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It is time time again for my weekly roundup of stuff I wish I wrote, found wandering the ethernet. I have discovered the wonder that is google reader. Now every time I run into a great post, mind, body, or soul, you can can view it on my sidebar (nuggets from all over) should you should you feel inclined. It even has its own RSS feed if you want to go nuts in the Doc’s stuff he wish he wrote fanclub, or if spirituality, or neuroscience, or medicine happen to be your thing too. Knock yourself out. I will continue to recognize and summarize my absolute favorites each week for your viewing/reading pleasure. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

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Joseph Smith taught that

A very material difference [exists] between the body and the spirit; the body is supposed to be organized matter, and the spirit, by many, is thought to be immaterial, without substance. With this latter statement we should beg leave to differ, and state the spirit is a substance; that it is material, but that it is more pure, elastic and refined matter than the body; that it existed before the body, can exist in the body; and will exist separate from the body, when the body will be mouldering in the dust; and will in the resurrection, be again united with it

Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith. p207

As you may have guessed by now, one of my pastimes is comtemplating what exactly the spirit is, and what its relationship is with the mind and body.   It is an endlessly fascinating subject for me.  The idea of spirit as matter makes sense to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Medicine has long had the intuitive goal of preserving life.  It is what medicine is for.  We are historically not the type of people to give up on life.  In our society demographically, lifespans are at an all time high, up from age 40 in 1900 to 79 for women and 74 for men.  Eradication of many childhood diseases through immunization, better care during childbirth, which historically killed one in four women lifetime, and better sanitation have all played a role. 

But medicine and infant mortaility are what have influenced the numbers most.  Read the rest of this entry »

It has been an exciting week wandering the web. I am especially proud to announce that yours truly has been recognized by the Brain blogging carnival for my series on depression. Check it out, for a lot of great articles covering the biological, social, and psychological perspectives of the mind. But enough tooting my own horn, check out these picks from the week’s wanderings of the ether. Read the rest of this entry »

More and more lately, I hear from those who would reduce man to a machine. Certain outspoken scientists proclaim life as random, the result of chemical interactions and natural processes, and free will as an illusion. As I have stated before many neuroscientists are seeking to unlock the mystery of the brain and explain away consciousness. Others are convinced that we have evolved logic and can now leave primitive emotion behind. Occasionally this logic is overpowered by the primitive structures labeled by Arthur Koestler as the Ghost in the machine, a derogative term for mind-body dualism. Apparently, the Vulcan race is what these fellows aspire too. We could solve all the problems of the world if we could just be strictly logical, and lose emotion. It seems simple enough doesn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »

Like most Mormon young men, I served my two year mission for the church in the prime of youth. Due to a fear of parasites and desire to communicate well right out of the box, I served in a completely unexotic stateside location. This was prior to a relatively recent policy change referred to by the leadership as “raising the bar.” Read the rest of this entry »

Our technology has caused us to radically redefine our concept of death. The advent of the mechanical ventilator greatly prolonged our ability to preserve vital functions in comatose patients. We now have a arsenal of drugs that maintain the function of very sick hearts. In fact, we now have machines that can actually pump blood and oxygenate it on their own, called extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation. It is often used in babies with severe lung disease.

Death has historically, and continues legally, to be defined as the presence of the heartbeat. This technology presents a unique challenge to this idea. Technically, it we use a heart/lung machine during an open heart operation, we are operating on a dead patient. Thus the surgeon, legally if not in actuality, is raising the dead with the operation. Is this playing God, or was the patient really dead A legal rethinking of the matter was inevitable. Read the rest of this entry »

from www.duke.edu Image from www.duke.edu

One may ask why I am arguing against embryonic stem cells at all. Mormonism, with its ensoulment concept is clearly flexible enough to stand with the majority of America on this. Some of the leading proponents in the Senate campaigning to loosen up restrictions are Mormon. They have been dubbed the Mormon Stem Cell Choir.

Here is the way I see it. Read the rest of this entry »

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