Friday, December 31, 2010

From the YouTube Sick Teenager Files

Some questions about Christian Science's take on sickness in animals

From The Straight Dope
09-11-2005, 10:12 PM
Note: my understanding of Christian Science's take on sickness in humans is primarily based on conversations with a couple of friends who were raised in a CS home but long ago gave up practicing. If I'm wrong about any of my assumptions, it's my own damn fault.

OK, as I understand it (simplistically), Christian Scientists believe that people become sick because they're "under the belief" that they have an illness. Christian Science and prayer can cure illness when it helps people remember that they are spiritual beings, like God, rather than physical beings.

Basically, then, disease is a trick of the mind, or a tricking of the mind by the physical world.

Why, then, according to Christian Science, do animals get sick?

Are they, unlike human beings, imperfect creatures that are naturally prone to physical ailments? (A Cartesian division between humans and animals -- we are spiritual beings, animals aren't?)

Do they, in their way, believe in their own illness?

According to CS teachings, can prayer help cure animals? Is that an acceptable use of prayer?

Is there a tension between CS practice and taking your animal to the vet the same way there's (sometimes) a tension between CS practice and going to the doctor?

Is "veterinarian" a hunky-dory job for a devout Christian Scientist?
Duck Duck Goose
09-12-2005, 09:05 AM
Found this, ( FWIW:

Although her writing was not clear on the subject, Mrs. Eddy apparently thought that domesticated animals got sick because of the incorrect beliefs of people: "You can even educate a healthy horse so far in physiology that he will take cold without his blanket, whereas the wild animal, left to his instincts, sniffs the wind with delight." (Science and Health, p. 179)

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09-12-2005, 10:05 AM
So ... domesticated animals get sick because they learn about illness from us? Hm, that's neat. What about wild animals? Do they see the domesticated animals dropping dead and decide it looks like fun? Maybe we're transmitting brainwaves full of fake ideas about diseases. Yeah, that might explain it.

Ugh, thinking like a loonie is making my head hurt.
09-12-2005, 12:31 PM
Interesting, DDG.

FWIW, my friends didn't know of any particular CS teachings about animal sickness, and their family always used a vet. But their mother wasn't exactly a hard-core believer, so I don't know that their behavior closely matched the CS ideal.
09-12-2005, 12:34 PM
This is almost as good as breatharianism 8)