State One Religious Traditions View Of Euthanasia
Euthanasia is described by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘The bringing about of a gentle and easy death, especially in the case of incurable and painful diseases’ .
The Christian view of Euthanasia is that it is wrong. They understand, the pain and emotional suffering, caused in the case of terminally ill, but believe that a hospice is a better solution and that to commit Euthanasia is murder and a degrading act upon human life.
The most common argument for Euthanasia, is the idea of quality of life. This term was first created in the 1970’s as a term used to describe, the general welfare of a individual. This was gradually adopted as a term to describe a persons overall existence. This ideology, has practically become the argument used to morally justify the killings of hundreds upon thousands of unborn babies, who have genetic defects such as down syndrome and the international starving of brain damaged adults and terminally ill patients. To Christian, this argument has no meaning as we were all created in the image of God and it is believed that each human has a purpose to serve. They see each human as having its own intrinsic worth and to destroy any life, whether a young born child or an elderly person is the murder of a potential. The Christians also mock the quality of life argument as they believe that it is a biased opinion and we have no grounds or framework to judge by. The book of Job, argues against the quality of life argument. In this book, Job claims that suffering is part of being human along with happiness, sadness and anger. This points that if you are suffering, you should live through it and it will make you a stronger person.
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Paul says in Corinthians 2, For when I am weak then I am strong. He says this when he is trying to describe how he appreciates his “problem/thorn in his flesh” because although he wanted God to take it away he realises that it helps to make him a stronger person and a good Christian, because it reminds him to be humble. It is based upon this that he refuses to take his own life. The Christian sees a good life in respects to a persons response, to a particular situations, whereas the humanists will see only in terms of suffering and pain experienced. This can often mean that judgements are given by a third party, rather than from the individual themselves and as a result can lead from voluntary to involuntary Euthanasia. It is the Christian belief that once some of these practices such as Euthanasia become common place, then much more degrading and immoral practices will become common.
The Catholic view of Euthanasia is extremely strong against Euthanasia. They are with the rest of the Christian church in believing Euthanasia to be degrading and a against the moral law of the God. The Pope issued this statement on Euthanasia.
Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is a deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human being. This doctrine is based upon the moral law and upon the written word of God.
In modern day society autonomy or the ability for us to be independent or self governing, is given a great emphasis. Yet autonomy itself is not without restrictions. In every society, ones autonomy is limited, not necessarily by religion, but simply through the desire to allow the society to operate normally. In a Christian society our autonomy is limited by Gods moral law. Humanists will argue that it is autonomy that is necessary in the individual capacity which means a person should have the right to chose whether they wish to have themselves aided into death. Yet people who are terminally ill in 85% of cases (statistics taken from a Christian response-a U turn) are not in control of their mind and this can irrevocably lead to mis carriages of the patients wishes.
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God made us as autonomous beings, that are bound within his law. This means that although we are allowed to chose and control our own destiny it is the one given to us by God and so it means that we must obey Gods law within all of the our actions. The bible teaches Christians that it was God who created all beings, and so only he has the right to take it away. Therefore Christians conclude, that it is wrong to play God in destroying a life or a potential life. As well each life has a purpose, and to commit Euthanasia you are destroying a life which has a potential that is yet unknown. They also believe that to make life, something, that is humanly expendable degrades and cheapens life. It removes the sanctity of life and means that it loses its importance and the respect that surrounds the issue of life and death.
Jesus taught compassion such as love thy neighbour and turn the other cheek and his compassion, which is at the centre of the Christian living should be applied here. The problems created like this are is it more compassionate, to ease someone to easy death or to keep them alive even if they are in a lot of pain. But when this is coupled with the idea that God created that all life, and only he has the right to take it away, means that it is the Christian duty to ease the suffering of a person, but not to kill them as it will destroy the sanctity of life.
In conclusion Christians believe that Euthanasia is wrong, not just to be picky, but because the issues that surround life and death and Gods morally law are clear in their distain towards anything which endangers the sanctity of life . It is focused mainly from the view that God created all life, therefore all life is sacred and humans have no right to take it away. Because God gave man the precious gift of life. This dictates therefore that life is in the hand of God and we therefore have no right to Euthanasia.
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