On Dysteleology And The Possibility Of Repair

One of the most notable and in my mind not-well-understood aspects of intelligent design over the past couple of decades has been the recognition that a great deal of what are often viewed as active evils are in fact manifestations of dysteleology and dysfunction that causes a great deal of privation when it comes to good health. Viruses and virulent bacteria demonstrate themselves to be lacking in the sort of genetic material that would make them whole, and the way in which they (and we) engage in our warfare against each other is to destroy fully functioning cells, thus creating more privation in terms of genetic diseases like sickle-cell anemia. Similarly, cancer cells themselves lack aspects of normal functioning cells and the damage they cause to us springs from the damage that those cells themselves have suffered as a result of life in a world full of corrupting agents.

Far too often, our contemporary worldview views viruses, bacterial diseases, and cancers to be evils that are present that must be excised through medicine, chemicals, radiation, surgery, and the like, as if such things had to be removed from us so that we might be whole, despite the large amount of damages such interventions have on us in so doing. The reality that these killers of people are themselves damaged and wounded themselves suggests another possibility that ought to be considered at least in the long-term when it comes to preserving our health, and that is seeking to cure ourselves of disease not by removing or destroying that which is harming us, but by repairing it so that it no longer causes us harm at all. It is not immediately clear how this is to be done, but working towards that end offers considerable health improvements through taking advantage of the knowledge that what hurts us is damage and damaged things, and that rather than trying to destroy what is damaged but which tenaciously holds on to such life as it has, seeking to restore it and repair it and make it whole again offers us the chance to be made whole at far less cost to ourselves and others.

How did such an insight escape our notice? If one is familiar with the thinking of Thomas Aquinas, for example, and the understanding that evil is parasitic on good and is a privation of good, then it would be easy to examine the natural problems that we have to deal with as human beings in terms of disease as showing the same tendency for evil to result from good that is harmed or damage or lacking in important aspects of its original goodness. And had we been thinking in such a direction to begin with in terms of our worldview about good and evil, we might have earlier and at much less cost and damage to ourselves researched in such a way as to seek to put right what has been made wrong, to heal what has been damaged, to repair what is broken and has fallen short of its proper and original state. It is striking and humbling to think that faulty views of things that seem as arcane and impractical as the nature of good and the fact that evil itself does not exist except as a corruption or a falling short of good can have dramatic consequences for health and life as a whole.

If we spent more of our time and effort trying to make things whole, and trying to prevent things from being corrupted and broken to begin with, imagine how better our society would be? Rather than trying to mutilate children or create horrors of spike proteins in the name of medicine to kill the young and healthy with sudden heart problems, we might preserve what is good and innocent and whole in our world, celebrate it where it can be found, and seek to repair such damage as we find all around us and within us. Doing such would require us to drastically change our attitude towards wholeness and damage, and to recognize that our society and especially our medical systems have departed from the way of wholeness and healthiness to something far more malign and wicked. And yet we need not have departed from reason and wisdom to begin with, which makes our suffering all the more tragic.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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