Fueled by both ignorance and arrogance, Christian clergy and their theologians began dismissing reason, logic, scientific inquiry elevating faith. The sixth century Pope Gregory warned that faith would be weakened and destroyed if reason prevailed: “Faith has no merit where human reason supplies the truth,” he stated.
To strengthen their view of faith over reason, the church taught:
- Illness was caused by human sin, a harsh and distorted form of Christian Karma whereby God sent diseases to punish;
- Mental illness was caused by Satan and his army of demons and it was the church which had the “cure” - exorcism.
- Physical illness was to be treated by prayers of faith offered by the clergy.
Quickly, scientists and physicians distanced themselves from any metaphysical matters dealing with mind and spirit, focusing exclusively on the physical body. Armstrong writes: “Since independent scientific thinking was persecuted and often punishable by death at the hands of religion…. scientists divorced themselves from he spiritual questions of life that could challenge the ruling religious elite. But in India, no such persecution of scientific thinking every occurred.”