By Kurt Baier (auth.), Nancy S. Jecker (eds.)
The getting older Self and the getting older Society moral concerns regarding the aged have lately come to the fore. this could come as no shock: because the flip of the century, there was an eightfold in crease within the variety of americans over the age of sixty 5, and nearly a tripling in their percentage to the overall inhabitants. these over the age of eighty-five- the quickest transforming into staff within the country-are twenty another occasions as a variety of as in 1900. Demographers anticipate this development to speed up into the twenty-first century. The getting older of society casts into shiny reduction a num ber of deep and troubling questions. at the one hand, as members, we grapple with the rapid adventure of getting older and mortality and search to discover in it philosophical or moral value. We additionally ask yourself what responsi bilities we endure towards getting older family and what expectancies of others our plans for previous age can reasona bly contain. nonetheless, as a neighborhood, we needs to come to a decision: What precise position, if any, do older folks occupy in our society? What constitutes a simply distribution of clinical assets among generations? And, How can associations that serve the previous foster imperiled values, resembling autonomy, self-respect, and dignity? just recently have we began to discover those topics, but already a wealthy and fruitful literature has grown up round them.
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Extra info for Aging And Ethics: Philosophical Problems in Gerontology
That common sense, the Christian world view, and the scientific approach agree on the criteria but differ on the standard to be employed in the evaluation of human lives; j udging human lives by the standards of perfection, as Christians do, is unjustified; if we abandon this excessively high standard and replace it by an everyday one, we have no longer any reason for dismissing earthly existence as not worthwhile. On the basis of these three points, I have attempted to explain why so many people come to the conclusion that human existence is meaningless and to show that this conclusion is false.
It is this. The Christian world view contains the following three propositions. The first is that, since the Fall, God's curse of Adam and Eve, and the expulsion from Paradise, life on earth for humankind has not been worthwhile, but a vale of tears, and one long chain of misery, suffering, unhappiness, and injustice. The second is that a perfect afterlife is awaiting us after the death of the body. The third is that we can enter this perfect life only on certain conditions, among which is also the condition of enduring our earthly existence to itS bitter end.
The Christian world picture, on the other hand, sees humans as creatures, divine artifacts, something halfway between robots (manufactured) and animals (alive), homunculi, or perhaps Frankenstein's monsters, made in God's laboratory, with a purpose or task assigned by their Maker. However, lack of purpose in this sense does not in any way detract from the meaningfulness of life. I suspect that many who reject the scientific outlook because it involves the loss of purpose of life, and, therefore, meaning, are guilty of a confusion between the two senses of ''purpose'' just distinguished.
Aging And Ethics: Philosophical Problems in Gerontology by Kurt Baier (auth.), Nancy S. Jecker (eds.)