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DISCLAIMER - Brevity - Invasion. What is Sanctity? Sacred Things - Temples - Books - Marriage - Life.

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Presentation on theme: "DISCLAIMER - Brevity - Invasion. What is Sanctity? Sacred Things - Temples - Books - Marriage - Life."— Presentation transcript:

1 DISCLAIMER - Brevity - Invasion

2 What is Sanctity? Sacred Things - Temples - Books - Marriage - Life

3 What is Sanctity? Temporal comparison - Ancient Roman - Modern Muslim Temple of Jupiter is sacred Depictions of the Prophet

4 SANCTITY DEFINED There are things in the world that must not be violated in any way – doing so will result in (divine) punishment - Violation: Intellectually or physically probed - Violation: Shorten or restrict in any way

5 What unites Roman and Muslim Roman and Muslim: reflects the divine Same for previous examples: books, places, etc. Life itself, as we will see, is also a reflection on the divine Upwards, celestial deities

6 Geological Deities?

7 Sanctity as a Comfort Lens 1. It maintains stability: ‘this will be here forever, maintained in this way.’ 2. Explains the horror of the world “The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible.” - Bertrand Russell

8 Horror of the World?

9 Sanctity of (Human) Life - Every society basically stated this, though with qualification (only way societies survive) - Not fully believed: Infanticide, some human beings not really persons (blacks, women, slaves, etc.) SPECIESM?

10 Influence of Theism - Always wrong to kill an innocent human being (because god says so) - Reflection on divine: made in god’s image, have souls, etc.

11 Difference? - No example of a human being who is not sacred - Other books, buildings, etc. - Ancient Greek propitiations

12 C RITICISM 1: The Sacred as Superstition - Not maintaining or doing something invites bad things, with no obvious causal connection - Maintaining or doing something will result in good things, with no obvious causal connection

13 Superstition - R.E. Shay (philosopher and cynic) ‘Keep the rabbit’s foot if you want, just remember: it didn’t work for the rabbit.’

14 The Rabbit’s Foot Dilemma - Does not work out for the fully fleshed creature it belongs to - Purpose, Meaning, etc. - Sanctity

15 The Rabbit’s Foot Dilemma - Creature: Religion - Splits and disagreements on the sacred - Protestant, Catholic - Sunni, Shi’a

16 The Secular Sphere - Not dismissive of religion, but does not privilege religion. - Platform of reason is often the gallows of religion

17 The Secular Sphere - Pluralistic society: multi-faith and no faith - If it does not work out for religion’s (Rabbit’s Foot), what use does it serve in secular sphere? - Non-adherents to sanctified phenomenon will violate it: Galileo, stem-cells, etc.

18 The Secular Sphere - See it in policies and places that affect all our lives, e.g. medical dilemmas, newspapers, novels, etc. - Woven into fabric, maintained because of the lens of comfort.

19 Upsetting Axioms ‘A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.’ - Thomas Pain, Common Sense

20 C RITICISM 2 Sanctity as Religious Morality THREE Problems

21 C RITICISM 2 Sanctity as Religious Morality 1. Tautological ‘Good because god says so’ ‘Good because it’s good’ EMPTY!

22 C RITICISM 2 Sanctity as Religious Morality 2 & 3 Euthyphro’s Dilemma ‘Do the gods sanction it because it is right, or is it right because the gods sanction it?’ 2. If right, gods are unnecessary 3. If gods sanction, same as 1, and arbitrary, e.g. Rev. Paul Hill ‘god told me so’

23 C RITICISM 2 Sanctity as Religious Morality THREE Problems tautological unnecessary arbitrary

24 Morality without a god? - No reverence for human life – murder, fraud, horror and Amy Winehouse? - The rest of the conference

25 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? - Scenario - Ethesioneuroblastoma - Chantal Sebire ‘One would not allow an animal to go through what I have endured.’ 2008 to President Nicholas Sarkozy.

26 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? - Sentence of 2 years of pain, inevitably leading to death - Double-standards: alcohol, driving, etc. - ‘Killing and letting die’ largely nonsensical distinction - Kill mass murderers, starve innocent (nonsensical)

27 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? Killing is neutral term: taking of someone’s life Murder = killing + doing it against consent (sometimes without) Move on from distinction that says killing innocent people is bad – it is sometimes obligatory!

28 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? - Infants born with severe spina bifida - Allow for abortion but not infanticide?

29 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? - Reagan’s Moral Majority: all babies must be given life-saving treatment, irrespective of disability. - Opposed by majority of American paedatrics (76% thought unnecessary, 66% interfering)

30 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? - 60% thought it did not take into account the suffering of the child.

31 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? - 60% thought it did not take into account the suffering of the child.

32 How does the sanctity-of-life doctrine affect me? - Quantity not quality - Chantal in France - Infants bound for death or worse* * Some children who suffer spina bifida can have up to 40 major surgeries before they become teenagers. This is needed to keep them alive.

33 What I am not Advocating - Not advocating murder of infants - Not advocating murder of people with disabilities - The most important element we must defend is autonomy

34 Autonomy Defended - Make it a choice - Get over the fact that something special about humans (and persons) - Get over the fact that killing is automatically bad

35 Where do we go from here? - Our life to decide - Formulate policies not premised on overtly-emotional reactions - Policies not premised on bad religious morality

36 HUMAN FRAME


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