People can dislike the breaking of norms just because they are norms. I guess it’s because groups are run using norms, and to break a norm threatens to rupture their moral order.
But most norms aren’t random, they have connection to things like benefit and harm, and respect. This one is a case of respect. Some people will dislike it, even if they just hear about it. Others probably won’t mind. I think the Golden Rule strongly comes into play here: I wouldn’t like it if it was my loved one’s grave.
Cemeteries really are like parks, and a lot of them actually make it that way because they really want people to come visit, not stay away.… And if the families not there that day they wouldn’t even know so what difference would it make? I guess I’m interested to understand all the philosophies behind it, I don’t understand all that but I’m just telling you the way I see it
Uhhh. Yes. A lot of them are. I mean…come on Simon, in parts of the world they lob off pieces of little children’s genitals. Want a less extreme example? To be presentable in an office in western countries a man has to wear an uncomfortable pointless cloth noose around their neck and in Southern Europe a woman has to wear leggings and perhaps even high heels. There is no rational reason to do any of this. They are conventions born out of randomness and sustained…well…just because (even with genital chopping in the face of serious medical complications).
Travel from Dublin to Athens and you will pass through hundreds of cultural boundaries (sometimes only a few kilometres apart) where norms change…sometimes drastically. Ranging from the correct way to greet people, the correct way to stand in line at a pharmacy, how likely it is someone throws a coin in a homeless persons hat, the right way to entertain guests in your house, how rude it is to play music on your phone in public or the appropriate amount of small talk before you get to business. All of this is totally arbitrary and yet violating these rules can seriously upset people or even cause suffering (believe it or not). Some norms are a little more universal…other norms (such as having a picnic on a strangers grave) is not. Jump over to India and you will have many of your “obvious”, “rational”, “natural” norms shattered to the bone.
By the way…in London in one of the most famous Churches (St. Martin in the Fields) you can go to their cafe and drink coffee or eat a sandwich over the tombs of old corpses:
I think we just need to dig a bit deeper. Its not a dead issue, after all. If we just use our skulls a little more we can figure this out.
That’s the spirit. Maybe we have a ghost of a chance at resolving this yet.
Or we can just give up and bite the dust. Perhaps this discussion is on its last legs.