Friday, March 25, 2005

Why I am not particularly religious

I consider myself to be a Catholic (big C, meaning I take what the Pope says seriously, but not absolutely). But it is very hard to put all of Catholicism and/or Christianity on a logically, or even morally, sound foundation. Take this article from Neal Boortz. How do you argue against this if you believe all that Catholicism teaches about the afterlife? Here the basic text of my email to Neal in response (I didn't copy it before I sent it and now I can't retrieve it):

"Then why don't we all kill ourselves, then? Where along the continuum of completely abled, prime of life, to completely incapacitated, all currently available medical technology necessary to, and in fact, keeping one alive, is it ok to deprive someone of food and water to hasten their death? Terri Schiavo obviously is not at the end of that continuum so the line must be further up."

Now, the one big factor here is the wishes of the person-to-be-starved. But that simply changes the question: Where on the continuum I just described above do we let people starve themselves to death? Pure libertarians will say anywhere. I think Catholicism would say nowhere. The libertarian answer is abhorrent to me. The Catholic answer is tough to square with Neal Boortz' observations. But Neal's observations are impossible to square with my questions.

If there is a God and heaven as Catholism teaches, why can't - why shouldn't - we all starve ourselves to death, painlessly it would seem? God says no. But why? God is mysterious. This troubles me. You can see why the afterlife business makes straightforward moral questions murky. Yet I take great comfort that bad people here on Earth will get their due.

Another observation: does one kill oneself by starving oneself to death, or is one simply allowing the "death process" to run its course? Starving yourself to death is the same as killing yourself. I have no problem making that assertion of fact. Therefore, we can't kill Terri Schiavo, either, even though it would accellerate her ascent into heaven (after all, she is not killing herself).

Lest this happen to me ever, let me announce to the world: DON'T EVER TAKE ME OFF OF ANYTHING!!! I WANT TO LIVE!!! And I'm gonna make a pile of money and buy insurance so no one has to pay for me. If, for some reason, I don't have the money, and you want to pay, great, but I don't demand that you do.

If you are reading this you are smart enough to know that we are so far down the slippery slope that all the super glue, sand paper and mountain climbing equipment in the world will likely not bring us back up.


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