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  1. #1
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Default The Morality of Deathbed Conversions

    Short story: If an atheist is babbling incoherently on their deathbed, is it ethical to coerce a deathbed conversion out of them? Does it even "count"?

    Long story:


  2. #2
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    My personal opinion: unlikely.

    I feel like nobody can know what happened inside your aunt's heart and mind when she agreed to the conversion or whatever took place there. It seems like even if she 'agreed', her heart might not have been in it, which I don't think 'counts' at all. Ultimately, though, on matters of who ends up in heaven and who doesn't, whose acceptance of Christ is pure and whose isn't, I really don't spend much time trying to figure it out.

    It's for that reason that funeral services that talk all about that person being with Jesus now make me uncomfortable. How do you know? I wish it were more just a celebration of life, than a proclamation of God's judgment of that person.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Rewrote her life to seem as if she was always a devoted woman.

    Fraudulent garbage.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by five sounds View Post
    My personal opinion: unlikely.

    I feel like nobody can know what happened inside your aunt's heart and mind when she agreed to the conversion or whatever took place there. It seems like even if she 'agreed', her heart might not have been in it, which I don't think 'counts' at all. Ultimately, though, on matters of who ends up in heaven and who doesn't, whose acceptance of Christ is pure and whose isn't, I really don't spend much time trying to figure it out.

    It's for that reason that funeral services that talk all about that person being with Jesus now make me uncomfortable. How do you know? I wish it were more just a celebration of life, than a proclamation of God's judgment of that person.
    Yeah, I agree.

    I guess the idea that she's with Jesus is supposed to help people deal with the loss, but it just creeped me out that a person's narrative and essence, can just be appropriated and publicly altered by an institution, to suit its own agenda. You're not honouring her memory, you're editing her existence to make her death more palatable to people who can't handle it. She often spoke out about how the Catholic Church oppressed women, but now in the eyes of her family, she's just another good Catholic girl who knew her place.

    I resent that some dude can just waltz in and lay claim to her internal landscape just because she's dying. And my family believes him, because he's a priest. I don't want any priests near me when I die, lest they steal my soul as I sleep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Rewrote her life to seem as if she was always a devoted woman.

    Fraudulent garbage.
    AMEN.

  5. #5
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Maybe Pascal's Wager seemed a little more rational right at the last minute of life?

  6. #6
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    She seems like the type of person that knows being strung up like a puppet in front of a mass of animated dolls is irrelevent to her current state.

    I would try not to get bent out of shape, but yeah - I too would have a gnawing eternal curiosity of this convenience.

  7. #7
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    does it matter? she's dead
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  8. #8
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by five sounds View Post
    out.

    It's for that reason that funeral services that talk all about that person being with Jesus now make me uncomfortable. How do you know? I wish it were more just a celebration of life, than a proclamation of God's judgment of that person.
    From the funerals I've been to in this country, while plenty have been held within churches, with vicars doing the sermons, they tend to be of an unobtrusive nature, religiously.

    For example at my Aunt's fathers funeral, the priest there did not wax too much about god or jesus and instead preached a more "C'est la vie" attitude of praising the individual who the funeral concerned, which I appreciated more.

    It was a similar situation at my grandmothers funeral, although that may have been more to do with her going to that church and her husband being a caretaker there, for the past 40 odd years. She knew a lot of the vicars personally.

    I'm not sure if it is a recognition of waning faith that the Church of England has latched onto, or if in the individual cases I've cited I just happened to find pragmatic vicars who accept the notion of being more flexible with what people and they believe.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Rewrote her life to seem as if she was always a devoted woman.

    Fraudulent garbage.
    Agree. That's why I consider donating my body to science when I die. No funeral or any other kind of service, so people can't commemorate me in a way that goes against my beliefs. (Plus they can use my body to educate future doctors and develop new methods to cure people, so on a long term it could save many lives.)
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    does it matter? she's dead
    She is, in fact, dead, but her familial narrative lives on, and it is a lie. That's all. I don't like that everyone in my family nods sagely and goes: she finally realized what an old fuddy duddy she was being and did the Right Thing. Praise Jesus. It creeps me out. I feel that the story that a person leaves behind is very important, and I don't like it being compromised. I know that it doesn't change what really happened (whatever that was), but it's still a shame.

    I'll get over it, but I'm not about to dismiss my feelings just yet. I don't think I should just let people do that a dying person, because: aw shucks, they're just bags of decomposing flesh, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by superunknown View Post
    She seems like the type of person that knows being strung up like a puppet in front of a mass of animated dolls is irrelevent to her current state.

    I would try not to get bent out of shape, but yeah - I too would have a gnawing eternal curiosity of this convenience.
    You're right, of course. It'll just take me a little while to get to that point.

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