It should be surprising that the way we understand reality itself can be disputed. I happen to think that there is a universally accepted account of reality, one articulated and promoted by Socrates and adopted by intellectual and practical leaders since. My argument is with this generally accepted account. I think it has overwhelming problems both theoretically and for practical purposes. There are, of course, reasons why deep thinkers have adopted the view pushed by Socrates. Those reasons have to do with the advantages to the powerful that Socrates account of our ends and means, as well as his Mission Statement’s enabling clause, the account of reason as a matter of logical argument.
There are several attacks on the Socratic position. One of them is the argument that if we follow Socrates we will be taking the side of the Antichrist against God. I find this argument the most surprising and interesting argument made by the Teacher, who we should understand as the great antagonist to Socratic philosophy. Another argument made by the Teacher has to do with the consequences of any general adoption of the Socratic view. According to the Teacher, adoption of the Socratic view would inevitably lead to the self destruction of anyone so committed and the destruction of everyone and everything loved by them. The Teacher used the word “apocalypse” and the “apocalyptic” to make this argument.
My argument has been that another way to understand the Socratic view is to see that it makes us understand ourselves as zombies. I call the adoption of Socratic principles “zombification.” That is, adopting Socratic principles makes us zombies, will-less creatures driven by our insatiable hungers or the commands of our voodoo masters. The problem with zombies and people who think of themselves as zombies is that they cannot take care of their health. They cannot understand how to protect themselves because of the confusions created by our perverted understanding of our lives and what, on Socrates’ view, is important in our lives.
Whereas Socrates claims our goal must be to survive, he promotes a strategy involving the use of force and its cognates which makes looking after our health impossible.
One example of this has to do with the problems people have with diabetes mellitus. There is the question whether a diabetic’s diet causes their problems and if so, whether a change in diet might cure it. In the following article the writers claim that a vegetarian diet can cure many diabetics problem. There are others who dispute this claim saying that meat and dairy products need not be avoided in a diabetic diet.
The question I have is about why there has not been definitive research done on this question which would answer this question. The influence of the meat and dairy producers may have put pressure on the government to not fund research which could help us understand this issue.One can remember that the tobacco industry put pressure on government to never fund research on the health concerns of smoking tobacco.
So, what is the argument here about diabetics and their diets? Can the dispute about what to do about this disease be resolved by some simple scientific study? Or, will people continue to suffer from this disease, even if there is a n adequate understanding of what causes and cures it, because powerful interests make money doing things that, unfortunately, lead to the endangerment and sickening of millions of people?
So, what do they say?
By Kathy Freston, AlterNet. Posted October 31, 2009.
A plant-based diet is both preventative and healing, whereas a diet high in animal protein is destructive to our health.
So says Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who was a researcher and clinician at the Cleveland Clinic for over 35 years. In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as the president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and organized the 1st National Conference on the Elimination and Prevention of Heart Disease. In 2005, he became the 1st recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. Dr. Esselstyn is also an Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and he was awarded the Bronze Star as an army surgeon in Vietnam.
In this series of interviews I've conducted with extraordinary nutritional researchers and medical doctors, I've sought to understand the link between diet and the most common and dreaded diseases that are prevalent in our culture. What I'm hearing over and over is that a plant-based diet is both preventative and healing, whereas a diet high in animal protein is destructive to our health - this is the case with cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
The great news is that there is very real hope in shifting the course of our health. What is becoming very apparent through various peer reviewed studies is that by changing our diet - eliminating that which causes havoc in the body (animal protein) and adding in plant based proteins and eating lots of vegetables, legumes, beans, and whole grains, we can not only prevent disease, but also heal from it once it is already in motion. Following is a fascinating conversation I had on diet and heart health.