Dying doctor calls for euthanasia

July 21st, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An Auckland doctor who has just months to live after being diagnosed with a terminal illness says it’s time for to be legalised.

Dr John Pollock said it was unfair that if he lived in Holland, Belgium or some American states he would have the option of ending his life if his condition deteriorated to a point where he was suffering, but in New Zealand he faces a death he cannot control.

He believes it is time for a law change so people facing death have the comfort of knowing they can control the end.

I support a law change. I think people should have the right to decide to die, if they are terminal. You wants lots of safeguards, but the principle is easy.

Under the current law, some terminally ill patients were left in the “most appallingly wretched states, sometimes akin to those who died of starvation in Nazi concentration camps”, Dr Pollock said. “Ironically if we allowed a cat or a dog or a horse to reach such a condition we would be breaking the law and risking a prison sentence.”

When asked if he had ever helped a patient end their life he replied: “It’s against the law.” He said he did however know “a number” of doctors who had helped suffering patients.

“I don’t see how a merciful doctor could not. The difference between relieving pain and euthanasia can be really quite small.”

In NZ we already have passive euthanasia – where people are allowed to die, as their quality of life is so poor. The debate is about whether one can have active euthanasia – where medicine can be supplied that will painlessly kill someone.

“The law won’t be changed in time for me and the only way that I can legally end my life before it is due to end is suicide and that’s the cruelty of it – not only suicide but suicide alone because if I top myself with my family present then I put them at risk and I think that’s hideous. It’s very cruel.”

Rodney Hide talked eloquently about Martin Hames trying to kill himself alone, because of the euthanasia laws. Martin’s case is the one which convinced me to come off the fence on this issue, and support euthanasia.

Tags:

211 Responses to “Dying doctor calls for euthanasia”

  1. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    ………slippery slope……..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    The good doctor is familiar with concentration camp methods of extermination then? Or is he sensationalising for sympathy.

    this law needs changing “now” because why? He has a terminal illness?

    He does have the right to kill himself any time he likes to and is able to pull it off.

    The issue is people who are not able to kill themsselves and are frequently unable to express their wishes for themselves. Giving others the power to decide life or death on their behalf is not something to considered lightly.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. mavxp (483 comments) says:

    the difficulty is for particularly old people who may feel they are a burden to their families. They may even have wretched children/in laws who are waiting to get their hands on their assets. The pressure may be there for people to end their lives prematurely. We need to be very careful that we do not allow such laws to become active without safeguards to protect those who may be exploited – even by their own families.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    Murray
    I’m not sure if he has the right but he certainly can.
    As for inviting the family round, he could do it and not tell them.
    there are many ways to skin a cat.

    why can’t he have pain meds to do the job and deal with it or do the meds not do the job?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Fot (252 comments) says:

    There is nothing slippery about this at all, it is barbaric that we allow humans to suffer through the later stages of terminal diseases when we would never dream of allowing a beloved pet to suffer in the same manner.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    And in Holland, the voluntary euthanasia has now turned into involuntary in 12% of the cases.

    In any other cases DPF would decry using a single example and base a law for that, but like every decent liberal, laws that allow killing, need support and must be enacted, no matter the shallow reasoning or very weak examples.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    The law needs changing “now” because it is grossly unfair to those who want to die with more grace and dignity. And it is also unfair to those compassionate doctors in very difficult situations who ease people out of their suffering in a very grey area:

    “The difference between relieving pain and euthanasia can be really quite small.”

    I have seen my father helped with “pain relief” to make a decision at exactly the right time for him.
    I have seem my stepfather change from a very nice, independent, proud person to an extended sad case – he doesn’t want to go yet, but five years ago he would have hated to see himself as he is now.
    I have talked about it with my mother who is facing her end right now with the only hope being to extend comfort as long as possible.
    I’d like to live another fifty years, but if I think my time has come I’d like to have some choice, especially in not having to go through extended suffering, not put my family through extended anguish.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Its barabric that we allow other interested parties to decide to terminate someone else Fot.

    Particularly when there is an inheritance. You are only confining your argument to a narrow set of parameters. If you are going to make a law that gives people the right to kill others – which is what this is – you need to to look at all extremes and accoutn for them. In a country where we have a recent history of passing some of the lamest ever framed legislation thats a bloody dangerous proposal.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Jibbering Gibbon (198 comments) says:

    Hide on Hames:

    “…They gave him some pain relief and pushed him off to the side in Wellington Hospital, and he spent the day dying. I dreaded going to see Martin Hames and saying goodbye to a very special friend, but one of the greatest things I have ever done is seeing a man dying with dignity. He told me, when I went in there, and he told all his friends—from Treasury, from Michael Cullen’s office, people from across the political spectrum who had worked with him, and from the National Party—that he was having a good death. He used to call me “Boss”, and he said: “I’m having a good death, Boss, because I didn’t think I’d get the opportunity to say goodbye to all my friends.” He had that chance.

    We all went in there and, rather than feeling sad, I felt great to see a man who could face his death with such generosity and love of life and friends, and who had been dealt a cruel hand but was not complaining. Martin slipped away that night…”

    Euthanasia is far from simple. On the Hansard link there is an argument refering to soldiers burning to death under tanks crying out to be shot by their own friends – and they were. A sad tale of the battlefield, but unlikely to be repeated on the streets of Wellington anytime soon. Those sort of arguments are exagerations of a sentiment. War and battlefield conduct has always been seperate to normal peacetime life.

    Hide approaches the spiritual element to being alive – a transcendence of something terrible – and it matches some of Dr. Pollocks concerns about his fear of not being able to control the end. History is full of examples where those who have spent all their lives controlling themselves, meet ends they cannot control. Call it the irony of fate, if you like, call it the futility of life if you prefer. No one can or should force Dr. Pollock to embrace spiritual ideas at this late stage, especially since he has to pay the ultimate bill. But equally, his condition should not open a door that others do not need or want.

    In my opinion, euthanasia should remain illegal, but the law could be amended to overlook the passive involvement of relatives in medical suicide. It is afterall, just a degree of suicide. If he wants to go surrounded by loved ones, that should be up to him, without any criminal repercussions on his family.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Fot (252 comments) says:

    Murray you are deliberately clouding the issue, nobody is talking about death groups stalking the halls of our hospitals looking for people to knock off, I wonder if you have a hidden religious motive for opposing euthanasia.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Well — DPF — your genius with policy matters is only matched by your spectacular shallowness with regard to moral and spiritual concerns. Where does this right to die come from?
    Is life sacred?
    Are we in danger of playing God?
    Who says we have control over our lives and we should control when we die? How do you know they are right?

    And please don’t give me your usual shallow bureaucratic reasoning. This is a thing of the heart, a thing of the soul — show us that you have one.

    I think at times this blog is the most morally irresponsible publication in the country. It is so widely read. It is so influential. And here you are advocating the right for grandmothers to die. That’s what will happen. I can imagine now, the family around old granny — ” isn’t it time that you went? Jane can’t look after you. It would be unfair to ask Bill. Wouldn’t it be good to just end it now?”

    When know that in the Netherlands old people will not go to hospital because they are afraid that they will be euthanised. Is that what you want? And don’t give me your usual bollocks about the law and safeguards. We have heaps of safeguards around abortion and yet we have abortion on demand. This is a matter of the heart. This is a matter of the soul. This is a spiritual matter of life and death.

    I think you should be ashamed of yourself quite frankly.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Are we in danger of playing God?

    Many of us don’t play God at all.

    Many people who believe in God have long ago have decided medical intervention is acceptable within their beliefs.

    This is a thing of the heart, a thing of the soul — show us that you have one.

    It takes a lot of heart, and a lot of soul searching, to talk with someone you love about their death, their fears, and their wishes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    I hope that those who oppose assisted death never have to watch a loved one die a slow painful death. Its all very well to pontificate when you havent experenced the situation and you dont know the circumstances in which your own life might end.

    The high and mighty mentality is only matched by the ignorance of the fact that if you let an animal suffer in the same circumstances you are not only guilty of bresking the law but would be judged by all but the most callow of society and a cruel and evil person.

    So you say that allowing a human to die in circumstances that an animal must not be allowed to die is OK for you twisted logic.

    Again I say I hope you never have to watch or suffer the same ate as John Pollock.

    Disclose of interest. I have known John for 25 years as a patient of the medical centre where he practised

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. LiberalismIsASin (290 comments) says:

    Hey, we kill the unborn so lets kill ‘em off at the other end too. I mean, everyone knows old people are useless anyway, and just a drain on the taxpayer.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    So lastmanstanding- humans are just animals then? Is that your point?
    Is that your moral reasoning?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    What Scott said.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    This “we have a right to die with dignity” nonsense has no empirical basis in a discussion of Euthanasia whatsoever. What about those that don’t die with dignity? should their families be compensated for the violation of this right? where does this right come from? shouldn’t we be calling for suicide to be legalised if the right to die truly exists? there is no consistency in such a right, no equality whatsoever.

    Apparently it’s barbaric to allow people to die a painful death, for goodness sake, does society actually have control of such matters? should a society that refuses to legalise euthanasia be held accountable? the state should have no business in matters of life and death.

    The secularisation of the Western world is also encouraging the rapid expansion of government influence.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    Scott
    I’m not sure I see the point here, this is an emotional, legal, moral issue and we will all have differing views.
    Now if you were speaking about DPF’s attitude towards auburn haired people I understand.

    That said I do not morally support euthanasia.
    I have had some acute pain for an extended time (weeks) so I have empathy for those who have it continuously or are terminal.

    Jibbering Gibbon (74) Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 9:49 am
    makes some good points at the end.

    [DPF: Let it be noted Mike was the one who introduced gingas into a debate on euthanasia – not me :-)]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. MT_Tinman (3,322 comments) says:

    Why just when people are ‘terminal”?

    People who make a sane, rational decision that they have contributed all they can (or want) to society and no longer want to live should be able choose death no matter what their physical health.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    Again I say I hope you never have to watch or suffer the same ate as John Pollock.

    We all die my friend, it is a fact of life, a hurdle we all face and one we can’t tunnel under or skip around.

    We need to face it with peace and repentance – its hard sometimes as life can be.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    What about those that don’t die with dignity? should their families be compensated for the violation of this right?

    That’s a strange comment.

    the state should have no business in matters of life and death.

    No healthcare?

    Almost everyone chooses to thwart the “wishes” of God/nature through immunisations, drugs, operations and even advice from others on healthy living. It is ironic that this intervention can also prolong lives and suffering, often against the wishes of the person involved.

    If you want to look at it from the God angle, what if God chooses to guide a doctor to ease someone out of their suffering? Surely He is all powerful, and has some compassion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    This doc was on TV last night about this, and he made the point that he does not want the last experiences of his family with him to be the painful and undignified death that he has seen many times in his career, particularly as the memory of that death is the over-riding memory that stays with the family once their loved one is gone.

    I can honestly say from experience, that that is very much the case. My mother, having expressed a desire to stop her own suffering, went from a strong willed, capable woman to an emaciated, bed ridden, uncommunicative, demented and incontinent person totally reliant on others, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer that had spread to her brain.

    This is my lasting memory of her.

    Should the same situation befall me, and I hope it doesn’t, I would hope that I live in, and could die in a society that recognizes that ending a life in order to prevent suffering that ends in death anyway is a good and worthwhile thing.

    Euthanasia is a word derived from the greek words Eu, meaning Good, and Thanatos, meaning Death. It literally translates to Good Death. Now we know there have been some advances in palliative care and for those who wish to go down that path, and to spend as much time with their family as possible, that is their option, and if this results in a good death with dignity, then that is a good thing.

    But if death is the inevitable outcome, then why is it that there are people who would inflict the maximum suffering on a patient, when it is within the power of all of us to accept the outcome, and arrive at that in a controlled and dignified manner?

    Euthanasia is not about choosing death over life, but about choosing a Good Death over a bad one.

    Involuntary Euthanasia is a contradiction in terms, and does not fit the description of euthanasia. Murder is still a bad death, no matter how gentle. But forcing a person to painfully suffer through all the worst stages of a terminal illness against their own expressed wishes is downright inhumane.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. SouthernRight (53 comments) says:

    someone should just shoot him

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Euthanasia is not about choosing death over life, but about choosing a Good Death over a bad one.

    That statement deserves more highlighting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. SouthernRight (53 comments) says:

    or its about choosing a good death when there is a good will waiting for those who are choosing the good death…..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    SouthernRight, that’s easily solved with independent assessment – and it is the dying person’s wishes, not the will beneficiaries’ that should be looked at.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    MacDoctor has had a lot to say about this in the past, and in general I agree with what he has said.

    Key points for him were that many people who choose to end their life are, by medical standards, clinically depressed at the time they do that. So we’re allowing someone who is mentally unwell to make a decision on ending their life. Which, if you think about it like that, seems a rather silly thing to do.

    My view is that there is room for improvement, but we need to be careful. If we can identify and limit to a set of cases where:
    – the patient is terminal. Remember, of course, that life is terminal. They need to be terminal, beyond any doubt, in the very near future. I’d be saying you need to be within 1-2 weeks of death before you’re eligible, this substantially reduces the consequence of someone ending their life prematurely (1 or 2 weeks isn’t a massive loss)
    – there needs to be independent assessment that it is genuinely terminal. So we avoid misdiagnosis (imagine your parent ends their life thinking they’re terminal, then it turns out they weren’t)
    – there needs to be an assessment of alternatives. According to MacDoctor, a lot of this comes down to pain. Often the underlying problem is poor palliative care, where the pain hasn’t been adequately managed, leading to someone feeling the need to end their life. If the pain could be better managed, that is a better answer than death

    My personal view here is that life is almost always better than death. A choice I might make today about what my quality of life should be is almost certain to be different when I’m actually there. Even if I’m fully bed ridden and immobile, I can probably still read kiwiblog, and really, what else does anyone need?

    But seriously, if you’re like me and without religion, then life has to be pretty damn bad before death looks better. If I’m not in excessive pain, I can deal with most anything else. Again, if we’re talking about the last couple of days, then maybe I’d make a choice to end a few hours earlier if those last few hours were going to be excruciatingly painful. Conversely, I reckon your last few hours on earth probably have a lot more value to you than your first few – I suspect when you get to that point in your life then anything that gives you an extra couple of hours would sound like a good idea.

    In summary, I think we need to take some care, introduce some controls. But if we can limit it, then I think there is room for reform.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    I still find it amsuing, if one can use this term in the context of this debate, that those who oppose euthanasia use examples and hypotheticals that actually do not fit the definition of euthanasia, as those who promote voluntary euthanaisa see it.

    When those who oppose start mentioning concentration camp methods, beneficairies of wills, calling for suicide to be legalised if the right to die truly exists, then they become guilty of framing the arguement to suit their own conclusions.

    Let me say again, and I thank Pete for highlighting it, Euthanasia is not about choosing death over life, but about choosing a Good Death over a bad one.

    Killing yourself because you are depressed is NOT a good death. I have seen the devastation that leaves.

    Killing a relative to benefit from a will is NOT a good death. That is murder, plain and simple.

    Concentration Camps are tools of extermination. Killing for political reasons is NOT a good death under any circumstances.

    Some have asked why this doctor is bring the issue up now, and questioning his motives. To those who are, I question yours.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Conversely, I reckon your last few hours on earth probably have a lot more value to you than your first few – I suspect when you get to that point in your life then anything that gives you an extra couple of hours would sound like a good idea.

    Some people don’t see it that way when they get there.

    My father was a very determined old coot. And he became very sick. He’d had cancer, he’d had strokes, he had advanced emphysema, and he had other recurring problems. I’m sure his determination enabled him to survive beyond he used by date.

    He was determined not to become stuck at home so he kept socialising for as long as he could.
    The last time he made it to the pub they called an ambulance to take him away.

    He resisted getting Sky so he had to go out to watch sport. He finally relented when he was stuck at home on oxygen, I had Sky installed for him for long enough to watch one test.

    The next day he was taken to a rest home hospital, he had always said he never wanted to go to one, and when he arrived he said he wouldn’t be there long.

    Two days later he told me to piss off, there was no point in me being there – apparently morphine can make people act a bit out of character. (I did keep going back).

    Two days after that he died, I’m sure the morphine helped him go. As much as he was determined to live, he was also determined to go before he lost all dignity (he didn’t quite manage to avoid that unfortunately). I don’t see any problem with that. My only regret is that I wasn’t a part of the decision/discussion – I’m guessing as much as anything for legal reasons – which made it more difficult for me. If I had known what was going on I think I could have been more supportive and understanding in his last few days.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    Pete, it probably depends how you get there. If you come up on it gradually, it is clear the end is on it’s way, you’ve said all the things to people that you wanted to say, tidied up the loose ends you wanted tidied up, and we’re talking about dying now, or dying tomorrow night, with the period in between filled with pain, then I agree.

    If we’re talking about a sudden decline, and my brother is on his way to see me and will be here in 4 hours, then yeah, those 4 hours are worth a lot to me.

    I fully agree with the concept that I should be allowed to make that choice. That is the point. Just so long as it is circumscribed, so I can’t make a decision today that I’m terminal (which I almost certainly am, but I’m hoping there’s a good 50-60 years left in me), and that frankly what’s in front of me doesn’t look like that much fun (what with mortgages and damn Labour governments and all), so may as well end it now. The rules need to be constructed so that it isn’t a slippery slope, it’s still very clearly delineated, just delineated in a different place than it is now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    As always, people who make up some absurd straw man scenario completely different to what is actually being proposed, are effectively admitting they have no argument based in reality. No one is talking about greedy relatives choosing to murder an elderly family member, shame on you dishonest commenters who have pretended that is being proposed.
    We are talking about the dying person having the option to seek professional medical assistance to die on their own terms, if they so choose. In this discussion the only ones trying to impose their own choices against the wishes of the patient, are the religious nutbars trying to impose their own beliefs on everyone ( while hypocritically pretending the opposite ).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    Put it away: the problem is that we need changes that support what you want (people being able to make choices) whilst precluding what others have raised as possibilities – the greedy relatives etc. Do you have a proposed mechanism that will do this? There are studies that suggest in other countries with these rules that there is a percentage of people who are choosing to die early based on perceived pressure from relatives. It is a real problem. You can’t ignore it by claiming it is an absurd straw man, unless you can show why it can’t happen.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Jack5 (5,283 comments) says:

    Anyone unmoved by Rodney Hide’s account of Martin Hames’ death would, IMHO, be a suitable candidate for the black uniform and death’s head cap badge in Germany of the 1930s and early 1940s. Huntingdon’s is a horrific fate, and Hames bore it heroically. Full credit to Hide for putting it before the HOuse and the way he told it. Also credit to Peter Brown for his bill.

    IMHO, the morality of helping a terribly-suffering, terminally ill person to die peacefully comes down to: how can you oppose this yet allow a vet or farmer to end suffering by a dying dog or horse by putting the animal down?

    The God fanatics will argue we are not animals, which is absurd given the physical evidence. .

    On a practical level, I wonder how the insurance industry could reconcile its practices and risk evaluation to pay out polices where there is assisted suicide for the suffering terminally ill? Given that few (except perhaps Huntingdon’s survivors) could last more than a year, perhaps there could be a required assessment by a panel of how long the person would have survived without the suicide. Perhaps some adjustment could then be made.

    Scott posted at 9.58:

    …Is life sacred? Are we in danger of playing God?

    If Scott would allow a dog or horse in pain to be put down, but would let a human endure extreme, pointless suffering, perhaps it is Scott who wants to play God.

    Scott then posted at 10.49:

    So lastmanstanding- humans are just animals then? Is that your point?
    Is that your moral reasoning?

    What just order of life are human beings Scott? Amphibians? Insects? Fish? If they are unique, how come some pig parts (as in diabetes) seem to be compatible in humans’ bodies? How come drug companies spend so many billions testing drugs on mice and monkeys before they release them for use by humans?

    Surely Scott, you’re not a Scientologist who thinks we descend from beings from outer space?

    LiberalismIsaSin at 10.41 posted:

    …Hey, we kill the unborn so lets kill ‘em off at the other end too. ..

    This is a rhetorical trick. There’s no iron link between those who favour the right of dying people to choose suicide with people who support open-slather abortion. These are different questions. I have different views on each, and I’ll bet many other Kiwiblog readers do, too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. James (1,299 comments) says:

    My life…and also MY death.Fuck off and do your own thing but stay out of MY decision.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    the greedy relatives etc. Do you have a proposed mechanism that will do this?

    There will be no perfect system, but generally it should be easy to deal with this – independent medical/psychological assessment with the dying person, no relatives involved unless by request.

    Pressure by relatives can cause problems and possibly death now, through stress, and through health choices. If I was terminal and surrounded by relatives telling me I should get it over with I’m not sure if I would try and hang on as long as possible to spite them, or to just try and get out of that place as soon as possible.

    When the dying person is mentally incapable of make sound decisions then you have to go with keeping them alive.

    Anyway, people who are terminal (and doctors) already make decisions that affect potential longevity – it’s normal for people with cancer be given options of operation, chemo, radiation or just palliative. Choices that can be influenced by relatives too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    Paul – Well obviously you have safeguards, psychiatric assessment, two independent doctors certifiying the patient is mentally capable and making a free choice etc etc. The commenters with the ulterior motives are talking as if the relatives will make the decision not the patient. Shame on them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Yvette (2,763 comments) says:

    One observation may be, that if one ends up in this situation, it may be unwise to make too much of a fuss about it – when attention is drawn to an individual’s plight. ‘medicine’ seems to only offer only starvation or dehydration as legal options, whereas a quite patient may even gain control of a morphine pump to ease their ‘pain’ as they feel it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    Put it away,

    When it comes to euthanasia, safeguards will not work. Once you give doctors the power to kill people, they kill far more than consent to it.

    As always, people who make up some absurd straw man scenario completely different to what is actually being proposed, are effectively admitting they have no argument based in reality.

    Go have a look at the facts of what is going on in the Netherlands. A great number of people are being involuntarily euthanised there, or as the Dutch doctors call it, they’ve been given “life-terminating treatment.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Chuck Bird (4,912 comments) says:

    My life…and also MY death. Fuck off and do your own thing but stay out of MY decision.

    I am sure you will have convinced many with such a well considered argument. Brilliant use of the caps key.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria, that link you give is long out of date. It starts with:

    Note: This fact sheet is based upon developments in the Netherlands through 1994.

    The current situation in the Netherlands is based on – “Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act ” that took effect on April 1, 2002.

    Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_in_the_Netherlands

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria.

    I would give more credence to the info contained in your link if it was not the mouthpeice of an organisation that was opposed to euthanasia in the first place.

    Could you also please explain to me my my mother had to endure a painful and undignified death against her wishes so as not to offend your sensibilities, or the sensibilities of the International Task Force?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. James (1,299 comments) says:

    “I am sure you will have convinced many with such a well considered argument. Brilliant use of the caps key.”

    But still little socialists of the soul like you Bird will still want a say in a matter thats nothing to do with you.Which part of leave others alone do you comrades of the cross not get?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    slightyrighty,

    That link summarises a Dutch Government study into euthanasia in the Netherlands. Go look up the report and read it for yourself, if you think an organisation that (quite rightly) opposes euthanasia is making it up. Go on, I dare you.

    Could you also please explain to me my my mother had to endure a painful and undignified death against her wishes…

    Because to kill her would be murder.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    That link summarises a Dutch Government study into euthanasia in the Netherlands.

    The Remmelink Report– On September 10, 1991!!! – look at my previous post.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    Here’s what’s happening in Belgium where euthanasia can only be carried out by a doctor and is only legal if the patient consents :

    A high proportion of deaths classed as euthanasia in Belgium involved patients who did not ask for their lives to be ended, a study found.

    More than 100 nurses admitted to researchers that they had taken part in ‘terminations without request or consent’.

    Almost half of Belgium’s euthanasia nurses admit killing without consent ~ Daily Mail

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    When the time comes for me when I unable to look after myself and life has no meaning ,I wish to have my life terminated Does anybody have a problem with that?

    Nope – but don’t involve anybody else with your sin – if you chooses a path that can lead to damnation there is no need to drag others down that road with you

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Boloni — why yes actually. Presumably someone will have to terminate you. Who will that person be? Are you going to appoint your own executioner?

    How would you like it done? Presumably you would like a nice gentle death paid for by the taxpayer? But what if it is cheaper to blow your head off with a shotgun? Would that be okay?

    Why should society have to change to admit your preferences? If a teenager is depressed and wants to die, presumably that is okay with you?

    If some relative wants granny to die because she is dribbling and she also has a large estate, is it okay to euthanise her?

    Are you God? Your worldview appears to be the one known as “my imperial self”. Basically you are saying — I am in charge of myself beholden to no one, and I will do what I like, and furthermore everyone else will change to accommodate my preferences.

    Is that about it? Is that your thinking? Or am I wrong?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    My mistake, Pete. It specifically says:

    Note: This fact sheet is based upon developments in the Netherlands through 1994. It includes data from the “Remmelink Report.” For information on developments in Dutch euthanasia and assisted suicide, see the IAETF Update general index or the Update Search.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Scott, have you ever cared for a family member who is dying?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria.

    My mother was going to die anyway. Her terminal cancer reduced a vibrant caring woman who loved life to an emaciated, bed ridden, uncommunicative, demented and incontinent person totally reliant on others.

    She had expressed her wish to jump in front of a bus, so that she could end her suffering, but as the disease progressed, and she lost the ability to communicate, and feed and toilet herself, so that the only sensation left was that of pain, coupled with the inability to communicate what was going on. In that time the only option left to us as a family was to act in direct contravention to her wishes, and let her struggle painfully to her death.

    I wish I could have let her have the dignity in death she wanted. Why did the law demand that I treat her with cruelty when I wanted to treat her with compassion?

    I hope that you never find yourself in this position with a loved one, but if you do, perhaps it will open your eyes to the suffering that the law as it stands, inflicts.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    slightyrighty,

    I hope that you never find yourself in this position with a loved one, but if you do, perhaps it will open your eyes to the suffering that the law as it stands, inflicts.

    It’s already happened to me. My father died of lung cancer when I was in my early 20’s.

    I’ve also managed to talk people out of suicide.

    You can’t give people the death they want. If you do, it’s murder. Doesn’t matter if they are seconds away from death. Still murder, still wrong.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. starboard (2,563 comments) says:

    ..what James said at 1.05pm. How many of you have visited a resthome? I spent 10 years watching my Father die in a home surrounded by others 3/4 dead. The stench of the slow dying.. something I will never forget.
    Euthanasia…bring it on.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Slightly rightly — although the personal circumstances surrounding your mother’s death are very sad your solution is so much sadder. Are you going to murder your own mother? Of course not. You want someone else to do it? Isn’t that murder?

    Pete — Yes. Furthermore I have been with lots of people near the end of their life.

    But I do know this once we create a right to die then we open a whole Pandora’s box. Who is to say where this will end?

    The fact of the matter is once you allow euthanasia with a person’s consent then inevitably what will follow is euthanasia without a person’s consent. This is true of all countries in which euthanasia is legal.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Okay starboard — what would your solution be to those dying people in the rest home? What comfort would you give them?

    Are you suggesting we should just kill them all off? Is that your notion of compassion?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. annie (539 comments) says:

    The hospice movement does a wonderful job, but there are always patients they can’t help – people who suffer dreadful final weeks and a vile death. In my experience they tend not to acknowledge this publicly, for many reasons – personal faith and belief, the image of their organisation, fundraising ability, whatever.

    I’m an opiate non-responder, an agnostic tending towards atheism, and I have an effective plan in the event I need an exit. In the absence of readily available drugs, it’s a messy one.

    People pushing their own religious beliefs have no right to interfere in someone else’s right to self-determination. I entirely agree that the means to commit a painless suicide should be available to terminally ill people who wish to take the option.

    People like Lucia Maria would cheerfully consign people to a dreadful death for the sake of their own spiritual comfort. Butt out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    Annie,

    And you don’t have the right to insist that some one should kill you. If you want to die, do it yourself.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    starboards 231 pm says it all really.
    A room full of smelly old people,so let’s get rid of them.
    In the space below please enter your favourite most disliked group.

    A room full of……………people,so let’s get rid of them. Say it out loud.

    First they came for the smelly old people,and that was OK because there was a law that allowed it…….
    Like I said ,slippery slope. And before you get indignant ,it did happen before,in the most advanced country in Europe(so some people say).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Annie — you are an atheist or tending towards. Are you not pushing your own religious beliefs?

    Who says people have a right to determine the manner and choosing of their own death? Where does that right come from?

    The fact of the matter is that you want people to be killed by someone else when they are old and dying. Put them down like when we put down dogs. Isn’t that reverting to barbarism?

    There are many assumptions in your reasoning that actually don’t make a lot of sense. Why should Lucia not have her say? How was your moral reasoning superior to hers? Who says that only atheists and agnostics have a valid point of view on these moral issues?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Thanks Boloni- presumably you have now changed your mind. Good- my work here is done.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    No Euthanasia laws can prevent what-if scenarios where someone is placed under undue pressure to kill themselves, or is euthanised without proper consent, etc.

    But that argument is a red herring. Our homicide laws don’t prevent murder either, they just provide a means of recourse after a murder happens.

    The possibility for people to act unfairly towards each other already exists everywhere. We have other laws to apply consequences to that. If the technology exists to allow the teminally-ill to opt-out of a hideous death in favour of an immediate painless one, then as a matter of simple human compassion I think we should allow them that option.

    I don’t know if, on top of the patient’s request, there should also be a list of qualifying illnesses, or a doctor’s consent. As someone above said, I think it would be sad if a mechanism set up to allow end-stage cancer victims to choose euthanasia also allowed a depressed but otherwise healthy 17yo to do the same.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    Read a good article related to this and abortion called Did Hitler Win The War?
    The very perversions we fought against in WWII have now become accepted in society and even promoted.

    Some excerpts –

    Shortly before his death, my husband said to me: “Unfortunately, I am too weak to write a book that has matured in my mind. I would have called it Hitler Won the War. Even though Hitler was militarily defeated, his ethos, his philosophy, have triumphed and have penetrated so deeply into our mentality that we no longer even notice it.” It is well-known that Hitler legalized all sorts of moral abominations—euthanasia, scientific research on fetuses, brutal disrespect for the dignity of human life, ruthless persecution of the innocent (cf. Inge Scholl, Die Weisse Rose, 69ff). All of these horrors have now penetrated our own society. Some have been legalized and consequently have become not only acceptable, but almost “respectable.” “The state allows it, so it must be all right.”

    [what] is amazing about what has taken place in the last forty years is that the moral aberrations which, in the past, were loudly condemned are now publicized and espoused by the news media, officially endorsed, legalized, and thereby given the seal of respectability.

    Cardinal Newman seemed to have had an inkling of the gravity of this disease. He wrote: “When we trifle with this warning, our reason becomes perverted, and comes in aid of our wishes, and deceives us to our ruin. Then we begin to find, that there are arguments available in behalf of bad deeds, and we listen to these till we come to think them true” (Parochial and Plain Sermons, viii:***).

    It is easy to foresee how the legalization of abortion will inevitably lead to the legalization of other crimes—for example, euthanasia—and how this in turn will threaten a total collapse of public morality. Today we accept abortion as a matter of course. Soon, we shall “get used” to euthanasia and to the murder of the severely handicapped and of infants who happen to be an unwelcome burden to their parents.

    Newman had it right. To get past the fact that he is sinning, a man will come up with an excuse to rationalize his action that sounds very reasonable in an effort to convince others (and himself) that it is OK. The more we hear these arguments, the more we come to think of them as true. If Euthanasia is legalized it will start off slow (the way abortion did), and next will become commonplace.

    The Northern Territory in Australia legalized euthanasia in 1997, but luckily it was overturned in less than a year.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. starboard (2,563 comments) says:

    No ones suggesting going room to room exterminating each sick person. My Father didnt want to go the way he did..and I didnt have the balls to smother him with a pillow. I did ask the nurse if she could od him with the morphine but she declined.
    Individual choice….die when YOU choose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    Fletch;

    Some people may want a bit of help to take their own lives.

    If you check that, you will find that is their own business, not any of yours.

    But you are saying that they should not be allowed to do this, no matter how bad their suffering may be, they should just put up with it because [in your worldly opinion] it is somehow “wrong” to allow them to put an end to it.

    The only problem here is your sense of moral superiority.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. starboard (2,563 comments) says:

    Okay starboard — what would your solution be to those dying people in the rest home? What comfort would you give them?
    Are you suggesting we should just kill them all off? Is that your notion of compassion

    ..and your solution Scott?….”sorry, you have to suffer suffer suffer…only another, I dunno…8 years to go”….rotting..pain…
    unbearable misery…nice one .

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Is passive euthanasia acceptable? Ie not intervening to prolong a life.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Starboard- you didn’t want to kill your father-you wanted someone else to do it.

    We don’t want it on our conscience. But you are ok about burdening somebody else-putting it on their conscience?

    Once again “individual choice”-right to choose?
    What is the basis of that belief? In reality you couldn’t do it yourself.

    Perhaps that was because taking another persons life is wrong? Perhaps your conscience was trying to tell you something?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    My solution-sure,lets not kill people because it suits us for a start.

    Also how about some spiritual depth to this debate? I could talk spiritually but most people here seem completely at a utilitarian level. They want to die and we are ok about killing them. Well not actually us-somebody else killing them. Thats what we want.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    Scott;

    I wouldn’t want to speak for Starboard, but I suspect his conscience is telling him that a nice dose of sleeping drugs administered by the Doctor would be a hell of a lot nicer way for his Dad to go, than a bullet or a pillow over the face or drinking a cyanide solution.

    And if it isn’t the individual’s right to choose, whose sense of morality governs? Yours, perhaps?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    I’ve worked for a doctors’ organisation. Without betraying any confidences I have to ask, does anyone really believe that doctors and nurses aren’t “terminating without consent” at present? You’re not drawn to such a profession unless you have empathy and what to ease suffering – especially nursing, where you’re required to perform tasks that’d make most of use puke, faint, or both.

    To ask someone with such empathy to see someone undoubtedly terminal, perhaps delerious or otherwise beyond making themselves comprehensible but definitely suffering terribly and expect them to turn their back and permit that process to be dragged out to its painful, inevitable conclusion is in itself cruel.

    As for the idea of “death squads”, they too happen now as any perusal of the news pages will show you. Start with a search on Harold Shipton and go from there. The occasional “Death’s angel” in our hospitals isn’t deterred by the absence of a euthanasia law any more than any other murderer is deterred by our homicide law.

    I accept that euthanasia is a slippery slope, but so are many laws. Make drinking legal at 18, you’ll have 16 year olds doing it (with the resultant physical, emotional and societal ill effects). But the way to deal with it is to legislate as much as possible against abuse (and PaulL at 11:57 am has a list of very sensible suggestions on this), adjust the legislation if a loophole appears, and harshly punish anyone found to have stepped outside the law.

    As an aside, this is the one and only issue on which Michael Laws and I are in complete agreement, and I acknowledge he did the right thing in trying to introduce a euthanasia Bill in response to the suffering of his friend Cam Campion well before Hide or anyone in the current crop of MPs brought the issue forward.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. James (1,299 comments) says:

    “Could you also please explain to me my my mother had to endure a painful and undignified death against her wishes…

    Because to kill her would be murder.”

    Not with her consent it isn’t comrade.

    Scott: “Annie — you are an atheist or tending towards. Are you not pushing your own religious beliefs?”

    No…the absense of a belief in the supernatural has nothing to do with holding a religious belief.We are all born default atheists.

    “Who says people have a right to determine the manner and choosing of their own death? Where does that right come from?”

    From our nature as man…as derived from the objective reality we inhabit.A right is a moral sanction to freedom of action in a social context…meaning they are actions we can take with no need of the permission of anyone else or their made up God required.They are simply the rights to Life (and to end that life)to liberty,to property (our lives being our most basic and personal property)and to pursue happiness (that includs ending ones misery by removing oneself from if by ending ones OWN life).These rights are negative in nature…meaning they require eveyone els eto do nothing…just leave you be to get on with it.Ones life is ones own…it belongs not to God,Gaia or the Government…its YOURS!

    We are mortal beings with a set nature….we can’t escape it or get away with pretending it is otherwise.A =A,facts are facts and man is man.It is perfectly moral and just for any human being to end his/her own existence…and to have another consenting human assist if that is their wish.

    Now….piss off back to the dark ages.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. Chuck Bird (4,912 comments) says:

    But still little socialists of the soul like you Bird will still want a say in a matter thats nothing to do with you.

    Firstly, I am would not be considered a socialist by most rational people. Secondly, you have no idea what my views on euthanasia are. Mind you knowing nothing about a subject certainly does not stop you from having strong views on the subject and denigrate those who put up well reasoned arguments that you disagree with. A great way to get people around to your way of thinking.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. Grendel (1,013 comments) says:

    now that the god squads here any reasonable debate on this is fucked.

    to whoever asked about the impact on life insurance. almost all policies i know of have a terminal illness benefit, which pays the insured sum (and sometimes more) if you are diagnosed as terminal in the next 12 months. and you don;t pay it back if you live, so there is no issue with euthanasia either.

    also normally there is only a 13mth standdown for suicide so that won;t stop a payout either.

    only issue could be if the person has a suicide exclusion (due to existing mental health exclusions) and chooses to kill themselves. it would be a difficult one to call as it could probably be argued that the mental illness had nothing to do with the decision to euthanise themselves, but i would hate to be the company that had to test it in court.

    it is sad that due to religofuckwits like lucia et al, that if i am terminal and want to die with dignity i have to be alone and do it sneakily. if i wanted to kill myself (injection or something) with family around, with the help of a doctor so its done properly (how would it suck to be terminal and also screw up killing your self), lucia and her god squad evil mates would want to have the doctor and my family arrested for murder. so much for religious compassion.

    as someone saidearlier; my life, my death, fuck off out of my business.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Scott, Fletch, Lucia.

    You argue using a series of absolutes, saying it is wrong to kill. Fletch referred to an article saying it is wrong to practice euthanasia because Hitler legalized it.

    Hitler also practiced Vegetarianism and was teetotal. Should we go the same way?

    The “euthanasia” Hiltler practiced is not what is being debated here and your use of this as an example is flawed. What Hitler was practicing was eugenics and extermination, designed to eliminate genetic character traits in the pursuit of “Aryan Genetic Purity”

    Was is being discussed is options to end a life that for all intents and purposes, is over. This is not about killing, it’s about dying, preferrably with dignity.

    the author of the link you posted to listed Euthanasia with scientific research on fetuses, brutal disrespect for the dignity of human life, ruthless persecution of the innocent.

    Now I would agree with his viewpoint on his other 3 items, particularly the last one about the dignity of human life. I can also say that the way my mother died was not dignified.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    …does anyone really believe that doctors and nurses aren’t “terminating without consent” at present?

    I’m aware of that, they often have to make decisions that directly affect how long someone may stay alive.

    The questions here are:
    – whether dying people should be able to choose more easily for themselves
    – whether some people with religious views should be able to dictate to others who don’t have the same views

    Can anyone point to which of the suicides mentioned in the Bible were condemned as a sin?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Pete George asks:

    Can anyone point to which of the suicides mentioned in the Bible were condemned as a sin?

    And while answering that, perhaps the Biblical scholars on this thread can explain which of the following Old Testament biblical figures are now burning in Hell as the result of their sin (suicide):

    Abimelech, wounded by a woman who dropped a stone on his head. He was so contemptuous of women he asked his armour bearer to kill him with his sword, so people couldn’t say that he had been killed by a woman.

    Samson, who pushed apart the two middle pillars of a temple, thereby knowingly causing the collapse of the building, his own suicide and the death of a few thousand Philistines inside. He had been blinded, and no longer wanted to live as a captive.

    Saul, who also asked his armour bearer to kill him. But his assistant refused, so he took a sword and fell on it. The armour bearer then also fell on his sword. Saul’s justification for committing suicide was that if the Philistines arrived, he would have been abused and killed by uncircumcised men.

    Ahithophe, whol recommended that he be allowed to choose 12,000 men, to pursue King David and kill him. When his advice was not accepted, he became so depressed that he returned to his city, “put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died…”

    Zimri, king of Tirzah, who saw his city besieged and taken so “went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house down upon himself with fire, and died…”

    Then of course there’s Elijah, who “prayed that he might die”, thus asking the Lord to indulge in a bit of assisted suicide. As did Jonah, who was pissed that God reneged on his pledge to destroy Nineveh, a city of 120,000 people.

    As for the Hitler comparison, euthanasia in the pursuit of eugenics is clearly evil. As is killing in the pursuit of murder. But killing in the pursuit of defence of your country? You cannot rule an action inherently good or evil based solely upon the intent of its perpetrator.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    I knew that this would become a slippery slope… Into a debate regarding God.

    Scott – you may be interested in reading this article:

    The fundamentalist evangelical church is the natural heir of pharisaism. They have a well deserved reputation for being judgemental and moralistic. The conservative protestant evangelicals have always taken what they call a strong stand on issues of right and wrong. They have always stood firmly for Biblical standards as set forth in the Old Testament and the New. They have always defended these standards in the face of social and cultural disintegration. The following are some examples:

    In the founding charter of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant denomination in the United States, just prior to the civil war, the founding fathers took a firm stand in defense of slavery which they believed to be ordained by God and justified through the references to slavery in the scripture (Eph 6: 5-9, Col 3:22-4:1).

    Many conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against women’s suffrage around the turn of the century. They argued that the Bible clearly specifies that women should have no place in the governance of men and that to give women the right to vote would be a clear violation of the laws of God (1 Tim 2:11 – 3:13; 1 Cor 14:33-35).

    In the early decades of this century, conservative evangelicals took a strong stand favoring prohibition. This issue was so important to them that they violated their own doctrine of separation of church and state to lend their full weight to the ratification of the 18th amendment. This too was done based on clear scriptural authority (Rom 14:21, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Eph 5:18), while ignoring scripture to the contrary (1 Tim 5:23, John 2:1-11). In standing for prohibition, the church participated unwittingly in laying the foundations of organized crime in the United States. The structures and alliances which developed during prohibition for distribution of moonshine are now used to distribute drugs. As a result, prohibition may well have been the most socially destructive event in our nations history. (For more on this topic see Sermon Number Nine).

    Conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against allowing divorced individuals full participation in church life. This too was based on strong scriptural authority (Mark 10:1-12, Mat 19:1-12, Luke 16:18). For many years divorced individuals were not asked to teach Sunday School or hold office in the churches.

    Conservative evangelicals took a strong stand against racial integration. Churches which accepted African-Americans as members were removed from fellowship in the local associations and censured in various ways.

    In fact, conservative evangelicals have been on the wrong side of every major social issue in the past 150 years. Is it any wonder that the church has lost its place in society as a moral authority. Is it any wonder that evangelical fundamentalists have become a laughing stock.

    The message of Christ is not about right and wrong. In the Bible it was the Pharisees that had right and wrong all figured out. The message of Christ is about loving people, good or bad, right or wrong. We should be following the example of Christ who condemned the Pharisees (who were the great authorities on what was right and what was wrong), but did not condemn the woman taken in adultery, or the Samaritan woman, or Zacchaeus, or a multitude of other sinners He encountered.

    http://www.newreformation.org/heresy2.htm

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    Rex;
    not all biblical figures achieved salvation and not all suicides will be damned, the Church doesn’t teach that suicide = damnation, however if you die by your own hand it is highly likely that things are not well between you and the Lord and repentance for this sin is nigh on impossible.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    So a soldier who, for instance, throws himself on a grenade or otherwise sacrifices his life to save that of his comrades (or innocent civilians) is likely to find that things are “not well between him and the Lord” and if he repents this “sin” whilst in Purgatory (presumably by saying he wished he’d let the others cop the blast instead) he’s probably still screwed.

    So never mind the finest and most noble acts of man… if you break “the rules”, punishment shall surely follow.

    I can’t help picturing God as a nanny state socialist… or perhaps a parking warden.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  79. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Andrei – you speak of salvation and damnation. What are your thoughts on the following extract:

    I want you to be dead honest with me (and yourself) about something. Does it bother you, at any level, that, according to traditional conservative theology, probably somewhere around 90-95% of people ever born on this planet are going to end up in Hell? I mean, even a little bit? If you really can be honest, you would have to admit that it does. If it doesn’t, then either you don’t really believe it deep down, or you are a very cold-hearted person. Think about it. If you meet 100 people in the course of the day, 95 of them are supposed to spend eternity (that’s forever and ever and ever…) in a place devoid of all hope, all love, all grace, and which is the very definition of personal suffering. How could such an idea not bother you?!? Truth is, this teaching bothers most people, even among those who believe it. It bothers conservatives so much that they will hardly ever talk about it, even from the pulpit. You find a traditional evangelical church on any given Sunday and see how many of them preach a sermon on Hell. See how many even mention it in their gospel presentations! That’s right, in the very message that they say people need to believe in order to avoid Hell, they don’t even mention it!! Oh sure, they’ll talk about “being separated from God,” but come on, folks, that’s so vague. But don’t be mistaken – the ambiguity is on purpose. They are afraid to tell you the “truth.” They are afraid to tell you that if you fail to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, then, according to their theology, you will go to Hell. That is, unending, conscious torment and suffering with absolutely no hope of escape. Whether the fires are literal or not we’re talking about unimaginable agony that goes on forever and ever and ever and ever…

    Ok, you get the point. I mean, seriously, who are they trying to fool besides themselves? These people claim that they love non-Christian people so much and yet they are afraid of giving them the whole story? Why dance around it? We have no problem telling people who smoke that they’re going to die of lung cancer. We have no problem telling people who drink too much that they are going to get cirrhosis of the liver. We have no problem telling people who are really overweight that they are going to die of a heart attack. We do these things because we love them and we don’t want them to suffer these fates. Yet, these are nowhere close to the tragedy of spending an eternity in Hell, right? So, why the hesitancy? Why are they trying to sugarcoat it? The truth is that it is psychologically impossible to live a full, happy life while simultaneously entertaining the thought that most of a person’s loved ones, neighbors, and friends will, should they die today, face a torture that defies the imagination. Oh, and don’t forget about how quickly the pews would empty and the offerings drop off if they started telling people they were going to Hell. You see, it’s no longer popular to threaten people will torment in the afterlife. However, if you really believe this is going to happen and you claim to love people, then it is your responsibility to tell them the whole truth. Am I wrong?

    At this point in the article, a fundamentalist may be ready to jump up and shout “Amen! You go Tom!” I hate to bust his bubble, but I’m not writing this article in order to motivate conservatives to start preaching about Hell, but to point to the fact that their lack of preaching on the subject either means that they don’t care or that they don’t really believe it. Or, perhaps, at some level, they’re just keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that it’s not true. You see, they’re suffering from the cognitive dissonance that is caused by believing in a loving God on one hand and yet believing He is capable of sending 95% of the precious people He created to utter destruction and despair without an ounce of mercy. They are haunted by a seemingly unexplainable paradox in their theology: that the God who lovingly nurtures us might send our children into a perpetual, inextinguishable fire. You see, they know this deep down inside, and because they can’t reconcile it, they repress it and avoid it.

    http://christianindependent.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/happily-ever-ever-part-01-my-journey-out-of-hell/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  80. annie (539 comments) says:

    @Scott: “Annie — you are an atheist or tending towards. Are you not pushing your own religious beliefs?”

    Nope. Only insofar as I don’t want other people interfering with my choice.

    Also, your logic is nonexistent there, given that I wasn’t advocating pushing my beliefs on anyone else.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  81. annie (539 comments) says:

    @Lucia Maria: “Annie, And you don’t have the right to insist that some one should kill you. If you want to die, do it yourself.”

    What is the problem with your thinking? Read my post. Then try a reply to something I actually said – attacking something I didn’t say is a fine example of the quality of debate offered by religious types wanting to foist their priorities on other people.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  82. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    Courage wolf, who says 95% of people ever born are going to end up in Hell?
    Sounds like a load of bollocks to me. Only God knows who is going to heaven and whom to hell. Even looking loosely at the number of religious in the world today, 2.1 Billion (33% of the world) consider themselves Christian, according to this webpage from 2005. So where does this 95% number come from that are going to Hell? Also, in the past I would have said there were even more who were of the Christian faith, or just plain followed Christian morals.

    As I say, only God knows who is going to Heaven and whom to Hell – I am sure some who consider themselves Christian will not, and some who are not will.

    Just sounds like a figure that was pulled out of the air.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  83. eszett (2,450 comments) says:

    # Fletch (1,218) Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Courage wolf, who says 95% of people ever born are going to end up in Hell?
    Sounds like a load of bollocks to me. Only God knows who is going to heaven and whom to hell. Even looking loosely at the number of religious in the world today, 2.1 Billion (33% of the world) consider themselves Christian, according to this webpage from 2005. So where does this 95% number come from that are going to Hell? Also, in the past I would have said there were even more who were of the Christian faith, or just plain followed Christian morals.

    As I say, only God knows who is going to Heaven and whom to Hell – I am sure some who consider themselves Christian will not, and some who are not will.

    Just sounds like a figure that was pulled out of the air.

    You have just beautifully pointed out the immense absurdity of the concept of heaven and hell.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  84. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    James — congratulations — you I think appear to be consistent in disrespect and plain abuse. You have consistently been abusive to Christians and others who do not agree with your views. Can I suggest that civility is often needed if we are going to rise above barbarism?

    Your assumption in your argument is fatally wrong. You say most people are born atheists. I say that is just simply not true. In fact all nations have been religious and tribal people are religious and have always been religious. There are very few atheist people. So I do not agree with your premise that most people are born atheists. That is simply false.

    Secondly, and this is a general comment — the idea that you have the right for someone else to kill you if that is what you choose — where does that right come from? It doesn’t come from atheism. The only belief of atheism that I have been able to get agreement on is there is no God. That doesn’t help much does it?

    Your other arguments about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well there is a difficulty there. They come from the declaration of Independence which begins with — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
    Notice that bit about — endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights? It comes from the Creator pal. You are not God. You cannot assume you have any rights at all apart from what are given to you.

    Now rather than “pissing off back to the dark ages”, as you so rudely put it, I would suggest that it is you and others like you that are bringing back a new dark age. We seem to be in danger of returning to tribal barbarism. No different from the tribesman knocking the old man on the head because he was a burden on the tribe.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  85. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    So a soldier who, for instance, throws himself on a grenade or otherwise sacrifices his life to save that of his comrades (or innocent civilians) is likely to find that things are “not well between him and the Lord” and if he repents this “sin” whilst in Purgatory (presumably by saying he wished he’d let the others cop the blast instead) he’s probably still screwed.

    Don’t be silly thats an act of love and charity not suicide – it would be a form of martyrdom no?

    Courage Wolf

    I don’t trouble myself too much about determining who is damned and who isn’t – its the good Lords call not mine.

    In truth God loves us all equally but that love will be a source unending joy to some and a scourge to others according to St Isaac the Syrian and how it is for each of us is up to ourselves – we choose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  86. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Scott.

    Have you ever watched a relative die in pain?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  87. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Yes Scott, James may have got it wrong, he may have meant Middle Ages, when St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas first started writing about suicide being a sin.

    Suicide was not considered a sin under the Byzantine Christian code of Justinian, but that goes back to 529 AD, which is about the start of the Dark Ages.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  88. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Andrei,

    If suicide, which is considered a mortal sin, becomes an act of love and charity when a soldier throws himself on a grenade to save his mates, then why does opting for a merciful death instead of a painful one pose such a problem for you?

    Why does your act of love and charity become an issue when that act involves relieving a loved one of suffering that will only end in death, by painlessly hastening a death that is inevitable, unavoidable and imminent?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  89. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Courage wolf — what is it going on here. Is there a new atheist popping up every five minutes? Are you feeling that Malcolm and James and Ezsett and now we have someone called Annie are lonely? Isn’t this blog already awash with atheism and anti-Christianity. Well I hope you guys are happy with the way our country is going?

    I don’t know what you are banging on about evangelical Christianity? My points were about what are the fundamental assumptions of these people who are so certain that they have a right to kill their own grandmothers, as long as the grandmother consents of course? I want to know, and only James has tried to form a coherent answer, how you can know that euthanasia is right?

    For what it’s worth in answer to your one-sided article that you posted — slavery — the fight against slavery was through the efforts of people like William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian.

    Women’s suffrage was spearheaded in New Zealand by Kate Shepherd, herself a strong Christian churchgoer.

    Prohibition was driven by concern at the huge toll that alcohol had on families. I agree it was an overreach. But alcohol abuse is still a huge problem and who can say that permissive secular liberalism has any answers? It sure doesn’t so far.

    Divorce is a difficult issue. Christians stand up for marriage. We believe it is ordained by God. Although we want to extend grace to divorced people, still we believe it is in everyone’s interest to encourage strong marriages. Churches, including the one I go to, do everything they can to strengthen marriage including running marriage preparation courses and offering marriage counselling to those already married.

    Regarding racial integration — you can go to almost any church in Auckland for example and see plenty of examples of racial integration in church life. With regard to the American situation just watch Joel Osteen on Shine TV and you will see an example of thousands of people from different races worshipping God together.

    I do agree with the last bit. The message of Jesus Christ is about loving people. That’s why we don’t want to kill them.

    The message of atheism is that people are no different from animals and should be put down like dogs when they have lived past their useful life. Judge for yourself which is more compassionate.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  90. annie (539 comments) says:

    @Slightlyrighty: “Scott. Have you ever watched a relative die in pain?”

    You’re assuming Scott would consider that a bad thing. He may well justify it in terms of God’s will, or being for the good of the victim’s soul, rather like the burning of heretics at the stake for the sake of theirs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  91. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Scott.

    I loved my Mother, and I wish there had been a way to not let her suffer the way she did.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  92. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Slightly rightly — Yes I have. But that sure doesn’t mean I feel like killing them.

    Normally I would pray for them. That’s often helpful.

    It doesn’t mean I have the right to end their life. Even if they asked me to. I don’t want their death on my conscience.

    And I am not God. It’s not up to me when people pass on. I would make them as comfortable as possible, pray for their health and relief from their pain and commend them to God’s care.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  93. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (329 comments) says:

    Rex Wilderstrom 3:59
    You missed Christ himself who deliberately provoked the Temple authorities, told Judas to do what he had to do, stopped his disciples from preventing his own capture, offered no case to Pilot, and by so many actions bought about his own death.
    Copicide is the act by which a person causes the police to kill him or her – for example, Aramoana’s David Gray, shot dead by police as he came out of a house firing from the hip.
    What is the word for someone who committed suicide by purposely placing himself in jeopardy so that the Romans killed him?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  94. annie (539 comments) says:

    @Scott: “Who says people have a right to determine the manner and choosing of their own death? Where does that right come from?”

    Who says they don’t? You?

    “Normally I would pray for them. That’s often helpful. ” Again – helpful to who? You again, I suspect.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  95. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Gosh Annie — you really are talking rubbish.

    Have you been to church lately?

    Honestly — we’re not condemning people to burn at the stake.

    I can’t remember that happening last Sunday at church anyway? Maybe I missed that bit?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  96. Peter (1,695 comments) says:

    slightlyrighty – agree 100%

    God Squad – F**k off. You have nothing worth hearing. What a person chooses to do with their own body, including choosing to take it out in a dignified manner, is absolutely none of your business.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  97. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    The message of atheism is that people are no different from animals and should be put down like dogs when they have lived past their useful life.

    I don’t know where you get that from.

    A dog that was on it’s last legs and chose to wanders off into a blizzard is closer to what is being said. No one is suggesting people should be “put down”, it is being suggested that they should be able to choose for themselves, ie put themselves down. Sort of like falling on their own sword, if they were given swords would it be acceptable?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  98. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    What is the word for someone who committed suicide by purposely placing himself in jeopardy so that the Romans killed him?

    Christicide?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  99. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Annie — and I must go after this post. You are asserting that people have a right to determine the manner and choosing of their own death. You have to prove that position. Give it a go.

    Regarding praying for people, believe it or not, many people find it helpful. Some people even find relief from pain. Some people find hope. Honestly it’s not just about me. It’s about trying to help others.

    Anyway I am trying to help people. You are trying to kill them. Judge for yourself who is more compassionate and caring?

    Anyway must go — Scott out

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  100. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    The law does NOT need changing. I say this as a committed libertarian. I believe LIFE is the the first and foremost freedom that we have. It is too valuable to allow abdication of it to a third party. That is the real issue. Nobody is stopping anyone from taking their own life. The issue is whether you abdicate that decision to someone else, and I think that is wrong. I think it should remain illegal to make such a decision anything other than that of the person making it. Death SHOULD be hard. It SHOULD be painful. If it is not painful and it is easy, then things that we hold so dear like LIFE and FREEDOM become completely meaningless. I stand by what I wrote three years ago:

    http://blairmulholland.typepad.com/mulholland_drive/2007/03/euthanasia_is_a.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  101. GJ (329 comments) says:

    As in many issues it all comes down to accountability.
    If we are accountable to someone for anything and then “stuff up” there is normally consequences. I think most would agree with that.
    In the case of taking someone’s life without their permission (murder) most would say that is wrong.
    However taking someone’s life in the womb our society generally says is ok, yet we never sort permission from the holder of that life. Incidentally I have never met a pro abortionist that wasn’t given the freedom to grow in the womb themselves, yet they are happy to terminate someone else’s life without giving them the same opportunity they have already enjoyed.
    But when in the womb, could we have ever imagined a life like we enjoy outside the womb? I don’t think so.
    What interests me is why so many don’t believe or even want to study the evidence that there may be life beyond death.
    And if there is, who gives that life? Is there possibly a creator that ultimately we may be accountable to? I believe that there is.
    If life is given to us by a creator, then we have no right to take it from his creation, end of story.
    If we only have life and then nothing, then perhaps euthanasia can be seen as making sense, because we should not be treated any different to an animal, and no one will be keeping an account.
    However if Man is a higher creation, expected to live under higher rules, then euthanasia comes into a whole different light.
    I guess it all comes down to your world view.
    Ultimately so many seek accountability for others (e.g. Mp’s) but we don’t want to accept accountability for life itself.
    Interesting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  102. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    Why does your act of love and charity become an issue when that act involves relieving a loved one of suffering that will only end in death, by painlessly hastening a death that is inevitable, unavoidable and imminent?

    In the last days and hours of life we administer medication for pain relief and it is highly probable in so doing we hasten the end.

    This is not a sin! It becomes a sin when we deliberately do it to end life.

    Nor is it a sin to not give an elderly person with no quality of life antibiotics (say) when they come down with pneumonia – extending life for the sake of extending it is not required.

    This is an area the Government should stay out of. As soon as they make rules and laws there will be anomalies and the rules will become less restrictive until before we know it we will be putting people down the way we do dogs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  103. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (329 comments) says:

    Various people suggest leaving choice to individuals, OK, but have no answer where that person has reached a point of not being able to do anything themselves. They may be confined to bed or unable to get appropriate drugs to end things as they wish. Is it then just their bad luck?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  104. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    We live in a free country… yet we can not choose the right to decide to die.. how and when for ourselves.

    We don’t have the death penalty… so maybe all prisoners should be given the option of euthanasia … as soon as the law is changed… or another reason to change the law.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  105. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    They may be confined to bed or unable to get appropriate drugs to end things as they wish. Is it then just their bad luck?

    I don’t think it should be bad luck in that sort of situation, if they are mentally capable of making a decision for themselves and arranging some assistance – eg for someone to provide them with the means, then they should be in luck.

    Those that cannot clearly show they can make the decision for themselves would be out of luck.

    Scott (again) and Blair have got it wrong, it is not about taking someone else’s life. It is about giving them the choice to end their own, perhaps with assistance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  106. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Heh, in nowhere but a discussion of religion would we be able to split hairs so finely that even those angels who dance on the head of the proverbial pin wouldn’t gain a foothold. But at least it gives the intellect a workout.

    andrei says, in response to my hypothetical of a soldier throwing himself on a grenade:

    Don’t be silly thats an act of love and charity not suicide – it would be a form of martyrdom no?

    Maybe, I don’t know. It seems neither do you, for certain. Perhaps the soldier in question should pause to phone his priest / pastor / rabbi / imam before jumping, lest by his noble act he consigns his soul to Purgatory or, worse, Hell.

    Which reminds me… an Islamic terrorist (let’s say, to keep it simple, he hasn’t killed anyone else… yet) who hurls himself onto a US grenade to save the lives of his fellows. Same noble sentiment, same outcome. Damned, yes or no?

    Wheee this is more fun than Scrabble :-D

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  107. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    Rex in your hypothetical example – which has occurred, twice in Iraq to my certain knowledge and doubtless before that, the motivation of the soldier sacrificing his life is not to end his life but to save the lives of his collegues.

    Likewise a Doctor administering morphine to relieve pain is not culpable if it hastens a terminal patients death.

    This is not rocket science.

    I have sat with the dying – seen death, the doctors and the nurses administer palliative care, the Priest spiritual care if desired.

    If the palliative care is in fact a coup de grace who knows? And I am happy to leave it at that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  108. Lucia Maria (2,654 comments) says:

    Rex,

    It’s pretty easy. When you give your life to save others, you are doing a heroic deed. You are sacrificing yourself in a selfless way. While as in suicide you are dying for yourself only. You do not save the lives of anyone else by killing yourself. You can call it “splitting hairs” as much as you like, but only the dense or the deliberately obtuse cannot discern the difference.

    Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    Any guesses as to who said that?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  109. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    At the age of 57 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After aggressive chemo she went into remission for 21/2 yrs only to succumb a few months after her 60th as the cancer had been spread all over her body by a slight invasion into the lymph glands. Over the six months from the reoccurance to her death she had to suffer the indignity of various parts of her body rotting away necessitating twice daily visits from palliative care nurses to clean her wounds and she was only 35 kg when she finally died (from a robust 90kg before her cancer). Pain management back in the early 90’s was not as sophisticated as it is today and she was essentially managing considerable pain through increasingly brutal doses of morphine sulphate that on some days could barely mask the pain.

    After several agonising weeks about 2 months or so before she died we asked Mum whether she preferred if we just ‘accidentally’ ODed her on the MSTs as we had heard from the nurses of other sufferers they cared for who had got their children to do this. My mother in the midst of her misery gave a most remarkable and unforgettable answer. She was surpised even a little shocked that we would suggest this. She said “why would I do that when I have learned more in the last 6 months than all the rest of my life put together”. As her time to die drew closer, I came to glimpse some of why she said that. We had a series of beautiful and remarkable experiences with her. She has suffered a difficult childhood that she had largely risen above and had endured the indignity and humiliation of my father’s affair. Through these months of anguish and pain she not only came to fully forgive all who had harmed her but she was able to enjoy the company, love and best wishes of the many many people she had helped over the years – indeed some 700 people attended her funeral and many came up to us recounting familiar tales of her generosity of time and love.

    I came to realise a vital truth – and that is that there are tremendously important even vital life lessons to be learned through the process of death. These lessons are for the dying and the surviving family. The experiences by the side of my dying mother have shaped me in ways that no other life experiences have been able to. These lessons are ones we would never volunteer for but had we believed the liberal mantra about euthanasia, all I know is that my mother, her children and many of her dear friends may have been robbed of crucial, life changing, powerful emotional experiences.

    My mother was ready to die and yet as death came close, she clung grimly to what was left of her life. It taught me that the instinct to live, an instinct that has kept many brutalised prisoners alive in the midst of unimaginable torture, is very palpably real. To those whose pain is so oppressive as to contemplate this act I can only commend my mother’s experience as one that profoundly transformed her into a most serene and loving person who was able to impart to all around her such great love and wisdom that those emotions remain raw and real a decade and half later. She was not always so saintly (for want of a better term) due to the traumas in her life but the process of her death was transforming for her and us.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  110. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Scott:”James — congratulations — you I think appear to be consistent in disrespect and plain abuse. You have consistently been abusive to Christians and others who do not agree with your views. Can I suggest that civility is often needed if we are going to rise above barbarism?”

    Im only disrespectful to those who want to force their beliefs and dogmas on me and others who aren’t interested.Which part of leave me alone do you not get? You are no different to the leftist socialist who want to regulate and control my economic affairs…you just want to do the same with my spiritual ones.I don’t want anything to do with you…you can’t help but want to force yourself upon me…you are.in effect, a religious rapist.

    “Your assumption in your argument is fatally wrong. You say most people are born atheists. I say that is just simply not true. In fact all nations have been religious and tribal people are religious and have always been religious. There are very few atheist people. So I do not agree with your premise that most people are born atheists. That is simply false.”

    Find me one baby straight out of its Mothers womb that has already formed a religious opinion and I will surrender to your argument.You don’t read very well do you comrade Scott?

    “Secondly, and this is a general comment — the idea that you have the right for someone else to kill you if that is what you choose — where does that right come from? It doesn’t come from atheism. The only belief of atheism that I have been able to get agreement on is there is no God. That doesn’t help much does it?”

    Firstly atheism itself holds no beliefs….it is a negative position.It is the lack of a belief in a god/Gods.See previous point about all humans arriving on Earth as Atheists…they come lacking a belief in a God…the concept only being discovered later from other people.Second ly I certainl;y have the right to ask others IF they will consent to help me do so..and they can choose to do so…or not.Its free trade.

    “Your other arguments about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well there is a difficulty there. They come from the declaration of Independence which begins with — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.”

    No….they pre-existed the Declaration by the lenght of time humans have existed.The Declaration simply spealt them out in the most glorious way.

    “Notice that bit about — endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights? It comes from the Creator pal. You are not God. You cannot assume you have any rights at all apart from what are given to you.”

    Pathetic try Scott.The creator referred to was not the Christian God which the Founders explicitly KEPT OUT of the Founding of the USA for very good reasons.It was a catchall used to refer to a starting point that was individually subjective for each person as they choose to believe or not. It included Mother nature too….

    “Now rather than “pissing off back to the dark ages”, as you so rudely put it, I would suggest that it is you and others like you that are bringing back a new dark age. We seem to be in danger of returning to tribal barbarism. No different from the tribesman knocking the old man on the head because he was a burden on the tribe.”

    The tribal barabarism we as a species have endured at so bloody a cost is inseperable for the unthinking collectivist mire that you and your dogmatists would try to foist upon us again.Your leftist socialist brothers picked up your baton when it was waning and drove for a Heaven on Earth with equally bloody consequences.Both of you repressed the individual and sought to force him to your goal…and the mass murder and misery that resulted were the obvious result.

    Freeing individuals from others who would try to control and dictate to them is FINALLY arriving at a time when man can florish as man with all that entails.Man needs to DISCOVER morality…not try and return to a fantasy time when it never really existed.Christianity supported the slave trade,sex slavery of young girls,racially segragation,the dimming of the mind by crushing science,the subjectgation of Women etc etc etc…your dogma is no example to us except of what NOT to do to advance man to his ideal state.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  111. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Blair: “The law does NOT need changing. I say this as a committed libertarian. I believe LIFE is the the first and foremost freedom that we have.”

    You are a pale Libertarian at best Blair…you flipflop too much to be consistent.Whats the really important aspect of life…the quanity?…or the quality? I choose the latter if it comes down to it.

    “It is too valuable to allow abdication of it to a third party. That is the real issue. Nobody is stopping anyone from taking their own life. The issue is whether you abdicate that decision to someone else, and I think that is wrong. I think it should remain illegal to make such a decision anything other than that of the person making it. Death SHOULD be hard. It SHOULD be painful. If it is not painful and it is easy, then things that we hold so dear like LIFE and FREEDOM become completely meaningless. I stand by what I wrote three years ago:”

    Why should death be painful? Why should it be hard? Thats the same sick fetish like shit that cow Mother Teressa got off on.She positivley orgasumed at the idea that suffering made one “close to Jesus”.Evil…no other word for it.If the person CHOOSING to die finds someone willing to assist them to do so in a consentual arrangment then that is NO-ONE elses business…get that Comrade Mullholland? Turn in your soiled Libertarian papers at the door on your way out….they are repealed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  112. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    andrei says:

    If the palliative care is in fact a coup de grace who knows? And I am happy to leave it at that.

    And so might I be, if it didn’t leave the physician open to prosecution as has happened several times in Australia (not sure about NZ). The latest case I read was two Asian sisters, who could barely speak English (thus complicating the suit) who’d pursued the doctor who provided palliative care for their mother through the courts for ten years till a judge ruled that it had to end. Their mother’s body had been frozen all that time and he ruled that yet another autopsy would be useless.

    As I said above, that’s what happens many times a day in NZ at present (the palliative care hastening the end I mean, not the lawsuit). But every time it happens the doctor or nurse places themselves at risk of both criminal and civil legal trouble.

    Lucia Maria suggests:

    It’s pretty easy. When you give your life to save others, you are doing a heroic deed.

    Ahhh, so it comes down to motive. So then is murder to protect another also okay? That one’s pretty well ruled out, in black and white, by one of those “commandment” thingies though, surely? If not, why not?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  113. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    kiwi in america:

    Your mother sounds like a remarkable woman. Your comment above made me think of nothing more strongly than the adage that it’s too late to speak highly of someone after they’re dead; that we should let those who matter to us know that at every opportunity, whilst they are alive.

    I’ve lost track of a number of friends and only re-established that contact when I’ve heard they’re terminal. More sadly still, I’ve lost touch completely and then heard they’d died, and not a day passes I don’t regret putting off making that call to let them know they were still remembered, and still mattered.

    It’s wonderful that your mother got to experience that outpouring of love. It’s just sad that it had to be her passing that triggered it.

    If there’s one ting we can all take from Dr Pollock’s situation it’s that we shouldn’t put off a moment longer ringing up or writing to someone that matters to us, just to let them know they do matter to us.

    And now I sound like a Hallmark card… :-/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  114. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (329 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria – “You do not save the lives of anyone else by killing yourself. You can call it “splitting hairs” as much as you like, but only the dense or the deliberately obtuse cannot discern the difference.”

    It is not that simple. My Grandmother was very distraught to think that she was a greater and greater burden on those caring for her, and no matter what was said, that was her view. And it was unacceptable to her.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  115. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    Euthanasia – against it.

    James 6:16 : Christianity supported the slave trade,sex slavery of young girls,racially segragation,the dimming of the mind by crushing science,the subjectgation of Women etc etc etc<

    So did (do) non-Christians. What’s your point?

    1. You assert Christianity supported the slave trade. No – people supported the slave trade. Never forget that. People carried out this barbarity, wrongly. Some would have called themselves Christians, and others would have called themselves atheists. It was the accepted thing to do in those days. You also forget it were Christians who fought the slave trade and caused it to end in the Western world. Read up some more about William Wilberforce and his colleagues. Buy a Bible – read Jesus, read Paul, read Peter and the rest. They certainly do not support the slave trade.

    Now tell me again why, as an atheist, you are against slavery?

    2. Sex slavery of young girls?! Where, when? James – you have some ridiculous assertions. And non-Christians haven’t ever done this or don’t these days anymore?

    If this has ever happened, remember James, it’s people who do this. If it was a Christian who did this, he/she has deviated from their beliefs and is therefore wrong. It wasn’t a Christian or a godly thing to do at all, but an ungodly thing.

    Tell me again why, as an atheist, you find sex slavery of young girls wrong James?

    3. Racially segragation (sic.) – everyone – was doing that at the time you muppet, whether rightly or wrongly. Again, it was the cultural norm. Wrong, but that was the accepted way. However, it took a Christian writer, Paul of Tarsus, to first suggest all are equal before God – male and female, slave and free, Jew and Greek.

    Tell me James, why does atheism find racial segragation wrong?

    4. Crushing Science Where? When? How? Modern western science was founded on a foundation of Christian beliefs.

    Remember – it’s not God’s fault if those who claim to follow him sin.

    The faults of Christians do not invalidate their belief system – it means they deviated from their beliefs and from following their God.

    You are one seriously confused individual James.

    Peace, Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  116. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (329 comments) says:

    Rufus – “1. You assert Christianity supported the slave trade. No – people supported the slave trade.”

    For a long time slavery was justified by Genesis 9:24 ‘When Noah was sober again and learnt what his youngest son had done to him [25] he said, “A curse on Canaan! He will be a slave to his brothers!” ‘
    Christians at the time believed that Canaan had settled in Africa and that his descendents had become black.
    Although slavery was widespread in Palestine during Jesus’ ministry, the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) does not record his opinion of it. Slavery was casually mentioned without criticism in the various books of the Bible. It was accepted as a natural part of life by almost all Christians until the 19th century

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  117. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    Puzzled in Ekatahuna

    And it is still accepted by non Christians who are still taking slaves in Africa to this very day you nong.

    You foolish fellow 2000 years ago they didn’t have employment contracts or social welfare or any of the things familiar to us.

    So if you were poor and without resources you had to find a way of surviving which meant working for the man and being subservient to him ie a slave.

    Christianity and the bible has a lot to say about how you treat your “slaves” but in this context it effectively means employees rather than the canonical image of slavery –

    In fact the early Church encouraged the freeing of slaves along with the assurance of support after freedom. Had a special service called Manumission to reinforce this.

    And being freed could be a mixed blessing if you had no means of support. Aged slaves in those days might be freed so the master no longer had to feed them after they became aged and infirm and the Church was hostile to this practice of course and spoke out against it.

    It was a cruel world.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  118. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    In response to the commentators trying to compare a soldier throwing himself on a grenade with assisting someone in suicide, they are two totally different things. In the one case, a solider is giving up his own life for that of someone else. In the Bible, Jesus says –

    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

    It does not say there is love in mercy killing, in which you’re helping someone kill themselves.

    James, the founding Fathers in the US very much believed in God, and that the Govt should stay out of people’s “free exercise of religion”; in fact, “separation of Church and State” today means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists (see HERE if you want to learn the real meaning).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  119. AlphaKiwi (683 comments) says:

    @Rufus

    The buck stops with God. He is ultimately responsible for all the misery in the world. And it’s all for his glory.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  120. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Fletch notes:

    In the Bible, Jesus says –

    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

    It does not say there is love in mercy killing, in which you’re helping someone kill themselves.

    My friend and business partner is deeply religious (though I have no idea of his views on euthanasia). But if I interpret what he's told me correctly, people who know a merciful God should love mercy. The needs of other people should move them to compassion. It should fill them with a desire to help relieve human suffering.

    Indeed didn't Jesus accuse the Pharisees of insisting on every intricate detail of the law while ignoring the more important matter of mercy (Matthew 12:7; 23:23), which is precisely the argument against a law making criminals of people who act out of compassion to help ease the suffering of another.

    I guess the God who's against euthanasia is the vengeful one Christians keep in the attic to scare us, while his merciful twin brother goes round doing good works :-D

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  121. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    So to all you christians out there…..

    Is it OK to pray to God to mercifully end the suffering of a loved one, but wrong to do it yourself?

    How does that work?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  122. Chuck Bird (4,912 comments) says:

    Euthanasia must be wrong. The majority of MPs voted against it just like the majority of MPs voted to ignore the referendum to not criminalize good parents for smacking a naughty child. What should mere peasants know?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  123. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    VerypuzzledinEketahuna 7:48 For a long time slavery was justified by Genesis 9:24 ‘When Noah was sober again and learnt what his youngest son had done to him [25] he said, “A curse on Canaan! He will be a slave to his brothers!” ‘
    Christians at the time believed that Canaan had settled in Africa and that his descendents had become black.
    Although slavery was widespread in Palestine during Jesus’ ministry, the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) does not record his opinion of it. Slavery was casually mentioned without criticism in the various books of the Bible. It was accepted as a natural part of life by almost all Christians until the 19th century

    At what time did Christians use Gen 9:24 to justify slavery? Slavery was widespread in Jesus’ time – where on earth did you get that notion from? Did you realize that the Jewish form of slavery was very different than what we think of? Ie it was a way of paying off your debt, but there was always a way to become free again.

    Slavery was a part of everyday life in most cultures of the day, and had been the accepted norm for perhaps thousands of years prior.

    Do you accept that it was still a Christian writer who first started teaching how masters should treat their slaves better, and that all people were equal – so slave and master were equal as brothers and sisters in their worship of Christ.

    In fact, they weren’t condoning the status quo, but taught that before God, all men and women were equal, and we all had worth as individuals.

    This was radical stuff in Roman culture.

    Like James’, these claims are all the same tired old accusations being levelled at Christianity time and time again. They aren’t true, and they have no relevance to the debate at hand, which was more about the sanctity of life (or not) and whether we have the right to end our own lives (or not).

    Peace,

    Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  124. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Rufus- I have to agree with you-that James is one seriously disturbed individual. That the founding Fathers did not mean the God of the Bible in the Declaration of Independence is historically ludicrous.

    Slightlyrighty- Well God gives and God takes away. We can pray that God will end a persons suffering and then it is up to God. God created all life and he has numbered our days. So when its time to go its time to go. But its up to him.

    The essence of the euthanasia debate is denial of God and God’s sovereignty and trying to control life ourselves. At its heart and soul the debate is a spiritual one. Those who deny God say its my life and I will decide when I die. But we are really limited human beings. We did not bring ourselves into the world and we cannot control the end either.

    When faced with a dying relative- love them,comfort them,pray for them-leave the rest to someone greater than ourselves.
    My advice- let God decide the length of our days. Do not euthanise anyone- it is murder to take a life.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  125. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    Rex – you seem to assume that you have right to determine your own death, and that you have the right to shape your life.

    You’ve fashioned a god who’ll fit in with this picture.

    What if God, if He exists, actually thinks differently – ie He and He alone has the right to give life and take it, and that you owe everything to Him, even the way and time that you die?

    I’m just saying – it seems everyone who’s pro-euthanasia here is convinced they have the right to die the way they want. I wonder where they get that idea from? Certainly not from observing nature.

    I’m all for comforting and caring for those who suffer, and have seen the difference good palliative care can make for a loved one who’s dying, but am totally against suicide, assisted suicide, or voluntary euthanasia. I don’t believe we have the right to take our own lives, or the lives of others since our lives are not our own, but belong to our Creator God.

    And the problem of abuse still stands – both Belgium and the Netherlands have seen a great increase in involuntary euthanasia ever since they legalised voluntary euthanasia to the point where oldies are afraid of doctors and nurses – those that should be promoting life, not ending it!

    Peace

    Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  126. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    AlphaKiwi 8:39

    I won’t hold God responsible for evil. He has revealed Himself to be good. However I do agree with you that He allowed it for some reason. And you’re right, it says that ultimately He does all for His own glory.

    I don’t understand it. I guess I never will.

    All I know is what He has revealed to me in His Word, the Bible.

    In the Bible He reveals Himself by what He says, and what He does, to be the source of all that is good, and wonderful and true. I know that He loves people, loves them enough to want save them even when they reject Him, and that everything He does is for our good and His glory.

    So I make my peace with Him, and trust Him even when I don’t understand Him fully.

    And value the life that He gives.

    But we’ve strayed a bit from our topic, haven’t we?

    Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  127. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Rufus and Scott.

    If we owe everything to God, even the way and time that we die, if I end the suffering of a loved one by enacting their wishes to help end their life, am I doing God’s work?

    If we were to follow that assertion to a logical conclusion, and that the manner and time of death is determined by God, and God alone, then it would logically follow that all modern medicine would be immoral. Also if we saw someone choking on a chicken bone we would be unable to interfere. It would be God’s wish that that person die choking on a bone.

    But you could argue that it was God’s will that a person be at hand to perform the Heimlich technique to save a life.

    The issue is, at what point does the action of an individual become God’s will, or not?

    We are now able to prolong life, medically speaking, in ways that could not be imagined 100 years ago. All the measures could be seen as interfereing with the will of God. If an act of God destroys your heart, would a transplant be a sin?

    Is palliative care itself interfereing with Gods will? Or do you simply choose to make that judgement on his behalf?

    If you are going to leave it up to God, and be true to that belief, then stay away from a doctor.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  128. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Further to my last, what do you make of a doctor who switches off the life support of a patient.

    Go on, you seem to have all the answers for all of us.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  129. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    Translation of the same section of Hippocratic Oath from original –

    I WILL FOLLOW that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give a woman a pessary to produce abortion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  130. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Rufus suggests:

    Rex – you seem to assume that you have right to determine your own death, and that you have the right to shape your life.

    Indeed I do and no power – earthly or otherwise – is going to interfere in that.

    You’ve fashioned a god who’ll fit in with this picture.

    You misunderstand my earlier comment. I’ve fashioned no god of any sort. I never had an imaginary friend as a child and have no need of one now.

    What if God, if He exists, actually thinks differently – ie He and He alone has the right to give life and take it, and that you owe everything to Him, even the way and time that you die?

    First, I’d expect the opportunity to plead my case and be heard with an open mind. I’d hope He’d be prepared to consider motive and intent in making an assessment of my character. If I acted with evil intent I probably deserve the burning pitchforks he has lined up for me. If I did the best I could with the intent to help where I could and cause minimal or no harm, then I think that’s the most He could expect.

    Otherwise I can’t help thinking that (like nanny statists and parking wardens) he’s not the type I’d want to spend eternity with in any case.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  131. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Fltech, you left out a couple of parts of that translation of the Hippocratic Oath:

    I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment

    All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

    I suspect that some doctors have modernised a bit on the gods paragraph.

    And the “secret” paragraph is surely counterproductive to greater good, I doubt that any doctor follows that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  132. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    The modern Hippocratic Oath is quite different:

    I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

    I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

    I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

    I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

    I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks.
    But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

    I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

    I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

    I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

    If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  133. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    Good morning Rex,

    I suggest that you have very little control over your life at all. Mostly, we react to stuff happening. There are a lot of outside forces that affect your life. Try stopping price rises at the local petrol pump. And I dare you to prevent your death.

    As for the lovely, open-minded god your describing, that you’d hope to meet if you were wrong all along and he/she/it did exist, what a ridiculous description.

    You’ve described the kind of god most people on your side of the fence would like. The trouble is he’s not real in any way – you’ve made him up! Come on – “I’d hope” “I’d expect” “I’d like” – you’re making him up again, using your own standard of “fair”!

    Read the Bible some time – it claims to be His word, how He revealed Himself to His people over time. In it you’ll find He reveals Himself to be a loving God, full of mercy and kindness. But He is also a holy God, and has standards.

    You’re proposing to deny Him and rebel against Him all your life, and then come before Him and say, well, hey, open your mind up a little old chap, you know, I’m not that bad – it’s all a matter of perspective you know!

    Sorry Rex, His justice won’t allow it – either you follow Him, or you don’t.

    As for whether medicine and palliative care is interfering with God’s will – we’re not fatalists.
    We’ve been given great tools to use for good in this life. We’ve been given minds that have led to wonderful discoveries in medicine. We don’t know when God will take granny’s life, and so we should do everything we can to look after her. Taking a life in His book is still murder.

    However I’d agree that we can also keep “life” going artificially these days. And I question whether that is the right thing to do. There comes a time when medicine has done all it can do, and we should allow someone to pass on. I agree that someone, in their right state of mind, has the right to refuse treatment. I don’t agree that that same someone wants help with a plastic bag over their head, or be given an overdose of morphine.

    I don’t pretend it’s a easy area of discussion. I still hold that suicide = suicide and assisting suicide = murder.

    Have a good, self-determined day :)

    Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  134. Chuck Bird (4,912 comments) says:

    @ July 21st, 2010 at 9:49 pm I commented that this is another case of opposing sides thinking they know all the answers. Does anyone think this issue should be resolved by direct democracy?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  135. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    A better idea Chuck – how about those that want to make decisions about their own lives and deaths be allowed to, and those that choose not to be allowed that choice.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  136. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    Should it be a criminal offence if someone kills themselves is probably a better question?
    For if not, then how can one prosecute someone for assisting someone to not commit a crime?

    Unlike abortion which at some time or another is one person killing another who can’t defend themselves or allowing that to happen by third parties, suicide is done to oneself.

    I cannot say whether drugs (assuming you can afford them) will dull all pain but based on my own experience of having a condition for a limited time, it was so bad after just a week that I just wanted to die to stop the pain.
    However that changed when they gave me even more powerful drugs (finally) and I was relieved of the pain but the memory is still fresh years later.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  137. Chuck Bird (4,912 comments) says:

    A better idea Chuck – how about those that want to make decisions about their own lives and deaths be allowed to, and those that choose not to be allowed that choice.

    Pete, people already can make these choices. The issue is should people be allowed to assist others kill themselves possibly for financial gain? If someone assisted a depressed family member of mine commit suicide I would want them charged with murder.

    I do not think your idea is better. Any legislative changed would have to be very well thought out and monitored. There would have to be a lot of safeguards.

    After the law was passed it would have to be ratified by a binding referendum.

    I think that is a much better idea than allowing unregulated assisted suicide.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  138. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    No Pete- what is the principle that says you can have someone else kill you, only when you give your consent?

    Normally killing you is murder. But now you are saying that will not be murder if you choose for it not to be murder. Is that about right?

    So what say we do the business now? If I can bring a signed piece of paper by you that agrees to your euthanasia then all will be well. Its not murder because you agreed to it and I have a signed paper from you agreeing to it. It would be a nice one to argue in court. And seeing that killing you is not murder in certain circumstances I think I might have a chance to get away scott free.

    Now all I need to do is ‘organise’ your new will…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  139. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Chuck: “Any legislative changed would have to be very well thought out and monitored. ”
    “There would have to be a lot of safeguards. ”

    Agreed. Leaning towards safeguards rather than freedom of choice (but allowing some).

    Scott – it isn’t about getting someone to kill you, it is about choosing a good death over a bad death, DIY.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  140. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    Good points Scott.
    The principle of consent.

    But surely it could only be given if you were terminal and knew you were?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  141. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Well Mike- we now have a grey area. And by the way Pete DIY is suicide- we are talking about euthanasia which involves someone else doing it surely?

    But we now have a grey area. It is OK to murder someone if they consent. So lets start with Pete. Just think of it as pre-emptive euthanasia (Pete was going to consent but he doesnt know it yet) or to assuage your liberal views-a very late term abortion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  142. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    It is OK to murder someone if they consent.

    If you are talking about implied consent then war is multiple murders.

    And by the way Pete DIY is suicide- we are talking about euthanasia which involves someone else doing it surely?

    Not necessarily, I would do it myself if I could (if I chose to end my own life). One definition of euthanasia is voluntary suicide.

    According to the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics, the precise definition of euthanasia is “a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  143. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    ‘If you are talking about implied consent then war is multiple murders.’

    -What does that mean? When you post 5,961 times I guess you don’t have much time to write coherently?

    Anyway killing yourself is suicide. You can do that any time you want.

    What we are talking about is someone killing you and that being OK as long as you consent. You can surely see a few possible moral minefields here?

    Well look your honour I know Pete is dead and I admit I killed him but look- here is a signed note from Pete saying that he consented to this procedure. And by the way we need to talk about Pete’s updated will that leaves all his estate to me.

    You can’t see a few problems here ? Come on?!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  144. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    You can’t see a few problems here ?

    Yes, in your examples and way of thinking.

    Under your logic war must be murder. So must suicide by cop. And executions.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  145. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Consent changes the very nature and legal standpoint of a number of acts.

    Sex without consent is rape for example.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  146. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    Pete

    But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

    And what is euthanasia if not playing God?

    I do not think the “take a life” refers to euthanasia. Any doctor, on a day to day basis, has the power to take a life if he is not careful, just because of the nature of what it is doctors do. Even prescribing the wrong medicine. If you compare the old oath with the new translation you will see exactly where the translation comes from. Otherwise the meaning is completely the opposite.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  147. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    You are a pale Libertarian at best Blair…you flipflop too much to be consistent.Whats the really important aspect of life…the quanity?…or the quality? I choose the latter if it comes down to it.

    Good for you, but if I see you trying to kill yourself I will stop you. You’d better make sure that you do it somewhere that I can’t see if you are really set upon it.

    Why should death be painful? Why should it be hard?

    I just told you – if death is not painful and hard, then life itself has no meaning or value. A libertarian is someone who wishes to own and control his own life. I could choose to have the State take care of everything for me (by defecting to North Korea, for example), but I am sure that you would find that to be an appalling thing to do. Similarly, I find that anyone choosing to have somebody else kill them abdicates responsibility for their own life and does an appalling thing. Of course, in both cases that is your choice, but in both cases the party to which one abdicates one’s free will are considered criminals for enabling it, as they should be.

    Thats the same sick fetish like shit that cow Mother Teressa got off on.She positivley orgasumed at the idea that suffering made one “close to Jesus”.Evil…no other word for it.

    I agree that Mother Teresa’s system of morality was warped, but you used the wrong analogy to advance your argument. You doubtless argue that Mother Teresa should have instead got her patients practical help and helped them to live, rather than simply watching them die. I agree!!!!!! Lets help people live, not help people die!

    If the person CHOOSING to die finds someone willing to assist them to do so in a consentual arrangment then that is NO-ONE elses business…get that Comrade Mullholland?

    But my argument is that, by definition, if you ask someone to help you, then you are not convinced enough of the necessity of dying. I don’t think you want it badly enough, and if you don’t want it badly enough then I am going to stop you from doing it. You can always try again tomorrow, and you only have to be successful once. If you want to die, you should hardly be concerned about your rights, because when you are dead you will have precisely none.

    Turn in your soiled Libertarian papers at the door on your way out….they are repealed.

    I don’t want to be part of anyone’s club thank you. I am an individualist. Some might even say… a libertarian.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  148. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    Brendan Malone has a post over at Semper Vita calling the Herald on it’s use of statistics –

    Finally, I think it is also worth pointing out that the NZ Herald has completely mislead its readers in today’s story by the way that it has presented the findings of a Massey University survey public opinions on euthanasia.

    Here’s what the NZ Herald says today in its article:

    ‘The Massey survey found that 70 per cent supported a doctor being permitted by law to end a patient’s life, at the patient’s request, if the person had a painful, incurable disease.’

    What the NZ Herald failed to tell people in today’s article was that the Massey study actually asked several questions of its participants, and the second question read as follows:

    ‘Suppose a person has an incurable disease, but with medication is not in pain. Do you think that doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life if the person requests it?’

    What the Massey study actually found, and what the NZ Herald did NOT report today, was that support for legalized euthanasia dropped to around 45% if the person was not in pain or did not have an incurable disease, and opposition to euthanasia doubled from 20% to 40%.

    It is also worth noting that last year’s UMR morality survey, something else that was NOT mentioned today by the NZ Herald, found that only 54% of Kiwis support legalized euthanasia.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  149. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    Thats the same sick fetish like shit that cow Mother Teressa got off on.She positivley orgasumed at the idea that suffering made one “close to Jesus”.Evil…no other word for it.

    I think that is one of the most hateful, stupid things I have ever read on here. Mother Teresa and her sisters cared for the dying and the lepers on the streets of Calcutta, left like so much human trash. No one else had a thought for them, and she tried to make them as comfortable and pain-free as she could and at least give them the knowledge that someone cared about them. I am sure she has seen a lot of suffering in her life and if anyone would know that it brought the person closer to Christ, it would be her – just from observation.

    I have known a few people suffering from a terminal disease (a friend’s mother for one – I was there at her death) and I can say that it does bring them closer to God. People at the end are very aware of their mortality and of where they may or may not be headed.

    You should think twice before you say such hurtful rubbish.
    Journalist Malcolm Muggeridge was an agnostic, then became a Christian, and finally became Catholic after meeting Mother Teresa and writing the book about her, ‘Something Beautiful For God’.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  150. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Here’s what the NZ Herald says today in its article:

    ‘The Massey survey found that 70 per cent supported a doctor being permitted by law to end a patient’s life, at the patient’s request, if the person had a painful, incurable disease.’

    It also says:

    “The Colmar Brunton poll found 71 per cent of people wanted to have the right to choose medically assisted death if they had quality of life they considered totally unacceptable because of an illness or condition.”

    “By last night, 82 per cent of nzherald.co.nz poll respondents said euthanasia should be legalised.”

    I could accept a a compromise for ‘Suppose a person has an incurable disease, but with medication is not in pain’ although it does take away the right of the person to decide for themselves. It would have to be part of specific guidelines on inclusion/exclusion

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  151. James (1,299 comments) says:

    “I don’t want to be part of anyone’s club thank you. I am an individualist. Some might even say… a libertarian.”

    Not going by the previous sentences in your post you aren’t.You say if you saw me trying to top myself you would try to stop me.By what right? To do so invalidates the core Libertarian principle….self ownership of ones life.You need to sort out your contradictions Blair…

    “But my argument is that, by definition, if you ask someone to help you, then you are not convinced enough of the necessity of dying. I don’t think you want it badly enough, and if you don’t want it badly enough then I am going to stop you from doing it.”

    Right…so the paralysed person unable to move a finger and not wanting to continue the living death that life has become for him (as he may judge it to be) must just endure it and be forbidden from asking for the help of a consenting other willing to aid his passing on to keep you happy must he? Anyone who could allow a fellow human being to remain in that situation is evil……pure and simple.And that they claim this is the will of a loving God?….shudder!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  152. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Fletch – Christopher Hitchens book blew the lid off Muggeridge’s sympathetic potrayal of Mother Teresa. Now of course Hitchens is very anti-Catholic, but the facts themselves are undeniable – MT received millions upon millions of dollars in charitable donations, and very few of those dollars ended up in her hospice in Calcutta – most of them went to the Vatican. And what happened with MT herself fell ill? Well she didn’t hang around Calcutta now, did she? She flew herself to Switzerland for the best treatment money could buy. I don’t think she was quite the evil bitch that Hitchens makes her out to be, but she was certainly a hypocrite and a poor steward of the money bestowed upon her, so I don’t think she is any sort of saint or deserves any sort of accolades.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  153. Fletch (6,529 comments) says:

    BlairM, Hitchens (and his book) get a good fisking HERE

    It starts out –

    Why does Hitchens hate Mother Teresa? Like Mother Teresa, Hitchens is troubled by poverty. Unlike her, he does nothing about it. What upsets him most is that the world’s greatest champion of the dispossessed is an unassuming nun. Hitchens would prefer to grant the award to ideology, namely to the politics of socialism. And because he is a determined atheist, he cannot come to terms with Mother Teresa’s spirituality and the millions who adore her. More than this, it is her Catholicism that drives him mad.

    Even some of Hitchens’ fellow leftists have noticed his deep-seated hatred of Catholicism. In the 1980s, Robert Orsi accused Hitchens of continuing “a shameful Nation tradition of anti-Catholicism,” adding that “Hitchens’s straightforward hatred of Catholics is offensive and ugly prejudice.” It is to be expected, then, that anyone as well received as Mother Teresa would be too much for Hitchens to bear.

    As expected, Mother Teresa has won scores of awards from all over the world. This bothers Hitchens. What has she done with the money earned from the awards? He doesn’t know, but that doesn’t stop him from saying “nobody has ever asked what became of the funds.” Not true. He has asked, so why doesn’t he tell us what he found? Because that would take work. Worse than that, he would then have to confront the truth. This is why he would rather imply that Mother Teresa is sticking the loot in her pocket. It’s easier this way.

    His book, by the way, is a 98 page essay printed on eight-and-a-half by five-and-a-half inch paper, one that is so small it could easily fit into the opening of a sewer. It contains no footnotes, no citations of any kind. There is a role for this genre, but it is not associated with serious scholarship, and it certainly isn’t associated with works that make strong allegations against public persons. Rather, it is associated with the gossip pages of, say, a Vanity Fair.

    Very true…
    Strange that some of these atheists have so much hate for anything religious.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  154. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Not going by the previous sentences in your post you aren’t.You say if you saw me trying to top myself you would try to stop me.By what right? To do so invalidates the core Libertarian principle….self ownership of ones life.You need to sort out your contradictions Blair…

    If you’re dead, you don’t have self ownership of anything. In preventing your death I am ensuring that you retain self ownership of your life because you still have your life.

    Right…so the paralysed person unable to move a finger and not wanting to continue the living death that life has become for him (as he may judge it to be) must just endure it and be forbidden from asking for the help of a consenting other willing to aid his passing on to keep you happy must he?

    Yes, I’ve heard that Metallica song too. It’s a very extreme and rare example, but usually most people who want to kill themselves have the capacity to do so. Where there is a will there’s a way. Just get creative.

    Anyone who could allow a fellow human being to remain in that situation is evil……pure and simple.

    And how can you presume to know? Able-bodied people kill themselves all the time – are you saying you would help anyone and everyone who asked you? Maybe they are really depressed and life is unbearable for them that way? Would you help everybody? That’s where your argument falls down – it’s impossible to know when life becomes “unbearable” for somebody else. If you can’t make that judgement call with someone who is depressed, why presume to do so with someone who is in physical pain?

    And that they claim this is the will of a loving God?….shudder!

    Well I don’t. Unless it’s someone really evil of course.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  155. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Fletch – I don’t think that was a very good fisking at all – it was more of a personal attack on Hitchens (though, yes, he is hardly free of the stench of hypocrisy himself, and yes, if you were going to have a pissing contest for “what have you done for the poor” between him and MT, the old drunk would certainly lose). However, his major question “where did all that money go?” still remains unanswered. Any independent observer of MT’s work could only conclude most of it got redirected to Rome, because real medical care in Calcutta was nowhere to be found.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  156. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    MT didn’t need money to provide medical care, she prayed, and she cured someone of cancer by giving them a locket with her photo in it (it probably wasn’t an expensive locket).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  157. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Rufus :
    “Euthanasia – against it.

    James 6:16 : Christianity supported the slave trade,sex slavery of young girls,racially segragation,the dimming of the mind by crushing science,the subjectgation of Women etc etc etc<

    So did (do) non-Christians. What’s your point?"

    The Church endorsed it when one would think that going by its own stated values derived from Jesus (remember him?)it would have strongly opposed it.But then the Church never seemed to have a problem with murder,child sex,torture,greedily attaining copious amonts of wealth,genocide,smoozing with mass murderers and dictators etc etc etc…so whos suprised?

    "1. You assert Christianity supported the slave trade. No – people supported the slave trade. Never forget that. People carried out this barbarity, wrongly. Some would have called themselves Christians, and others would have called themselves atheists. It was the accepted thing to do in those days. You also forget it were Christians who fought the slave trade and caused it to end in the Western world. Read up some more about William Wilberforce and his colleagues. Buy a Bible – read Jesus, read Paul, read Peter and the rest. They certainly do not support the slave trade."

    But the offical Church did…explicitly so.True…individuals who were Christian opposed it but they did so by repairing to a higher moral code than that of Christianity…the same natural human one Richard Dawkins explained that people compared the offical Church dogma to and found it badly morally wanting.Actually most of the abolutionsist were non belivers…they had to fight the Church to make headway.

    "Now tell me again why, as an atheist, you are against slavery?"

    Im not….as an Atheist. Atheism has nothing to say on slavery…it can't as its simply a lack of a belief in a god.Its a negative position that has no bones for positive beliefs re slavery, or anything else to attach to.The reason Im against slavery is because Im also a Libertarian…and that a positive position that does have bones on which principles and ideas can attach.

    "2. Sex slavery of young girls?! Where, when? James – you have some ridiculous assertions. And non-Christians haven’t ever done this or don’t these days anymore?"

    Its rife throughout the old testament when the Isrealites conquered some other people they were told to slaughter the men and take the virgin Women and untouched girls as their sexual playthings…..but then we aren't supposed to refer to OT anymore huh? God got a few things wrong and issued an update in the form of the new one.And then "they"were dirty Hebrews anyway eh? Look at the suffering of young Women through out history as their sexuality was considered unclean and a gateway to hell etc.Dirty,horny old Church men got their kicks from dictating to these girls what they should be doing with their bodies while enjoying those firm young bodies in private….when they weren't bonking boys.Look at the Magdaline houses in Ireland and the abuse that was suffered there by frightened young girls who had "sinned" by getting pregnant and were then abandoned to the tender mercies of the "loving Church".

    "If this has ever happened, remember James, it’s people who do this. If it was a Christian who did this, he/she has deviated from their beliefs and is therefore wrong. It wasn’t a Christian or a godly thing to do at all, but an ungodly thing."

    Nice cop out but the fact is it was THE Christian church that upheld and encouraged these atrocities….and individual people were appalled and stood against it.

    "Tell me again why, as an atheist, you find sex slavery of young girls wrong James?"

    See answer for slavery above.Same reason.

    "3. Racially segragation (sic.) – everyone – was doing that at the time you muppet, whether rightly or wrongly. Again, it was the cultural norm. Wrong, but that was the accepted way. However, it took a Christian writer, Paul of Tarsus, to first suggest all are equal before God – male and female, slave and free, Jew and Greek."

    Again it was Church dogma….the offical position.

    "Tell me James, why does atheism find racial segragation wrong?"

    Again…see previous answer.

    "4. Crushing Science Where? When? How? Modern western science was founded on a foundation of Christian beliefs."

    Tell that to the many many scientists who were repressed,tortured and murdered for daring to question Gods design and offer alternative ideas….including the outragous sin of inventing lightning rods…It still happens today with the church opposing stem cell research etc…Science has thrived in SPITE of the Church and its primative thinking and we should all be damm grateful it has.Imagine life if the Church still held sway……no thanks.

    "Remember – it’s not God’s fault if those who claim to follow him sin.

    The faults of Christians do not invalidate their belief system – it means they deviated from their beliefs and from following their God."

    When those faults are explictly held up as virtues to be followed and implimented by the Church itself you are on the skids trying to maintain a moral position.

    "You are one seriously confused individual James."

    You are an evader of facts and history…..but what else could you be defending the evil of religious nonsense?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  158. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    James – it would be helpful if you used italics tags to distinguish between what you are quoting and what your responses are so it’s easier for us readers to read.

    Use [i] before the quote and [/i] at the end – replacing [ with <. You'll end up with this.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  159. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Blair: “If you’re dead, you don’t have self ownership of anything. In preventing your death I am ensuring that you retain self ownership of your life because you still have your life.”

    Thats such warped reasoning Im stunned.Its right up there with “we had to destroy the village in order to save it”.So to protect my rights you must violate them? If Im dead and thats my choice then I no longer care what happens…where do you get the right to butt in and deny MY choice?

    “Yes, I’ve heard that Metallica song too. It’s a very extreme and rare example, but usually most people who want to kill themselves have the capacity to do so. Where there is a will there’s a way. Just get creative.”

    But when they can’t then its perfectly right to find someone to help you….its called free trade Blair,consenting human interaction….real Libertarians have a clue about it.

    “And how can you presume to know? Able-bodied people kill themselves all the time – are you saying you would help anyone and everyone who asked you? Maybe they are really depressed and life is unbearable for them that way? Would you help everybody? That’s where your argument falls down – it’s impossible to know when life becomes “unbearable” for somebody else. If you can’t make that judgement call with someone who is depressed, why presume to do so with someone who is in physical pain?’

    No I wouldn’t help everyone who asked me…I would judge each case on its merits.I don’t want to kill anyone….but I am willing to assist someone obviously in pain and distress who asks for my help.And I will decide what level of “help” Im prepared to offer…I never want to be in that position but I may have no choice in the matter.If the person clearly is in terrible pain and they ask me to “help” then thats all the evidence I need to decide wheather I will do so…or not.If the person is a depressed teen however I would probably decline and suggest what they really want and need is help of another kind.Its my individual choice Blair….Libertarianism 101.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  160. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Courage wolf….can you run that italics thing past me again?Not having any luck making it happen,Detail please.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  161. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Enter [i] at the beginning of the quoted paragraph and [/i] at the end – but instead of using the square brackets like I have done, use the spikey brackets.

    Web guide here:

    http://www.tizag.com/htmlT/htmlitalic.php

    Cheers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  162. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Enter [i] at the beginning of the quoted paragraph and [/i] at the end – but instead of using the square brackets like I have done, use the spikey brackets.

    test

    Edit: Success! ;-)

    CW…ta.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  163. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Enter [i] at the beginning of the quoted paragraph and [/i] at the end – but instead of using the square brackets like I have done, use the spikey brackets.

    Sussed out that bold thing too…very handy.

    CW….you have created a quote monster.

    ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  164. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Fletch — I agree with you regarding Mother Teresa. I actually think the atheists do not understand her theology of suffering. It’s kind of like “pearls before swine”. They just can’t grasp it.

    But anyway Mother Teresa worked and helped the poor all her life in the poorest of the poor slums of the world. She took an oath of poverty and kept it. That people who wouldn’t spend one second with the dead and dying in the slums of Calcutta can presume to criticise her is just appalling in my opinion.

    BlairM — can’t agree with you on this particular topic.
    James — I honestly think you need help sunshine. Your anti-Christian postings are now so long and convoluted that I think you need to ask yourself, why are you using so much energy railing against God? Perhaps your heart is trying to tell you something? Perhaps there is a God shaped hole that only God can fill?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  165. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    James, not created. Given a monster more tools.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  166. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Good morning Rufus… or afternoon, I guess, given the time differnce.

    I suggest that you have very little control over your life at all. Mostly, we react to stuff happening.

    True enough… that part’s explained by chaos theory or, more simplistically, the concept of “fate”. I’m referring to the bits I can control, which amount to my own actions and reactions and whatever influence I can exert over the actions of others.

    You’ve described the kind of god most people on your side of the fence would like. The trouble is he’s not real in any way – you’ve made him up!

    Of course I did, just like every other god has been made up to suit the needs and prejudices of those doing the inventing. Just like my Viking ancestors invented a whole bunch of them who all, unsurprisngly, demanded that they build longboats and go rape and pillage… which just happened to dovetail nicely with what they wanted to do anyway.

    Read the Bible some time – it claims to be His word

    Written, it seems, some 200 or more years after most of the events it describes, transposed manually over hundreds of years, converted into different versions which all claim to be the one true Word and yet disagree on some fairly fundamental stuff… and above all, written by humans, with all the frailities, prejudices and plain ignorance we possess. Yet somehow it is the unalloyed word of God. I can’t help thinking it’d be simpler if he just set up his own website and communicated directly. He’d have an interesting FAQ, I suspect :-D

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  167. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Perhaps there is a God shaped hole that only God can fill?

    How do you know these ahteists haven’t tried filling God in that hole, and found that Jesus didn’t satisfy?

    I think a lot about the kind of god I could believe in, and what her characteristics are, and why I’m no longer a Christian.

    I come to this:

    The god I imagine, the true one, the ‘fount of all being,’ is a wild limitless overflowing thing of life, joy, and love. A thing totally unconstrained and unpredictable. Has to be. Nothing less. As wild as Pan – god of the earth and forest and ocean as much as god of the sky and the stars. A being of sweet, terrible life. Something like the god whose back Moses is shown a glimpse of, up on that mountain.

    Unfortunately, YHWH falls a little short of the ideal. He comes close at times, true – and party-Jesus doing wine-tricks is a glimpse of the ultimate truth – but ultimately YHWH is constrained by ‘rules,’ or ‘justice,’ or hand-waving about ‘the way things are.’ C.S. Lewis has Aslan speak of a ‘deep magic’ that cannot be undone or avoided; the penal substitutionists (and the satisfactionists) speak of some code or law that even YHWH must honour – and, therefore, that we also must yield to if YHWH is to save us. (I guess god did manage to create a rock so big even he can’t lift it?)

    Even further – YHWH gets upset at the things people do. And not just for their sake, either (which would be permissible.) He gets offended! And jealous! He punishes people for doing obviously good things, because they contravene his arbitrary moral code! He endorses – encourages! – mass slaughter and pillage of people outside the chosen few.

    I can imagine a god greater.

    Of course, the flaw in the ontological argument is the assumption that imagining something means it must exist. I hold no such assumption. Nonetheless.

    Any god who falls short of the best I can imagine is a god not worth worshipping.

    http://problemattic.net/2010/03/whoosh

    This might sound weird, but I actually found that couchsurfing filled the ‘church-shaped hole in my heart’. Gave me back that feeling of contributing to something I could believe in (small though it might seem – but small is good for me these days), and having a network of like-minded and inspiring people all over the world. It really felt like being part of a family again. I think I kind of thought the church was unique in that regard. Quite pleased to find it’s not. I found church a bit easier after that – maybe because I wasn’t asking/expecting so much of it, so could just let it be what it is. I dunno if that’s the particular kind of thing you’re after, but I guess the point is that there are other things out there. ‘Green’ groups and crafty things and booky things can work.

    http://inthedesert23.blogspot.com

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  168. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Fletch — I agree with you regarding Mother Teresa. I actually think the atheists do not understand her theology of suffering. It’s kind of like “pearls before swine”. They just can’t grasp it.

    Your ‘us versus them’ talk is such typical of fundamentalist Christian thinking.

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it” – Matthew 10:34-39.

    Luke 12:49 “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism* to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father* against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law”.

    I’m talking about doctrine and theology, as well as subcultural attitudes. In terms of doctrines, doctrines such as the notion that church dogma is from God, and therefore questioning it, and using your own mind is in essence an act of rebellion. Merely holding a view that differs from ‘what God has ordained’, is sinful, and requires repentance. And if you aren’t repentant, there is the doctrine of hell; that all those who are outside the church are destined to burn in eternal torment. Put these together, and and there is the threat; agree with us, or face the consequences. This means christians can be scared to ask questions, not wanting to be a rebel against God. At the same time, this means christians can treat non-believers with contempt, as by holding a different view, they must be in active rebellion against the Lord.

    In terms of sub-culture, it can be a little more subtle (and often overlapping with theology). There is the separation of christians and non-christians, often fueled by christian disapproval of non-christian activities. Combined with a tendency for christians to marry only christians, this means christians are often ‘locked into’ christian subcultures, making it difficult for them to ever question the status quo, and making life outside of the subculture seem foreign and off-putting should anyone ever consider leaving christianity. And then again, there is the mixture of sadness / betrayal / contempt that christians express towards those who are on the outside, for those who refuse to accept christianity.

    What’s my problem with it? Well, I have a number of reasons, which I have already hinted at. First, it can cause christians to treat non-christians badly, by treating them as rebellious for simply holding a different view. Especially christians who have ‘drifted away’, who are viewed with much sadness. Second, it can cause christians themselves a lot of unnecessary difficulty when going through life, it requires them to hold onto views that they may feel aren’t quite right, which can create an internal conflict. It also causes fear and worry if they question, and causes sadness and betrayal if anyone they know question and decide to become non-christian. Thirdly, it gets in the way of the truth, as christians are required to put their better judgment aside and accept whatever doctrine a particular church teaches. So christians can get in the habit of accepting things without proper evidence, and can become obsessed with what is right or wrong, and fail to make decisions based on what is best.

    http://thebevear.blogspot.com/2010/01/on-christian-suppression-of-dissent.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  169. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    Scott – The “god-shaped-hole” cliche always makes me laugh. It’s more like some people think they have a hole in their life and invent a hole-shaped-god to fill it. I believe this why you will never find any two xtians who agree on what their god is like – each has invented a slightly different one to match their particular inadequacies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  170. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    Rex Widerstrom @ 2:28 pm – the following may be of interest to you:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/god-hinting-at-retirement,17747/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  171. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    James, [blockquote]…[/blockquote] is the other good one.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  172. questlove (242 comments) says:

    The left must love when kiwiblog turns into a conservative-christian-spam-fest. Makes their job a lot easier.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  173. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Scott: James — I honestly think you need help sunshine. Your anti-Christian postings are now so long and convoluted that I think you need to ask yourself, why are you using so much energy railing against God? Perhaps your heart is trying to tell you something? Perhaps there is a God shaped hole that only God can fill?

    Its not “God” Im railing against.Aside from the non existence of such a thing making any railing silly and pointless,….its his local reps like you who claim to understand what he/it wants and are willing to inflict it on the non believing rest of us by force that I and other freedom lovers have issues with.If there IS a God Im sure he’s not the total authoritarian arsehole he comes across as in your and others proclamations.Man creates God in HIS image….and you can usually tell the sort of man by the type of God he creates…..either a liberal kindly one…or a nasty,violent one seeking blood and damnation.

    Its not God whos the problem Scott….its you and others wanting to force your particular idea of God and his will on me.Leave me alone and I have no problem with you beliving what you like…go for it….but respect the rights of others to do their own thing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  174. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    James — I may well be at fault. But this — “the problem is you, not God” — just won’t wash. You have had far too many diatribes against God on this very blog to make that claim.

    I am not forcing you to do anything. I am vigourously arguing for defence of human life, stop killing the unborn child, do not contemplate killing the aged. I’m trying to defend society from the downward path on which it is hellbent on going. As a libertarian I am sure you can see that I have a right to do this. I am arguing for a particular point of view, vigourously and unashamedly, because I believe it to be right.

    But look — on a personal level you do worry me. I honestly think you need to pray. Because there seems to be some bad spiritual and emotional influences on your life right now. I don’t say this to be mean to you at all. In fact I will start by praying for you.

    Anyway must go — Scott out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  175. Fot (252 comments) says:

    ” I honestly think you need to pray. Because there seems to be some bad spiritual and emotional influences on your life right now. I don’t say this to be mean to you at all. In fact I will start by praying for you.”

    Such breathtaking arrogance, it is no wonder that people are turning away from religion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  176. James (1,299 comments) says:

    James — I may well be at fault. But this — “the problem is you, not God” — just won’t wash. You have had far too many diatribes against God on this very blog to make that claim.”

    Find me one then.And I’ll show you an argument against PEOPLE using this God thing as a means to control and supress others.

    I am not forcing you to do anything. I am vigourously arguing for defence of human life, stop killing the unborn child, do not contemplate killing the aged. I’m trying to defend society from the downward path on which it is hellbent on going. As a libertarian I am sure you can see that I have a right to do this. I am arguing for a particular point of view, vigourously and unashamedly, because I believe it to be right.

    No problem with your right to hold a view….I’ll step up to defend that right everytime.But I will oppose the evil in what it is you state in your view if it advocates the violation of the rights of others.

    “But look — on a personal level you do worry me. I honestly think you need to pray. Because there seems to be some bad spiritual and emotional influences on your life right now. I don’t say this to be mean to you at all. In fact I will start by praying for you.”

    Please don’t.Prey is blasphemous….it implies that God made a poor inital choice in his actions and designs and that you know better than him what he should actually have done…..hate to see you get hit with a lightning bolt for this insult. ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  177. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Whoops typo!

    Prayer is blasphemous….”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  178. dad4justice (6,594 comments) says:

    No worries James I read your crap and thought sonic had returned in drag.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  179. James (1,299 comments) says:

    This from the hagley park toilet haunter..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  180. James (1,299 comments) says:

    ….whos so dumb he’s responding on the wrong thread.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  181. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    reading that think to the debate on re-itterates that Bill English is a nasty nasty wee cunt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  182. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    .” Well, pain is part of life, and watching it is part of our humanity. Many of us have become more human for watching it, whether or not we liked doing that.”

    What a cunt

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  183. John Ansell (832 comments) says:

    If we euthanase an animal in agony, we call that ‘putting it out of its misery’.

    If we euthanase a human in agony, we call that murder.

    What an odd species we are.

    Sometimes conservatives make me angry.

    Whether it’s Sepp Blatter refusing to consider goalline technology to make the World Cup fairer, or Godders refusing to allow their fellow humans to die with dignity, eventually common sense prevails.

    But in the meantime so many people have to go through such torment.

    It’s inconceivable that in another 50 years we’ll still be insisting on long, cruel, drawn-out deaths in the name of some ancient mind control sect.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  184. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    okay three astronauts are in space, got into trouble, and theres only enough oxygen for two to live.

    As a god feering Nasa Control joker, what do you do ?

    Kill one, or kill all three ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  185. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    btw, Fletch
    Doctors only see losing a life as a failure, on their terms.

    I suggest if you want a closer indepth to human sufferring, ask a nurse, not a doctor

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  186. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    John Ansell

    Fuck off

    One goal line incidendent in 64 matches, and the first one in 44 years does not necessitate a knee jerk reaction because of other codes poor poor refereeing

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  187. Shunda barunda (2,986 comments) says:

    okay three astronauts are in space, got into trouble, and theres only enough oxygen for two to live.

    As a god feering Nasa Control joker, what do you do ?

    Kill one, or kill all three ?

    That’s easy, everybody!!
    Like they have done every other time somebody stuffs up.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  188. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    James – you have a seriously warped sense of history.

    You have a very warped sense of Christianity.

    You have no idea who Jesus is.

    You think you do, but your posting here suggests you have no idea at all about any of this.

    I could refute you point by point and back it up with references from experts in history, theology, etc. but there’s simply no point. It’d be a waste of both our time.

    Sometimes you have to know when to quit.

    Good luck with living your life. When you meet God, I hope you won’t be too disappointed.

    Peace,

    Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  189. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    Rex – funny thing is though – the God of the Bible is so fantastically different, you really couldn’t make Him up! That’s why he gets up everyone’s nose…

    Re: the Bible being manually transposed and full of typos, disagreements etc etc, I could refer you to good books written by world renowned experts in the field that would show you the Bible we have today is not only a very coherent set of books, but also amazingly similar to the earliest manuscripts we have.

    But again, why bother?

    People often believe what they want to believe, no matter the facts.

    You sound quite resolute in your beliefs, so like with James, I’ll withdraw and I wish you a good life.

    Peace,

    Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  190. John Ansell (832 comments) says:

    “People often believe what they want to believe, no matter the facts.”

    Two similar but incompatible five-letter words:

    FACTS
    FAITH

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  191. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Dirty rats — must you inflict us with the C word? I haven’t read any of your other 300 contributions, but how about raising the tone a little on the next 300?

    John Ansell — you illustrate my point exactly. To you humanity is just another species. So in the same way we put down dogs you would suggest we put down humans. So in your world view humanity are just animals. That is the perfect illustration of the evolutionary view. It degrades humanity to the level of animals.

    The Christian world view on the other hand, which is what our Western civilisation is based on, says that life is precious, sacred even. That’s why we care about babies that are born and protect them. In pre-Christian civilisations it was quite acceptable to leave an unwanted child out in the elements to die of exposure. Presumably that practice would be okay with you?

    A high view of life explains why we look after our old people and give them the best medical care. Euthanasia supporters need to think about that. If an old person can be killed, with their consent, then it is a relatively small step to an old person being killed, without their consent. Once the principle is established of a right to die, then that principle can be extended to those who may not want to die, but in the opinion of the authorities do not any longer have a life worth living.

    As I’ve said before we are in danger of becoming uncivilised through measures like euthanasia and returning to barbarism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  192. Pete George (23,832 comments) says:

    Scott, we are just another species. Life is precious to me, but why should it be more precious than a wolf, or an antelope, or any other living thing that strives for survival and strives to raise offspring?

    We all like to think we stand above anything else, and stand out from everyone else, but we are just a temporary bunch of molecules. I don’t see anything wrong with accepting that fact. It doesn’t stop me trying to be good, for myself, my family and my community.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  193. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    To you humanity is just another species. So in the same way we put down dogs you would suggest we put down humans. So in your world view humanity are just animals. That is the perfect illustration of the evolutionary view. It degrades humanity to the level of animals.

    Oh, I don’t understand science, so obviously it’s God at work, so I don’t need to study science!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  194. Fot (252 comments) says:

    Scott

    In your case the word Dirty Rat used to describe you is accurate.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  195. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    But look — on a personal level you do worry me. I honestly think you need to pray. Because there seems to be some bad spiritual and emotional influences on your life right now. I don’t say this to be mean to you at all. In fact I will start by praying for you.

    http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/2008/02/58-calling-people-seekers.html

    http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/2008/02/53-saying-ill-pray-for-you-and-then-not.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  196. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Haha, yeah, I agree with Scott James – I feel very sorry for you that you’re not a Christian and that you are rejecting God. It must be because deep down you know He is real and that you need to give your heart to Him. You can do this at the altar calls at Church on Sundays. This is how it will go:

    The sanctuary lights dim, the keyboardist has appeared out of nowhere and is now playing softly, and it’s just you and Jesus, slow dancing in the pew. Your eyes are closed, your arms hang loosely in the air, and you’re swaying gently back and forth. Just you and the Savior, having an intimate moment.

    Right now, you are loving Jesus a LOT. Like two fingers twisted together–you’re tight like THAT. In this moment, you want to give God absolutely everything. Your heart and your life and your dreams and your crock pot–they are not enough to promise when you are loving Him this much. You need something incredibly big to show God how important He is to you.

    You need a song that expresses how much you are committed to the Lord. When…hark! What does that lady worship leader start singing? Oh, these words are just right; they express so beautifully everything on your heart:

    “I would wrestle a million hungry wild jackals for You, Jesus / And I would walk barefoot over sharp broken glass / For just one moment with you, my Lord.”

    You would dance a thousand miles for Jesus.

    Jesus is all you’ve ever wanted.

    You would go to the ends of the earth for Jesus.

    Here’s a sample teample for you to use:

    1. _______________ (Personal pronoun) would ____________ (motion verb) a _______________________ (number with lots of zeros) __________________ (measure of distance) because of Your __________ (adjective) ______________ (attribute of God)!

    2. _______________ (personal pronoun) would ___________ (verb Mixed Martial Artists tend to do) a _______________ (large number) _____________________ (terrifying animal, plural) for You, ______________ (name of God)!

    3. Every _________________ (hour/morning/day) for the rest of my life, I will ______________________________ (impressive, time-consuming action) for Your glorious ________________ , (attribute of God) _______________ (name of God)!

    4. _____________ , (Name of God) _____________ (loosely specified time in future) I will _______________ (really easy action) because You are ______________ (attribute of God) .

    5. Because You are _______________ (attribute of God) , ____________ (name of God), I will give You my _____________________ (small item, commonly found at a garage sale) .

    http://stuffchristianslike.net/2010/07/overcommitting-to-god-in-worship/

    Once you do this you’ll have a relationship with God James and no longer dwell unhappily in your atheist ways!

    You’ll be just as Christian as Scott – accepted and loved by Jesus Christ your Savior! Then you’ll begin to understand what it’s like to be commenting on Kiwiblog and trying to save all the other Godless liberals here who aren’t saved and are going to have to face God one day!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  197. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Hi courage wolf — thank you for the links. However I have started praying for James and will continue to do so.

    Fot — I don’t think he was using the C word with regard to me specifically. But obviously you are. If you are going to start posting try and have something to say rather than personal insults. If you have a point make it. That’s how dialogue can take place. If we just start calling people obscene names then not much discussion can take place.

    Pete George — well you might think there is meaning and point in carrying on. This is why I am so frustrated with you. You post heaps but with very little philosophical depth.

    Think of it this way — we are just molecules in motion, there is no meaning in life, it’s all just an accident. That means that words that you use such as “good” are meaningless. There is no such thing as “good” or “bad”. So as to the question of what to do with old people there is no transcendent, objective moral answer. So we can be nice to them, we can look after them, we can torture them, it’s all one and the same really.

    Do you get my point? There is no “good” if we are just matter in motion.

    I cannot believe that you actually live like that. As virtualmark once stated on this blog he has yet to meet an atheist who actually lives out the true implications of their beliefs.

    As for me I believe that atheism is evil because it takes away from the goodness of God. It says that we are animals, which is what you are admitting that you believe.

    That’s why I’m a Christian — there is hope in Christ. Thank God for that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  198. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Scott: James – you have a seriously warped sense of history.

    You have a very warped sense of Christianity.

    You have no idea who Jesus is.

    You think you do, but your posting here suggests you have no idea at all about any of this.

    I could refute you point by point and back it up with references from experts in history, theology, etc. but there’s simply no point. It’d be a waste of both our time.Scott

    You have no real idea either Scott…you can’t have as its still unproven that a person called Jesus Christ ever existed.I think…from the evidence that IS availible, that he is most likely a compelation of a few of the MANY messiah figures that were roaming about that part of the ancient world at the time.By luck etc his brand emerged out of the pack and with a boost from Paul,the real founder of Christianity…and someone the records show who never actually met this Jesus dude,a cargo cult legacy grew that persists to this day through many versions and disagreements of what he stood for and was working towards.

    Yes a point by point deabate would be a waste of both our times….you would get a painful kicking and I get no joy from beating up on the handycapped.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  199. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    James-what are you banging on about? I didn’t even write the above. You must be thinking of someone else-maybe there is another Scott but the above comments are certainly not mine.

    I appreciate I do chip in to you from time to time,but in this particular instance I must plead- “not guilty your honour”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  200. Rufus (736 comments) says:

    James 3:52

    Oh this one is simply ridiculous.

    Are you that scared to engage with what Jesus did, claimed and said that you’ve simply explained Him away?!

    There’s more physical evidence for Jesus than there is for Julius Caesar – from both Christian and non-Christian sources.

    You’re absolutely nuts.

    Rufus

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote