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Old 05-15-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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What ethical argument can be made for the right of the state, any state, to grant itself the right to exercise the right to kill another human yet deny the right of an individual the right to terminate their own?

While the Catholic Church is ethically consistent that neither the state nor the individual has an ethical right to end a human life, what arguments can be made for a secular society?

The caveat to this discussion is that the context for such a right is exclusive to those who base their decision on a rational criteria, absent an underlying psychological imbalance or disorder and whose decision does not imperil others.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:39 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
What ethical argument can be made for the right of the state, any state, to grant itself the right to exercise the right to kill another human yet deny the right of an individual the right to terminate their own?
This is pretty much the argument the pro-abortion crowd cites. The state reserves the right to take a life when it sees fit, why are some states suddenly worried about abortion and insisting life is sacred? And going so far as to define when life begins? That's an awful lot of attention being paid to ending a life form that in some cases isn't even human yet (just a zygote in the first few weeks), while behind closed doors, terminating lives by lethal injection. It's a stumper, I'll grant you that.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
This is pretty much the argument the pro-abortion crowd cites. The state reserves the right to take a life when it sees fit, why are some states suddenly worried about abortion and insisting life is sacred? You tell me, ovcatto. Go figure.
Personally, I've heard the argument placed in the context of the abortion debate, or even in the context of arguments in favor of doctor assisted suicide for the terminally ill, or maybe its just my ego thinking that I had come up with a unique twist on the debate. But the argument is certainly at the heart of the abortion debate, even if it isn't stated in to the same degree.

My personal belief is that the contradiction is untenable. Either life is sacred and the state can't not practice capital punishment while prohibiting the right of individuals to take their own, or the state has maintains that right while allowing individuals of sound mind to make that decision for themselves. Pardon the pun, but I could live with either (although I am an opponent of capital punishment but not on ethical grounds) I just would like to see a consistency of the ethical frame work.

But didn't post this thread to argue my personal position but rather to offer another take on a topic that has been previously discussed.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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These common positions are not logical. I agree with the OP.

It is perhaps not so significant in practice since "the state" cannot realistically prevent people from ending their own life unless they are physically incapable of doing so. The problem becomes more significant with assisted suicide.

As for abortion - a consistent position in my view is that the fetus is a life, and it is not the same being as the mother. So the mother does NOT have the right to terminate a fetus just like the mother does not have the right to terminate the life of a more mature being.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:11 PM
 
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The state can argue that it determines to take a life after thorough deliberation, unlike a suicide which is often resorted to with little or no deliberation.

But that at the same time logically compels the state to establish a framework of deliberation, whereby a person may elect to terminate his own life.

Taking your own life and taking another's life are equally proscribed by fundamental tenets of faith in a higher order, and the state has taken it upon itself to address one and not the other in terms of state sanctioning mechanisms.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: San Diego California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
What ethical argument can be made for the right of the state, any state, to grant itself the right to exercise the right to kill another human yet deny the right of an individual the right to terminate their own?

While the Catholic Church is ethically consistent that neither the state nor the individual has an ethical right to end a human life, what arguments can be made for a secular society?

The caveat to this discussion is that the context for such a right is exclusive to those who base their decision on a rational criteria, absent an underlying psychological imbalance or disorder and whose decision does not imperil others.
It is not an ethical argument, it is a legal one.
The reason the state may grant or deny any privilege it desires is that you are a subject of the state.
There are no more "Citizens" in the United States, only subjects.
You in fact have none of the rights you believe you do, or that were once recognized by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The government can now take your life, imprison you without trial, take your property without due process, or whatever else it decides it would like to do with you.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:48 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Personally, I've heard the argument placed in the context of the abortion debate, or even in the context of arguments in favor of doctor assisted suicide for the terminally ill, or maybe its just my ego thinking that I had come up with a unique twist on the debate. But the argument is certainly at the heart of the abortion debate, even if it isn't stated in to the same degree.

My personal belief is that the contradiction is untenable. Either life is sacred and the state can't not practice capital punishment while prohibiting the right of individuals to take their own, or the state has maintains that right while allowing individuals of sound mind to make that decision for themselves. Pardon the pun, but I could live with either (although I am an opponent of capital punishment but not on ethical grounds) I just would like to see a consistency of the ethical frame work.
It may be that more states will come 'round to your view--that the state shouldn't be executing people. New Mexico has repealed the death sentence, but criminals sentenced to death prior to the repeal are still facing execution.

If everyone repeals the death sentence, what would be the implications for assisted suicide and abortion, if any? If we use the life-is-sacred argument (which I'm not sure we should, since it's smacks of religion, and church and state are supposed to be separate), then it would reduce the issue to hair-splitting about how to define life, etc. I think each issue should be considered independently, and on its own merits.

Rather than spending a lot of money warehousing more and more prisoners, I think social services and early education should be available in the youngest formative years of every child. Then we might not have to discuss the death penalty and the high rate of incarceration.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:10 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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I've heard horror stories about nurses slapping patients over and over in the middle of the night, after they'd died peacefully, to bring them back to life. Because I guess no one wants a patient to die on their watch, like it's a failure of the medical system, or something, if someone dies in their sleep. The state may not want someone to take their own life, but the least they could do is allow people to die peacefully in their sleep.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 05-18-2012 at 11:19 PM..
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:48 PM
 
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Directed towards the OP..
This has been a question for decades now and has been explored and discussed plenty by both the church, doctors, patients and individuals all with differing opinions.

As a catholic I think that suicide is a mortal sin. There are the arguments that the church poses as well as my own that states ONE Does not kill themselves because life is too hard. There are way to many resources, too many people to talk to in the event that one chooses to take their life. My thoughts also state one of when I was a mental health advocate that goes “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”
It isa cowards way out.
However there is another part of me that understands and has empathy for those that have been dx with a terminal illness where there is no cure, no experimental treatment whatsoever. Those that have resided in excruciating pain for a long time that wish to depart this physical world with assistance , spare their loved ones from doing hospice, seeing them debilitate in health an no longer coherent enough to say good bye to their loved ones.
I think the quarrel here is based on ethics and not empathy.
Families can be selfish and negate this but it is out of their own issues and not for the deteriorating quality of life that their loved ones face.
I.e. and this is loosely a I.E. but explains my point.
We often have pets we love like a member of our family, as they get older, they may develop cancer, kidney failure, ect. They may have gotten too old to get up without canine aspirin and it hurts to see our friends struggle to get up, the need and want to chase the birds and bark at the mailman the whining we here them do at night because their legs and body hurt so much due to age.
Until one day we see that our buddies can no longer do what they love? They still have the desire to get up but their bodies have given up. It is then we re faced with two choices,
1. Do we allow them to keep existing for mainly our sakes so we can see them breathe, be there, be a part of our beloved families knowing that they no longer can do what they want and are in severe pain?
2. We assist them in dying, we hug them close, we kiss them, have a good cry and wish them a safe passage to other side where we know that no pain exists? It kiils us to do this because WE want them here, because not having them here will hurt, we will miss them in their existence, even though what remains hurts too much for them?
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:55 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 32,107,223 times
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Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
It is not an ethical argument, it is a legal one.
By definition ethics and law are inseparable since the very definition of ethics is the systematic approach for defining what is right and what is wrong?

Quote:
The reason the state may grant or deny any privilege it desires is that you are a subject of the state.
I respectfully decline to argue the sovereign citizen issue if that is the thrust of your argument because if I find it baseless and well... patently absurd.

It isn't based upon any factual evidence, case law, or statute. The Constitution and the rights that it confers remain solidly in tack. I think that sovereign citizen proponents simply do not correctly understand the concept or meaning of due process.

Last edited by ovcatto; 05-19-2012 at 10:22 PM..
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