Why the BodyWorlds exhibit is controversial

So, I started to wonder why people kept saying things like, "I don't see anything wrong with this, unlike those right-wing Christian lunatic types". (More or less.)

Here's the argument, from World Magazine - Weekly News | Christian Views:


"What is wrong with mutilating corpses and putting them on display? Virtually all civilizations and religions forbid such treatment of the dead. State laws forbid desecrating the dead. The Geneva conventions consider it a war crime.

"In Christianity, the body is 'a temple of the Holy Spirit' (1 Corinthians 6:19). A human being, who bears God's image, is not to be violated. The dead are to be buried, as was Christ, awaiting the resurrection of the body. In the Christian ethical tradition, burying the dead was one of the seven works of mercy (along with feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, and visiting the sick).

"But today our culture is desensitizing us as we entertain ourselves with forensic autopsies on TV and real corpses in our museums.

"This is art in the culture of death."


With due respect to World magazine... and setting aside the character assassination (and possible actual assassination mentioned in the article, which is certainly a concern)... A corpse is nothing but an empty shell; Christians, of all people, should know that. Burying the dead is a work of mercy because the dead stink... if they haven't been filled with plastic. Donating your body to science (which then inevitably manipulates it in various ways) isn't "desecrating the dead". This kind of mentality logically extends to organ donation or medical intervention in general -- how much do we tamper with the temple of the Holy Spirit? -- and nobody today would want to rule out those practices.

So, I ask again, why is this exhibit "desecration" that should be condemned on religious grounds?

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