Coronavirus. Human arrogance. Death.

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Just before the coronavirus outbreak in China, we all were reading great articles and scientific announcements about how science will soon beat even death and make us immortal…

Now we know that the giant we believed in had legs of clay. Now we are collectively trying to survive from a virus in the midst of a worldwide panic.

It is not possible to avoid defeats and mistakes.

But it is possible to be arrogant enough not to learn from them.

Oh, you arrogant men.

You want so much to live.

That you fail to see.

That the only way to be immortal.

Is to accept death…

Italy, coronavirus, saving the younger ones: Civilization dying.

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In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is reported that in Italy there is a shortage in medical supplies and doctors are now making choices about who to save and who to leave unattended to die. There are reports that the selection doctors make are in favor of the younger ones. (Source)

If this is the case, then we are dealing with something worse than the death of some people. We are dealing with the death of civilization per se.

Because there is nothing worse than arrogance. Arrogance that man can ride at the level of God and play God’s role. Arrogance that someone can decide who lives and who dies.

It is such arrogance that made crimes as the Holocaust possible. Don’t be fooled. The devil always comes disguised as an angel.

Sure, there is logic in selecting the younger ones for survival. But a wrong logic altogether. What if that young person is someone terrible who commits crimes? What if the older person who is left to die is an honorable person who had devoted his life to saving others? What if that younger person you saved went on to rape children? What if that old person you killed was an experienced heart surgeon who was going to save the life of a prime minister who would in turn save the world from the next world war? What if that older person was you?

Any logic applied in selecting who lives and who dies, at the end, promotes death. Not life. Death of the ones not selected. Death of a civilization that once upon a time called for saving the weak not because they could survive, but especially because they couldn’t!

Look around.

And in the faces of the people you will not see men and women dying.

But a whole civilization crying…

PS 1. But what should we do? could someone still ask. Shouldn’t we decide something? The answer is simple and already given: we should do nothing! In the case of such life or death dilemmas men should not decide! We cannot play God. Treat people with a “first come first served” priority (and no, no two people arrive simultaneously, simultaneous events do not exist even in theoretical physics). So simple. So “irrational” with regards to our death-loving distorted logic. These dilemmas have been solved a long time ago in modern European law tradition. We are here not to play the role of fate. We are here to suffer it.

PS 2. Yes, you guessed correctly. There is no “trolley problem” as such. In such cases, one should not do anything, i.e. one should not try to play God. The solution to such infamous problems is that you try for the best, without playing the role of fate as we so much like to do these days…

About the Holy Communion & Excuses…

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In light of the coronavirus, many talk about the need to shut down churches, socialize only on the Internet, banish Christianity (interesting how more massive gatherings of Muslim communities in Europe have not gained so fierce enemies…) and declare Science as our new religion. For that reason I feel compelled to simply point out the following.

1. Science is ALREADY our new religion. For centuries now. So don’t worry about this one. Nobody does anything unless they hear the priests bearing the name “scientist” today. And I mean no one. Even Hitler was listening to scientists when he conducted eugenics.

2. Yes we should be careful not to spread a virus if we are sick. This is not about science but about common sense. The kind of logic that all people have. I mean mainly those people who believe that the world exists because someone made it (and not by accident), those who do not believe in an infinite number of universes that exist simply because someone wrote it in a scientific paper. But let us not get carried away from the subject… The Archdiocese in the US has made an interesting and logical announcement I think for that matter, which you can find here.

3. Priorities: What is more important? To close the subway or stop the Holy Communion? Shut down buses and workplaces or stop Holy Communion? How many will get sick by commuting in the subway and how many by the Holy Communion? Why do we always get into church matters first and foremost? Is the Church really so powerful today? Are there so many believers?

4. Scientific data: Despite what many people believe, science is not clear on the matter. There are scientific researches which claim that Holy Communion does not transmit diseases. I hereby enclose a related scientific research which you can find here. As the research concludes: “In conclusion, there is experimental evidence suggesting that sharing a communion cup contaminates the wine and cup. However, there has never been a documented case of illness caused by sharing a chalice reported in the literature”. Let everyone decide on their own and on the data they have at hand, but let us stop tagging people who will go to Communion as “obscurantists” so easily.

5. Other information: At times, there were priests who used to associate with leper and people with tuberculosis, to which they offered communion as well. Nothing happened. (you can easily find those cases on Google yourself) And this is another scientific indication (for what else is science than extracting conclusions based on systematic observation) that things are not so dangerous as people believe they are. I am not saying to go or not go to religious practices during a pandemic. And even if you believe, you might be humanly afraid to go – let’s not forget that Peter himself denied Jesus out of fear. This decision you will make based on your doctor’s advice (or the guidelines issued by your government). I am saying however that things are not as black and white as atheists claim they are.

6. Mystery: And I am not even going into the metaphysical issues about what the mystery and what the Holy Communion really means, the body and blood of Christ, et cetera. If you do not believe in these things, leave them where they are. Others believe them. And not because they are stupid. But because they are not. And they like the philosophy a little bit. Ah, and because they do not stupidly believe that there is only matter in the universe.

But again, I get away from the issue at hand.

Maybe again, this is the issue!

Coronavirus, Christianity, Death, “sissies”…

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There is a lot of discussion about the new coronavirus affecting the world as we speak. Harmonia Philosophica usually does not deal with such news since our focus is philosophy and not everyday matters. Our subject is the eternal, not the ephemeral.

And yet, as we have said many times here, the ephemeral is sometimes more eternal than the eternal. And philosophy needs to take into account everyday life if the latter poses important and interesting questions.

The coronavirus has suddenly made humanity again aware of its fragility. And right when we thought we were “progressing” and ready to conquer the world, Death is suddenly again part of the discussion.

This is, understandably, unsettling to many people. I will not make the arrogant mistake of not including myself with all those people. I am also afraid of death. I am also afraid of suffering. But as we have said again many times, my personal or your personal feelings on the matter at hand mean nothing.

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

And here is where Christianity comes into play. Despite what most people believe, Christianity does not evangelize that if you are a good Christian you will not suffer; the exact opposite is true! Christianity reminds us of death and suffering. Christianity emphasizes death and suffering and brings them to the spotlight. Jesus and all the saints have died horrible deaths. No one is spared from death or suffering because of being a good Christian. Being a Christian does entail accepting pain and suffering, so that we can acknowledge that death is nothing more than a portal to real life.

The world had rejected Christianity because of those attributes of Christianity. Because the world does not like death and suffering. Because the world believes that it is – or can be – immortal and live for ever. Because we admire matter and we cannot see beyond it. Blinded by our dogmatic materialism, we fail to see the obvious only because we are cowards.

As Johnny Cash has said, “Christianity is not for sissies”.

Don’t be afraid.

Yes, at the end you will die.

Can you not cry?

(Where is your philosophy?)

Related article: How to easily win an atheist in a debate…

Coronavirus epidemic. Hand washing. The art of simple. And other ‘little things’…

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According to scientists, to fight an epidemic, focus on hand washing. (1)

An advice which came into light just as the epidemic of the coronavirus is gaining momentum.

We have been so much focused on high-tech and elaborate methods of dealing with diseases, that we have forgotten the greatest weapon we ever devised against disease in the first place: Hygiene. And despite our best efforts, even today this still remains our best and most effective weapon.

It is the simple things.

The things we have forgotten.

In a cosmos with the best medical technology, nothing can prevent a virus if people do not wash their hands. In the most developed nation, nothing can save you if there are not sewers. In an era with methods for advanced gene editing available, people can still die for not having soap.

If philosophy can teach us something, anything, this is humility. The ability to look at the simplest things and still stare in awe. If philosophy can teach us something is lack of fear towards the storm. For even in the face of the greatest one, we can dare to say “I am the storm”.

Wash your hands.

Think small.

Those little things.

There is nothing bigger, as David Aames used to say…