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When The Time Comes

Debate Information

This has always been an emotional topic and there really is not an answer that is right nor wrong, it is a matter of conscience.

There can be arguments coming from people who have had personal experiences of loved ones going through the agony of dying supporting voluntary euthanasia. Similarly, there can be arguments from those who are concerned with undue pressure from relatives influencing a patient to make a decision.

Yet, why is it that theists seem to have only one answer, being against voluntary euthanasia and for no other reason than they perceive it to be against God's will?

Does this show a cold-blooded lack of any compassion on the part of theists?

Are they washing their hands to the whole matter by leaning on the old excuses of "we believe" and "it is written"?



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    Arguments


  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  
    There is a substantive difference between compassion and paternalism; the former recognizes the agency of another whereas the latter opposes that agency on the grounds that it is misguided. Acting to prevent another being from behaving in accordance with their will because you believe their actions are harmful to them presupposes that your understanding of their condition is more authoritative than their own. This behavior is fundamentally borne out of an arrogant and egotistical belief that one's conception of existence is so superior to that of every other person that one's will is and should be authoritative against all others.

    This attitude and behavior are by no means restricted to theists. Most non-theistic worldviews are also compatible with paternalism, particularly when they are accompanied by mentalist prejudices against neurological diversity. Take secular humanism, for instance; because this position advances from a belief in the universal and positive value of human life, it is coherent to value the existence of a life over and against the quality of that life. When someone is also in denial about their impending loss of someone they care about, is disposed to believe that suicide is "a permanent solution to a temporary problem", or otherwise has some selfish reason to oppose the autonomy of others in their end of life decisions... secular humanism is perfectly accommodating. Alternatively, consider utilitarianism; the suffering of those who 'lose' the person electing voluntary euthanasia is regularly invoked against the suffering of the person attempting to end their life. And so on and so forth.

    So, are theists who oppose voluntary euthanasia lacking in compassion (on this particular issue)? Yes, but not uniquely so.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1130 Pts   -  
    @Jace
    So, are theists who oppose voluntary euthanasia lacking in compassion (on this particular issue)? Yes, but not uniquely so.

    I agree, however, I think theists still have a "unique reason" to bolster their stand and let's face it.....for the most part, religion is utilised as a tool to justify one's own ends. We see this in martyrdom. Without a strong belief (albeit extreme) many suicide bombers would not be prompted to take the ultimate step.
    Similarly, I suspect, Anti-euthanasists and anti-abortionists are strengthened by religious doctrines.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • SandSand 288 Pts   -  

    >>>Does this show a cold-blooded lack of any compassion on the part of theists?<<<
    We know Atheists care nothing about it and believe there should be no moral standing on it.
    So why bring this topic up if Atheists care nothing for people suffering?

  • SwolliwSwolliw 1130 Pts   -  
    @Sand
    We know Atheists care nothing about it and believe there should be no moral standing on it.
    So why bring this topic up if Atheists care nothing for people suffering?

    I think you are getting a bit off the planet there.
    You might want to reconsider what you just said.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  
    I agree, however, I think theists still have a "unique reason" to bolster their stand and let's face it.....for the most part, religion is utilised as a tool to justify one's own ends. We see this in martyrdom. Without a strong belief (albeit extreme) many suicide bombers would not be prompted to take the ultimate step. Similarly, I suspect, Anti-euthanasists and anti-abortionists are strengthened by religious doctrines.
    For the most part morality is used as a tool to justify one's own ends. This is not unique to theists; religious moralizing is not substantively different from secular moralizing. Secularists can also have strong beliefs (and 'extremity' is strictly down to perspective); people martyr themselves and kill, harm, and hate other people for non-theistic reasons all of the time - the nation, the greater good, democracy, race, family, sex, justice, etc.

    Put an anti-euthanasia Christian and an anti-euthanasia Humanist in the same room and they're going to make the same arrogant and egotistical argument to keep 'their loved one' from dying; it'll just be a slightly different veneer.


  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  

    We know Atheists care nothing about it and believe there should be no moral standing on it.
    So why bring this topic up if Atheists care nothing for people suffering?

    How do you know that atheists do not care about suffering and view it as an amoral issue? As someone who actually practices value nihilism, I can assure you that most atheists are deeply moralistic. As to caring about others' suffering, compassion does not require morality (in fact, I'd say morality is antithetical to compassion).

  • markemarke 368 Pts   -  
    @Swolliw

    How is it that atheists and secularists think euthanasia and abortion are mercy killings?
    Jace
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4021 Pts   -  
    The claim that someone not able to make their own decisions should have other people making decisions on their behalf has dangerous implications. It can be used to justify any authoritarian measure imaginable, on the grounds of "people do not know what they are doing". I have never seen this as a good basis for arguing for legalized euthanasia or inability of underage individuals to give sexual consent.

    I believe that things like euthanasia should function by means of unilateral contracts (I hope I use the terminology correctly here). Anyone who wants to have euthanasia performed on them in case they no longer are able to think for themselves can, while they still can think for themselves, sign a paper authorizing hospitals to perform euthanasia on them under specific conditions - a common one might be the decision by their relatives, and their inability to say "no".
    But euthanasia should not be assumed authorized by default. Otherwise it is inevitable that there will be countless cases in which people who had a "mercy killing" performed on them never actually wanted that to happen, but were, for some reason, deemed unable to avoid it, in which case an act of euthanasia becomes an act of murder.

    Euthanasia, assisted suicide, etc. should all be legal - but only under the assumption of a priorly given consent by the subject.
    Mrlj123
  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  
    How is it that atheists and secularists think euthanasia and abortion are mercy killings?
    Not all atheists and secularists think that. For myself, though:

    Voluntary euthanasia is merciful because it empowers a person to exercise autonomy over their own life to end their own suffering instead of forcing them to continue existing against their will while enduring suffering just to make someone else feel nice.

    Abortion is not technically merciful since mercy only applies to sentient beings that know their suffering, but the alternative of forcing a sentient being into an existence it never consented to where it will certainly suffer and die is a pretty rubbish thing to do imo.



    Plaffelvohfen
  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  

    It seems the converse could also be true. Without an explicit previous statement by the person in question (and arguably even with it) we cannot know whether that person wants to keep living... and that means they may want to die rather than suffer just as much as it may mean that they want to live and suffer rather than die. Your argument here implicitly presumes a generic value of life and superimposes that as a concern of the person in question, but we have absolutely no reason to believe that would be the case. Although it would be prudent for all of us to make our preference clear in advance, when we haven't it seems this decision would be best placed into the hands of those who knew us best. Granting that authority doesn't obviously lead to the kinds of state abuses you allude to either.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4021 Pts   -  
    @Jace

    No, this is a simple consequence from the basic principle of human rights: that human rights, unless explicitly forfeited by the person, assume to be held, and violating them is coercion.

    When you walk on the streets with a knife in your pocket, you cannot know for sure that the person walking towards you would not rather have you stick the knife in their gut than avoid doing so. That does not mean that you can stick the knife in their gut and avoid criminal responsibility by claiming that you could not know their preferences. If they have not stated their preferences, then cutting them with a knife is a criminal act. Now if they have and signed a contract with you explicitly permitting you to do so with no retaliation, then you can do it - or, at least, should be able to in a proper legal system, in my opinion.

    I certainly want to be a master of my life. I do not want some "expert" telling someone that they know that I must die for my own good, having no say in the matter. A system in which this is possible would be truly abominable; a tyranny of the worst kind. It should be up to me to decide what to do with my life, if anything.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • markemarke 368 Pts   -  
    @Jace

    An adult who murders an unborn baby because he thinks the world is an evil place for an unborn baby just proves the world is filled with evil people who will kill an unborn baby without just cause.
    JacePlaffelvohfen
  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  
    No, this is a simple consequence from the basic principle of human rights: that human rights, unless explicitly forfeited by the person, assume to be held, and violating them is coercion.
    Your conclusion can only advance from a human rights framework by privileging a right to life while denying a right to death. Consequently, my critique that you are implicitly biased towards life in a manner not supported by your original analysis stands.
    When you walk on the streets with a knife in your pocket, you cannot know for sure that the person walking towards you would not rather have you stick the knife in their gut than avoid doing so. That does not mean that you can stick the knife in their gut and avoid criminal responsibility by claiming that you could not know their preferences. If they have not stated their preferences, then cutting them with a knife is a criminal act. Now if they have and signed a contract with you explicitly permitting you to do so with no retaliation, then you can do it - or, at least, should be able to in a proper legal system, in my opinion.
    This is so obviously disanalogous to the situation at hand, where the people closest to a person incapable of making a decision make that decision instead, that I'm not going to address it any further than to point that out.
    I certainly want to be a master of my life. I do not want some "expert" telling someone that they know that I must die for my own good, having no say in the matter. A system in which this is possible would be truly abominable; a tyranny of the worst kind. It should be up to me to decide what to do with my life, if anything.
    Except in the scenario under discussion you are literally incapable of deciding, which is why someone else necessarily has to make a decision. Keeping you alive is equally tyrannical to killing you because neither is your choice and both affect you. My position is that it would be better to reserve that power to the people who know you than to some alienated agent of the state apparatus, given that the former are more likely to make a decision in line with what your preferences would be were you still capable of decision making.

    If you are capable of decision making, then your original analysis does not apply. Voluntary euthanasia would only entail you asking for and accepting assistance in ending your life as painlessly as possible because that was what you chose to do.


    Plaffelvohfen
  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  
    An adult who murders an unborn baby because he thinks the world is an evil place for an unborn baby just proves the world is filled with evil people who will kill an unborn baby without just cause.
    Not so subtly insinuating that my anti-natalist views make me evil is ad hominem and fails to demonstrate that my position or actions are actually evil. You're just regurgitating your convictions without substantiating them while making predictable character assassinations.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4021 Pts   -   edited August 2020
    @Jace

    I do not assume that the right of life is somehow more important than the right of death. Both rights are important. However, death should not be inflicted on the individual without their explicit consent, while life is their default state regardless of any consent. The act of dying is irreversible: a dead individual cannot suddenly wake up and say, "Okay, guys, I no longer want to be dead". Only a living individual can make any choices at all.

    I do not think the question of whether the individual is able to make their own choice in a given situation or not relevant to the matter at hand. 1 year old babies are not able to make such decisions either, yet killing such babies virtually every sensible moral system views as completely unacceptable.
    Once again, I do not believe that an individual can be killed without their consent. They can consent to being killed, or they can even kill themselves - but they cannot kill someone else on the sole bases of the victim having been unable to make their own choices.

    The reverse stance (where anyone who is not capable of making decisions can be killed) would lead to a nightmare. Every sleeping person could be killed. Every little baby could be killed. Every person in a temporary coma could be killed. Every person who has their mouth closed with a tape or a gag could be killed. It would not be a viable society.
  • markemarke 368 Pts   -  
    @Jace

    My statement was not intended to be directed to you so much as it is just a general statement which I believe holds true for everyone.  I did not totally understand your post.
  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  

    A'ight. Anything you want me to clarify?
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1130 Pts   -  
    @marke
    How is it that atheists and secularists think euthanasia and abortion are mercy killings?

    I think you may be delving into another subject here which is interesting.
    As I understand it, "mercy killings" are caused through a self-centred belief of some sort and if anything are more religious or cultural-specific than atheist or secular.

    For example, some families commit mercy killings of adulterous brides citing scriptures or culture as the reason. It certainly has nothing to do with atheism.
    In fact, I have never heard of any killing, let alone mercy killings, that have been committed in the name of atheism or secularism.

    Have you? And if so, give an example. 
  • markemarke 368 Pts   -  
    @Jace


    Abortion is not technically merciful since mercy only applies to sentient beings that know their suffering, but the alternative of forcing a sentient being into an existence it never consented to where it will certainly suffer and die is a pretty rubbish thing to do imo.

    Unborn babies develop the ability and senses to feel pain at some point of development in the womb.  Nobody can honestly or reasonably dispute that fact.

    I do not believe it is up to potential parents of an unborn baby to decide whether the baby should live or die based upon the conditions of the world environment.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • markemarke 368 Pts   -  
    @Swolliw

    False religions may countenance mercy killings, but not Christianity and not God or the Bible.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1130 Pts   -  
    @marke
    False religions may countenance mercy killings, but not Christianity and not God or the Bible.

    Oh yeah, do you want me to quote how many people God executed as per the Bible? 1,263,000....paw through the pages of gratuitous violence and killings and count for yourself. Do you want to know how many killings take place by Christians each year.

    Why the heck do Christians need mercy killings anyway since they have a gruesome history of brutally murdering and knocking off anyone who dares questions them and even their own kind? 

  • JaceJace 153 Pts   -  
    Unborn babies develop the ability and senses to feel pain at some point of development in the womb.  Nobody can honestly or reasonably dispute that fact.
    Anyone can reasonably dispute your wholly unsubstantiated assertion, and I do. I suspect you're also conflating an involuntary stimuli-response pairing with the capacity to experience which requires sentience.
    I do not believe it is up to potential parents of an unborn baby to decide whether the baby should live or die based upon the conditions of the world environment.
    Why not? It seems negligent and cruel not to at least take into consideration the suffering and death you are creating before you create it.
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