A History of Ideas About the Prolongation of Life by Gerald Gruman MD PhD

By Gerald Gruman MD PhD

Textual content examines attitudes towards toughness and loss of life in Islamic and chinese language societies in addition to in Western civilizations. offers an realizing of the origins of medication, own hygiene and public overall healthiness, and the underlying mental and social concerns surrounding getting older. Softcover.

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43 If one cultivates the right attitude, he will recognize that death is a necessity to which he must resign himself. 44 He wrote that one must learn to be utterly unafraid of death; in fact, death ought to be considered good, because it is natural, and because it is necessary for the proper functioning of the universe. Marcus Aurelius emphasized the impotence of man and praised the virtues of patience and humility. He argued that we should think often about death and, thereby, learn to despise the body.

39 To the complaint by the aged that they are excluded from the important work of the world, Cicero replied that courageous oíd men can find a way to make themselves useful in various advisory, intellectual, and administrative functions. To the charge that senescence undermines physical strength, Cicero answered that bodily development counts for little as compared with the cultivation of mind and character. To the complaint that aging prevenís the enjoyment of sensual pleasures, Cicero replied that such a loss is good riddance, because it allows the aged to concéntrate on the promotion of reason and virtue.

94 This correlation of sex and death runs through the entire history of thought about longevity. 96 As Bury pointed out, Augustine presented two Christian ideas which helped to prepare the way for the idea of progress. 97 First, there is the concept that history is not a circle but rather a process which had a beginning and will have an end. Second, there is the belief that history is meaningful. To these two ideas may be added a third which is especially relevant to the study of prolongevity—the belief that the purpose of history involved the salvation of man from death.

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