moral musings

Living alone is linked with increased chance of mortality

“Living alone” here, of course, would suffer a limited interpretation if “living” is taken merely as “staying” alone. I do think its more of staying recluse, fending off an inclusion into the communal society in which the human person undergoes ongoing growth. Indeed the admonition of Libertatis Conscientia that social life is not exterior to man and that he can only grow and realize his vocation in relation with others makes it clear that the loneliness which kills is not merely that of living alone but that of being alone in a more radical sense.1 The “living alone” and “being alone” distinction has to be well made. After all Sherry Turkle has brilliantly argued how we could in fact be together, particularly because of the opium of our connectivity age,  yet be very alone.2

1. See Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Libertatis Conscientia, 32: AAS 79 (1987), 567

2. See Sherry Turkle, Alone Together, Why we expect more from Technology and less from each other, op. cit., p. 19.


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