Friday 26 April 2024

Healthism, survivalism, dependence, and totalitarian control

Healthism is one of the Litmus Test issues for Christians, in the sense that Christians need to be clear that there are more-important things than health and longevity, including survival. 

Health cannot be the life-priority for Christians - if it is, they simply cease to be Christian. 

This was the underlying problem with Christian churches and the birdemic of 2020 and the peck mania that followed: not so much that it was a fake and a lie from the bottom upwards; and not that the whole thing damaged net health more than helping; nor even that it was a means to the end of (necessarily evil) totalitarianism...

The underlying problem was that "health" (and "health" by narrowly materialist and secular definitions) was made the over-riding priority of the churches. 

Religion was simply put onto indefinite hold. 

All this is understandable - as is the desire for Christians and their cultures to survive; yet it is sinful, nonetheless... and requires repentance. 

And even four years later, when the social pressures and sanctions are very much diminished, there is little or no sign of repentance from the Christian churches for their behaviour in relation to the birdemic and peck - more often the opposite. 

As the engineered collapse of civilization approaches, the pressure for survival increases: our own personal survival, and more insidiously the survival of our loved ones, or culture. 

It's not that survival is a bad thing; but that the situation has-been, is-being, engineered such that Christians are encouraged to prioritize survival as First Thing and at any price - including the abandonment of Jesus Christ.

Then there is the "addictiveness" of health and health services: we crave ever more of them, and also we need them. 

Yet it is a plain fact that modern medicine, drugs and procedures, research and marketing, professional structures of personnel, health services in general - are all a part of The System; all incorporated into the global totalitarian regime - which is evil of its nature. 

Many of us (myself included) are dependent on exactly this System of medical provision. In effect, as populations, we are "addicted" to that which only the System of Evil provides. 

Sooner or later; many people will come up against this stark reality: the reality that our continued health depends on a System controlled (Ultimately) by demonic powers, and orientated to damnation. 

There is little or nothing we can personally do to avoid such dilemmas (or which health is only one or many) because they operate at a civilizational level. It is delusory nonsense to suppose we can live outwith The System; and if we are not separate then we are a part of it. 

But we can be aware of the dilemmas - those unavoidable choices between God and Health; between First Things and Second Things, and recognize them when they happen. 

And since we cannot always do good, then we absolutely must repent the evils that we choose. 



william arthurs said...

During the Plague, the vicar would take communion/ administer last rites to the dying, every time he did so could have been his own last journey.

One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Fast forward to 2024, they obviously don't believe that, so why repeat the Creed (final clauses of) every Sunday?!

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Exactly!

Ftan said...

Because of the evil of healthcare systems, it cannot be sinful to adopt a lifestyle that avoids the need for it except in the case of acute care. That is what I believe Christians ought to attempt to do, by means of eating simply and exercising minimally every day. It is no sin to use our wits to do these things wisely and effectively.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ftan - Well... that's really just a alternative variant of healthism - i.e. you are claiming that "eating simply and exercising minimally every day" will (mostly) keep most people so healthy that it will obviate the need for health care.

That's an empirical "scientific" claim.

But even if it was true (which I don't think it is) - people have been saying exactly this for 100 years; and yet...

Clearly, advising people to "be sensible" doesn't work.

As the developed world population is by far the oldest in the history of the world, with a high and increasing percentage above the age of normal biological survival; and since this group generates per head very high demand for health services... well you see what I mean.

Hagel said...

Just refrain from seed oils and other experimental trash, eat a naturalish diet, maybe get some exercise in, fast a bunch if you want to, but don't make your whole life about it. You get diminishing returns if you hyper fixate on it, and it's a philosophical dead end if it's all you care about.

Although if you want to sacrifice and pray through bodily deeds, like gymnastics or martial arts for example, it can be argued that going harder is good since it helps you in what is not a dead end, but instead a path to the divine. However, even then, healthism should serve the greater purpose, which is training (done as loving creation), and can be summarised as just eating what those who thrived ate in the past. It's that simple. Learning the finer details is mostly just good for arguing with vegans on the internet.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Hagel - I think you concede too much, even there. I don't see the slightest evidence that current fashions wrt seed oils, "natural" diet, gymnastics, martial arts, or training - have the slightest positive effect on Christian living: indeed the opposite.

nathanael said...

Its feels a bit off does this post. Although I understand what you mean when it comes to the obsession with health and the extreme things people do, we are also up against addictions to tasty garbage that are marketed non-stop and made available on every street corner.

The idea that anything to do with 'improving the body' has no positive effect on christian living is not so black and white. It's way more complex in reality.

A clean temple is a good thing.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nat - A clean temple is Not "a good thing" as such - especially since the reality is endless disputation over what it means for the temple to be "clean".

I'm continually amazed the so many people assume that they can personally opt-out of an environmentally polluted and poisoned world - or a world of endemic disease - or a world of starvation - or a world with few and/or harmful health services.

And that's leaving aside all matters of inheritance, and early upbringing.

The fact is we each have extremely little control of the determinants of our health. That's another reason why healthism is such a spiritual snare.

Hagel said...

Art can be rotten, but I do not accept that it can't be a valid mode of loving creation, or that it can't be a form of prayer (I consider gymnastics etc art).

Bruce Charlton said...

@Hagel - I fear that you are framing your enquiry in a double-negative form that is rather likely to be deceptive.

By analogy, one could equally validly state that being a professional torturer does not *rule-out* the possibility of a Christian life - which is true, since there are imaginable circumstances in which the alternative to compliance is death (of oneself, and one's family) - plus is no limit to the power of repentance.

The special problem with healthism - and sports and exercise etc - is that they are besetting sins of our materialist time and place; so that people are praised and rewarded for raising such activities into ideologies. This provides an additional temptation and pressure related to such practices.

So of course it is perfectly true that taken in isolation none of these are necessarily evil; and they can be practiced in Christian compatible ways.

Yet very often (here and now) such arguments are being used dishonestly to deny and mask quite-other and wrong motivations.