Religion and assisted suicide

Hey Uccisore!

Here is one of those sticky social issues for you. At this point, no consensus, but as the population continues to age… Notice where the predominant negative responses come from.

Yes, non-religious people tend to be unethical, this is nothing new to me. But as long as the religious are allowed to vote, the minority with no compass will just have to deal with it.

LOL. And the religious tend to be judgemental. Nothing new to me!

I don’t think it’s a matter of ethical behaviour. Simply a parrotting of the prescription of dogma against suicide.

Which again was always going to be a part of a successful religion. Imagine a religion which speaks of earthly existance as a ‘test’ a ‘purging’ as something simply to be ‘put up with’, and speaks of an afterlife of unimaginable peace; Or re-incarnation or whatever - which it must, because a ‘survival’ of death is the keystone of religion.

But a faith that has no policy against the practice of suicide…

Poor…? Fuck it, kill yourself - maybe you’ll be reborn as a rich guy.
Ugly…? Screw it, everybody’s pretty and thin in heaven.
Keep gettin’ the shit kicked outta you…? Hey, betcha God knows a few moves.
Can’t be bothered to plow the field…? Oh bollocks, ambrosia and nectar in paradise.
Toothache…? Pass the shotgun Barry, I’m in need of permanant pain-refief.

The temples would be empty within a couple of generations. And why not…? Suicide would be the ultimate demonstration of faith, and a logical act when met in life by the least of hardships.

I find it amusing that in this case we see a reversal of the usual way of things - in that technology, most commonly our saviour in ethical matters by releasing us from having to face tough ethical choices, has now created an ethical dilema for us.

Usually time, disease, and cold winters have taken care of our relatives who have outstayed their welcome on the earth for us…

But now the present generation can save the past generation by sacrificing the wealth that would otherwise go toward the next generation. And are finding themselves… Uncomfortable. :laughing:

Save the aged, or tip your money down a hole. Your choice, same choice…?

I have a feeling that the contract of respect we have with our elders hung upon the unwritten proviso that they would pop their clogs with reasonable alacrity.

See Hall of Shame I doubt it. Look at the world around you - See Hall of Shame running around shooting and blowing up one another tend to do so in the name of God. That’s unethical.

Right, hail the tyrannies of democracy when they happen to favour your particular beliefs or demographic! How honourable. But I suppose you have God on your side, so you of course deserve the positive freedom to destroy all my negative freedom.

This post has been edited by the Religion Mod

And in the name of ‘democracy’, and in the name of “we need your space”, and in the name “we don’t like your face”, and in the name of “awful nice oil reserves you got there” even in the name of ‘peace’. Reliigion has yet to corner the market in aggression or nutters

On topic plz Mr. Standard. Religion has made some really nice buildings and helped some hungry kids in Africa - what have you done…?

You might think so. But I think strongly that it’s the religious who are in far greater need of having their moral compasses tuning.

You’re trying to compare me with religion? lol. If you must, I have given some of what I could to charity (with of course no need for religious instruction or reward!). Further, with no religious base to defend at all costs, I can gladly say I have not shot, blown up, or even stigmatized someone for not believing in my God.

The main conflict is that the focus is on religion, and solely religion, when religion itself is not the problem.

Faith based, dogmatic beliefs are the problem. Faith based beliefs can be in the form of politics, nationalism, racism, and of course it’s often found in religion.

It’s too broad to suggest that religion is the problem, but faith based beliefs is a little bit easier to analyze.

I think your comment could serve to push this thread in a more fruitful direction.

Whatever one bases their ideas on, I agree that it’s faith-based beliefs which can lead people to do wild things, such as treating people a means to some higher end.

The problem is that sometimes dogma can be a good thing, so people have to find a way of separating the good dogma from the bad dogma.

After all, we all agree that paedophilia and incest are bad, largely due to dogma since both have been practiced historically.

So, when is dogma an asset and when does it become a chain that restrains us and how do we know which is which?

I think it’s when acts suggested/caused by such dogma seem to go against what you intuit as acting kindly to oneself and/or fellow people.
My dogmatic assumption in the existence of the world is a good thing because without it my life would probably be very weird and very short.
I avoid accepting dogmatically beliefs which could significantly affect lots of people. I may believe in God, but if he told me to blow up a country I would have to prioritise definite human suffering over an anything-but-definite belief.
Hold whatever dogma you wish. But when those assumptions significantly affect the way you treat others, they shouldn’t be immune to revision in light of obvious suffering.

I agree completely.

But how do we intuit what is right? While Christians have a well-known Problem of Evil, I think that people who suggest that our innate moral grammar is a sufficient metric for correct action have a different, but no less troublesome Problem of Evil.

Why do good people do bad things? Clearly saying that the dogma and institutions obscures out inner goodness is insufficient, because why else would those institutions have arisen unless they were useful?

They may indeed originally have arisen because they were useful, but perhaps the perpetuation of such dogma and institutions is increasingly conflicting with other ‘new’ aspects within society (e.g. globalisation), now bringing irreconciable tensions to the fore (which did not previously arise only because different ideologies were not ever encountered on the scale we see today)? Therefore, harmonizing such dogmas necessarily requires some to be put aside. Otherwise, the ideological clashes obliterating the world today can only get worse (unless perhaps some sort of pluralism is established).

As for ‘why do good people do bad things?’, for me it’s not really a case of people being either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ or whatever, but simply a case of a variety of beliefs which affect how one deals with a particular moral dilemma. Whether one is then seen as good or bad will be relative to the sentiments of others. And for me, the many religious dogmas thrown into this mix enhance the prevalence of moral divergence, recognising people as fundamentally evil or opposed, rather than simply other people following their own moral compasses. As for the rapists and serial killers, although their moral compasses seem abhorrent to me, I understand that their interpretation of morals (if any) is simply vastly different to my own.

It seems to me like your relativism is leading towards absolutism.

After all, if everyone has their own internal standard and these internal standards have not been calibrated similarly at all (at least to start) it becomes important to calibrate them, correct?

So then Dogma becomes incredibly important to morality, at least on a societal level, and the ability of the individual to change or question it should be suppressed – after all, if a serial killer’s innate morality is no better or worse, merely different from my own, it becomes important to squash his innate morality and replace it with some external structure. Even if he isn’t being ‘genuine’, he is at least functional. And the world is made safer by it.

And if Dogma is what is keeping people like that in line, doesn’t it make more sense not to question it?

Well, the problem with ethics is that they don’t have to be right. Let me expand my point a little bit.

  If we're comparing apples and apples, the average non-religious person has the angle "I don't give a crap if that person dies or not, so yeah, why not?" which is not an ethical stance.  The average religious person has the angle "My priest says X,Y,Z about God, human life, and morals, so it's wrong," which IS an ethical stance.  What I'm saying is, a religious perspective is a principled one by definition (though not all religious people live principles lives, don't get me wrong), and any principle is going to have applications where it keeps people from doing what they want to do.  Beliefs about the sanctity of human life will cause issues like this.  On the other hand, someone who doesn't give a crap about anything but himself, and so doesn't care what other people do so long as it doesn't harm him in the short term, will have a more permissive stance about many things.  But it's not a question of ethical systems clashing, it's a question of AN ethical system vs. a lack of one. 
   That's why I say that the non-ethical will have to take a back seat to the religious, and put up with their influence on the country. If your moral view is that there's no need for moral views, then inevitably you're going to be pushed aside by people who actually think these things through and want to shape the community, country, world, according to what they think is right. On the other hand, if you actually have some Grand Moral Position that says that people ought to be allowed to die, that's a debate that can actually occur on equal footing.  But in this case, it wasn't presented that way. It was presented as Religious people vs. Everybody Else, which amounts to Principled People vs. Who Knows?  It's no big suprise that "Miscellaneous" would take a "Meh, who cares what they do?" stance on an important issue. 
Now, if we were comparing Christians to Secular Humanists, or Capitalists to Communists, or something, [i]that [/i]would be interesting.

Poor Uccisore, Whatever did religion do to us that we treat it so badly…? Did I tell you someone exploded a bomb not two weeks ago in Bornova street market, about a half-hour from where I live…?

Anyway - Sancity of human life. A useful belief, tenent, at least back in the day. But now…? What is the ethical standpoint of child vs. parent…? Or old vs. young…? It will get worse -

before it gets catastrophic. :laughing:

Tabula Rasa

Blaming ‘the religious’ as opposed to ‘Muslims*’ or ‘men’ or ‘that ethnic group’ is a choice that you make. And I don’t make claims about the sanctity of human life because I find it useful to do so in some sociological game I’m playing. If I make a claim about the sanctity of human life, it’s because I’m claiming human life is actually sacred.

  • Or whomever it was.

:smiley: Yeah, my choice. I suppose, for equality’s sake, I should also not blame those damn secularists for all the bombs they didn’t set off. No sense of drama.

Anyway, we’ve done the ‘life is sacred’ bit before about abortion. We got down to ‘God says so’ which was good enough for you, and not good enough for me.

I dunno - Is that arrogant…? :laughing:

“Life is Sacred” - You know me, I’m always going to ask “How sacred…?”.

I’m glad I posted this thread just as I was leaving for a day off. :laughing:


I aimed this at you because it IS about an ethical issue. In some ethical systems, it is perfectly permissable to say that as long as my actions affect only me, then there should be no social prohibitions based on any particular belief system. For you to suggest that something that affects only me is unethical, says everything about you and nothing about me.

In some cultures, suicide is considered highly ethical. That you believe in the “sanctity of life” is understood and accepted - as a decision you make for yourself. But by what right, other than your religious convictions, do you make that decision for me?

That this becomes a “social” issue is ludicrous, and that is my point. I know that I’m “picking on” religion, and I am aware that it could just as easily come from belief systems not religious, but, at the present time almost all of the so-called social issues of prohibiting this act or that aren’t social issues at all. They are “issues” of the religious right attempting to control personal behaviors that affect no one but the individual. Seems rather unethical to me…

“No man is an island.”

So how can these things only affect one person? Especially with respect to things like ESC culture and gay marriage which, by definition, include more than one person (since the embryo is considered a person by one side of the debate).