Friday, February 17, 2006

Tattoos and Transcendence

I went to a lecture last night on Robert Spaeman, and he was reported to have said that it is only because of human transcendence that we are able to self-mutilate. In other words, it is only because we go beyond the body that we are able to treat the body as an object and draw pictures on it or poke holes in it. If we were mere animals instead of persons, we would not get tattoos.

This is not to say that tattoos are morally neutral--I think that they are best a venial sin--but that they are evidence of the greatness of human beings.

I wonder what my students will make of this thought?

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