Medicine as religion | The Vineyard of the Saker

medicine-as-religion-|-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

24-05-20 10:28:00,

original Italian text by by Giorgio Agamben
translated for The Saker Blog by Gulab Bara
posted by permission of the author
original article here: https://www.quodlibet.it/giorgio-agamben-la-medicina-come-religione

It is now plainly evident that science has become the religion of our times, the one that humans believe they believe in. In the modern west, three great systems of faith have coexisted, and to some extent continue to coexist—Christianity, capitalism, and science. In the history of modernity, these three “religions” have intersected a number of times, occasionally coming into conflict before reconciling in one way or another, gradually finding a kind of peaceable and sensible coexistence, if not a real and proper alliance in the name of common interest.

What is new is, that without us noticing, an underlying and implacable conflict has been reignited between science and the other two religions. The victorious outcomes of this conflict for science are today right under our eyes and noses, conditioning every aspect of our existence in unprecedented fashion. Unlike previous conflicts, this one does not concern theory and general principles, but rather religious practice, so to speak. In fact, like every religion, science organizes itself in different forms and levels to establish a structured order. At the theoretical level, science features a subtle and rigorous dogma, while at the practical level there is a corresponding religious sphere that is extremely broad and detailed. This sphere coincides with what we call “technology.”

It is unsurprising that the central role in this new religious war is played by medicine, a field of science that is relatively undogmatic and strongly pragmatic, concerned directly with the living body of human beings. Let’s try to define the essential characteristics of this triumphant religious faith, with which we must increasingly come to terms.

  1. The first characteristic is that medicine, like capitalism, has no need of any special dogma; it limits itself to borrowing its fundamental concepts from biology. Unlike biology, however, it organizes these concepts in a gnostic-manichean sense, i.e., in accordance with an exaggerated dualistic opposition. There exists an “evil” power or principle, which is disease, whose specific agents are bacteria and viruses. At the same time, there exists a “good” force or principle. But this opposing principle is not health,

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Music As Medicine? 30 Minutes A Day Reduces Anxiety And Pain | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

music-as-medicine?-30-minutes-a-day-reduces-anxiety-and-pain-|-light-on-conspiracies-–-revealing-the-agenda

26-03-20 11:34:00,

Listening to music can be enjoyable, but is it also good for your heart? Patients who suffered episodes of chest pain soon after a heart attack, known as early post-infarction angina, had significantly lower levels of anxiety and pain if they listened to music for 30 minutes a day, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).

Nearly 700,000 people survive a heart attack in the U.S. each year, and it is estimated that roughly 1 in 9 heart attack survivors experience subsequent episodes of chest pain and anxiety within the first 48 hours. The new research suggests music, combined with standard therapies such as medications, could be a simple, accessible measure that patients can do at home to potentially reduce these symptoms and help prevent subsequent cardiac events.

“There have been very few studies analyzing the effects of music on heart conditions,” said Predrag Mitrovic, MD, PhD, professor of cardiology at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine and the study’s lead author. “Based on our findings, we believe music therapy can help all patients after a heart attack, not only patients with early post-infarction angina. It’s also very easy and inexpensive to implement.”

The researchers recruited 350 patients diagnosed with heart attack and early post-infarction angina at a medical center in Serbia. Half were randomly assigned to receive standard treatment while half were assigned to regular music sessions in addition to standard treatment. For most patients, standard treatment included a variety of medications such as nitrates, aspirin, clot-preventing drugs, beta blockers, statins, calcium channel blockers, blood pressure-lowering medications and the angina-reducing drug ranolazine.

Patients receiving music therapy first underwent a test to determine which musical genre their body was likely to respond to positively. Participants listened to nine 30-second samples of music they found soothing, while researchers assessed each participant’s body for automatic, involuntary responses to the music samples based on dilation or narrowing of the pupils. Researchers then fine-tuned the selection by working with the patient to determine the optimal music tempo and tonality.

Participants were asked to listen to their designated musical selection for 30 minutes each day whenever it was convenient for them to sit,

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‘Music is best medicine’: Italian musicians join flash mob to cheer up nation amid coronavirus scare (VIDEOS)

‘music-is-best-medicine’:-italian-musicians-join-flash-mob-to-cheer-up-nation-amid-coronavirus-scare-(videos)

14-03-20 08:52:00,

Italian musicians have banded together in a flash mob to banish fear and despair with some cheerful musical tones as the nation struggles to beat the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 1,200 lives nationwide.

With a nationwide quarantine in place since March 10 in the wake of a severe Covid-19 outbreak, Italy is still seemingly trying to do its best to beat the disease in every possible way – healing not just bodies, but souls as well. At least that is what a music band from Rome said as they encouraged fellow citizens to join their “resonant” musical flash mob and “break the silence” in a powerful display of unity and solidarity.

“Music is the best medicine to cure the soul and that is what we need at the moment,” an 18-strong band wrote on the event’s Facebook page as it called on people to open their windows and play an instrument, sing a song, or just make noise in any way they feel appropriate.

Although the flash mob was not directed solely at professional musicians and in fact stated quite the opposite, it did strike a chord with instrumentalists and singers performing in various genres not just in Rome but throughout Italy. Many of them then uploaded videos of their musical exploits to social media.

Opera singer Laura Baldassari, Turin harp player Federica Magliano, and singer Federico Sirianni were among the participants who took to their balconies and windows to add some music to Friday evening. There was also no shortage of pianists, saxophonists, flutists and guitar players, who followed suit.

Some people formed improvised bands as they performed together on the rooftops of their houses, while others used the occasion to demonstrate their mastery of some unusual instruments.

Ordinary citizens also took part, joining the improvised nationwide chorus and singing songs to each other in heartwarming scenes. 

Italy remains the country hardest hit by the novel coronavirus outside of China, where the deadly disease originated. The national death toll linked to the virus officially known as Covid-19 had reached 1,266 by Friday evening as 250 people died in just one day, according to the latest reports.

Also on rt.com
‘We’ll come through this’: Homebound residents across Italy sing together to stave off virus lockdown blues (VIDEO)

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IMF “Economic Medicine” Imposed on Sri-Lanka: Inhuman at the Micro and Macro Levels – Global Research

imf-“economic-medicine”-imposed-on-sri-lanka:-inhuman-at-the-micro-and-macro-levels-–-global-research

03-03-20 06:08:00,

The IMF’s actions has a direct impact on the fate of hundreds of thousands of women like Hiruni in Sri Lanka.

For years, the IMF has been pushing for an end to customs barriers protecting local producers, whether farmers, fishermen, artisans or others. This is one of the reasons why Hiruni and others like her can no longer make a living out of what they produce. The IMF, together with the World Bank and other international institutions, also promotes the deregulation of the banking sector and micro-credit. It supports the right of credit companies to set the rates they want, in the name of “freedom” of prices and the market.

This is why Hiruni and so many others have to pay exorbitant interest rates. The IMF, in collaboration with other international institutions, put pressure on governments to privatize or close down public credit banks which were providing loans at reasonable, usually subsidized rates (i.e. without making profits), which the IMF and the World Bank abhor.

This is another reason why Hiruni and others cannot find credit from government sources.

To complete this negative picture, one must add several conditionalities imposed by the IMF’s credit policy handed out to Sri Lanka like so many other countries.

The IMF wants the government to reduce the public deficit by cutting social spending and reducing government staff. As a result, Hiruni and millions of people in Sri Lanka witnessed the free education and health care drastically eroded.

Indeed, Sri Lanka is one of the few countries where health and education are still free in principle, but the austerity measures imposed by the government in complicity with the IMF mean that the real cost of education (including primary education) and basic health is constantly rising, as school books and medicines have to be paid for, and parents are also being pushed into private education and health care to escape the falling public service. Therefore, poor families have to go into debt with micro-credit agencies to meet school and health expenses. And it is women who are most directly affected since they are primary responsible for ensuring education and health for their children.

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The Real Cost of Food and Medicine in Africa – Everything Africans Own | New Eastern Outlook

The Real Cost of Food and Medicine in Africa – Everything Africans Own | New Eastern Outlook

09-10-18 01:15:00,

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What is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation really doing in Africa? A recent Goalkeepers report entitled “Is Poverty Inevitable” attracted my attention this week. With characteristic billionaire-level content writers in tow, the world’s most famous philanthropic couple publish a warning on African birth rates, poverty, and disease. Their foundation’s real agenda has very little to do with altruism.

The problem with Bill Gates and his foundation is that no PR guru in the world can conceal what is pointedly obvious to anyone reading their narratives. The basic tenets of this foundation’s efforts are BS. “There are too many African babies; they’re going to die.” This statement is counterbalanced with “Let’s give out more drugs to save their lives, and then educate these masses so they can be more productive, so Africa’s economy can grow.” And grow, and grow, and grow to be another Singapore, or China, or Southeast Asian manufacturing hub? It’s doublespeak. Or is Africa just going to be a consumer market powered on air and service related jobs? I hope you see my point here. The Bill & Melinda report goes on in big bold letters:

“The basis of our optimism about the world has always been our belief in the power of innovation to redefine what’s possible.”

The rich couple, or their public relations and marketing team one, continue by citing their deceased friend, friend, Swedish academic and statistician, Hans Rosling, whom they cite as if he were Jesus in a sermon in his description of people’s different standards of living. Rosling used the metaphor that of how people travel: from sandals to bicycles to cars to airplanes. The way the paragraph fits together lets me know someone with a marketing background probably wrote it. So all those Africans being saved by vaccines Bill & Melinda help supply, they’re soon going to be flying airplanes. Or not.

Whenever one researches US government, major corporate or NGO, and especially billionaire philanthropic giving to poor countries, the presence of a “payoff” should be understood. I won’t get into Bill Gates’ philosophies or how he is tied to eugenics, but his connections with the so-called “deep state” and the CIA in the US bear mentioning here. If you bear with me,

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