Developments in culture, science or technology are usually associated with improvements. Because of that, i wonder the story of John Ruskin (1819-1900), which criticized the social progress on renaissance compared to the medieval individualism. He glazed two buildings at the Piazza San Marco, in Venice, one with irregularities in each column, where every window was different from each other one due to occurrences of the worker that placed the bricks, and compared it with the newer building across, subject to the advanced architectural standards that were imposed to each worker by the architect on a regular and predictable way. According to Rusking the architecture progressed, the owner of the building was happier, and perhaps the architect too, but the Renaissance submitted the will, creativity and thus the freedom of hundreds of workers who could not finish off the bricks as they would like. Summary: the gothic beauty of improvisation were annulled and replaced by an alienating mechanicism imposed in the renaissance.
But I've being thinking till now, that the individual freedom increased progressively from the middle age to our days, being the use of reason its strongest ally. However i have to recognize that the things that made me happy were the adventure, the poetry, the music and the explosion of feelings claimed by Rusking and the romantics instead of mathematics and anatomy.
In fact, the rationalism gives us tools to survive better in the nature, but the romanticism exalt the feelings that make us happy. Study science enables us to understand how the universe works, but the paintings of Turner evokes the emotions that justify our life.
Just as science teaches us how we get sick and how we die. Just as science show us the ways to overcome the disease or replace it with the treatment side effects, the artists keep on inspiring the feelings that make easier our happiness. Is only our individual freedom which have to choice every time between the options: the chance of healing or the chance of feeling.
Facing a prostate cancer, the science propose alternatives without the pressure of others cancers that kill or heal with a big amount of certainty. In this disease, the reason fall humiliate by a virtual being that the patient doesn't suffer with pain. Individual freedom have to wake up to decide about the own life over the social pressure. As Rusking aware that industrialization sweetened the life of a few bourgeois, at the expense of workers freedom, the social system push to consume rational medicine according to the standard pathways without considering the individual feelings.
In the case of patients with prostate cancer, a discussed and miserable cure rate is offer over some extra years of sexual enjoyment