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Religion

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by zenman, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. zenman

    zenman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Gesundheit!
    If there were no religions, how would this effect healthcare?
     
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  3. psy

    psy Lazy Bum Extraordinaire 5+ Year Member

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    Let see...the US was founded due to people leaving Europe for religious reasons. No religion means no US and so no healthcare for us to discuss. It would be a big continent held by native americans and the french (because the US never bought the lands from the french). this is all a paradox. ~_~
     
  4. zenman

    zenman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Gesundheit!
    Let's say religion falls out of favor and is no more....
     
  5. ProLogic

    ProLogic 2+ Year Member

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    That's unrealistic.
     
  6. docB

    docB Chronically painful Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Interesting question.

    One could argue that healthcare would be hit harder with end of life care in terms of unrealistic expectations and a desire to stay alive no matter the quality of life if people have no expectation of an afterlife. I doubt that would be born out by study as I expect that atheists don't necessarily differ that much in end of life preferences from religious folks. They probably actually accept more in terms of comfort care type measures than some religions that have interpretations which demand full measures always.

    Without religion we could dispense with the medical ethics issues related to Christian Scientists and Jehova's Witnesses. We would not have the ongoing war against psychiatry being waged by the Scientologists.
     
  7. THP

    THP Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Considering Catholic hospitals and charities take care of large groups of AIDS patients around the world and other underserved populations I think those groups would be hit pretty hard.
     
  8. drmwvr

    drmwvr 7+ Year Member

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    That condition existed in the Soviet Union and it exists now in North Korea. To a certain extent in China, but there is little to no impact by religion on health care there that I can discern. As health care reflects the society in which it exists, you can't talk about it in the context of a religious vacuum without drawing in the society as a whole. That said, I think the primary effect would be an emphasis on utilitarianism.
     
  9. Danbo1957

    Danbo1957 7+ Year Member

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    Utilitarianism: the future of mankind...
     
  10. drmwvr

    drmwvr 7+ Year Member

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    ...or the end.
     
  11. tibor75

    tibor75 Member 5+ Year Member

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    Oregon and Washington are the least religious states out there, so you could see how they differ from say, Kentucky and Alabama. One thing is certain, you'd have more "Death with Dignity" efforts.
     
  12. drmwvr

    drmwvr 7+ Year Member

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    Just to refine your point (which I do see.) Portland, Salem and Seattle are the least religious cities in those two states. The West is an interesting place. Little outposts stand in stark contrast to the rest of their states.
     
  13. seelee

    seelee 7+ Year Member

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    I didn't realize that anyone took the Scientology argument seriously except Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    Also, I am curious as to what we mean when we say "no more religion". Do we mean, no more organized religion? Or do we mean universal atheism?

    I think the absence of organized religion would have an enourmous impact on society, and not as positive as John Lennon would have us believe.

    Also, I get the feeling that when people rail on organized religion, they don't include Islam, Buddhism, or many of the other eastern and near eastern religions. Am I correct?
     
  14. zenman

    zenman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Gesundheit!
    Let's just say everyone is spiritual but there was no organized religion. Since most wars are probably due to religious differences, I'd say there would be a lot less trauma flooding the healthcare system. Still would have different ethnic groups going at it I guess.
     
  15. seelee

    seelee 7+ Year Member

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    I hear this argument alot, and I just don't buy it. The argument is founded on the premise that religion causes war. I wonder if it is not that people are violent by nature, and in order to win people to their cause use religion as a means of justification. If there were no religion then some other means of justification would be employed.

    Also, no religion would not eliminate worldviews which people cling to just as desperately.
     
  16. cali-ob

    cali-ob Chief Resident 5+ Year Member

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    back where I belong!
    :thumbup:agreed
     
  17. dragonfly99

    dragonfly99 5+ Year Member

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    I agree.
    People will find reasons to kill each other (economics/money, culture, etc.) even if there is no more religion. I think religion is a side show in most of these conflicts. Even Bin Laden...his reason for wanting to do us in is that we support Israel and he feels we are trying to impose our values and culture on to his region/culture. Not that he's not crazy...but I don't think it's his religion. I mean I've read the Koran and it doesn't say to go out and kill civilians.
     
  18. seelee

    seelee 7+ Year Member

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    Here's a thought. Most people base their morality on their belief in God. If there was a greater amount of atheism, would morality become irrelevant. Maybe people wouldn't run around murdering each other, but general decency and altruism could decline. Then what would be the key motivation for becoming a doctor? The perks?
     
  19. Josh L.Ac.

    Josh L.Ac. MSA/LAc & BSN/RN --> AA-S 7+ Year Member

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    Odd. I'm an atheist and I don't go around raping, murdering, and looting. I'm also fairly altruistic, although I think that is more along the lines of conspicuous generosity.


    If I honestly felt that the religious people that I'm surrounded by kept from engaging in the behaviors listed above just because they believe in a god, I would probably move.
     
  20. docB

    docB Chronically painful Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    So we're thinking of a world without organized religion. That's a different supposition as it tends to mean a rejection of traditional values and societal institutions more than a rejection of the actual tenents of a given religion.

    I disagree that religious differences at at the heart of most wars. Since the dawn of history land acquisition has been the dominant motive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  21. seelee

    seelee 7+ Year Member

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    I was not trying to suggest that atheists did such thing, and my post said as much. However, if one does not believe in god, then obviously there is no reward for good living after death. Therefore why not do whatever is beneficial for yourself. If medicine, which requires an enormous amount of work, with an ever decreasing reward, becomes no longer advantageous to self advancement, then why would anyone want to do it if they don't believe that there is any value to good living.

    I am referring to Nietzsche nihilism. A rational extension of atheism. I am not referring to the actual beliefs of a person.
     
  22. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado 5+ Year Member

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    Interest. I don't know about you, but I didn't choose medicine so I would get front row tickets in the next life. I also didn't choose my career based on the idea that I may be PUNISHED for choosing for selfish reasons. I find that my choice was based on interest, and the desire to not waste my time here on earth, especially as I do not believe in an afterlife. I don't like thinking of this life as a game that doesn't matter... atheism focuses one's mind to the fact that this life is ALL that matters. Doing the moral thing becomes that much more important, so I would expect the opposite of what you have said. I would expect MORE interest in medicine.

    Why is it that religion must THREATEN followers to do the right thing? Really, hell is a silly idea, much like time-out for children. If you can not, rationally, argue that a set of values is right or wrong, then threatening or rewarding will only work with people who already believe.

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't
    go away." - Phillip K Dick

    Just thought I'd kindle the inevitable fire...
     
  23. zenman

    zenman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Gesundheit!
    Yes, it certainly helps not to be looking over your shoulder all the time for that bolt to strike you from the heavens.:D
     
  24. seelee

    seelee 7+ Year Member

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    You did an excellent job of taking my comments out of context. But you raised an interesting point. How can you rationally argue any set of values as right or wrong?

    For example; why is cheating wrong? Is it wrong because you will get punished if you do it? That may be the reason many people don't cheat, but it hardly is a reason as to why it is immoral.

    Is cheating wrong because it is dishonorable? This is like saying it is wrong because it is wrong. Definitely not a good reason.

    Is it wrong because society says that it is wrong? So society determines right and wrong? Does that mean that two opposite courses of action can simultaneously be right or wrong at the same time? Obviously your getting into moral relativism here which is absurd notion because it implies that right and wrong are essentially arbitrary, and if that is the case then cheating is not wrong at all, and to make it permissible involves convincing the populous of that fact.

    The only reason for a definite set of values must be that certain things have been defined as wrong by some outside entity. If God does not exist, then we have no reason for holding to such values. If that is the case then it is only reasonable for men to do what they can to get ahead. If you want to do medicine, then fine. But why subscribe to notions and ideals that are irrefutably linked to a notion of God, which you reject?
     
  25. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado 5+ Year Member

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    I didn't know C.S. Lewis was on SDN.

    And it is still assuming that this "outside entity" is "outside" to begin with. Could it be that we are hardwired by society or genetics(just like EVERY other aspect of life)?

    If God did it, why do we have people who do not have morality? Did God forget? Or were they just not important members of society? How cruel. Did Phineas Gage kill the God given morality when he damaged his frontal lobes, or did he just damage the natural regulatory faculty built off genetic blueprints and encouraged by society? Which is more likely?

    Again, if you stop believing in God and evaluate the world, you will see there is no need for God, and nothing changes. I used to think the toothfairy was real too, but after some analytical thinking, I recognized my mistake was the assumption that an "outside entity" was something truely "outside".

    Good luck. This argument has failed in the past... check it out... http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/
     
  26. binko

    binko At home I want you to call me Dr. Marvin. 7+ Year Member

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    MDApps:
    There would be no Beth Israel
     
  27. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory. 10+ Year Member

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    Better yet, lets say morality falls out of favor, chaos ensues and we have a helter skelter like patch work of strong men who run the country, similar to the ancient world pre-Roman empire. For example, gay marriage would be fully permitted in the former bay area but then SF would be quickly overrun and everyone slain by marauders while they are busy picking wedding outfits.

    Interesting scenario really, thinking back on history alot of us physicians with skills would end up being enslaved in such a Might Makes Right Feudal landscape akin to Greek physicians in the Roman empire. People with medical skills that are too tech dependent like Rads would likely have the choice of primary care or Soya Green. All the females of child bearing age regardless of skills would likely be interned at barbarian birthing colonies to keep the population high enough to wage inter tribal warfare across the desolate American post-modern world.

    Sure some of us would escape into small bands with their families, maybe losing a child or 2 to freezing temperatures in the winter hiding out in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Perhaps enjoying nice springs in the grassy foothills feasting on wild berries while making sure to scurry away from marauding horsemen and bandits partolling the trade routes.

    Slavery would be the high order of the day though. A brisk trade in slaves from ports in San Francisco, Oakland and Long Beach from pitiful people caught by local warlords and shipped across the world. Perhaps an occasional rebellion led by a noble young warrior to spread some small measure of areligious justice.

    Wow, that would suck although it sounds very adventurous.

    What was the question again??
     
  28. zenman

    zenman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Gesundheit!
    How much can you get for a good slave?
     
  29. jamwafu

    jamwafu

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    without a religion...what will happen to us?? a big question mark...????
    killing will be anywhere and anytime,coz one factor of mankind is the religion their believe,their origin...!without this we all nothing and we all sinner and goes to hell..ahhahhaha!
     
  30. howelljolly

    howelljolly 10+ Year Member

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    No no no no no.

    There is a natural step-wise progression of psychologic moral development.

    Take for example, Kholberg's Stages of Moral Development

    Religion controls... yes... contols moral and ethical behavior by appealing to or taking advantage of the most basic of these already pre-existing psychologic stages... the stages which will be applicable to the most people, even the most backwards of the bunch. By structuring morality on the consequence of Fire and Brimstone, Eternal Damnation, Heaven, or 72 Virgins, Religion takes the natural progession out of morality, and controls it where it can.

    Without religion, most people will progress to the highest stage of moral development which they can cognitively handle. All of the others will have some form of Conduct Disorder, ODD, Antisocial Personality Disorder... And these are the folks that need a Psychiatrist, and religion wouldnt be able to do anything for them anyway.

    I find it disheartening that adults need to refrain from lying, cheating, stealing... because they will be rewarded with their 72 Virgins, or will be spared from the Fire and Brimstone; rather than simply because not lying, cheating, stealing, is the fair thing to do, and it makes society run smoother.
     
  31. devilpup

    devilpup 10+ Year Member

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    "God is dead..."


    I am looking forward to seeing "miracles" in the wards though.
     
  32. mededu

    mededu Banned

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    If and BUT can lead to endless discussion but surely brings up great Imaginations...

    If there was no relilgion, there would be no ethics, and nothing defined as, RIGHT OR WRONG...

    JUST GO ON....
     
  33. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado 5+ Year Member

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    I don't believe in religion, not one bit. Therefore, I have no ethics/morality. Obviously, I am completely free of self-restraint, a terrible unfit piece in society, and mutually destructive to everyone I meet.

    Oh, wait, none of that is true.

    Of course, maybe I am the exception. Then the next question is surely, why?
     
  34. howelljolly

    howelljolly 10+ Year Member

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    and you sir, are an idiot.
     
  35. devilpup

    devilpup 10+ Year Member

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    ooohh, fooshizzzle.

    It was religion that taught me right and wrong. it was Jeebus and the 10 commandments...

    It was not the big fat belt my mom would use whenever I F**ed up. It is not the negative reinforcement we receive throughout life. With all due respect, if we require religion to define what is right and wrong, then I might as well make up my own religion, and go about like this tool calling himself "Jesus"

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

    On another note, as medical professionals, I think we should all respect the beliefs of our patients. Hypothetically speaking, if a family wanted to "pray" for or ""anoint" my hands before surgery so that I don't screw up... Sure, no problem. Whatever makes the patient/family feels better.
    I'll stop before He smites me.
     
  36. howelljolly

    howelljolly 10+ Year Member

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    Who? The Flying Spaghetti Monster?
     
  37. devilpup

    devilpup 10+ Year Member

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    no, the 'Nut' god.

    this god made George Carlin's balls hurt. you can check it out yourself:
    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o[/YOUTUBE]
     
  38. huey lewis

    huey lewis Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    This is interesting.
     

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