June 9th, 2018| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


There are apparently six kinds of things in the world that disgust us, reports a study published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: “The Structure and Function of Pathogen Disgust,” by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Brunel University in London.

Previous studies noted that many of the things that elicit disgust in humans have some relation to infectious diseases. Perhaps disgust originated as an emotion to help our ancestors avoid infection.

There is an emerging consensus that disgust evolved in Animalia to direct the behaviours that reduce risk of infection, so-called ‘parasite avoidance theory’. If this is correct, then the disgust motive should be structured in a manner that reflects the ways in which infectious disease can be avoided.”

So the scientists recreated a set of situations based on the spread of infectious diseases and they were rated for their capacity to elicit disgust. More than 2,500 people were surveyed online, with 74 potentially disgusting scenarios. Subjects rated the intensity of their disgust on a scale going from “no disgust” to “extreme disgust.”

Six domains raised the most disgust: deteriorating appearance of food (rotting, moldy, decaying items: food disgust), weird things on the skin (boils and oozing diseases: lesion disgust), deviant sexual behavior (sex disgust), inadequate hygiene (body odor, someone picking their nose, smell of excreta: hygiene disgust), animals and insects (like roaches, slugs, worms: animal disgust) carrying disease, and general oddities of things and people (disfiguration, some disabilities: atypical appearance disgust).

Said senior author, Val Curtis:

Although we knew the emotion of disgust was good for us, here we’ve been able to build on that, showing that disgust is structured, recognizing and responding to infection threats to protect us. This type of disease avoidance behavior is increasingly evident in animals, and so leads us to believe it is evolutionarily very ancient. Increasing our understanding of disgust like this could provide new insights into the mechanisms of disease avoidance behavior, and help us develop new methods to keep our environments, fellow animals and ourselves healthy.”

The researchers acknowledge in their paper:

Because we began with a prediction that the majority of disgust elicitors would play a role in infectious disease transmission, we did not focus on moral disgust.”

Now that is an area of research.

But, actually, the Bible does provide us with some good guidelines for what is morally disgusting to God. I’ll stick with the Book of Proverbs here and focus on the word “abomination.”

For the morally devious are an abomination to the LORD;
But He is intimate with the upright.
Proverbs 3:32

There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16–19

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.
Proverbs 11:1

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.
Proverbs 12:22

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
Proverbs 15:8

Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD.
Proverbs 16:5

He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
Proverbs 28:9

Don’t disgust God, but delight him!

Share Your Thoughts

Copyright © 2012 Homiletix  |  Blog theme by ThemeShift customized by Gurry Design  |  Full sitemap