Man Steals Remains from Nazi Death Camp, Paints Shitty Rectangle in the Ashes of Holocaust Dead

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I meant to include a link to a supporting article in the OP, but i forgot. it's there now.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/9723912/Swedish-artist-uses-Jewish-Holocaust-victims-ashes-for-painting.html

With regards to Mr. Bryder's plea, i didn't need to see the painting to know it was "controversial", but seeing it has made me only more secure in my indignance.

These ashes obviously were not particularly sacred to anyone since you know, they were being displayed at a glorified museum even before they where stolen. If anyone actually know who the ashes belonged to and cared they would have taken them home or to a cemetary.

The only thing detestable about this is that a square can be passed off as a piece of art. Modern art is just ugly and even kind of depressing. Real art is visually pleasing and invokes emotions. Sure it can have meaning, but it can't just be a fucking square with some bullshit meaning. The real victim here people, is art.

You gotta wonder if there would be such an outrage if he had stolen the ashes of a less tv-friendly genocide victim.

SonicWaffle:

Batou667:
Nice, I'm bookmarking this thread for the next time somebody says it's silly to complain about Atheists receiving religious funerals, because "their ded lol".

Well, it is a bit silly to complain. Funerals aren't for the dead, they're for the living, and in times of tragedy we fall back on tradition. Religious funerals are the way it's been done in the past, and for so long that for the non-religious they're pretty much empty of religious meaning (look at how many people get their children christened or are married in a church because "that's what you do" rather than out of any genuine theistic beliefs), so if I was to die tomorrow and be buried in a religious ceremony then despite not believing in God I'd be happy if the familiarity of tradition gives my Catholic parents some comfort.

A moment ago it's all about "the principle"; what happens to your body after death should be in accordance with your wishes while you were living, that is the whole basis for condemning this guy's actions. But now that it's the principles of Atheist dead people at question, that doesn't matter?

Fucking typical double-standard religious privilege bullshit.

Magichead:

SonicWaffle:

Batou667:
Nice, I'm bookmarking this thread for the next time somebody says it's silly to complain about Atheists receiving religious funerals, because "their ded lol".

Well, it is a bit silly to complain. Funerals aren't for the dead, they're for the living, and in times of tragedy we fall back on tradition. Religious funerals are the way it's been done in the past, and for so long that for the non-religious they're pretty much empty of religious meaning (look at how many people get their children christened or are married in a church because "that's what you do" rather than out of any genuine theistic beliefs), so if I was to die tomorrow and be buried in a religious ceremony then despite not believing in God I'd be happy if the familiarity of tradition gives my Catholic parents some comfort.

A moment ago it's all about "the principle"; what happens to your body after death should be in accordance with your wishes while you were living, that is the whole basis for condemning this guy's actions. But now that it's the principles of Atheist dead people at question, that doesn't matter?

Fucking typical double-standard religious privilege bullshit.

Psst! Hey, buddy!

I think you may have quoted the wrong person. Well, either that or your post makes no damn sense, considering the context...

Skeleon:
This is an issue of basic human dignity and consent rules. Those don't simply vanish because the person is dead and gone.

I once had a similar conversation with a friend, and asked him if he thought the dead have rights. He responded "They have the right to remain silent."

Soooo much rage in this thread. Impossible to take seriously.

I'd wager many people raging here consider the important part of a human to be their soul anyway; that's the only part they seem to care about at the other end of a person's life. Why all the angst then about the protein their soul left behind?

Do I find the guy's painting worthwhile? No, but it doesn't make me angry either.

McMullen:
I once had a similar conversation with a friend, and asked him if he thought the dead have rights. He responded "They have the right to remain silent."

Soooo much rage in this thread. Impossible to take seriously.

I'd wager many people raging here consider the important part of a human to be their soul anyway; that's the only part they seem to care about at the other end of a person's life. Why all the angst then about the protein their soul left behind?

Do I find the guy's painting worthwhile? No, but it doesn't make me angry either.

Can't speak for the others, but what makes me angry is the arrogant, selfish and presumptous behaviour of taking those ashes without consent. It's not his "protein" to take as he pleases, simple as that. You don't just take stuff, especially not things that are so emotionally loaded.

Batou667:
On topic, it's shitty art. It's not aesthetically pleasing, it didn't take a high degree of skill or craftmanship, and the only emotional response comes when the backstory of the "pigment" is revealed (and yeah, it could just be grey paint and he's doing a troll-within-a-troll)...

Man, I'd appreciate this work so much if that's what was really going on.

I'm mostly pissed of becouse the art he made sucked.
If he had made nice painting of something closly related to the camp then it would (almost) ok, but nooo he made some poor excuse of an artwork.

Skeleon:

There appears to be a serious misunderstanding here. The issue is that the people's ashes here was taken without their or their family's consent. I think I've made it clear that, if you want to donate your corpse to Body Worlds or to an ash art project, that's certainly your decision in my opinion. But that's not what's happening here.

I like what this here gentleman has to say on the matter. I feel that even though after i die i dont give a CRAP what happens to me corpse that people should have a choice. I wouldnt care if i had a choice or not because im donating my body to science anyway. But some people would, as would those living after that person had died. And at the end of the day i think a persons right to feel comfort in their loved ones death trumps another persons right to use their corpse in any way they wish. The thing is that even though it IS a meat puppet there has to be some sort of system to determine who gets priority over the meat puppet. The family wants to bury it, the scientists want it for study and the meseum wants it for funzies and looking at it. Who gets the say? Since if its an "Ownerless meat puppet" all have an equal right to grab it. Is it "first come first served?" The best system is to ASK the person and get their wishes. Its a definite tie breaker between all possible parties who might want the corpse.

Pain, suffering, trapped with no way out - the world inaccessible behind walls that cannot be breached.

Striking painting, I must admit, the context makes it even more interesting. My guess is that he was trying to tell the story of those whose ashes he used to make the painting with pure form.

Atrocious Joystick:
These ashes obviously were not particularly sacred to anyone since you know, they were being displayed at a glorified museum even before they where stolen. If anyone actually know who the ashes belonged to and cared they would have taken them home or to a cemetary.

Astounding.

Of course no one knows who the ashes belong to. The victims were stripped of their names, mass murdered, buried in a mass grave, then dug up and incinerated en masse, and then ashes were composted. There's no possible means of identifying whose ashes are whose.

Majdanek IS a cemetery. It is a place where the dead are meant to rest. I shouldn't have to tell you what those ashes mean to the surviving Jewish people and the others who were victimized by Nazi Germany. Educate yourself.

Atrocious Joystick:
The only thing detestable about this is that a square can be passed off as a piece of art. Modern art is just ugly and even kind of depressing. Real art is visually pleasing and invokes emotions. Sure it can have meaning, but it can't just be a fucking square with some bullshit meaning. The real victim here people, is art.

No, the real victims are still the 78,000+ people who were murdered.

Atrocious Joystick:
You gotta wonder if there would be such an outrage if he had stolen the ashes of a less tv-friendly genocide victim.

No I don't gotta wonder about that. I'm not sure why that counterfactual is even pertinent.

Hap2:
Pain, suffering, trapped with no way out - the world inaccessible behind walls that cannot be breached.

Striking painting, I must admit, the context makes it even more interesting. My guess is that he was trying to tell the story of those whose ashes he used to make the painting with pure form.

The story is best told by the memorial and mausoleum that he desecrated. If he was at all interested in telling that story, then he wouldn't have shown such brazen disregard for the victims and their families.

The memorial and mausoleum at Majdanek already told that story. He simply could have used black paint and titled it Majdanek

Xan Krieger:
I know I wouldn't want some random person digging me up and putting me on display.

So the ashes from the burning of your long-dead body are now you as a person?

If that's the case, did you know your food and water likely contains particles that were once part of human beings? You ravenous people-eater.

Imperator_DK:
He took the ashes from a crematorium 50 years after it was in use, who's to say there's any human remains in them?

Almost 25 years have passed anyway, so any theft charge has long since been obliterated by statute of limitation (...though the concentration camp can probably sue if it wants its ash back). And the artwork should fall well within the boundaries of Artistic Freedom of Expression, as no discernible harm came from its creation.

Thanks for that. I was thinking there was something wrong with me for not agreeing with all the indignation in this thread.

poiumty:
...

Imperator_DK:
He took the ashes from a crematorium 50 years after it was in use, who's to say there's any human remains in them?

Almost 25 years have passed anyway, so any theft charge has long since been obliterated by statute of limitation (...though the concentration camp can probably sue if it wants its ash back). And the artwork should fall well within the boundaries of Artistic Freedom of Expression, as no discernible harm came from its creation.

Thanks for that. I was thinking there was something wrong with me for not agreeing with all the indignation in this thread.

Never anything wrong with taking a moment to consider whether the bandwagon is heading in the right direction.

Life, liberty, and opportunity gets taken from the living every hour of every day, so getting upset that 25 years ago an artist took some ash that might or might not contain unclaimed human remains is simplistic emotion without substance. It's a 25 year old petty theft of something which nobody missed up until now, and should be treated accordingly.

Imperator_DK:

poiumty:
...

Imperator_DK:
He took the ashes from a crematorium 50 years after it was in use, who's to say there's any human remains in them?

Almost 25 years have passed anyway, so any theft charge has long since been obliterated by statute of limitation (...though the concentration camp can probably sue if it wants its ash back). And the artwork should fall well within the boundaries of Artistic Freedom of Expression, as no discernible harm came from its creation.

Thanks for that. I was thinking there was something wrong with me for not agreeing with all the indignation in this thread.

Never anything wrong with taking a moment to consider whether the bandwagon is heading in the right direction.

Life, liberty, and opportunity gets taken from the living every hour of every day, so getting upset that 25 years ago an artist took some ash that might or might not contain unclaimed human remains is simplistic emotion without substance. It's a 25 year old petty theft of something which nobody missed up until now, and should be treated accordingly.

Because obviously we can't both be upset about both. Nope, there's a finite amount of anger at people doing shitty things in the world, and we have to carefully ration it.

I seriously could not care less. They're dead.

The painting is pretty shit though.

Atrocious Joystick:
The only thing detestable about this is that a square can be passed off as a piece of art. Modern art is just ugly and even kind of depressing. Real art is visually pleasing and invokes emotions. Sure it can have meaning, but it can't just be a fucking square with some bullshit meaning. The real victim here people, is art.

The fact that the shitty rectangle got you all riled up means it has successfully evoked and invoked emotion, which makes it at least half valid as a work of art, by your own definition. A definition that disqualifies music, theatre, poetry, and a large sample of visual art from having art form status.

You might be referring to minimalism, which is hardly a recent development. Black Square was out in 1915.

Reginald:

The fact that the shitty rectangle got you all riled up means it has successfully evoked and invoked emotion, which makes it at least half valid as a work of art, by your own definition.

Quite.

I'm not an expert in modern art, so I can't immediately say whether it should be considered good art or not. But I'd certainly like to see the case made and context for it.

But I do know enough about art to know that it usually has complex intellectual underpinnings, and exists in a context of its own; much criticism of art involves complete lack of awareness of what any of it is leaving nothing more than an assessment of "Was it hard to do and does it look like something?". If that was all art was, art would be exceptionally boring.

That's kinda completely not okay.

Aside from the fact that it's theft, and he can possibly be sued by the descendents of the Majdenak victims, it's also a really shitty thing to do. He's profiting (or at least attempting to profit, either through publicity or selling the painting) off of not only exploiting a horrific tragedy, but from the physical remnants of that tragedy.

This guy is very, very lucky he didn't pull this shit in Germany. In terms of anything related to the Holocaust or Nazis, they are extremely strict. Like, if he hadn't been beaten to death, he'd be serving a long jail sentence.

Agema:

Reginald:

The fact that the shitty rectangle got you all riled up means it has successfully evoked and invoked emotion, which makes it at least half valid as a work of art, by your own definition.

Quite.

I'm not an expert in modern art, so I can't immediately say whether it should be considered good art or not. But I'd certainly like to see the case made and context for it.

But I do know enough about art to know that it usually has complex intellectual underpinnings, and exists in a context of its own; much criticism of art involves complete lack of awareness of what any of it is leaving nothing more than an assessment of "Was it hard to do and does it look like something?". If that was all art was, art would be exceptionally boring.

There are still defenders and believers in the idea of aesthetics out there you know, and I'm one of them.

Frankly I'm less annoyed that he did it and more that he did it and came up with this. A rectangle? How do we even know those are those specific ashes? Maybe he just burnt something in a wood pile and said 'Hey I've got an idea' or something.

I mean, other then a mild sense of disgust does this evoke emotions because it's from those ashes? Why does it evoke disgust? Is it because it was human remains, or because of the nature of the remains? Or is it because he could've done something amazing with it and chose to smear them in a rectangle shape.

Also, just because something causes debate does not in and of itself make the thing valuable. The debate can be valuable but the object spawning it might not be.

People get very iffy over some old, valueless dust.

Wombok:
I seriously could not care less. They're dead.

The painting is pretty shit though.

Yep, that's my feeling on it too. I could literally not care any less about what he did with it.

As an aside, I find medical curiosities like Body Worlds or the Mütter Museum absolutely fascinating and think they should be protected.

Helmholtz Watson:

Skeleon:
snip

The OP doesn't say where the camp was that the "artist" visited so I'm guessing its possible that it might be Germany and so I have to ask, do you know if there are any laws in Germany against this sort of thing? I mean does the federal government in Germany manage the concentration camp sites or is it privately run or something?

As others have said, the camp wasn't in Germany.
That said, I'm pretty sure we have very strict regulations regarding human remains in general. We have mandatory burials; I'd assume that the mausoleum the ashes were stored at when he stole them would've counted as their tomb, so that'd basically be grave-robbing and "Störung der Totenruhe"/disturbance of the rest of the dead. So, yeah, he'd be prosecuted around here, I'd assume. Obviously we have Body Worlds here, too, we also have transplantations, we have scientific and medical uses for corpses and so on and so on. But in all of these, consent of the deceased or their family is necessary (which is also why Body Worlds was viewed as iffy by some, as I mentioned earlier).

Skeleon:

Helmholtz Watson:

Skeleon:
snip

The OP doesn't say where the camp was that the "artist" visited so I'm guessing its possible that it might be Germany and so I have to ask, do you know if there are any laws in Germany against this sort of thing? I mean does the federal government in Germany manage the concentration camp sites or is it privately run or something?

As others have said, the camp wasn't in Germany.
That said, I'm pretty sure we have very strict regulations regarding human remains in general. We have mandatory burials; I'd assume that the mausoleum the ashes were stored at when he stole them would've counted as their tomb, so that'd basically be grave-robbing and "Störung der Totenruhe"/disturbance of the rest of the dead. So, yeah, he'd be prosecuted around here, I'd assume. Obviously we have Body Worlds here, too, we also have transplantations, we have scientific and medical uses for corpses and so on and so on. But in all of these, consent of the deceased or their family is necessary (which is also why Body Worlds was viewed as iffy by some, as I mentioned earlier).

Mandatory burials? Does that mean that cremation isn't an option, or they'll allow it with the stipulation that they stick the urn in the goound?

Kopikatsu:
Mandatory burials? Does that mean that cremation isn't an option, or they'll allow it with the stipulation that they stick the urn in the goound?

Nah, cremation is considered a form of burial. Basically, it's about ensuring that everybody's remains (including after, say, harvesting organs for transplantations) aren't privately disposed of in an undue manner. I tried looking for an English Wikipedia-site on this, but only found the German one.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestattungspflicht

Anyway, the idea is that you need to put ashes on a cemetary (not in the ground, but on the grounds of one), a tree- or sea-burial. Unlike the USA (at least if movies are anything to go by), you cannot take an urn/ashes home with you, for example. In this particular case, the memorial would presumably be considered the burial ground.

Skeleon:

Kopikatsu:
Mandatory burials? Does that mean that cremation isn't an option, or they'll allow it with the stipulation that they stick the urn in the goound?

Nah, cremation is considered a form of burial. Basically, it's about ensuring that everybody's remains (including after, say, harvesting organs for transplantations) aren't privately disposed of in an undue manner. I tried looking for an English Wikipedia-site on this, but only found the German one.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestattungspflicht

Anyway, the idea is that you need to put ashes on a cemetary (not in the ground, but on the grounds of one), a tree- or sea-burial. Unlike the USA (at least if movies are anything to go by), you cannot take an urn/ashes home with you, for example. In this particular case, the memorial would presumably be considered the burial ground.

The movies aren't wrong. I actually have my grandfather's ashes in the room across from where I'm sitting now. (Only because my grandmother wishes for her ashes to be mixed with his when she dies, which I will do. Last requests are extremely important to fulfill, I think. I mention it because of what I said at the beginning of this thread, which still holds true)

You can pretty much do whatever with your body here, though. If you want to get dumped in the ocean so the fish can have a free meal, you're totally allowed to do that.

Kopikatsu:
You can pretty much do whatever with your body here, though. If you want to get dumped in the ocean so the fish can have a free meal, you're totally allowed to do that.

Well, as I mentioned, sea-burials are allowed here, too. But a lot of things are not, including keeping remains at home.

...I mention it because of what I said at the beginning of this thread, which still holds true)

I don't see how, since the entire thread is predicated on the fact that the guy took these ashes without the consent, without the last request of the people in question and without the consent of their relatives.

Skeleon:

Kopikatsu:
You can pretty much do whatever with your body here, though. If you want to get dumped in the ocean so the fish can have a free meal, you're totally allowed to do that.

Well, as I mentioned, sea-burials are allowed here, too. But a lot of things are not, including keeping remains at home.

...I mention it because of what I said at the beginning of this thread, which still holds true)

I don't see how, since the entire thread is predicated on the fact that the guy took these ashes without the consent, without the last request of the people in question and without the consent of their relatives.

Isn't a burial at sea a production, though? I'm talking about them just hauling your body to a pier and unceremoniously tossing you off the end.

Anyway, lack of something is not a negative quantifier. It's neutral. In this case, they made no last request. Therefore, the remains have zero value. Had my grandparents not made a last request, I would have just dumped their ashes wherever. The remains have no value to me, either. It's not the remains that are important, it's the request itself. It's important for the same reason that keeping a promise is important and nothing more.

Kopikatsu:
Isn't a burial at sea a production, though? I'm talking about them just hauling your body to a pier and unceremoniously tossing you off the end.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "production", but... well, you can unceremoniously, even anonymously be buried at sea. However, no, for sea-burial in Germany - to my knowledge - you have to be cremated first. They don't do full-body sea-burials anymore.

Anyway, lack of something is not a negative quantifier. It's neutral. In this case, they made no last request. Therefore, the remains have zero value. Had my grandparents not made a last request, I would have just dumped their ashes wherever. The remains have no value to me, either. It's not the remains that are important, it's the request itself. It's important for the same reason that keeping a promise is important and nothing more.

In the medical field, we always work off the assumed will if no actual consent can be gathered. For instance, if a person is seriously injured and needs blood. They might turn out to be a JW later on and sue the hospital, but it's their duty to provide particular care. Similarly, the presumed will of the people in this case is not to have their ashes stolen and used for an art piece without any consent. I said this earlier: Just because there is no particular will, that doesn't mean the ashes are just up for grabs. Let's be a bit controversial. What about a Neo-Nazi stealing those ashes, pissing and shitting on them, mixing them up and putting that back up as art. Would that be okay since it's just worthless ashes and the people did not make a specific request towards preserving dignity and presumed will of the victims in question is irrelevant?

Skeleon:

What about a Neo-Nazi stealing those ashes, pissing and shitting on them, mixing them up and putting that back up as art. Would that be okay since it's just worthless ashes and the people did not make a specific request towards preserving dignity and presumed will of the victims in question is irrelevant?

As it's somewhat relevant to this point, I will take the time to mention that my family is Jewish and my great grandparents on my mother's father's father's side died in the Holocaust. Now, with that said, I still can't say that I honestly understand how Judaism works (My grandmother explains it as both a religion and ethnicity at the same time, passed on through the mother. So if your father is Jewish but your mother is not, then you are not. But if your mother is and your father is not, then you are. Regardless of what you actually believe. See? Confusing as hell.)

Anyway, if a Neo-Nazi were to desecrate the ashes? Then yes, it would still be irrelevant. I'll put it this way: There is no such thing as objective right or wrong. This is the flaw that I see with your argument; you are assigning sentimental value to something that is practically almost valueless. I've added 'almost' there because if I remember correctly, ashes can be used as a fairly decent fertilizer. However, in this case where it's just a pile of ashes? That has no inherent value as ash needs to be spread carefully in order to be used as fertilizer. As it is, it's a waste of space. At least, that's what I'm assuming. The artist said that he got the ashes from a trip to Majdanek almost thirty years ago. This is the only picture I could come up with, although I'm sure it's older than thirty years.

image

Small sidenote: Although it probably sounds like it, I'm not a Nihilist. Actually, I'm the complete opposite of a Nihilist, although I'm not sure that such a thing has a name.

Kopikatsu:
I'll put it this way: There is no such thing as objective right or wrong. This is the flaw that I see with your argument;...

Of course not, but why does that matter? Why would you even bring that up? I'm not making the argument that it's objectively wrong. In fact, I'll go into detail on how it's actually societal below.

...you are assigning sentimental value to something that is practically almost valueless.

Sure. But, again, what does that matter? Are you disputing that such sentimental value exists for the vast majority of people? That a lot of people care about what happens to their corpse or the corpses of their relatives and friends? Shouldn't those concerns matter, even if they weren't specifically voiced ("No, I don't want my ashes used for a painting by an artist I never heard of at any point in the future"; "No, I don't want my ashes be mixed with human waste at any point in the future")? Again, if you don't care if something is done to your corpse, that's perfectly fine. But a lot of people do care and their concerns shouldn't just be ignored unless those concerns are specifically stated.

That is, again, where presumed will and social norms come in. We usually don't desecrate corpses, so people have the expectation that there's no need to specifically state their request not to have their corpses desecrated. Because of this presumed will, the requirement for permissions is the other way around: "I do want my corpse to be used by med students for anatomy studies, I do want my body to be used in Body Worlds, I do want to have my body be used as an art project." Unless you somehow changed the entirety of expected behaviour and norms, you will need specific requests for things that are outside of the current norms. Not the other way around. The current norm is not to steal human remains and use them for art without consent. If human remains were societally accepted to be freely available, things would be different, though.

I guess I can congratulate you on your consistency regarding desecration, but I still don't quite get why you think anybody should have the right to just take these remains without asking. It's not how we operate with anything else in existence to my understanding, so why here? Even if you find something on the road, you're not supposed to just keep it. You're supposed to bring it to a lost and found office. Considering that you brought value and objectivity up, is it that ashes objectively have no value? Well, objectively a Rolex watch has no value, either. It's humans who imbue things with value, after all, be that a watch or the ashes of a loved one. Nothing has objective value because value is a property we assign to things ourselves. Considering this, why would you apply lower standards to human remains than to any other random object you might come across? Or does your consistency actually extend to just taking whatever you find no matter what it is and who it belonged to? I'm honestly confused by your views.

What is "oraganic chemistry"? A typo in captcha? Well, I never.

Skeleon:

Sure. But, again, what does that matter? Are you disputing that such sentimental value exists for the vast majority of people? That a lot of people care about what happens to their corpse or the corpses of their relatives and friends? Shouldn't those concerns matter, even if they weren't specifically voiced ("No, I don't want my ashes used for a painting by an artist I never heard of at any point in the future"; "No, I don't want my ashes be mixed with human waste at any point in the future")? Again, if you don't care if something is done to your corpse, that's perfectly fine. But a lot of people do care and their concerns shouldn't just be ignored unless those concerns are specifically stated.

Tyranny of the majority. (I'm not saying that most people assigning value to human remains is tyranny, but the fact that the majority of people are/do X doesn't make it 'right'. By right, I mean 'smart', 'beneficial', 'worthwhile', etc. If you're wondering what I would consider 'worthwhile' since I've only been naming things that are not worthwhile, I would say anything that leads to the advancement of mankind. I'll go into deeper explanation on that point in a bit.

Skeleon:
That is, again, where presumed will and social norms come in. We usually don't desecrate corpses, so people have the expectation that there's no need to specifically state their request not to have their corpses desecrated. Because of this presumed will, the requirement for permissions is the other way around: "I do want my corpse to be used by med students for anatomy studies, I do want my body to be used in Body Worlds, I do want to have my body be used as an art project." Unless you somehow changed the entirety of expected behaviour and norms, you will need specific requests for things that are outside of the current norms. Not the other way around. The current norm is not to steal human remains and use them for art without consent. If human remains were societally accepted to be freely available, things would be different, though.

I would disagree. Socials norms are very fluid and entirely arbitrary. In Sparta, the coming of age ceremony was for a boy to murder a slave without getting caught. In ancient Greece, a man having sex with a young boy was considered entirely acceptable. For something more relevant to the subject matter at hand, during the Black Plague, they would pile corpses in the streets and then burn them. No burial, no memorial...just cleansing fire. But at what point does the social norm 'change'? For example, the US has been very predominately against gay marriage for a long while now. But now the movement has gained enough support for the issue to finally be taken seriously by SCOTUS. Has the social norm regarding gay marriage changed? The majority of Americans might still oppose gay marriage. But if not, then when did it happen? The movement gained support among the populous before it became a 'thing', otherwise it wouldn't have become a 'thing' in the first place. Has the social norm changed once 50.00001% of Americans support gay marriage? Or 95%? Or if SCOTUS rules favorably on it? When the military starts to openly accept gays into the military? At what point can you jab your finger at and go "There. That's when it happened!"?

Skeleon:
I guess I can congratulate you on your consistency regarding desecration, but I still don't quite get why you think anybody should have the right to just take these remains without asking. It's not how we operate with anything else in existence to my understanding, so why here? Even if you find something on the road, you're not supposed to just keep it. You're supposed to bring it to a lost and found office. Considering that you brought value and objectivity up, is it that ashes objectively have no value? Well, objectively a Rolex watch has no value, either. It's humans who imbue things with value, after all, be that a watch or the ashes of a loved one. Nothing has objective value because value is a property we assign to things ourselves. Considering this, why would you apply lower standards to human remains than to any other random object you might come across? Or does your consistency actually extend to just taking whatever you find no matter what it is and who it belonged to? I'm honestly confused by your views.

The Rolex has value. It tells time. That's more than the ashes do when not used for fertilizer. But when comparing a Rolex with a lesser watch...I don't feel comfortable enough in the subject to say whether or not the Rolex has more value than another brand. Is a Rolex a Rolex because it's high quality, or is the brand name just a name that people are willing to dish out extra money for, leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy? As mentioned, I don't know anything about watches, so I can't comment on that. As for objective value beyond the watch...well, I'll get to that next.

My worldview is two fold, although I'll keep the main part brief for brevity's sake. First, an eye for an eye. You should not steal unless you do not mind being stolen from. You do not kill unless you wish to die. You would not desecrate human remains if you do not want your remains desecrated. While the victims whose ashes were taken may not have desecrated another's remains, the artist has. So the cycle should be contained so that it begins and ends with him alone. I won't go too deeply into this, because intent is more important than the action itself and so there are many systems and subsystems that would have to go into it, because it's not as simple as 'Frank ran out in front of Dan's car. Dan tried to avoid him, but hit Frank anyway. Frank died. Since Frank died, now Dan must die for penance.' Dan was not acting maliciously, so obviously death is far too severe. And then there is the case of, say, someone who kills a person that is slated to die, but now they are guilty of murder. But, like I said, it would get really involved and so I'm going to cut it short for now. If you want me to go through the whole thing, shoot me a PM.

Now for the main part: To explain in a round-about way, my main regret in life (of which I have many) is that I will not live to see mankind's full potential. If they reach it, what they accomplish along the way, what it is, etc. Which is why I do not identify myself as a Nihilist. A Nihilist believes that there is no meaning to life, beliefs, actions, or anything. My view is the inverse of that. The meaning of all life (and by extension, humanity) is so great that wasting time, resources, and energy on something as frivolous as whether or not dead bodies have rights is so...I don't even know how to begin to describe it. This extends far beyond just this subject, though. I'm not saying 'MANKIND WILL NEVER EVOLVE BECAUSE THEY'RE CAUGHT UP ON THIS ASH PAINTING THING.' This, getting up in arms over racist remarks made in passing, people flipping their shit at celebrity domestic abuse...the list goes on forever.

Edit: Just finished watching Dark Knight Rises, and so now I have a great analogy. I'll spoiler tag it because...yeah.

i opened the thread expecting lots of edgy people to say that human remains have no value, that there is nothing morally wrong with it,that the dead dont have any rights, etc, etc

hes a selfish asshole with no thought for others

you are looking at a group of people who were treated as nothing but animals, who spent their final moments in terror and all this guy can think of is stealing some of their remains to make something from them. hes a vile excuse for a human being

Nevermind I withdraw the question, don't feel like getting into it.

Kopikatsu:
By right, I mean 'smart', 'beneficial', 'worthwhile', etc. If you're wondering what I would consider 'worthwhile' since I've only been naming things that are not worthwhile, I would say anything that leads to the advancement of mankind.

Respect and emotional attachment to your relatives absolutely is beneficial as we are a social species. Attachment to a deceased relatives' remains is associated with that. But in the end, it's irrelevant. It's a free society and you don't get to take away what isn't yours. Your freedom to swing your fists ends where my nose etc., so while you personally are perfectly free to have done with your corpse what you want, you can't infringe on a) other people's rights to self-determination beyond their death and b) those people's relatives right to their freedom. The problem I have with your approach has nothing to do with what you want in regards to your corpse, it's what you want in regards to others' corpses. That's an undue imposition of your views.

I would disagree. Socials norms are very fluid and entirely arbitrary.

Of course they are arbitrary. I don't see the disagreement exactly, though. You bring up other cultures' societal norms differing from ours. But that's exactly my point: You'd need to change this society's norms in order for your approach to be warranted. As it is, you are not in your right to take remains. If the standards changed to include the taking of remains, sure, it would be less of an issue (and presumably the people opposed to having their corpses taken would specifically request not to have them taken). You can't just switch the entirety of consent around on people without first changing societal norms. That is why your approach is incompatible to society as it currently is. As to norms changing? I'd argue that there is no "point" at which they do. It's a gradual change. But a change must happen nonetheless before your approach would be anything but theft, grave-robbing and an invitation to desecration.

The Rolex has value. It tells time. That's more than the ashes do when not used for fertilizer.

Telling time is, objectively seen, useless. It's useful to us human beings because we exist along a timeline and want to order our existence accordingly. If we didn't exist to value time-keeping, mechanics and precious metals, a Rolex would be as valueless as a random rock. The problem is that you are trying to define "objective values" to then diminish the emotional value people see in the remains and ashes of the deceased. But none of it has any value outside of humans imposing such value. Therefore, no objective values can be determined. You are basically performing special pleading in regards towards things you think are valuable while diminishing things of value that you don't find to be valuable even though others do. That's not an objective determination of value, that's as subjective as one can possibly be in that application.

First, an eye for an eye.

Awful.

You should not steal unless you do not mind being stolen from. You do not kill unless you wish to die. You would not desecrate human remains if you do not want your remains desecrated. While the victims whose ashes were taken may not have desecrated another's remains, the artist has. So the cycle should be contained so that it begins and ends with him alone.

It isn't contained to him alone, though. What about the people, i. e. the relatives, whose rights was infringed upon thereby? Even if the artist's remains are desecrated, how does that help the relatives? You're basically falling for the "two wrongs make a right"-argument.

...because intent is more important than the action itself...

Again, awful. But I am starting to see why your views are so incomprehensible to me. We seem to differ on a number of basic issues which makes sorting this out that much more complicated.
In regards to your example of accidental death, sure. Circumstances and intent have to be taken into account. But to say intent is more important than the action (and more importantly, its consequences) is almost the polar opposite of my views.

My view is the inverse of that. The meaning of all life (and by extension, humanity) is so great that wasting time, resources, and energy on something as frivolous as whether or not dead bodies have rights is so...I don't even know how to begin to describe it. This extends far beyond just this subject, though. I'm not saying 'MANKIND WILL NEVER EVOLVE BECAUSE THEY'RE CAUGHT UP ON THIS ASH PAINTING THING.' This, getting up in arms over racist remarks made in passing, people flipping their shit at celebrity domestic abuse...the list goes on forever.

Psh, I'm certainly not going to respond to celebrity domestic abuse nonsense. But I will say this much: I care about the human condition, suffering and happiness. I'm a bit of a Utilitarian, so I think in terms of suffering and benefit all the time. Sure, I am all about the potential of the human species, but we can't exactly leave what makes us human by the wayside in order to achieve some lofty goal. Only to realize, when we look back, that we've become monsters along the way because the end was all that mattered. Because we decided to ignore all the suffering we might cause along the way rather than taking it into account for our evaluation. Secular Humanistic values of self-determination, truth and individual freedom are what will bring forth humanity's full potential, not utter disregard for the needs of others. Perhaps the road will be slower and more bumpy, but we'll arrive at the better destination.

We know Batman. Do you really think he would've done this unless he already had his backup plan prepared?

image

I think I'm more offended that he used it to make abstract 'art' instead of something meaningful and beautiful.

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