Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Against a Preferenced-Based Anthropology

We all have preferences: likes and dislikes. We are all attracted to our likes and repelled by our dislikes. Everyone dedicates some of his life's energy to this preference-centered activity.

Moreover, every one of us identifies with his preferences to some degree. We tend to think of self in terms of preferences, and many go so far as to reduce the person to "an entity with the capacity for preferences".

This preference-based anthropology is the antithesis of the anthropology of Christianity (and even the anthropologies of Buddhism and Zen). In these spiritual traditions, man discovers persons only through the denial of his preferences, whether it be through obedience to the magisterium or hours of agonizing, motionless sitting in a meditation hall.

The preference-based anthropology is a dead-end and explains a great deal of disorder: atheism, euthanasia, contraception, abortion, fear of authority, identification with homosexual inclinations. The preference-based anthropology seems to be at the very root of the culture of death.

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