Sunday, March 09, 2014

"Assisted suicide has moved a significant step closer"


Sometimes you wonder why you bother. Each battle seemingly won is met with another battalion of amoral guerillas happily worshipping secularity in no-mans-land, and the conclusion of the war appears to be foregone. Parliament is to vote again on assisted suicide, the Telegraph tell us. Funny, isn't it, how some issues linger until MPs give the right answer.

And John Bingham explains that "the Government made clear that it would not stand in the way of a change in the law". Well, of course not. For what does this abominable utilitarian coalition know or understand of the Christian theology of suffering or the morality of Christ's teachings? For what is 'assisted suicide' if it is not a medical doctor prescribing a lethal dose of drugs for the termination of life? And what is that if it is not assisted murder?

Life was never meant to be easy: suffering and death are intrinsic to the human condition and the whole of creation. To be painlessly happy, and to conquer every form of discomfort and inconvenience, is the dream of modernity. But since it is unattainable in nature, we seek superficial means of anaesthetising and immunising ourselves to suppress our suffering, and by doing so rob ourselves of the deeper purpose of and passion for life.   

Ah, but the word euthanasia is not in the Greek NT, you charge. And you would be quite right. But Christ's teachings cannot be limited to the actual words of text; they must extend to the whole pattern of thought which they imply. And that means there may be areas where theological argument is expounded from broader principles, and the practice of euthanasia is one such example, for it is unconditionally inconsistent with biblical ethics, even though it is not explicitly condemned in the biblical text.

And because it is not specifically mentioned, it is important to keep the argument open to public examination and political discussion. But this proposal seems to come before Parliament with monotonous regularity: it is as though the contemporary vision of the world is possessed by the spirit of Nietzsche. There is nothing to morality but expressions of will: morality can only be what the will creates. "We, however, want to become those we are," he wrote: "human beings who are new, unique, incomparable, who give themselves laws, who create themselves."

In this world, the moral subject is an illusion. And so Nietzsche resolves to let us make ourselves into autonomous moral subjects by some gigantic and heroic act of the will - an act of such authority and self-assertiveness as to be almost prophetic in the contemporary social order. One might almost call it a free vote in Parliament. 
 
Euthanasia is not an exclusively Christian concern: Judaism and Islam both teach of the sanctity of life subject to divine reckoning. The Indic religions take a slightly different view on the matter, for ahimsa is palpably challenged by samsara - there is no 'book of law' by which the irrational and contradictory may be authoritatively understood. And yet all must understand that Parliament seeks to enable doctors to help their terminally ill patients to die. And they will speak of checks and protections and safeguards and guarantees.

But we know where this is heading: Belgium leads the way.

Parliament will vote, and vote, and vote again until "care for elderly and disabled people" includes the option for 'assisted suicide', if only to mitigate the burgeoning costs of that care. For how much more caring can the state be in times of economic recession, than to facilitate your swift passage into eternity?

213 Comments:

Blogger The Explorer said...

"Into eternity", Your Grace? This is the Coalition we're talking about. Into oblivion, surely?

Animals have no souls. We put down animals humanely. Humans are animals. Humans have no souls...

9 March 2014 at 11:44  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

We are supposed to live in a democracy - let the nation decide in a referendum.

9 March 2014 at 11:44  
Blogger gentlemind said...

It keeps coming back before Parliament because man-made law is going through a kind of chain reaction: if we put one piece of a jigsaw puzzle in the wrong place (and insist it is in the right place) we then need to "correct" the rest of the puzzle. Abortion is the piece in the wrong place, and the nature of our deaths is being "corrected" accordingly.

From a more, erm, mundane perspective, Euthanasia laws effectively convert the concept of medicine, by divorcing it from ethics. Doctors become service providers, at the mercy of our demands.

9 March 2014 at 11:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

The problem with a referendum is that it might deliver the wrong answer. In which case, you need another referendum until the pre-decided right answer is arrived at.

Much simpler is not to give the ignorant masses the option. Just leave it in the hands of those who know.

Doing away with jury trial for minor offences is another move in the same direction. Leave it to the Judge.

9 March 2014 at 12:10  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I watched a documentary about the war when Egypt attacked across the Suez and a former Israeli asked what happened to their intelligence. He said that an 'Office of the Devil’s Advocate was created to consider the question of traditional perceived wisdom.
What has this to do with the Blog Post you may ask.
The point is that Christians are prone to accept the traditional point of view without further question.
Do not think that am for Euthanasia or even Same Sex Marriage, but I do think that we must consider all aspects of the issues and examine them against the scripture.
Assisted suicide is one thing since we all are able to determine the end of our lives but with Euthanasia we have no choice, our life is taken like murder.

9 March 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Being a democracy, in my experience, means choosing who will screw things up on our behalf.

9 March 2014 at 12:15  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Being a democracy, in my experience, means choosing who will screw things up on our behalf.

How insulting to the memory of all those lives that were sacrificed to deliver such a platform for the cynics.

9 March 2014 at 12:26  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Parliament will vote, and vote, and vote again until "care for elderly and disabled people" includes the option for 'assisted suicide', if only to mitigate the burgeoning costs of that care.

For “if only” read “mainly”.

9 March 2014 at 12:28  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught:

The older I get the less sure I am what all those lives were sacrificed for. (Which does not stop me grieving for the sacrifice). But look at all the millions who died in Russia fighting the Nazis. Was that for democracy?

I believe that democracy is flawed, and that the alternatives are worse. But then, I believe we live in a fallen world.

9 March 2014 at 12:37  
Blogger meema said...

Antichrist spirit tells us we are gods and are therefore empowered to determine life, it’s value, it’s beginning, it’s end.

Over time, in our frenzied scramble to prove to others and ourselves that we are god, and therefore masters of our destiny, we have learned just enough to be extremely dangerous. We went from getting smart to getting too smart to getting dumber by the minute. The consequence of our stubborn willfulness to become our own god is an artificially constructed reality of all things being controllable which, it turns out, is the exact opposite of actuality. It is in no way achievable and the harder we try the bigger the mess we make.

What we have wrought in the process is our own destruction. But we are so busy building the illusion we haven’t figured this out yet. Someone just needs to say it. Or maybe it’s too late.

9 March 2014 at 12:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

But look at all the millions who died in Russia fighting the Nazis. Was that for democracy?

Forget it - I've got a life to live.

9 March 2014 at 12:56  
Blogger The Explorer said...

That's fine. And more than they had.

9 March 2014 at 13:15  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace - I killed a spider a few months ago and am still haunted by guilt. Any others I encounter will simply get moved outside.

Further, I think it must be very hard for vets to live with necessary 'putting down' of domesticated animals.

What kinds of people are these, then, who can legalise the killing of human beings ... do they get a thrill out of the horror? Or are they as detached from their victims as from individual animals who have become meat in the supermarket?

It shouldn't be surprising if, from now on, the birth rate plummets among indigenes in the euSSR. There cannot be any point in bringing children into a world like this.

Then, of course, those in power will just have to establish human hatcheries.

However did Huxley get it all so right.

9 March 2014 at 13:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...

non mouse

Hatcheries. Or immigration by those who breed.

9 March 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger non mouse said...

Nice one, Explorer (@ 12:15).

Except... I'm not sure how much choice 'we' have. Someone else sticks the dummies up there for election; the voting/balloting process is surely suspect; and, once elected, the useful idiots are subject to the whip.

Then there's this business of how slow we (and our "representatives") are in arriving at the right answers ....

9 March 2014 at 13:44  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

This has been basically inevitable for years now. The celebrity campaigners, screeds of newsprint and hours of TV footage ramming home the message that Tony Martin's life really was as useless as he thought it was would never have been employed trying to persuade society that the most seriously disabled people can have quality of life far beyond what doctors and society believe is possible. Society just does not want to know, and the pressure for a euthanasia law has been snowballing for years. I've long accepted that it will happen sooner or later, even whilst campaigning heart and soul against it.

9 March 2014 at 13:48  
Blogger Corrigan said...

What Cranmer said.

9 March 2014 at 13:52  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Sometimes I think we'll get in a 'logan's run' situation in about 50 years.

9 March 2014 at 13:57  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David K:

That long?

9 March 2014 at 14:00  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Explorer,

I believe that Churchill said :

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

9 March 2014 at 14:00  
Blogger non mouse said...

Hatcheries. Or immigration by those who breed.
Ah yes, Explorer. "Mustapha Mond" is certainly behind a lot of it.

9 March 2014 at 14:03  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Explorer,

Well in Logan's run, I don't think the state waited until you got old before they bumped you off, but gave you until a specific birthday... besides which there has to be a period between this being state helped 'voluntary' and 'compulsory' death.

9 March 2014 at 14:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

We are supposed to live in a democracy - let the nation decide in a referendum.

How does this do anything but affirm the Archbishop's point that morality has become a disembodied act of will? A referendum can justify anything. There are no theoretical limits to its reach. But this is the trap into which secular man has placed himself. He denies he is under authority, and then discovers he has abolished authority. Freedom demands its payment.

carl

9 March 2014 at 14:25  
Blogger The Explorer said...

non mouse & David K:

'Brave New World' it is then. Hatcheries to determine how many are born. Fixed age of death to maintain the optimum number for maximum efficiency. No single sexual relationship to last longer than a fortnight.

9 March 2014 at 14:28  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Agree totally with you, Your Grace. Now that we have gone post-Christian, embracing post-modernism, but by bit we slip down the slippery slope towards utter disrespect for human life. After all, if we not made in the image of God, then we are just "advanced" animals.

I am with Explorer and David K who have already put forward the Churchillian take on democracy being the best/worst option.

But, straying slightly off topic, democracy only works if we are governed by laws created by those that we elected, to Westminster; and if those representatives respect those who sent them there in the first place. But the liberals always know best don't they, because they are inherently, well animals of a superior type - George Orwell spin in your grave! So vote and vote again until your "leaders" get the answer they want. How very post-democratic and EU !

The good thing about having a solid Christian faith, and therefore feeling part of the broad sweep of the Church, from 2000 years ago, up until now, and onwards, joined to those who went before, to those who are now, and those who will follow, is that it gives you a sense of perspective. And in the long run those who respect life, marriage, freedom of conscience, freedom to own and use property, all within the bounds of social responsibility will be proven right - in all those BIG debates. But there will have been a mountain of unnecessary suffering encountered by future generations journeying through the badlands that we have just entered, before we find the right paths again.

I am Israel bound. Have fun, and bye for now.

David.

9 March 2014 at 14:35  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, this is just more evidence that Christianity is being assaulted from all sides; as it has been since at least the French Revolution. One needs to know who are the people and driving forces behind moves such as this, for I firmly believe they are not Christians. And I don't for one minute believe that other religions are on our side.

9 March 2014 at 15:15  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

There is only one way to get rid of those two bastards, and that is to stop voting in their damned MPs...

But you’re going to continue to vote for them, are you not ?


9 March 2014 at 15:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Well, folks, we're past the point of philosophizing as we approach implementation of euthanasia. High time to consider a common strategy among those who oppose this horror and strong legal measures to protect ourselves. As things are now here in Canada, an individual can turn to religious physicians in Catholic or Jewish hospitals and expect protection from pressure to remove oneself.

9 March 2014 at 15:53  
Blogger IanCad said...

Of Course!
It will only be the Very sick and/or the Very old.
Then the not so sick and the not so old.
Society will draw limits so no need for concern.
Well, we have abortion; perhaps we can meet in the middle.

9 March 2014 at 16:06  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

A referendum can justify anything.

And so too can a religion. No mention of Jesus being born on December 25th is there?

9 March 2014 at 16:09  
Blogger IanCad said...

Dreadnaught,

We have the privilege of living under a well-established Constitutional Monarchy.
It is a system based on our right to elect our representatives.
Nowhere within this form of governance should any form of referenda be permitted.

9 March 2014 at 16:12  
Blogger 45minutewarning said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 March 2014 at 16:17  
Blogger 45minutewarning said...

It will happen, just as we have gay "marriage" and soon we will have polygamy and legalised paedophilia, and all the other detritus the "liberal" mind can conceive. All these will become enshrined in our law.

9 March 2014 at 16:22  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

There really can’t be a worse time to be old and homeless, or, eventually, just homeless...

9 March 2014 at 16:24  
Blogger IanCad said...

Explorer wrote:

"Animals have no souls----"

I think that you may be incorrect there.

Enjoy your trip David.

9 March 2014 at 16:31  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian:

I was writing as a euthanasia theorist. Note that I also said humans have no souls.

For myself, I think animals do have souls of a sort: they would recognise their Creator.

I was going to say in an Aristotelian sense, but I'd have Blofeld bringing up the heavy guns again.

9 March 2014 at 16:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

And so too can a religion.

Ironic that you would say so, since your primary objection to religion in the public square centers on all those things religion won't justify. It is its willingness to impinge on your freedom that drives you to neuter it.

But of course you have made an implicit assumption in your assertion - an assumption that makes religion and irreligion equal. You assume the God does not exist. Objectively speaking, this assumption makes religion identical to irreligion in terms authority - because both originate in the mind of man and the mind if man is the only tangible reality that may be applied to the matter. There is in your understanding no authority anywhere. That is why you say religion may justify anything just as irreligion may justify anything. But if God exists, then your whole arguments collapses into dust.

Yet your convenient equation of religion with irreligion doesn't answer the Archbishop's point about morality being a disembodied act of will. Again, you do nothing but confirm what he said.

carl

9 March 2014 at 16:43  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Today'Sunday Telegraph had a story on assisted suicide along with another on publically funded Islamic schools teaching jihad and several on continuing uncontrolled mass immigration. There was also a story in the lifestyle section about how rampant house price inflation makes the middle class feel wealthy but may mean their children can't afford to breed (unless they're on benefits of course).

It all looks like assisted societal suicide to me.

9 March 2014 at 16:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Nowhere within this form of governance should any form of referenda be permitted.

So says IanCad. But it has happened eleven times already. We have no written constitution so we rely on the rule of law and convention. He just wants to make it up as he go along and impose his will on the rest - bit of a fascist I would say.

Referendums are not legally binding, so legally the Government can ignore the results but it gives Parliament an opportunity to be hear the majority view on a specific but all embracing topic.

9 March 2014 at 16:49  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

PS reminds me of the reflection on A E Housman's suicide poetry a few posts back.

If no God then why on earth not? The Dawkster is all for it.

9 March 2014 at 16:52  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thank You, Dreadnaught.
Understood.

9 March 2014 at 16:54  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

CJ

your primary objection to religion in the public square...etc

Your founding fathers had the wisdom to cater for this in writing. Enjoy it while you still can.

9 March 2014 at 16:55  
Blogger 4thwatch said...

In the DT we have Clegg lambasting UKIP and putting it on a par with the far right in the EU. Clegg mendaciously claims, he loves Britain like no other!
Now we have "our" coalition letting euthanasia go to a free vote in a decadent parliament.
SSM (and before that, abortion on demand) was a definite watershed moment. The ruling (so called) elite have now abandoned all pretense of decency as we have generally understood and practiced it for 2000 years. They are unleashing a torrent of abusive measures.
Do we just go meekly into the night?

9 March 2014 at 17:13  
Blogger Ian G said...

Honour your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

The Commandments were read to heads of families - Adults.

So to paraphrase:

Don't kill off the old folk, because your children will see and imitate when it comes to your turn.

This insight came from the late Rev.Dr. Vernard Eller and is, I think, valuable and apposite.

9 March 2014 at 17:24  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

One way to guarantee the old a peaceful natural death in their bed is for them to arrange to be in prison, perhaps doing life with no parole for mass murdering politicians, surrounded by their human rights lawyers grown fat on legal aid and flanked by well wishing cards from the ECHR.

9 March 2014 at 17:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Inspector:

All they would have to fear then would be the other prisoners.

9 March 2014 at 18:03  
Blogger Len said...

I may have mentioned this before but..any society which 'terminates' is unborn in the womb will eventually turn its attention to those it considers of' no use' to that particular society.Well once you have destroyed the moral foundations of that said society you can make up your morals 'on the hoof ' so to say.
And what criteria do they use to access who is' useful' to society and who is not?.

When abortion came in it was 'for extreme cases' but is now used for creating a designer baby of the 'right sex' with the' right colour 'eyes etc.A life can be snuffed out at a whim.
So it will be with assisted suicide .."Old grandpa don't look too well today, wouldn`t you be better off out of it ?. And then wheel him off to the local 'dispatching centre'.

There are things happening in our rapidly becoming Godless society which would never have been dreamed of a short time ago.


9 March 2014 at 18:13  
Blogger Simon Cooke said...

Terrible - makes me both angry and sad that we see human life as so cheap.

That a civilised - or supposedly civilised society thinks it OK to expect one person to kill another person becasue that person has filled in a form requesting death.

For what it's worth here's my little contribution to the debate - as a person who has little religious faith left:

http://theviewfromcullingworth.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/assisted-suicide-requires-one-person-to.html

9 March 2014 at 18:17  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

The number of old people in society will also be directly influenced by nursing home fees...

“Granny, we love you, but the cash is running low. You’ve had your life, leave something worthwhile for us to have ours”

9 March 2014 at 18:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet
The unexpected death of some old lady
Or gentleman of seventy years complete,
Who've made 'us youth' wait too - too long already
For an estate, or cash, or country seat...

Byron, 'Don Juan' Canto 1 CXXV

Phase 2? (Especially given the increased longevity afforded by modern medicine.)

9 March 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Without the 'unexpected' bit, I mean.

9 March 2014 at 18:35  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


“Good afternoon Mrs Smith, I’m from the Ministry for the Vulnerable. Your family asked me to call. Now, if you wish to continue living, would you nod your head”

“I do need some response from you. Nod your head if you’ve understood the question.”

“Well, nod you head if you can hear me”

{Turning to family}

“Yes, it ties in with what you told the department. I can’t see any problem here. I’ll arrange the clearance and be in touch shortly”

9 March 2014 at 18:37  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Inspector

"There is only one way to get rid of those two bastards, and that is to stop voting in their damned MPs...

But you’re going to continue to vote for them, are you not ?"

1. Labour will win the next election with a big majority

2. We will not notice any difference in polices from the present lot

3. They might be better. It is a job to see how they can make more off a mess of Defense and Education than the present lot. They seem to be identical to Labour on everything else!

Phil


9 March 2014 at 18:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

As Byron shows, the will has always been there.

Now, however, there may increasingly be a way.

9 March 2014 at 18:55  
Blogger richardhj said...

Len 18:13. Agreed totally
Simon 18:17. Glad you used the word "supposedly" otherwise I would have challenged your statement.
Inspector 18:37. Having myself worked in the elderly care sector for 15 years and my wife already for 30 years, your scenario sounds all too plausible.

9 March 2014 at 19:07  
Blogger Born Again Agnostic said...

The issue of assisted suicide is something that has long been at the heart of my own specialism – end of life care. The general view of palliative care medicine, nursing and social work is that the law is fine as it is – there is certainly scope for passive euthanasia if so required (especially since the Mental Capacity Act 2005 became law in 2009) but assisted suicide is a ‘no-no’ for most palliative care professionals. Yet is rather interesting to hear the ‘conspiracy theories’ and just theologically weak arguments from those wishing to persuade us that the state is trying to initiate state sanctioned murder.

The main theological weakness comes from those pro-lifers who are very clear about what a ‘sin’ it is to artificially end life, yet few venture an answer as to when it is morally wrong to extend life. The real problem is that there just aren’t enough people who set themselves up as an authority on this topic who have actually wiped another adult’s bottom. Too few of the scare-mongers and pro-lifers have actually worked as a care worker or informal carer to someone with advanced dementia or profound disability or disease. Why we give flu jabs to people with advanced dementia is beyond me... Why we treat their infections with antibiotics or even (as I know from the six years I worked in cancer care) why we proactively treat the cancers of the demented is a question few choose to ask – and even fewer desire to answer.

Of course the real truth is that the vast majority of chronically sick, demented, physical disabled (of which many of us will be among their number at some point or other in our lives) have the state – and its free health care – to thank for their long lives. Human rights legislation in particular has had a major impact upon the elderly and the disabled getting equal access to health care. Let’s just remember that before the welfare state and the advances of medicine, that wealth and class were the real factors that decided whether someone would have access to health care. A hundred or so years ago, churches may have been fuller and Christianity had a greater influence on daily life, yet the lives of the vast proportion of society were blighted for want of simple access to health care, adequate nutrition, safety in the work place, good access to obstetric care etc.

Therefore it is important not to get too self-satisfied that Christians and Christianity has some moral monopoly on health care. Equal access to health care has only been achieved by the welfare state – not Christianity. And of course people want limitless health and social care – but don’t want to pay for it (as that nice Mr Bone has alleged demonstrated...).

I am no fan of assisted suicide, but I think there really has to be a debate on when it is immoral to extend life unnaturally (and there are many more cases of the latter than the few well published cases of the former!). But I am even less of a fan of Christians (and religion in general) thinking it has some monopoly on the morality of life. For much of‘Christian’ Britain’s history the morality of life has not been a great concern for Britain’s Christian rulers and government. And here I suppose some would remind me that social reform etc. was brought about by Christians... Yet given Britain was ‘Christian’ at the time of reform, why was reform necessary in the first place? Moreover, much social reform was actually achieved by non-Conformist Christians and Humanists working together to get reform through largely indifferent, though church going, parliament.

No, any debate on the topic of euthanasia has to look at facts, rather than polluting the issue with the platitudes of religion (which in reality is often just political point scoring, veiled in piety). The real issue, as I’ve said, is we don’t have enough people involved in the debate who actually do the caring or who are chronically sick and disabled.

9 March 2014 at 19:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

Your founding fathers had the wisdom to cater for this in writing.

The Founding Fathers rejected the idea of an established Church. They did not reject the idea of religion in the public square. They knew well from history the instability of limited gov't brought about by human passion. They depended upon some non-governmental agency to limit and restrain the actions of men. That agency was religion. The Founding Fathers would never have equated religion with irreligion. Consigning limited gov't to the restraints offered by irreligion would in their minds have been tantamount to establishing degeneracy.

And that's exactly what has happened.

Enjoy it while you still can.

Limited gov't? Yes, I suppose that the degeneracy of the West will soon put paid to the concept.

carl

9 March 2014 at 19:27  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Born Again Agnostic, you do raise valid issues, but the issue here is that we don’t want an “Euthanasia Act”. Leave well alone. That’s it, as simple as that.

9 March 2014 at 19:55  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

BAA

any debate on the topic of euthanasia has to look at facts

The first fact to recognise is that this thread and proposed the bill concerns assisted suicide, which is wholly different to euthanasia: in you so saying, you have provided a prime example of erronious interpretation to which religious moralists of the 'slippery-slope' argument, will hold on to in triumph. However, I think that there is much relevance and thought to be attached to most of what you say, being employed at the 'coal-face', as it were.

But deny an aged person a flu-jab because they have dementia? - definitely not; that IS contributing to a persons death by discriminatory neglect.

The context of the bill as far as I am aware, is not age specific and should in no way be assigned as such.

There is nothing to stop an individual making a living will and building in conditions of preference of treatment, should they be terminally incapacitated either mentally or physically.

Clinicians or relatives of patients so afflicted already make decisions to discontinue treatments that may prolong but not necessarily improve life quality but without patient agreement. Such abrogation of individual responsibility needs to be removed from carers and addressed at an age of maturity and recorded as such as much as is the requirement of a birth or death certificate.

I would agree that there are not enough people involved in the debate but contend that this is due to the absence of any public debate being accessible.

9 March 2014 at 20:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

CJ

By 'public square' I take it to mean at the authoritative seat of the nation, ie Parliament where we have unelected Anglican clerics and political appointees constituting the Second Chamber. One Church is well and truly represented, even if it was lead by an ABC who put down the welcome mat for Sharia equivalence of place.

What you really mean is a UK Anglican relgionist's view should trump all others - no thanks.

9 March 2014 at 20:40  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Born Again Agnostic,

"Why we give flu jabs to people with advanced dementia is beyond me..."

Perhaps because they're people's mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, and still valued as such, and we don't want them to die of flu.

Catholic and pro-life I certainly am, but if people who do not share my religious beliefs want to end it all that is up to them. As you say, under the current law there is scope for passive euthanasia. Since the Director of Public Prosecutions issued his guidelines on assisted suicide some four and a half years ago, an event which I covered for the disability rights group I then worked for, there have been around 90 known cases and not one single prosecution.

Legality, therefore, seems to be something of a red herring. What bothers me, and others concerned with the rights of disabled people, is this seeming evangelical desire to have it written into law that certain lives, as defined by doctors, are not worth living, because society either doesn't want or doesn't think it can afford to deal with them.

My best mate, whose pad I have changed, bottom I have wiped and PEG I have administered on many occasions, has a combination of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and associated learning disabilities. He is very profoundly disabled and has had spells in hospital. Once he was in a very serious condition having aspirated. What confronted him then was the attitude that because his life was not, in a narrow medical conception, worth living before he got ill there was very little point in pulling out the stops to treat him, whereas had an able-bodied person been admitted to hospital with the same condition (pneumonia) there would have been much greater willingness to go on treating them. His life support was turned off and because he is the toughest cookie I have ever met he pulled through when every expectation was against him.

As a list of symptoms his quality of life should be dire, but as a twenty something lad who enjoys going to the pub, to the beach, hanging out with friends, and being treated like the normal adult he actually is, his quality of life and his desire for it are great. What makes the biggest difference to his quality of life are good friends, family and living conditions, not his disabilities.

If people want to end their own lives I will not try to stop them, but what I will consistently oppose is the creation of a legal framework, and the commensurate slippery slope, which takes it as a given that life with certain disabilities or medical conditions is not worth living. If society put half the effort into eliminating discrimination against and negative views of the most profoundly disabled people that it has into campaigning for them to be able to shuffle off this mortal coil, it could make a real difference to their quality of life.

Stop society treating the most profoundly disabled people like children, like tragedies, like burdens, and provide basic considerations like places to change an adult pad when out and about, and then we can talk about quality of life.

9 March 2014 at 20:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Agnostic @ 19:25 raises good points. The State is not trying to initiate sanctioned murder: as the T4 Aktion programmed undoubtedly did. But the State has problems.

1. More people over 65 relative to under 16 then at any time in history. Funding implications with pensions.

2. Increased longevity, thanks to medication. We are facing the diseases of old age that, without being terminal, require expensive care and medication.

3. As an out-patient enmeshed in the hospital system on an ongoing basis, I am aware, in a very general way, of budget issues. As the population continues to age, these will become more acute. There may simply not be enough money for everything; so that, as with a domestic budget, choices must be made.

I'm sure there is a case for saying that life unnaturally prolonged is a false compassion. But it is a paradox that Christians - who should, of all people, have the least reason to fear death - are so wary of euthanasia.

It may be the sense of the sacredness of human life as belonging to the Creator. Remove the reason for the sacredness, and can the sense of it endure? Time will tell.

9 March 2014 at 20:57  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

hmmm. It’s the same animal, you know. Assisted Suicide if you are looking at its head, Euthanasia if you’re viewing its behind...

9 March 2014 at 21:09  
Blogger 45minutewarning said...

Born Again Agnostic

While any reasonable person would have great respect for the dedicated carers who work at the "coal face" (usually inadeguately remunerated), the problem with working at the coal face is that you can't always see the the bigger picture.

To put euthanasia in context, we are seeing an insidaous change in our culture which trends toward the devaluation of life at all stages. Examples are abortion on demand, gender selection abortion, the devaluation of the family, reverence of sexualisation, and the valuing of life based objective worth not respect for its sanctity.

The question is what next? Where is the "liberal" bandwagon taking us and what kind of message is it sending by responding to the most vulnerable in society by offering them extermination?

9 March 2014 at 21:59  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Explorer,

It seems like a very big "State" that takes money off us in taxes all our working lives and then when we get old and ill says "Well, long term care will be very selfish and expensive; I think we should consider sodium pentobarbital."

Sod religion; it is in no one's interest to have a health care system in which death is the quickest, cheapest and easiest option.

9 March 2014 at 22:16  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Some thought on this subject at the end of a day...

Perhaps this bill is inspired by the suffering of those high profile cases of souls trapped within their effectively dead bodies, at least one of which is now deceased.

As a Christian, this man would rather those souls be liberated, he not having it within him to condemn them to further torture on this earth.

But we live in a corrupt world, with corrupt lawyers fighting to stretch any such humane legislation into an abortion like free for all.

A difficult one, but we must understand fully the monster that would be released but for the involuntary sacrifice we ask those sad victims to endure...


9 March 2014 at 22:23  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Inspector,

"Perhaps this bill is inspired by the suffering of those high profile cases of souls trapped within their effectively dead bodies..."

Research suggests that the great majority of profoundly disabled people and those with terminal illnesses asking for assisted suicide or euthanasia also show the signs of clinical depression. If society excludes them and sees them as pointless but expensive tragedies there is little wonder.

If I, as an able bodied person, were to be severely clinically depressed and attempt suicide I could be sectioned under the Mental Health Act to prevent me doing it. If my best mate, as a profoundly disabled person with a life-limiting condition, was to demand suicide then instead of trying to give him the best treatment available and convince him of what he has to live for doctors, newspapers and politicians would be falling over themselves to agree with him and get him a massive prescription of barbiturates.

See the difference?

9 March 2014 at 22:35  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Darter @ 22;!6

The problem will be when some one looks at your last sentence and asks, "Why?"

Re that sentence, I don't think we're there yet; or close to it. But there is an issue about the proportion of us who will be getting old and ill (and drawing pensions) relative to the proportion of us generating the revenue to pay for it. You can pay taxes all your working life, and the books might still not balance. That's why the panels in the States for managing the end of life in the States became dubbed death panels: saving money the real motive.

That's not the real issue though; some unforeseen circumstance might bring a financial turn around. The real issue is what Agnostic said about the quality of life.

This is all genuinely difficult territory. Along with most others, I am trying to feel my way in uncertain terrain.

9 March 2014 at 22:47  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Actually, while we're at it:

This free vote in Parliament is based on Lord Falconer's bill.

I was at the launch of Falconer's original report at the end of 2010 (I sat next to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, as it happens).

At that launch meeting His Grace's friend Peter Saunders pointed out absolutely correctly that convening a group of people all of whom are advocates of assisted suicide to produce a report which, lo and behold, advocates assisted suicide, does not constitute an "independent enquiry", as Falconer and his buddies have claimed it to be.

This whole thing is a bloody farce, but it will probably make it past that group of non-entities we call a Parliament eventually.

9 March 2014 at 22:52  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Explorer,

Quality of life is a subjective issue.

I once took my mate to the beach for the day. We had a cracking day, full of laughs, a few pints and a paddle in the sea. As I wheeled his chair off the beach, my friend wreathed in smiles, a lady came up to us and said "It's a shame, isn't it?"

It didn't matter how happy he was; all she could see was a tragedy stuck in a chair. We have encountered this type of attitude so many times; whatever he does, however happy he is, he's still a tragedy. We have had people talking to us, in front of him as if he's some sort of vegetable, about how much of a pity it was that he couldn't have been aborted, because obviously it's better to be aborted than live like he does isn't it? We have tests for that sort of thing now, fortunately.

This bullshit attitude, that if you are that disabled you'd be better off never having been born, is everywhere, and the same attitude can be seen behind the astonishing campaigns for people like Tony Martin to die. As soon as someone that disabled says they want to die, everyone's behind them. If someone that disabled says they want to live, and be treated like an equal, no one gives a fuck.

9 March 2014 at 23:22  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Darter. There are a few types who really are imprisoned in a dead body. This man sees the way forward. Each case being the subject of an act of parliament to ensure their liberation. It is what God would want and approve. Besides, as most of our legislation comes from a foreign power these days, it will give our redundant legislators something to do.

But as for a bill in this area. It’s a dogs mess. Let no one go there....


9 March 2014 at 23:24  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Darter @ 23:22

A very powerful post.

A child of God. A soul. Resurrection body. Life after death.

A series of pain-free, pleasure-focused sense experiences terminated by extinction. Terror of losing looks by growing old.

World views, worlds apart, that generate different reactions.

9 March 2014 at 23:37  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

The greatest tragedy, for me, about Tony Martin is not that he was not allowed to die, but what he could have achieved if he had not died. He was obviously a very intelligent and capable man; he could have been such a powerful advocate for profoundly disabled people, who have so much more to offer our society than it ever gives them credit for.

10 March 2014 at 00:01  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Darter. One would not wish his condition on the Devil himself...

10 March 2014 at 00:08  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Inspector,

What was the worst aspect of his condition - that he believed his life to have no purpose whatsoever or that society was so amazingly willing to agree with him?

He felt his life with such profound disability to be pointless, and newspapers, tv, celebrities and politicians rushed to support him. He said he was utterly useless, and they could not agree quick enough.

If he had complained that he could not access his local library, or railway station, or a pub, or restaurant, because these places were inaccessible, or that he could not get a job because employers had no parking, or had stairs, or would not have someone open the door for him, or would not let him work from home, even though everything he did was done on computer? If all it took for him to have a job was a ramp to the door and someone to hold the door open at the top, but that was impossible because they just refused?

If every job he could go for turned him down because it had stairs, or no parking, or no disabled loo, or because someone might need to open a door?

If the Job Centre sent him to all these jobs, and they all refused him because they just couldn't be arsed to do anything differently? And then they stopped all his benefit because they said he was lazy?

When faced with all these obstacles it's very easy to think oneself worthless and unemployable.

10 March 2014 at 00:40  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David Kavanagh and Explorer.

Sometimes I think we'll get in a 'logan's run' situation in about 50 years."

Dear chaps

I believe the book and film you are looking for is Make Room, Make Room - Harry Harrison circa 1966 and Soylent Green circa 1973?

Brief Overview;

...a dystopian future suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans, and a hot climate due to the greenhouse effect. (Sounds familiar?) add to it housing is dilapidated and overcrowded; homeless people fill the streets; millions are unemployed with the few "lucky" ones with jobs scraping by, and food and working technology is scarce.
Much of the population now survives on processed food rations, including "soylent green" .

Will we be hygienically dispatched with the help of piped-in light classical music and movies of rich fields flashed before us on a towering screen, as in the film?

I hope, if so, old Ernst gets stuck in the gullet of some EU bureaucrat after I receive state assisted 'soylent green therapy' after me unexpected accident!!(distributed from state sponsored food banks, after Parliament sees the light!). *Chuckles...AAARGH!!!! *

Blowers? He tastes just like chicken!!

10 March 2014 at 01:08  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

ps

Has Corrigan gone, so it's now safe to come out of me Zionist foxhole?

*Sniggers*

10 March 2014 at 01:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Darter Noster

Sod religion; it is in no one's interest to have a health care system in which death is the quickest, cheapest and easiest option.

Oh, but it is in someone's interest. In fact, there are many self-interested parties who would see this as a positive development. That's the moral debate that BAA wants to have. When people build morality upon empathy, they inevitably construct it upon their own fears. Do they fear the condition more than the obligations imposed by the condition?

There are lots of people who resent the obligations imposed by those who need care. Those people generally don't see themselves as ever being disabled. It is after all a low probability event. And if by chance they were to become disabled, they vainly imagine they wouldn't want to keep living that way. So a progressive enlightened Euthanasia program would facilitate their ability to be free of obligations that are expensive and time-consuming and menial.

Modern morality turns upon the question "Am I more afraid that the circumstance in question will be imposed on me, or am I more afraid of not being able to impose that circumstance on another?" Empathy requires identification and the harsh fact is that there are many people out there with whom we refuse to identify.

carl

10 March 2014 at 01:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Morality has really turned on it's head and only makes sense nowadays if emotively charged arguments are used rather that reason.

Illness or disability is no more rational a reason for choosing suicide than any other reason.

They argue that people with illnesses and disabilities are able to make decisions about suicide but physically unable to carry out those decisions.

In fact, very few people have disabilities or illnesses that make it impossible for them to commit unassisted suicide.

The vast majority of people with illnesses or disabilities are perfectly capable of committing suicide by the same means employed by other individuals. Many of those whose physical condition would make it impossible for them to commit suicide without help are also unable to make the decision for themselves (e.g., in a coma).
Some people with advance neurological disease or high level spinal cord injuries may be physically incapable of holding a gun or drowning themselves, but even these individuals have a right to refuse food or treatment under current law.

While such a method of suicide may be less preferred, it is nonetheless effective. There may be cases where no method is available to a fully competent person, but if such cases exist, they are extremely rare and should not justify a change in the law.

Our belief that we should prevent most suicides while encouraging and assisting suicide for some individuals represents our own biased views of illness and disability using these emotive false arguments.

For example, an individual convicted of the murder of a child may face life in prison and social disgrace within society..a pariah and rightfully so.

Such an individual then faces a poor quality of life for the rest of his/her years remaining behind bars and may express the wish to commit suicide.

Yet parliament and society does not endorse suicide for convicted criminals and takes a very active role in preventing suicides in prison.

Suicidal prisoners are often deprived of belts and even shoelaces to prevent hanging.

Why should we label the suicide of such a prisoner as irrational and try to prevent it, while we label the suicide of an individual with illness or disability as rational and would therefore offer state assistance via palliative care professionals, to carry it out?

10 March 2014 at 02:32  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

But this creates further problems as the interests of health-care providers (palliative care professionals), families, and patients are often in conflict (As Ernst is only too fully aware at present!).

For example, cost control has often entered into discussions on euthanasia (Killing is very cost effective – it does not cost much for an ampoule of barbiturate. That is why we need to promote care, not killing, and hold onto laws which protect vulnerable people.). Hospitals and other institutions may be predisposed to encourage physicians to gain the consent of some patients as cost-control measures.

If patients' deaths are to hastened to save money, then this becomes triage and not mercy killing or assisted suicide.

While most physicians and other health-care professionals are ethical and humane individuals, there is no reason to believe that their inclination, training, or experience prepares them to exercise life and death power more wisely than any other group of individuals in society.

The involvement of vast numbers of physicians in selecting victims for gas chambers during World War II provides a very grim reminder/cautionary tale that being a physician is in itself no guarantee that an individual will act morally to safeguard life and as we have discovered via the high profile NHS cover ups of excessive numbers of deaths whilst under their CARE. The fact (see http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org/site/holland-background/) that large numbers of Dutch physicians continue to falsify death certificates, defy procedural safeguards, and go beyond the limits of legalised euthanasia, engaging in a wider and wider circle of death-making practices, suggests the very slippery slope we cannot allow the NHS to go down..They already cover up and there is no Voluntary Assisted legislation currently in force? God help us if it is!!!

The Remmelink Report analysed all 129,000 deaths in the Netherlands in 1990. 3% were by euthanasia. Of that 3%, 1 in 3, 1% of all deaths in the Netherlands in 1990, were euthanasia 'without explicit request'. In a mix of non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, Dutch doctors in 1990 killed more than 1,000 patients without their request. This level of euthanasia has continued and now about half of all Dutch euthanasia deaths are not even reported.

Furthermore in 2005 Dutch doctors instituted the Groningen protocol enabling the killing of severely disabled children.

Legalising euthanasia here would give doctors power they should not be entitled to have and would mean that economic and convenience factors would inevitably start to influence decision-making. Doctors could become the most dangerous people in the state after Parliamentarians.

Collective Madness? Not far off!

Blofeld

10 March 2014 at 02:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer:"A child of God. A soul. Resurrection body. Life after death."

I'm always a bit sniffy at that sort of stuff. It seems to me to be the real reason why some people cling to their religion: "I don't want to die!"

10 March 2014 at 05:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

In one sense, this is a 21st century problem. Not that long ago, people with severe illnesses would die untreated, screaming in agony in the cases of some types of illness. I've no doubt whatsoever that many of the elderly or disabled were helped on their way by their poor relatives on whom they were a burden. I expect the disabled in 1st century Palestine had a pretty shitty life on a day to day basis too.

10 March 2014 at 05:38  
Blogger Len said...

No reasonable person would want someone to suffer unbearable pain with a terminal illness but with modern medicine, modern drugs administered properly this surely is not necessary?(Incidentally 'Mother Theresa 'that Catholic saint did exactly that she thought people should embrace their suffering as it would bring them closer to God). No Christian or indeed anyone else wishes anyone to suffer pain needlessly indeed Jesus Christ healed ALL the sick who came to Him!.
But 'assisted suicide' takes us into an entirely different scenario.Who decides what quality of life is acceptable?
We see incredible spirit and incredible determination with the current Paralympic games but someone in the same situation might consider their life 'not worth living' and decided to 'terminate their life.
So what it comes down to 'bottom line' is' pro choice' same as abortion.
As we have all become 'gods' (small g) then we decide who lives and who dies ,this is the 'natural progression (if that is the right word?) of a Godless Society.



10 March 2014 at 08:37  
Blogger Len said...

Danjo.
' I expect the disabled in 1st century Palestine had a pretty shitty life on a day to day basis too.'

Which brings us back to who are the Palestinians exactly?

'In the First Century CE, the Romans crushed the independent kingdom of Judea. After the failed rebellion of Bar Kokhba in the Second Century CE, the Roman Emperor Hadrian determined to wipe out the identity of Israel-Judah-Judea. Therefore, he took the name Palastina and imposed it on all the Land of Israel.

www.indaweb.com/oil/editorialopinion/tzemach.news.service01l.htm‎
.

10 March 2014 at 08:54  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Greetings Blowers,

I was thinking of the 1976 film with Michael York & Jenny Agutter. I haven't read the book, though. I try and make a point of either watching a film or the book, as if you think one is good you're likely to be disappointed with the alternative version.

Watching 'starship troopers' was on the whole a disappointment (except of course for one particular scene,ahem) after reading the book. Or Jurassic Park II, for not even the acting ability of Jeff Goldblum could make it into nothing other than a mediocre film.

10 March 2014 at 09:29  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"some issues linger until MPs give the right answer." - This must, before long, be universally known as an 'EU vote' - ie. a vote or election that is repeated until the decision given is that which the real power-holders wanted in the first place.
"Christ's teachings cannot be limited to the actual words of text" - I call this "The Silence of the Gospels" syndrome: if Jesus didn't alude to it, or mention it at all, then it MUST be ok to do it ("it"= whatever you want).

10 March 2014 at 09:29  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Re the referendum discussion. I think referendums can be good or bad, depending on the political culture of the country, the principal danger being rule of the mob or an appeal to populist policies which jut won't work. California makes a hash of this, e.g. wanting on one hand to keep taxes low, but on the other refusing to slash spending to pay for it.

But the Swiss seem to be able to do referendums without political chaos or disfunctional government. This is strange because Switzerland, like California has an education population and lots of per capita wealth and a history of this type of politics. I wonder why one seems to work and the other doesn't ?

As for Britain, it isn't our political culture to hold referendums for every single issue. The theory of a Parliamentary system to me seems sound, but at present ours needs considerable reform akin to the 'great reform acts' of the 19th century, e.g. a weakening of the executive in dominating legislation, more government scrutiny and a House of Lords which actually has greater power (akin to the US Senate, I'd like to see see the second chamber as a 'council of wise elders') and one that isn't composed or chosen by the main political parties.

10 March 2014 at 09:34  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Danjo,

"Not that long ago, people with severe illnesses would die untreated, screaming in agony in the cases of some types of illness. "

I see what you are saying there, but perhaps it also is fair to acknowledge that in the past people would use 'natural' methods (herbs, plants, even alcohol) as a way of pain relief, whether it was from the witch doctor, the monk or the Rabbi ? And not specifically related to this, leeches and maggots are still used in healthcare today for certain health problems.

I don't really have the time to do this, but I suspect that some of the current pain relief medicines and medicines generally come from these natural sources. Isn't morphine derived from the opium, which comes from a plant?

10 March 2014 at 09:46  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

Where there is no belief in a Final Judgment and the reality of Hell there is no fear of what comes after the death of the body. And, if it is believed that after death man simply ceases to be, then murdering another by assisted suicide or euthanasia (which the way things are going will soon be legal) or abortion (already legal) simply shoots the victim into oblivion that bit sooner. And in the eyes of the perpetrator only a few years of a life spent in suffering have been taken away. The reasoning of the humanist mindset views this as a perfectly good idea, oblivious to the darkness behind it. People of the Faith see the error in this reasoning very clearly.

They see that most of the victims are also being denied the opportunity of spending eternity in the very presence of Almighty God rather than the only alternative which is eternity spent in the fires of Hell. This offer of eternity lived with God was made possible and held out to all men by Jesus at His death and resurrection.

But who in the Church preaches about Hell and Damnation anymore? And the Easter celebrations are reduced to hot cross buns and chocolate eggs.

10 March 2014 at 09:56  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_T4

Europe has been there, done that before.

Frankly, I know I've probably destroyed this debate by the action of Godwin's Law. But it's a beautiful illustration of a point that's actually relevant to more than one debate here. The test of any proposed change to law should never be what the intention of a well meaning government is. It should be what use could subsequently be made of the same law by a less well meaning government. And our current system which couples absolute prohibition of euthanasia with great sympathy and leniency for those who break the law out of pity for the request of a dying relative who wishes to end life and is unable to, may be far from perfect but seems to me far from the worst possible option

10 March 2014 at 09:59  
Blogger meema said...

Irene’s Daughter, well said. The point I tried to make was about the arrogance of man claiming his right to be God. Just because we can do things does not mean that we should. We are not God and because we are myopic, we cannot possibly know what is going on with an individual soul. What if we step in and stop what we think is suffering and interrupt the process of last call to the soul? God seems to be less concerned with temporary human suffering than He is with eternal suffering. We think we know only by what we can see but we cannot see what is happening in the spirit. We think we are smart but we have merely knowledged ourselves deep into the danger zone. And, frankly, the more power set in place to be abused by Satan’s minions seems incredibly lacking in smarts.

10 March 2014 at 10:41  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Len

But 'assisted suicide' takes us into an entirely different scenario.Who decides what quality of life is acceptable?

Your question is self answering by definition.

10 March 2014 at 10:42  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0 @ 05:27

I know what you mean.

"I don't want to die," of course, is a factor also driving atheistic Transhumanism.

Christian martyrs could have survived, in some cases, by renouncing their faith. On the other hand, they had eternal life through Christ to look forward to.

SO, "I don't want to die," can mean any/all of the following:

1. I fear the physical process.

2. I don't want to leave the people, things and experiences of this world.

3. I don't want to be extinct.

10 March 2014 at 10:48  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

It is exhausting, this fight, against those who propose these fundamental changes to our way of life (and death), who are seemingly tireless and shameless in their willingness to ask again, and again, and again, for what they want. It's the old argument from campaigners and politicians – when they receive a definite NO they don't accept they were wrong, that they have lost, but rebound back with a cheery 'Obviously, I didn't explain myself properly. Let me have another go…' until the opposition simply gives up and accept what seems to be inevitable.

It's like fighting the Hyda – sever one head and two more spring up to take its place. The solution, well, for Hercules at least, was to cauterise the severed neck, so to prevent new heads emerging. Not suggesting, of course, that we behead and ignite idiot politicians or those people who seem to have made it a substitute religious to call for the destruction of everything traditional, decent and sacred in their naïve pursuit of a Brave New World.

Actually, yes I am.

10 March 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Sister Tiberia

Very well expressed. "Far from the worst possible option" I think can hardly be challenged from any of all the possible viewpoints.

10 March 2014 at 11:40  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Irene's Daughter @ 09:56

Agree absolutely.

A loved family pet - old, and with an inoperable tumour - might well ask for assisted suicide if it could talk.

We have now become enlightened enough to extend the same humane treatment to what is essentially a more complex sort of animal.

Suffering is the issue. Financial considerations don't come into it; nor should they.

Advocates of such a view not only don't believe in an after life.

They don't believe in original sin.

10 March 2014 at 11:43  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Logan's Run, mentioned above, by William F, Nolan and its sequel Logan's World, about as tasteless (and therefore likely to be accurate) portrayal of a completely hedonistic future in which babies are reared in nursery pods, children are feral criminals, sex and drugs are available for all and a military police, the Sandmen, keep order and execute those who are unwilling to submit to Carousel – a 'rebirth' ceremony when they are thirty (actually euthanasia). One could be forgiven for thinking these books form a secular manifesto for loveless atheists.

The film is not that good (could anyone take Michael York seriously as a trained and capable killer), saved only by the otherworldly beauty of English rose Jenny Agutter, whose sublime presence saved many a dodgy movie from obscurity.

10 March 2014 at 11:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 March 2014 at 11:58  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I accept that the Church's opinion is against the content of the Bill and accept its line that Human Rights are founded on the principle of the individual's right to life.

Christians believe that their god created human life and therefore only He can end it. Some people die in bed in their sleep, without pain – their heart stops pumping for whatever or their brain is incapacitated by massive internal bleeding. There is no obvious discrimination (If any at all) regarding what the individual did during life to warrant such a peaceful death, while others new born babies for instance can be born with all manner of physical defects – yet still made ‘in the image of God’. Yet someone such as mass murderer Stalin He ‘allows’ to die in his sleep.
Then there are those like Diane Pretty or Tony Martin who more than likely harmed no one He presumably inflicted with the torment and torture of motor-neurone disease or MS etc. If such a loving god existed he/she/it has an unenviable penchant for destroying in the most hideous ways imaginable and worthy only of contempt.

Pain and suffering are not ‘gifts’; they are if anything, more like cruel punishments, indiscriminately administered by an Ogre, delighting in his power of destroying his own creations.

If one claims that the Christian God created life then it follows He created death. We don’t remember the pain of our birth, presumably by design, so assuming there is this loving creator why not was the same consideration built in to the process of life and death? – now that, would be worth believing in; but religions are not rational concepts - they are nothing more than man-made control systems.

If Christians in this country so wish – they should simply opt out of the opportunity of easing the discomfort of their own death and butt-out of intruding on the will and affairs of others.

10 March 2014 at 12:02  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Dreadnought:

'Pain and suffering are not ‘gifts’; they are if anything, more like cruel punishments, indiscriminately administered by an Ogre, delighting in his power of destroying his own creations.'

A more pitiful misunderstanding of the Christian faith could not be imagined.

'...but religions are not rational concepts - they are nothing more than man-made control systems.'

You need to familiarise yourself with the meaning of the word rational - just because you don't like it or get it doesn't make it irrational.


10 March 2014 at 12:20  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Ars Hendrik

I only saw Logan's Run once, when it was first released in the seventies, but I remember it quite clearly. Did you seriously understand it as a propaganda film or "manifesto" in favour of compulsory euthanasia for all at age 30? You must be kidding.

Michael York and Jenny Agutter wre both well cast, in my opinion. but even better was Peter Ustinov.

10 March 2014 at 12:27  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

A more pitiful misunderstanding of the Christian faith could not be imagined.

No more a criticism of Christian logic than any other religion.

So - why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

10 March 2014 at 12:27  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught @ 12:02

Is the World as God meant it to be? If so, God is a monster.

The Christian message is that Nature and human nature have alike been damaged, and that a long restoration is in progress.

Perfection of the process lies in the future. But so does the humanist Utopia and the Marxist withering away of the State: both equally unverifiable this side of the reality.

10 March 2014 at 12:40  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

As a veterinary surgeon I can tell you that the taking of an pet animal's life is something few vets take lightly, and it is generally a very difficult decision on the part of a pet owner. But it isn't a direct comparison. With an animal, we have a creature which cannot choose for itself, and cannot see that either there might be a route beyond the suffering; or any consolation, spiritual or otherwise to alleviate the suffering. They only know that they suffer. And the task of the owner and the veterinary surgeon becomes to end the suffering - by treatment if possible, by euthanasia if not. But this is an animal. And little as PETA or similar might like to admit it, you cannot extrapolate directly between animal and human. Two different ethical systems, and they are poles apart.

To the animal, the human who provides for it is God. Kipling wrote movingly on this.

"Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass.
There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass.
His bones are full of an old disease – his torments run and increase.
Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release!"
- "His Apologies" - Rudyard Kipling

Terry Pratchett also wrote about this responsibility in "The Wee Free Men"

"We are as gods to the beasts of the field. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty.'

But we are not Gods to other men. However much some governments would like to believe otherwise.

10 March 2014 at 12:41  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Uncle Brian

Good Lord no - I was a teenager and completely besotted by Ms Agutter (still am). In fact in my school our 'sex education' consisted of a brief study of the sexual attributes of birds and a showing of Walkabout. Job done.

With the benefit of hindsight I could interpret Walkabout as a commentary on the plight of Australian Aborigines, or the life lost through civilisation, etc. At the time though I was much more interested in Jenny's Waterhouseesque breaststroke in the lily pool.

Off for a cold shower now...

10 March 2014 at 12:43  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Dreadnought

'Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?'

This is a little like not understanding what rationality means.

As a commentator on Christianity you already know the answer to this question (or should do). You may not agree with it or believe it, but you surely know it.

10 March 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Sister |T @ 12:41

Your focus was on treating animals as humans. Mine was the reverse.

"But we are not Gods to other men." Some would say otherwise: if there is no God.

Next phase. And SINCE there is no God...

10 March 2014 at 13:01  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I hear you, Explorer - and this is the point where those with a belief in God and those who believe there is no God will forever find themselves on opposing sides of a chasm. I consider my life to be something that is not ultimately mine and for which I will eventually have to give accounting to Him who lent it to me. But if someone believes there is no God and their life is their own - their moral starting point is different. They may live immensely good and moral lives, by anyone's standards. But they start from a different premise.

10 March 2014 at 13:16  
Blogger Albert said...

So the PM does not feel it to be his duty to defend innocent human life. Another reason why it is impossible for a Christian to vote Conservative (unless the candidate is clearly opposed to these policies).

10 March 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Sister Tiberia at 12:21. Very, very well put.

10 March 2014 at 13:56  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

You seem to be suggesting, Ars, that Jenny Agutter was to your generation of teenagers what Brigitte Bardot was to mine. One wouldn’t want to rush into print with a hasty judgment on a matter of such great delicacy, but, with due respect to both ladies, my immediate reaction would be to assert, with a fair degree of conviction, that we got the better deal.

10 March 2014 at 14:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert @ 13:42

From cradle to grave, the State will take care of you. This is just the implementation of the final part of that policy.

The Guardians (or 'Guardian' readers: which comes to the same thing) will make your decisions for you, because they are wise.

And the wisdom of the Guardians will be guarded by...

Oops, I've slipped into an example from Greek philosophy: invalid by definition. I'll have Blofeld on my case again. (If you've followed the earlier thread.)

10 March 2014 at 14:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 March 2014 at 14:16  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

My dear Uncle Brian,

You wound me to the very core you naughty Francophile you...

10 March 2014 at 14:21  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi @ 14:16

Wasn't it Born Again Agnostic who said that? @ 19:25?

10 March 2014 at 14:30  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 March 2014 at 14:30  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Explorer,

"From cradle to grave, the State will take care of you. "


Well when religions are forced to 'butt out', I am sure that government will 'butt itself' into all of this, to provide 'safeguards' as don't forget they like to 'regulate' everything, so that is where we could get to a Logan's run situation (ordering a compulsory death at a fixed birthday or hell, why not at the first sign of ill health; that'll solve the problem of who gets what drugs too!)overtime once the general principle has been accepted. This is the rational forward logic here.

That'd be good for government as it would solve the pensions crisis and crisis in elderly care, allow assets to be reallocated to the relatives,who will promptly spend it all on a holiday to barbados, have their new BMW (what's the point in saving, when you'll be dead soon) they'll be spending and boost the economy... no-one will have any time for religion or the shackles of the past, such as raising a family; it'll party, party, party, as I'm going to die at the age of 40. The government can take care of the need for 'breeding', as if they take care of death, then they can take care of life.

So government will create a nice quango & industry created to make everyone feel OK about this. Perhaps we'd call it 'ofdeath', but as death seems at bit fatal what about 'oflife' or something like that.

10 March 2014 at 14:32  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Ars Hendrik

You may not agree with it or believe it, but you surely know it.

I posed a simple question which has undoubtedly been asked before. So you don't wish to respond, I can live without that. But since as you've just said, that my knowledge or understanding of Christianity was pitiful, you are simply contradicting yourself.

10 March 2014 at 14:34  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Avi Barzel

Whoa there Bald Eagle - not me who said that, quite the contrary! I think you'll find it was someone calling themselves Born Again Agnostic.

10 March 2014 at 14:38  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

The suggestion Dreadnought was that you OUGHT to know it - that and other elementary things about the faith you comment on.

10 March 2014 at 14:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Of Avi, Dreadnaught wrote:

Bald Eagle

Heh.

But too American. He's Canadian, after all. "Scruffy harmless beaver" would be more appropriate.

carl

10 March 2014 at 14:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

Your arguments reduce to:

"God should be like this. He isn't like this. Therefore he is a monster." All you are doing is anthropomorphizing God into your own image. Except you aren't God and you don't have the authority or standing or knowledge to judge. You act as if He is a man subject to the same rules as men. He isn't.

carl

10 March 2014 at 14:49  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

CJ

1. Quite!

2. You act as if He is a man subject to the same rules as men. He isn't.

So they say but Christianity always depicts (?) as so; must be just a sales pitch then. But this is the point where you and I will never agree that such an entity exists - I'm out.

10 March 2014 at 15:06  
Blogger IanCad said...

David,

"Off" not "Of"

The double "f" makes all the difference.
As in "Offing" someone.

10 March 2014 at 15:11  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Ian,

Thanks for the heads up. I gotta admit I'd put two 'ff's' in that as I was typing, but wasn't sure. I guessed it, on the basis that the water regulator is called 'Ofwat'... (presumably office of water regulation ?).

We we'd have the nice and cosy 'Offlife'; 'the Office of regualtory life and departure'...

10 March 2014 at 15:27  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David K:

regulatory, even.

10 March 2014 at 15:32  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Explorer

Indeed. Perhaps you and Ian would be so kind as to fetch me the dunce hat and get someone to sit with me at the back of the class...Perhaps you might get a social worker for me, who'll tell you about dyslexa or Alex as I've always called her...

10 March 2014 at 15:44  
Blogger Anglican said...

I have not been following all this thread, but surely sensible Christians and atheists all realise that state-assisted euthanasia will put an intolerable pressure on old people to 'end it all'. In time doctors and the NHS will be told that limited resources should not be spent on old people. I have already heard of some old people who fear going into hospital for fear they will be ‘bumped off’. This is likely to become more and more common. Then it will be extended to children, who in Belgium can now be offered euthanasia. Adolf must be smiling in whatever circle of Hell he occupies.

10 March 2014 at 16:06  
Blogger Len said...

'Assisted suicide'.

How long before this Government sets us a working party to perform something like the 'Samaritans' in reverse.
The already did?.

There was a recent experiment miscalled 'the care pathway' in which patients in hospital were just left to die by withholding any sort of 'intervention 'at all , this included withholding any food or water.Patients relatives were dissuaded to give any sort of food or water to these patients some who called out pitifully for something to drink.. 'In 2012, it was revealed that just over half of the total of NHS trusts had received or were due to receive financial rewards to hit targets associated with the use of 'the care pathway.'

These sort of inhumane actions are the direct result of the mindless liberals who have uprooted the foundations of our society and have nothing to replace them.


Now so it would seem those we have elected to Govern us are looking for a' more speedy solution' to the cost of care for those unfortunate enough to be ill old and/or infirm and to rely on the NHS.

10 March 2014 at 16:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

From cradle to grave, the State will take care of you.

"Take care of you" in the sense that the bad guy in the Bond films takes care of those who cross Blofeld.

10 March 2014 at 16:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert:

Or those who cross Blofeld on this blog.

10 March 2014 at 16:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Profuse apologies and mea culpas for the misidentification and the friendly fire Dreadnaught. Post will be removed presently.

As for Carl's gratuitous comment, I'd like to see his response if attacked by a angry beaver flashing his four huge incisors. See http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/attacking-beavers-a-concern-in-belarus-after-man-killed-1.1396377.

A bald eagle, though, especially one in the age of Obama, is also a threat...to field mice.

10 March 2014 at 17:35  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

When did Blofeld move from being an international terrorist to theological terrorist?

10 March 2014 at 17:56  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Hello Avi ,

I got told when I was over in Canada, that it was a duck that was an important symbol of Canada, like it was called 'the Loonie' which is what you call your coins too? That and the Quebec flor de lyeess ? I thought bald eagles were American and Beavers were like a shared thing? At least you don't have 'gators'.

10 March 2014 at 18:08  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Avi

Sweat ye not sire. Talking of angry beavers ... no ... better not :-)

10 March 2014 at 18:09  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Forgot to add to this re Beavers, there is also a 'zombeavers' film coming out. Don't think it'll be as cool as Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (:

10 March 2014 at 18:22  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert @ 17:56

I suspect the two roles are running in tandem.

10 March 2014 at 18:43  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I work in a skin cancer clinic and saw 2 patients in clinic this afternoon with average age 92. Both are being kept alive by medicines and rest home care. We are still going to operate on both. But the NHS like the rest of the welfare state rests on faith based ethics and borrowed money. Both sources of support are running out.

Its very expensive looking after very frail old people. If they are only meaninglessly evolved descendants of pond slime who as A E Housman believed will experience extinction at decease, then what?

Ironically, many of today's oldies have few grandchildren to care for them whether directly or through taxes due to the 7 million abortions their generation enabled. Which also contributed to the people shortage that led to mass immigration.

Interesting times ahead. Choices have consequences

10 March 2014 at 19:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "These sort of inhumane actions are the direct result of the mindless liberals who have uprooted the foundations of our society and have nothing to replace them."

But we mindless liberals have something: Islam of course. Etc etc.

10 March 2014 at 19:20  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Liberals aren't mindless. They have a carefully thought out plan and a definite view as to what should replace the displaced 'Judaeo Christian Guilt Cult'.

To see the plan, 'Take a look out the window and see what's happening.' As Jimi Hendrix said (Rainy Day Dream Away).

The liberal humanists' plan as actioned over the last 50 years or so is unfolding and delivering its payload. Perhaps not quite as they intended, but very far from mindless.

10 March 2014 at 19:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi Samuel, yes the loon is one of our national critters, but it only resembles the duck in size, while in fact it's genus Gavia, family Gaviidae and order Gaviiformes. A most eerie and beautiful hoot it makes at dusk, one which those of us who are addicted to canoe camping identify with the crisp, clean Canadian North and the smell of burning cedar wood at the evening's campfire. That, and real (i.e., not American) beer.

The beaver, though, appeared much earlier in our heraldry and is associated with the Hudson Bay Company's main trading item...beaver pelts...typically used in Europe for making fine felt for hats.

No, no alligators, thank goodness. I canoed through a section of Florida's Everglades once and found their presence too scary to ever repeat the experience. Seeing a gator casually walk a few feet past our tent was unnerving too. That and all the disgusting creepy crawlers in the sub-tropics makes me prefer Canadian camping. Of course, we have Black Bears and Grizzlies which can be deadly, but one doesn't come across them as often as ugly bugs and poisonous snakes in America's South. Carl is welcome to them...as well as to Obama.

10 March 2014 at 19:54  
Blogger richardhj said...

Steve. 19:08 and 19:44.

Very good indeed. Unfortunately.

10 March 2014 at 20:11  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Rambing Steve


Interesting times ahead. Choices have consequences.

Couldn't agree more.

The freedom of people to make the "wrong" choices are being curtailed.

"We have been disappointed for a long time by the conduct of the West, the way you conduct yourselves there, but we just keep quiet. We just see how you do things and your families and how they are organized. All these things, we see them and we keep quiet. We never comment because it's not our country. Maybe you like it. So this is now an attempt of social imperialism to impose social values of one group on our society. Then our disappointment is now exacerbated because we are sorry to see you live the way that you live. But we keep quiet about it. Now you say "you must also live like us." That's where we say no." –Yoweri Museveni

Now the liberals shout, "what an intolerant rant"

Except it isn't, quite the opposite

Phil

10 March 2014 at 20:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

50 years from now.

The Old Man:
"You mean to say that those people know ahead of time when they're gonna die?"

Logan 5:
"That's right."

The Old Man:
"Oh, that's silly. What's the reason for that?"

Logan 5:
"That's the way things are. The way things have always been."

The Old Man:
"Yeah, it takes all the fun out of dying."

10 March 2014 at 20:45  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

:-)

10 March 2014 at 21:02  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Requesting Your Grace’s permission to go off topic for a moment. The 12 Maaloula nuns were released unharmed by their jihadist captors, earlier today, in exchange for Syrian women prisoners.

http://news.yahoo.com/kidnapped-syria-nuns-expected-freed-175029021.html

10 March 2014 at 21:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Well, sure. But I was referring to Canadian beavers. Not Byelorussian beavers. You know. Think 'Thumper' with a flat tail. And anyways. It sounded better than 'fluffed-up Canadian Goose.' But geese are bad tempered and mean. Hardly Canadian at all.

carl

10 March 2014 at 22:36  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 March 2014 at 22:39  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Hey Avi, Dude,

"A most eerie and beautiful hoot it makes at dusk, one which those of us who are addicted to canoe camping identify with the crisp, clean Canadian North and the smell of burning cedar wood at the evening's campfire. That, and real (i.e., not American) beer."

I like that idea of from time to time, getting back to nature without all the crowded stuff of life. The only Canadian beer I got was Coors and Labbatts, so I guess you drink like home brew or something they don't give the tourists?

I like to go and see my sister in Cornwall, which is a very beautiful part of England, brilliant for a surfer such as myself. No bears or 'gaters, though; some sharks, but they are big, but harmless. But good warm Cornish home made beer is fantabiso!

As for Obama, if only he was just Carl's problem. Alas what America does -and doesn't do- affects us all. Just don't get me started on Obama's money printing Zimbabwe style, pro-Palestine stance toward Israel & his other fixation of the global warming. I better not go one as whilst we'll agree about Israel, I'm a bit of a lone voice when it comes to expression my 'skeptical' approach to the 'science' of global warming, recycling and all the other green propaganda which is rammed down our throats, like we are the goose for Foie gras ...

10 March 2014 at 22:41  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says all this talk of ducks, even the Great Northern Diver, will have old Ernsty grabbing his shotgun and donning his hunting hat and camouflaged jacket.

He'll be amongst the water reeds before you can say "Fowl Play! Fowl Play!"

10 March 2014 at 22:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Samuel Kavanagh

The only Canadian beer I got was Coors

Yes, Avi loves that Canadian beer called Coors Light. He considers drinking it one of the cultural requirements of Canadian citizenship. Like watching the Red/Green Show.

carl

10 March 2014 at 23:11  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Fowl Play! Fowl Play!"

Where, Where?

*QUACK QUACK*

"Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting a wittle bwirdie"

*Bang Bang *

We're Fwying Tonight!!

"huh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh."

*Cwispy Qwackers*

11 March 2014 at 01:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

First of all, gentlemen, Labatt's is Canadian; Coors is American. The former gives me heart-burn and the latter is a fairly good replacement for the iffy water when in the US. Good for when you wake up and want a glass water, and the fridge is closer than the tap. I like micro-brewery beers and the Czech Pilsner Urquelle or Plzensky Prazdroj (Czechs like their consonants in threes), the best beer in the world. That leaves the question of how or why Carl watched our Red Green Show which is all-Canadian in-humour, gentle unlike the scathing British stuff, and was broadcast only by our CBC. Or, how he knows the difference between Canadian and Byelorussian beavers (a good opening for a remark by Mrs Proudie).

But enough of this tomfoolery; His Grace will not be happy, and that's never a good thing...can lead to avian species extinctions all over again.

11 March 2014 at 03:53  
Blogger Oliver Nicholson said...

So it will be illegal to kill a fox, but legal to kill your granny.

11 March 2014 at 06:19  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Hope Ernstie's new motorised scooter has a little side car attached . Cressida would like a ride in it. Got the leather and goggles at the ready.Borrowed them from Clarissa Dickson Wright. She would like a ride as well!

11 March 2014 at 06:23  
Blogger non mouse said...

Rambling Steve Appleseed (19:08) refers to the people shortage that led to mass immigration. Well, we all know about that, but here’s a re-view of the numbers available.

According to US Census Bureau and UN publications, the UK population is presently (in 2014) about 63.5 million (bluemarblecitizen.com). [U-huh?}

I haven't time to verify Wikipedia's information on population in England throughout history, but the sources listed there are academic, checkable, and look reliable; the figures are similar to those I've seen elsewhere. According to them, the estimate for 5000 BC is 60,000. Thereafter guestimates are based chiefly on resources other than censuses - officials kept records of, e.g., the numbers of households, tax payers, or men available for military service. In the list following, my comments appear in square brackets, [like this]; the English numbers from Wiki are:
100 BC: 1.5 mil.
AD1100: 3,250,000 [Post-Billy Bastard].
1350: 3,000,000
1541: 2,774,000[A dip generally attributed to plagues other than the frogs, and to occurrences of blight/famine and war.]

[Things improved under the later Tudors, and by-]
1601: 4,110,000. [Thence-]
1801: 7,754,875 [All sources indicate the first official census was this year]
1901: 30,072,180 [Hmmm. A jump of 22mil in just 100 years].
1941: 38,084,321 [My stress. One notes minimal increase during the WW years]
1951: 38,668,830 [My stress. Not much of a “baby boom” yet. Incr. in 50 years-‘01 to ‘51 = 8,596,750]
1961: 41,159,213 [Incr. in 10 years = 2,490,383 ... er, “baby boom”?]
2001: 49,138,831 [Incr. in 40 years = 7,979,618; incr. in 100 years = 19,066,651]
2011: 53,012,456 (“Demography of England”). [Incr. in 10 years = 3,873,624; incr. in 50 years = 11,853.243].

Wiki doesn’t show the numbers for 2014. However, The Office of National Statistics claims:
mid-2012: 53.5 million in England;
and 63.7 million in the UK(ons.gov.uk*), as The Independent is trumpeting today.

___________________________________
** “Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2011 and Mid-2012.” Released: 08 August 2013 (Latest).

11 March 2014 at 06:40  
Blogger non mouse said...

Cont'd...

In short, English population increased by 4/5 million throughout our known existence: until 410 years ago. Since then it has increased by over 50 million; however, if one trusts the later figures, around 44 million of that "growth" occurred in the last 200 years. And the latter half of that in face of the greatest war carnage, and the greatest influx of invaders, of all time.

While economists and sociologists produce complicated and convoluted reasons as to why this massive increase improves the condition of indigenes in our islands, one would be surprised if they are truly blind to overcrowding its effects our resources (including that of human morale). Should one suspect that their arguments are geared to something other than supporting Globalist control of populations (UN/EU)? It might be worth research if anyone has the time or the expertise.

The clear reality, however, is that our once-spacious England is now short of anything but people. And as to those who insist we should further increase our numbers and/or reproductive rates (by immigration of polygamous people) .... Why do they simultaneously work to cut those numbers by promoting, homosexuality, abortion, and “euthanasia” (be it suicide or murder).

The situation raises questions like: Is state-controlled-death better than that by natural causes and warfare? If it is, does this also mean that we must submit to state-controlled-birth and ... oh, wait a minute ...

Choices have consequences indeed, Mr. A. Let’s hope we’ll still get to choose something, somewhere, sometime .....

11 March 2014 at 06:50  
Blogger non mouse said...

Should read: "overcrowding and its effects"...

11 March 2014 at 06:55  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Oliver N: some years ago I overheard part ofa drunken conversation at a medical conference in which a GP praised Harold Shipman and said that posterity would acknowledge his vision and courage in humanely putting down several hundred useless old women. 'He has saved the country MILLIONS!'

A surgeon at medical school in the 70s told a lecture theatre full of students about how he had 'slaughtered' an autistic teenage boy through an operation that went wrong...'So I did him and society a favour by slaughtering him, but could have done it more efficiently with my twelve bore from the end of the bed.' This was not said ironically.

I could add several more anecdotes from my career of doctors and students approving and secretly practicing euthanasia on the vulnerable. For now, the official line and mainstream ethics would oppose involuntary euthanasia, certainly in public, but as we have seen ethics can change very quickly.

Mr Mickawber says a REAL economic collapse is coming. If mercy killing is by then legislated for and normalised (citing autonomy and compassion) then our heavily indebted young people with their post Christian ethics may feel that they can no longer bear the cost of elderly care.

To autonomy and compassion may then be added utility and affordability as arguments for legally killing.

Impossible? Scaremongering? Unthinkable? Anyway we appear nearer to trying the experiment than ever.

Oh but of course there will be watertight safeguards.......

11 March 2014 at 07:14  
Blogger Len said...

I wonder what a total newcomer would make of this blog?.
The topic is assisted suicide or should that be the' encouraged suicide' of those who are 'surplus to requirements' in our world which places material values far above all else.A life is only worth what it can produce apart from that it has no value at all to our society.
A world which places lip service to 'human rights' 'rights of the individual' etc but where some individuals have no rights at all.The unborn in the womb are 'terminated' without regard to any rights they might have and those who oppose our secular state are frequently found to have their rights legislated away...
A world which has turned morality on its head and congratulates itself at having done so...What a tragic farce our world has become.


Then there are the others who prefer to talk about which beer they prefer which presumably seems more important to them?.

It is rather like watching the orchestra playing whilst the Titanic went down or something far more sinister.Perhaps the horror of what is happening is too much to bear and any diversion is preferable...

Our' brave New World' (without God of course ) is already starting to show signs of the direction it has taken and the utter callousness which lies within its rotten heart. All at the same time professing Human rights,freedom of the individual etc...
The liberals have created a monster and let it loose upon us.


11 March 2014 at 09:04  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Len, I agree with your last post. The world we now live in has lost its way and we are cast adrift on the sea of moral relativism. Having read through all the comments, I fear it will take more than a packet of hobnobs to soothe my troubled mind.

11 March 2014 at 09:09  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 March 2014 at 09:09  
Blogger Len said...

I suppose the current topic under discussion 'assisted suicide' is a natural progression of 'evolutionist thinking' which predominates our society and indeed is taught throughout those 'Churches of humanism' our education system.
As the song goes 'only the strong survive' this could be the mantra of our evolutionist society.
So what price compassion and the value of a person regardless of their physical ability.Indeed what price?.
Christianity tells us to care for the sick the widows and the orphans what does evolution tell us?.

11 March 2014 at 09:17  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Len:

Darwin saw that a rational society ought to follow the principles for a well-run farm: breed only from the studs, geld the rest, drown the runts of the litter, send old horses to the knacker's yard, wring the necks of old chickens...

Medicine preserves the sickly: enabling them to breed and perpetuate their sickliness...

On the other hand, Darwin himself was sickly, and so were many of his adored children. Hence "evolved sympathy" which protects us from the dictates of "hard reason".

But then comes Nietzsche's dictum that to evolve the Superman, we must follow where hard reason leads.

Alternative?

"Yet, being something god-like we are not, as Nietzsche would have it, gods ourselves, but something far less, a faint but glowing resemblance to Someone else infinitely more splendid... Perhaps, as Nietzsche howled, God did indeed die, but rose again, an 'ubermensch' of a very different kind, one that can save us from the madness of our own making." (B. Wiker)

11 March 2014 at 10:03  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Did anyone see last night's 'Silk' which dealt directly with the topic of this thread?

Worth a catch up if you missed it, for anyone concerned about the issue.

11 March 2014 at 10:55  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Len,

Well bud, I see it took 5 paragraphs for you to come out with your swipes (without of course actually having the courtesy to address anyone by name). I'd say sometimes even serious topics need a bit of a detour to refresh one for the struggles ahead, but if this conversation upset you and Mrs Proudie I apologize. You should note that Carl and Avi had addressed the topic prior to beer and beavers;I know I didn't, but for the record I'm dead against this proposal.

Satisfied & happy now ?

11 March 2014 at 11:03  
Blogger IanCad said...

RSA @ 07:14.

Noble, humane medical professionals talk like that!!??

I am wholly disillusioned.

Just as in America the public has only recently learned to never, ever call the police, perhaps we over here will learn to never, ever visit the doctor.

11 March 2014 at 11:55  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian:

Once utility becomes the criterion, then uselessness tends to follow.

11 March 2014 at 12:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Len

Then there are the others who prefer to talk about which beer they prefer which presumably seems more important to them?

There isn't anything wrong with having fun at Avi's expense. Why do you think God created Canada?

Seriously, it's called 'building community' and it's vital to the health of a Weblog. Especially on a thread like this. I am quite capable of addressing the serious subject matter of the thread and having some fun as well. I can keep them separate. I did so on this thread.

You are starting to remind me of one of those Street Preachers, Len. The ones who think it is clever to hold up signs that say things like "It's not Mormon. It's Moron." Not a good... sign. So to speak.

carl

11 March 2014 at 14:03  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

IanCad.

I hope I made it reasonably clear that the speech I cited was a minority. Would not want to smear the whole profession. But a few is still some and we should not assume that 'herd' medical ethics would remain unchanged by legalosed mercy killing.

11 March 2014 at 16:18  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack wonders if Jesus and His pals ever cracked a joke or two and told funny stories when they sat around their camp fires at night. Jack can't imagine them not doing so even though their mission was so important and Jesus knew His time as a man was to end on the Cross at Calvary.

What do you reckon?

11 March 2014 at 16:57  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Samuel, I fear you misunderstand my endorsement of Len's comment - I agree that the world has lost its way and am fearful of the advent of assisted suicide/euthanasia, but I simply didn't register his comment about beer and beavers...or whatever...for the record (as you will know from reading my threads) I am all for lightening the mood when serious matters are under discussion - indeed it is my sole purpose in being here.

11 March 2014 at 18:10  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

..... and hobnobs, Mrs Proudie!

11 March 2014 at 18:42  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Hey Mrs Proudie,

Cool! I'm glad about that. Usually I'd ignore Len's rubbish, but as I thought you were reproaching me, I thought I'd said something wrong. I did think it was like a bit out of character for you, but now you've clarified all of this I feel well better. And like Carl and Jack have also responded to Len as well. It must be a 'born again' thingy with Len.

11 March 2014 at 18:48  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

How gracious Samuel, I shall send hobnobs and macaroons to you immediately as a token of my regard. Now, as it is my birthday, I am treating my Lord the Bishop and myself to a nice bottle of red and a decent dinner...I wish you lovely gentlemen could be with us but alas, 'tis short notice for you all.

11 March 2014 at 19:26  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

So, I still wonder if anyone has done anything about their own situation for when thing go rough, God forbid of course.

Our family MD is Orthodox, he knows our wishes, and the rabbi who would appear at the ER should anything happen, God forbid again, he has a medical degree and is an expert in Jewish medical ethics. Between the two of them, they should be able to figure things out and to wrestle any "dignity and quality of life" post-modern MD away from the plug.

11 March 2014 at 19:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Mrs Proudie, you are a very naughty lady keeping your birthday so quiet. It is not everyday one reaches 30 years of age and it is a time of celebration.

Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday, Mrs Proudie.
Happy Birthday to you!

Hip, Hip ....

11 March 2014 at 20:26  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Hey Mrs Proudie,

No worries and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I look forward to the fantabioso Macaroons and Hob-nobs! Enjoy the red. I cudda recommended some decent Israeli wine, had I have known!

11 March 2014 at 20:33  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack:

She's a naughty lady for other reasons too!

11 March 2014 at 20:34  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

One final thought from me, but don't the two ConDem leaders in the pic look like waxwork Madame Tussauds dummies? Or is it that waxworks are looking more realistic nowadays?

11 March 2014 at 20:38  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, ssshhhh! A lady's honour is at stake!

Jack thought you were hiding in the woods during your recent absence. No wonder you are low on energy.

*chuckle*

11 March 2014 at 20:43  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Jack:

I WAS hiding in the woods. The point is: why?

11 March 2014 at 20:59  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

There is still a price on your head, Explorer.

Slippery Slope has been spreading rumours and His Lordship is not best pleased.

11 March 2014 at 21:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack:

They don't call me The Explorer for nothing.

11 March 2014 at 21:32  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

You are a Lothario? You swine!

^gasp^

Poor Mrs Proudie may be doomed ......

11 March 2014 at 22:01  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A happy birthday Mrs Proudie! Thanks for the laughs and keep them coming!

11 March 2014 at 22:08  
Blogger Christianforever said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 March 2014 at 22:33  
Blogger Christianforever said...

Len,

Correct as ever. We should pray for the usual suspects, that they find Jesus Christ so they won't be hell bound when they die. We can but pray.

11 March 2014 at 22:40  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

You naughty boys, but goodness! Thank you for your blessings and kind words. Alas, I am no longer thirty, dear Happy Jack (triple blessings to you for that) but am still game for anything. I have just returned from a wonderful birthday supper at Gatherum Castle. Duchess Glencora is an absolute hoot and she insisted we played the 'key on string' game, you know, where a big key on string goes up the gentlemen's trouser legs and down the ladies' bosoms...such fun! Mr Slope disappeared with the big footman...so I hope he had an interesting discourse on the biblical concept of servitude...he came back flushed from his exertions at any rate. Now, safely ensconced in my Lord's library in The Palace one feels the need for Avi's good sense, Samuel's cheeky avant-gardiness and Happy Jack's strumming. The stays are loosened, the mind is open to wild imaginings and the hobnobs are on heat...

11 March 2014 at 22:58  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Christianforever,

Chill out dude, who are the 'usual suspects' or this is another like attempt to spray dissent without courage? Have a hob-nob from Mrs Proudie's vast collection and come back when better.

11 March 2014 at 23:20  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Hey Mrs Proudie,

"Samuel's cheeky avant-gardiness"

I like that. Dunno what it means but it sounds quite cool. And it is good to know you had a brilliant birthday supper at Gatherum Castle, not done the 'key on a string' game though, but sounds intriguing...

11 March 2014 at 23:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Christianforever

I thought you smacked your sandals on the door post and departed from us. Did you change your mind?

Congratulations on making a post without using unattributed quotes from a nameless website, btw.

carl

11 March 2014 at 23:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, give the chap time to warm up. Jack stands ready to track down any plagiarised * material.

* this means copied in case the word is not understood in America.

12 March 2014 at 00:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

HJ

Fortunately we Americans can read through misspellings. The word you were looking for is 'plagiarized.'

carl

12 March 2014 at 00:46  
Blogger Bible Street Preacher said...

No, no no! Len and Christianforever are Bible believing born again believers, who stand up for the Gospel, in this thread against government murder or when they argue against against the atheists (unbelief), the Catholics(Mary worshiping idolaters) and the Orthodox Jews (who persecute real Jews called Messianic Jews in Israel).

The reaction from other Christians? Mockery and attack! What a disgrace!

12 March 2014 at 01:02  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack says; zzzzzzzzz .....

*chuckle*

12 March 2014 at 01:20  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Cressida de Nova said...

"Hope Ernstie's new motorised scooter has a little side car attached . Cressida would like a ride in it. Got the leather and goggles at the ready.Borrowed them from Clarissa Dickson Wright. She would like a ride as well!"

My dear

When Ernst gets his scooter you shall be the first person he offers a ride to Iceland , to help get me chicken noodle soup.

However, he has more current problems to deal with...Would you mind ever so, trying to wear in me new top gnashers for me, as they are giving old Ernsty terrible gum ulcers.

Ta, my sweet.*gurning grin*

Blowers

12 March 2014 at 01:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Bible Street Preacher

There are many of us here who have stood up for the Gospel and have done so for a long time. However there is a way to do things and there is a way not to do things. Christianforever has previously demonstrated the way not to do things.

1. You don't crib huge sections of a Web page (including the infamous 'double-dog dare' line) and post them as your own writing.

2. You don't call your opponents 'cowards' - especially when there are those of us around who know differently.

You show your opponent respect. It's not a hard concept.

Btw, any reasonable definition of the word 'persecute' will put paid to the idea that the Israelis persecute Messianic Jews or other Christians for that matter. The North Koreans persecute people. Find some perspective.

carl

12 March 2014 at 01:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

HJ

This is why you struggle with English. You keep falling asleep in class.

carl

12 March 2014 at 01:29  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, English comes natural to Happy Jack. It's his mother tongue. It's 'others' who need lessons.

12 March 2014 at 02:00  

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