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Word Count: 470
I chose On the Sacred Disease by Hippocrates and The Yellow Emperors Classic of Medicine to show how differences in religious culture can radically affect medical concepts Although the Hellenic Greeks and the Chinese during the Zhou Dynasty are living in the same time frame they have drastically different lifestyles The Chinese place much of their emphasis on living in balance with nature and being sure not to disrupt the Yin and Yang of their everyday lives On the contrary the Hellenic Greeks focus on their physical world as this is the basis for their philosophy and medicine Exploring medical texts from two civilizations in the same time period can reveal how religious beliefs altar scientific theories In On the Sacred Disease Hippocrates criticizes the belief that epilepsy and other diseases are caused by spirits and mythical forces In his age of medicine many regarded epilepsy to be a sacred disease Arguing that many other diseases are inexplicable he questions why they are not considered sacred as well He mocks the doctors who perform superstitious cures calling them magicians and quacks When their rituals work they take credit However when they dont he says they simply blame it on the gods Listing many examples he shows how hypocritical these doctors can be with their rationalizations of physical disease Instead of looking to the gods for answers to medical questions he explains that there are simple physical reasons for why people get sick He also provides straightforward solutions to many ailments And although they may seem ridiculous in comparison to modern advancements Hippocrates ideas are one of the first that put emphasis on physical solutions rather than spiritual Hippocrates lived during the Hellenistic period of Greek history and his beliefs that stressed careful observation in science set the standards for hundreds of years He firmly believed that the world and beings around him were unaided by magic or spirits Like other scientists of
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