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Burial rites

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MadArchitect

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Burial rites

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My first brush with Greek tragedy was "Antigone", the second in Aeshylus' Oedipus cycle; my current favorite is "Ajax", a Sophoclean drama about the dishonor and death of the only rival to Achilles claim as the greatest Greek warrior. Today it occured to me that a central conflict in both is that over the rite to do honor to a dead sibling by burying their body. Both Antigone and Teucer risk execution by swearing that they'll bury the bodies of their dead brothers rather than allow them to rot in the sun, prey to carrion birds and wolves.Which made me wonder, is there any place for that sort of loyalty in the modern world? Would you risk your life to make sure that someone already dead received the sort of burial they would have wanted? For that matter, even if you wouldn't, would you respect or praise a person who did?
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Re: Burial rites

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We really need to stop burying people. If you think about it, eventually there will be dead bodies in too many places... what with people tending to NOT stop dying.To each his own. Me, I could care less what happens to me after I am gone. If carrion birds eat me, I see it as the cycle of nature working very efficiently.Mr. P. But atheism is no more a religion than not playing chess is a hobby. - Robert Sawyer - Sci Fi AuthorI'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)"The Sentient may percieve and love the universe, but the universe cannot percieve and love the sentient. The universe sees no distinction between the multitude of creatures and elements which comprise it. All are equal. None is favored...It cannot control what it creates and it cannot, it seems, be controlled by its creations (though a few might decieve themselves otherwise). Those who curse the workings of the universe curse that which is deaf. Those who strike out at those workings fight that which is inviolate. Those who shake their fists, shake their fists at blind stars." - Michael Moorcock in the "Queen of the Swords"
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Re: Burial rites

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One of the more provocative theses in John Crossan's many studies of the historical Jesus is the notion that Jesus did not make it to any tomb- but, instead, died the ignomious death of the cursed; left as carrion in the ditches surrounding Golgotha, eaten by scavengers and dogs. Such a cursed demise was simply unacceptable by the early Christians: God would not, could not abandon His chosen one to such a miserable fate...thus, the tale of generous Joseph of Arimathea giving his tomb, so that God's messiah would not be left hanging as carrion prey from the Roman executioner's cross...a terrible and terrifying fate for Jews...for anyone.
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Re: Burial rites

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Quote:And Behold, it Was Written:. 'Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Arimathea. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the Castle of aaaaaagggh'. You're possibly surprised that this room is part of the Castle of aaaaaagggh, especially since you've heard the castle was inhabited by beasts, monsters, and evil. Apparently, you haven't fully understood the intentions of that person behind the counter. Anyway, congratulations. But atheism is no more a religion than not playing chess is a hobby. - Robert Sawyer - Sci Fi AuthorI'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)"The Sentient may percieve and love the universe, but the universe cannot percieve and love the sentient. The universe sees no distinction between the multitude of creatures and elements which comprise it. All are equal. None is favored...It cannot control what it creates and it cannot, it seems, be controlled by its creations (though a few might decieve themselves otherwise). Those who curse the workings of the universe curse that which is deaf. Those who strike out at those workings fight that which is inviolate. Those who shake their fists, shake their fists at blind stars." - Michael Moorcock in the "Queen of the Swords"
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Re: Burial rites

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The whole idea of being placed in a coffin and buried underground makes me uncomfortable. I know I'll be dead, but it still weirds me out to think of waking up in that box after I am already 6' under. Nah, I'd rather wake up as I'm being slid into a 3000 degree oven...Hey, both scenarios suck. I don't think I want to die.
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Re: Burial rites

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Near the end of HBO's series Six Feet Under, one of the lead characters dies and the family (who ran a funeral service) abided by the wishes of the deceased and performed a Green Burial. It's fairly simple Quote:Green Burial is a statement of personal values; it is a sustainable and spiritually fulfilling solution for people seeking to leave a legacy of care and respect for our planet. A Green Burial Ground, also known as a woodland cemetery, an eco-cemetery, memorial nature preserve, or natural burial ground, is a place where the body is returned to nature. Native vegetation (often a memorial tree) is planted over or near the grave in place of a conventional cemetery monument. The resulting greenspace establishes a living memorial and forms a protected wildlife preserve.Green burial promotes the use of biodegradable burial products such as simple wooden caskets, handmade caskets including wicker caskets or burial shrouds. Green burial offers an environmentally sensitive burial alternativeIn the HBO series, the deceased was simply wrapped in a clean, cloth drapery and dropped into the hole and covered with soil.
MadArchitect

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re: Burial rites

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misterpessimistic: We really need to stop burying people. If you think about it, eventually there will be dead bodies in too many places... what with people tending to NOT stop dying.I don't think burying is really much of a problem, so far as that goes. We're not really running out of land, so far as I know. When people talk about overpopulation, they're usually talking about the number of people that our current resources can sustain -- which is much more a matter of how much food and energy we can produce. Burial sites probably do interfere with that in so much as people tend to place them in areas that might be cultivable or provide energy sources, but typically speaking, people put such a premium on that sort of real estate that new burials will almost always be placed somewhere else. As for old burial sites, they're usually only an obstacle so long as they have either a) compelling historical interest for the community at large (like some old Boston graveyards in the middle of the old city), or b) someone still living who has an interest in preserving them.Me, I could care less what happens to me after I am gone. If carrion birds eat me, I see it as the cycle of nature working very efficiently.That's fine, but isn't there any one you're close to who does expect to be buried when they're dead? If, for some reason, they were denied that right, how far would you go to make sure they received it, regardless of whether or not you understood the desire?Dissident Heart: One of the more provocative theses in John Crossan's many studies of the historical Jesus is the notion that Jesus did not make it to any tomb- but, instead, died the ignomious death of the cursed; left as carrion in the ditches surrounding Golgotha, eaten by scavengers and dogs.It's pretty impressive how little that has to do with the question I asked, while still being about burial. Congratulations on finding another opportunity to turn discussion towards what you wanted to talk about.
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MA: It's pretty impressive how little that has to do with the question I asked, while still being about burial.Um...I think it has a great deal to do with your post. You referred to two ancient examples of ignominious deaths and how their loved ones struggled to cover the shame and address the dishonor. I offered another ancient example of people facing a similar situation and how they protected the honor of their deceased loved one. Actually, it may be argued that avoiding a dishonorable death for Jesus was a key factor in developing faith in the resurrection than anything else for early Christians; far more important than any empty tomb or risen apparitions.And, considering the Christian religion (at least for Americans) has had a much greater influence on the shaping of burial rites or beliefs about burial than, say, Aschelyus, Sophocles, or Homer...I think it's pertinent and proper to examine a brief paragraph regarding that ancient death on Golgotha so long ago.
MadArchitect

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DH: I offered another ancient example of people facing a similar situation and how they protected the honor of their deceased loved one.Right, but that didn't really address my question, now did it? And, of course, you took my pointing that out as an opportunity to continue talking about the crucifixion. If you slipped the reigns every now and again, I wouldn't have even bothered to mention it, but it seems like you can't play the game someone else wants to play even once. It always has to be about whatever subjects you're pushing that week. What's a guy to do when he's really just genuinely interested in the question he asked, and doesn't give a damn what Chomsky or Nietzsche or some Biblical scholar had to say?
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Re: re: Burial rites

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Mad asked: Would you risk your life to make sure that someone already dead received the sort of burial they would have wanted? For that matter, even if you wouldn't, would you respect or praise a person who did?Risk my life? Probably not. I might risk it to help the living or in aid of some cause that I believed worthwhile, but I can't imagine any circumstance in which I would risk it for a cadaver, even if the cadaver represented the remains of someone I cared about. As a general proposition, I probably wouldn't respect a person who did so either, although I think my reaction here would have to be on a case-by-case basis. There might be circumstances in which I would admire such action even though I disagreed with it.George http://www.godlessinamerica.com"Godlessness is not about denying the existence of nonsensical beings. It is the starting point for living life without them."Godless in America by George A. Ricker
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