Body Modification- Secular and Religious View

1287 Words6 Pages
Ethics Final Summative Task Body Modification Whether it’s a rhinoplasty, dental implants, or any other method of body modification, these minor or major surgeries are an ever growing trend in today’s modern society; and often frowned upon. However, there are very few negative characteristics associated with today’s body modification procedures. In fact, it is a legitimate way for an individual to effectively reflect their inner thoughts and emotions in a way in which they will be happier and more satisfied with their outward appearance. Jewish law, ethical philosophers, and Americanized society all provide proofs to validate that body modification is not an ethical wrong. Aesthetic or not, this essay will provide proofs to support the idea that these contemporary surgeries are ethically acceptable in both Jewish and secular society. We are commanded by the Torah to value our lives and maintain our health. Considering that God had created man with souls, this commandment applies to both physical and spiritual health. Though it may not be practical, Judaism provides a compelling argument as to why body modification is permitted, and often encouraged. Rabbi Jacob Breisch, author of Chelkat Yaakov, says that the prohibition to inflict pain on oneself does not apply when the emotional pain supersedes it. For example, if an individual is experiencing a tremendous amount of emotional pain as a result of their physical appearance, they are encouraged do undergo surgery or body modification to alleviate their distress. If the surgery would result in happiness and confidence as opposed to sadness, it is more than permitted. Jewish law also requires one not to pose any risk to their life. One may say that undergoing unnecessary surgery or receiving a body modification treatment poses a great risk. However, this is not the case. The developments and evolution of
Open Document