‘Ethics’ Category Archives
by Arnold Jago in Australia, Death, Ethics, Modern Church
Last week, Victoria’s bishops issued a pastoral letter to the Catholics of Victoria about Euthanasia.
Obviously, they’re against euthanasia.
And they remind us that those places where euthanasia has been legalised have subsequently broadened, step by step, the categories of persons eligible to be killed.
For example, in Belgium, euthanasia is now legal for children as well as adults.
In the Netherlands, people aged over 70 who feel “tired of life” are now eligible.
In Belgium, euthanasia may now be legally done on psychological grounds.
The “slippery slope” is not a theoretical thing – it’s a reality, killing off vulnerable persons every day, including today.
by Arnold Jago in Australia, Common Sense, Ethics, God, Politics
Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, section 18C, is still the law of the land.
It’s still un-lawful to make anybody feel “offended”.
But principled people never intentionally offend others, do they?
And they never contravene laws — or do they?
A couple of finer points to consider:
1. Regarding offending: while not intending to offend, you can’t control the feelings of sensitive persons who claim offence — or prove your innocent intention to somebody determined not to believe you. They’ve got you over a barrel.
2. Regarding obeying the law: consider the famous occasion when Jesus Christ was asked whether his fellow-Jews should pay taxes to the Roman occupiers. He said, “Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.”
In the case of 18C, let’s usually comply with it — but sometimes, when a black-and-white moral issue is at stake, God trumps everybody else.
Victoria’s Health Minister, Jill Hennessy, has released a discussion paper on “developing and implementing a legislative framework for voluntary assisted dying”.
We, the public, are allowed to submit feedback (closing date, April 10).
But only certain kinds of feedback.
Her department warns:
“Please note that feedback that expresses an opinion for or against assisted dying will not be considered by the panel.”
So, we’re not permitted to discuss whether it’s right to intentionally make patients dead — only how to intentionally make patients dead.
Aren’t there non-homicidal alternatives — good nursing, fine-tuning of drug dosages, one-to-one spiritual support in facing the lonely truth of the situation?
What a pity not to address them seriously.
Spiritual support comes at a cost.
Money and time costs aren’t the issue — millions of Australian adults can afford, on average, 4 hours a day looking at screens (television, internet etc.)
The issue is whether we care enough.
Are we willing to expend the necessary long-term effort required to provide that spiritual support?
Last week, Australian Senators voted on a motion for senators to receive no pay increases until a budget surplus is achieved.
It was moved by independent (ex-Liberal) Senator Cory Bernardi.
Sad to say, only 6 of our 75 senators voted for it.
The Coalition, Labor and the Greens senators all voted against.
Anyone moving a motion that’s rejected by all three of the above-mentioned parties is probably doing something right.
Senator Bernardi is a conscience politician.
We’ll be hearing a lot more from him.
Hopefully his movement will continue to propose common-sense policies which level-headed people will happily support.
On March 20, Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi wrote that “as an atheist”:
“I don’t want the government to censor free speech (or) to dictate who can marry….”
She goes on about how good the joy that same-sex marriage may bring some couples….and how bad is mis-labelling some people as homophobes and bigots….
If she’s an atheist, the question of good and bad can’t arise — the difference between them being absolute only if there is an Absolute Being who judges between them.
Don’t forget, God is the only Absolute — the living difference between good and evil.
God exists because it’s his nature to exist.
We exist because he gives us our existence.
It’s not very complicated.
Rita has some thoughtful ethical instincts – but seemingly only by accident and by being inconsistent.
Is she a closet believer who may benefit by coming out as such?
New ACTU secretary, Sally McManus, says, “I believe in the rule of law.… But when it’s unjust I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.”
OK, so who decides whether it’s just?
Apparently not the voting public or their elected law-makers.
Perhaps Sally herself wants to be the decider. She’ll need assistants, skilled in standover tactics, to make it happen.
However unsatisfactory democracy is at times, it’s never as unsatisfactory as that.
In my youth, I was a doctor.
I made it clear that if any patient requested a referral for an abortion, I could not/would not supply it.
Under Victorian law, that’s a punishable offence. As it happens, I was never arrested.
Anyway, to justifiably break a law, one must be sure it relates to an absolute, utterly black-and-white moral issue.
You can’t think in terms of absolutes unless you believe in THE absolute — namely God.