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Social Issues: Letters

From: Ross Olson
Subject: Human Sacrifice
Date: Jan 1, 2005 7:26 AM

Your January 2005 article on the Aztecs marvels at the apparent contradiction of "an advanced civilization that practiced human sacrifice." Yet it is not all that unusual. There is a contemporary culture that most agree is very advanced, with breathtaking technology, a highly educated population, widely diverse arts, sophisticated military and a complex legal system that performs not just tens of thousands but millions of human sacrifices annually. And these contemporary atrocities are carried out without the ritual and ceremony that marked the ancient practice and indicated a sense of its significance. Indeed, today the termination of innocent lives is considered commonplace and mundane. We call it "choice."

Ross S. Olson MD

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