“You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos” by Robert Arthur

Heathen Harvest

You Will Die: The Burden of Modern TaboosYou Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos

When society sets up rules to prohibit certain behaviors based upon irrational assumptions and fears, we describe these rules as taboos. Taboos may begin as informal customs or manners but can gain strength to the point where frank discussion about the subject of a taboo is forbidden and in many cases laws are enacted to formally control behavior related to the subject. In a 2010 book You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos, author Robert Arthur seeks to dispel the myths surrounding a number of taboos that have been prevalent in American history.

Arthur organizes the book by beginning with taboos that he perceives to have lesser repercussions and progresses to discuss topics that have resulted in more severe negative impacts on society largely because of the unintended consequences of legal restraints. The first chapter serves as an introduction, which…

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