NAMING DISEASE

Public opinion attaches undue importance to the mere nomenclature of disease. At times it would seem as though the physical diagnosis of disease was considered of even greater moment than the cure of it. To give a name to disease does not necessarily heal it. However, unless the name in some way uncovers the mental cause of the disease, the name itself has and can have no value in the process of bringing about a cure. A name once given which is based on physical diagnosis, the obligation of the physician to the public and his patient is often considered fulfilled, no matter what the outcome of his treatment may be; but if the Christian Science practitioner, on the other hand, does not give the disease a physical name, he is somehow suspected of being remiss in his duty, although he may heal his patient.

Mrs. Eddy calls attention to the fact that "sometimes Jesus called a disease by name" (Science and Health, p. 398). On the same page, however, she adds, "Often he gave no name to the distemper he cured." We read in the Scriptures that "Adam gave names" to all living creatures, but Science shows that these names were false concepts, and Isaiah prophesied that the time would come when the wild beasts at least would discard their false natures and lie down in peace with their less rapacious fellow-creatures. Adam's unfortunate experience in misnaming living creatures according to a physical diagnosis, should serve as a warning. The mind which is uninstructed in Christian Science desires, not unnaturally perhaps, to be given information concerning disease which it can understand and tabulate. It lays great stress upon the enumeration of physical symptoms. It generally professes to be satisfied, if only the statistics of diseases as physical phenomena are carefully kept. But the public is beginning to learn the unreliability and consequent valuelessness of mere physical diagnosis; that it shirks the responsibility of uncovering the real cause of disease, and leads to slackness and carelessness in the uprooting and destruction of those evils which, unless they are overcome, result in sickness and death.

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THINKERS AND SEERS
December 10, 1910
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