Does anyone have any links to reputable studies about the environmental effects of embalming/cemeteries/so forth? This thread made me curious.
Seems like by preserving corpses we're harming the environment.
Every society disposes of its dead in different ways depending on the beliefs and customs inherent within their dominant culture, and they will evolve as the world does. For instance, the Tibetan practice of "Sky Burials," dismembering the dead and leaving their remains exposed for the vultures, stemmed from the fact that the ground was hard and stony. Burying the dead was simply too difficult, and since their religious beliefs touted the body as more than a vessel for the soul, there were no societal qualms about disposing of it in such a matter. However, as society has evolved, Sky Burials have become increasingly less popular. Burying the dead is much easier with backhoes.
I believe that graveyards will slowly go the way of the sky burial. We developed from a highly ritualized faith, interring the dead in some manner is an integral part of our culture. However, necessity will force us to adapt our rituals. Cremation will probably be the preferred method of internment in the future, a bundle of ashes doesn't take as much space as a fully embalmed body. Western culture will probably always place symbolic and religious meaning on places devoted to remembering and interring the dead, but places of remembrance will be more symbolic than literal.
It's not so much the specific manner in which we dispose of our dead that will define the future of our death ceremonies, but the symbolic significance and rituals our culture values. As our needs evolve, so will our practices.
With all the eco-awareness in the last ten years, I'd be inclined to say that a move towards natural burials is quite likely. I hadn't heard about them until I watched Six Feet Under a few years ago. In one of the episodes there was debate about being buried naked in a shroud in a national park. It seems like the logical thing to do would be giving back a body which was so detached from nature for such a long time. Burning them and keeping them in a pot seems like a waste of resources, while burying them in a plot hardly benefits the ecosystem for long, especially if most of the area is cemented over.
If I could when I die, I would want to be launched into space. That shit would be cool.
I want to be cremated when I die, cemeteries suck, I don't want rot and become worm food.
Given how little of this planet we've actually paved over and industrialized, I don't think cemeteries are going to be a problem for a VERY long time.
Besides, cremated people can't be dug up and studied by future archeologists.
You can not like it all you want, it's their freedom to do so.
Also, I think you should stop and think about the fact that you're agreeing with elements of a blatant dystopian society.
I don't care what happens to my body after death. As far as I am concerned my mind is all I am. When I die that mind is lost, preserving the vessel that carried it around for a few years just seems pointless.
[QUOTE=Ziks;32427664]I don't care what happens to my body after death. As far as I am concerned my mind is all I am. When I die that mind is lost, preserving the vessel that carried it around for a few years just seems pointless.[/QUOTE]
Bro, that was deep like the other side of the pool.
Earlier this year I went to the scattering of my grandmother's ashes. Since the area they were doing it in was quite a way into the graveyard, I was able to look at most of the gravestones on the way in. It was a fairly small graveyard in the back of a church, and most of the gravestones were faded.
The thing is, graveyards have that eerie sense of silence about them, and even if you are there for a service or whatever, you can't help but feel like you are trespassing.
In all honesty, I think graveyards are one of those traditional things that we don't often know why we still use.
When I die, I don't really mind what happens to my body. If it can be put to good use, I will be more than happy for that to happen.
You have to take Brave New World with a pinch of salt. What A.Huxley meant to rapresent is the disappearance of family/love bonds. In a world where people are manufactured, and relationships are promiscuous, there's no need to remember a parent, or a lover, so, no graveyards.
To stick to the main discussion, I'd say that, at this point, humanity still feel the NEED to mourn their deads. It's a costume we've been carrying since the stone age, and we probably won't ever let go.
I can say that is one trait that makes us.. human. The way we understand the death.
So yeah, I'm ok with graveyards of every kind of religion,
I won't ever deny anyone his need of remembering his deads.
..in the hope that someone, somewhere, will want to remember me too.
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