Escape 16: Promises, empty promises of immortality!


I’ll let this one speak for itself except to say that Becker is more about the institutional, cultural dimensions of death denial and immortality projects than he is about the individual’s experience with death and death denial. Elisabeth Kubler Ross is all about how we as individuals deal with death. You might want to Google her name if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Roger Albert - Always a Sociologist

Escape 16: Promises, empty promises of immortality.

A group that doesn’t promise its members immortality doesn’t exist for long.  Of course promises of immortality in a secular society are hard to figure out, but we manage.  If your group has power and its proven it over and over again by military action and by delivering prosperity to most of its members then you’d be crazy to cross it.  We get locked into group ideologies precisely because our group delivers on its promises of prosperity.  We resent dissenters, we think protesters are fools and ingrates.  Not only that,

[man] accepts the social limitations on his appetites because the group gives expression to the most important appetite of all, the hunger for the continuation of life. (p. 65)

We’ve given over our power to the state sometimes reluctantly, sometimes gleefully but we do it because of the power we feel and see…

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