewed as still basically good; but grace was better. This viewpoint allowed for rational thought(nature) as the starting point in man's understanding of God. Many Theologians consider Thomism as advocating an "incomplete fall". Within the arsenal of Thomist thought, therefore, philosophy engage in theoretical reflection on natural things. The effect was a theology supported by a form of natural theology and not reliant on God's revelations. The result was a meaningful contact with the down to earth life of God's people in his world was severed.

The enlightment era further exacerbated the dualist structure and pushed God further away especially in the context of the Kantian dilemma. (Either God is in our world of experience, but then he is not God; or he is God, but not in our world of experience.) The result was that either God did not exist or God could not be quantified; in which in either circumstance God was irrelevant.

Now, let us try and tie up the philosophy with your post. On the one hand you admit to the shortfalls of modern medicine's lack of understanding the revelation of God concerning judgement.

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.

Yet a few paragraphs later you criticize the pagan religons for taking a spiritualistic view.

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.

While I do not agree with the pagan religons vehicles or emphasis on strictly a spiritual healing; your criticism shows a tension laden dialectic. Your Thomist rational approach only touches on the grace aspect of healing and is heavily inbalanced on the nature aspect of healing.

As we come out of our enlightment "hang-over" our civilization is realizing that healing is not merely a rational scientific humanist solution. As Christians it is our responsibility to emphasize a holistic approach to healing; spirit, mind, and body. The pagan religons approach is partially correct in that we must be bringing "harmony" within. The problem, of course, is that they seek the wrong god. Christian scientists and doctors must also take a holistic approach to their work incorporating not only the rational but also the bringing "harmony" within revelational aspects to their studies. The point of origin is the Word of God.

44 posted on 10/24/2001 3:53:16 PM PDT by lockeliberty
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To: It's me
Limbo is still thought to be where the unbaptised babies go. They do not see the face of God but, are not unhappy.

And God told you this over pancakes at IHOP?

45 posted on 10/24/2001 5:21:05 PM PDT by riley1992
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To: riley1992; It's me
Religion and IHOP. It's Possible.
46 posted on 10/24/2001 5:36:28 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey
Actually, I know I saw the face of God on my pancake there as a child. They tried to tell me it was just whipped cream and chocolate chips, but I knew better.
47 posted on 10/24/2001 5:42:18 PM PDT by riley1992
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To: riley1992
Riley, as usual, you're on to something here.
48 posted on 10/24/2001 5:43:46 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey

49 posted on 10/24/2001 6:00:11 PM PDT by riley1992
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To: riley1992
You mock. What makes you so sure that you are correct?
50 posted on 10/27/2001 5:51:38 PM PDT by It's me
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