24 November, 2020

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The God Of Science: Will China & America Save The World?

By Patrick Mendis and Dominique Reichenbach –

The novel coronavirus has brought the world to a standstill with cases and death tolls surging daily. It has incited mass panic in its refusal to discriminate against patients — infecting the young and elderly across every ethnic, religious, and political identity around the world.

At the birth of the United States, Thomas Paine – the most versatile and revolutionary founding father – wrote that “these are the times that try men’s souls. . . It matters not where you live or what rank of life you hold; the evil or the blessing will reach you all.”

In our trying times with the coronavirus, people often turn to higher powers. Pope Francis recently prayed for an end to the pandemic. Unfortunately for humanity, Covid-19 may be a reminder of deliberate intervention in modern politics — a divine self-correction process of failed or fallen leaders and nations by Nature’s God.

Since the founding of the United States, Nature’s God is the supreme architect in charge of the relationships between the ruled and the ruler — forming a social contract based on the consent of the governed and everything else. When violated, natural calamities ensue as warnings for a rebirth. The moral universe of Nature’s God is an arc that begins and ends with justice. 

The Enduring Nature God

The Trump administration’s science-denying and evidence-hating failures have left the American people vulnerable to the wrath of “Nature’s God” and its growing pandemic across the United States. 

In the Declaration of Independence, its primary author Thomas Jefferson declared that “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” entitle U.S. citizens to independence, equality, and self-governance. A commitment to the study of experience and evidence naturally exists in American DNA given that the U.S. was a nation created intentionally by the Declaration of Independence and Constitution as opposed to an evolved civilization-state like China. By its founding principles, it is imperative that Americans “hold [their] truths to be self-evident” as overseen by Nature’s God — the God of biology, chemistry, and physics. 

The Trump White House, however, has rejected the American duty to truth and evidence-based government and in the process has angered Nature’s God. Trump and his administration have a record of generating or supporting “alternative facts.” Most recently, he contradicted scientists and medical experts on Covid-19 by blaming China, media, and previous administrations. Trump insisted the response to Covid-19 was “really working out” and that it “will go away,” despite that CDC experts affirmed that the pathogen will cause a national pandemic and will endure beyond this season. Now the reluctant president must recognize the lethality of the issue at hand. 

Yet, Trump’s White House spiritual adviser and his administration’s evangelical leader at Capitol Ministries continue to blur truth and justice by claiming that Covid-19 is due to God’s wrath over homosexuality and environmentalism.

Nature’s God’s concerns with the Trump White House stretch beyond its rejection of truth to issues of human dignity and human rights violations. These violations include the criminal immigration prisons, the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and targeting of UNESCO cultural sites, the betrayal of the Kurds in Syria, and the continuation of an unjust proxy war in Yemen. From Vietnam to Iraq and beyond, the founding moral mission of the U.S. has been misplaced, angering Nature’s God.

Given all this, Nature’s God has now struck the U.S. with Covid-19 to correct the failed Trump administration and its flagrant disregard for American principles of evidence, authenticity, and justice.

Surviving The Mandate Of Heaven 

Both Nature’s God and the Mandate of Heaven establish a sense of karmic justice, a system of rewards and punishments for the ruler as well as the ruled. 

The doctrine of Mandate of Heaven, or Tianming, is an ancient Chinese political and religious principle which ascribed legitimacy to the emperor bestowed by Heaven itself. If the emperor proved unfit, divine retributions transpired in the form of natural disasters to signify the withdrawal of the mandate. These calamities could spark governmental transformations, which could symbolically signal an overthrow of President Xi Jinping in the context of Covid-19.  

The pandemic appears particularly heavenly given that it originated in Wuhan, a central city located at the culturally significant intersection of the east-west flowing Yangtze river and the north-south axis of the high-speed rail grid. The pathogen spread to all 34 provinces of China within one month. Widespread quarantine regulations affected 500 million Chinese people and had immediate consequences for the global economy. Given the severity and reach of Covid-19, it is hard to deny its resemblance to a calamity levied by Heaven to cast out an unfit ruler.

China’s violations of human rights and religious freedoms are the most compelling factors driving Heaven to incite a calamity. Examples include the forced detention of Uighurs, reported organ harvesting of Falun Gong members, repression under the social credit system, and the threatening nature of the unification of Taiwan. 

The Truth Will Set Us Free 

The latest conspiracy theories driven by the Communist Party of China (CPC) claim that the U.S. military brought the virus to Wuhan. However, this debate over origins is nothing more than the CPC’s method of muddling the truth. To avoid losing the Mandate of Heaven, the CPC must recognize “the inherent failure in its system as the authorities have continued to silence and punish those who deviate from official orthodoxy and reality.” 

President Trump’s insistence on blaming China for Covid-19 by calling it the “Chinese virus” is also counterproductive in the eyes of justice for Nature’s God. To avoid falling from the grace of Nature’s God, the Trump administration must recognize its duty to truth and evidence-based government.

Seemingly realizing the hand of divine providence for a shared destiny, Trump has now pledged cooperation with China after a phone call from President Xi, as if Nature’s God and the Mandate of Heaven have finally spoken to them. Ironically, however, transactional President Trump has failed American leadership globally.

Like a Chinese phoenix, a new world of geopolitics should hopefully rise in a post-pandemic era. Tried souls must remember Mencius’s wise words, “the people are to be valued most.” In a world of science, power comes from people. People themselves become Nature’s God or the owners of the Mandate of Heaven with the ability to accept or reject rulers or groups of tyrants who have lost their compassion and humility.

For a new era of geopolitics to emerge, Thomas Jefferson reminds the posterity that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” These words of wisdom by Jefferson and Paine have given us to reflect when we now have time in social isolation to begin a new world with the collective mindsets of American authenticity.

*Dr. Patrick Mendis, a former American diplomat and a military professor, is a Taiwan fellow of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China and a distinguished visiting professor of global affairs at the National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei. Dominique Reichenbach, an American David Boren scholar, served as a research intern and teaching assistant at NCCU. Their views expressed in this analysis do not represent the official positions of the current or past affiliation of their institutions nor the respective governments.

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  • 7
    3

    The authors of the short article sound to me like some born-again religious types who repeatedly quote “Nature’s God” whereas nature is not a god by definition, a god being a figment of man’s imagination as everything attributed to god seems very similar to human thinking, behaviour and attitudes. Nature on the other hand is not one entity although we tend to lump natural phenomena in one group called “nature”.

    • 4
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      Lasantha Pethiyagoda,

      You need to read Nature’s God, as the word used in the declaration of American Independence, and in terms of Darwinian Evolution.

      Retribution by Nature’s God for the wrongdoings by the rulers and the people, is a human interpretation, such as the Divine Punishment to Sodom and Gomorrah.

      • 1
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        Lasantha Pethiyagoda ,

        RE: “Nature’s God”

        US Declaration of Independence:

        When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    • 3
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      The authors say “These violations include the criminal immigration prisons, the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and targeting of UNESCO cultural sites, the betrayal of the Kurds in Syria, and the continuation of an unjust proxy war in Yemen. From Vietnam to Iraq and beyond, the founding moral mission of the U.S. has been misplaced,”
      Quite true . But then we are treated to a rigmarole of fundamentalist rhetoric about God and at the same time Trump is condemned as a science-denier.
      Is this a case of split personality in the authors?

    • 4
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      Dr. Mendis and Mr. Richenbaugh,

      Nature’s God vs Ideologues.

      Evidence-based vs. ideology-based.

      All Americans should wear masks, the C. D. C. says, but President Trump said he wouldn’t. At least he is not chanting purith, and prostrating to monks, even though he is listening to Christian Fundamentalist ideologues.

      The COVID-19, a product of Nature’s God, Evolution, simply does not care about human-constructed ideologies.

    • 0
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      On whose side will the ‘God’ be to find Anti Corona medicine. America or China. In other words Jesus vs Lord Buddha. Maybe both should get together and seek help from Lord Shiva and & Allaha. But the most capable will be Lord Krishna.

  • 5
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    Dr. Patrick Mendis and Mr. Dominique

    RE: Nature’s God and COVID -19

    “President Trump’s insistence on blaming China for Covid-19 by calling it the “Chinese virus” is also counterproductive in the eyes of justice for Nature’s God. To avoid falling from the grace of Nature’s God, the Trump administration must recognize its duty to truth and evidence-based government.”

    Thanks for you article.

    Evidence-based Government vs. Ideology- based government . In the end evidence Trumphs. Is Trump learning? Looks like he is being taught evidence-based science by the scientists and COCID-19. Their bluff is being challenged by COVID-19, and they are stumped.

    Evidence-based Science vs. ideology based Politics and government. The evidence wins.

    Evidence- based science vs. Theology-Devine Ideology based beliefs, and the evidence- based science wins.

    True 500 years ago and true today. The Pope is NOT infallible. The Earth spins and moves. The Infallible Pope is scared of COVID-19, unleashed by Nature’s God, Evolution, and praying for Divine assistance, along with his army of Cardinals. In the meantime, Italy is devastated, for not following Nature’s God.. The saffron clad monks are chanting Pirith, asking for help from long-gone Prince Siddaratha Gautama, Buddha, and the other Priests and Ulama are asking for Divine Help from their respective Divine authorities. All the above are not evidence-based, but belief-based.

    In the end it is evidence-based science, promoted and advanced by the scientists who will tackle the COVID-19. The ideology-based and belief-based systems will fall short, in stopping the spreading of COVID-19, unleashed by Nature’s God.

    • 4
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      Lasantha Pethiyagoda,

      You need to read Nature’s God, as the word used in the declaration of American Independence, and in terms of Darwinian Evolution.

      Retribution by Nature’s God for the wrongdoings by the rulers and the people, is a human interpretation, such as the Divine Punishment to Sodom and Gomorrah.

    • 3
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      Dr,. Mendis and Mr, Dominique,

      Published on Apr 2, 2020
      The US Vice President’s startling assessment that United States’ coronavirus outbreak is on the same track as Italy’s, the hardest hit country so far.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lozDkW9YZUw

      Is President Donald Trump and his Christian Fundamentalist conservative ideologues , who claimed no problem with the virus, the China virus, being taught a lesson by Nature’s God and Darwinian Evolution?

  • 2
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    When they challenge that they are the God Of Science: China & America cannot Save them self so how can save The World. the virus, AS THE U.S. BLAMES CHINA FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, and U.S. has failed to catch on to that message. both wre playing the blame game and how many death happened and with science power still no medicine.

    They cannot be self suffeceint to produce enough mask and called god of science. the worl will be different they canot play the game of majoratarian.but before they can live with other folks ( control ) they have to got to control themself. inciting racism by blaming China for the global coronavirus pandemic now they have

  • 2
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    The days of looking up to the US for leadership in many areas are gone. When Obama left the White House after eight years, he left with no investigations or scandals, and earned respect and high Approval ratings at home and abroad. Trump has destroyed all that by attacking, and alienating America’s oldest allies, who have stood by the US. Instead he has admired, and bonded, with tyrants, dictators, and brutal leaders (Putin, Bin Salman, and Kim Jong Un).
    Trump has failed his own country, by doing NOTHING for two precious months when informed about the coming pandemic, by his own intelligence officials. He did NOT put in place safety measures, and implement safeguards, to help hospitals cope with this disease. Instead he spent time playing golf, and having campaign rallies. Now thousands of Americans are dying, and the medical staff is struggling with no masks, and protective gear, many of them being struck by the disease. He has been incompetent, and totally clueless, unable to handle a crisis.

    How can the world expect leadership from a man who is anti science, refuses to listen to the experts, and thinks he knows more than all of them? A man who lies to cover his endless blunders? The world must look elsewhere.

  • 4
    1

    Lasantha, I agree with you. These guys seems to have an axe to grind. These so called professors fail to understand the meaning of Pandemic. This is not some individual or countries Karma. So called Nature God did not strike just a few but the whole world. Ignorance ,denial, exploitation are just making it much worse.. I remember people had the same to say about HIV until it became an international problem. It was USA and other countries who worked hard on coming up with effective medicines and people like Bill Gates took the initiation to supply it to third world and poor countries. Though USA dosent have Dengue or Malaria they still are working on finding a vaccine. Lets appreciate the goodness in people and ignore these fools. I am sure there is plenty of the same in Silly Lanka too who laugh at their neighbors misery without realizing there own plight.

    • 1
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      I am not a believer in religion, be it Buddhism or Chritianity for that matter many of the others.
      I belive in a undefined concept called Ethic, that to me is the essence of all religions, once the masks that have been added on had been removed.
      Ethic require us to be mindful of your neighbour.
      What we have been doing since 1977 is to forget your neighbour and fatten yourself.
      Your neighbour could be a human, an animal or even a plant.
      events since 1983 ( 1958 included), had indicated that we had forgotten our neighbour.
      We destroyed our agriuculture and our industry, forgetting the fact that it is our neighbour’s means of livelihood that we were destroying.We dismantled all the built in safety measures that the society had developed over the years.We have to pay for that
      Let the post Corona virus help us to think back and correct ourselve – to hell with politicians and their cohorts.

      • 1
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        upali wickramasinghe,

        1958, 1977, 1988, etc.

        You are describing Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhism “, called Buddha-Agama, “Buddha’s Religion “, that is a distortion of Buddhism and is an insult to the Buddha, followed by imbeciles, mean measured IQ 79, who prostrate to saffron clad monks, who hijacked Buddhism.

        Did you wonder why there are hardly any Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka, where as there are Tamil Catholics, Tamil Christians, Tamil Muslims and even Tamil Atheists?

        • 0
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          Amarasiri,
          .
          very intelligent point.
          :
          Yes, what happened tamil buddhists ?

          That is why I feel that the buddhagama being practised by our sinhalayas are not REALY TRUE buddhism.
          .
          That is just a life style – of some men wrapped around by SIRUVURUS…. most o fthem being behind the SIVURU what htey have been doing is almost everything. I know this very well, since we belong to buddhist families in the south.

          That Maedagoda bp Abhyathisa, Athana Methana Natana Rthana, Samantha badda, Ithankande bp, kotuwe bp hamduduruhora, gangaramaya kriminal, kelaniya templa chief monk and all have much in common – that is they are SIVURU wearing MUDALALIes.
          These men work for the agendas or vicious politicians that have been looting this nation.

          Please – let alone today, give your food free to DOGs and cows, not to PINGUTHARAYAS that have been destroying lanken society.

  • 1
    2

    Patrik & Dominique are both of same feather.
    Lets be practicals….Look around the World and the Countries affected by COVID 19,
    I just have just a One Liner to explain as I am no Scholar like you both.

    CONQUERORS OF THE WORLD HAVE BEEN CONQUERED

  • 3
    1

    Patrick Mendis in a previous article talked nonsensically about Karma and foreign policy.
    He has become incoherent and pointless. And now he is using his student in another confused exercise. Articles like this will be rejected by any serious journal, so they are coming to CT.
    If it is due to some age-related decline, we have to show compassion. But if that is not the case, then we need to point it out forcefully.

    The virus crisis–the indiscriminate nature of it, the inability of any religion to do anything about it– reinforces the case that religions have been wrong all along. If the virus is ultimately beaten back via a vaccine, it will be due to the plodding and methodical work of science, not some religion or God

    • 0
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      Agnos
      The virus of religion is hard to eliminate. Its grip on the human brain is a bit too strong.

  • 2
    0

    All countries must unite to fight this virus.

  • 0
    1

    The problem here is CT’s photo which shows both presidents very close in mind, space & interest. This makes us to subconsciously sense that the writers too were close and wrote this collaborated. But in reality, they are separated by the social isolation of Taiwan and US. One took dollar from CIA and other took the Yuan from CPC. Then they wrote this independently in isolation and merged in the internet. To merge, for the purpose of balanced reporting, they might have had approached our old friend, Thiruvarangan. He very eloquently & artistically allocates if 5 wrongs (negatives) for President Trump, then five for President Xi Jinping. The same way five:five for rights(positive) too. That turns out to be a first class, balanced journalism.

    Some of you may have some problem to comprehend and wondering what that heck is the Nature’s God. Few, read or write good English, might even wonder if there were typos in American Constitution. But I assure that there is nothing like that. He (Nature’s god) is Adams of Wildlife Sanctuary SinhaLE. Of cause he arrived to sanctuary even before Vijaya’s grandfather kidnapped the poor woman to the cave or even Bald Eagle’s Balangoda Vedas Buddhists came 30,000 years ago. He is right opposite to Allah, his junior brother, who creates or assembles humans, but Nature’s God send his gollyahs, natural calamities and Dismantle & destroy Allah’s creations. His friends are Tsunami, Corona, plague, Metroid, hurricane, earthquake…..

    The writers are sure, by the gift Covid-19 & the grace of Trump & Jinping, the readers wouldn’t be able to get of houses easily, so they have so option but to read this Evangelical Nature’s God’s evils.
    I have a question; why the man thinks only on evil side, destruction, apocalypses, Smart Patriotism……why not about 72 beautiful women……..
    Karumam!

  • 0
    2

    “The latest conspiracy theories driven by the Communist Party of China (CPC) claim that the U.S. military brought the virus to Wuhan. “
    None such.
    The possibility of American origin was suggested by a Chinese official , but no specific charges were made by him or any other.
    However, Ashahi Shimbun (a leading Japanese medium) carried specific charges. There was another article in a Taiwanese newspaper. There were quite a few in the Middle East who accused the US. We do not like to hear these stories.
    Compare the Chinese conduct with how politicians and media in the US conducted themselves. They need to blame someone else for all their failures.
    The Chinese (and Cubans and Russians) on the other hand are helping Europeans who have been abandoned by EU and the US.
    *
    Let us get a few things clear.
    The cause of death need not be the infection itself in all cases. Infection in many cases appears to have been incidental to death by other causes.
    COVID-19 is not as deadly as some of the other viruses of the past decades, including the seasonal flu virus in some instances.
    But COVID-19’s ease of spread is an issue.
    Those with serious ailments are most vulnerable, and is important is to protect the vulnerable.
    *
    Curfews and clampdowns without reliable arrangements to provide essentials (food and medicine) are deadlier than the virus.
    There are also those who make huge profits out of the panic by selling masks at exorbitant prices (I use a large handkerchief across my face), distributors of essentials who are making a mint, and Pharmaceutical companies as always.
    Informing the public and securing their cooperation are more helpful than other measures with serious anti-democratic implications.

  • 0
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    SJ, you are absolutely wrong. The cause of death need not be the infection itself. In medicine people do not just die of infection but of complications. Well known measles, mumps and chicken pox can cause death in vulnerable people. Mumps can affect the heart (myocarditis), make you infertile (orchitis) and cause pancreatitis. It is like saying no one dies of Diabetes , but many die of diabetic related complications. If you are not a doctor you will tend to see things as in black and white. But medicine has plenty of gray areas where multiple factors leads to end results. According to you anyone dies of such complications should not be counted as infection related. If Covid is not that deadly how do you explain 80,000 death and still counting. Could you name the deadly ones in past decade with numbers to compare ??? You being the staunch fan of WHO should no better. WHO dosent declare Pandemic just because of spread or highly contagious nature. Both mortality and morbidity are taken into consideration. How many pandemics we have had in past decades ?? Regarding China, Russia and Cuba helping others, I will leave it to others , to decide. (cont).

  • 0
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    Those who have serious ailments are vulnerable, partly true. But people with history of asthma, COPD, Diabetes and other chronic (not serious) illness have perished because these are considered to be risk factors. Even smoking and chronic alcoholism is a risk because of compromised immune system and related systemic dysfunction. Also people with no such ailments such as infants, young children ,healthy individuals, health care professionals, sports people (though in less numbers) have died. If not for any ailments continuous exposure (as in health care professionals) and heavy viral loads are reason for death. When people die we doctors write the cause of death as cardiac arrest, pulmonary failure , encephalitis ____etc , we do not write Covid or viral infection as the cause. In medical world it is well understood that the death was secondary to infection. Most of us will need a cause to die and that can come from various reasons. A cardiac arrest is a final cause which can be from pneumonia, heart attack or a viral infection.

  • 0
    0

    SJ, this is just a friendly advise to you. In medicine we are taught to make a primary or working diagnosis which we think as highest possibility. Then we also write secondary or provisional diagnosis where all the other causes which may resemble such clinical presentation are mentioned. So for a layman seeing this many diagnosis may give the impression that the doctor is not sure about his medical problems. In fact more the diagnosis is a good sign indicating that the physician is thinking of all the possibilities and not just one. So a person may have ten diagnosis written in his chart and we doctors work methodically from the top and not from the bottom,of the list. When you quote such wonderful intellectually stimulating articles from (Taiwan, Japan and ME) please keep in mind which one is that you are quoting the most common 80 % opinion or the bottom 1 % opinion. If we doctors start working from the bottom and by the time reach the top , most patients will not be around to see the success.

    • 1
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      “When you quote such wonderful intellectually stimulating articles from (Taiwan, Japan and ME) please keep in mind which one is that you are quoting the most common 80 % opinion or the bottom 1 % opinion. If we doctors start working from the bottom and by the time reach the top , most patients will not be around to see the success. “

      Chiv,
      Excellent explanation.

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