Wednesday, August 29

dear Scott,

I've got no problem with your reluctance to accept that human life is more valuable than animal life. That's totally fair.

The difference between prolonging life and prolonging death might sometimes be a tough one, but I think most of the time it's not that gray. Yes, you stand by and let nature take it's course, trying to make that patient as comfortable as possible. Life support is an option, but not an option that people must take advantage of. I don't think life support violates any religious principles on the face of things.

Yes, God is pragmatic, but we should be very careful about presuming that we know what He would want to do. That is one of the main reasons why we should fell free to let nature take it's course when we're basically in a situation of only prolonging death. Again, we should be careful about presuming how God wants resources used. We should make the best decision we can, but be cautious about saying it's 'God's will'. Easing pain often works, though there are some glitches. Say it's not working is an overstatement. Some pain cannot be medicated. It's a problem. I don't want to poo-poo it. On the other hand, that's part of being human, a part we all too often overlook in this age of 'haven't got time for the pain'. Some pain is senseless, but a lot of pain is sending a message and all human pain can be harnessed for good. (Please don't take this as callous. I really am compassionate about suffering. But now I'm arguing principles.)

Should there be a civil right to commit suicide? If we're going to make freedom the trump-card, yes. However, if we're going to make something like 'life' the trump card, then it follows that things like suicide, euthanasia, capital punishment, and abortion will all be illeagal. Not that I think society's headed this way. I don't. Should we? Maybe. Some of us can propose it and see how people vote. The people choose. It's not legislated morality, strictly speaking. Frankly, I don't have any expectation that 'life' will be the guiding principle. Freedom will be, I think. And I can live with that. But it's surely not always best.

Did I say I'm sorry for the loss of your dog which prompts a lot of these thoughts. I am. I'm sure there's real grief there, as there should be.

best,

Sean
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