HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

RESPECT FOR LIFE

In general we believe that death is the greatest loss we can suffer so our moral codes or codes about good behaviour should work hard to protect human life. Religion takes the force of this way and so is to be condemned outright. It even goes as far as St Paul to say that to die is to gain and to be better off.

Life by itself does not establish a right to life. A kidney may be killed.


Life is good but what if you face years of unbearable suffering? Is life or quality of life most important? 
 
Many consider quality of life to be the important thing. Consequently, they insist that life ought to be extinguished when it is too much to bear but that is a mistake. This is easily seen when we ask why quality is the most important or why should persons have a good quality of life? It cannot be important unless life is more important. The person is most important, or if you prefer, the person is an absolute value.

You will be told that if a beautiful gem should be respected that that does not mean it has an absolute value so the fact that our happiness should be respected doesn’t mean it either. But the gem is only valuable because we like it a lot and we are more valuable. The two situations are different.

Society says that it is wrong to end a life except when it is the only way to avoid more people dying. But what if we live forever or have immortal souls? We are surer that a person will live on if they are not killed than that they will if they are killed. But still, if you felt sure or believed that there was an afterlife or decent evidence for it, it follows that if you murder it is not as bad as regards your intention as a murder committed by an atheist who laughs at the idea of a life beyond death. Religion then champions the view that murder is really serious damage and makes it serious but less serious than it should be. It comes close to making murder not that big of a deal. If murder sends the victim to Heavenly bliss forever then it is right not wrong. It is for the best.

War is only acceptable when it is the last resort in stopping an unjust aggressor and when without it there would be a greater loss of life. Really just wars happen a lot less than you would be led to believe. Since when have political leaders ever told the truth? Since when has the Church leaders? The Church knows that once war begins there is no control. What could start off as what it calls a “just war” could lead to so many children dead and so many rapes that it would have been better not to bother the war in the first place. Oh what wonderful regard the Church really has for life!

To shorten or risk one’s life without grave need is forbidden. We should be health-conscious. It is obviously better to prolong life than to indulge in needless pleasure that will shorten it. There are other pleasures.

If we were better people suicidal people wouldn’t feel compelled to end it all. They don’t want to die but feel that it is the only way to liberation so we must save them. And we save them by saving ourselves. We must be the kind of people they want to stay with.
 
Capital punishment is unjust. It is too light for the criminal and it is not deterrence for the sensible person will not fear death. Murderers should be put out to work and undergo hard labour for the society they have been a scourge to. The Church cannot say that capital punishment is wrong because persons are absolute values because Jesus took capital punishment on himself and made it clear that he agreed with the Law approving of capital punishment. It argues that though persons are valuable the man who murders loses his human dignity by the irrational and evil thing he has done so he is worse than a beast or no better and may be put to death (page 349-350, Moral Philosophy). This is an admission that the Church does not believe that persons are all equal as persons no matter how unequal they may be in their qualities and logic like that is what the likes of racists and so on would love to hear.

It is murder to knowingly let someone die by standing by instead of helping them when you can.

We must help the starving for we are murderers if we do not. Religion collects vast sums of money and won’t give away all it can spare for them. It says that saving souls is more important and that is their excuse. But if they really believe in an all-powerful God who never lets his people down they would give all away and trust in his providence. It is different for Humanists to refuse to give all away for we need our property and money to speak the word that will destroy the conditioning that leads people to neglect the tables of the starving. Sacrificing all wouldn’t help in the long term. The Humanist who does not help to topple religion is an accomplice to its murdering for it murders people by hoarding money for nothing and that is money that should belong to the poor to save them from suffering and death.
 
The view that life matters most is frightening for our instinct is that we would rather be dead than suffering for decades. It scares us to think that if people have a choice between our life and our hideous quality of life they should choose life for us. It scares us to think that there will be people who use the energy to fight for better lives for us to simply fight for life without regard for anybody's happiness.
 
Does the view that life comes first make sense? Should it be a case of that life alone matters? If so, parents should have as many babies as possible and use fertility drugs. Whether life is heaven or hell is irrelevant. To say that life comes first is to say that if you enhance people's quality of life it is a necessary evil and not something to be celebrated. And its more evil if there is a God for he is supposed to be against evil. Evil if there is no God is evil but evil is worse if there is a God. We are not saying that enhancing life is wrong or immoral. We are saying it is a bad that has to be done but it is still bad and regrettable. The teaching does suggest that the person who puts quality of life first is a very bad person and has no understanding of right and wrong.


The joy of living is an atheist or humanist attribute.

BOOKS CONSULTED
 
A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, VOL 6, PART II, KANT, Frederick Copleston SJ, Doubleday/Image, New York, 1964
CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED, Ed John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship Inc, Minneapolis, 1973
ETHICS, A C Ewing, Teach Yourself Books, English Universities Press Ltd, London, 1964
ETHICS IN A PERMISSIVE SOCIETY, William Barclay, Collins and Fontana, Glasgow, 1971
FREE TO DO RIGHT, David Field, IVP, London, 1973
MORAL PHILOSOPHY, Joseph Rickaby SJ, Stonyhurst Philosophy Series, Longmans, Green and Co, London, 1912
MORALITY, Bernard Williams, Pelican/Penguin, Middlesex, 1972
MORTAL QUESTIONS Thomas Nagel, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, London, 1979
NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
PRACTICAL ETHICS, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, England, 1994
RUNAWAY WORLD, Michael Green, IVP, London, 1974
SITUATION ETHICS, Joseph Fletcher, SCM Press, London, 1966
SUMMA THEOLOGICA OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS, Part II, Second Number, Thomas Baker, London, 1918
THE PROBLEM OF RIGHT CONDUCT, Peter Green MA, Longmans Green and Co, London, 1957

The WEB

Roman Catholic Ethics: Three Approaches by Brian Berry
www.mcgill.pvt.k12.al.us/jerryd/ligouri/berry.htm