Monday, May 24, 2010

A humanist argues against euthanasia

The essence of humanist thinking is to look to Earth-based reasoning when confronting the questions of our lives.  The arguments produced may not be particularly convincing, but they at least rely on more evidence than the say-so of a a preferred holy book.  In this article, a humanist and atheist argues against legalizing assisted suicide, apparently because doing so would bureaucratize a personal situation and devalue life for those facing challenges:

The legalisation of assisted dying would replace love with law. It would put an end to ‘mercy killings’ carried out by caring families and compassionate doctors and replace them with state-sanctioned killings. [...]
[...] Secondly, legalising assisted dying would be bad for people who want to live, too. [...] This effectively sanctions suicide as a response to personal hardship, and gives a green light to hopelessness.
 And the conclusion:
The fact remains, however, that only a minority of people in pain choose to end their lives; the majority think life is worth living. But the views of the very active minority of pro-euthanasia campaigners are likely impacting on the way the majority of people experience their lives, possibly making them feel like a burden – a social, financial and environmental burden – if they choose to continue living. And as a humanist, I am also opposed to any undermining of the majority’s quality of life by a tiny minority of campaigners.

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