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Why are Religious people against assisted suicide and euthanasia?

I mean, aren't individual consciousness and free will the most important things in the world? Why shouldn't adults have the right to end their own life as they see fit? Why should others try to control and subvert their actions?

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  • John S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The fundamental difference that a lot of these answers are hitting on but not stating is a very basic difference over WHO's life is being taken.

    Anotherwards, who owns the life.. ultimately.

    Those for euthanasia and suicide clearly believe that the individual alone posesses ownership of the life. That the individual alone can make that determination when they exit this world.

    Those who oppose suicide and euthansia, ultimately do so because they feel that each of us DO NOT own our own lives.. ultimately. That none of us should be able to decide when we exit this life. AND furthermore, we should not be making this decision for someone else either by taking matters into our own hands OR by assisting.

    I'll assume you lean more towards the side which believes we do own our lives and can do with them as we please. ... So I won't spend time proving that.

    Instead I'll briefly give the other sides arguments, not trying to convince you.. just laying out the logic.

    RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINT:

    God is the ultimate author of life. Though our parents have a hand in it.. God ultimately ensures that life begets life AND that we have a soul. Therefore, ultimately, the life is his, since he, not us, and not our parents, created it. Only the creator can decide when that life exits this world and enters the next. We can not arbitrarily decide to deprive someone, even ourselves of life, because to do so, is to essentially "play god" - We should respect our place in this universe by realizing we are not God.

    We are allowed to defend the life which God gave us..so this viewpoint does not preclude self defense in which you end up taking a life to save a life. It doesn't preclude certain wars either, since they can be argued as "national defense"

    This logic does however work well against Capital Punishment and Murder.

    PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWPOINT:

    Suicide and euthanasia is an extension of the general principle that we should not end a life. Every life has a potential, we as limited beings, can not known the future with absolute certaintly, therefore we can not ethically make the absolute determination that the life serves no further value and should be terminated. We can not, even for the sake of mercy, allow ourselves to start determining WHO should live and who should die. On principle alone, euthenasia is not ethical.

    SOCIAL VIEWPOINT: We do not own our lives because we didn't make them. Our Parents did. Further more, we can not ethically remove ourselves from society because each member of society is a value to the whole. Society in general has put a lot of energy and effort into our current existence. School, Police protection, etc. etc. Society has enacted many laws to protect life and liberty. On principle alone, it seems a travesty to kill one's self. IF we didn't choose to be born, or to whom, and if we owe society a bit of gratitude for our existence, thus far, then it seem unfair for us to arbitrarily choose WHEN we exit society by killing ourselves.

    We can not know for sure our place in society, some times...therefore prudence dictates that we stick around to find out..rather then assuming we serve no further function and kill ourselves.

    A just and moral society can never, on principle alone, condone its members to "choose" when to kill themselves.

    __________________________________________

    I'm sure there are other people who can articulate these points better than I can. But, basically those are the arguments. ALL of them have 1 thing in common.

    They refute the idea that we alone have total say and right over our lives. All of them try to argue that our lives have meaning and value, beyond what we can see or think. All of them try to argue that we didn't choose to be born, so how can we TRULY say this life is ours alone.

    To ME that's the key. IF our lives are not ours alone, what right do we have to choose the time and place of our death.. simply because it is convenient for us.

    Similar argument goes for Capital Punishment.

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  • 3 years ago

    Religions Against Euthanasia

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wait, I'm seeing some thou shalt not kills, but isn't the original Exodus 20:13 'Thou Shalt Not Murder'? Murder implies malicious intent, which this has none of! It's the ending of suffering with the consent of the person involved, in which case you cannot say it was murder.

    David Hume has a nice essay on what Suicide is not against god (aptly named "On Suicide") where he compares the abrupt ending of life the same manipulation of god as the giver and taker as moving out of the way of a falling boulder, which is what is called 'sensible'.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In the religious mindset, right and wrong is determined by The Book, independently of human suffering. Consequently, ethical considersations based on religious doctrine often lead to heartbreaking cruelty and pain.

    In the euthanasia example, the Bible teaches that taking human life is wrong, so the terminally ill are kept alive and in horrible agony because it's more important that they remain alive and in agony than that God should be offended.

    This is why religious leaders should be the LAST people we go to for ethical questions.

    EDIT--One more thing to think about. It is seen as compassionate and humane to take the family dog to the vet and have them put to sleep when they are terminally ill and in pain. Yet it is murder to do the same for a relative in the same position. How is it anything other than cruel and inhumane to require a human being to stay alive and in unceasing agony until the minute they flatline when we give our pets better treatment than that?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Cause the same reason they are agaist abortion

    Thou Shall not kill.

    "I mean, aren't individual consciousness and free will the most important things in the world"

    But people who are suffering from mental illness or depression for example might not have the mental capacity to make informed decisions

    EDIT

    Just for the record I support euthanaisa,

    Also there are some strange answers

    "Why do people need to legalize killing themselves?"

    The problem is that they can't kill themselves because they lack the ability to do so. And no one is going to assist them if it is a crime

    "Because no one has the right to be God!!!! Only god can take or give life."

    OF course we can take life, its easy, do you really think that only God can take a gun and shoot someone

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  • 1 decade ago

    We believe only God has the right to give or take life. People can and do take their own lives every day. However, to involve someone else in the act forces them to commit the sin of murder. I don't think, though, that people should be artificially kept alive on tubes or respirators when there is no hope of any kind of normal (mental) life. Allowing someone to die is not murder in my opinion.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm not religious but I see no problem with euthanasia. I don't understand why people are so against someone choosing to die with dignity instead of withering away from old age or a terminal illness.

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  • 1 decade ago

    When does the right to die become the duty to die. A Florida judge murdered Terry Schiavo on the thinnest reason, because her psychotic husband claimed -- with no documentation or other evidence -- that she would prefer to be murdered.

    (BTW, that's when I finally realized that the Bush brothers, who easily could have saved her life, are all talk and no walk.)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Maybe because they feel it's a cop out. If it was as easy as that, why wouldn't everyone just kill themselves and go to their eternity with God?

    I do know the bible doesn't say that suicide is an unforgivable sin, it only says it's morally wrong....like murder.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Assisted suicide is an oxymoron. If someone kills you, that's not suicide. Why do people need to legalize killing themselves? Are they afraid they will get prosecuted and get the death penalty?

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