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DEATH: The Unconquerable Taboo

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Posted by S.H. Le on November 15, 1999 22:12:13 UTC

It would seem that modern culture is bent on eradicating all signs of death, to the extent where it's taboo (or has it always been this way?). Indeed, our imaged obsessed society sees it very important to retain a youthful appearance, and to use euphamisms of "passing away" or "passed on" for dying. Even medical science seems determined to continue to extend life, seeing death as the greatest threat. This primordial fear is no more apparent than it is in the institution of religion. The insistence that there's an afterlife, where the miseries of living are gone, and only pleasure exists is, even I must admit, a very attractive proposition.

Evolution however (and I know many of you don't accept this theory), explains that life and death are necessary, and even complimentary to each other. Because only through death, can evolution occur. I believe we are merely genetic containers, that pass on our genes, which is the only part of us that is immortal. Christains believe in an eternal soul. Many hindus believe that life is actually hell (thanks yanniru), and that through reincarnation, hell is experienced over and over until one learns to break the cycle of suffering. Many "primative" societies learned to embrace death, and make it a part of their daily lives. Death wasn't a taboo for them, and it need not be one for us.

Any thoughts?

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