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The Conceit of Life Sciences?
Posted: 31 August 2012 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Great idea, J, however, rather than organ locations, I’d put limericks, puns, and wise ass comments for the med students to see.  Either that or a list of about seventy critical thinking fallacies since doctors need to be aware of them.  LOL

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Posted: 31 August 2012 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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CuthbertJ - 30 August 2012 02:31 PM
TromboneAndrew - 30 August 2012 01:49 PM

That’s a false analogy. Mummies generally do not have immediate relatives who are grieving over the loss of a loved one.

That’s a false argument against my analogy. How is having immediate relatives relevant? Let’s say the single immediate relative is killed in an accident on the way home from the cemetary. All of a sudden it’s ok to dig up the body?  Short of some kind of “voluntary organ donor” type thing (or rather “voluntary it’s ok to dig me up”), I don’t see how it’s ever ok.  I’m not saying I like the outcome, because seeing mummies has certainly benefitted me personally as far as my curiousity is concerned. And maybe the dead person in my analogy has a heart or whatever that could be used to help someone else.  I just don’t see it being ethical unless the person in question said it was ok voluntarily prior to dying.

Let’s not forget the other reason behind the tradition of burying the dead: to prevent disease. Not much of a problem with mummies.

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Posted: 31 August 2012 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I think that dead bodies deserve the same respect as all nature.  When I am dead, my body is, as so many things in nature are, a no longer functioning, but wonderful and amazing testament to the constructive powers of evolution.  In the process of decomposition a whole other series of processes will occur, all of them as wondrous as the ones that functioned to animate me.  My body deserves the same respect as a stone, or a fallen tree, a fossil, or a woodchuck run over on the highway.

I don’t mean any disrespect, rather I mean to imply that we, as self obsessed as we have evolved to be, often forget to respect the world around us.  For me, one of the most intriguing aspects of our intelligence, is that to at least some degree we can actually develop some little understanding of our place in the totality of nature.  While most of the time we are simply struggling to find our way through the trees, there are moments when we have some inkling of the nature of the forest.  Somehow, this makes the labor of existing worth the effort.

I can understand why the cessation of consciousness is deeply fascinating and frightening, disturbing, and that our dead bodies, representing that cessation, have an enormous symbolic weight, yet, a dead body is in reality a mass of decaying tissue, a small piece of nature, no more and certainly no less.

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Posted: 31 August 2012 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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dougsmith - 30 August 2012 10:10 AM

I’m confused. What rights do mummies have?

They should need a court order from the government in power at the time of entombment.

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