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St Raphael's Notebooks no. 1

Editorial
By Dr. Jean Pierre Dickès, M.D.


 

Fr. Couture and Dr. Dickès

 

Fr. Couture and Dr. Dickès
Catholic Bioethics Forum at Davao University
Feb. , 2004

At the beginning of our century, more than in any other periods of History, the haunting question of the existence of humanity is asked again. What is really homo sapiens? What is man?

The reason behind this fundamental question is no doubt the extraordinary discoveries which have occurred in the fifty years encompassing the turn of the nineteenth and the début of the twentieth century concerning man’s origins, historical or biological. What are the issues at stake ?

A fashionable word characterizes rather well the evolution of thoughts and minds nowadays. This word is « reductionism ». The modern world truly has a reductionist vision about man and his destiny. For the best, man is the victim of a predestined fate, a fate he does not understand now and will never understand. “Thrown towards the stars for grazing,” as said Cyrano de Bergerac. Or even Oscar Wilde,”We are all of us lying in the gutter, but some of us can see the stars!” Is the human being a simple animal?. Or in the charge of a Good Shepherd? Or even an ordinary material that can be managed and molded, as declared Pierre Henri Simon, a past Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Freemasons of France?
It would appear that man is nothing else than an animal a little more enlightened than others; fruit of an evolution of which nobody can define the meaning and that nobody can control; a useless and ridiculous fragment of a Universe in expansion of which the Creation is refused.


Victim of a heredity he carries in his genes, and that he might or might not be able to regulate.

Victim of a nature, which subjugates him in spite of a Promethean temptation which he will never completely control. Always researching the infinitely great and the infinitely little.

Victim of his neurons, of his Pavlovian reflexes, of his vitamin deficiencies, of his endocrinal system, of his phantasms, of the natural selection, of his chromosomes, of his genes, of his DNA… What else ?

Victim of a gigantic computer of which he is a microscopic part, a tiny little chip.

Victim of a chance or of necessity.

Victim of instincts he does not control.

Victim, as a psychoanalyst says, of a former situation creating “vibes” coming out his subconsciouness.

Victim of a society which corrupts him towards universal harmony in nature.
Morally formed by a neuro-physiology

So, the most incredible theories are running loose.

And after having killed God, those theories pretend now to kill man in the metaphysical sense; and of course kill man himself, in the physical sense, for the benefits of all humanity.

Effectively a Robot politically and historically aligned that society pretends to be entitled and able to dispose at its pleasures.

Raël, the founder of the Raellian Society, said that the DNA of the cells are actually a code for the word ‘ADONAI’, one of God’s name in the Old Testament. Excessive association between Creator and creatures.

In fact mankind is the main flower of the creation, as he is at the same time so great and so small, in the words of Charles Péguy, one of our most well known French poets.

Thus, taken into a real maelstrom, man, crushed between genotype and phenotype, apparently cannot be the master of his destiny: he hasn’t any freedom any more; he no longer has the freedom which had been promised and given to the child of God; the liberty of choice which had been given to Adam and Eve, our first parents, as we read in the book of Genesis. He no longer has this liberty of choice between good and evil, this liberty which has its definition in the function of the moral code wanted by the natural order, and which is also an object of faith.

Indeed that liberty is difficult to exercise. Just think about that terrible inner fight of Saint Paul:

For that which I work, I understand not.
For I do not that good which I will: but the evil which I hate, that I do.
For I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, that which is good.
For to will is present with me: but to accomplish that which is good, I find not.
Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
(Rom. 7: 15,18,24)


It seems that scientists are overcoming a lot of challenges concerning our human beginnings. But much has been done without any experimentation on animals. That may be very dangerous. And the danger may appear only many years later. Think, for instance, that hormones have been prescribed by doctors as treatment for the menopause for half a century. But now, the news is out, both from England and especially from the USA (where it came from a study of 10 million women!): such hormone treatment is not only useless, but is directly linked with many health problems. The result of such news was instantaneous: in three months, in France, at least, such treatments — which I repeat had been given for more than 50 years— were cancelled within three months.

Therefore we do think that scientists are playing with fire ; sooner or later they are going to be burned, and unhappily they will also burn part of our contemporaries.

It is obvious that nature will revenge herself. The apparition of many new diseases points to this.

But as a matter of fact, there is the law of God written in our nature. There is an obvious agreement between them. We cannot deny it.

Contrary to what most people think, through abortion and contraception we are throwing humanity into an important crisis of collapse by our growing population. With a very important imbalance between the young and the old people, it will be necessary to kill the old people. That has already started in an important degree in Holland. They use a new way of handling them, which is called « mortification » When an old person is brought to the hospital, when he can no longer move, he is condemned to die simply by not receiving his food through IV. So old people are forced to starve or die of thirst.

Such ‘assisted suicide’ has now been legalized. It may even be done — legally—for instance for a love disappointment, when a young lady is broken hearted after her boy-friend broke off with her.

When you start touching life, you know when you starts; but you don’t know when and where the difficulties, the consequences, will end. That is the main problem.

So man pretends to be the master of life by artificial creation and master of death by euthanasia. Man then has become a simple material.

I think that the Catholic Church is in the truth when it wants to preserve human life from the very prime moment of fecundation. If we do not listen to her, the world will soon be like hell. In no way possible, can we agree with the use of embryos.

We do not think that man is a simple robot, a kind of sophisticated matter. We do not think that he is a simple animal following his instincts. We do think that he has a soul. That his soul is immortal from the moment of its creation. Every one of us has to respect it. And our body is not our absolute property, it has simply been lent by God to us. There are certain rights we do not have, and therefore cannot give away.

Concerning the different ways man can be conditioned either by his genes, by the society, or by any of the causes mentioned at the beginning of this editorial, there will always remain room for liberty, for personal freedom. This is perhaps, for instance, the 1% which separates humans from chimpanzees, an animal that has 99% the same genes as we do. This liberty makes the greatness, the glory of our human condition, but also it is what man might use to destroy his own self. He always keeps the possibility of doing good or bad.

It seems that the forces of evil are triumphing, winning nowadays. But I am completely confident. God will have always the last word.

I will end with another verse of Saint Paul.

“For unless there come a revolt [in Greek ‘apostasy’] first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God…

And he adds : “Let no man deceive you by any means!” (2 Th 2, 3-4)

My message is that we are sons of God. We have the promise of eternal life.


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