ERIC Number: EJ871140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 22
Magic, Morals and Health
Johnson, Warren R.
American Journal of Health Education, v41 n1 p14-17 Jan-Feb 2010
Magic has to do with the supernatural and the unnatural. It is indifferent to natural law and science and is aloof from scientific inquiry. Its existence depends upon unquestioning faith. Granted such faith, it is extraordinarily potent. If it does not move mountains, it convinces the faithful that it can. It can damage health and perhaps, restore it. It has, historically and cross-culturally, been closely tied in with and supportive of morals and religion. Morals have to do with right and wrong, with good and bad, as defined by a particular society. The word derives from "customs." By definition, morals as well as customs may differ tremendously from society to society, right being wrong or more or less right or wrong, depending on where one happens to grow up. Morals sometimes have the support and backing of laws, as in the case of sex morals, but nearly always they are protected by magical forces via the superego and conscience. Health may be defined narrowly as freedom from symptoms, or more broadly even than WHO's famous definition, as for example "high level wellness" in all respects. In modern times, health has been striving for a scientific base, as has also, sluggishly, education associated with it. Still, to a remarkable extent, and in many ways, health persists in being an issue of morals and thereby subject to magical influence. This discussion is concerned with pointing out: (1) that the ancient magic-morals-health complex is still very much with us; and (2) that if modern health education is to become a respected academic discipline and significant contributor to human health and survival, it must actively disavow the reality of this complex and commit itself objectively to is available data.
Descriptors: Moral Values, Social Values, Health Education, Intellectual Disciplines, Social Attitudes, Social Bias, Language Usage
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A