Metaphysics and Medicine: Metamorphosis of Modern Medicine into Pseudo-Religion

by Simon Yu, MD

What is metaphysics? At the beginning of the history of Western philosophy in ancient Greece, Aristotle was questioning the “origin of everything.” Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world by trying to answer two basic questions: “What is there?” and “What is like?”

The metaphysicist attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world. This includes the definition of object, property, space, time, causality, and possibility. Meta means beyond or transcending. Therefore metaphysics studies beyond the physical realm of science.

Recently, I again read Metaphysics, a book written by Emerich Coreth from Austria. I had read this over 35 years ago after my friend, Justin Morais, a medical doctor from Singapore, sent me an essay written by Dr. Larry Malerba, DO from New York. The title of the article was, “Is modern medicine more science or religion?”

According to Dr. Malerba, in a condensed version, modern medicine projects the image of scientific rigor but has all the hallmarks of a system of religious belief. The practical consequence of its insular perspective is the dead-end system of Western medical materialism that we have today.
Repair of the physical body is erroneously equated with healing. In its quest for objectivity, medicine has rejected its spiritual roots and lost sight of its humanity. It arrogantly rejects the wisdom of thousands of years of human history, is fragmented to the point of dissociation, devoid of common sense, preoccupied with short-term material goals, a slave to its financial overlords, and utterly lacking in the requisite spiritual knowledge that would enable it to find its way out of its self-imposed foolishness.

Furthermore, he continues, modern medicine is like “the church of medicine” which clings ferociously to its worldview when challenged by congregants (patients). It displays an unusual degree of intolerance when faced with non-believers who dare to ask questions. It is a closed belief system that does not allow innovation or new ideas.

Like any good faith, the church of medicine stands on the authority of its sacred texts. The randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial is the gold standard that assures the purity of church doctrine. The sacred studies are the only source of true knowledge; all other forms of knowledge are held to be inferior or just anecdotal evidence. There is little if any room for dissent inside the cathedrals (hospitals and medical schools) of medicine. Those with innovative ideas are commonly treated as pariahs.

By contrast, most forms of holistic health and healing, on the other hand, begin with the fundamental assumption that we are spiritual beings temporarily inhabiting physical bodies during our time here on the physical plane. If this truth is to be honored, spiritual laws and energetic principles must be taken into account when we consider issues of health and illness.
Modern medicine has degenerated into a shadow of its original purpose, preoccupied with politics and intoxicated by its own power. The new medical religion is predicated upon mechanism, reductionism, and materialism, and has set itself up in opposition to common sense, spiritual understanding, and holism. Medicine cannot be healed until it comes to the realization that these traits are not enemies but complementary principles that should be working together as a unified whole.

You may or may not agree with Dr. Malerba’s harsh arguments but they certainly will stir your emotions, causing you to ask the same question, “Is Modern Medicine more science or religion?” You can read his whole passionate essay at NaturalNews.com. He is the author of Green Medicine: Challenging the Assumptions of Conventional Health Care.

Inspired by Dr. Malerba’s essay and reading the book Metaphysics by Emerich Coreth, I recognized that most of the metaphysics in medicine has been addressing medical ethics and the issues on the beginning (and abortion) and end of life (and euthanasia) but not challenging the shortfall of compartmentalized, reductionist based western medical science which we call Evidence Based Medicine.

I always thought that our medical training is rigorous, science based but authoritarian, top down, and requires discipline like in the military with no room to challenge the authority. When a medical professional challenges the system, he or she is at risk of losing their medical license.
So, what is there in medicine? And what is like practicing medicine? Well, when I think about it, my patients often tell me that they take their medications or vitamin pills religiously like taking communion. This Phenomenon of taking medications religiously and following the medical doctor’s recommendations like the Ten Commandments seems like the metamorphosis of modern medicine into a pseudo-religious experience. We need to bring Spiritual Wellness into the healing process but not necessarily pseudo-religion into medicine. I better stop talking about metaphysics and medicine. After all, I still don’t fully grasp the meaning of Metaphysics!

Dr. Simon Yu, M.D. is a Board Certified Internist. He practices Internal Medicine with an emphasis on Alternative Medicine to use the best each has to offer. For more articles and information about alternative medicine as well as patient success stories visit his web site at www.PreventionAndHealing.com or call Prevention and Healing, Inc., 314-432-7802. You can also attend a free monthly presentation and discussion by Dr. Yu on Alternative Medicine at his office on the second Tuesday each month at 6:30 pm. Call to verify the date. Seating is limited, arrive early.

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