Friday, May 14, 2010

Yeah, Death and Religion.

Kevin Drum asks, What is with religion and death? (via Science and Religion Today)

For what it's worth, my instinct tells me that this is primarily an aspect of temperament you're born with. Either you have a strong emotional reaction to the idea of eventual nonexistence or you don't. If you do, religion is the most common way of dealing with it. The particular religion you choose is obviously mostly cultural, passed down from your parents and peers the same way you learn a particular language as a child, but the motivating fear itself probably isn't.

But either way, does this really reveal something essential about what it means to be human? In one sense, yes: a knowledge that someday we'll die is unique to humans (though fear of death plainly isn't), and our response to that knowledge has been a defining feature of human cultures for millennia. Still, there are hundreds of other things that are unique to humans too, and I don't think there's any special reason to give this one pride of place.

Labels: ,

1 Comments:

Blogger risaden said...

Interesting thoughts! Enjoyed the read. best, risa

May 16, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home