Moral Philosophy What Moral Compass

Review the Feldman reading this week about euthanasia and assisted suicide as well as the online article on Christs physical death. Many argue that assisted suicide or euthanasia is justified because it relieves a person from suffering. What are your thoughts about euthanasia, given what Christ did for us?

If I had the liberty of being perfectly honest about my own genuine response to the issue, I would have to admit that I still do not understand the conceptual relevance of Christs suffering to a living persons moral right to spare himself or herself from suffering when the only escape is death. To me, allowing a person to escape intractable pain is much more consistent with the notion of Gods love and compassion than requiring a person to endure pain against his or her will.

Christ did not choose to suffer; his suffering was forced upon him by the wrongful and wicked acts of others. For that reason alone, I am unable to understand the logical connection between Christs suffering and ours or the logical reason that I should have to endure suffering without a purpose for no other reason than the fact that Christ (undoubtedly) suffered horribly. If my suffering had a specific purpose, such as saving another from worse suffering or sparing anothers life, there could be a reason that my suffering should be endured.

However, where my physical suffering affects only me, particularly in circumstances where my death is inevitable anyway, (such as in the case of advanced cancer or other fatal disease associated with suffering in its later stages), the obligation to endure that suffering seems to me to be inconsistent with the fundamental notions of love and compassion that I associate with Gods love.

To my mind, a person has the moral right to decide whether he values continuing to be alive enough to endure tremendous pain. More fundamentally, I would have to admit that I have trouble with the entire concept that everything happens for a reason simply because Gods power is unlimited. Regardless of whether or not human intellect is capable of understanding or knowing Gods specific motive or purpose in every instance, I do know that there is no conceivable objective that God could not accomplish without causing me pain. In fact, to believe that God has no alternative but to cause me pain to accomplish His objective seems to limit the unlimited power of God. Therefore, I would consider my pain a result of earthly rather than Godly factors and I cannot accept that.

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