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Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Death, Society, and Human Experience 9 th Edition Robert Kastenbaum This multimedia product and its contents are protected.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Death, Society, and Human Experience 9 th Edition Robert Kastenbaum This multimedia product and its contents are protected."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Death, Society, and Human Experience 9 th Edition Robert Kastenbaum This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: Any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; Any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; Preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, or any images; Preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, or any images; Any rental, lease, or lending of the program. Any rental, lease, or lending of the program.

2 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Chapter Fifteen: Good Life, Good Death. Trying to Make Sense of It All This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: Any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; Any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; Preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, or any images; Preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, or any images; Any rental, lease, or lending of the program. Any rental, lease, or lending of the program.

3 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Views on a Good Death A good life leads to a good death A good life leads to a good death A religious life leads to a good death A religious life leads to a good death We should live each day as if it were our last We should live each day as if it were our last There is a continuous flow between life and death There is a continuous flow between life and death People who can accept their lives are more likely to have a good death People who can accept their lives are more likely to have a good death People who have a sense of having lived a full and rewarding life will have a good death People who have a sense of having lived a full and rewarding life will have a good death

4 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Three Paths to Death The horrendous deaths of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center Towers Sudden, unprovoked, violent Socrates didn’t stop his execution Miscarriage of justice Discussed the meaning of life and death with his friends A good death flowing from a good life Victims of AIDS Growing global population with AIDS; For example, number estimated to increase from 4 million in India to 25 million by 2010 Rejected by society (socially dead)

5 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 A Shift in the Meaning of Life and Death? Meanings that have been given to death Meanings that have been given to death Death is an enfeebled form of lifeDeath is an enfeebled form of life Death is a continuation of lifeDeath is a continuation of life Death is perpetual developmentDeath is perpetual development Death is waitingDeath is waiting Death is cycling and recyclingDeath is cycling and recycling Example: Death-Themed Lullabies Example: Death-Themed Lullabies Originated when life was very hard, and the desire to live was challenged by the temptation to get it over withOriginated when life was very hard, and the desire to live was challenged by the temptation to get it over with

6 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 A Shift in the Meaning of Life and Death? Traditional attitudes toward death were forged when most people found that life was hard, dangerous, and brief Traditional attitudes toward death were forged when most people found that life was hard, dangerous, and brief Today Today People are looking for and expecting longer, healthier, happier livesPeople are looking for and expecting longer, healthier, happier lives Fewer people think of death as terrifying or as a release from a burdensome lifeFewer people think of death as terrifying or as a release from a burdensome life Many elderly are active and happyMany elderly are active and happy Death is less salient in everyday life than it used to beDeath is less salient in everyday life than it used to be

7 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Horrendous Death (HD) Characteristics Characteristics Caused by people, usually affect large populationsCaused by people, usually affect large populations Often torturous and violentOften torturous and violent Premature and preventablePremature and preventable Examples Examples War, terrorism, homicide, genocide, intentional racismWar, terrorism, homicide, genocide, intentional racism Environmental assaultEnvironmental assault Accidents, drug misuse, suicide, environmental degradation, hunger, poverty, and indirect effects of racismAccidents, drug misuse, suicide, environmental degradation, hunger, poverty, and indirect effects of racism

8 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Death Education Focus: Horrendous Death (HD) Leviton’s Three Motivations for Developing the Concept of HD Leviton’s Three Motivations for Developing the Concept of HD The reality of an increasing deadly, destructive capability to kill large numbers of peopleThe reality of an increasing deadly, destructive capability to kill large numbers of people The Public Health Model with its emphasis on preventionThe Public Health Model with its emphasis on prevention Two themes common in thanatologyTwo themes common in thanatology The denial of death and the vulnerability of self and of beloved others The denial of death and the vulnerability of self and of beloved others Anticipatory grieving Anticipatory grieving

9 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 The Golden Rule Revisited Traditional version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done to yourself Traditional version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done to yourself Kastenbaum’s Lesson: “The golden rule is flagrantly disregarded and horrendous death becomes a more imminent prospect when we do not feel a basic bond with other people.” Kastenbaum’s Lesson: “The golden rule is flagrantly disregarded and horrendous death becomes a more imminent prospect when we do not feel a basic bond with other people.”

10 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 The Golden Rule Revisited There is a tension between There is a tension between The Ideal (I should treat others this way)The Ideal (I should treat others this way) The Real (I see how most people are treated)The Real (I see how most people are treated) We cannot take the development of a human bond for granted; it must be developed We cannot take the development of a human bond for granted; it must be developed We have a long history of dividing humanity into Us and Them We have a long history of dividing humanity into Us and Them It is easier to treat others as less than human if we don’t actually know them It is easier to treat others as less than human if we don’t actually know them

11 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 The Life-and-Death Challenges of Virtual Reality Every significant form of communication has an effect on our symbolic relationship with life and death Every significant form of communication has an effect on our symbolic relationship with life and death Photographs of loved ones (they can watch over us)Photographs of loved ones (they can watch over us) Phone communication (voices can transcend distance)Phone communication (voices can transcend distance) Sound recordings (we can keep their voices alive)Sound recordings (we can keep their voices alive) Tape recordings (we can watch & hear them as if they were still here)Tape recordings (we can watch & hear them as if they were still here)

12 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 The Life-and-Death Challenges of Virtual Reality How will virtual reality affect our human bonds and our tendency to avoid thinking about ‘real’ death? How will virtual reality affect our human bonds and our tendency to avoid thinking about ‘real’ death? Game playing rewards destruction and killingGame playing rewards destruction and killing Communication with people who may not be truthful or may be totally virtualCommunication with people who may not be truthful or may be totally virtual Computer relationships are totally convenientComputer relationships are totally convenient Computer relationships release us from many of the demands of “real” relationshipsComputer relationships release us from many of the demands of “real” relationships May become even easier to cause destruction without considering human suffering or deathMay become even easier to cause destruction without considering human suffering or death

13 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Utopia: A Better Place? Thomas Moore, 1516, published Utopia Thomas Moore, 1516, published Utopia No money and no deprivationNo money and no deprivation No private propertyNo private property No lawyersNo lawyers No unemploymentNo unemployment No viceNo vice No gamblingNo gambling No persecutionNo persecution What about death in Utopia? What about death in Utopia?

14 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 “The Good Death” Kastenbaum’s Propositions We can agree that some forms of death are terrible even if we cannot always agree on what constitutes a good death. We can agree that some forms of death are terrible even if we cannot always agree on what constitutes a good death. People should be spared terrible deathsPeople should be spared terrible deaths The good death should enact the highest values held by society. The good death should enact the highest values held by society. Cultural expectationsCultural expectations Heroic deathHeroic death The good death is one in which our most significant personal relationships are affirmed. The good death is one in which our most significant personal relationships are affirmed.

15 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 “The Good Death” Kastenbaum’s Propositions The good death is one in which there is a transfiguring personal experience. As death approaches one feels a profound sense of beauty, love, or understanding. The moment of death is also the peak experience of life. The good death is one in which there is a transfiguring personal experience. As death approaches one feels a profound sense of beauty, love, or understanding. The moment of death is also the peak experience of life. A sense of adventureA sense of adventure A sense of mystical awarenessA sense of mystical awareness A sense of escaping from a disappointing lifeA sense of escaping from a disappointing life A need to avoid the stressful realities of dying and separationA need to avoid the stressful realities of dying and separation The good death is one in which people continue to be themselves as long as possible, preferable to the very end. The good death is one in which people continue to be themselves as long as possible, preferable to the very end.

16 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Glossary: New Terms Appropriate Death Appropriate Death Genocide Genocide Horrendous Death Quixotian


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