Author Topic: Burn or Bury?  (Read 8071 times)

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Offline inveni0

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #145 on: March 01, 2012, 04:00:37 PM »


Unless you wish to make the claim that if it's good enough for you then it's good enough for the other 7 billion humans on this planet, I don't see your point. How about instead of removing the spaces where people can honor their dead, we try to make certain that our population doesn't increase exponentially? You know, getting rid of the problem at the source, rather than complaining about its results.

Interesting idea. Restrict human reproduction just so we can have enough room to carry on burying, sorry I mean "honouring" dead people. You don't need a hole in the ground to honour someone

That's EXACTLY what some people need.  Some of you are treating this as an objective subject, but it's not.  If the love of a life is not objective, then neither can be the death.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #146 on: March 01, 2012, 04:08:03 PM »
Interesting idea. Restrict human reproduction just so we can have enough room to carry on burying, sorry I mean "honouring" dead people.

Strawman and reductio ad absurdum[1]. As was already pointed out, assuming that we'll dig holes everywhere we can just to bury the dead is idiotic.

You don't need a hole in the ground to honour someone

I don't, but others do need "a hole in the ground" to honor someone. More specifically they need a grave to honor the dead. Others need it for a sense of closure. Graves have different meanings to different people.
 1. I'd like to thank Omen for reminding me of this fallacy's name.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 04:33:13 PM by Lucifer »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #147 on: March 01, 2012, 04:43:17 PM »
I seem to recall that there are vertical graves in Japan, to save space. I looked and found several interesting references, but this one from the Philippines made me sad:

http://bulatlat.com/news/3-39/3-39-fotoessayk.html

Seems that all of our rangling about how to dispose of the dead will come down to what you can afford. Even in death, you can have a mansion if you have the dough. Or a little crowded shelf if you don't. Someday, for the really poor, a deceased loved one may well end up being used for fertilizer....whether you want it or not.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #148 on: March 01, 2012, 04:52:49 PM »
Interesting idea. Restrict human reproduction just so we can have enough room to carry on burying, sorry I mean "honouring" dead people. You don't need a hole in the ground to honour someone
You, specifically, don't need something like that.  But you don't have any right to dictate how other people should honor their dead.  None whatsoever.  That way lies the mistakes of our collective past.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #149 on: March 01, 2012, 05:13:14 PM »
Someday, for the really poor, a deceased loved one may well end up being used for fertilizer....whether you want it or not.

Or soylent green. Of coarse that would be wrong because poor people are probably not as nutritious as wealthy people who can afford to buy good food...could create a downward spiral if we feed poor people to themselves...



HEY! I GOT IT!

We should eat the rich!
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #150 on: March 01, 2012, 05:35:43 PM »
Someday, for the really poor, a deceased loved one may well end up being used for fertilizer....whether you want it or not.

Or soylent green. Of coarse that would be wrong because poor people are probably not as nutritious as wealthy people who can afford to buy good food...could create a downward spiral if we feed poor people to themselves...



HEY! I GOT IT!

We should eat the rich!

They taste good with hunny.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #151 on: March 02, 2012, 12:19:08 AM »
I assumed we were assuming that burial and cremation where the only alternatives to the method you suggested, for the sake of discussion and shortening posts. If you want, I can rephrase my statement.

Why would you assume that burial and cremation are the only alternatives, when I specifically asked you if there were any alternatives other than burial or cremation? That doesn't make any sense.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #152 on: March 02, 2012, 12:32:44 AM »
Maybe not for all time but for a good chunk of it by human standards.

Correction: By your standards. Unless you wish to claim that I'm not human.

That wasn't a correction, it was just argumentative nonsense. The fact is that when bodies are buried, for all intents and purposes they are there forever. There is no expiration date. There is no agreement to dig them up after the dead person's bloodline is gone. You're saying they won't stay buried forever, but you're not giving any alternative. When will they be dug up? Who will dig them up? Where will the bodies be put when they are dug up? Who makes these decisions?

The fact is we live in a world with more and more people and less and less room.
<snip>

Unless you wish to make the claim that if it's good enough for you then it's good enough for the other 7 billion humans on this planet, I don't see your point. How about instead of removing the spaces where people can honor their dead, we try to make certain that our population doesn't increase exponentially? You know, getting rid of the problem at the source, rather than complaining about its results.

That seems to be just postponing the inevitable. Even if you slow down the population growth, even if you stop it so the population stays level, there will still be billions of corpses every century. Unless an alternative is mandated, burial is simply unsustainable. Do you not see that?
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #153 on: March 02, 2012, 12:44:48 AM »
Interesting idea. Restrict human reproduction just so we can have enough room to carry on burying, sorry I mean "honouring" dead people. You don't need a hole in the ground to honour someone
You, specifically, don't need something like that.  But you don't have any right to dictate how other people should honor their dead.  None whatsoever.  That way lies the mistakes of our collective past.

Nobody, nobody, needs to bury their dead. If they had been raised in a culture that did not bury their dead, do you still think they would still have that need? The simply believe they do because it is the tradition. It can, and will, change.
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #154 on: March 02, 2012, 12:53:06 AM »
Nobody, nobody, needs to bury their dead. If they had been raised in a culture that did not bury their dead, do you still think they would still have that need?

Nope
 
Quote
The simply believe they do because it is the tradition.

Yup

Quote
It can, and will, change.

I can't help but think it wont. At least, not in our lifetimes but I've been wrong before.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #155 on: March 02, 2012, 01:24:59 AM »
Nobody, nobody, needs to bury their dead.
How many times do I need to state why you're wrong before you actually pay attention?  You don't get to decide this kind of thing for other people.  It doesn't matter what you think is best, it doesn't matter that you don't think people need this.  What matters is what they want to do, and what the culture as a whole decides is justified.  You're against burials because you think they're a waste and that they'll eventually fill up all the available land.  Well, I find the actual wasteful habits of most people to be far more detrimental and much more pressing as a whole than any number of burials.  Go look up figures on how much stuff people just throw away that could easily be recycled and worry about that rather than something which you've already admitted won't change anytime soon.

Quote from: joebbowers
If they had been raised in a culture that did not bury their dead, do you still think they would still have that need?
So what?  The fact is that regardless of any hypotheticals you might raise, we have to deal with the situation as it is.  Talking about "what if they'd been born in some other culture" is beside the point, because they weren't. 

Quote from: joebbowers
The simply believe they do because it is the tradition. It can, and will, change.
Which, again, is beside the point.  There is no guarantee that the tradition will change in the way you want.  It certainly won't if the best you can come up with is that people don't "need" to bury or cremate their dead, and ham-handed declarations about making things related to burials illegal.

That's the point that you apparently haven't realized yet.  Your approach to this is badly flawed; it depends not on how people actually think want, but on absurdly-distended chains of logic to "justify" the supposed "inevitability" of the changes you want.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #156 on: March 02, 2012, 01:31:42 AM »
When Joe says "nobody needs to bury their dead" I wonder what he means?  Need is only meaningful relative to a goal.  For example, I don't need my apartment key to cook my supper.  I do however need it to lock my apartment door.  Saying "I need my apartment key" is true...relative to a goal.  Saying "I don't need my apartment key" is also true...relative to a different goal.

Truly, nobody needs to bury their dead to eat supper.  They also don't need to bury their dead to play the lottery, or to drive their cars.  Some people do seem to need to bury their dead, though, to satisfy their emotional needs.

Is that an unworthy goal?  By what metric?
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #157 on: March 02, 2012, 01:40:12 AM »
Nobody, nobody, needs to bury their dead.
How many times do I need to state why you're wrong before you actually pay attention?

Just once, but you haven't yet. And you can't. Because nobody needs to bury their dead.

Your point is that they should be allowed to, but that doesn't explain how they need to.
Your point is that other things are more wasteful, but this thread isn't about recycling.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #158 on: March 02, 2012, 01:42:27 AM »
^^ Could you clarify to which goal your usage of the word "need" relates?  What don't they need to bury their dead in order to do?
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #159 on: March 02, 2012, 01:42:44 AM »
Again, they believe they need it, because it is the tradition they are accustomed to. They do not need it. Their emotional needs can be satisfied, possibly even better, by other less wasteful methods.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #160 on: March 02, 2012, 01:44:09 AM »
Could you cite the psychological/sociological research you did in order to come to this conclusion?  Seems to me that if a person is conditioned into a certain culture, then that creates personal needs.

Do you believe that you have no cultural conditioning of your own?  Or that you do, but that it is inherently wrong?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 01:48:41 AM by Azdgari »
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Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #161 on: March 02, 2012, 05:02:04 AM »
Fellows, relax. We haven't always buried our dead. We just used to push them over a few feet and go right on with our lives. But they attracted bears and the ones that rotted made us sick with various carrion related diseases (turns out we don't have many buzzard genes) and so some bright cave guy or gal got the idea of carrying the bodies a real long distance away. That was all well and good except they are heavier than f**k after the first hundred yards, and back then they didn't even know how far a hundred yards was. So one of the lazier cave dwellers said "Hey, we could just bury them!" and though one did mention that joebowers wouldn't like that, they figured hey, he's on the net, he doesn't know where we live, who gives a f**k. So people started burying at least some of the locals whenever they kicked the bucket, though they called it stubbing the toe on the big rock bowl because they hadn't invented buckets yet. Finally they started burying everybody and that worked well until someone came up with the burn baby burn method, which still appeals to some.

We don't have to bury, but most people are a little sensitive about corpses littering the landscape. This is purely cultural in nature and could be overcome if we could just find a bible verse to justify it. We can't. We die. And we bury most of the time.

What with McDonalds and all, most everybody who dies weighs somewhere between 250 and 500 pounds. Not burying is an option for the first few tons of 'em, but after that we gotta do something proactive. Especially now that we have global warming, which speeds up the decomposition process, if you know what I mean.

You would think that, with all the preservatives we eat, that we would be sort of like real big twinkies and never rot. But Noooo! Seems the FDA outlawed a few key chemicals and now we're prone to bloating. Drats.

Truth be told, burial is still optional. But it and the "well done' method are chosen a lot more than rotting in the back yard next to the swing set. Live Die with it.

Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #162 on: March 02, 2012, 05:17:18 AM »
Parkingplaces, you're ignoring the points that burial is wasteful in both terms of space and resources, and that we can't keep burying bodies forever or cemeteries will cover every inch of land.

Nobody's suggested just leaving them where they die to rot, don't think we don't notice that strawman.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #163 on: March 02, 2012, 06:19:05 AM »
and that we can't keep burying bodies forever or cemeteries will cover every inch of land.

Reductio ad absurdum and strawman.

Nobody is suggesting that we keep burying bodies forever until cemeteries cover every inch of land,[sic] don't think we didn't notice that strawman.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #164 on: March 02, 2012, 06:31:46 AM »
Nobody, nobody, needs to bury their dead. If they had been raised in a culture that did not bury their dead, do you still think they would still have that need? The simply believe they do because it is the tradition. It can, and will, change.

I'd agree.  Nobody has the intrinsic need to bury their dead.  Its a function of our society, and I'd agree that if our last x-thousand years of culture had been different, we'd all be saying "bury grandpa?  What are you, sick?  We'll burn the entrails, east the flesh, and use the bones for furniture like we've always done!  Bury him?  Urrrgh, weirdo!"

But that isn't what we do.  We bury (mainly), because that's what we've always done.  And there is a mountain to climb to change that, regardless of the need from space and resources.  And you seem to agree with that -

....cemeteries are falling apart. But even then, just try to dig it up to build a shopping mall. See how many people support that.

but some of the suggested solutions don't seem to recognise that - 

Passing laws banning metal caskets, embalming, and concrete tombs would be a start.

Yes - the governments could try to get those laws through.  But imagine the hoo-haw there would be - especially with embalming, which I'll come back to.  On the other hand,

A public information campaign explaining the wastefulness of the current burial practice, and suggesting less resource-hogging alternatives might gain a lot of positive attention. A petition to ban metal coffins and concrete tombs might get enough signatures to get on the ballot. Whether it is voted into law or not, it will bring attention the issue.

is a good idea - although even then, it IS going to require careful handling.  Like it or not (and I don't), there are enough people who believe what the  tabloid press tell them that this will quickly become a "liberals want to take grandma's coffin away and bury her in a potato sack" issue unless veeeery sensitively handled.

And that's where I have an issue.

I love how everyone is ignoring my actual point and instead, making my point. You love to hate me so much that you don't bother to read what I'm actually saying. This is not specifically directed at you Jamie, but you're just helping me demonstrate this amusing fact.

You have rational ideas, which need careful handling.  But the way you present them, the way you argue them, seem designed precisely to generate opposition on emotional grounds - and on this subject, emotional grounds are the ones that will carry the politicians, at least for the forseeable future.

I suspect you pride yourself on your straight talking, no nonsense approach.  Which would work if everyone were a totally rational creature capable of dispassionate assessment of the facts.  But very, very few people are, which is why often the straight talking no-nonsense guy will just come across as....well, I think we all know what.  We may still be right, but that won't help him get his point accepted.  Continually talking in the same way perhaps suggests that that person prefers the arguing to the argument?  But I digress.  One final point.

Embalming, as has been pointed out, IS a necessary function.  Bodies start to go yuck very quickly, and embalming needs to happen almost instantly if the body is to be viewed after the first day or two.  Having made the funeral arrangments for my father just a couple months ago, this point was made to me very diplomatically by the undertaker (if you'd been the undertaker you'd have been thumped on the nose with your delivery style!!), and I decided NOT to embalm, to have closed casket cremation.  But I was able to take that decision because all the family had been close enough to see the body straight away.  If I'd had to wait for someone to fly in a few days later.....I don't know. 

I can tell you that I have no superstitious need to see my father's body - I was well aware that "he" was gone - but his physical form and appearance were still there and it made it possible for me to say goodbye, to pat his shoulder, and "acheive closure" (urgh, yuk, horrible phrase!!!) in a way that would have been much harder if the hospital had said "he's gone, we've dealt with the body".

Again, of course, we come back to society and culture, and if we'd all been raised different, I may well not have had the same problem with that.  But we are, and (in the main) we do, and despite it being an increasingly urgent issue, it is nonetheless a sensitive one.

Can I ask - how long ago did your last loved one die?  Were you responsible for the arrangements?  I could well be wrong, but your delivery seems to be made by someone who has not gone through the experience, or at least not recently?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #165 on: March 02, 2012, 06:53:23 AM »
joebbowers, your argument boils down to this:
People do X because of the way they were raised.
If they had been raised differently, they wouldn't do X.
Ergo, they don't need to do X.

If you don't understand why that's just wrong, I suggest you study some psychology. By the way, stop with the reductio ad absurdum. Seriously. I can do those too, and it will not make my point any more valid. Here's an example:

You say that graves are a waste of resources? You're completely correct! We should also get rid of children's toys. After all, if they had been raised differently, they wouldn't have those toys, so they don't really need them. Actually, let's just get rid of any and all entertainment. If people had been raised differently, they wouldn't need any type of entertainment. Let's also get rid of chairs. Why waste resources on chairs when we can just sit on the ground? And on that note, who really needs sidewalks? Ground is perfectly fine for walking.

See?
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Online jynnan tonnix

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #166 on: March 02, 2012, 07:22:03 AM »

*snip
I suspect you pride yourself on your straight talking, no nonsense approach.  Which would work if everyone were a totally rational creature capable of dispassionate assessment of the facts.  But very, very few people are, which is why often the straight talking no-nonsense guy will just come across as....well, I think we all know what.  We may still be right, but that won't help him get his point accepted.  Continually talking in the same way perhaps suggests that that person prefers the arguing to the argument?  But I digress.

Nice point


Quote

Embalming, as has been pointed out, IS a necessary function.  Bodies start to go yuck very quickly, and embalming needs to happen almost instantly if the body is to be viewed after the first day or two.  Having made the funeral arrangments for my father just a couple months ago, this point was made to me very diplomatically by the undertaker (if you'd been the undertaker you'd have been thumped on the nose with your delivery style!!), and I decided NOT to embalm, to have closed casket cremation.  But I was able to take that decision because all the family had been close enough to see the body straight away.  If I'd had to wait for someone to fly in a few days later.....I don't know. 

I can tell you that I have no superstitious need to see my father's body - I was well aware that "he" was gone - but his physical form and appearance were still there and it made it possible for me to say goodbye, to pat his shoulder, and "acheive closure" (urgh, yuk, horrible phrase!!!) in a way that would have been much harder if the hospital had said "he's gone, we've dealt with the body".

Again, of course, we come back to society and culture, and if we'd all been raised different, I may well not have had the same problem with that.  But we are, and (in the main) we do, and despite it being an increasingly urgent issue, it is nonetheless a sensitive one.

Can I ask - how long ago did your last loved one die?  Were you responsible for the arrangements?  I could well be wrong, but your delivery seems to be made by someone who has not gone through the experience, or at least not recently?
This last part made me think...I've been very lucky not to have lost anyone really close in my 53 years. I'm an only child; my parents & I moved to the USA when I was 9, leaving all extended family in England & Poland. I have lost grandparents, uncles & aunts, but they were more acquaintances for me than people I felt any deep kinship with. Also, it was simply impractical for the whole family to get to any of these funerals. One or the other of my parents would generally go, depending whose side it was on, but I have never even been to a funeral, and only at 3 or 4 viewings, where the deceaced wasn't someone I really knew well.

I also have a real "squick" response to anything dead. I just don't want to deal with it, or even see it if I can avoid it...but my parents and inlaws are both getting pretty elderly and the past couple of years have seen an increase in health issues for them, so, inevitably, it's just going to be a matter of time. Maybe years, even, but it does march on.

Anyway, I find myself wondering how I will deal with their passing. I can't imagine, somehow, that seeing the body will help me achieve "closure" or comfort me in any way. Maybe I'm just wired oddly or something, but I sometimes imagine that it would be easier not to have to deal with it at all. Since my husband is in the military, and we have spent large chunks of the past 27 years living in far-flung places where I don't even see my parents for sometimes a good year or two at a clip, it sometimes seems that if anything happened to them, the easiest response would be just to go on as usual, with them simply being too far away to see forever rather than for a couple of years. If that makes sense at all. I suppose that makes me a horrible person, though. :(

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #167 on: March 02, 2012, 07:54:58 AM »
joebbowers, your argument boils down to this:
People do X because of the way they were raised.
If they had been raised differently, they wouldn't do X.
Ergo, they don't need to do X.

If you don't understand why that's just wrong, I suggest you study some psychology.

As I've said, repeatedly, I know they believe they need it, but they do not need it.

You cannot raise a child without food, but you can raise a child without God. This tells me that we need food, but we do not need God, despite what anyone believes.


By the way, stop with the reductio ad absurdum. Seriously. I can do those too, and it will not make my point any more valid. Here's an example:

You say that graves are a waste of resources? You're completely correct! We should also get rid of children's toys. After all, if they had been raised differently, they wouldn't have those toys, so they don't really need them. Actually, let's just get rid of any and all entertainment. If people had been raised differently, they wouldn't need any type of entertainment. Let's also get rid of chairs. Why waste resources on chairs when we can just sit on the ground? And on that note, who really needs sidewalks? Ground is perfectly fine for walking.

See?

Pointing out that buring and preserving everyone forever is unsustainable is not a reductio ad absurdum.

Comparing the resources used in burial to the resources used to make toys, chairs, etc., is also not a reductio ad absurdum, despite your attempt at one. You see a reductio ad absurdum reduces an arguement to it's most absurd logical consequence, but toys, entertainment, and chairs are not wasteful. First, they are all reusable (I guess we could reuse coffins, but...) and they serve a purpose for which, so far, an alternative and more efficient form has yet to be found.

I'm not suggesting we simply stop dealing with the dead, and let them rot in the streets. I'm saying that the current methods are wasteful and unsustainable. I have described the problem in detail and suggested a solution. Comparing that to abandoning toys, entertainment, and chairs it not in any way similar to my arguement as you haven't provided a compelling reason to abandon them or suggested an alternative.

And by the way, this is directed at everyone... we've only been embalming most bodies since the civil war. Metal caskets with concrete tombs has only been the norm for about 50 years. So no, it isn't the way we've always done things. It's simply the way we do things now, and people have a tendency to forget that the past was not like the present. Our kids will grow up thinking we've always had the internet.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #168 on: March 02, 2012, 08:02:25 AM »
Embalming, as has been pointed out, IS a necessary function.  Bodies start to go yuck very quickly, and embalming needs to happen almost instantly if the body is to be viewed after the first day or two.

Again, this is based on assuming that the body needs to be seen, uncovered.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #169 on: March 02, 2012, 08:12:41 AM »
As I've said, repeatedly, I know they believe they need it, but they do not need it.

And for evidence you offer... nothing.[1] If a person is raised in a certain way, then they

Pointing out that buring and preserving everyone forever is unsustainable is not a reductio ad absurdum.

Uh... Yeah, it is. Nobody is suggesting that; not only because it's impossible but also because it's absurd.

Comparing the resources used in burial to the resources used to make toys, chairs, etc., is also not a reductio ad absurdum, despite your attempt at one.

It wasn't a comparison. It was using your "arguement[sic] to it's[sic] most absurd logical consequences".

First, they are all reusable <snip> and they serve a purpose for which, so far, an alternative and more efficient form has yet to be found.

I just posted a more efficient replacement for all of them. You don't need chairs. You have legs for standing and you also have the ground to sit on. There are many villages without chairs, and they do just fine. You also don't need toys or any kind of interactive medium for entertainment. You have an imagination, don't you? Use it.

Comparing that to abandoning toys, entertainment, and chairs it not in any way similar to my arguement as you haven't provided a compelling reason to abandon them or suggested an alternative.

Yeah it is and yeah I did. See here:
You say that graves are a waste of resources? You're completely correct! We should also get rid of children's toys. After all, if they had been raised differently, they wouldn't have those toys, so they don't really need them. Actually, let's just get rid of any and all entertainment. If people had been raised differently, they wouldn't need any type of entertainment. Let's also get rid of chairs. Why waste resources on chairs when we can just sit on the ground? And on that note, who really needs sidewalks? Ground is perfectly fine for walking.
 1. Or to be more precise, nothing of value.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #170 on: March 02, 2012, 08:47:00 AM »
Embalming, as has been pointed out, IS a necessary function.  Bodies start to go yuck very quickly, and embalming needs to happen almost instantly if the body is to be viewed after the first day or two.

Again, this is based on assuming that the body needs to be seen, uncovered.

Well, quite.  That's why I considered it in some detail.

....I was able to take that decision because all the family had been close enough to see the body straight away.  If I'd had to wait for someone to fly in a few days later.....I don't know. 

I can tell you that I have no superstitious need to see my father's body - I was well aware that "he" was gone - but his physical form and appearance were still there and it made it possible for me to say goodbye, to pat his shoulder, and "acheive closure" (urgh, yuk, horrible phrase!!!) in a way that would have been much harder if the hospital had said "he's gone, we've dealt with the body".

Again, of course, we come back to society and culture, and if we'd all been raised different, I may well not have had the same problem with that.  But we are, and (in the main) we do, and despite it being an increasingly urgent issue, it is nonetheless a sensitive one.

I don't think it IS necessarily a reduction absurdo to extend this to other things that we don't intrinsically need, but only need as part of our culture.  Take toys, for example - like you say, you CAN raise a child without toys.  They will be a remarkably different adult to those raised with toys, but would they be better, or worse?  And how can we make that distinction without facing the fact that that value judgement is itself based on our society?

There is a point, and a parallel.  Yes - it is entirely possible that we could transform to a society where at the moment of death everyone realises and accepts there has been a transition between good old dad, and a bag of chemical awaiting processing.  And yes, I agree with you that it would be much much better for the world resource wise if that happened.

What I am NOT sold on - and which has only been tangentially addressed - is the knock-on effects on society if that is the kind of people we will become.  Will there be a negative effect on how we treat the old and sick, for example?  Will their imminent death in turn become a waste of resources, keeping them alive for a few more days at great cost when they could be more productive as chemicals?  Will family ties become weakened in the process?  Will our overall compassion rates drop?  Will our attitudes to vivisection, or slaughter of animals for meat, change as a result?

You can't make one huge sweeping change to society without considering the consequences.  Maybe there would be none, maybe there would be many.  I don't know.....but one of the few pieces of evidence I have is this.

You advocate that change in society.  Intellectually I agree - but I don't like the way you go about it, and - I have to say - I don't much like you, as a result.  No reason at all why you should give a monkeys whether I like you or not, I freely admit. 

But here's the rub: it seems likely that the change in society would lead to more people like you.  And I - the product of our current society and culture, I freely admit - do not much like the thought of that societal change coming to pass.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #171 on: March 02, 2012, 08:52:26 AM »
Just once, but you haven't yet. And you can't. Because nobody needs to bury their dead.
The real reason I "can't" is because you're convinced that there's no possible rebuttal, thus you blow off any argument which contradicts your existing opinion.  This is one of the worst habits of thought that anyone can get mired in, the idea that because they already "know" the answer, that's the end of it.

You seem to have the opinion that the only valid needs are objective ones; food, water, sleep, etc.  But you're forgetting that each person has individual needs which go beyond the objective ones.

Quote from: joebbowers
Your point is that they should be allowed to, but that doesn't explain how they need to.
Your point is that they don't "need" to, but that doesn't explain why what your opinion of what they need or don't need should matter  There are lots of things that people don't need to do, at least according to other people, but many needs are subjective.  For example, I need to read books.  This is not a physical need, but it is an emotional one (thus subjective), and I would react poorly if some officious person came in and lectured me about how I didn't need to read because there are more efficient ways to fill my time.  So, too, would other people react to an officious person coming in and telling them that they should no longer bury their dead because they didn't "need" to and because it wasn't the most efficient method of disposing of dead bodies.

Quote from: joebbowers
Your point is that other things are more wasteful, but this thread isn't about recycling.
No, my point is that if waste bothers you so much, you should focus on trying to correct the things which are most wasteful.  You think graveyards take up too much space?  Perhaps you should go look at a landfill sometime.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #172 on: March 02, 2012, 09:04:18 AM »
When someone claims to object to A because of its effect X, while ignoring B which has effect X*10, it suggests that he or she doesn't actually care about X and is hiding some other motivation.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Burn or Bury?
« Reply #173 on: March 02, 2012, 11:05:49 AM »
Quote from: jamiehlers
No, my point is that if waste bothers you so much, you should focus on trying to correct the things which are most wasteful.  You think graveyards take up too much space?  Perhaps you should go look at a landfill sometime.

I've never understood this argument, but people continue to make it.

Heart attacks kill more people than cancer. Does that mean doctors should abandon their cancer research and focus on preventing heart attacks?

As the topic of this website is not landfills and recycling, I'll stick to the topic at hand.
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