In a typically powerful post, Robert M. Jeffers addresses some popular misconceptions:
"Progress" is now what will save us from ourselves or our "human condition." "Reason" will sweep up all the niggling problems that have beset us since our ancestors first left the trees. "Science" will lead us to a paradisial age which will raise us above ourselves and our limitations, our weaknesses and our venalities, our appetites and desires.This ties in nicely, I think, with what Cervantes has to say:
Just as healing may sometimes involve coercion, force or fraud, disease may consist in part of subjective distress, and in part of social disability or deviance. After all, we are social beings; our status in society is a part of what we are. But whose job is it to define deviance, to ordain that it be corrected, and to carry out corrective action? Where does the authority come from?(Photo by Sarah Pickering.)
And so a final dichotomy, between medical and social problems. Is there something wrong with this patient, or is there something wrong with the world in which this patient lives?