On Controversial Issues

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The posting of this article Belgian Parliament Votes in Child Euthanasia  on Facebook started quite a conversation amongst some of my friends and me.  It went something like this:

  • Indeed very, very sad.
  • It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent.
  • I'm not so sure why is this bad, why can't we choose to live or die, especially if we are terminally ill, in pain and have little/no hope. It's an interesting question.
  •  It is an interesting question; it is also a matter of conscience. I personally know of at least a case where someone was terminally ill and had a limited time to live (according to doctors) – but instead of deteriorating in health, she improved to full recovery. She is alive till today. Similarly, as for children deciding whether or not they want to live, it just does not go well with my conscience. That’s my clear opinion, though I respect that of others.
  • It isn't up to you though, it is up to the individual and if someone is suffering then why shouldn't they legally be allowed to choose
  •  I see where you are coming from - but what about the children? How does a 3 year old for example, make a decision that they wanted to die? It feels to me as though it would be the adults deciding for them (kids).
  • Maybe it wouldn't be, but maybe it would; what parent wants to see their child suffer, none.
  • Correct, all parents want what's best for their children. But you know you are right in your assertion looking at it from that perspective. Science vs. religion/medicine vs. faith - in healing, there is more to it than just medicine, at least according to me and I know I'm not alone. On the other hand, there are those who believe it's a matter of science and medicine, period...and I respect that as well. I simply do not agree with them. Interesting debate,
  •  This is just crazy. Where do you draw the line? Just when do you say you have suffered enough and are good to go? Especially so, for the children... Let nature take its course. There is the giver of life and He alone should take it.
  • So ur telling me that when people get slaughtered as happened in Kenya during the elections that was the giver of life and when the holocaust happened that was the giver of life or when tens of millions of people died due to AIDS, the list goes on. IF someone is suffering and they no longer want to live they have the right to choose it is their life, when 30 million slaves around the world can't go on, it is their right to choose, life is what we make it and we should all have the choice. People make the decisions to kill others all of the time, there is evil in the world, and that has little to do with a higher being, that has to do with the ruthless sickness of many people
    • No human being has the authority to take anothers life and the above-mentioned cases are no exception.. This is mere lack of respect for the sanctity of human life..

    • Two wrongs don't make a right. No matter how we look at it, taking a human life is wrong- and that includes your own. Unless this is done to protect more lives e.g in times of war or when a trigger-happy sycophant is on the loose etc. Like I said, this is a matter of conscience and not just of mere law.

And then there was this gem, Ugandan President to Sign Anti-Gay Bill

  •  I believe that all human beings are born with equal rights and dignity. These rights are inalienable and universal, irrespective of the differences that may include sexual orientation. The principle of equality in entitlement to human rights must be upheld at all costs. However, this must be put into context where other factors come into play. Different cultures look at things from different perspectives. No one has the mandate to impose onto people what they think is right or wrong. The concept of society and individual rights is interpreted differently in different cultures. The bottom line is that we all have equal rights, but these rights have limits. My take.
  •  Say what? This is pure nonsense as far as I understand
  •  That’s OK, you are entitled to your own Opinion - and so are others.

Engaging in conversations about controversial issues is part of being human.  My friends often tell me you have to be able to see other’s perspectives and I’ve learned to do this. But there are some things which really irritate/piss me off.  Some things which I consider so “out of this world” making me think which planet am I from.

Of course we are all part of the human race and entitled to our opinions, yet where does one draw the line, with someone like a Hitler, Stalin, Mao, US Presidents who believed in manifest destiny, the rulers of many countries who will go to any ends/means to put down opposing viewpoints including murdering their citizens (which happens all the time). Or as in Uganda, Russia, Iran and other countries which treat certain people, in this instance gays, as if they have no rights, i.e. treated as my “great” country has done with African Americans as slaves.  There are no guiltless parties in this debate; we are all witness to the tortures which go on between human beings.  For that matter let’s bring in how human beings treat animals, e.g. the massacre of elephants for their ivory or dolphins, supposedly for their meat. 

Should governments legislate such things as when euthanasia is ok or when women should be allowed to have an abortion; after all some governments are “of the people”. But sometime this comes down to a paternalistic attitude in that we know best.  In the case of Belgium it appears though that opinion polls support the euthanasia legislation. The point for me is that we as human beings must decide whether we want to continue living and should have this option.    

The Anti-Gay law in my opinion is hogwash, horrible, the worst human beings can offer and this is coming from the State.  It is as stupid as when in 2007 the former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad   told a Columbia University crowd that there were no gays in his country.  However, the Ugandan anti-gay law has consequences for being gay.  In the conversation above one of the discussants talks about everyone having inalienable rights, but this is qualified by a cultural context?  I don’t think so. Everyone has rights or they don’t, in this case they don’t.

Yes we are all entitled to our opinions, but when those opinions take away basic human rights what do we do with this? This all leaves me feeling rather flustered but inevitably this is the human condition. We do our best to try to help others “see the light”, but in the end we all have our own.  

Position: Lover of Life-Change Agent

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