Atheism and medicine

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In the Traditional Chinese medicine practice of gua sha, the skin is abraded until red spots then bruising cover the area to which it is performed.

Razib Khanm wrote at Discover Magazine:

...the most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian...

This is not to say that East Asia is necessarily a haven for a critical rationalist perspective, what with the prominence of Chinese medicine, geomancy, Korean shamanism...[1]

See also: Asian atheism and Atheist population

Razib Khan points out in Discover Magazine, "most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian."[2] See: Asian atheism and Global atheism

East Asia contains about 25 percent of the world’s population. China’s population represents 20 percent of the people on earth.[3]

China has the world's largest atheist population (see: China and atheism).[4][5] China is a communist state which practices state atheism (see: Atheism and communism).

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a type of traditional medicine based on 2,500+ years of Chinese medical practices which includes various types of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy, but recently has also incorporated modern Western medicine. The efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine is poorly researched and supported.[6]

The Chinese government's National People’s Congress Standing Committee regulates TCM.[7]

The atheist, communist dictator Mao Zedong revived and heavily promoted Traditional Chinese medicine in China. He didn't believe in it himself, but pushed it as a cheap alternative to real medicine.[8]

Steven Salzberg wrote in Forbes magazine concerning TCM:

The Nature writer, David Cyranoski, presents this news in a classic two-sides-of-the-story format, describing the "endless hours" that TCM proponents spent on such important topics as the "correct location of acupuncture points and less commonly known concepts such as ‘triple energizer meridian’ syndrome." Later in the article (but much later), he points out that scientists have argued that qi and meridians simply don't exist.

Were you thinking this was about health care? Afraid not. Cyranoski goes on to point out some serious problems with TCM, for example:

"Critics view TCM practices as unscientific, unsupported by clinical trials, and sometimes dangerous: China’s drug regulator gets more than 230,000 reports of adverse effects from TCM each year."

Actually, it's much worse than this. Here's what TCM really looks like: the horrific slaughter of the last remaining rhinoceroses in Africa in order to hack off their horns, which are sold to become part of elixirs that some people mistakenly think confer strength, virility, or other health benefits. Last year, National Geographic ran a heart-wrenching photo essay showing some of the awful results of rhinoceros poaching in Africa; take a look at these photos here.

TCM also looks like this: black bears kept in grotesquely cruel "farms" with a permanent tube inserted into their abdomens so that their bile can be harvested. Despite a growing movement to end this inhumane practice (see this NY Times story), it persists today, with thousands of bears kept in cages so small they can barely move. No one can view photos such as these and say that TCM is a good thing...

Well put. On the other hand, Cyranoski does point out that the major motivation for TCM is money:

"[China] has been aggressively promoting TCM on the international stage both for expanding its global influence and for a share of the estimated US$50-billion global market."...

As the Nature article points out, TCM has been a scam for decades: it was revived and heavily promoted in China by former dictator Mao Zedong, who didn't believe in it himself, but pushed it as a cheap alternative to real medicine.[9]

Atheist hospitals

See also: Atheist hospitals and Secular hospitals

The psychiatric hospital Serbsky State Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry, formerly called the Serbsky Institute, was used during the Soviet Union era to engage in “psychiatric terror” against political dissidents.[10] See also: Atheist hospitals

Atheist hospitals, meaning hospitals created by people who believe there is no creator God, do indeed exist although their quality tends to be lower than those created by agnostics and the religious. Particularly substandard are those in Cuba, which are perennially underfunded, poorly stocked and often are unsanitary. Mental hospitals in the Soviet Union were used to persecute believers.[11]

Even though many hospitals do not actively push a religious viewpoint on their patients and staff, almost all of them were funded and founded by those whose faith and religious beliefs pushed them to help those in need.

Atheist hospitals in China

See: Atheist hospitals in China

Atheist hospital in Vietnam

See: Atheist hospitals in Vietnam

Atheist hospitals in Cuba

See: Atheist hospitals in Cuba

Atheist hospitals in North Korea

North Korea practices state atheism.[12] The World Health Organization said about North Korea's health care system, "challenges remained, including poor infrastructure, a lack of equipment, malnutrition and a shortage of medicines."[13]

Atheist mental hospitals in the Soviet Union

The former Soviet Union had state atheism. Mental hospitals in the Soviet Union were used to persecute believers.[14] In the Soviet Union, many Orthodox priests and laymen experienced religious persecution in the form of torture and being sent to prison camps, labor camps or mental hospitals.[15][16][17][18] See also: Atheistic communism and torture

The psychiatric hospital Serbsky State Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry, formerly called the Serbsky Institute, was used during the Soviet Union era to engage in “psychiatric terror” against political dissidents.[19]

Religious hospitals vs. secular hospitals: Quality of care

See also: Atheist hospitals and Christianity and hospitals and Secular hospitals

According to the Acton Institute:

Thomson Reuters has issued a new report that shows church-run hospitals provide better quality care more efficiently than other secular hospitals.

Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at Thomson Reuters, says, “Our data suggest that the leadership of health systems owned by churches may be the most active in aligning quality goals and monitoring achievement of mission across the system.”[20]

Quality of care in hospitals by religious affiliation

Atheist doctors

See also: Atheist doctors and Atheism in medicine and Irreligion and recovery from illnesses

The Christian apologist Gary Habermas wrote: "Double-blind prayer experiments: where people pray for others with terminal illness. Habermas admitted that most such experiments have not worked, but the three that he knows of that have indeed worked were cases of orthodox-Christians praying for the sick."[21] See also: Studies on prayer

CBS News reported: "According to a mail-in survey of nearly 4,000 British doctors, those who were atheist or agnostic were almost twice as willing to take actions designed to hasten the end of life."[22]

MSNBC reported concerning United States doctors: "In the survey of 1,044 doctors nationwide, 76 percent said they believe in God, 59 percent said they believe in some sort of afterlife, and 55 percent said their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine.[23]

The atheist and American medical doctor David Mann, MD wrote about telling his patient he was an atheist while the patient's doctor prayed before a surgery:

It was not a good time to bring up the fact that I was an atheist. So I just went along with it, only briefly and mildly discomforted. Religion gives strength and comfort to people in life and death situations that doctors often deal with. I rationalized that my silent participation was helping my patient and the family psychologically. Besides, how would they feel about my performing complicated heart procedures on their loved one if they thought I was an unbelieving heathen incapable of accepting God’s guiding hand?

It’s uncomfortable to be an atheist and a doctor, just as it uncomfortable in America to be an atheist in general...[24]

See also: Distrust of atheists and Views on atheists

The Christian apologist Gary Habermas wrote: "Double-blind prayer experiments: where people pray for others with terminal illness. Habermas admitted that most such experiments have not worked, but the three that he knows of that have indeed worked were cases of orthodox-Christians praying for the sick."[25]

See also: Studies on prayer and Atheism and the supernatural

According to the American Cancer Society:

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 69% of cancer patients say they pray for their health. A recent study published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, suggests a link between religious or spiritual beliefs and better physical health reported among patients with cancer.[26]

See also: Atheism and cancer

Belief in God and American doctors

See also: Atheism in medicine

The University of Chicago Chronicle reported in 2005:

The first study of physician religious beliefs has found that 76 percent of doctors believe in God and 59 percent believe in some sort of afterlife. The survey, performed by researchers at the University and published in the July issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that 90 percent of doctors in the United States attend religious services at least occasionally, compared to 81 percent of all adults. Fifty-five percent of doctors say their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine.[27]

Communist China and baby meat eating

See also: Communist China and baby eating and Atheists eat babies meme

China has the largest atheist population in the world.[28] See also: China and atheism

In 2014, The Washington Times reported:

China’s one child policy, baby trafficking, and sex trafficking of North Korean women aren’t the worst human rights violation happening in the country. Aborting innocent and healthy unborn children and eating them to boost one’s stamina and sexual health is.

South Korean customs officials recently seized thousands of pills filled with powdered human baby flesh arriving from China. Since August 2011, South Korean officials have intercepted more than 17000 pills smuggled from China.

South Korean officials became aware of a horrific practice of eating aborted fetuses after Seoul Broadcasting System showed a documentary on Chinese doctors who performed abortions and then ate the fetuses. One Chinese doctor on the documentary took out fetuses from his refrigerator.[29]

For additional information, please see:

Atheism and abortion

Atheism and infanticide

See: Atheism and infanticide

Evolutionism and a poor back treatment

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.[30]

See: Back problems: how Darwinism misled researchers by Jerry Bergman

Atheism in medicine

See: Atheism in medicine

See also

References

  1. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales By Razib Khanm, Discover Magazine
  2. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine
  3. The Growth of Christianity in East Asia
  4. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  5. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  6. Shang, A.; Huwiler, K.; Nartey, L.; Jüni, P.; Egger, M. (2007). "Placebo-controlled trials of Chinese herbal medicine and conventional medicine comparative study". International Journal of Epidemiology. 36 (5): 1086–92. doi:10.1093/ije/dym119. PMID 17602184.
  7. China passes first law on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). WebMD China (December 28, 2016).
  8. WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise by Steven Salzberg, Forbes magazine
  9. WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise by Steven Salzberg, Forbes magazine
  10. Korotenko, Ada; Alikina, Natalia [Ада Коротенко, Наталия Аликина] (2002). Советская психиатрия: Заблуждения и умысел [Soviet psychiatry: fallacies and wilfulness] (in Russian). Kiev: Издательство «Сфера» [Publishing house "Sphere"]. ISBN 978-966-7841-36-2.
  11. The Cry of the New Martyrs - Psychiatric “Treatment” of Christians
  12. World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Marshall Cavendish. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “North Korea is officially an atheist state in which almost the entire population is nonreligious.” 
  13. "Aid agencies row over North Korea health care system", BBC News, 10 July 2010. 
  14. The Cry of the New Martyrs - Psychiatric “Treatment” of Christians
  15. Father Arseny 1893-1973 Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Introduction pg. vi - 1. St Vladimir's Seminary Press ISBN 0-88141-180-9
  16. Lyudmila Alexeyeva, History of dissident movement in the USSR, Memorial society, in Russian
  17. A.Ginzbourg, "Only one year", "Index" Magazine, in Russian
  18. The Washington Post Anti-Communist Priest Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 26, 2006; Page C09 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/25/AR2006112500783.html
  19. Korotenko, Ada; Alikina, Natalia [Ада Коротенко, Наталия Аликина] (2002). Советская психиатрия: Заблуждения и умысел [Soviet psychiatry: fallacies and wilfulness] (in Russian). Kiev: Издательство «Сфера» [Publishing house "Sphere"]. ISBN 978-966-7841-36-2.
  20. The Superiority of Christian Hospitals by JORDAN J. BALLOR • August 17, 2010, Acton Institute website
  21. Christian Apologist: 10 Reasons for the Fall of Atheism by Gary Habermas
  22. https://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20014770-10391704.html
  23. Survey: Most doctors believe in God, afterlife
  24. Atheist doctors must come out of the closet by David Mann, MD
  25. Christian Apologist: 10 Reasons for the Fall of Atheism by Gary Habermas
  26. Study: Cancer Patients with Strong Religious or Spiritual Beliefs Report Better Health, American Cancer Society
  27. Survey on physicians’ religious beliefs shows majority faithful , University of Chicago Chronicle
  28. Chinese cannibalism of infant flesh outrages the world, Washington Times, 2014