死亡概念的綜合考慮

Citation data:

International Journal of Chinese & Comparative Philosophy of Medicine, ISSN: 1386-6354, Vol: 4, Issue: 1, Page: 7

Publication Year:
2002
Usage 13
Abstract Views 8
Downloads 5
Repository URL:
https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/ijccpm/vol4/iss1/7
Author(s):
Wang, Tangjia
Tags:
死亡學; 死亡概念; 瀕死體驗; 臨終關懷; Applied Ethics; Medicine and Health Sciences; Philosophy
article description
The term "science of death" appeared at one time in ancient Greece. Socrates even said that "philosophy is a practice of death". However, although death has been viewed as an important subject in many fields of cultural studies, a science of death in the strict sense of the terminology has not come into being due to the lack of a rational and sophisticated methodology as well as an organic combination of theoretical speculation and empirical research. Up to date we have not even succeeded in coming up with a relatively comprehensive conception of what death means, even though we can find a variety of explanations of death in such disciplines as philosophy, religion, sociology, psychology, biology and medicine. Accordingly, we need synthetically take the concept of death into account.Although Confucius asked such question as "how could we understand death without understanding life?" Chinese have never ceased to probe into the issue of death. In the long tradition of Chinese thought, from Zhuang -zi's philosophical speculation of death to the modern culture of death, from the religious experience of the Taoist transcendence to the Buddhist meditation upon death, Chinese have always attached great ethical concerns to the issue of death. In the Chinese language, there are at least 150 words and phrases referring to death. From the Chinese ethos of death we can find the ultimate concern of life, the common concealment of death, the unvarnished mood of fearfulness as well as profound calmness in the face of death. As a matter of fact, death education in western sense of the word has become a popular social practice in current China.There is no doubt, death of a human being means not only the end of a human biological life but the end of a social and spiritual life. Establishment of ethics of death (part of which is ethics of care for the terminally ill) is indispensable for the development of our ethical concern about the dignity and meaning of human life. This paper clarifies the necessity and importance of our understanding of human death as a social and cultural phenomenon by analyzing the materials of social anthropology and clinical observations of death experience. It indicates that although death experience is often considered painful, sad and fearful, it probably also implies some positive psychological aspects such as hope, serenity and even euphoria. The arousal of these positive aspects of death is of great significance for maintaining the dignity of dying patients and increasing the quality of their lives.雖然死亡問題一直是人類文化的重要主題,雖然古希臘人早就提出過“死亡學”這一術語,但真正意義上的死亡學尚未建立。生命倫理學也尚未給我們提供一種相對完整的死亡概念。由於人不僅是一般的自然存在物,而且是一種社會文化的存在物,人的死亡就不僅是一種自然事件,而且是一種社會文化事件。為了說明人的死亡與動物的死亡的區別,我們需要對死亡概念進行綜合考慮。中國的孔子早就提出過“未知生,焉知死?”這樣的問題。雖然中國文化十分重視生存的倫理問題,但中國人一刻也沒有停止對死亡的探索。從佛教對死亡的沉思冥想到道教對死亡的執著超越,從莊子對死亡的哲學思辨到帝王對長生不老的不斷追求,死亡問題就一直是中國文化關注的中心之一。在中文中,表示死亡的詞至少有150種,人的死亡方式,死者的年齡,死者與生者的關係,生者對死者的態度無一不體現在生活死亡的稱謂中。從中國的死亡文化中,我們可以發現人們對死亡的慎終追遠的心態。對死亡意識的普遍壓抑,畏死的真切心情或達觀的生死度。實際上,西方意義上的死亡教育在中國一直是一種普遍的社會實踐。人的死亡不僅是人的自然生命的終結,而且是人的社會生命和精神生命的終結。對人的生存意義和生命尊嚴的倫理關切使我們有必要建立死亡的倫理學,而臨終關懷的倫理學不過是它的一個部分而已。本文作者試圖通過對社會人類學資料和對死亡體驗的臨床觀察記錄進一步說明把人的死亡理解社會文化現象的必要性與重要性。同時也表明死亡體驗並不必然意味著痛苦,悲哀與恐懼,它也可能包含歡快。寧靜與希望等積極的心理因素,充分地認識和巧妙地利用這些因素對尊重臨死者的尊嚴和提高他們的生命質量這一人道目標具有無可置疑的重要性。