Ethical Relativism and Absolute Taboos
Taboos regulate our sexual conduct, race relations, political institutions, and economic mechanisms virtually every realm of our life. According to the 2002 edition of the “Encyclopedia Britannica”, taboos are “the prohibition of an action canada goose outlet toronto address or the use of an object based on ritualistic distinctions of them either as being sacred and consecrated or as being dangerous, canada goose outlet winnipeg unclean, and accursed”.
uk canada goose Jews are instructed to ritually cleanse themselves after having been in contact with a Torah scroll or a corpse. This association of the sacred with the accursed and the holy with the depraved is the key to the guilt and sense of danger which accompany the violation of a taboo. uk canada goose
buy canada goose jacket In Polynesia, where the term originated, says the Britannica, “taboos could include prohibitions on fishing or picking fruit at certain seasons; food taboos that restrict the diet of pregnant women; prohibitions on talking to or touching chiefs or members of other high social classes; taboos on walking or traveling in certain areas, such as forests; and various taboos that function during important life events such as birth, marriage, and death”. buy canada goose jacket
cheap canada goose uk Political correctness in all its manifestations in academe, the media, and in politics is a particularly pernicious kind of taboo enforcement. It entails an all pervasive self censorship coupled canada goose factory outlet vancouver with social sanctions. Consider the treatment of the right to life, incest, suicide, and race. cheap canada goose uk
In contemporary thought, incest is invariably associated with child abuse and its horrific, long lasting, and often irreversible consequences. But incest is far from being the clear cut or monolithic issue that millennia of taboo imply. Incest with minors is a private and particularly egregious case of pedophilia or statutory rape. It should be dealt with forcefully. But incest covers much more besides these criminal acts.
Incest is the ethical and legal prohibition to have sex with a related person or to marry him or her even if the people involved are consenting and fully informed adults. Contrary to popular mythology, banning incest has little to do with the fear of genetic diseases. Even genetically unrelated parties (a stepfather and a stepdaughter, for example) can commit incest.
Canada Goose Jackets Incest is also forbidden between fictive kin or classificatory kin (that belong to the same matriline or patriline). Clearly, in these instances, eugenic considerations have little to do with incest. Canada Goose Jackets
Moreover, the use of contraceptives means that incest does not need to result in pregnancy and the transmission of genetic material. It was also quite common until recently in certain human societies the Hindus, for instance, or many Native American tribes, and royal families everywhere. In the Ptolemaic dynasty, blood relatives married routinely. Cleopatra’s first husband was her 13 year old brother, Ptolemy XIII.
cheap Canada Goose Nor is the taboo universal. In some societies, incest is mandatory or prohibited, according to the social class (Bali, Papua New Guinea, Polynesian and Melanesian islands). In others, the Royal House started a tradition of incestuous marriages, which was later imitated by lower classes (Ancient Egypt, Hawaii, Pre Columbian Mixtec). Some societies are more tolerant of consensual incest than others (Japan, India until the 1930’s, Australia). The list is long and canada goose outlet in chicago it serves to demonstrate the diversity of attitudes towards this most universal practice. cheap Canada Goose
The more primitive and aggressive the society, the more strict and elaborate the set of incest prohibitions and the fiercer the penalties for their violation. The reason may be economic. Incest interferes with rigid algorithms of inheritance in conditions of extreme scarcity (for instance, of land and water) and consequently leads to survival threatening internecine disputes. Most of humanity is still subject to such a predicament.
Freud said that incest provokes horror because it touches upon our forbidden, ambivalent emotions towards members of our close family. This ambivalence covers both aggression towards other members (forbidden and punishable) and (sexual) attraction to them (doubly forbidden and punishable).
Edward Westermarck proffered an opposite view that the domestic proximity of the members of the family breeds sexual repulsion (the epigenetic rule known as the Westermarck effect) to counter naturally occurring genetic sexual attraction. The incest taboo simply reflects emotional and biological realities within the family rather than aiming to restrain the inbred instincts canada goose jacket outlet store of its members, claimed Westermarck.
Both ignored the fact that the incest taboo is learned not inherent.
canada goose uk black friday We can easily imagine a society where incest is extolled, taught, and practiced and out breeding is regarded with horror and revulsion. The incestuous marriages among members of the royal households of Europe were intended to preserve the familial property and expand the clan’s territory. They were normative, not aberrant. Marrying an outsider was considered abhorrent. canada goose uk black friday
canadian goose jacket Self sacrifice, avoidable martyrdom, engaging in life risking activities, refusal to prolong one’s life through medical treatment, euthanasia, overdosing, and self destruction that is the result of coercion are all closely related to suicide. They all involve a deliberately self inflicted death. canadian goose jacket
Canada Goose online But while suicide is chiefly intended to terminate a life the other acts are aimed at perpetuating, strengthening, and defending values or other people. Many not only religious people are appalled by the choice implied in suicide of death over life. They feel that it demeans life and abnegates its canada goose outlet online meaning. Canada Goose online
Life’s meaning the outcome of active selection by the individual is either external (such as God’s plan) or internal, the outcome of an canada goose outlet new york arbitrary frame of reference, such as having a career goal. Our life is rendered meaningful only by integrating into an eternal thing, process, design, or being. Suicide makes life trivial because the act is not natural not part of the eternal framework, the undying process, the timeless cycle of birth and death. Suicide is a break with eternity. So, life is significant to conscious, intelligent, though finite, beings because it is a part of some eternal goal, plan, process, thing, design, or being. Suicide flies in the face of Sidgwick’s dictum. It is a statement by an intelligent and conscious being about the meaninglessness of life.
If suicide is a statement, than society, in this case, is against the freedom of expression. In the case of suicide, free speech dissonantly clashes with the sanctity of a meaningful life. To rid itself of the anxiety brought on by this conflict, society cast suicide as a depraved or even criminal act and its perpetrators are much castigated.
The suicide violates not only the social contract but, many will add, covenants with God or nature. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the “Summa Theologiae” that since organisms strive to survive suicide is an unnatural act. Moreover, it adversely affects the community and violates the property rights of God, the imputed owner of one’s spirit. Christianity regards the immortal soul as a gift and, in Jewish writings, it is a deposit. Suicide amounts to the abuse or misuse of God’s possessions, temporarily lodged in a corporeal mansion.
Canada Goose sale This paternalism was propagated, centuries later, by Sir William Blackstone, the codifier of British Law. Suicide being self murder is a cheap canada goose grave felony, which the state has a right to prevent and to punish for. In certain countries this still is the case. In Israel, for instance, a soldier is considered to be “military property” and an attempted suicide is severely punished as “a corruption of an army chattel”. Canada Goose sale
Paternalism, a malignant mutation of benevolence, is about objectifying people and treating them as possessions. Even fully informed and consenting adults are not granted full, unmitigated autonomy, freedom, and privacy. canada goose outlet store near me This tends to breed “victimless crimes”. The “culprits” gamblers, homosexuals, communists, suicides, drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes are “protected from themselves” by an intrusive nanny state.
The possession of a right by a person imposes on others a corresponding obligation not to act to frustrate its exercise. Suicide is often the choice of a mentally and legally competent adult. Life is such a basic and deep set phenomenon that even the incompetents the mentally retarded or mentally insane or minors can fully gauge its significance and make “informed” decisions, in my view.
The paternalists claim counterfactually that no competent adult “in his right mind” will ever decide https://www.buycanadagoose.biz to commit suicide. They cite the cases of suicides who survived and felt very happy that they have as a compelling reason to intervene. But we all make irreversible decisions for which, sometimes, we are sorry. It gives no one the right to interfere.
Paternalism is a slippery slope. Should the state be allowed to prevent the birth of a genetically defective child or forbid canada goose outlet phone number his parents to marry in the first place? Should unhealthy adults be forced to abstain from smoking, or steer clear from alcohol? Should they be coerced to exercise?
Suicide is subject to a double moral standard. People are permitted nay, encouraged to sacrifice their life only in certain, socially sanctioned, ways. To die on the battlefield or in defense of one’s religion is commendable. This hypocrisy reveals how power structures the state, institutional religion, political parties, national movements aim to monopolize the lives of citizens and adherents to do with as they see fit. Suicide threatens this monopoly. Hence the taboo.