Religious Traditions

Topics: China, Buddhism, People's Republic of China Pages: 7 (2528 words) Published: September 10, 2007
Eastern religious traditions play a role in everyday medicine. The question is what role does it play? Modern medicine is a lot different than what it was back in the day. It is clear that the facts of modern medicine agree marvelously with the Bible. For example, the Mosaic regulations pertaining to childbirth, sexual relationships, hand-washing, wound and discharge care, quarantining, burial precautions, and waste disposal are examples which indicate that diseases are communicable, and that the best protection against them is to prevent their spread. Today there is hundreds of therapies labeled "alternative medicine," but what exactly does that mean? A broad definition would be any therapy that is not accepted by the dominant medical establishment of our culture or any other culture. There are several characteristics of alternative medicine.These therapies are not practiced in hospitals or physicians' offices. They focus on natural methods of healing with an emphasis on preventing disease. They are also more likely to treat chronic ailments after conventional medicine has failed. Alternative medicine originates from the traditions of ancient cultures, particularly China and India. For instance, 370 different healing drugs were used in Mesopotamia while 600 were common in India. The Chinese had 2000 herbs, metals, and minerals as ingredients in 16,000 different preparations. Despite the variety, many historians agree that these ancient medical practices had little success in actually curing disease. The real effects are still under scrutiny today including comparisons with the strides made by modern medicine. Despite the shortfalls of conventional medicine, we live longer and are healthier than people of long ago. Ancient alternative medicine was greatly influenced by Eastern religions. That is why today's users of so-called "rediscovered" alternative medicines can still see those religious concepts interwoven with the treatments. Many alternative medicine proponents approach holistic health from a pantheistic world view. Central to pantheism is the idea of monism--the idea that everything in the universe is one ultimate reality. If all is one, then man is divine. Since we are divine, we are without sin. Sin is merely an illusion that creates false guilt. This guilt is what leads to illness. Some advocates of alternative medicine would point out that the biblical view of health is also considered holistic. Indeed, God made man a complex being with physical, mental, social and spiritual dimensions, and He cares about every aspect of our person hood. Contrary to pantheism, the Bible teaches God is a personal being and we are His created beings. We were meant for a personal relationship with Him, but we are separated from this by sin. Biblical health begins with a right relationship with a personal God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Rather than ignoring sin, it must be dealt with through repentance and restoration. Finally, a Christian must acknowledge that God may have a purpose for suffering, and that there is value to yielding to His plan. What is certain in any case is that no constructive progress in medicine was possible until the ancient evolutionary doctrine of spontaneous generation was discarded. The fierce battle to destroy this superstitious myth regarding the origins of microscopic life is surely one of the most exciting sagas in the long development of modern medicine. Indian society was originally divided by categories of work, but later on a far more complicated division of society into different castes came into being. Different castes can not marry, nor do they eat together. A soul can be born into a different caste in the process of reincarnation. Despite attempts during the last 100 years to break down caste barriers, the caste system is still a dominating feature of Indian society. The Indian Constitution does not recognize the existence of castes except for...

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