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The "Culture of Death" Does Not Exist

I hated when I would go to my parents with what I thought was a life-altering problem (ohmygod, I have a ZIT!) and they would say to me, It's not the end of the world, you know. I do the same thing to my children and I often chastise myself for using that line on them, because I know that, to them, their problem is the end of the world.

But I'm going to say it now. To a whole group of people. It's not the end of the world. It's not even the end of civilization as we know it. It's not the dawning of a metaphorical ice age in which we start killing people willy nilly, based on our own random expectations of what life should be.

Paul at Wizbang wants to know why people are so passionate about the right to die issue. And I don't think he means passionate in a good way when he talks about the "other siders," or people who aren't agreeing with him. Honestly, it's not even Paul who has me annoyed this time, but his commenters. And loads of other people who have brought upon this ugly, dark "Culture of Death" label and dropped it on anyone who doesn't align completely and wholeheartedly with them on the issue of living wills and dying peacefully.

For all the people screaming about slippery slopes and Hitler and the killing of handicapped, elderly and retarded, you would think at least one of them would stop and listen to an opponent. No, really listen. Not just shake their head in a condescending manner and walk away when one of us starts talking. Just..listen.

But, no. They'd rather hold up their placards and chant their slogans and accuse every last one of us of being potential murderers. Of being part and parcel of the abortion movement. That they are tying the Schiavo case into the abortion movement speaks volumes. I'm sure it would be nice for them to have all their anti-causes packaged up into one neat little package (called the Culture of Death), but it doesn't work that way, because there are more to the issues than what these people are letting themselves think about.

"You and your pro-abortion zealots are looking at this as a boon to your cause...," is from one email I received when the Schiavo story was at its peak.

Zealot? I'm still, after all these years, not sure how I feel about abortion, so to say I'm a zealot is stretching it just a bit, and to assume that my feelings about Terri Schiavo had something to do with my feelings toward abortion is not only presumptious, but wrong.

Let's call this, instead of the Culture of Death, the Culture of Dying With Dignity. I know, doesn't have quite the ring to it, and it won't fit as well on posters, but it certainly does have more truth in it than the original.

See, I don't know anyone - not one single person - who was on my "side" in the Schiavo case who wants to turn this issue into a way to kill all the infirmed, the elderly or the handicapped. I do not know one single person who thinks it would be ok to kill someone just because they reach a certain age and aren't a productive member of society anymore. I don't know one single person who thinks retarded kids should be put death or grandmothers with broken legs should be shot.

This is about allowing people their personal choice, and within limits. I would like to see laws enacted that would allow, with specifications and limits, a person to choose death over instances where they may be dying, in pain and agony, for a long time. It's about dying with dignity. Dying without protracted, prolonged pain. About choosing the option to go quietly and peacefully rather than lingering in a vegetative state for years. My option. My choice. Again, within specific guidelines and limitations. I don't think someone should be able to say "I lost my job, my wife left me, let me check myself into a hospital and have them kill me legally."

Of course, things like this will never happen, because the Slippery Slopists will be there to say, IF...THEN. If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll eventually want your whole house. And if you give a person the right to die with dignity, eventually you'll be killing everyone who's not blonde haired and blue eyed. And those who aren't screaming about Hitler will yell about God. It's God's choice when you die. It's God's will when you die. Only God can choose when a life should end.

I do not belong to a Culture of Death. I am not hateful. Yet, that is what so many people believe. I've read a slew of articles and blog posts about how the Schiavo story is causing a great divide, not only between the left and the right, but between moderate Republicans and more right leaning Republicans, between Democrats and religious Democrats. Maybe, just maybe, there isn't so much a divide but a misunderstanding. Maybe, just maybe, blanketing everyone with the phrase Culture of Death has done more to create the appearance of a great divide than anything else. The world is not ending. The end is not nigh, just because we disagree on the manner in which people should or could die. Civilization is not coming to a halt because some lady in Alabama may or may not have her living will ignored.

No one - outside of a person committing suicide - can choose how or when they will die. I could be hit by a bus or die of cancer. It could be today, it could be 40 years from now. But if I can choose, if the circumstances allow, to make my death less lingering and less painful, why not?

That's all I believe in. Not aborting Down's Syndrome fetuses. Not pulling the plug on someone who has a cold. Not locking retarded children in a closet until they starve to death just so we can be rid of them. Not filling a grandmother with morphine just because she's old. There is no Culture of Death. It's a dark, ugly name given to people who disagree with those who think they form some kind of Culture of Life.

The Culture of Dying with Dignity. That's me.

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» Final option from dustbury.com
Michele caught a lot of flak, generally undeserved, during l'affaire Schiavo, and she's issued a statement that isn't a manifesto, but could be: I would like to see laws enacted... [Read More]

» Required Reading from Right In Texas
I love this post: The "Culture of Death" Does Not Exist from A Small Victory My views on that whole issue in a nutshell. [Read More]

» Hitlery slopes from Least-Loved Bedtime Stories
That's what popped into my head after reading this heartfelt scolding from Michele; the phrase "slippery slope" and "Hitler" just ran together in my head. And now this nonsense rhyme is romping around in my skull: here we go down... [Read More]

» The 10 Spot - BlogHer Edition from Wizbang
Ten stories from female bloggers you may have missed, in honor of July's BlogHer conference.Kate McMillan wonders if Canada's Adscam scandal runs all the way to the top. The current PM is parsing speech like Bill Clinton in front of... [Read More]

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Comments

Just for the record. This senior, handicapped man agrees with you.

Simply awesome. I have been largely silent on this question, but your post broke the dam. I linked with honor and joy (couldn't ping the trackback for some reason -- I'll try again later).

I don't think someone should be able to say "I lost my job, my wife left me, let me check myself into a hospital and have them kill me legally."

Why not? Is that not death with dignity?

A man feels his dignity is diminished by the way his life has turned out and wants to go out before he loses any more dignity. What's your problem with that?

He is psychologically suffering and it's a private matter, who are you to judge?

If it's legal, what's wrong with doing it?

Do these questions sound familiar?

A man feels his dignity is diminished by the way his life has turned out and wants to go out before he loses any more dignity. What's your problem with that?

He needs to cowboy it the fuck up.

He is psychologically suffering and it's a private matter, who are you to judge?

He's been nursemaided by a nanny society for far too long, and the resultant lack of character is why his life has gone to hell.

If he doesn't take the easy way out, he'll have to face a hard crawl out of the abyss, but he'll be a better man for having done it. He'll appreciate life one helluva lot more, too.

But, then again, I'm a sociopath. What the fuck do I care. He can set himself on fire if it floats his boat.

This is why some of us absolutely love you...you write what's in my head.

The guy who wants to check himself into the hospital and pull the plug on his miserable life is just an ass who can't deal with reality...that is plain old suicide. This is not what the whole dying with dignity is about and those who agree with one's right to die with dignity have never lumped "oh my miserable life" suicide into it.

Serious question:

If a Culture of Lifer sees a spider crawling across his or her kitchen floor, how many seconds does it take for that person to smash it dead with a shoe?

Meanwhile, people are executed by the State with nary a peep from the "Culture of Life" mob. If nothing else, that puts the lie to most of their rhetoric right there.

I don't know but this "life at all costs" mindset has the aura of despair about it, and I was taught that despair is a sin, because we're an Easter people; we have the life everlasting and that this life is merely a prologue to the next.

Actively trying to kill people is wrong, but actively trying to keep them alive for the mere sake of sustaining digestive processes looks wrong to me as well. If you really respect the intrinsic dignity of a human being, then allowing them to live as an animal for the pure sake of maintaining life at all costs is beyond cruel. You have to ask yourself if what you are doing is actually out of a selfish desire to keep them alive for your own emotional benefit or is it really selfless motivation borne out of respect for their desires.

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

John 12:25

"The Culture of Dying with Dignity. That's me."

me, too.

"The Culture of Dying with Dignity."

Can we get member's jackets?

I do not support using all available technology to prolong the function of every human body as long as possible. I support the right for people to determine the care they are to be given in extreme situations.

BUT

I am concerned that compassion could lead us down the path of killing people who we shouldn't. I know that the "right to die" crowd are not trying to figure out how to kill all the crips and gimps. I know that they are concerned with futile measures to prolong dying. But there is no bright line between dying and really, really sick. We are all dying. I am concerned with any effort to lower the threshold of when we "let someone die." I am not automatically opposed to any such move, just concerned and cautious.

The Terri Schiavo case bothers me because the medical evidence seemed controversial (there was some indication that she might not have been PVS and further tests that would have been conclusive weren't done) and she was not "dying". She couldn't feed herself, but that is not something we want to use as a criteria for ending life. There are plenty of people who can't feed themselves or who can't swallow who are very much alive. The inability to eat should not be seen as an indication of being ready to die.

I'm also not real crazy about starving anyone to death. But on the other hand, I'm not real excited about putting anyone in the position of actively killing anyone, even a vegetable. Killing can be traumatic and no one should have to get used to killing people, even if it's the right thing to do.

One thing that is a bit ironic... the religious folks who believe in life after death should not have been so worried about her living or dying. Dying would have clearly been a blessing for her either way. A devout Christian would not be so determined to keep her alive. On the other hand, an atheistic humanist who believes that death is the end of us might consider that even as a vegetable, she had some life and that pulling the plug ended totally and irrevocably any possible life she may or may not have had. Given that Terri wasn't suffering, allowing her to live as long as there was any possibility that she was still there should have been preferable to oblivion.

"This is about allowing people their personal choice, and within limits. I would like to see laws enacted that would allow, with specifications and limits, a person to choose death over instances where they may be dying, in pain and agony, for a long time."

I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. It's the individual's choice, not that of squabbling family members, nor mass-media inspired hysterical mobs, nor the courts.

You're right, "it's not the end of the world." The Republic still endures (and it wants your money by midnight tonight, or else!)

In an alternate universe, the composite Terry Schaivo was healed with a cure yielded from fetal stem cell research.

One of the worst aspects of the Schiavo mess was people like Taranto suggesting that anyone who disagree with him or humbly acceded to 19 judges was slavering for Schiavo's death. "What can explain the passion of those who want to see Terri die?" he wrote.

What can explain a WSJ columnist who couldn't even pass a freshman rhetoric class?

"What can explain the passion of those who want to see Terri die?"

Which is exactly where the post at Wizbang was headed (in the comments) when I last checked yesterday.

Dying with dignity is fine; in a certain light, Dr. Kervokian provided a fine service (when he started to appear in court dressed in a colonial wig and garb, he started to loose all support from me).

Being starved to death, as was Schiavo, isn't dignified in any light.

Capital punnishment is for people who have been found guilty; we can debate the system that finds their guilt, but that is the underlying difference.

Of course, who cares what I say?

The "South Park" version of the Schivo case was much better. Moral: everyone on both sides is lame and the PSP is sweet.

Anna wrote:
The guy who wants to check himself into the hospital and pull the plug on his miserable life is just an ass who can't deal with reality...that is plain old suicide.

What's the difference between killing yourself because of psychological suffering and killing yourself because of physical suffering (or in some cases inconvenience)?

This is not what the whole dying with dignity is about and those who agree with one's right to die with dignity have never lumped "oh my miserable life" suicide into it.

I don't know about "those who agree with such and such," so I'm not addressing them. Sounds a lot like the "We all know this..." argument.

What is dignity? Google definitions:

* the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect; "it was beneath his dignity to cheat"; "showed his true dignity when under pressure"
* formality in bearing and appearance; "he behaved with great dignity"
* high office or rank or station; "he respected the dignity of the emissaries"

Which one of these definitions apply in the accepted definition of "death with dignity?" Why wouldn't the same thing apply for the hypothetical man who has lost all of his material reasons to live?

Paul wrote:
Meanwhile, people are executed by the State with nary a peep from the "Culture of Life" mob. If nothing else, that puts the lie to most of their rhetoric right there.

What about the ones, like devout Catholics, who are against the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia? Does their consistency mean that you think of them differently? Or were you using a demonizing generalization simply to justify your position?

Monstrum wrote:
He needs to cowboy it the fuck up.

I don't know exactly what you mean by this flippant statement. I take it to mean he should get over it and live his life.

Would you say this same thing to someone facing years of caring for a brain-damaged relative?

He's been nursemaided by a nanny society for far too long, and the resultant lack of character is why his life has gone to hell.

One could say the same for our elderly people. Why should we pay any more taxes to the nanny state for their prescription drugs and other medical care, when probably their lifestyles (smoking, drinking, etc.) made their lives hell? Why not just help them go to be with Jesus where everything is happiness and light and there's no more suffering?

If he doesn't take the easy way out, he'll have to face a hard crawl out of the abyss, but he'll be a better man for having done it. He'll appreciate life one helluva lot more, too.

Again, would you say this to someone who has a child or parent in need of extraordinary care?
Wouldn't caring for a loved one make one a better person and help them appreciate life more?

But, then again, I'm a sociopath.

Oh. Sorry. Never mind.

Sue, not for nothing, but you're taking one small sample of everything I wrote and running with it. I think I made it clear I'm talking about a person facing a linger, physically painful death.

Forget the suicidal guy. What about the rest of it?

Sue, I have heard similar (rather uncannily similar I might add) rhetoric from individuals looking to justify their own suicide and it should be noted that there is an enormous difference between just being dissatisfied with your life's lot and being critically ill, incapacited and incurable.

A person who is just depressed and fundamentally unhappy has alternatives for their pain (and I am not mitigating the pain, 'cuz hey, we all have tough times) but a person who is suffering from a permanently crippling or terminal disease with no cure in sight, they should at least have the right to die in a way that is the most comforting to them.

In some ways, they have been given the gift of choice - just like the suffering suicidal man who just wants to give up, because life's too hard.

As a society, we cannot advocate (by making it legal) for people who are just unhappy to go around killing themselves. The costs are too high.

Just ask the parent of the child who at 17 decided life sucked and hanged himself because his girlfriend dumped him.

Forget the suicidal guy. What about the rest of it?

michele, I can't forget the suicidal guy because you used it as an illustration of where your moral line is.

I saw an inconsistency in your stated position versus the justifications you and others used in wanting to allow euthanasia. I wanted you to clarify your position. Why don't you want to do that?

I think I made it clear I'm talking about a person facing a linger, physically painful death.

I understand this position and I agree with it somewhat. However, that doesn't accurately describe either of the two cases that has gotten everyone all hot and bothered. Why did you use this unrelated statement to summarize your position?

Dawn wrote:

Sue, I have heard similar (rather uncannily similar I might add) rhetoric from individuals looking to justify their own suicide and it should be noted that there is an enormous difference between just being dissatisfied with your life's lot and being critically ill, incapacited and incurable.

If you're worried about me, don't be. I'm merely trying to exchange some education.

As a society, we cannot advocate (by making it legal) for people who are just unhappy to go around killing themselves. The costs are too high.

What costs? If we want to go into the utilitarian side of things, wouldn't it be better for society if these chronically depressed people had themselves killed? If they're not allowed to do so, they usually take up resources later on in life by becoming drug addicts, sex addicts, alchoholics, etc., which ruins their bodies and necessitates extensive health care.

All of that would be eliminated if they were allowed to peacefully go to Jesus where they would be eternally happy.

What I think is interesting about the Jesus crowd is how passionately they believe that God wants what THEY want, and that God works in THEIR ways. It is completely beyond their ken to consider that courts ruling against them and people choosing to die with dignity and people who want to check out early because they can't "cowbody the fuck up" ... that all these things could ALSO be God working.

But no, in their tiny one-dimensional worldview God only does flash-bang crowd pleasing miracles and only works in ways that support their own version of "God's Will," their own beloved God-sanctioned hatred of people who are different from them.

Hypocrites. All of them.

Sue asks:

    What costs?

Well, let's just forget the emotional burdens placed on those loved ones who survive the suicidee's intended target: themselves. We wouldn't want to muddy the waters with the feelings and loss of those who cared for said dead person.

But what about lost wages? Parents commit suicide all the time, leaving the burden of child rearing and the expenses of such to the other spouse, who is now without means and/or support for those children.

What about just plain old spouses who are now left with looming bills and financial ruin for the sudden loss of income, not to mention the emotional strain on the survivor continuing on with his or her own career constantly wrangling with the devastation that they just weren't enough for that person to live for?

What about the parents of a child who commits suicide? The counseling and grief related costs, not to mention burial fees alone could be huge.

Please don't tell me that suicide doesn't have consequences or costs - I just listed a number of them for you.

The cost/benefit ration for what a person could earn compared to what they would cost in treatment for their "sadness" can be argued until we are blue in the face. There is no good reason a healthy person who has just decided that life's too much for them should be allowed without intervention to be able to legally kill themselves.

It's fundamentally and morally wrong.

Of course there's no Culture of Death. Nor, strictly speaking, should you have to explain that, or justify your comments.

Paul, and those of his ilk, are classic demagogues. They take a position focused on some symbol, be it saving hospitalized old ladies or helpless animals, then engage in extremist rhetoric or actions to further their agenda.

Any disagreement with them or their tactics is met with the demagogue's double-barrelled salvo: 1) Why are you against saving old ladies/animals? 2) Why are you persecuting ME for trying to do so?

And they are best at this when they have a gang of sycophant followers cheering them on.

Chuck wrote:

But no, in their tiny one-dimensional worldview God only does flash-bang crowd pleasing miracles and only works in ways that support their own version of "God's Will," their own beloved God-sanctioned hatred of people who are different from them.

I can't speak for the Jesus crowd, but what kinds of things does this "hatred of people who are different from them" force these God-people to do?

Does this hatred make them want to kill people who, in their eyes, don't have a good quality of life?

Does this hatred make them want to send others to Jesus before the others die of their own accord?

Just how does this hatred manifest itself? In telling other people that they're going to some imaginary bad place when they happen to die?

There is no good reason a healthy person who has just decided that life's too much for them should be allowed without intervention to be able to legally kill themselves.

It's fundamentally and morally wrong.

Is someone with a psychological problem healthy?

How is something fundamentally and morally wrong? If a person is smart enough to create their own morality, without any silly ancient prohibitive garbage in the way, and the person decides it is morally okay to commit suicide, who are you to decide for them whether its right or wrong?

Once it becomes legal, it's fine to do it. And if you can get enough judges to say it's legal, then it's legal and it's fine to do it.

Besides, you sound like one of the pro-lifers now, trying to shove your morality down everyone else's throat. Shame on you.

Shame on me?

Oh, I think shame on you for not even addressing the costs that are associated with suicide.

You asked me a question and I answered it. What is your response to the costs and consequences?

And while I am no pro-lifer by any means, I think most actively conscious people would agree that suicide in an otherwise physically healthy person is wrong - morally or otherwise.

I can't speak for the Jesus crowd, but what kinds of things does this "hatred of people who are different from them" force these God-people to do?

I have to assume that you're not familiar with Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist Church. If that's the case, just put Westboro Baptist Church into Google and hit the I'm Feeling Lucky button.

I'd link to it myself, but the URL makes my skin crawl.

Dawn wrote:
You asked me a question and I answered it. What is your response to the costs and consequences?

Most of the costs you describe are inevitable anyway, because people die even without suicide, so there is realy no extra cost involved. The only extra cost is emotional, which is not rational and shouldn't come up in discussions of life and death.

And while I am no pro-lifer by any means, I think most actively conscious people would agree that suicide in an otherwise physically healthy person is wrong - morally or otherwise.

What is actively conscious? If someone is emotionally impaired, are they truly conscious?

And what is this "most people agree it's wrong" argument? Is this authority by consensus? If so, would it be still be wrong once we reach a state or national consensus that it's fine and legal to do? How can something be wrong if it's legal?

Shawn wrote:
I have to assume that you're not familiar with Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist Church. If that's the case, just put Westboro Baptist Church into Google and hit the I'm Feeling Lucky button.

I'm familiar with Phelps, and he hates gays and all and preaches to people that God hates gays too.

That doesn't really answer my question though. What does the hatred force him to do? Tell gays that they're going to an imaginary bad place when they die? Or something more substantial?

Sue writes:

And what is this "most people agree it's wrong" argument? Is this authority by consensus? If so, would it be still be wrong once we reach a state or national consensus that it's fine and legal to do? How can something be wrong if it's legal?

There is no way I can see how a country driven by religious morality is going to approve of the legality of suicide. So as it stands now, it's illegal, and in my opinion wrong.

If you are looking for a national consensus on legalizing suicide for physically healthy people, you are in the wrong country. Palestinian refugee camps might be more open to your philosophy, but not most Western societies.

"Meanwhile, people are executed by the State with nary a peep from the "Culture of Life" mob. If nothing else, that puts the lie to most of their rhetoric right there."

Gee, the "Culture of Life mob" disliking murderers. Wow. Who could have predicted it? It's almost like they see a difference between Terry Schaivo and a serial killer. Let us all ponder what that difference might be.

(...Okay, snark being turned off now.)

The nasty things that the people in the "Culture of Death" are accused of - wanting to kill helpless victims, etc., all the things that Michele disavows - are actually believed by murderers, and translated into actions. Michele persuasively says that there's a difference between being like Michael Schaivo and being like Ted Bundy; that may mean I should not hate Michael, but it doesn't mean I shouldn't want Teddy dead.

Something more substantial. For instance, indoctrinating his flock and his children with this same sort of hate. Picketing the funerals of gay people. Picketing college campuses. Using the Good Book to defend his campaign of hate. Celebrating the death of Pope John Paul II.

The thing I find interesting about all these big moral debates is the net result. I mean, whatever we, as individuals, may think about Terri Schiavo, it's obvious on the face of it that there are many much less-hotly contested examples of how America as a culture doesn't place a very high value on human life. These distinctions about due process don't impress me; the fact is that every American is complicit in tens of thousands of perfectly preventable deaths resulting from legal or industrial standards that balance large-scale expediency against the cost of human lives on a fairly massive scale. Whatever logic we use to get there, most Americans sell human life at the rate of another dollar a year in taxes, or a .01% hike in the cost of some widget. That little change would save a couple of lives. And a bigger change would save a few hundred lives. And a really big change would save thousands. But Liberals and Conservatives alike say there has to be a limit— so seatbelts fail, innocent people are occasionally executed, bombs land on schools instead of hideouts and soldiers go to war with inadequate armor.

And that's the cost of a human life in America. In a certain light, we should be proud; they go a lot cheaper in most other places. But at the end of the day, rhetoric aside, the going rate of death isn't all that high. We kill and maim people every day and the heavens don't split open. God himself doesn't reach down and bitch-slap us for our temerity. Just every once in a while someone finds out the hard way that the gas tank is too close to the muffler.

People who take discussions of life and death— particularly the life or death of a single person— to these ridiculous extremes ("The Culture of DEATH") often strike me either as depressingly ignorant, or as individuals attempting to establish consensus around a series of fairly arbitrary standards for when it is (and, implicitly, is not) necessary to get wound up about death; a kind of absolution by omission, as it were.

None of which is to say that legal standards aren't worth getting worked up about. I just find it annoying when they're framed in terms of the "sanctity" of life. We all know better. Or we should.

michele,
This is why I like you so much. We disagreed about Shaivo, yet I nodded my head in agreement while reading this. One small comment: AS long as people like Peter Singer are around, it hurts the "die with dignity" side. Many Christians who haven't mastered the art of discrenment can read Singer, read you saying "I wouldn't want to live like that", read the proposed law in England allowing abortions specifically because of a handicap, and think they are the same argument. You have pointed out very well here why they are not.

Others,
There sure is a lot of generalizing in a thread started by michele complaining about unfair generlizations. Jesus crowd?

How can something be wrong if it's legal?

Sue, I'm not following your assumptions. Do you posit that legal = moral ? really ? Do I even have to mention slavery, or that country we fought in WW II ?

Dawn wrote:
There is no way I can see how a country driven by religious morality is going to approve of the legality of suicide. So as it stands now, it's illegal, and in my opinion wrong.

But religion is being discredited more and more in this country. On this thread alone you can see evidence of religion rapidly going the way of the dodo bird, as the young people are taught that it no longer matters.

Once religion becomes mere ceremony, like in Western Europe, do you think suicide would be okay then? Or will it still be wrong? If it would still be wrong, why?

If you are looking for a national consensus on legalizing suicide for physically healthy people, you are in the wrong country. Palestinian refugee camps might be more open to your philosophy, but not most Western societies.

It's not my philosophy. I'm just showing you where moral relativism leads.

You make a good point here. Why do you think Western societies are traditionally against suicide, but other more primitive cultures are not?

Shawn wrote:
For instance, indoctrinating his flock and his children with this same sort of hate.

Teaching hate, check. As disgusting as Howard Dean, but no murder yet.

Picketing the funerals of gay people. Picketing college campuses.

Picketing, check. As disgusting as college moonbats, but no murder yet.

Using the Good Book to defend his campaign of hate.

Denigrating other people's religion, check. As disgusting as rabid theophobes, but no murder yet.

Celebrating the death of Pope John Paul II.

Dissing the pope, check. As disgusting as some extremist moonbats, but no murder yet.

So far the body count is Phelps = 0, reasonable non-culture-of-life-people = 1.

Sue, never mind. My sarcasm detector is busted. Sorry ;)

Slartibartfast wrote:
There sure is a lot of generalizing in a thread started by michele complaining about unfair generlizations. Jesus crowd?

Not mine, I only used the same terminology that Chuck did when I responded to him.

Sue, I'm not following your assumptions. Do you posit that legal = moral ? really ? Do I even have to mention slavery, or that country we fought in WW II ?

I'm using the same arguments posited by those who argued vehemently that Terri had to die. Are you saying that you now disagree with those arguments?

Ah, but you asked for something substantial. I'd classify hate as pretty substantial.

Sue, No - like I said - I misunderstood you and thought you were literlly arguing for moral relativism, probably the easiest philosophy to refute because even the people that argue for it don't really believe it when it comes down to it. I now see you were doing the same thing.

And my complaint about generalizing wasn't aimed at you, I knew yours was a reply. The anti-religionists here are pretty easy to spot. They'll throw in religious barbs in a thread about 80's , or McDonalds. My guess is they have seriuous daddy issues.

Sorry about the red-on-red, Slart. I mistook you for another Slartibartfast I encountered elsewhere. That Douglas Adams and his catchy character names have made my life difficult. :)

"'Meanwhile, people are executed by the State with nary a peep from the 'Culture of Life' mob. If nothing else, that puts the lie to most of their rhetoric right there."

Gee, the 'Culture of Life mob' disliking murderers. Wow. Who could have predicted it? It's almost like they see a difference between Terry Schaivo and a serial killer. Let us all ponder what that difference might be."

If you can apply conditions by which murder is acceptable, then your claim of being on the side of Life is false. There's also a strong chance that any supposed "moral" positions you may take are purely political in nature, rather than any moral facade that you may apply to them.

You say it's okay for the State to kill people for reasons you agree with. Others say it was okay for Schiavo to die for reasons they agreed with. The two sides are no different from each other, except that they apply different conditions for life and death, although one side tries to present itself as being on the side of Life when that's obviously not the case.

Sue wrote:
What about the ones, like devout Catholics, who are against the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia? Does their consistency mean that you think of them differently?

Of course, because they're actually approaching it from an angle that's honest and consistent with their core beliefs. I may not philosophically agree with them in all things, but at least they're the genuine article instead of hypocrites.

Sue. You can't be debated with because you can't be reasoned with. You slip what is being said and feign ignorance about my/our meaning. When you won't give fair thought to your opponents' arguments, that makes your own moot by default.

To put it simply for you, just because I feel like wasting my time, the Jesus crowd (as I call them) ignore His teachings. Jesus was about love and tolerance and forgiveness. His "followers" today (folks like hate-mongers like Phelps) ignore Christ's teachings of love and tolerance and acceptance and instead cherry-pick Bible verses to justify and feed their own hatred.

And now: buh-bye to you.

Buh-bye Chuck. I don't think you really liked Jesus.

I don't think you really liked Jesus.

He's probably just never tried it with barbecue sauce.

Barbecue sauce isn't kosher. Besides, rabbis need lots of tenderizing.

Fred Phelps is so out there that he's barred from campus at Bob Jones University (where he went to college) and pickets them regularly when he's in the area.

The Culture of Dying with Dignity

You know, it sounds a lot more attractive if you just shorten it to "The Culture of Dignity."

When you consider that the numerous bone fractures that some falsely attributed to Michael Schiavo were caused by osteoporosis from her medications and prolonged bedridden existence, it's clear keeping her empty vessel alive had all the potential for pain and distress were she capable of sensing it.

That's not merciful, kind or dignified. I had no passion to see Terri die. I simply felt she was already dead like an empty house with all the occupants gone to new homes. And taking down the structure permitted many others to have their lives back.

Kevin Hayden wrote:

I simply felt she was already dead like an empty house with all the occupants gone to new homes. And taking down the structure permitted many others to have their lives back.

Life unworthy of life. Lebensunwerten Lebens. Freeing up resources and space for the living and the strong. Lebensraum.

Just think of how wonderful the world could be if we helped more of these poor souls to go be with Jesus, where they would be eternally happy and we could have all of our untroubled lives back.

Sue--

Not that I didn't find your rabbi comment funny, but not everything the Nazis did is automatically bad just because Nazis did it. I mean, Nazis wore hats. And boots.

Also, if Lebensraum is offensive on principle there are plenty of much more relevant examples than the Schiavo thing. Manifest Destiny, anyone? Occupied Territories? If you live in the US, you live in a country mostly founded on Lebenstraum that gives military aid to another country that's engaged in it as we speak. So, you know, cast not and all that.

And as far as Lebensunwerten Lebens-- could we agree, do you suppose, that there's a difference between actually killing someone and allowing someone to die? And here again, to the extent that Hitler's program was a eugenics policy (which the Schiavo thing obviously wasn't) guess what? The US forcibly sterilized over 64,000 people between 1907 and 1963. We maintained the second largest eugenics program in history, after Nazi Germany. Is the US an evil country, or was the policy misguided? If the policy is misguided, there are arguments for and against it. Guilt by association does a poor job of propping up the point.

Joshua wrote:
Occupied Territories? If you live in the US, you live in a country mostly founded on Lebenstraum that gives military aid to another country that's engaged in it as we speak. So, you know, cast not and all that.

An anti-Semite. I should have known. No wonder you won't acknowledge the slippery slope. You're trying to get us all to look the other way so you can have some fun once we get down to the bottom.

An anti-Semite. I should have known.

You know, Sue, there are plenty of Jews in Israel who disagree with the official policies on the Occupied Territories. Are they all anti-Semites too? Or maybe they're just people who can disagree with part of a thing while still supporting it as a whole? No? Hmm.

You seem to be substituting prejudice for actual thinking. If someone believes X, they're a Nazi, and Nazis are evil therefore you can write them off. If they believe (or even just say) Y, they're an anti-Semite-- see above re:Nazis.

It's cute in a Red-baiting kind of way, but I can't really be bothered.

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