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threesixty

Objectivism and Burial(Funeral)

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While i agree with the most objectivism ideas, one thing remains unresolved for me. If i will leave catholic church completely, how on earth my burial(funeral) will look? I mean, all of my friends and family consider themselves christians. All the burials around me are done within catholic traditions. My grandfathers are buried as catholics. My parents are also want to be buried in catholic tradition.

So it doesn't make sense to leave catholic church completely only because i do not agree with their philosophy. Besides, most of the people that consider themselves catholics are completely unaware what are the philosophy of christian faith. They just occasionally go to church and call the priests when they need to bury their relatives.

In conclusion, i think i will remain "passive catholic" and use their services for my and my relatives burial.

What's your take on this topic? Do you better use the burial(funeral) services of your religion or better invent your own kind of burial(funeral)?

Edited by threesixty

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Hi threesixty,

I think you are on right when you say that some people who call themselves catholic are not aware of what Christianity when practiced

consistently calls for. Perhaps they have not analyzed what Christianity, when looked at objectively really means, and have not taken a

philosophy to replace religion to guide their lives. It is important to remember that many people who are Christian are still productive

and nice people, which looks like you already understand.

So it doesn't make sense to leave catholic church completely only because i do not agree with their philosophy.

This statement is very strong, becuase I think it is precisely when someone does not agree with a philosophy

that one then leaves it, or in this case the catholic church.

I'd like to know what a burial means to you. What would a burial's purpose serve for you and your family? What does it represent?

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I'd like to know what a burial means to you. What would a burial's purpose serve for you and your family? What does it represent?

Well, it means a lot to me. As i said my grandfathers where buried in catholic tradition. I think it is more and issue of a tradition than it is for a faith and doctrine. And as i have mentioned before it doesn't make sense to completely leave the church, because it offers great funeral service that was used for generations.

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Well, it means a lot to me. As i said my grandfathers where buried in catholic tradition. I think it is more and issue of a tradition than it is for a faith and doctrine. And as i have mentioned before it doesn't make sense to completely leave the church, because it offers great funeral service that was used for generations.

I don't understand. Do you believe in god, the son and the holy ghost? Do you take the sacrament? Do you believe in the ten commandments and all the rest of what is written in the Bible?

If you answer yes then you should most definitely be buried in accordance to your beliefs...

If on the other hand you answer no you should be willing to stand for what you believe in spite of tradition, in spite of family pressures, or you are nothing but a Peter Keating, doing all the "right" things (the things everyone expects you to do or wants you to do) for all the wrong reasons.

There is a little thing called integrity. Integrity is honesty in action. How nice Christians are is not the point, how nice your family is is not the point.

What do you think would hurt your family more, you being buried as an atheist or you lying to them for the sake of tradition and being buried under false pretences and dedicated to a god and religion you have forsaken?

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I'm not a catholic or otherwise religious and never have been but I will tell you how I view this issue.

I have left the following instructions for my wife upon my death: Handle my funeral and burial however you like. Just don't pretend it is for me, I don't care. I'll be dead.

Burial traditions have no objective value to those who are dead, so I will defer this issue 100% to whomever would be handling my burial.

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Brian S has it right. Funerals are not for the dead, they are for the living.

That said, I don't understand holding onto tradition for the sake of tradition.

Because there are no alternatives. At least i do not see the other funeral and burial options. And i do care how i will be buried after i die.

Edited by threesixty

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If you care how you will be buried after death, then spell it out specifically.

If you care what your 'catholic' friends think about you not embracing 'catholicism', then it seems the issue is one of social-metaphyisics.

"Social metaphysics" refers to the neurosis resulting from automatized second-handedness, i.e., the type of psycho-epistemology that is focused primarily on the views of others, not on reality.

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Because there are no alternatives. At least i do not see the other funeral and burial options.
In the U.S., funeral homes and religious institutions manage the ceremony. How much each does depends on the people paying for it. We had a non-Christian relative die on a visit to the U.S. and the funeral home was the primary manager and was willing to do whatever we wanted. For instance, if we had asked for a choir and certain types of food, it would have been provided. Since they've been in the business for a long while, the funeral homes can even offer suggestions on aspects. For e.g. people coming for funeral ceremonies often get little cards with some type of verse or scripture. The funeral home had an assortment. e.e.g: "He was a school-teacher? Well, here is a secular and moving classical poem about teachers"... things like that. If you have funeral homes in the country you're in, the ceremony itself should not be hard to organize in just the way you wish it. What music do you want? Do you want certain things read out? Do you want certain people to speak? What kind of flowers do you want? Do you want food to be served? Do you want the tone to be sombre or do you want it to have a tone of celebrating your life? Not sure if it is true, but I read that Rand had planned some of the details of her funeral: e.g. the music to be played, etc.

Burial may be more complicated, depending on the rules where you live. I assume that if one does not have the church involved, you cannot be buried in a church graveyard. I'm not familiar with graveyards, because the one funeral I helped organize ended with cremation; but, I assume there are secular options in the US. Things may be different where you are, though.

Edited by softwareNerd

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Well, it seems to me that the issue here is a bit of the cherished zombie habit-- the zombie in question being tradition.

What is tradition? What makes it so important? To put it bluntly, a tradition is a social or religious ritual that dictates the certain manner in which things ought to be done. The reason? Because it has always been done that way. The entire weight of the argument is supported not by how right it is or proof, but merely by how long it has been done. That’s pretty much it: anyone arguing from a traditionalist perspective has to be informed that attempting to establish a moral stance through the perspective of tradition does not have a foothold- morality must be constructed from logic and reason, structured through the incorporation of principles- Traditional imposition is no different than Moral Commandment as far unsuitability to formulate an actual moral code.

An appropriate fable that shows an application of the shortcomings of traditional imposition (though its origins are forgotten, unfortunately, by me) is that of a school teacher in antiquity and his pupils. The teacher had several gifted pupils whom he instructed at an amphitheater, and it happened that a certain local cat came to the assembly every day out of curiosity. This cat eventually became a distraction to the students and so the teacher finally tied the cat to a nearby tree and continued with the lesson. This continued for many years every day, and eventually the students grew and new students came in and eventually a new teacher replaced the elderly one when he died— but what started happening was that, when the cat finally died, a student started bringing a cat for the teacher to tie up! Neither the new teacher nor the newer students knew precisely why a cat was tied at the beginning of class, but all they knew that that was the way things had been done from the beginning, and no-one dared to question this, it became a commandment.

The issue of tradition versus principle is a serious one. To examine one concrete example, If it were not for the intellectual integrity of some individuals to not only defy but destroy ‘tradition’ for tradition’s sake, we would still be living in a world in which things are not questioned and no progress is made. Tradition demands the lives of individuals to be bound and dictated by nothing more than “How Things Have Always Been” in favor of a community or collective, while the path of the individual calls for no other dictum than the judgment and free will of the parties involved.

You said there were no alternatives-- is it because you live in a country where secular burial is not an option? I come from a Latin American country where that wasn't well-received.

The other important question is why do you care how you are buried after you die? What is the specific reason?

If it is because there is some leftover Catholic ideology in you that you are trying to salvage but leave unexamined, knowing full well that it is incompatible with the philosophy you are recognizing as right, then you are willingly performing an evasion and essentially denying the very philosophy you are recognizing as valid.

If it is because you wish to provide some level of closure for your family after you die-- then why must it be a Catholic burial, if you are not Catholic? The burial ceremony of closure is supposed to be a fond remembrance of the individual who has died, so what is the purpose of having said remembrance be a false one? If your family can't value you enough to honestly give homage to you as you truly were, then I think you shouldn't be wasting time trying to anticipate closure for your family: they obviously would rather value a false image of you than a true one.

I personally don't give much of a damn about how I am buried- whether someone wants to put me in a statue or dump me in the ocean in a bottle that reads 'Drink Me.' At that point I'll have ceased to exist and I won't be around to worry. If at all possible, the easiest way of disposing of the body would be a cheap pine box and the incinerator- and that's all. If I've made any significant money I'd rather my significant other and whatever family I value have access to that money than to have to throw it away on ridiculous things (hermetically-sealed 1000-year-oak coffins with velvet lining and a sunroof that plays 'Quando M'En Vo' whenever it opens) simply to satisfy some absurd notion of death rituals grounded in witchcraft and superstition.

Edited by kainscalia

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I personally don't give much of a damn about how I am buried- whether someone wants to put me in a statue or dump me in the ocean in a bottle that reads 'Drink Me.' At that point I'll have ceased to exist and I won't be around to worry. If at all possible, the easiest way of disposing of the body would be a cheap pine box and the incinerator- and that's all. If I've made any significant money I'd rather my significant other and whatever family I value have access to that money than to have to throw it away on ridiculous things (hermetically-sealed 1000-year-oak coffins with velvet lining and a sunroof that plays 'Quando M'En Vo' whenever it opens) simply to satisfy some absurd notion of death rituals grounded in witchcraft and superstition.

.. but just imagine the look on the archaeologists' faces when the song plays! :lol: Especially if you have an automatic dingus put in to have the sunroof open up whenever light strikes it (which activates only after the first month or so, to allow time for the burial). In fact why not also set it up to transmit a signal to Jupiter when light strikes. (Nevermind, I was channeling "2001 A space Odyssey".)

Someone once explained to me what actually happens to bodies buried in such a way and on top of being fundamentally silly for the philosophical reasons Kainscalia described so well in the rest of his post--it is *very* much counter to the intent of the people doing such things. Doubly irrational, on two levels ("what you want is irrational, and you won't get it this way anyway").

Back on the lighter side, I've personally seen one example of a "prank after death"--someone who, on his deathbed, picked an army chaplain to preside over the funeral--and the man's accent was so thick he even mangled "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." It was quite impossible to sit through that funeral with a straight face, which of course made everyone there feel chagrined because you don't really want to laugh at a funeral, do you?

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Not sure if it is true, but I read that Rand had planned some of the details of her funeral: e.g. the music to be played, etc.

The question (answer actually) on final jeopardy a while back went something like this, (paraphrasing) "this russian born novelists funeral in 1982 displayed a huge green dollar sign made of flowers." I thought that was strange, I also wondered whos idea it was.

j..

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When a friend of my father's passed away they just had what amounted to a wake. We had a bunch of people get together and we shared stories about Bob. It was a celebration of his life, not a mourning of his passing.

I've said as much to anyone I know that they can just do whatever with my body. Burn it, donate it to science. I won't care, I'll be dead. But as far as the spiritual ones, I've told them point blank that if they really believe what they claim to believe and they do any kind of long, drawn out mournfest for me, I am going to use whatever means are at my disposal to haunt them for the rest of their lives!

hehehehe

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^^I once had a debate with a Christian girl, where I asked her what she'd do if someone was about to kill her and the only way she could remain alive was to kill them instead, she said that she wouldn't, because she knew that she would be going to a 'better place'.

But who care's what's done with your body once you're dead? Sure you can tell your family or whoever what you want done, whether it's some non-Christian ceremony or whatever, but if you really do believe that there is no 'after life', then why should you care about your funeral ceremony? I think i'd rather have my body burnt (or is the proper word incinerated?), not some grave where my family can always come back to and feel sad.

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The word is generally "cremated". Generally, though, your relatives get the ashes and even there they scatter them somewhere. In some cases the deceased has specified where, and in others they leave it up to the relatives.

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A long time ago, I told my mother that if I were to die before her, she could do whatever she wants with my body. She calls herself a Christian, but she is not particularly religious. She believes in an afterlife, but that doesn't bother me. She is a genuinely good person, and I love her very much. It makes me happy now to know that I can give her something that will help her through my death.

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Brian S has it right. Funerals are not for the dead, they are for the living.

That said, I don't understand holding onto tradition for the sake of tradition.

I really like this point. For the longest time, ever since I started to grasp the basic understandings of rejecting life after death, I have never cared much about what should happen with my corpse. All of my closest friends and family do know that I want to be cremated, simply because I don't care what happens to my body, and it seems like the most practical solution. However, with the idea that funerals "are for the living," so long as my prior living person and ideas are respected, I could care less what happens to my body (buried, enshrined, cremated, or whatever options exist out there).

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