Friday, May 14, 2010
No holiness in death
I don't understand when people ask me to respect death or what they call the holiness or sanctity of death. To ask me to respect the dead, this I might swallow (not necessarily but for the sake of the argument) but death? that will be hard. Why should respect always be related to fear and power? They teach kids here that they should respect the older and they never teach them that the older should respect them and by that kids can only induce that it is okay for older people to insult them. They teach them to respect what they fear and then with time they learn it by themselves. We are a society of fear. We praise and honor those who bestow fear in us and we learn to succumb to their might and kiss the hand which we cannot break. I do take some measures to avoid death (my death in particular although sometimes I call on it to help me with my fagot load!) but that doesn't mean that I should respect it. I might have escaped death a thousand times, sometimes without even knowing. I do understand that death is powerful but maybe it is us who are weak. I realize that every time I hesitate before ending the life of an ant and every time my foot crushes another of these small creatures, mostly without even realizing. I wouldn't prefer if death doesn't exist to be honest and I don't see how that could be practical but I would have liked it if the average human life is 200 years, just about double of the existing one (funny how I write this while filling my lungs with cigarette smokes). I don't know who said that it is only because of death that morality exists but Camus thinks that death makes life meaningless. I believe that we are a society that doesn't respect life but glorifies death. When Doctor Rieux was asked in Camus's "The Plague": "shouldn't we maybe love what we cannot understand?" he answered "no, I have a different idea of love and I refuse, to death, to love this creature where children are tortured (...) what I hate are death and evil and we are here to combat them and make them suffer, whether you like it or not."