When the Black Death plague ripped through the heart of Europe in the 14th century, it killed up to 60% of the continent's population, reducing nearly a quarter of the world's population at the time. The cause is blamed for the devil.
It took centuries for the real culprit to cause black deaths in Europe to be identified. These are Yersinia pestis bacteria wiggling under a microscope.
It is a fact that, before human science reached its peak in the last three hundred years, most of the epidemics in history were blamed by the devil.
But it is not in vain to have a supernatural being come to accept responsibility, the one who has sowed illnesses and horrors. Anthropologists have even found a reciprocal link between spiritual beliefs and public health.
Research shows that people's spiritual beliefs can also help us prevent disease
The new study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was carried out by a large group of international scientists. In it, they discovered statistical evidence that moral vitalism affects the prevalence of pathogens in human society.
The moral theory of life states that human life is dominated by supernatural forces divided into good and evil. It could be spirits or ghosts.
When a person or a society believes in the theory of moral virtue, in the example they think the devil is causing illness, the behaviors of that person and that society coincidentally coincide with those of strengthening community health.
Scientists call it a "Behavioral immune system"It plays a very important role in controlling disease in society and strengthening the society 's spiritual beliefs.
A series of statistics have been performed by scientists to prove that African, Asian, European and North American societies have in the past used supernatural models to explain the existence of disease. including malaria, typhus and dengue fever.
Before human science reached its peak in the last three hundred years, most of the epidemics in history were blamed on the devil.
Evil forces in the theory of moral life force, such as witches and demons, are often blamed for the cause of illness. During these times, when an epidemic appeared, the spiritual belief of the whole society suddenly increased. Conversely, increased spiritual belief also helps the society itself to control disease.
The scientists explained that blaming the devil for causing illness accidentally helped societies in the past set appropriate behaviors to limit infection and spread the disease.
For example, they will limit going out for fear of the devil, which means reducing the risk of exposure and transmission of germs from others. People who show signs of disease will be shunned and isolated by the whole society. They may even be killed or burned alive.
Although these actions are not always good, they have been effective in controlling the disease. People in that society find their actions effective, so the more they will believe in the presence of demons and supernatural forces.
This research also explains why spiritual beliefs can be deeply rooted in human society.
It can be seen that spiritual belief in primitive societies is not just a superstition, but also a functional behavior. Spiritual beliefs have helped human society survive being surrounded by a "tHigh pathogen loads", the researchers wrote.
"By providing a framework for predicting the spread of infectious diseases, ethical living theory has also facilitated behavioral strategies designed to contain infectious diseases.".
It must also be said that this study does not mean that spiritual behaviors should be upheld as modern medical practices in efforts to control pathogens. It is just an example of how the immune system behaves.
This research also explains why spiritual beliefs can be deeply rooted in human society. Because there is a certain function, these spiritual beliefs can exist.
Reference Sciencealert, Express