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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 87)...

    Does living in the hands of the gods preclude extraordinary medical interventions, like, say, radiation treatment for cancer or a cesarean section for a woman who could not give birth otherwise? Current medical procedures and medicines are forms of technology of our current culture. What are your thoughts about this?

    ...and the response:

    Living in the hands of the gods doesn't mean living passively or stoicly accepting whatever happens. You can always trust our neighbors in the community of life to give us a clear reading of the Law of Life. Every creature in that community defends its life to the fullest extent of its powers. This is indeed a feature of the law of limited competition described in ISHMAEL. Living in the hands of the gods doesn't imply "giving up" in the face of any challenge. Evolution has given various creatures various tools with which they can defend their lives. When a cat leaps at a bird, the bird flies off. It doesn't say, "Oh, I can't use my wings, my wings are technology." A bird's wings are indeed technology as much as its nest, as much as a spider's web is a spider's technology, as much as a lion's claws are a lion's technology. There is no prohibition anywhere in the law of life against technology. Defending yourself against a cancer cell is no different from defending yourself against a shark. A fox will not die stoically in a trap if it can chew off a paw; similarly, why should a woman die stoically in an impossible delivery if the delivery can be achieved by cesarean section?


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