A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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adultery, even to covet the neighbour's wife, and to this prohibition was added the assurance of penalty, that the sins of the fathers would be visited upon the children even unto the third and fourth generation. Those who formulated the laws of Moses at least pointed out a connection between sexual conduct and its consequences, even though the consequences were to be imposed not by the laws of eugenics but by the dictates of theologians. It may have been that this clause was the outcome of close observation. This doctrine, however, did not receive general support from the prophets : Ezekiel refuted it with remarkable vigour. Thus it is plain that the doctrine of heredity was not an infallible dogma among the Jews. At the turn of the century Christian theologians were very pleased with the scientists for discovering the laws of heredity, since they thought that their whilom enemies had given their authority to one of their favourite doctrinesoriginal sin. Consequently this hypothesis was popularized as much from the pulpit as from the laboratory, and it became a refuge for theology as much as it was a scapegoat for science. Yet it is important to note that the Christian minister who accepts the idea of heredity as such is at the same time pronouncing the death sentence on his own efforts at ' changing the world \ Certain it is that the doctrine of original sin with its implication of a particular law of heredity had no place in the thought or teaching of Christ.
The precepts of religion are regarded by theologians as the source of perfectibility in man. But scientists and philosophers commonly put their faith in reason instead and thus create their own illusion of perfectibility. In our own time scientists have attempted to apply the principle of reason to human conduct through the medium of eugenics, but a consideration of the