Saturday 15 September 2012
At death - ancient versus modern
When somebody dies, for most of human history what was perceived is that person leaving their body; the soul leaving the body.
Then there was a difference of opinion about where it went and what happened to it.
But when a modern person sees another person die, they see that person being extinguished.
What a profound difference this is, concerning the key fact of human existence!
What a qualitative shift in the assumed baseline fact of life!
Modern Western secular Man stands on the other side of a gulf which separates his understanding of the human condition from all Men of the past, and from the majority of Men alive now.
So, on the one hand there is a natural and (probably) universal belief in the soul or spirit or essence leaving the body at death; and there is the recent, modern Western belief that the person is extinguished, snuffed-out, at death.
What 'evidence' could possibly have justified this shift?
Or, if not evidence, (which of course it was not), then what provoked the shift of assumption - the metaphysical perspective - which justified this wholesale reinterpretation of the facts of life deriving from the fact of death?
If you ever imagine metaphysics is unimportant, just consider this difference in watching a man die: the difference between seeing his soul departing from the body, and his extinction.