Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:25 pm
by Michael
pilgrim wrote:Hi Michael. May God bless you.
I'm sorry to learn of the severe trials you have been enduring particularly through 2015. I pray that better days will be yours in 2016.
I have been following this thread since its inception but have not contributed until this time because I have little to add to what I have previously stated.
My opinion is that there is universal practice which far outweighs the musings of philosophers (both academic and amateur). That universal practice is the following: should an animal be enduring a persistent and relentless existence of suffering, then euthanasia is the kindest action and is readily applied. The logic seems to be that for any non-human creature, when it is within our power to end this present miserable existence it is our duty to do so. I don't think any speculation about a post-mortem state of existence (or not) or about the quality of any post-mortem existence, is relevant to the decision. The decision is based on the fact that the continuation of the present existence is bad.This universal practice makes sense to me for non-theists and theists alike. The Judaeo-Christian theists believe that we humans have been charged with stewardship over the animal kingdom and it is our duty to do the kindest thing which is to end an existence of intolerable pain.

When it comes to the euthenasia of humans, I believe that for non-theists (materialists say), the logic outlined above carries through and we are seeing its practice increasing as atheistic influence in our western culture increases. This makes complete sense to me. However, for many people of faith, the situation may be very different. It is quite possible that the termination of this present existence may result in a new-birth into a further existence and it is also possible that the quality of that 'further existence' may be influenced by the action of terminating our (or another's) 'earthly' existence. To put it plainly, I am saying that it may or may not be a grievous sin to terminate the life of a human and there may or may not be severe consequences (in another life) for that sin.

It is true that ONE interpretation of the biblical statement re Judas "better for that man if he had not been born" is that Judas' non-existence would have been preferable to his existence. Food for thought even though I am fully aware of different interpretations of that scripture.

Thank you pilgrim.

I very much appreciate your prayers, and your comments here are very welcome.

Your post is on topic, your thoughts are worded clearly, and I believe your logic is impeccable.

Thank you very much.

P.S. You said what I've been trying to say to Jason (in private and online, and later to him and those like you reading along online) since I first read that passage in Sword to the Heart, and you said it much better than I could when I was suffering from grief.

And the reason it needs to be said is that there's a flip side to what you say here (which I tried to get across even in my grief.)

If there are conceivible states of existence that are worse than no existence (such as an existence of persistent and relentless suffering, for an animal with no hope of an afterlife), there are also conceivible states of existence (such as the bliss of heaven--small glimpses of which can be enjoyed even in this fallen world) which are better than no existence.

...In thy presence is fulness of joy; In thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11.)

...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor. 2:9.)

However hard the good times may be to remember when we're suffering loss, it's remembering that there are states of existence that are better than no existence that can help us endure when good times seem far away.

God bless, and thank you again for your prayers.