Wednesday, October 05, 2005

In the news: Right to die.

The Supreme Court hears arguments in a Right to Die case, in which an individual state's right to determine whether people have a right to assisted suicide hangs in the balance.

Again we are faced with a question of law that really turns on your own personal epistemology. If you believed that God created you, if you really believed you had a purpose, if you really believed it was a sin to murder yourself and that a suicide victim's soul would suffer far more than whatever suffering caused their desire to die... If you really believed all this, then HOW COULD YOU support suicide in any form?

On the other hand, if you believe that we are all a wonderful chemical accident - that life is here for a short time to be lived and loved and lost forever - totally free, undeserved but also un-judged - that you go nowhere when you die except back to the elements from which you came...if you believe that consciousness is a chemical reaction in a noodle soup called The Brain...then HOW COULD YOU DENY a person's right to end their life however they choose whenever they choose?

My observation: Our views of the world are rooted in our fundamental belief about the truth of our origins. Our divisions are natural products of those beliefs.

My opinion: Our society cannot stand on one side or the other, but must promote the freedom of each to choose his or her own destiny, so far as it does not impact the life and rights of another. However, it does not follow that any government (state or federal) has the right to enact any law to actually help someone follow their respective choice or to allow another citizen to do so.

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1 comment:

Jerry Carter said...

Ah, but your opinion reveals the truth in a word, "society". How, in the later case, can an argument be made for a stable society where people are encouraged to live their lives totally as they personally see fit? That is what I am sure you reconise as the text book definition of anarchy (though in practice anarchy has come to be practiced in quite an organized fashion). To have a stable society that has as its aim the enrichment of every member, life must be valued above the wayward individual's desire to commit suicide.

The impact of free suicide on demand, as we have seen with abortion on demand, has the inexcapable and likely possibility of abuse in many forms. We can not and should not encourage free choices that take lives. There are always options, whether theraputic or psychiatric, to suicide.

To promote assisted suicide it is to promote a society that does not value individuals, a society that in effect allows people to believe that they are no longer wanted. History does not long suffer such societies.