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Daniel Robinson

Joined: Jan. 6, 2013

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Re: To medicalize evil is to deny personal dignity

Jan. 7 at 12:38am | see this comment in context

Example 2: Our primordial ancestors left to all of us generations of physical and psychological sicknesses, aka 'original' or 'ancestral' sin.  These sicknesses passed on from generation to generation through various degrees of awareness and culpability have left us all in dire need of healing as much as forensic 'saving'.  ("Only say the word and my soul shall be healed.")  While these sicknesses are the result of free personal choice, they result from our ancestors' freedom, more than ours.  Our freedom only comes into play once we are aware of our situation, which for some is unfortunately very very late.

To deny this interpersonal causal dependence might be just as dangerous as to deny personal culpability because it will equally sever us from personal relationship and all of the moral responsibility we have for our neighbor's salvation as well as our own.  We do not create our own worlds; we are created by the others around us, and  in turn can choose to redeem the sickness of our neighbor.  I think this is at least part of what it means to be incorporated into the body of Christ: we are saved corporately in the physician of soul and body.  

Re: To medicalize evil is to deny personal dignity

Jan. 7 at 12:37am | see this comment in context

I would caution against making too broad an assertion of individual culpability. You might thereby paint yourself into an individualist, rather than a personalist, corner.  A) To deny all culpability might equally deny all responsibility and therefore freedom and therefore dignity, but in the opposite extreme, B) to unquestioningly affirm total freedom and responsibility for the sake of defending personal dignity might also undermine the reality of our personal interdependence and leave us in a rather existential individualism.  

Example 1: My Father freely chose a certain lifestyle and developed certain virtues and vices.  Those choices of his had real world consequences in the fact that I learned to incorporate both the good and the bad into my own habits for life.   As a young child, I was objectively affected by the subjective freedom of another person, my father.  I am certainly capable of improving the moral inheritance I have received from my father, but it should not be disregarded that I had no choice in my starting point.

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