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Sociology As A Life or Death Issue Notes.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC101Y1
Professor
Christian O.Caron
Semester
Fall

Description
Sociology as a Life or Death Issue  We all know that might die at any moment, and that knowledge makes us anxious  We react to this anxiety by denying death  Denial of death takes on many forms, one is religion  Religion offers immortality, promise of better times to come, and benevolent spirit watching over us  In extreme forms religion becomes determinism: the belief that everything happens the way it does because it was destined to happen in just that way. From this view point we can’t really choose how to live because forces larger than us determine our lives  Another way to deny death is the preoccupation with remaining young  In 2008 more than 4 million North Americans had plastic surgery  People love the show Nip/Tuck, Bridalplasty etc.  People undergo Botox injections, facelifts etc.  Also diet, exercise, wear makeup, try to look stylish  Celebrate youthfulness in media and society, and devalue the elderly by shipping them off to old age homes  The elderly remind us of our mortality  The search for eternal youth is called voluntarism: the belief that we alone control our destiny. From the voluntarist’s view we can overcome forces larger than us and determine what we make of our life.  Denying death makes it more difficult for us to figure out how to live well and be happy  Deterministic approaches make you follow sets of rules/guidelines  In general, by denying people the opportunity to figure out what’s best for them. The deterministic denial of death can make some people deeply unhappy  The voluntaristic denial of death can focus too much on the physical form  If we believe our body represents your self accurately, be are bound to be unhappy because nobody can be perfect and we will all inevitably grow old and die  Thus denying death for whatever reason prevents you from figuring out how to live in the way that will make you happy  Try to remain aware that you will die, this will cause you
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