Thursday, April 11, 2002

Cultures of Death-Louder Fenn points to this piece on Nigerian cardinal Francis Arinze, where he links the western culture of death of "abortion, euthanasia and genetic experiments" with 9/11. I think there are two cultures of death involved here. They both are rooted on by Ol' Sloughfoot, but come from different branches. The Islamic branch seems to stem from a overwillingness to sacrifice individuals for the good of the group, undervaluing the life of the individual. Suicide bombers and quick death penalties for sexual violations of sharia are the result of this willingness to kill to fight foes or to enforce societal norms. It's communitarianism run amok. The western culture of death is not communitarian but individualistic, where abortion and euthanasia are avenues to kill people in the name of relieving the burdens of others. A mom doesn't want to deal with the pain of pregnancy, so she kills. A family doesn't want to care for a very ill family member, so they pull the plug. Embryos are created to be destroyed for medical tests to benefit the researchers more than society at large. It's libertarianism run amok. In the more twisted forms of Islam, the collective need is the tyrant. In the west, the individual need is the tyrant. Both are sinful twists of what God has for us. A Christian world-view will have the collective looking out after the individual, while the individual looks out after the collective needs. Mutual servanthood is a big underlying theme of Paul's letters. That's lacking in both the Islamic and western culture.

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