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The Invisible Truth: A Critique of Knowledge: Modern Day Bodysnatching

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Critique of Knowledge: Modern Day Bodysnatching

I know people romanticize and idealize knowledge. I do it myself. But some cases inevitably arise where knowledge is harmful.

In the late eighteenth century, a phenomenon called "bodysnatching" proliferated. People would dig up corpses from graveyards and sell those corpses to Medicine. The demand for corpses was so high that there was a famous murder case where the murderer killed someone for the expressed purpose of selling their body to the medical establishment. The will to knowledge became complicit in the production of immoral behaviour.

In the United States, when a homeless person dies, their body automatically goes to science. In other words, property ownership has become integral to the definition of the human being. A human being should be entitled to human rights, right? Isn't it a fundamental right to decide what happens to your corpse after death? If so, then doesn't this trample all over the humanity of the homeless? Truly, the homeless do not even own their own bodies in the United States.

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