Is death intrinsically bad?
Is death intrinsically bad? I'd say no, but I've been thinking that a large amount of Christian (and fundamentalist) ideology depends on this point—
- Abortion is obviously bad because it causes us to be active agents of death.
- Evolution is bad because it needs death in order for 'survival of the fittest' to work at all. Creationism, on the other hand, is a system without death (at least until the Fall.)
- The Rapture is good because it allows us to escape even the 'first' death—Jesus comes back for us before we die, allowing us to bypass the whole dying process.
- Progress is good because it allows us to extend our lives, therefore fighting off death for a short while.
On the other hand—
- War is fine when it's not happening to 'us,' or when it's in retaliation for deaths inflicted on us.
- Killing and eating animals is fine, as long as we are sufficiently distant from—and unaware of—the killing process. (Although before the Fall everything was vegetarian.)
- It's tragic but permissible for a mother to die in childbirth, because it's better to be passive observers of death than active agents (which raises a whole separate issue as to whether inaction is in fact a form of action.)
A lot of these issues take on a different light when you approach them with the idea that death is a natural and normal (even necessary) part of life.