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It's interesting that death is still such a taboo subject in western society, as is evidenced by the sense of avoidance and awkwardness that comes through in some of the posts above (not meant as a criticism at all - just an honest observation).

I had a moment in India that suddenly de-spooked the whole topic for me, and the effect was profound and permanent. Crossing the Ganges by train, my gaze fixed on a corpse washed up on a sandbank in the middle of the river. It was the first time I had seen a corpse. A couple of birds were perched on the face, happily pecking out the eyes.

That sounds shocking, but the revelation for me at the time was that it was not - not in any way. In fact, it was so natural that it inspired the thought in me that we, as a species, are arrogant in our sense of our importance in the scheme of things. Why should we not end as carrion for the birds, when all other creatures typically return to source in that way?

Now, many years later, I have experienced the death of both my parents, and a close friend, and am left with the sense that we all go on - in the memory of others if in no other way - and that the way in which we are remembered is EXACTLY as we were perceived in life. I had a gilded concept that the death of loved ones would somehow alter the memory of those persons in a positive way. I have not found this to be the case. Who they were in life is who they are in death. Sobering, when you think about it and its implications for yourself.

Anyway, I have no problem whatever with badalou's business on this occasion servicing people in mourning. Their choice. It's all rather simple when you demystify death and see it for what it is - an essentially defining part of life!

Make the most of now. It's all we have that we can be certain of.
 

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I guess my point, CominOutSwingin, is that it is not necessarily "natural" to have the sort of anxiety around death and commerce that you and others here describe (although, of course, as a Westerner myself, I completely understand what you're saying).

My contention is that this anxiety actually stems from the fact that death is avoided rather than dealt with front on in our Western societies, and that the issue people here are referring to is not really to do with having a commercial relationship with people in mourning, or the morality of that. My contention is that such anxiety stems from our attitude towards death.

Why should dealing in a commercial sense with people in mourning who seek a product or service be in any way subject to questions of morality? This is not to say that I am insensitive to the pain of people in mourning or lack sympathy for those going through this inevitable time in their lives. I am suggesting, though, that such people should not be regarded SO differently from any other client.

Funeral services live off death and no one thinks to question the morality of this. Ditto solicitors, who make truckloads of easy money off probate and estate matters that follow a death (hmmm, come to think about it, 'morality' and 'solicitors' are words that do sit uncomfortably together). I think I have made my point without labouring it further...
 

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Comin'OutSwingin

You can respect a person in mourning while providing them with a wanted service or product for profit - as Badalou and starprince have demonstrated. There is no intrinsic connection between "respect" and "profit" in this context per se, although there evidently is for you personally.

If you take a personal stance not to profit from someone in mourning, that's fine, but this most certainly is a moral decision - a personal moral decision. Your morality is such that you are "uncomfortable" with the notion of profiting from mourning folk. If there was no morality involved for you, you would not feel uncomfortable! Why? Because there is nothing "naturally" or instrinsically "wrong" with providing a service or product to the mourning for profit! The discomfort comes from your personal values on the subject.

As stated, I, too, have experienced the death of people close to me, yet my attitude on this topic is entirely different from yours. Neither of us is "right" or "wrong" - it's just a matter of different personal perspectives.

Anyway, enough on this from me. If I continue, I'll be edited out for debating :)
 

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It's a personal decision based on one's own values and attitudes - ie: a personal moral decision. I suspect some are getting terminologically confused in thinking that "morality" = judgement of others. This ain't necessarily so.

As to the nature of morality, and whether it's "subjective" or "objective", well, it can be either or both! That's a whole different kettle of fish that should be on another menu!
 
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