Aging And Ethics: Philosophical Problems in Gerontology by Kurt Baier (auth.), Nancy S. Jecker (eds.)

By Kurt Baier (auth.), Nancy S. Jecker (eds.)

The getting older Self and the getting older Society moral matters concerning 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 virtually a tripling in their percentage to the final inhabitants. these over the age of eighty-five-­ the quickest becoming team within the country-are twenty­ yet one more instances as quite a few as in 1900. Demographers anticipate this pattern to speed up into the twenty-first century. The getting older of society casts into bright reduction a num­ ber of deep and troubling questions. at the one hand, as contributors, we grapple with the quick adventure of getting older and mortality and search to discover in it philosophical or moral importance. We additionally ask yourself what responsi­ bilities we undergo towards getting older kinfolk and what expectancies of others our plans for outdated age can reasona­ bly contain. however, as a group, we needs to come to a decision: What specified position, if any, do older individuals 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, corresponding to autonomy, self-respect, and dignity? just recently have we all started to discover those subject matters, but already a wealthy and fruitful literature has grown up round them.

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Duton, New York, NY, p. 189, para. 99. sLeibniz (1934) On the ultimate origination of things, in The Philosophical Writings o/Leibniz (M. ), Everyman's Library No. 905, E. P. Duton, New York, NY, p. 32-41. 6See Leibniz (1934) Monadology, in The Philosophical Writings 0/ Leibniz (M. ), Everyman's Library No. 905, E. P. Duton, New York, NY, pp. 8-10, para. 32-38. 'ITo borrow the useful term coined by Professor D. A. T. Gasking of Melbourne University. , J. J. C. Smart (1957) The existence of God, reprinted in New Essays in Philosophical Theology (A.

Science has helped us to know and understand this world, but what purpose or meaning can it find in it? Complaints such as these do not mean quite the same thing to everybody, but one thing, I think, they mean to most people is: science shows life to be meaningless, because life is without purpose. The medieval world picture provided life with a purpose; hence, medieval Christians could believe that life had a meaning. The scientific account of the world takes away life's purpose and with it its meaning.

Having dismissed earthly life as miserable, it further damns it by characterizing most of the pleasures of which earthly existence allows as bestial, gross, vile, and sinful, or alternatively as not really pleasurable. This procedure is as illegitimate as if I were to refuse to call anything tall unless it was infinitely tall, or anything beautiful unless it was perfectly flawless, or anyone strong unless he was omnipotent. Even if it were true that there was available to us an afterlife that was flawless and perfect, it would still not be legitimate to judge earthly lives by this standard.

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