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A Buddhist Critique of the So-called “Dignity of Life” and “Death with Dignity” from the Perspective of Temporality
Author 蔡耀明 (著)=Tsai, Yao-ming (au.)
Source 불교학리뷰=Critical review for Buddhist studies =仏教学レビュー
Pages9 - 30
Publisher Url
LocationKorea [韓國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
NoteAuthor Affiliations: National Taiwan University / Professor
Keyword시간성=temporality; 존엄=dignity; 삶=life; 죽음=death; 괴로움=suffering; 생사학=thanatology
Abstract본 연구는 『아함경』으로 알려진 불교 문헌에 근거하여 ‘삶의 존엄성’과 ‘존엄사’를 시간성의 관점에서 비판적으로 탐구하려는 것이다. 관련 주제에 대한 분석은 ‘존엄성’, ‘삶’, ‘죽음’과 같은 몇 가지 핵심 개념을 정의하고 명확히 하는 것에서 시작한다. 그 후 존엄성을 삶이나 죽음과 연결하는 것이 적절한가에 대한 비판적인 검토가 이어진다. 강조하려는 요점은 비록 존엄성이라는 개념이 시간적인 맥락 속에서 경험되는 사회적이고 문화적인 범주에서는 중요한 역할을 할 수 있지만, 시간성이 결여된 생사의 과정(윤회)이라는 범주에서는 매우 큰 어려움에 직면한다는 것이다. 만일 ‘삶의 존엄성’과 ‘존엄사’라는 문구가 당연한 것으로 받아들여진다면,잘못된 용어 적용 범주의 오류를 범하게 될 수 있고, 따라서 생명윤리나 생사학의 상호 연관된 담론은 우리를 기만하거나 오도할지도 모르는 것이다. 나는 생사의 과정(윤회)이 무엇보다 존엄성이나 모욕에 관한 것이 아니라, 오히려 우리가 갇혀 있는 괴로움과 그 갇혀 있는 괴로움의 지멸에 관한 것이라고 주장한다. 본 연구의 비판적 통찰은 삶과 죽음의 어려운 상황에 대처하도록 철학도의 마음을 열어 줄 수 있을 뿐 아니라, 삶과 죽음의 철학과 관련된 향후 연구에 있어 지침이 될 수 있을 것이다.

This study, drawn from Buddhist scriptures known as the Āgama-sūtras, critically investigates “dignity of life” and “death with dignity” from the perspective of temporality. The analysis starts by defining and clarifying some key concepts such as dignity, life, and death. This is followed by a critical examination of the appropriateness of connecting dignity either with life or with death. A point that should be emphasized is that although the concept of dignity can play a significant role in the social and cultural categories experienced in a temporal context, it encounters enormous difficulties in the category of the process of life-and-death devoid of temporality. If the phrases “dignity of life” and “death with dignity” are taken for granted, then the fallacy of misplaced categories of terminological application can be committed, and therefore the correlated discourses of bioethics or thanatology may be deceptive or misleading. I argue that the process of life-and-death is, first and foremost, neither about dignity nor about indignity, but about entrapped suffering and the cessation of the entrapped suffering. The critical insight of this study may not only be able to open the mind of the students of philosophy to tackle difficult situations in life-and-death, but also serve as a guideline in the future studies related to philosophy of life-and-death.

Table of contentsI. Introduction 10
II. Dignity of Life: The Connection of Dignity with Life 11
1. How Appropriate Is the Phrase “Dignity of Life”: A Philosophical Concept in Its Own Right or a Belief Enmeshed with Political Correctness? 12
2. Dignity as a Temporal and Social Construct, How about Life? 13
3. Where Does the Dignity of Life Come From? 14
4. What Are the Appropriate and Consistent Criteria for Life to be Dignified? 16
III. Death with Dignity: The Connection of Dignity with Death 17
IV. Neither Dignity nor Indignity, but Rather Suffering: A Buddhist Perspective on Lifeand-Death in Terms of Temporality 18
1. An Observation of the Impermanent Process of Life-andDeath as the First Step in Reaching a Correct Understanding 19
2. From Entrapped Suffering to Mindfulness, Clear Comprehension, and Liberation 20
V. Conclusion 23
ISSN19752660 (P)
Created date2021.08.23
Modified date2021.08.23

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