Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Death With Dignity

By cione in Op-Ed
Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:50:33 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

That's what it is called in Oregon. This is a state law that was first passed in 1994 with a 51% approval. The Oregon legislature then decided that voters didn't know the full impact of the law and sent it back to the voters again in 1997. This law was passed with roughly 59%. The bill was signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber, himself a doctor. Under this Law 91 people have used the law to end their lives without the pain and suffering that would usually surround their illness. This law has brought two issues to the forefront which I will address, the political and the Personal.


Some basic facts about Oregon's Law

The law states that two physicians must diagnose the patient as terminal. The patient must also be mentally competent to make the decision. The patient must also make the request in writing. The patient must also be a permanent resident of Oregon. All of these must be met before a prescription can be written for a lethal dose of medication. More on the law can be found here

Political Side

This law has been under scrutiny from many levels of Government. The most noted is the "Ashcroft Directive" which basically advised the DEA to track and report doctors that would participate in "Assisted Suicide". This also marked the first time the federal government targeted the law specifically. Federal law was not passed making euthanasia of this sort illegal. No warning was given to the voters of Oregon or to the Public in general that this law would be a target. Ashcroft's Directive has since been turned over citing that Ashcroft does not have the Authority to make such directives. The judge's comments can be seen here (Warning this is a PDF link)

While Ashcroft may still appeal to the Supreme Court which has already rejected once to hear this case. The "Death with Dignity" law was not passed by state assembly but rather by state voters. The federal government's total disregard to honor this leaves ill feeling on what may happen with other laws in other states.

While many disagree with the law and the topic this does not change the facts surrounding the issue. This is a law that has been approved and voted on twice. The federal government has seen fit to ignore the voters and try to cite law by a person that is not directly voted into office. The question of a states sovernity has also been questioned.

Personal Side

Choosing to end your life is a decision that few us will ever seriously consider. However we think about this in other ways. Many people have had a family member that said "Do not keep me on life support if something terrible happens". We accept the desire as their last wish. Yet if a person is diagnosed with an illness that will ultimately kill them, Ending the pain is not an option in many places. Since 1997 a total of 91 Oregonians have decided to not end their life in pain and suffering. This was a personal decision that was made without fear of someone intruding on their right to choose how a person lives and dies.

Some will spend their final moments on their death bed in pain. Machines will aid them to live, and family members may have to make the choice to turn life support off. This will be how close relatives will remember the final moments of someone's life. Oregon's law allows a person to choose to die with dignity. This law does not encourage death. The law is not advertised. Very strict rules govern how the law can be applied. It is a simple matter of allowing a choice. You can cite many reasons why a person should be allowed to end a terminal life. The reason to not allow this is usually based in selfishness.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
The Death with Dignity law...
o is a needed law 44%
o should not be decided by voters 4%
o is horriffic and should be struck down 3%
o allows a right to be used without fear 47%

Votes: 128
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o here
o here [2]
o Also by cione


Display: Sort:
Death With Dignity | 219 comments (213 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Oh come on! (1.18 / 11) (#1)
by xriso on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:27:50 PM EST

What else are we going to do, outlaw suicide?
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
Um? (4.14 / 7) (#2)
by rusty on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:32:57 PM EST

Suicide is illegal, in the US anyway.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Not in Oregon! (3.40 / 5) (#5)
by wiredog on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:36:48 PM EST

Well, not completely illegal.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
Not in most jurisdictions (4.57 / 7) (#7)
by cp on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:49:45 PM EST

Most states have long since decriminalized suicide while continuing to criminalize assisted suicide. It's certainly the case that no state makes suicide a felony, and most don't even make it a misdemeanor anymore. This is an important aspect of the medical-euthenasia debate, because it is problematic to prosecute individuals for assisting others in committing a "crime" that is not itself criminal. (It has also been a point of dispute as to whether the widespread decriminalization of suicide suggests there is a constitutional liberty to end one's life, a question the Supreme Court has resolved in the negative.)

[ Parent ]
Color me enlightened (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by rusty on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:39:45 PM EST

I did not know that. I was under the impression that suicide was still illegal. Thank you for correcting me.

Do you know when the change happened? It used to be illegal, didn't it? Or am I just parroting inherited urban legends?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

But (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by wiredog on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:55:40 PM EST

I wanted to color you fuschia.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
The problem with criminalizing suicide (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by pietra on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:13:20 PM EST

was that it was very hard to prosecute those who successfully broke the law. In addition, most courts began to recognize that fear of punishment was even less of a deterrent than for most other crimes, and rarely prosecuted those who attempted it and failed--it was seen as much more humane to get them in for treatment. Most suicide laws stemmed from moral codes in the first place, and were more of a formality than anything else. Where they do still exist (and I'm not sure that they do), they've been ignored for years.

[ Parent ]
decriminalized perhaps (none / 0) (#48)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 06:58:00 PM EST

But in most jurisdictions I believe that you can still be involuntarily confined to a mental institute if a court is convinced that you are suicidal, in order to physically prevent you from committing suicide.

[ Parent ]
which still invades (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by KiTaSuMbA on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:04:05 PM EST

your personal rights!
C'mon, what's the prob if someone says:
Hey I want out, NOW!!
If life is a right, then you, the owner of the right CAN in all freedom deny such a right.
Unless of course life is a duty to the society, which puts things under a different perspective...
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
well, (none / 0) (#55)
by KiTaSuMbA on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:11:06 PM EST

assisting suicide would be a crime per se, not assistance to commit a crime like the robberer and the guy who drives.
That is, a driver helps the robberer do the crime, an assistant in suicide DOES the crime.
The legal basis exists for that:
Killing yourself is taking your life which is to be considered your right (the life).
Helping someone out in killing himself is taking somebody elses life, definately NOT your right. But what if the one willing to die in some manner "authorised" you? Here comes in the euthanasia question and is complicated like hell.
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
Part of the law... (none / 0) (#121)
by Iron Squirrel on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:55:16 PM EST

...is that the physicians can't be arrested for their participation in this process. As I mentioned in another post - a LOT of people die each year from the misuse of prescription drugs. Are the physicians who wrote those prescriptions liable for misuse on the part of the patient? Of course not. Yes, the whole point of prescriptions in the case of PAS is that the patient CAN use it to end their lives if that is their wish. I'm sure a number of people who request those prescriptions never even have them filled.

The whole "I wouldn't chose this option and I don't want you to be able to chose it either" is maddening, eh?

[ Parent ]

from current descriptions... (none / 0) (#146)
by KiTaSuMbA on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:34:46 PM EST

I'm pending towards the Oregon law. Don't get me wrong: I'm not in the "I know best for your life, because I was trained to do so" party. I find such assumptions (and I'm happy to see only few are endorsing them on K5) at least ridiculous.
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
I don't think thats right. (4.00 / 3) (#9)
by pschap on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:52:01 PM EST

I've never actually been able to find a government site that listed laws about stuff like this, and I doubt that they would. However, according to Final Exit (and I don't know how much of an authority you would consider it, I don't know myself) suicide is no longer a crime. Some places that I've looked claim that its still a crime in some states (I don't have any links, sorry).

--
"I have always believed that the true mark of success is when you make it into some complete loser's sig." -- Parent ]
really? (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by duck soup on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:51:50 PM EST

Suicide is essentially the exact same thing as homicide, I don't see why it wouldn't be illegal.

I mean, if you do it correctly, it's not like you're going to have to worry about going to jail. This way we're only punishing the stupid people who can't even kill themselves properly.

[ Duck Soup not of the CoD ]
[ Parent ]
I guess they're the same... (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by Biff Cool on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:22:59 PM EST

barring the whole consent issue of it. I'm gonna be ALOT more pissed off is somebody whacks me when I'm coming home from the bar then if I do it myself when I've got terminal cancer.

My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler


[ Parent ]
By that logic (none / 0) (#76)
by zakalwe on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 04:47:19 AM EST

Suicide is essentially the exact same thing as homicide.
By that logic, buying something is equivalent to a shop stealing your money, and you stealing the shops goods. Its the fact that you consent to the action that makes the difference.

[ Parent ]
Is suicide punishable by death sentence? (3.75 / 4) (#23)
by RelliK on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:20:48 PM EST

just wondering...
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
[ Parent ]
if it really is... (none / 0) (#50)
by KiTaSuMbA on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:56:48 PM EST

So much for your rights dude!
Though I never heard of anyone being questioned by tyhe police after a failed suicide attempt and his ass saved at the hospital...
That's of course for the bigot and less democratic EU.
Ahahaha

There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
If it were... (none / 0) (#63)
by orestes on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 10:44:01 PM EST

would that mean that attempted suicide would also be illegal? :)

[ You Sad Bastard ]
[ Parent ]
eh (none / 0) (#64)
by orestes on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 10:46:21 PM EST

Next time I'll read the other replies.

[ You Sad Bastard ]
[ Parent ]
this isnt much different (4.21 / 14) (#3)
by Altus on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:35:31 PM EST

from what has been going on with medical marajuana in California.

the feds arent realy interested in what the voters of a particular state think. I expect you will see more of this over the next year or 2.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
Actually, it's nearly the same thing... (5.00 / 8) (#13)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:08:30 PM EST

This case and the federal government's interference with different state's medical marijuana initiatives are the result of about 20 years of judicial decisions favorable to expanding the powers of federal regulatory bodies -- many of the decisions were initially made in relation to the efforts of the EPA predicated on a theory of compelling state interest. If you strengthen one federal regulatory body you strengthen them all. Now I'm not a member of the RLTFB (Radical Libertarian Tin Foil Hat Brigade), but the idea of beauracrats empowered to overrule democratic consensus by fiat like fat little potentates really upsets me.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Briliant (3.33 / 3) (#20)
by Altus on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:03:37 PM EST

>RLTFB (Radical Libertarian Tin Foil Hat Brigade),

I like that :)

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]
I was a part of the RLTFB... (3.66 / 3) (#37)
by Wah on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:11:43 PM EST

...but I couldn't stand their unwarranted, unconstitutional, and utterly irrational policy of ignoring the letter H. (yes, I'm well aware of the H theory and its international impact.)
--
Choas and order, flowing down the drain of time. Ain't it purdy? | SSP
[ Parent ]
Money too... (4.66 / 3) (#62)
by cc144 on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 10:36:39 PM EST

It is not just "20 years of judicial decisions favoring [expanding federal powers" but also money. Federal government hands out massive amount of money and most times, it is tied into some federal issue.

For example, to get highway construction money (100 mil+ for some states), the states are *required* to pass strict drunk driving laws (Virginia had to lower their blood alcohol level) or had to institute speed limits (in the past).

I think that feds can easily trump any law, and usually does, by saying if you want $Y, state gov must ban X.

This sucks but this is what happens.

[ Parent ]

Not quite as onerous (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:22:39 PM EST

The withholding of federal funds -- historically, highway funds have been the preferred lever -- is not, IMHO, as effective nor is it as offensive. Consider this, during the Regan administration both Alaska and Oregon had de-criminalized marijuana and the federal government used the threat of withholding federal funds to force the state legislatures to get into line. While this is extortion and an abuse of federal authority, it required the participation of the federal legislative branch as well as the state legislature (although, their "participation" was certainly obtained by coercion). Fast forward a decade or so and Janet Reno is making the decision to send Federal Marshals into California to enforce a federal policy which is at odds with a state law enacted by direct popular vote. I don't know about you, but I think things have gotten much worse.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Marijuana, etc. (none / 0) (#155)
by danb35 on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 08:57:58 AM EST

The problem with "medical MJ" is that there were two levels of law prohibiting it in CA--state and federal. The voters changed the state law, but the federal law is still in effect (and the voters of the state of CA don't have the right, by themselves, to change federal law).

If you accept that the federal government has the right to make such laws in the first place (which I'm not sure I do, but that's really a separate question), they certainly have the right to enforce them. I don't know what the voters in CA were thinking when they passed this initiative, as this fact was reasonably well explained at the time (and I was living there at the time). Maybe the thought was that CA wasn't in effect enforcing the federal government's laws for it, the feds wouldn't bother?

[ Parent ]

Law allows -- not demands -- suicide (4.33 / 12) (#6)
by BadDoggie on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 12:39:54 PM EST

FP+1. Clean and simple. But OpEd for an unbiased piece?

Good discussion piece. And finally something solemn to give us a break from all the fun stories which we were all voting up to get us away from those serious and gloomy stories everyone was posting to...

Sorry, but I don't feel like putting in some really private stuff. I will say that you can be in favour of a law allowing assisted suicide and at the same time, not avail yourself of the privilege when the time comes, probably for family reasons. You could even be for the law and against suicide (assisted or otherwise) on principle, but there's very few people who will fight for your right to do what, to them, is reprehensible.

woof.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

Dignity is objective (3.50 / 8) (#11)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:05:44 PM EST

I always find that the dying with dignity is such a lame argument. Personally, I think there's greater dignity fighting to the bitter end and not allowing a disease not allowing you to give up. But that's my viewpoint, your viewpoint may vary with different mileage.

Because I personally don't buy into the whole go peacefully concept (I'm going kicking and screaming) I'm afraid that I'll end up with a doctor that does buy into that and won't do everything possible to help extend my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of death. It's just I'd rather experience life and the joys it brings as long as possible.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.

Zat is Zee Beauty of Zee Law (5.00 / 11) (#14)
by kuran42 on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:16:09 PM EST

People don't always agree, so why not give them the choice? Making it illegal to choose death is just as wrong as making it illegal to choose life; the obvious solution is to make neither illegal.

--
kuran42? genius? Nary a difference betwixt the two. -- Defect
[ Parent ]
uk courts (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by katie on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 09:39:45 AM EST

Actually, a UK woman was recently awarded damages after the doctors looking after her refused to stop treating her and let her die. The judge said that she was to be considered competent in her decision to withdraw permission to treat her and therefore they had technically committed assault in treating her against her will.

The judgement went on to say that a "right to die" should exist in the UK, but that each case should be considered by a competent court, in order that it didn't get abused - which seems not unreasonable.

However it was only applicable in the cases where a patient wish a life-sustaining treatment withdrawn and not those where a patient wanted a life-ending treatment administering.


[ Parent ]
dignified death (none / 0) (#25)
by speek on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:21:30 PM EST

Do pain-killers disrupt the dignity of your battle too? Alzheimer's and various other diseases that effect your mental faculties is not dignified. I know this law doesn't address these diseases, but I think the point stands that not all fighting on and on is dignified.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

But that's still your POV (4.00 / 2) (#34)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:52:37 PM EST

You might not see it that way. Just because my hair falls out, I drool uncontrollably and fall down constantly doesn't mean to me that I lose my dignity.

Dignity is the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed. So how do you define this quality? To many it's how you act towards others. To others dignity is found in the way you live your life. Part of the way I define dignity is how you face adversity in life. Part of it for me is the struggle itself and how you react to it. I just so happen to admire the "never say die" attitude, despite all the odds against success.

Which goes back to my original statement that I think the point about saving dignity becomes such a lame excuse for assisted suicide. It becomes a cover-up for the real reasons that you don't want to live anymore. You don't want to live with the pain or be embarrassed when you pee yourself in front of people. That, for me, aren't reasons that I'd kill myself if I had a painful terminal disease. Life only comes once, and if I had to put up with incredible pain to experience it, I would.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

You're missing the entire point of this law... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
by Nuup on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:20:27 AM EST

You're missing the point of the circumstances this law would be used. That's fine that you want to "keep on kicking it" and experiencing life so safe and comfortable away from death. Based on your attitude I'm sure you have another good 40 - 60 years before you confront that path. But you obviously can't comprehend the experiences these people are going through, the people who use this are no longer experiencing life, they're no longer "just kicking through that one time ride." They're at the end of their ropes, their life is misery, all the passion and energy they had in them is sapped, they no longer view life like you because their body is physically chewing at their mind.

To the people who use this, life is no longer enjoyable, they're no longer experiencing anything but the feelings of their feces and urine being transported through tubs jammed in their bodies. While being trapped in a bed to forever experience the same glare of the wall in front of them, as they try to concentrate on "new" activities, the pulsing pain through out their body overwhelms them, tearing them down in a saturation of pain worse than you have ever comprehended. Several times a day they're fed delicious food through tubes, simply in order to survive. Their bodies are wrecked, decayed and unable to support the life which it contains. The only thing keeping many of these people alive is the machinary they are hooked up to, while being awake and aware of their environment.

This isn't living, there's no experience in life they can enjoy because their body hurts too much. These people are truly out of options, they can't experience the joyful aspects of life anymore with out being shredded by that terrible pulsing pain that just keeps echoeing through their limbs. These aren't people who can just pop some pills and spend time with they're family. I may have been blunt but I want to make this clear, they are physically unable to enjoy life, enjoy new experiences, or "keep on kicking".

But if you get in a situation like this, you keep on kicking k-rad style. Meanwhile, let the people who want the pain to stop do what they need to.


-------------------------------------------------
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?
[ Parent ]
choices. (5.00 / 3) (#91)
by katie on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 09:27:54 AM EST

My grandmother died a few months ago. She died of pneumonia, complicated by the fact she was on morphine to counter the pain from advanced osteoarthritis, coupled with alzheimers.

She was, in the last few months, incapable of speech of doing anything for herself.. we're not sure she was conscious enough to feel the pain, but no-one really wanted to take that chance.

My regret is that she hung on in that state for as long as she did, because she wasn't enjoying life. I don't think she was ever in a position where she was ill enough to make a decision about assisted suicide but not too ill to make the decision. Her death didn't look in the slightest fun.

My grandfather had a great death. He was admitted to hospital for tests, because they had no idea what as wrong. On the Sunday he had a nice big roast lunch. And a beer, because they could think of no reason for him not to have one... He went to sleep Sunday afternoon, and never woke up - he died on Tuesday morning. I don't think he was in any real pain, he just slipped away. It turned out he had cancer - it would have been terminal by the time anyone could have found it.

I know which I'd pick. People seem so determined that I should not be able to pick. I don't care if THEY don't want to pick. They can talk themselves out of it or talk their family out of it, but a person should get to make these choices.

Otherwise, what other choices are worth making?


[ Parent ]
None (none / 0) (#161)
by trane on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 06:20:58 PM EST

Otherwise, what other choices are worth making?

They don't want you to be able to choose freely between different but equal alternatives; they stack the deck in favor of their favorite choice and if you don't choose it, you will be punished.

[ Parent ]

Re: (4.00 / 3) (#28)
by rde on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:24:35 PM EST

It's just I'd rather experience life and the joys it brings as long as possible.
This'd be great, assuming experiencing those joys didn't involve lying bed-ridden with tubes in every orifice, in excruciating pain, and knowing that this was all you had to look forward to for the rest of your life.
We live to experience new things. How long before most people would decide they'd experienced enough of this sort of life?

[ Parent ]
Good point, but... (none / 0) (#83)
by Lethyos on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:04:20 AM EST

...use a dictionary and compare "objective" and "subjective." I think what you're trying to say is that "death with dignity" is the latter of the two.

earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit
[ Parent ]
A personal perspective (Re: Dignity is objective) (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by rsmith on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:48:37 PM EST

What if there is nothing left in life to enjoy?

In 2000 my father passed away, after suffering a second brain heamorrhage in three years.

The first reduced his physical and mental capabilities so far, that e.g. reading had become virtually impossible, and operating a video recorder or camera was beyond his grasp. So his most favortie hobbies were denied to him.

So he had a statment made that in case that in case of another severe reduction in capabilities, he would not want to be treated, except for pain etc, and be allowed to die.

When the second heamorrhage came, it took him over a week to die, lying in a hospital bed, wearing a diaper. Since euthenasia was illegal then in the Netherlands (it is now legal on much the same terms as in Oregon) he had to wait for his body to give up. Since he was heavily sedated with morfine, he luckily didn't experience anything of the last days.

Meanwhile my brother, sisters and I had to watch him die from his lungs filling up with fluid, which is not a nice way to go.

I think that in these cases it is more mercyful for the patient and the relatives to let the patient die without a long struggle.

I must stress that my father at this point did _not_ want to live any longer. He had made that abundantly clear to all of us over the years.
He told me that he felt his life was complete, having lived to see the year 2000 (a lifelong ambition for someone born in 1925), and having seen his children grow up and find their way in the world.

Of cource I still miss talking to him, but I'll always keep his memory alive inside of me.

But still I maintain that in some cases a somewhat faster death is preferable to a prolonged existence.

Roland

[ Parent ]
what a way to go! (none / 0) (#162)
by trane on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 06:24:51 PM EST

Since he was heavily sedated with morfine

That's the way I would like to go out. Right now, in fact.

[ Parent ]
If assisting suicide is illegal (4.00 / 7) (#17)
by Kwil on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 01:52:25 PM EST

Can we charge the tobacco companies under the criminal code?

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


Unfortunately not (none / 0) (#26)
by anno1602 on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:22:01 PM EST

Tobacco companies are just supplying you with the means to commit suicicde, they are not assisting you directly (i.e. it is at least theoretically possible to "use" cigarettes w/out killing yourself). Following your logic, knife manufacturers would have to be outlawed, too.

PS: I see it's a joke, but I wanted to make that point anyway.


--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
Isn't that what doctors are doing? (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by Detritus on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:06:17 PM EST

Tobacco companies are just supplying you with the means to commit suicicde

Doctors encouraging euthanasia are just prescribing the drugs you'll do it with, right? The government seems to be really selective on what they choose to ban and what not to ban:

Consumer spending on tobacco products in 1998 was $57.3 billion. Euthanasia isn't so important for the economy and politicians' pockets, and they decide that stopping euthanasia in its relative infancy will greatly improve PR with the throng of people opposed to it.


Kings and lords come and go and leave nothing but statues in a desert, while a couple of young men tinkering in a workshop change the way the world works — Havelock Vetinari
[ Parent ]
And that is what they should do (none / 0) (#175)
by anno1602 on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 10:40:31 AM EST

and they decide that stopping euthanasia in its relative infancy will greatly improve PR with the throng of people opposed to it.

And since this is about a democratic state, politicians should do exactly that and ban euthanasia if the majority of the population disapproves of it. And there's no majority against tobacco companies, so they live. Like it or not.

Note that I like your point and agree with you, but for once, democracy seems to work (unfortunately?).


--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
This is a no-brainer (4.94 / 17) (#21)
by gbd on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:10:00 PM EST

It seems to me that if somebody believes that assisted suicide is offensive to gods, christs, gaias, "mother earths", power crystals, or "some nebulous force that binds the universe together", then they can demonstrate that belief -- when the situation involves themselves or their own families. The DWD act does not require anybody to participate in assisted suicide; it merely provides it as a choice for those who are terminally ill and suffering needlessly.

The best piece of advice that can be given to those who believe that assisted suicide is evil or immoral or whatever is simply this: don't do it! But don't presume to tell other patients and families that they are obligated to operate under the constraints that you have chosen for yourself.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.

Relativism (2.12 / 8) (#65)
by sgp on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 11:11:00 PM EST

What I believe you're trying to say, is, "Just because you believe X, doesn't stop me from believing Y".

Sorry to break the truth to you, but just because you believe Y, doesn't stop me from beliving X.

Everything is relative... even relativism, oh, oops, gun->foot

So that's the relativism done for. If relativism can't survive, we need absolutes.

The best piece of advice that can be given to those who believe that assisted suicide is evil or immoral or whatever is simply this: don't do it! But don't presume to tell other patients and families that they are obligated to operate under the constraints that you have chosen for yourself.

So just because I believe that suicide is wrong, means that it's okay for you to commit suicide?

Please think about this issue before you post.

Regards,
Steve.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Ummm.... (4.50 / 2) (#70)
by Talez on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:15:17 AM EST

So just because I believe that suicide is wrong, means that it's okay for you to commit suicide?

I interpreted his comment to mean more of the "just because you believe something doesn't mean I should have to do it"

Of course theres a fairly obvious retort to that statement, "just because everyone believes I shouldn't kill people doesn't mean I should do what they believe", but thats really splitting hairs and taking things out of context.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
[ Parent ]
try again (4.90 / 11) (#72)
by blaine on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:47:03 AM EST

Your reasoning is flawed. In the case of assisted suicide, X and Y are not mutually exclusive. You can believe that it is wrong all you want. That doesn't change the fact that it is not your decision if somebody else wants to do it. Let me lay this out for you:

You are absolutely correct that I am not allowed to infringe upon your rights, even if I believe that what I do is OK. Because of this, I cannot murder you, because regardless of what I think, it infringes upon your right to live, which takes precedence over my right to do as I please.

However, if I decide to kill myself, it in no way infringes upon the rights of any person. It does not infringe upon your rights, because you do not have a right to live in a world where people only do exactly what you want them to do. It does not infringe upon my rights, because although I have the right to life, I am the one person on this planet who can waive that right if I so choose.

So, aside from the obvious purpose (pushing your ideals onto others, forcibly), what exactly is the purpose of making assisted suicide illegal? If somebody wants to end their life, it is their choice, and nobody else's. Anyone who says otherwise is a self-righteous asshole who feels that they need to run other people's lives.

If you don't like assisted suicide, just don't do it. Don't pull the government into it even more. There is enough government interference in how we live our lives nowadays. The last thing we need (but unfortunately, what we have, in many states) is the government mandating not only how we must live, but also how we must die.





[ Parent ]
law vs ethics (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by Steeltoe on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 06:10:30 PM EST

First let me state that I'm against suicide because of spiritual reasons. Phew! Glad to get that out of the way. I feel like I must be a brainwashed mumbling idiot, but thankfully I don't really need to justify my personal beliefs.

I also believe everyone is entitled to do what they see fit, on all levels. You see everything is connected, so this will happen any ways. Here is how it works:

1) If the voters vote against liberal suicide-laws, then that should be the final decision in a democratic society.

2) If the government sees fit to overule the voting, then they do that. This might get some voter pissed, and start shooting representatives, which is just another reaction in this world. Nothing new.

3) If a suicider wants to commit suicide, then nobody can stop him if they don't know it. If he gets arrested for suiciding (is there such a thing?), then he "lose". In a year or two, maybe he wins, but we're not talking about such suiciders here now anyways.

4) Etcetcetc

So everybody do what they do anyways. Old people have already commited suicide for years. So-called "rights" that you speak about is nothing but a big illusion we use to protect ourselves because we're so afraid of everything that might happen to us. We want to control others because we're so afraid of everything we can't trust even ourselves.

Hopefully I don't sound too crazy. ;) So if I were a voter, I would play along with the game and vote against it. Not because I believe it will stop all suiciders, or that I want to, but because I want to send a message that I believe this is not a good thing. If that is enough to stop certain people, then maybe that is a good thing, because that is what I believe ;-)

As you can see, the world is what it is, it's all very recursive and you can't make anything out of it really, just live it.

Have a nice life :)


Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
making it legal would make it easier (none / 0) (#163)
by trane on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 06:35:16 PM EST

if it was legal to commit suicide, it would make it easier for me to do it...as it is I have to plan it out and make sure I don't fuck it up again ... there's also the stress introduced by trying to keep it a secret from others.

[ Parent ]
Rights (3.50 / 2) (#139)
by sgp on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 06:58:05 PM EST

What about my right to live in a society which treasures life, as opposed to one which condones mercy killings? In that sense, you would be infringing on my rights simply by asserting your right to end your life.
However, by asserting my right to live in a society which treasures life, I am trampling on your rights (assuming we both desire the right to live in the same society)

Though I say we need absolutes, I don't claim to provide them; this is of course a very difficult (and for some, very personal) subject.

I'd like to turn your question around to you, though: So, aside from the obvious purpose (pushing your ideals onto others, forcibly), what exactly is the purpose of making assisted suicide legal? If somebody wants their life respected even when they cannot defend themselves, it is their choice, and nobody else's. Anyone who says otherwise is a self-righteous asshole who feels that they need to run (or even terminate) other people's lives.

I certainly agree with you on the final point: The last thing we need (but unfortunately, what we have, in many states) is the government mandating not only how we must live, but also how we must die.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Rights... (5.00 / 1) (#143)
by offline on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:53:07 PM EST

This begs the question, what are 'rights'? It appears to me that the right you cherish - the right to live in a civil society etc... - requires others to conform to your definition of a civil society, thereby imposing your will upon them.

Now, i might just be weird here, but i tend to look upon that as a pretty un-civil sort of action... What about my right to live in a society free from the subjective beliefs of others?


Chris Rose
-----
Fly, you fools!


[ Parent ]
Rights and Conventions (none / 0) (#156)
by cam on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 09:46:09 AM EST

what are 'rights'? It appears to me that the right you cherish - the right to live in a civil society etc... - requires others to conform to your definition of a civil society, thereby imposing your will upon them.

Yes, I wouldnt consider that a right, as it is a purported common-good type of convention which would get legislated to enforce. Making those who individually believe their freedom should be exercised in a different manner, conform to the legislation. In liberal democracies, common law is a convention that restricts individual freedoms for the purpose of common good or with greater rhetoric, "order over chaos".

Rights, IMHO, are intrinsic and inherent freedoms an individual possesses, representative of a higher value system that legislation or common law cant override.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

the ultimate solution (none / 0) (#164)
by trane on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 06:43:59 PM EST

What about my right to live in a society which treasures life, as opposed to one which condones mercy killings?

The obvious solution is, move. If the majority in one country votes for legal suicide and you don't agree, find another society.

I just wish I could move away from all human society because I disagree with so many fundamental things in every society I've lived in. Damn when are we going to colonize space?

[ Parent ]
say what? (none / 0) (#167)
by blaine on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 10:21:33 PM EST

When did I state that I felt it was OK to terminate a person without their consent? I think if you look back, you'll notice I didn't, and that is because I don't think that such an action is OK.

However, if a person who is capable of making their own decisions decides that they want to end their life, how is that infringing upon anyone's rights? Also, how is that pushing my ideals onto others? You are saying "you cannot die in a way you want, because I don't want you to". I am saying "you can die however you want, so long as it doesn't ".

I personally am against suicide. That doesn't change the fact that it is not within my rights to tell others how they are allowed to end their life when it in no way affects the rights of others. You do NOT have a right to live in a society that cherishes life. You DO have a right to attempt to make society cherish life.

[ Parent ]
Er .. (none / 0) (#185)
by gbd on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 05:15:06 PM EST

What about my right to live in a society which treasures life, as opposed to one which condones mercy killings?

"Society" doesn't condone anything. Individual people condone things. You seem to be under the impression that you have a right to live in a society where the majority of the individual people believe exactly as you do. You do not have this right, and neither do I or anybody else posting to this forum. This "right" has never existed and by definition cannot exist in a free society.

If somebody wants their life respected even when they cannot defend themselves, it is their choice, and nobody else's.

Er, just to be clear, I don't think that anybody disagrees with this. Nobody is suggesting that the decision should be made by anybody other than the person whose life will be ended.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

If not cherish life, then what? (none / 0) (#201)
by sgp on Sun Apr 28, 2002 at 10:20:05 PM EST

A number of comments have suggested that cherishing life is not an option... please then, give an alternative.
Aren't the posters suggesting life as a disposable commodity?
Please tell me I'm wrong here...

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Nobody has refuted this.... (none / 0) (#218)
by sgp on Mon May 13, 2002 at 07:19:19 PM EST

how sad.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#96)
by gbd on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:09:13 AM EST

What I believe you're trying to say, is, "Just because you believe X, doesn't stop me from believing Y".

Well, sort of. I think Talez described it better as "Just because you believe X, doesn't obligate me to believe X as well."

Sorry to break the truth to you, but just because you believe Y, doesn't stop me from beliving X.

Hmm. I guess I don't see how this is any different from the point that I made. If you have problems with doctor-assisted suicide for a terminal patient in excruciating pain (as you apparently do), then by all means, do not exercise that option and let things run their "natural course." On the other hand, if somebody who is terminally ill supports the idea of doctor-assisted suicide and makes that decision, that is their right as well. Nobody is forcing you to behave in one way or the other, and you have the right to choose the actions that are consistent with what you believe. Which is as it should be.

So just because I believe that suicide is wrong, means that it's okay for you to commit suicide?

Sorry, but I'm not even sure what this is supposed to mean. :-/

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

Don't know Talez, but (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by sgp on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:10:21 PM EST

I'm not saying that I do have problems with doctor-assisted suicide; however, I am also not saying that I do not. I can see the arguments from both sides, and at this point do not have a clear stance on the issue. That is why I refrained from giving an opinion.

As you picked up, though, I err on the side of life. I see life as being sacrosanct, and have a natural urge (I am currently 29 and healthy) to preserve my own life.
As such, I am wary of introducing laws which make it legal to end the life of a person - particularly one who cannot communicate their own desires.
In a society with legalising assisted suicide, you or I may sign a form today (whilst healthy in mind and body) saying that if life is continued only thorough artificial means, and that I am unable to interact with the world, or communicate, then I would rather not continue with such a life.
The tricky bit is, what if I change my mind? Then my loving relatives, carrying out what they believe are my wishes, immediately become (moral, if not legal) murderers.

The "what if I change my mind" is not a just-for-fun argument, either; I cannot predict the future, and cannot adequately specify exactly under what circumstances I would prefer not to continue living - this causes enough trouble to start with. If I did know that in 5 years I would be in a vegitative state, and was currently able to view sufferers in that condition, I still do not have enough information - whilst coherent - to make such a momentous decision.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Only sign the paper if you accept the consequences (none / 0) (#165)
by trane on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 06:55:52 PM EST

if people are aware of your argument before signing and do it anyway then if they change their mind, tough.

[ Parent ]
The flip side (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 02:17:59 PM EST

is that, if you don't sign the form and then go into such a state, and you really want to die, you're SOL. Myself, I prefer to err for personal choice.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Personal choice (none / 0) (#200)
by sgp on Sun Apr 28, 2002 at 10:11:19 PM EST

That's exactly what the euthanasia proposal suggests - a personal choice. You have yours, I have mine.
The thing I fear is a society where euthanasia is so common as to be normal, where in 50 years time people are saying "let's make it default; you can sign-out if you want"... Whilst I'm not happy with a sign-in option, I'm very scared of a sign-out scenario - talk about original sin!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Default (none / 0) (#202)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Apr 29, 2002 at 11:40:22 AM EST

I agree that the default should be for life. Any euthanasia/assisted suicide should only be done if the patient authorizes it when he's in his right mind. The patient should recieve counsoling to be sure he isn't being pressured by his HMO or family members. No proposed system will be perfect, but neither is denying the right to die no matter what the patient is going through.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Default .... for now (none / 0) (#217)
by sgp on Mon May 13, 2002 at 07:15:30 PM EST

The thing that scares me, is that if someone signs-in now (not me, I can't see that I will under any circumstances, but maybe someone I love):

  1. 2002 - Sign in to Euthanasia - I don't want to suffer
  2. 2005 - Contract fatal disease - stand by decision above
  3. 2006 - Disease becomes paralysing - can no longer talk; confined within own world, decide that life is better than death
  4. 2006 - Family, doctors, solicitors read 2002 document, and switch off machine
  5. Aaargh!

I'll "come out" as a Christian, but it's not only Christians who view life as sacred; I have a nephew who has never been able to communicate with the outside world - we have no way of knowing whether he understands life/death, or what he'd prefer. But he's survived for 19 years so far despite various threatening illnesses (currently matching the World Record for his illness, AFAIK), so something inside him is fighting to stay alive. We must respect that. He's never said that he wants to live, nor that he wants to die.
If he'd had one moment to speak his mind, he'd be held to that for [ the rest of his life | eternity ] (take your pick). Of course that moment could have been at any time in his thought process (assuming he has one). We all have "up" and "down" moments, in the case of terminal illness, more so. In such a situation, I would expect to have many "down" moments, which is not to say that I, as a person, want to die, even though (I envisage) in that situation I may well feel that way sometimes.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

No perfect solution (none / 0) (#219)
by Cro Magnon on Wed May 15, 2002 at 12:02:02 PM EST

But any person signing in for euthanasia should have mandatory counseling sessions to be sure that it's a considered decision, and not something he did during a "down" period. It should also be made clear that he can change his mind at any time, and in fact is encouraged to do so. There is still the risk that the patient could change his mind after he loses the ability to communicate and I don't know any way around that, but I'm also worried about someone who just wants it to end with no way to tell his family or the doctors.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Er (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by hstink on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:38:59 AM EST

So in other words, you desire the right to control someone else's body, whether they would ever cross your (or anyone else's) path or not.

An odd right, that one, and I can't say I understand what exactly it derives from.

-h

[ Parent ]
Rights (3.00 / 1) (#142)
by sgp on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:38:43 PM EST

(cf my other "Rights" post)
I desire the right to control the doctor's body, if it's the doctor who'll be killing me.

Legalising anything (cannabis, euthanasia, whatever) is strongly related to condoning that thing. I do not want to live in a society that condones euthanasia ... but please don't kill off me if it happens :-)

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#144)
by hstink on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:24:54 PM EST

I thought your post related to self-inflicted suicide, hence the response.

The entirety of drug legislation rests on others claiming sovereignty over my body, a concept which I find extremely repulsive.

I don't particularly like any recreational drugs bar alcohol, so it's not as though I'm personally hindered by current laws, it's just the principal that disgusts me. That, and the massive crime wave generated by prohibition, which of course affects me personally.

-h

[ Parent ]
Two-sided coin (none / 0) (#199)
by sgp on Sun Apr 28, 2002 at 10:07:40 PM EST

The reason (IMHO) why this issue is so emotive, is that it's a 2-sided coin... on the one hand, why should a doctor/family member/whatever have the say over my life when I cannot speak for myself; on the other hand, why should I be forced to continue in an existance which is not prolonged life, but merely a delayed death?
The recreational drugs thing is a seperate issue, as I see it; obviously rights and society are still involved; I, like you, use alcohol (plus tobacco) but that's all ... regardless of the idiosyncracies of current laws, which make harmful drugs legal, and less-harmful drugs illegal.
I would rather argue that tobacco and alcohol be outlawed, than euthanasia be made legal. It would make my current life very painful for a month or so, but it give me a much better feeling about the circumstances of my death (so far as they can be predicted!)

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

And while Ashcroft's doing this (4.93 / 15) (#24)
by pietra on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:21:21 PM EST

Asa Hutchinson of the DEA is doing his part to ensure that terminally ill patients or chronic pain sufferers can't get enough pain medication to live out what's left of their lives in relative comfort. For an insightful analysis of the primary argument against assisted suicide ("you don't have to kill yourself; we have lots of drugs that will keep you from suffering until you can die naturally"), check out this article on Salon. Pretty chilling.

Damn Asa To Hell (4.33 / 3) (#40)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:22:25 PM EST

Why did he have to come from my state? WHY, GOD? WHY? I am sorry, America, that Arkansas produced this person...

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
off-topic rambling (none / 0) (#159)
by juju2112 on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 05:24:39 PM EST

What part of Arkansas are you from? Anywhere near Fayetteville?

[ Parent ]
Very near Fayetteville (none / 0) (#216)
by Yellowbeard on Thu May 09, 2002 at 05:41:01 PM EST

In fact, in fayetteville

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
re: And while Ashcroft's doing this (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by Mazaev2 on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:00:32 PM EST

After reading that article, I can't even begin to express my furiosity in words. While neither myself, nor anyone I know, suffers from the conditions described in this article, I can certainly understand them.

Why do we make such a big deal out of a small minority of people who choose to use drugs recreationally, ESPECIALLY when the same drugs are used to save so many others. So what if 300 people died of abuse in the last 2 years. It's their fucking choice. Not to mention that there's probably more people dying of drowning in their soup bowls then of abuse of this drug.

As I post this, I am completely disguisted and wish there was something I can do.

[ Parent ]

Dying of overdoses (none / 0) (#141)
by DonQuote on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:27:48 PM EST

Speaking of which, the "junkies" probably died because they had no idea how many pills would get them high or whatever, and how many would kill them. A case for increased education, anyone?

Again and again, telling people "Stop it! That's BAAAD!!" just doesn't work. Saying "Stop! That's bad because..." or "More than x pills is bad because..." - like we're doing with cigarettes - actually produces results. As long as the "because" is logical and sound, that is, not some bs scare tactic.

-DQ
... Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.
[ Parent ]

PAS=FAScist (1.66 / 30) (#29)
by medham on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:30:26 PM EST

It's remarkable that libertarians support various types of euthanesia so strongly. They often frame the issue as an individual's right to die. For instance, in the libertarian myth, the sick person has ceded control over his body to the medical establishment and hence the state. The most basic right of all, the right to continued existence, is thus taken away. Suffering is prolonged for the patient and his relatives. There's always the public cost to consider as well, given that we're speaking of libertarians here.

What this view fails to recognize, remarkably, is the following: the indvidual has no rights. They have always been ceded to the state. Without the state, there are no rights. If we give permission to wards of the state (the carefully regulated medical industry) to "allow" patients to commit suicide, we are in essence giving the state the right to murder its citizens. Of course it is presented under the guise of choice; this is how all repressive regimes begin. The fact that the government, headed by strongly statist reactionaries, opposes the bill is pure misdirection. Ashcroft wishes more than anything else to have the power of life and death over dissidents; and once you turn doctors into killers, you've started rubbing the magic lamp.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

DOGWALKER! (1.45 / 11) (#32)
by medham on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:49:01 PM EST

Rating the parent a '1' is the most craven act of barbarism I've seen on this site since Baldrson was accused of being a racist.

Respond if you feel like you can, but don't just abuse the system with your mindless ratings.

Jackass.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

-1 Incoherent (2.30 / 10) (#33)
by dogwalker on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:51:20 PM EST

I don't feel poorly-written trolls are constructive or entertaining, so I rate them 1.

Thank you for playing. HAND.


--
share and enjoy

[ Parent ]

Yes, "poorly-written" (1.38 / 13) (#35)
by medham on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:59:01 PM EST

That's rich indeed, coming from a poster with cyclopean reading habits. The facts are these: 1) You wouldn't know good-writing if you happened to come across it in your semen-stained Reader's Digest. 2) The pervasiveness of your functional illiteracy is one of the major reasons the U.S. remains the most fundamentalist country in the world.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

yes. (2.00 / 12) (#39)
by dogwalker on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:17:50 PM EST

Ah, go suck on a seal.

Your post is two paragraphs, neither of which has a coherent main point. If you'd bothered to re-read your post after writing it, you'd have noticed that, along with the misspelled "euthanesia."

It's also blatant (and therefore poorly crafted) flamebait. "the indvidual [sic] has no rights."? You can't do better than that? In particular the last sentence both confuses your point and uses an inexpressive metaphor.

I realize that you may be writing poorly on purpose, but as I said, I find that neither constructive nor amusing.

Lastly, the most flagrant bad-troll quality of you're post is that you're throwing out a nonsensical attack on libertarianism without even replying to someone else's post. You couldn't wait the five minutes it would take for some libertarian to start babbling about states' rights or the right to die and respond to that?

Well, that's all the uselessness I have time for today. Keep at it, little troglodyte, and someday you may acheive that luminous title of "troll" which you covet so arduously.
--
share and enjoy

[ Parent ]

Thanks (1.60 / 15) (#41)
by medham on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:26:44 PM EST

"You're" = "you are." I guess that pretty much takes care of your wickedly clever spelling points.

"Can't do better than that" is a damn poor substitute for argument, I might add. It's right-smart axiomatic to say that there are no rights the state doesn't grant, which was the point you so clumsily snatched out of context (as you'll one day clumsily snatch at a bra--maybe).

Unlike you, I'm familiar with debates beyond the confines of K5 here, and thus I can speak to the contradictions in political discourse with the perspective and insight that comes from having read more than "Politics and the English Language" for Miss Sandy's Level 3 Junior English.

And, you didn't read it very carefully, as "luminous" utterly ruins your already quite jerry-built "troglodyte-troll" metaphor.

Name-calling in the place of reasoned debate is the refuge of the weak and the stupid.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Please don't rate at all (none / 0) (#154)
by Souhait on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 02:33:35 AM EST

Ummm, luminous means to emit light - wouldn't a luminous title be similar to a shining title or a bright title or something comparable? I'm sure you could find something to that extent in a masterpiece of the english language. Also, you're/your is more of a typo than an improper use of grammer, same as to/too/two... it is easy, while typing, to mistakenly put down one or the other when I clearly differentiate between the too.

[ Parent ]
This is why you got rated a 1 (not by me, though) (3.00 / 2) (#97)
by derek3000 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:11:45 AM EST

There's always the public cost to consider as well, given that we're speaking of libertarians here.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but any right-minded libertarian wouldn't think of the "public cost," because there shouldn't be any.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Good reading (none / 0) (#107)
by medham on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:14:19 PM EST

What is meant here is that 'libertarians' want to eliminate "public cost." If "right-minded" libertarians don't think there's any public cost, why do they bitch about taxes so much?

So yes, you're misunderstanding me.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

state murder (none / 0) (#110)
by ethereal on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:33:39 PM EST

The State (and many states) already has the power to commit murder: capital punishment. That's a lot more likely to be used as an instrument of state-sponsored murder than euthanasia is.

I also disagree with your assertion that rights arise from the state, but I'm going to guess that that's a philosophical argument where no one is going to convince the other.

--

Every time you read this, God wishes k5 had a "hide sigs" option. Please, think of the
[
Parent ]

Where to even begin?! (none / 0) (#114)
by Iron Squirrel on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:10:58 PM EST

They often frame the issue as an individual's right to die. For instance, in the libertarian myth, the sick person has ceded control over his body to the medical establishment and hence the state. The most basic right of all, the right to continued existence, is thus taken away.

Please tell me I'm misunderstanding...a person with a terminal illness whose life has deteriorated to the point that the person experiences great pain and suffering and can't be helped by modern methods of pain management is having their right to determine the course of their life TAKEN AWAY by having the OPTION of ending their life when THEY see fit. Tell me how GIVING SOMONE AN OPTION is taking away a right?

we are in essence giving the state the right to murder its citizens

The states and this country murders its citizens all the time. ESPECIALLY ones with black or brown skin.

Of course it is presented under the guise of choice.

Spare me the "it's a license to kill people" bit. The only person who can request a lethal dose is the patient. The only person who administers the dose is the patient. Any number of medications I've gotten prescriptions for could have been lethal if I'd taken them improperly.

Ashcroft wishes more than anything else to have the power of life and death over dissidents; and once you turn doctors into killers, you've started rubbing the magic lamp.

The government already has the power of life and death over dissidents. They don't need doctors to assist them. They can (and do) arrest a politcal dissendent, declare them mentally ill with no examination whatever, institutionalize them as long as they like and give the "patient" whatever "treament" they feel is necessary. Now, I digress, but how can you possibly put terminally ill patients making a conscious, considered decision in the same boat with stuff like that. I agree the government is out of control, but I think your focus on physician assisted suicide is misguided. Keep in mind that we here in Oregon condidered this issue, voted on it and when a ballot initiative came around to repeal it, we voted it down. This was a decision made by OREGON VOTERS, not the Oregon legislature.

[ Parent ]

Tangent (none / 0) (#123)
by magney on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:20:24 PM EST

They can (and do) arrest a politcal dissendent, declare them mentally ill with no examination whatever, institutionalize them as long as they like and give the "patient" whatever "treament" they feel is necessary.
I'm curious about what you're referring to here.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

The indvidual has no rights? (none / 0) (#188)
by trentonl on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 02:52:50 AM EST

You remember this one: the Declaration of Independence? Says near the top
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
So, there are 3 rights that no State will take away from me. In fact, being able to control my my Life in anyway I see fit, even if it means ending it on my own terms, is something fundamentally preserved.

[ Parent ]
Irony (4.70 / 20) (#30)
by elshafti on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:30:51 PM EST

Isn't it ironic that in a country where the death penalty is in place, (executing someone for their inability to live according to society's rules), that assisted suicide (ending a person's life because of pain /or unwillingness to live a handicapped life),is unlawful, in the end the base is that a human or a group of humans has to decide whether a person should die or not, but how can you do one of these things whilst presenting moral oppostion to the other. My point being "who can decide whether a person dies or not", and how legitimate are they in making this decision"?.


I think I am learning to give up on the tragedy of not attaining perfection. -Persimmon

The equal and opposite of murder? (3.80 / 5) (#31)
by lightfoot jim on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 02:41:45 PM EST

If someone wants to be alive and I force them to die, it's murder. If someone wants to be dead and I force them to live, it's suicide prevention. Now it's also law enforcement.

[ Parent ]
Not that simple (4.00 / 2) (#36)
by anno1602 on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:05:03 PM EST

Most people will agree with me on the following, a paraphrased quote from LOTR:


If you cannot give life to those who deserve it, don't take it away from those who you think don't deserve it.

Right? Right. However, this implies that you should not take away anyone's life (because you cannot give it) and this by definition includes yourself. Now, I'm all for the right to commit suicide, but how can you morally defend it w/out causing severe problems somewhere else?

You might try to make the case that while you have no right to judge about other people's life, you are qualified to judge about your own. But isn't this awfully egoistic, completely ignoring the value (emotional, financial or whatever) you have to others? What if you are the only one who can save a group of poeple, but you choose suicide as your way out of the mirsery because it is easier? Don't get me wrong, you should be able to decide for yourself, but can you really decide only for yourself? Aren't you always - to some extent - also deciding for other poeple?


--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
Egoistic (4.33 / 3) (#38)
by Iron Squirrel on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:17:26 PM EST

Almost any decision you make about how to live your life, or end it, will affect others. In this particular case, how important is it to consider others, and how important is it to be true to yourself. If any of my friends or family members were faced with making this decision I would encourage them not to worry about what I want. It isn't about what I want. I would NEVER ask someone to live in excruciating pain just because I would be uncomfortable with the idea of them being dead.

[ Parent ]
Giving life (2.66 / 3) (#42)
by dachshund on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:27:37 PM EST

If you cannot give life to those who deserve it, don't take it away from those who you think don't deserve it.

Ah, so if I father a sweet innocent baby boy, then I am entitled to kill and eat him the first time he proves undeserving?

[ Parent ]

Not necesserily the same person (none / 0) (#44)
by anno1602 on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:39:50 PM EST

No, because although you might find A undeserving, B is a very good noble whatever guy and would deserve to live, yet has to die and you cannot stop that.


--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]

Your conclusion? (5.00 / 3) (#43)
by lightfoot jim on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:31:00 PM EST

Sure, if someone takes his life, that will affect others around him. To assume offhand that the net effects of the suicide will be negative seems shallow to me, but I'll go with that for the sake of simplicity. Either the individual who wants to die commits an act of selfishness by committing suicide, or those around him commit acts of selfishness by forcing him to be alive. One side or the other gets to be selfish. There is no middle ground. So what are you suggesting?

[ Parent ]
Others (5.00 / 2) (#74)
by katie on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:59:40 AM EST

Watching someone suffer isn't fun either.

We're not talking about selfish acts of people taking their own lives on a whim, we're talking about people who are going to die anyway - they just want to choose the means.



[ Parent ]
I officially eat my words (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by anno1602 on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:45:17 PM EST

I just realised that the real stumble-block is "deserving". No person is entitled to judge whether another one deserves death (or life, for that matter), so the entire argument is kind of moot. Besides, the parent comment also implies that you can add lifes up (in the vein of "hey, I can grant 5 poeple who deserve it longer lifes, so i can call 5 other ones"), so it falls short there, too.

Next time I'm going to think before I post. Promise.


--
"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
What did you expect ? (3.75 / 8) (#73)
by Betcour on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:37:50 AM EST

USA is a christian country (yes really), just like Iran is a muslim country. Despite the separation of church and state, the population is sticking to christians principles. And since christianity is vastly self-contradicting, so is America. Don't forget the country was colonised with European biggots, at a time when even non-European biggots where quite religious.

[ Parent ]
Sounds like... (1.83 / 6) (#95)
by derek3000 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:07:19 AM EST

And since christianity is vastly self-contradicting, so is America. Don't forget the country was colonised with European biggots, at a time when even non-European biggots where quite religious.

you're the bigot.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Rating by Reply (none / 0) (#177)
by virg on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 12:07:23 PM EST

Derek3000, I'm going to toss you a reply to you instead of a rating since I think it'll help more. I agree with you in that Betcour is a bigot to make such statements, but even though you're right, your comment doesn't add much to the argument, which is why I'd rate it low. Tell me your logic (even if it's obvious) for thinking he's the bigot and the European settlers aren't, and you'll garner more respect and higher ratings.

Perhaps I sound pedantic or condescending, but I say this because, long ago, someone very wise told me that I was making the same mistake, and so now I've learned to present a basis for every argument.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
fair enough (none / 0) (#197)
by adequate nathan on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 01:33:20 AM EST

Only I don't notice you scolding Betcour for downrating an opponent in thread.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

I have been trolled. (4.50 / 2) (#130)
by adequate nathan on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 04:00:07 PM EST

christianity is vastly self-contradicting.

Just like socialism, laissez-faire capitalism, mercantilism, empiricism, feudalism, and nationalism?

How does the contradictory nature of Christianity (large C please) make America a more contradictory nation than those founded on the isms mentioned above?

Incidentally, I notice that bashing Christianity is a great way to karma whore on this site.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Actually... (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by virg on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 11:56:28 AM EST

...the karma-whoring comes from bashing religion in general, not just Christianity, although that particular target gets more shots than most others (probably because there are so many disaffected Christians in the k5 ranks). Still, in the troll there lies a grain of truth. The U.S. is driven (in a moral sense, at least) by the Christian ethic, and the people that originally settled here from Europe were called "pilgrims" for a reason. I have found that the separation of church and state falls under attack rather often because of this. I think what he labels "contradiction" falls more comfortably under the name "hypocrisy" to me, where lawmakers shout about freedom and rights to get elected, then pass laws that infringe on our real freedoms because they feel they're better equipped to think for us than we are for ourselves. While the average "person of religion" (sorry, I can't find a better term than this except "deist", which has connotations I wanted to avoid) doesn't seek to enforce his or her ethics on others, a large proportion of those who do wish to do this come from an overreligious background, and I think the original troll's failing is simply overextending this tendency to the general Christian population.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
which is my point: (none / 0) (#198)
by adequate nathan on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 01:38:16 AM EST

Bashing Christianity appeals to anti-Christian bigots who want to blame a religion for the failings of a society.

How is the Christianity of America any more (or less) hypocritical than the Lamaism of Tibet or the Hinduism of India? Any religion can (and probably was or will be) appropriated to serve the social agenda of some power-hungry monster. That's no philosophical argument. It's intellectual laziness, karma whoring, or chauvinism.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Personal responsibility (4.83 / 6) (#88)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:49:27 AM EST

When you think about many of the issues that trouble today's society, it really comes down to personal responsibility. The reason that all these issues are called problems is our suspicion that many people do not know what's 'best for them.' We do not allow people to take responsibility for their own lives and decisions. So we end up with rules about assisted suicide, drugs, sex, totalitarian law enforcement.. it is made very clear that there is a group of people who are better equipped to rule your life than you are.

So in answer to your question, our philosophy is that taking your own life isn't 'what's best for you', so it should be made illegal (it is not your decision to make). It may seem strange that suicide would be illegal but the death penalty is legal (not to mention abortion), but what all these have in common is the group imposing its will on the individual. YOU may not commit suicide because WE value human life. YOU must die for your crime, because WE believe that is best for society.

What this ends up doing, is it creates an atmosphere where people don't trust themselves to make decisions.. people think it's necessary to have the government involved in their lives to this extent. We are so used to traffic stops, illegal searches, surveillance, vice laws, that the majority are convinced that they are necessary! We have forgotten that given the choice, most people will choose the reponsible path. It is only when we remove that ability to choose, when we force an individual down a specific road, that we end up in a situation where people rely on the government to make their decisions for them.

We have been brainwashed into thinking that if an act is morally wrong, it should be legally wrong. Until we stop legislating morality, and start letting people take responsibility, we'll be in this hole where people just assume the government has their best interests in mind.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

your right (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by Altus on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 04:30:43 PM EST


I would argue that this kind of thinking (not yours, but societies) has resulted in the unwillingness of people to take responsibility for their actions and their lives.

after all, why should I take resposibility for my life when I dont have actual control over it.

of course i dont think this is caused simply by the existance of the death peanalty or laws against suicide, but once you have thoes it is easy to follow along the path of telling people whats best for them (ie vice laws... ect...).
"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]
More fundemental questions. (4.25 / 8) (#45)
by TheOrange on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:41:53 PM EST



The question of assisted suicide is obfuscating the real issues.

My body is sovereign, I do not believe I need permission to eat, drink, smoke or inject anything I choose. By what right does the federal government, or the state government limit my choices, as far as my health is concerned?



To a Doctor? (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by cione on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 03:50:47 PM EST

This Law focused more on the Right to go to a doctor and have them prescribe medication for your choice. The doctor can do this without fear of losing his license under the law.
_________________________________________________
Daylight Savings - Can I make a withdrawl please?
[ Parent ]
Who says (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by SIGFPE on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:59:28 PM EST

My body is sovereign
You can say so as often as you like. Merely saying so doesn't actually make it so. Are you going to provide any kind of justification for your assertion?
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Ninth Amendment (4.25 / 4) (#57)
by Pseudoephedrine on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:46:00 PM EST

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Also, though it's a bit of a stretch, I imagine the principles underlying the 14th Amendment would apply, particularly Section One, where it says No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States

As well, modern jurisprudence generally accepts the person's sovereignty over their own body in issues such as abortion, taking medication, having any kind of sex they want, and other fields related to medicine and health. Generally, it's administrative law such as the DEA's Schedule of Controlled Drugs which counteracts this principle, rather than laws passed by Congress.


"We who have passed through their hands feel suffocated when we think of that legion, which is stripped bare of human ideals" -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
[ Parent ]

I've no idea... (2.00 / 1) (#59)
by SIGFPE on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:30:50 PM EST

...how "privileges or immunities" is interpreted wrt sovereignty over your body. Maybe you could fill in the details.
As well, modern jurisprudence generally accepts the person's sovereignty over their own body in issues such as...
Well yes, but there's also a list of issues in which you're not considered to have sovereignty so I'm not sure there's a more general principle at work.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Sovereignty is a right (4.66 / 6) (#60)
by bobjim on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:44:10 PM EST

Sovereignty is a right. In fact, it's the right to self-determination. Like other rights, it's only an attitude that people (or states) can hold in regard to others. So any claim of sovereignty is, in effect, a request for others to respect self-determination within a given area (a person's body, a state's territory).

Sure, sovereignty can be breached, but that doesn't mean that the sovereignty doesn't exist, just that it's being violated.

The trick is to get others to respect your sovereignty.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
[ Parent ]

Who, indeed? (4.00 / 3) (#61)
by Robert Hutchinson on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:44:21 PM EST

My body is sovereign
You can say so as often as you like. Merely saying so doesn't actually make it so. Are you going to provide any kind of justification for your assertion?
Cut off your right thumb.

Right now.

Because I said so.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

Missing the point (none / 0) (#112)
by Iron Squirrel on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:44:36 PM EST

Because I said so.

The point of sovereignty is that I don't have to do what you think I should do with my body - I do what I want to do. I'm not going to cut off my thumb because I want to keep it.

You're right about "saying it doesn't actaully make it so." If you've read anything about the mental health system you should be scared. VERY SCARED.



[ Parent ]

The wages of chemical addiction (3.75 / 4) (#68)
by karb on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:30:06 AM EST

Because it isn't just your health at stake ..

If you become an alcoholic, or an illegal drug addict, it is quite possible you'll lose your job and resort to property crime to feed your addiction. If the government decides to imprison you for your crimes and/or rehabilitate you from your addiction, then who exactly pays for that? You?

If you are high/drunk and go driving and whack into my car while going 80, how is that an issue of 'your health' and not a societal issue?

Secondhand smoke.

When you take drugs that mess you up and you end up in the ER, again, do you pay for that? If you beat up your spouse because you really aren't in a position to think clearly because you're intoxicated, how is that an issue of your health?

I do agree with you. It is your body, you can do what you want. However, to ignore the likely societal affects of chemical addictions is short-sighted. (or is it shortsighted?) :)

Besides, (in a slightly red-herringish way) physician-assisted suicide could eventually turn into physician-encouraged suicide. How do you think HMOs would handle you if physician-assisted suicide were legal and you were terminally ill? Do you think you'd really get to continue receiving medical attention if you were terminal and refused suicide?
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

I should mention (none / 0) (#69)
by karb on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:49:01 AM EST

Since I don't want to get into a comment-war (it's way, way too late for that) that I'm not trying to present this as some sort of general framework for keeping drugs illegal (notice that I included alcohol). I'm just arguing against the idea that substance use/abuse is a matter of personal freedom.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
But, these are already catered for.. (4.50 / 2) (#101)
by hstink on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 11:03:06 AM EST

If you become an alcoholic, or an illegal drug addict, it is quite possible you'll lose your job and resort to property crime to feed your addiction. If the government decides to imprison you for your crimes and/or rehabilitate you from your addiction, then who exactly pays for that? You?

There are many courses of action that lead people to "property crime." However the end (i.e. the crime itself) is already illegal, whether motivated by drugs or not. It would make as much sense to outlaw homelessness, as it is also a common prelude to such crimes.

If you are high/drunk and go driving and whack into my car while going 80, how is that an issue of 'your health' and not a societal issue?

I believe, again, that the act we're punishing is the "whack" itself. I would seek reparations whether the whacker was stoned, drunk, sober or whatever, it's obviously dangerous driving.

There is a side issue though, I dare say people should be punished for putting other people at risk by driving when in poor mental condition - this would driving while drunk, depressed, being sexually pleasured, giving birth, etc.

When you take drugs that mess you up and you end up in the ER, again, do you pay for that? If you beat up your spouse because you really aren't in a position to think clearly because you're intoxicated, how is that an issue of your health?

In all these examples, you could replace "taking drugs" with "being depressed" or "being an idiot" or "having a degenerative mental condition."

We already have a legal framework for punishing legitimate violations of and threats against the rights of others, I just don't see the reason for lumping drugs into the equation.

Of course there are societal impacts if you get addicted to some substance or behaviour pattern and do something stupid, but the impact occurs when the "something stupid" is done, regardless of what someone ingested beforehand.

-h

[ Parent ]

Reparations vs. regulation (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by dachshund on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 11:43:28 AM EST

I believe, again, that the act we're punishing is the "whack" itself. I would seek reparations whether the whacker was stoned, drunk, sober or whatever, it's obviously dangerous driving.

In some senses, you may be right. On the other hand, somebody who's drunk or high out of his/her mind may not be able to make rational decisions about whether to drive or not. Fear of reparations or consequences don't have a preventative effect in that situation. And reparations can never bring somebody back to life-- even if the perpetrator is caught and has the funds to pay them.

While I believe it's reasonable in principle for society to limit certain behaviors, I think the actual implementation in this country is completely screwed up. It's legal to buy as much alcohol as you want, provided you're 21. You can then jump into a car and kill 10 people. However, it's illegal to smoke pot or coke, for not-very-well-defined reasons. Perhaps the addiction factor of certain drugs can be factored in, but the same can be said of alcohol.

Not to mention the fact that the cost of our prohibition seems to be higher than that of the behavior we're trying to prevent. And that it's failing anyway.

My point here is that you stand as much chance of re-creating the government into a non-regulating form as you do of getting it to simply regulate in a reasonable, coherent manner. Probably a much lesser chance. Some people seem to think that we can a) rebuild a government that will never try to regulate anything, b) that we can make that situation permanent, and that c) it won't be a disaster. I doubt all three.

In all these examples, you could replace "taking drugs" with "being depressed" or "being an idiot" or "having a degenerative mental condition."

We already have a legal framework for punishing legitimate violations of and threats against the rights of others, I just don't see the reason for lumping drugs into the equation.

You're right about all of the examples above. They're all legitimate reasons why somebody might be dangerous if allowed to drive. The government (or really, the people) have to decide how much certain classes of people should be regulated, and that regulation has to be balanced against those individuals' civil rights. For instance, the controversy over whether society can institutionalize dangerously insane people has been a big one. But the reason it's so questionable is not on some axiomatic "government regulation or no government regulation" principle, but purely due to civil rights issues.

Some people mistakenly believe that the government's fundamental right to regulate is at issue in these decisions, but it's not. It's a question of how the government's right competes with various rights granted to people.

How far you extend these rights, and how you interpret their meaning make a big difference in what the gov't is allowed to do. And of course, how people want their government to behave govern what it tries to regulate.

[ Parent ]

the measure of harmful effects (2.50 / 4) (#109)
by karb on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:20:38 PM EST

Some things are just more harmful than others. The rate of alcohol addiction is pretty low, and the moderate use of it has few ill effects. The cost to society per user is nontrivial but not overwhelming.

On the other hand, cocaine has an addiction rate of over 70%, and pretty much destroys its users, mentally and physically. The cost to society per user is enormous.

The line between allowable and not allowable is going to be somewhat arbitrary. I'm not going to get into that. I just feel that there is little logic behind allowing people to use illicit substances on the basis that it's 'their body'. I don't believe you can tell somebody that, say, they are allowed to use PCP, but will be responsible for their actions while under its influence.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

But you're talking in extremes (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by hstink on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:41:42 PM EST

Some things are just more harmful than others. The rate of alcohol addiction is pretty low, and the moderate use of it has few ill effects. The cost to society per user is nontrivial but not overwhelming.

How many people do you know that inject pure ethanol into their veins? Or snort pure nicotene? Prohibition has pushed drug users to ludicrous extremes of behaviour, and if the substances in question were legal, you would find alternate methods of delivery appearing which represented far less risk to the user.

The line between allowable and not allowable is going to be somewhat arbitrary. I'm not going to get into that. I just feel that there is little logic behind allowing people to use illicit substances on the basis that it's 'their body'. I don't believe you can tell somebody that, say, they are allowed to use PCP, but will be responsible for their actions while under its influence.

Well if it's not their body, whose exactly is it? The government's? It appears so, since they're claiming sovereignty over it to enact drug laws.

What's the problem with holding drug users to account? It's the entire underpinning of society - "you may be free and all, but you will be held responsible for your actions." If someone takes PCP and headbutts everyone they encounter, they're fully to blame for the voluntary acts leading up to said altercations, and must be held responsible for it. To say otherwise would endow users with impunity before the law, and no one should have that privilege.

-h

[ Parent ]

Cost to society stems from drug laws (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by zakalwe on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 11:21:31 PM EST

cocaine has an addiction rate of over 70%, and pretty much destroys its users, mentally and physically. The cost to society per user is enormous.
There are two different points here, and I think both are invalid.

The first is the harm to the user - "cocaine ... destroys its users, mentally and physically." I'd imagine that this isn't the case for all users, but since I don't know much about cocaine additction, I'll skip this point. In fact, it doesn't matter how bad it is for the user - it is still the user's right to make their own choice if it harms only them. Mountain climbing, skiing, smoking and drinking all have associated risks and negative effects but if someone feels the gains outweigh the costs, I should not have the right to ban them. Even if someone wants to commit suicide, or decides to cut off their arm, they should still have that right (though I'd still try to talk them out of it.)

The second point is the "cost to society." In principle, this is a valid point - if there is a practical reason that some activity may harm society, then we should at least consider enforcing laws. In the case of drugs though, I'm convinced that the cost to society would be less if we legalised them.

In the UK, taxes on cigarettes cover the medical burden imposed by smokers many times over. In effect, smokers are a net gain for society. The same would doubtless be true of drugs - especially since legalising would prevent the major medical problems - caused by impure or mixed drugs, or dirty or shared needles. When you consider that that money is currently going directly into the pockets of serious criminals, the benefits seem even higher. The fact that the cost to society is enormous is solely because we legislate against drugs

Legalisation would provide cheaper, safer drugs, reducing the need for adicts to commit crime to support their habit. When was the last time you heard about someone mugging someone for a pack of cigarettes?

I don't believe you can tell somebody that, say, they are allowed to use PCP, but will be responsible for their actions while under its influence.
I don't see why not. Is this any more illogical than holding a drunk driver responsible. Is the fact that he was drunk a valid excuse for his decision to drive? It was the user's free choice to take the drugs, and hence they are responsible for the damage they do - both to themselves and others.

[ Parent ]
Punishment should come after the crime (4.00 / 1) (#119)
by annenk38 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:50:35 PM EST

If you become an alcoholic, or an illegal drug addict, it is quite possible you'll lose your job and resort to property crime to feed your addiction.
That is certainly possible, perhaps even highly probable. But the state should not punish people for the crimes they have not yet committed, however certain they may be that a crime will be committed in the future.

And if my left hand causes me to stumble as well -- what do I cut it off with? -- Harry, Prince of Wales (The Blackadder)
[ Parent ]
on the other hand.... (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by memerot2 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:35:18 PM EST

The costs to society of attempting to control what individuals do with their body (jails, police, lost work force, etc.) to limit harm to others CLEARLY should be weighed against the costs to society of letting people do what they want with their bodies and paying for the consequences. Which do you think is cheaper? And how does that fit in with the Enron-style accounting that the gov't is using to argue that paying for more jails and more cops are not costs of the drug war?

[ Parent ]
Your body is not sovereign. (4.25 / 4) (#118)
by annenk38 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:43:21 PM EST

At least, not here in the US. All residents are implicitly the property of the state. Everyone is required by law, under certain conditions, such as war, to perform services for the government. In other words, you are a slave. As for your body, perhaps I should mention that in the uniformed services, people who are careless enough to get a sunburn are typically prosecuted under the article "Destruction of Govermnent Property" of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

And if my left hand causes me to stumble as well -- what do I cut it off with? -- Harry, Prince of Wales (The Blackadder)
[ Parent ]
Just try and make me... (4.66 / 3) (#122)
by wonko on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:15:32 PM EST

A friend of mine has very strong opinions on the draft. He's not a peace-loving hippie, but he refuses to sign up for selective service (a legal requirement for US males over 18) for the very reason that he believes his body is sovereign.

When I asked him how he planned to get out of it if they actually do draft him (since he's not religious or opposed to countries using war to solve their differences), he said something that actually makes a lot of sense. His plan is to simply tell everyone he meets that if they ever give him a gun, he's going to shoot the first officer he can find.

[ Parent ]

Not the best idea (none / 0) (#195)
by wnight on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 11:13:13 AM EST

I'd recommend that he takes a gun with him to the recruitment facility and starts shooting people. It'll end the same way but he'll get the people directly involved. If he states that he'll shoot an officer without doing it, he'll spend the next twenty years (or longer) in prison.

Really, I don't have much of a problem with this. If the state drafts you and forces you to go to war to potentially kill someone, to support some political idealogy, why can't you get a gun and kill to support your own idealogy? Just make sure you kill the politicians who support the draft.

It's not like we've had a real war, versus someone who was actually trying to take our homes and kill our families, for quite a while.

I wish we could take an aspect of the society from Starship Troopers - the bit where you must serve to get a say. Even if we only used a bit of it. I don't think you should be able to vote to go to war or draft people unless you enter your name into the draft lottery. There are some causes worth fighting for, and some dangers severe enough that we need everyone to help, but I want to see the choice made by those with their lives on the line.

[ Parent ]
State-ownership (none / 0) (#180)
by Spud The Ninja on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 01:55:38 PM EST

All residents are implicitly the property of the state.

I'm not a citizen of the US of A, but I do know a few ex-pats, and they tell me that you can renounce your state citizenship, and become a federal citizen. Apparently, this had interesting tax benefits, would it change things with military services?



[ Parent ]
itchy issue here... (4.00 / 5) (#49)
by KiTaSuMbA on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 07:45:24 PM EST

It is my opinion (and perhaps I will get serious flak for this) that a person holds all rights for his *own* life, hence including the act of death, as long as his actions do not interfere with other people's rights. He has a right to commit suicide (as long as he doesn't blow up a city to get done with it etc.). But what about a person "helping out" the victim to commit that suicide? That's were all the itch comes in. A medical doctor has the right AND duty to provide life not to take it away. You can of course argue that he should avoid the avoidable pain for his patient, if that is the patient's own coscient will. As strange as it can be, and despite some millenia past, Ippocrate's vow is touching the issue of euthanasia and explicitly prohibits it. But it also prohibits the abortion, a procedure now recognised as legal in many western legislatures. So much for the tradition: it is ok to keep up with tradition but we should not fear to change over it if we find it inadequate. Let's get a bit more practical:
The personal issue (from the other side):
the Oregon law is very cautious and well designed to avoid "legal" trouble (2 MDs, written permition, coscient patient at the *act* etc.). But what if the MD does not feel like doing it? It's killing someone after all. If he denied to inject the lethal dose after all the burocracy is ready and presented to him, would that consist a negligence of duty? I hope not, for I, personally, would never do such an injection!
The political issue:
This is a state law democratically voted by the Oregon citizens. In my understanding, the federal law overdoes state law. However, states are free to rule on other human rights issues (even pretty itchy ones as the death penalty) with no federal intervention. What worries me most, is not the federal intervention per se, but the methods used in such a procedure. Quoting the article:

the "Ashcroft Directive" which basically advised the DEA to track and report doctors that would participate in "Assisted Suicide".

In what manner is the federal government to "track" (for further prosecution?!?) professionists that followed a democratic law that is still standing as no federal law was announced to overule it? So, you are "free" to do it but your name will be noted to the authorities... Isn't this a kind of intimidation (to use "soft" words) known to be unacceptable in a democracy?
Ahh, what a big word it is: DEMOCRACY!
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
"killing someone after all" (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by aelscha on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:00:51 AM EST

But what if the MD does not feel like doing it? It's killing someone after all. If he denied to inject the lethal dose after all the burocracy is ready and presented to him, would that consist a negligence of duty? I hope not, for I, personally, would never do such an injection!

The patient has to administer the dose themself. That's yet another failsafe written into the law. All the doctor is doing is giving them the drugs to use. Yes, it's not a decision I'd want to make either... but... I have a lot of respect for other people's decisions about their lives.

[ Parent ]

No doctor is required to participate (none / 0) (#102)
by dachshund on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 11:11:42 AM EST

But what if the MD does not feel like doing it?

Under this law, no doctor is required to participate in this program if he/she does not want to. Similarly, you can't expect just any OB/GYN to perform an abortion under non-life-threatening circumstances. This doesn't mean patients don't have access to either procedure. What the law does do is allow doctors to perform the service, without fear of being arrested or losing their license (assuming Ashcroft doesn't get his way, of course.)

As the other poster pointed out, the lethal dose is administered by the patient him/herself. The law requires the doctor to insure that the patient is mentally competent and is indeed terminally ill (via a second opinion.)

There are doctors who participate in executions-- at least in the design and preparation phases, though they may not actually press the button. AFAIK, none of these people are ever required to do so against their will (in this country, at least.) Nevertheless, some individuals still volunteer to fill that role. Personally, I find that much more disturbing. If you're looking for a slippery-slope argument about doctors being involved in killing patients, we've had that one for many, many years.

[ Parent ]

indirectely supporting Death Penalty (none / 0) (#147)
by KiTaSuMbA on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:42:49 PM EST

by playing a role a doctor is "supposed to" but actually should not is far more disturbing, I agree. Sorry, but my sympathy for death penalty supporters is around zero (though violent counteractions, as offenly occur are against my "political taste" too).
We should NOT compare these issues. I solely refered to DP to point out a what seems to me 2 different ways of federal intervention upon state laws on human rights. And that, IMO, is even more disturbing...
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
Renounce right to life and lose all human rights (3.33 / 3) (#120)
by memerot2 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:51:02 PM EST

I have always felt that assisted suicide is morally right. I still do. However I read a treatise on human rights that poses a dilemma for me, because in several years of thinking about it I cannot find one logical flaw in the reasoning.

In order to be secure in any right (freedom of speech, association, religion, anything) you must have a fundamental right to life. If you don't, any other right can be trumped by a threat to kill you, or by simply killing you. This right is fundamental to all other rights. A right to free speech has no power if you can't invoke that right when the gestapo come knocking at your door. Now the question is - should you be able to voluntarily give up this right? Well, what are the consequences of giving up this right? Is it possible to imagine some circumstance where someone who is very poor is willing to sell their organs? Even if this endangers their life? Should this be allowed? No it shouldn't, and it isn't allowed under our laws. Can you voluntarily place yourself into slavery? No, because if you could you would soon find many poor people placing themselves into slavery to get money for an operation to save a relative, maybe the one who sold those vital organs. Can you voluntarily give up your right to freedom of religion? No, for many would soon feel pressured to conform also. You cannot renounce human rights, they're just part of the human condition.

If you can give up the right to life, you can give up any of the other rights that draw power from it. If you decide you want to die and sign the paperwork - at that point you no longer have any human rights. You have no freedom of religion. No freedom to be free from torture. No convincing moral argument for any of these human rights, because you have given up the root of all such rights. So the doctor could instead of painlessly killing you instead chop off your foot with an axe and poke your bleeding flesh with hot skewers. I know this isn't allowed still under our laws, but i'm talking about moral claims. How can you claim a moral right to be free from pain if you don't have a moral right to be free from being killed? How can you claim you still have the right to pray to allah or go to church on sunday when you acknowledge that the person in the room with you can kill you? As soon as you try to pray, they kill you. So you have no such right to practice your religion.

I see no way around it that once you renounce your right to life, you also renounce all subsequent human rights that draw from that core.

The only solution is an ugly one where there are no human rights inherent in humanity, only rights that are part of the social contract that are only available to someone who can act as a moral agent. Which leaves the paralyzed out, leaves children out, etc. It does allow the assisted killing of people too crippled to kill themselves (and presumably incapable of playing a productive role in society), but also allows the killing of young children. Although with therapeutic cloning becoming a big medical issue, maybe this is the way society is trending, but if so it scares the hell out of me.

[ Parent ]
the thing is (4.00 / 1) (#131)
by Altus on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 04:14:48 PM EST

that you dont have to exercise a right to possess it.

just because I choose not to speak does not mean that I have given up my rights of speach.

the only thing with death is, its forever (for now :)

Its not realy about having the right to life, its about having the rights to your own life . You are supposed to have control over your life and you have the right to end it.

lets face it, if you dont have complete control over your own life (and the right to end it) then you really dont have much do you?

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]
BUT.... (none / 0) (#137)
by memerot2 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 06:14:08 PM EST

If you define the right to 'freedom of religion' as the right to practice your religion or the right to conform to the herd, then you're defining the right in such a way that it doesn't exist.

I'm not saying you can't kill YOURSELF. Then you don't give up your right of life to anyone else. And really having a doctor give you medicine to end your life doesn't alter that. The murky area is people who are so ill they can't end their own life. Clearly, they are suffering in the extreme. If anyone should be able to kill themselves to end their pain it's them. But granting someone else the right to kill you is granting them the right to abuse you or do whatever they want to too. Why not harvest your organs against your will to help others? The organs will be in the most pristine condition if they're harvested while you're alive and undrugged. Since you're going to die anyway, why not? Clearly there is no greater harm that can befall one than to be killed, so if killing is allowed lesser abuses, like causing pain, etc. should also seem to be allowed. Which is part of the unrelated problem I have with people who worry about the 'suffering' of animals while in a slaughterhouse waiting to be killed. Really, which matters more, suffering or death? Death. If it's ok to kill the animal, surely it's no big deal if some yokel gets his yucks kicking it around at the same time? If the suffering bothers you then you are so kidding yourself about the death being ok. Think about it.

[ Parent ]
if I got this right... (none / 0) (#149)
by KiTaSuMbA on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:52:03 PM EST

the law in discussion would not grant permission in that "murky area" you describe (and I can see your points if that was the case).
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
the actual flaw (none / 0) (#148)
by KiTaSuMbA on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:47:30 PM EST

is that such a law does not *require* you to give up such a right but provides you the natural freedom of denying your right if you wish to.
If you are worry of future obscure legal manipulations, I suppose that if such manipulations should occur WILL occur regardless of this law. Pretexts can always be found, the story goes...
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
Inherent rights? (none / 0) (#152)
by Souhait on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 02:15:12 AM EST

What rights are inherent to an organism? We've created all our rights and are continuing to do so, but to say that they are inherent in our being is stretching things a bit. We evolved from monkeys in a survival-of-the-fittest or however you want to say it... where do you get your rights from that?

[ Parent ]
State vs. Federal Law (none / 0) (#153)
by Souhait on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 02:17:45 AM EST

Used to be that federal law wasn't any more powerful than state law. The government's been using selective incorporation to force federal civil rights onto states that don't want it (60's civil rights movement) but I don't think there's any constitutional standing for the federal law banning euthanasia. If there is, I'd like to see it.

[ Parent ]
America's actions speak louder than its words (3.33 / 6) (#56)
by tiger on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:36:09 PM EST

The American mass media is always telling us how free we are, and yet the reality is very different.

The reason why the American government is consistently against euthanasia, is the same reason it is against, for example, medical marijuana. The reason is money.

Allowing people to voluntarily die when terminally ill, means less money for pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and hospitals.

If the common man can escape a terminal condition cheaply, then the rich in America suffer.

--
Americans :— Say no to male genital mutilation. In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child



More money for lethal-injection makes though (none / 0) (#58)
by mindwoven on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 08:50:12 PM EST

:-)

[ Parent ]
perhaps (none / 0) (#100)
by dakoda on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:39:40 AM EST

but there is no substitute for keeping someone alive for months or years, leaching money off of them the whole time.

"if you are not part of the solution, there is much money to be made prolinging the problem"

[ Parent ]
How does oregons law say it must be done? (2.00 / 3) (#67)
by AnalogBoy on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:16:22 AM EST

I'd almost be scared to die. I mean, there's really no way to know how much it hurts.. With few exceptions.. like being strapped to a nuclear bomb or being completely squished in about .01/sec.

Never having taken a barbituate [i think], though, i have no idea what even -that- feels like. personally i'd like to go OD'ing on N2O. Does oregon's law state what form said suicide would be in?

And why limit it to those who are terminally ill? People should be able to end their lives if they want to. Break glass in event of being fed-up with the world.. 6 billion people is too many, IMHO.

$.01




--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
If it'sanything like general anesthesia (none / 0) (#89)
by fn0rd on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:54:13 AM EST

Then I can say from experience that after the initial pinprick, it doesn't hurt at all. In fact, I don't even remember the pinprick.

This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

you fall asleep... (none / 0) (#90)
by KiTaSuMbA on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 09:15:03 AM EST

and never come back.
Simple as that. While this is pretty simple and kinda nice-looking I can't help thinking of a "problem":
What if you get second thoughts as soon as you inject the dose, for that handfull of seconds you are still coscient... Yikes!
Again I repeat that that should be your right anyway. I simply can't think of myself doing it. If (and I sincerely hope not, I'd rather go with a bang!) I was to face such a situation I would probably get a truckload of pain killers and go on vacation to some remote island. Yes, I know that when in full cachesia I would be totally unable to do just about anything, even inject me the stuff, but I'd rather live some last weeks in peace and fade away in pain than live some months of agony in a neutral white, sterilized hospital room. In fact, here in Italy there is a new project for terminal patients so that they can have some support at their own home to livew in some commodity the remaining of their lives...
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
You really want to know (none / 0) (#94)
by cione on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:04:38 AM EST

Well usually they a prescribe what looks to be cough medicine. You drink it and go to sleep. The body then shuts down without pain and you don't wake up.
_________________________________________________
Daylight Savings - Can I make a withdrawl please?
[ Parent ]
Death doesn't sound too painful to me (none / 0) (#113)
by dcloues on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:00:07 PM EST

The act of dying might be painful, depending on how it happens. The point of this law is to allow people to make their deaths as painless as possible, but, like you say, is there really a way to tell how painless it really is? The process appears physically painless, but do we know what is happening to the minds of the people who die? It isn't like anyone will ever be able to come back and tell us, "You know, that didn't hurt at all!" or "That was awful, don't let anyone do it!"

On the other hand, if I had to choose between a long and drawn out period of suffering and a brief and a seemingly painless and merciully brief death, I would take the latter any day. Even if it does end up hurting a little, once I'm dead I doubt I'll be able to care about much of anything ;)

--------
"I'm a pacifist. I don't own a gun because if I did, I'm terrified I would use it." -- Unknown
[ Parent ]
When someone commits a suicide... (1.36 / 11) (#71)
by johwsun on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:30:26 AM EST

..he reincarnates to a life with pain similiar to the one he had in its previous life.

Iasson, the black rose.

And happy people? (none / 0) (#77)
by joostje on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 06:43:31 AM EST

...he reincarnates to a life with pain similiar to the one he had in its previous life.

So, why don't happy people commit suicide more often?

[ Parent ]

..when a happy person commits a suicide... (1.00 / 1) (#79)
by johwsun on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:14:15 AM EST

.....he reincarnates to a life with hapiness similiar to the one he had in its previous life.

when a happy person dies normally he reincarnates to a life with MORE hapiness to the one he had in its previous life.

thats why happy people do not suicide.

Iasson, the white rose.


[ Parent ]
Drugs? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by alt on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:18:20 PM EST

What kind of drugs are you on that take you into such a fantasy land?

I find your comment insulting.

I suffer from depression (which is a chemical imbalance in the brain) and to be told that because my particular form of depression may lead me to suicide and that act will beget me another life of misery and suffering is unconscienable.

Because something that is not totally within my control may lead me to do something that most people disagree with, I am completely at fault?

Sorry dude. But what ever you are smoking, you need to stop.

Mental Illness is not something to be ashamed of and it is not anyone's fault. If a mentally ill person commits suicide, they cannot be held totally responsible for their actions.

Anyone who has depression knows that some days it's really bad and other days it is non-existant.

Anyone who has depression knows that on the really bad days, there is no desire to continue. There is no desire to live. And there certainly is no desire for to respect a self-riteous idiot that thinks that they know what happens in the next life (if there even is one).

[ Parent ]
You don't understand.. (4.00 / 2) (#134)
by Steeltoe on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 05:47:46 PM EST

where he's coming from. He's talking about spirituality. In spirituality you are TOTALLY responsible. You yourself chose to live with the physical and psychological conditions you've got. Not you - the physical person, but your soul or higher self. The worse you got it, the rougher lessons you can get from this life. It all depends what each person needs and wants to experience to grow. Unfortunately, we rarely grow much by sitting on a cloud playing harp ;)

I'm sorry if that is insulting to your education and intelligence. However, spiritualistic beliefs are not so stupid when you get to learn them. They can help a person immensely. It exists in every core of religion and is generally what is good about them, even though many religious people today have forgotten.

Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
This belief IS both insulting and stupid (4.00 / 2) (#138)
by zakalwe on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 06:39:16 PM EST

I find such spirituality deeply repugnant. The old "What you get in this life is based on your previous", and similar has been used to justify some of the most horrible views.

Don't feel you need to help the poor - they're just paying off the karma for their evil, evil past lives. Got cancer? That's just God's will for the way you've lived. Don't feel like theres any responsibility on YOU to help people - its their own fault for leading such bad previous lives.

How can anyone not find this view insulting to their education and intelligence. Especially when the only justification is "I know this to be true." It is not a belief I feel any more desire to respect than "The Aryan race was created by God superior to others" or "Black people were created by Satan and must be wiped out."

[ Parent ]

You assume too much (none / 0) (#158)
by Steeltoe on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 03:25:52 PM EST

Using knowledge to justify such behaviour as apathy is gross misuse of it and ignorance what life's really about. Taking full responsibility means that you observe something and then you do whatever you can about it, what you feel is right. Just don't overdo it, because then you render other people powerless to make their own decisions and mistakes. You don't demand anything in return. You make THEM decide wether they want your help or not.

You speak of karma without really knowing what it is. The popularized version of it is that you pay your past debts through horrible experiences now. People tend to focus on the negative, so this view has prevailed even though it is highly inaccurate, if not blatantly wrong. However, karma (IIRC) means "action", it is simply a higher law of action-reaction - kind of like physics.

Mystics states karma, like consciousness, encompass everything around us. That events can be linked through time and space by consciousness. It is responsible for everything, even the physical laws, and is what binds us to reincarnate again and again in the physical. This makes life more like a fantastic dream where everything is possible. It's just that we don't believe that, or will misuse the power, so we attract limitation to us (physical laws, death, etc).

An example: If you help somebody, they will be thankful to you. Maybe you don't get a reward at once, but if you "claim" a reward, it will probably come to you sooner or later. After all you've got an eternity to spend waiting :) The point of karma isn't the "great deed" that you did though, it is that YOUR consciousness starts claiming a "reward". YOU feel what should come to you, and that will eventually be attracted to you.. This is how I believe karma works in a more universal scope. Karma is not really something we "have" or don't "have", it is more like higher laws that our consciousnesses abide by, or more accurately, believe in.

Incidentally, the very intention to claim a reward for what we do is what is binding us to reincarnate again and again on earth. We claim a reward and need to incarnate to experience it. Yogis train to NOT claim rewards, thus hope to finally be free. When you're free of desires, you don't pout when something bad happens, you take the challenge. Likewise, you can create whatever you desire, as long as you don't cling to it. If you cling to it, you're afraid it will go away or turn around. That fear will unavoidably attract such an event later.

What this means is that we should never judge people based on their experiences, since you really don't know. Maybe they live poor because they make poor economical decisions for instance? Maybe they live rich because they like living richly? Maybe someone has alot of sex because they enjoy having it lifetime after lifetime? Maybe a criminal is 'forced' into criminality because of an unhappy childhood, or maybe not? It doesn't matter, it's all a chain of cause and effect. In the highest sense, everybody is truly innocent and it's all a big play. It's important to make distinctions between higher perspectives and conclusions and our lower actions here on earth though, or it will provoke apathy. We're here to participate in the play.

Instead you can focus on the positive. "What can I do to help? What can I teach?"

Anyways, this is how I regard the matter now. Maybe I have misunderstood some concepts, or don't remember something important, however it should prove a good overview of what most people have forgotten about spirituality. Much still remains in "common sense", but as we see today, such sense is not so common anymore ;)

I hope this helps you. This is just the tip of the iceberg.


Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
..my belief is slight different.. (none / 0) (#171)
by johwsun on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 04:38:48 AM EST

..every suffering person, suffers because he/she is commited to solve a quest of life. We should help suffering persons solve their quest and stop suffering.
We can help suffering persons only by loving them. This support helps them find the solution of their quest. After all they are not doing this only for themselves, but also for us too, because THEIR QUESTS AFFECTS OUR LIFE TOO.

We are unable to solve other people's quests, we can only solve our quest. If someone succed, then he/she gets glory, and his/her higher ego gives to our higher ego the solution of the quest.

If someone fails, the higher ego reincarnates again, to suffer again and solve the quest, as I did.



[ Parent ]
Different is good (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by Steeltoe on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 07:40:18 AM EST

This resonates with what I have read, believe in and feel is right. However, right now I don't know of or feel any quest of life that I might have. Neither do I feel inclined to seek out psychics that tell me who I am. I met one once "accidentally" and it made me really confused. You see, when someone tells you you are this-and-that, it can really make your ego grow, which is the opposite of what I'm interested in. However, I believe that experience is needed to teach me let go of that too. So in the end, it maybe good after all.

So I live life on a daily basis, unwrapping the gift of life layer by layer. Many layers are unpleasant and nasty, but I learn to let it all go. It doesn't matter because I feel real happiness does not require external conditions. Of course, finding that happiness always is a real magic trick I'm still fumbling and learning the ropes on. I'm much more balanced and harmonious than before though, but sometimes I need release through not-so-harmonious-and-cuddly-reactions. I try not to cling to anything, not even the idea that I must be harmonious all the time.

I've recently read alot of a book called "Hands of Light" (very recommendable even though you're not seeking to become a healer). In there it states that a person has two "quests": First he/she must work on a personal quest, which typically require removing blocks, letting go and create a balanced and harmonious life. Then the person is able to partake on the world quest. Giving a unique gift to the world. We tend to coin some world quest more grand than others, but I strongly believe that's just another illusion of the mind.

Anyways, it's very interesting that we may have a quest. It's not so practical when you don't know what it is though, or don't even feel compelled to begin on it. Or maybe I have? What's very convincing to me is that you need to realize your own wholeness first.


Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
stupid idea! tottaly stupid idea! (none / 0) (#168)
by johwsun on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 02:45:31 AM EST

Don't feel you need to help the poor - they're just paying off the karma for their evil, evil past lives. Got cancer? That's just God's will for the way you've lived. Don't feel like theres any responsibility on YOU to help people - its their own fault for leading such bad previous lives.

This tottaly stupid! why should I care about poors if there is no life after death? YOUR belief leads to the attitudes you are talking! If you believe to life after death, you know that you will meet people again, and this makes you a good person.

My belief is tottaly RESPONCIBLE, I have the responsibility of my acts and of my body. whatever I do. And after all... This is not my belief, this is the Reality!

believe it or not, THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH. I didnt believe it, I suicide, and I paid my consequences.

[ Parent ]

If you have depression... (none / 0) (#169)
by johwsun on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 03:12:45 AM EST

..you should search in your mind to find out what makes you depress. Is it because you dont help the poor?

Depression is NOT a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Chemical imbalance in brain is the RESULT of depression, NOT THE CAUSE of depression! You have to fight depression, not chemical imbalance!

[ Parent ]

..of course I am not a doctor... (none / 0) (#170)
by johwsun on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 04:12:50 AM EST

Maybe sometimes depression medecines may help. but I do believe that you should take medecines with great care.

As I said, chemical imbalance of your brain IS the RESULT of your depression, not the cause. Maybe also chemical imbalance is not an illness at all, your mind is just trying to born something good, like the woman who is trying to bring a baby to life.

I am personnaly trying to fight my mental illnes alone with meditation. Sometimes it works, sometimes I need external help, either spiritual or physical one. Note that typicaly I am not ill in my mind, but I consider every human including myself ill in mind.



[ Parent ]
Chicken and Egg (none / 0) (#182)
by alt on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 03:06:02 PM EST

The classic chicken and egg problem:

Which came first? The Depression or the Chemical Imbalance.

I submit that the chemical imbalance came first. Otherwise, I wouldn't become depressed.

The problem with most spirituality is that it ignores the emperical evidence that tells us the truth.

Emperical evidence tells us that the brain not absorbing Seratonin properly will cause depression. Not the other way around. It tells us that certain chemical imbalances cause us to hallucinate, to become very agressive, to become paranoid.

I submit that the evidence tells a very different story than the spirtual beliefs you are submitting.

My opinion, your spiritual beliefs regarding the origin of mental disorders are reversed.

[ Parent ]
my spirituality has emperical evidences! (none / 0) (#189)
by johwsun on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 03:36:42 AM EST

..thats all! ;-)

[ Parent ]
I challenge you ... (none / 0) (#190)
by johwsun on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 07:12:24 AM EST

..to cut my Seratonin !
I will not be depressed!
do you bet?

[ Parent ]
I have a deep respect for depressed persons.. (none / 0) (#172)
by johwsun on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 06:20:51 AM EST

If you have depression, I respect you deeply, and I hope you will find a solution in order for your mind to escape from depression. If you finnaly succed to find your solution, then please remember to give some of your light to my poor mind.

[ Parent ]
depression? bah (none / 0) (#186)
by nickco on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 07:17:47 PM EST

why does lack of desire to live mean that you are depressed? i'm sick of life and i still enjoy it. in my opinion, being depressed is your own fault and any arguments otherwise are the result of learned helplessness. if you commit suicide because you 'just can't go on anymore' then you are entirely accountable for your actions. you are giving up, period. suicide is always the easy way out. 'mentally ill' people are deviant and are treated as such. classifying people like that and giving them drugs to treat their 'condition' is what leads to real problems. if depressed people would stop dwelling on their problems(real or not) then they wouldn't feel so fucking bad all the time. it will never get better so just be content with how it is. every person i meet who tells me that they are depressed seems to think that everyone else is living this utterly care free existence. and they won't believe me when i tell them that that's just not how it is.

so, get over it. i don't mean to be rude, but being depressed it not a valid reason to commit suicide. there is no valid reason while people that care about you live, excepting terminal illness. i know too many people that think the way you do and it hurts me. it's self-destructive and that is the worst attitude to adopt.

[ Parent ]
Source? (none / 0) (#80)
by Devil Jeff on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:28:13 AM EST

Source?

-jeff

--
"When the sun goes out, all deeds, significant or not, will be forgotten together." -- Jack Vance
[ Parent ]
what do you mean by source? (none / 0) (#81)
by johwsun on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:37:24 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Oh... (none / 0) (#86)
by Devil Jeff on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:39:27 AM EST

I just mean that's a sweeping pronouncement. It'd be more persuasive if you had some evidence to back it up.

-jeff

--
"When the sun goes out, all deeds, significant or not, will be forgotten together." -- Jack Vance
[ Parent ]
..my experience has no evidences... (1.00 / 2) (#87)
by johwsun on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:46:53 AM EST

..you believe it or you dont believe it.

..well my only evidence is that I am a fallen deamon, as declared in my subscription ID.

[ Parent ]
..if you want the sources of my idea ...well... (none / 0) (#82)
by johwsun on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:38:55 AM EST

..it is just personal experience!

[ Parent ]
Maybe (none / 0) (#135)
by Steeltoe on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 05:54:57 PM EST

There are no absolutes though.

What is generally a truth is that most deaths are not painful or fearful at all. Even when the patient is conscious, it is a beautiful experience. It is we that have fear in our hearts and make it even more so in films and books, but that is so far from reality it's crazy.

Why would people miss such an opportunity? Out of fear? Then I guess you're right.. Fear attracts.
Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
Oregon as example (3.60 / 5) (#75)
by jasonab on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 04:41:03 AM EST

The more I read K5, the more I'm convinced that every story posted here somehow has to have the following topics mentioned:
  1. The US sucks
  2. The drug war sucks
  3. Anyone who tells me I can't do anything sucks
Now that we've gotten that discussion out of the way in the first 100 comments, let's get to the real issue: can Ashcroft stop Oregon's law?

Although I don't agree with his methods, I think Ashcroft is being consistent: he opposes all measures that he sees degrading our respect for life. This includes abortion, suicide, and murder (which is why he supports the death penalty, to reduce overal death). The question is, is he right in his view, and seperately, are his methods proper?

The article proposes that Oregon's law is narrowly tailored to reduce the chances of it being abused, and as a state measure should not be overturned by the Federal government. While I'm not decided on assisted suicide, I think Oregon should have the right to make its own choices. Clearly, Ashcroft has overstepped his bounds, and is flailing about, trying to prevent something that he perceives as detrimental. I hope this ruling continues the drive toward more Federalism, where Federal and State roles are more clearly defined. Assisted suicide, especially where the law only applies to permanent residents, is a good issue for state-by-state testing. I hope Oregon's experience can inform the rest of the US before they move ahead.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd

Duh ! [rant] (4.41 / 12) (#78)
by Betcour on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 07:01:45 AM EST

I think Ashcroft is being consistent: he opposes all measures that he sees degrading our respect for life. This includes abortion, suicide, and murder

Because he respect life, he is a proponent of death penalty ? You have a strange definition of respect.

(which is why he supports the death penalty, to reduce overal death)

I think your argument deserve the price for "most flawed and boggus argument ever". That's a total nonesense. For one death penalty has never been linked to crime rate, for two you can get death penalty without killing anyone, for three if you respect truly life you try to save all life, and not enter into a bargain of "if I kill X people, I'll maybe save Y people" as you imply.

John Ashcroft has no particular respect for life. He is a religious biggot and an extreme right-wing politician. All he does is trying to push the christian ideas into the public. Christians think abortion, suicide, unmarried sex or euthanasia is wrong, and they think death penalty is right. Ashcroft has no more respect for life than Bin Laden, they both follow blindly their religion and force it down the throat of the rest of the world.

[ Parent ]
Seesaw (3.80 / 5) (#93)
by derek3000 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:02:36 AM EST

I'm going to back betcour up on this one. There isn't really any proof that the death penalty acts as a deterrent, and this is plain common sense: if you are in the position to kill someone, you probably don't have the time or the motivation to think things through rationally. You are not being consistent if you promote the death penalty and reject abortion, in my opinion.

Christians think abortion, suicide, unmarried sex or euthanasia is wrong, and they think death penalty is right.

How nice of you to put words in peoples mouths. Most Christians I know disapprove of all of them. That being said, most of them also agree that we shouldn't legislate morality. These are your choices--they may be wrong (I feel that they probably are), but it's not my place to tell you so.

Ashcroft is to Christianity what MC Hammer was to rap music.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Legislating morality (none / 0) (#108)
by Iron Squirrel on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:17:22 PM EST

How nice of you to put words in peoples mouths. Most Christians I know disapprove of all of them. That being said, most of them also agree that we shouldn't legislate morality.

Many of the Christians I know feel the same way - they have their beliefs but they aren't willing to make laws forcing others to live by those beliefs. Unfortunately there ARE a lot of Christians who think it's a great idea, and a number of those people are in positions of power or have influence over people in power.

[ Parent ]

why do (none / 0) (#128)
by adequate nathan on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:57:07 PM EST

<rant>Tech g**ks hate Christians? Beaten up too many times by the football team in high school? That's not God's fault, that's social conformity's fault. Would you blame Buddhism if you were bullied in Japan?</rant>

Christianity is a subtle and complex religion with a deep, developed intellectual tradition. Most American funfamentalists are so unknowingly small-o unorthodox that that they're halfway to practicing a different religion or an apostate version of Christianity. No Christian can approve of the death penalty if he is the slightest bit aware of his religion as it has been practiced through history, period. American fundamentalism is not Christianity in any sense except the soi-disant.

It's not possible to discuss 'legislating morality' within a Christian paradigm because the framing of the question assumes that the state is doing something other than exercising secular political power in so doing. It's not possible to legislate morality into existence; the best you can hope to do is to make it possible for it to thrive. Even in that case, however, the state will grow corrupt and fail, and begin oppressing even as it tries to liberate.

Christianity doesn't teach 'establish a democracy.' It tells the individual believer, 'repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.' It tells the believer, 'it is necessary that evil come into the world, but woe unto him by which it cometh.' No small-o orthodox Christian could possibly make the statement that 'legislating morality will make the world better.' Good is something you do out of love, not out of the belief that, under your own powers, you will really accomplish anything of lasting value.

My point, then, is that, Ashcroft and his ilk do not speak for the religion of Christianity. They speak for power and social interests. That's OK. Just remember to blame power and social interests when they screw up. Blaming Christianity for that is less sensible than blaming Archimedes for the bombing of Hiroshima.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Blame is on the views not the religion (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by cione on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 04:32:15 PM EST

Most of the posts have been hitting at the fact that Ashcroft uses his religious beliefs in his power. Most don't blame the religion by itself. I haven't seen a comment that said "All Religions hate this or that"

However, Ashcroft has made it very clear that he is imposing his religious beliefs in his job. This may be okay for a priest but not for an Attorney General of the United States.
_________________________________________________
Daylight Savings - Can I make a withdrawl please?
[ Parent ]
in that case (none / 0) (#157)
by adequate nathan on Sat Apr 20, 2002 at 09:48:38 AM EST

Don't dismiss his views as "Christian," as they are clearly not.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Christian Views vs Personal Views (none / 0) (#191)
by cione on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 11:47:35 AM EST

I may have mis-communicated my point. I don't dismiss the Christian view as a whole. The Christian viewpoint is a valid way of looking at things.

However, Ashcroft bring his views to the front and his views (by choice or default) are being portrayed as the Christian voice in the matter. The public largely will then see this as the Christian View on the matter. Like it or not, until somebody speaks out from within the Christian world Ashcroft is the voice that many hear.
_________________________________________________
Daylight Savings - Can I make a withdrawl please?
[ Parent ]
oh heavens (3.50 / 2) (#193)
by adequate nathan on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 09:55:46 PM EST

Anyone dumb enough to 'assume' that Ashcroft 'speaks for Christians' must get all his information from CNN. There are tons of Christian groups the world over opposed to, for an easy example, the death penalty.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Your correct but name one group (none / 0) (#194)
by cione on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 10:25:44 AM EST

that would be recgonized by name and comes out publicly against Ashcroft. Remember Ashcroft has signed up for the idea "If you are not with us, You are against us" idea. That may work in other areas but not in religion, personal and states rights. Once again I do not sound off against religion in general but Ashcroft does push many away with his views.
_________________________________________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. --Voltaire
[ Parent ]
what's your point? (none / 0) (#196)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 01:44:58 PM EST

By your argument, all Americans are mass murderers. After all, there's not a massive anti-war movement trying to shut down the conflict in Afghanistan, nor is there public protesting about atrocities in Central America. If you take 'success in the mass media' as a criterion of validity, there are never any organized criticisms of popular policies!

By the way, it's in bad taste to rate an opponent in thread.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Legislating morality II (none / 0) (#111)
by spraints on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:42:28 PM EST

So... if you don't legislate morality, what do you legislate? What basis for legislation is there if morality is thrown out?

[ Parent ]
utility (3.00 / 2) (#124)
by memerot2 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:29:55 PM EST

The greatest good for the greatest number. Hard to quantify though. If you don't weight 'higher' goods like philosophy with more weight than 'lower' goods like a full meal for everyone you soon end up with an absurdity where most people spend their lives strapped to chairs having heroin pumped into their veins and the rest of the population works as slaves to support them, but used in moderation the idea offers guidance in a lot of murky areas. Especially areas like 'How do we spend this budget to meet the most program goals for the largest population?' which confront government every day.

[ Parent ]
Utilitarianism (none / 0) (#166)
by lightfoot jim on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 08:38:58 PM EST

Utilitarianism is a system intended to explain morality. (People hostile to religion will use the term ethics, despite the interchangability of the terms.) Even if you disagree that utilitarianism is a type of morality in itself, there must be an answer to the question of why it is better to seek the greatest good for the greatest number, as opposed to some other agenda. Any reasonable answer will be an attempt to prove that seeking utility is preferable over seeking whatever else. Why is it preferable? I've never heard any philosopher claim some system of moral guidelines is superior because he "just happens to like it." The answer always presupposes some underlying principle which is supposed to be objectively demonstrable to others, in other words, a moral basis. Besides, a lot of great law is based on morality. You never hear argument over laws against murder, for example. If people truly practiced a system based on the principle of utility, murder trials would often contain a lot of testimony examining whether committing the killing, or refraining from the killing would have done the greatest good for the greatest number.

[ Parent ]
it's called self interest (none / 0) (#179)
by memerot2 on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 12:48:57 PM EST

It's enlightened self interest. You are most likely to be in that 'greatest number'. So you want the greatest good for that number - because you want what's good for you. Self-interest is the best rule for ethics. Moving the discussion 'Behind the Veil' presupposes you're making rules about life on earth before you're born - before you know if you're a serf or a noble. So then the tendency is to make rules benefitting the greatest number. If you're already here you tend to just advance your own social group, and this doesnt' lead to any universal system of ethics. And you make the rules at that time, and then stick to them. So you make a rule against murder. Once. Then when you go to trial you can't bring up utility of this specific case, because utility of the whole general class of cases has already been considered and a general rule made. If you had to examine it every time you'd have anarchy, and i think that behind the veil you would rule out anarchy at the get go...

[ Parent ]
Unelightened self-interest, then (none / 0) (#183)
by spraints on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 03:28:53 PM EST

So, if enlightened self-interest is what drives the utility, who's to say that unelightened self-interest isn't valid as well? What's to stop someone from seizing as much power as possible for him/herself, building up a comfortable life, and not caring an iota for fellowmen?

Or, say I have no self-interest? I just want to do whatever, and I don't care if it is "good" or "bad" for you or me or anybody else.

What I'm trying to get at is that there is still morality involved in any kind of legislation. (I'm working with a definition of morality like "A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct," or basically a value-based judgement regarding some sort or set of behavior.) In the first example above, the "morals" are fairly self-centered. In the second case, there is an absence of morality, hence a lack of anything resembling legislation. If morals are not allowed as a basis for legislation, who's to say I can't participate in <activity/>?

I would be interested in examples of legislation that are entirely detached from any sort of moral judgement.



[ Parent ]
No self interest, eh? (none / 0) (#204)
by memerot2 on Mon Apr 29, 2002 at 02:36:16 PM EST

Then I guess it's okay with you if I kill you or make you my slave? That statement is impossible, and thus meaningless. Self-interest is always present in humans, and it's no good making moral rules for anyone other than humans. Unenlightened self-interest is everywhere around you right now. And drives a HELL of a lot of legislation (RIAA, MPAA, etc.) Where is the morality there? Virginia levies a car tax. Maryland does not. Where is the moral judgement there? Is a dimpled chad a vote? Where is the moral judgement there? Not all legislation is "do not kill".

[ Parent ]
Enlightened self interest? Why? (none / 0) (#187)
by lightfoot jim on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 02:11:48 AM EST

You put forth the assertion that enlightened self interest is the best way. Why?

Is it the best because it has the best results for the largest number?

Ok, why is that preferable?

The underlying assumption is that the greatest good for the greatest number is a good ideal to strive for. That's a moral.

Regarding the example involving murder law, you missed the point I was trying to make, but I won't get into it since it was only an example.

[ Parent ]
self interest? (none / 0) (#203)
by memerot2 on Mon Apr 29, 2002 at 02:28:32 PM EST

Why do i have an interest in self interest? Do you NOT have an interest in your own self interest? I don't think that's humanly possible. It's NOT preferable because "it's a moral." It's preferable because I want the most good FOR MYSELF. I don't CARE about the others. But when I don't know what group I will end up in, then I have an interest in making sure that all groups do ok - SOLELY BECAUSE I want to get any benefits I can for myself and this is the best way to do so. That's the only reason that the greatest good for the greatest number needs to be a motivator. If, when the rules were being discussed 'behind the veil', I could somehow cheat and find out my place on earth, I would do so and advance the interests of my group exclusively. But the whole point of 'behind the veil' discussions is that you can't do that. Putting these discussions behind the veil lets general broad rules for governing society be arrived at by discussion.

[ Parent ]
Do you have a problem with my post? (none / 0) (#174)
by derek3000 on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 10:06:45 AM EST

Maybe you should respond to it directly instead of giving it a 1. It certainly had content. Just because you're not smart enough to put together a valid argument to it doesn't warrant such a childish attack.

But what can I expect from someone who sees utilitarianism as the ultimate in morality?

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

this post? (none / 0) (#178)
by memerot2 on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 12:37:30 PM EST

"you're the bigot." or "Ashcroft is to Christianity what MC Hammer was to rap music." Dude, you want better than a 1 for an MC Hammer post? Actually I fucking hate christians if you want to know. And if you think Christians are against murder, how do you possibly explain all of western history? Christian killing Christian killing Muslim killing Jew etc. Religion is a dangerous mind virus that causes people to kill.

[ Parent ]
Religion... (none / 0) (#184)
by derek3000 on Mon Apr 22, 2002 at 04:00:18 PM EST

is none of the things you describe above. You are talking about politics. First of all, though, you are rating this post a '1' for one of my previous posts? And because of a joke I cracked? Let's hear your stand-up, Smirnoff.

If you can't see that real religion has nothing to do with the decidedly secular things you are talking about, then we can't get anywhere. It's just as bigoted as the petty racial intolerance that goes on in my country, the U.S.

Why blame all Christians and religion in general for the acts of a few? I could just as easily blame all atheists for Stalin's acts. Try to come up with an intelligent argument next time and I might take you seriously. Because right now you look like a jerk.

P.S.--Go ahead and mod all of my comments down to 1, please, because I am an idiot infected by religion. Nothing I say has any value.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

i asked you which post (none / 0) (#205)
by memerot2 on Wed May 01, 2002 at 04:02:42 PM EST

"If you can't see that real religion has nothing to do with the decidedly secular things you are talking about" The Inquisition was not 'a secular thing' divorced from religion. Nor were any of the wars fought over religion. Looking at practical effects, religion causes much more real world suffering than it solves. The acts of a FEW? Brother, study history. Look around you today. Why are muslims fighting jews? Why are both sides dying? There are political reasons, but the real driving force on each side is a series of words in dusty old books. Religion causes people to kill. BUT THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RATING YOU A 1! ANY MC HAMMER POST GETS A 1. As I think i clearly explained above.

[ Parent ]
Thanks! (none / 0) (#206)
by derek3000 on Thu May 02, 2002 at 09:30:15 AM EST

That clears things up nicely.

Oh--fuck you.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

This is why.... (none / 0) (#207)
by memerot2 on Thu May 02, 2002 at 01:59:55 PM EST

This is why I hate Christians. None of you live up to your damned ideals. Love your enemy and turn the other cheek aren't just for when it's easy. As an atheist I feel completely free to say fuck you back.

[ Parent ]
Another gross misunderstanding... (none / 0) (#208)
by derek3000 on Thu May 02, 2002 at 04:22:01 PM EST

of the Christian religion.

No matter how hard you try, you will always be imperfect. The whole time I was writing my responses to you, I was thinking fuck you. Then I wrote it and felt much better.

No one is perfect. Just look at you.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

ah, no i understand perfectly (none / 0) (#211)
by memerot2 on Fri May 03, 2002 at 04:58:14 PM EST

You're one of the Christians who excuses any immoral act by thinking "Well I believe in god, and I'll just repent for it later."  

Accepting imperfection does not mean abandoning the quest to live a virtuous life.  It is the striving that's important, not the unattainable goal.  The moral rules that I have, I hold sacred and do not violate, even when I want to.  But I sure don't have any wussy 'turn the other cheek' tenets close to my heart.

Neither do you apparently.

You know, I am not an editor, I'm just a reader.  I rated your post a 1 because I thought it was obnoxious.  I didn't judge it on style or anything I just reacted to it.  If you wrote a well-reasoned, thoughtful discussion of why Jerry Lewis is the greatest comedian ever I would react to it the same way.  Getting negative ratings is part of being here.  You can't please all the people all the time and only a fool would try.

[ Parent ]

boy, you're a jerk (none / 0) (#213)
by adequate nathan on Fri May 03, 2002 at 08:57:47 PM EST

You're one of the Christians who excuses any immoral act by thinking "Well I believe in god, and I'll just repent for it later."

Get over yourself already, and stop condescending to people like they're idiots. You just make yourself look like a retard when you mock Christianity ignorantly and arrogantly.

There are philosophical issues with regard to which it might be proper to criticize Christianity, but you are not addressing them. You're just flaming - only it's worse because you appear to take yourself seriously into the bargain.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

I didn't start flaming anyone (1.00 / 1) (#215)
by memerot2 on Thu May 09, 2002 at 10:58:10 AM EST

I rated a comment honestly and was questioned by someone who thought that since HE thought his post was funny, it didn't deserve a 1.  Too bad for him, in my opinion that's what it deserved and that's what it got.  His comment is a festering blot in my mind at this point.  You want to rate me honestly, go ahead.  If you think my post is idiotic and deserves a 1 go ahead and rate it that way, i could really care less.  I rated it a 1 rather than posting 'youre an idiot' at the beginning because i actually had no intention of getting into a flame war.  Someone couldn't let it drop and this has devolved as I've given my reasons and reasons for feeling the way that I do.  My opinions are my own, and if I want to hate Christians, deal with it.  But I never said 'Fuck you', our christian friend had to be the one to drop to that level.  When Christians respond oh so predictably to anger with anger, well it's just another confirmation of it's phoniness to me.  Ok, let me go ahead and officially kill this thread.  Hitler, Hitler, Hitler.  Now it's impossible for anything more substantial to be said.

[ Parent ]
I have been trolled (none / 0) (#209)
by adequate nathan on Thu May 02, 2002 at 06:54:58 PM EST

Religion causes people to kill, does it? I guess that's why Alexander conquered the Middle East - because of religion. No, no, let me try again. That's why Stalin and Mao purged millions of their countrymen. Damn, one more. That explains the whole Genghis Khan thing.

If you think that religion and politics are indivisible, why do you blame religions for political catastrophes? Contrariwise, if you think religions and politics are divisible, how is religion the causal agent when things go wrong?

You don't have one single leg to stand on. And, because I'm such a nice guy, here's your excuse to give me a '1' for disagreement:

M. C. Hammer RULEZ!!!

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

I didn't say it was the only thing (none / 0) (#210)
by memerot2 on Fri May 03, 2002 at 04:48:59 PM EST

Of course many things cause people to kill.  

But take the inquisition.  Was that politics?  Or religion?  It was religion.  A group of people were obsessed with driving out heresy, to 'save' the heretics.  Purely religious motivation.

Politics and religion are divisible.  Sometimes politics causes people to kill.  Sometimes religion causes people to kill.  However, no political system is based on the premise of 'thou shalt not kill'.  The reality of the use of force is acknowledged in all political systems.  While religious groups PREACH about peace, and then go on holy wars.  If you so divorce the effect of religion from the person's actions that it's never the religion causing the person to kill, but always just the person doing it themselves, then you deny the power of religion to have any effect on the person.

And my belief is that if you survey human history looking at wars fought for religious reasons, the number of dead from those wars will outweigh the number whose lives were saved by religion.  This makes it a belief system that causes more deaths than it prevents, so I classify it as a mind virus.  One of many to be sure.  

[ Parent ]

before we start talking past one another (none / 0) (#212)
by adequate nathan on Fri May 03, 2002 at 08:24:00 PM EST

I should point out that religion is in fact indivisible from politics. Religious belief has sociological and political implications that go far beyond the 'individual guide to action' that liberalists are fond of quoting. There is also no such thing as a political movement without a religious component, just as there is no politics without philosophy.

As I said, your insistence on isolating religion as a sociological factor and blaming it for many ills simply demonstrates your anti-religious prejudices. If you want to prove that religion kills, you have to formulate an argument showing how the religious mentality would drive individuals to kill, or something. Formulate an argument, don't just cite evidence, because the facts do not speak on their own.

Nathan

PS - before responding, please remember that the debate is not specifically about religion at this stage so much as it is properly framing the terms of the argument.
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

a <> b (none / 0) (#214)
by memerot2 on Thu May 09, 2002 at 10:46:10 AM EST

You assert they're indistinguishable. The burden is on you to show that. To me they seem very separate, having never been religious and always been interested in politics. I assert a <> b, a priori. But regardless of this assertion, here is a concrete example: If Christians waged the Crusades to reclaim the Holy City of Jerusalem, to me that is clear evidence of religion leading to killing. The goal there was completely religious in nature, to drive the infidels from the holy city. The reward promised the knights who answered the pope's call was salvation and forgiveness for their sins. The person who called for this war was the leader of the Catholic church. If you can provide a political explanation for the Crusades I'm open to hearing it. But from what I know of it, it wasn't caused by politics. Let this be a test case. If there is no political explanation, or no CONVINCING political explanation (of course some people looted, but not enough to justify the cost of the war), for the Crusades, then I will hold this one example up to show that it is possible for a purely religious motivation to lead the religious to kill. And of course the Bible itself is filled with case after case of God telling his people to kill, to wage war against this group or that group, to kill your son, to not kill your son, etc. If God tells you to kill, isn't this a religiously caused killing? What argument do you need about the religious mentality causing people to kill beyond one person saying 'God told me to kill him'? What is the political explanation for a direct command from God? There are those who have killed abortion doctors because they believed they were doing God's work. There are Satanists who have killed because they believed they were doing Satan's work. I see no political component to those actions. If you agree they have religious components but think they also have political components that explain them then I think you must provide the political explanation for at least these cases: the Crusades, Christians who kill abortion doctors, Satanist who kill in their ceremonies. And I will be dis-inclined to believe any explanation that the person or persons would have themselves rejected.

[ Parent ]
preach it! (none / 0) (#192)
by adequate nathan on Tue Apr 23, 2002 at 05:16:53 PM EST

Actually I fucking hate christians.

They're almost as bad as the niggers. And the only thing worse than THOSE is the christian niggers!

Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, atheists, Hindus, and animists are all killers too! I fucking hate them all! They're total assholes and they all kill people!

[ frothing, convulsing ]

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Only one way to reduce death (3.75 / 4) (#98)
by zakalwe on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 10:37:01 AM EST

which is why he supports the death penalty, to reduce overal death
I think your argument deserve the price for "most flawed and boggus argument ever". That's a total nonesense. For one death penalty has never been linked to crime rate, for two you can get death penalty without killing anyone, for three if you respect truly life you try to save all life, and not enter into a bargain of "if I kill X people, I'll maybe save Y people" as you imply.
I agree, this sort of moral accounting is meaningless. When it comes down to it, the best way to reduce "overall death" in the long run is to start a nuclear war. OK lots of death in the short term, but in the long run, less people exist, so less people are born and hence less people will die over the course of a few generations. Hell, wipe out the human race and you've solved the problems of war, murder and human suffering for good!

The death penalty's just the same argument on a smaller scale "If I take one life, several will be saved, so I'm doing a net good." and is just as wrong. Supporting the death penalty can in no way be termed "respecting life"

This doesn't necessarily invalidate other arguments/reasons for the death penalty, such as a desire for revenge/justice, deterrant against innocent lives, "its all right to kill murderers" etc.). Personally I'm against the it though.



[ Parent ]

Ashcroft's consistency's got nothing to do with it (4.42 / 7) (#104)
by dachshund on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:13:54 PM EST

I think Ashcroft is being consistent: he opposes all measures that he sees degrading our respect for life. This includes abortion, suicide, and murder

Unfortunately, as the AG it's not Ashcroft's job to be consistent to his personal beliefs. It's his job to interpret and enforce US legislation in a consistent manner, even where said legislation goes against-- or at least, does not support-- his personal positions.

Being consistent to your personal beliefs is a luxury you're granted when you get yourself elected to a political position.

[ Parent ]

Amazingly enough... (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by memerot2 on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 02:19:41 PM EST

Despite all the advances of medical science, the sad truth is:

The death toll STILL stands at 100%. There is no reducing death, overall or on a personal scale.

You don't get outta life alive, me boyo. You're going to die.

In the immortal words of the tragically dead Bill Hicks:
'I'd like to see how committed these pro-lifers are. Why don't they lock arms and block cemetaries?
"Please, let us in, we need to bury our dead grandmother."
"NO! There will be no death on this planet."
"She's 90 years old and was hit by a bus!"
"There's options."'

[ Parent ]
ya know (4.00 / 1) (#129)
by Altus on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:58:00 PM EST

(which is why he supports the death penalty, to reduce overal death)

putting a murderer in jail for the rest of his natural life reduces overall death more than killing him does.

Im not exactly anit-death peanalty. infact in some cases it might be the way to go, but i cannot support the assertion that Ashcrofts support for the death penalty is consistent in the way that you have stated.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Concerned (none / 0) (#160)
by tweekster on Sun Apr 21, 2002 at 12:42:49 PM EST

I have no opinion on assisted suicide, because it doesnt effect me personally. Since it doesnt effect me, i have no right to say others should be prevented from it. The Federal Govt overstepping once again. In D.C. the medical marijuana was prevented after enough support was shown (through the pre-proposition phase) by congress.

[ Parent ]
life support (5.00 / 2) (#84)
by bosk on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 08:19:38 AM EST

Many people have had a family member that said "Do not keep me on life support if something terrible happens". We accept the desire as their last wish. Yet if a person is diagnosed with an illness that will ultimately kill them, Ending the pain is not an option in many places.
The key is not to start with the life support in the first place. If you have a family member in a nursing home or hospital whose condition worsens to the point where they need life support, the doctors will have to get your approval first before hooking up the equipment - it is not done automatically. In most cases, once the life support is attached it cannot be removed without causing the death of the afflicted and no family member wants to bear that responsibility, thus the importance of the "life support" decision.

I guess the problems arise when someone is terminally ill yet can still live without life support.

Advance directives (4.00 / 1) (#126)
by John Thompson on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 03:45:15 PM EST

bosk wrote:

The key is not to start with the life support in the first place. If you have a family member in a nursing home or hospital whose condition worsens to the point where they need life support, the doctors will have to get your approval first before hooking up the equipment - it is not done automatically. In most cases, once the life support is attached it cannot be removed without causing the death of the afflicted and no family member wants to bear that responsibility, thus the importance of the "life support" decision.

I guess the problems arise when someone is terminally ill yet can still live without life support.

As someone who does deal with this type of thing on a daily basis, I can only stress how important it is to have your wishes documented in an advance directive of some type (living will, durable power of attorney for health care). Failure to do so needlessly complicates what is already often a dismal experience, both for the patient and their loved ones.

If you're an adult, you're not too young to create such a document for yourself. Often, legally recognized forms are freely available and only have to be completed and then signed in the presence of a Notary Public.



[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure (3.00 / 6) (#105)
by ambrosen on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 12:55:01 PM EST

they're about masturbation, though I've only skimmed them myself

--
"One World, One Web, One Program" - M$ Ad Slogan
"Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer" - Hitler


More on this law from NPR (4.00 / 2) (#106)
by rusty on Fri Apr 19, 2002 at 01:11:45 PM EST

NPR's "Fresh Air" did a whole show about this law on Tuesday. Terry Gross talked to a doctor who supported the law, one who opposed it, and a retired doctor with bone cancer who was about to pick up his lethal dose, though not planning to use it anytime soon.

One of the most interesting things that came out was that the decision is almost never about pain. There's basically no pain that can't be managed if you want to manage it. Mainly, it seems, people who choose assisted suicide do it to have control over the time and nature of their death. These are people who know that death is soon, and simply wish to die "on their feet" as it were, instead of as a machine-breathing vegetable.

If you're interested, the show's well worth listening to.

____
Not the real rusty

Death With Dignity | 219 comments (213 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!